Research Training: Socio-Economics of Mental Health Delivery System in South Eastern Europe

Funded by: National Institutes of Health, Fogarty International Center
Principal investigator: Dr. Richard Scheffler, PhD
co-PI: Razvan Chereches
Project Dates: August 1, 2011 – July 31, 2017

Program Faculty Members:

Howard Goldman
Joan Bloom
Martha Shumway
Martin Potucek
Miroslava Klejnova
Neal Adams
Neal Wallace
Steve Hinshaw
Tea Vukusic Rukavina
Teh-Wei Hu

Program Staff:

Kati Phillips
Ioana Rus
Alina Zlati

About the Training Program:

The University of California, Berkeley and Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania, are to provide advanced, multidisciplinary research training to outstanding pre- and post-doctoral economists, psychiatrists, sociologists, clinicians, and mental health professionals from South Eastern Europe (SEE) in the latest research methods and issues regarding the economic and social factors that influence or drive the delivery of mental health care services.

We built upon the successful “Finance and Mental Health Services Training in Czech Republic/Central Europe (5-D43-TW005810-10). Prof. Richard Scheffler, University of California, Berkeley, has been the PI and co-Director of this program for the past ten years. The other co-Director has been Prof. Martin Potucek, Charles University, Prague. During its span, the program has trained over sixty people from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania, and Slovakia. The program has been highly successful by all measures, with over 150 publications and 3 books by its trainees.

Because the Czech Republic is now a high-income economy, we will replace Charles University with a new partner. We propose that the new partner be the new School of Public Health at Babes-Bolyai University (http://www.publichealth.ro/), Cluj-Napoca, Romania. SPH-BBU will serve as the hub of the program in Europe, attracting and screening candidates, and fostering their subsequent career development. Berkeley will continue to be the primary training site, providing senior faculty to mentor the trainees as they take classes, participate in seminars, and engage in research projects in their home countries. The current co-Director is Razvan Chereches, MD, Ph.D., Babes-Bolyai University. Dr. Chereches has himself been a trainee and a project leader in our previous program. He has also participated in other NIH programs: University of Iowa International Training and Research in Occupational and Environmental Health Program, Fogarty International Center – D43 TW000621; Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research and Training, Fogarty International Center- T37 MD001453-05; and University of Iowa International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Prevention Research and Training Program, Fogarty International Center – D43 TW007261.

Our program has now expanded from the Czech Republic into four other countries in the region, we intend to start from Romania and Bulgaria, and expand into other LMICs in SEE. The countries of interest currently include Albania, Moldova, and Serbia, but other countries of the former Yugoslavia will also be considered. Expansion into any country always depends on identifying an appropriate institution and persons who can help support qualified and interested trainees.

 Publications:

Gabrani, Jonila, Neal Wallace, Adriatik Gabrani, and Joan Bloom. “Egalitarianism in Health Care – Pros and Cons; The Imperative for Innovative Lens in Western Balkans.” Management in Health (2015): 12-16. Read here.