Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2024


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Richard Ricciardi, PhD, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN


Background: There is a critical shortage of mental health providers in most areas of the United States. The Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) is an evidenced based model integrating behavioral health services into primary care. Where implemented, the CoCM has improved outcomes for people with common mental health issues. In Suffolk County, New York and across the nation there are a dearth of established CoCM programs despite an ongoing need for mental health services, largely due to startup costs. Legislation allocating federal funding to improve the uptake of CoCM programs was recently signed into law.

Objectives: The aim of this health policy project was to analyze the current state of collaborative care and relevant legislation to facilitate the practical and equitable expansion of the CoCM in Suffolk County, NY.

Methods: A policy analysis was conducted on H.R. 2617 section on Improving Uptake and Patient Access to Integrated Care Services utilizing the eight-fold path developed by Bardach and Patashnik. Project activities were community-based and consisted of interactions with a variety of stakeholders including federal and state legislators, primary care providers, and community members in Suffolk County, NY. Engagement with stakeholders and uptake of CoCM were measured.

Results: Analysis findings were shared with 130 stakeholders, and 82 community members were educated about the CoCM. Over 120 stakeholders and community members actively engaged with the student during implementation. Comments were submitted to the Federal Register and an op-ed was published in Newsday. There were no new CoCM programs implemented in Suffolk County, NY during the project implementation timeline.

Conclusions: Educating key stakeholders about the model, analysis findings, and funding options was an important step in directing implementation funding to the community. Implementation funding is one facet of long-term CoCM sustainability. Future opportunities to improve CoCM uptake exist due to the efforts of this project.

Open Access




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.