Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) will play an increasingly important role as a tool to the primary care medical practitioner as implementation of the patient centered medical homes becomes more widespread. Research supports statistically significant co-morbid conditions exists with people who suffer from chronic diseases and those who are afflicted with behavioral health problems. Early identification of patients with depressive symptoms and those who have a propensity to overuse drugs and alcohol during a routine or sick medical visit is an important first step to a more complete comprehensive health care delivery by the primary care provider and providers of behavioral health organizations. SBIRT can easily be implemented in a primary medical care setting with minimal costs resulting in significant results.


Ronald Dwinnells, MD, MBA, CPE, F.A.A.P is Chief Executive Officer at the Ohio North East Health Systems, Inc. located in Northeast Ohio. He is a former National Health Service Corps scholar who served in the capacity of pediatrician and medical director for 10 years prior to his current post. Dr. Dwinnells is a frequent speaker on a national level discussing topics of health disparities, health care leadership and health care administration. He has testified before congressional committees on health care delivery for the medically underserved and also has hosted a number of state and federal legislators on various health care topics. In 2004, Dr. Dwinnells hosted President George W. Bush in Youngstown on the topic of community health centers.

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