June 25, 1999

VUMC researchers take part in first national Conference on Mental Health

VUMC researchers take part in first national Conference on Mental Health

Two Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty members participated in the first White House Conference on Mental Health earlier this month in Washington, D.C.

Drs. Richard A. Margolin, associate professor of Psychiatry, and Mark L. Wolraich, professor of Pediatrics, participated in the day-long conference, spearheaded by Vice President Al Gore Jr. and his wife, Tipper. President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton also attended the event.

Margolin, an expert in geriatric mental health, spoke on key issues and illnesses affecting senior citizens as well as policy issues that might benefit seniors.

Wolraich attended as a representative of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is chair of the academy's Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. He spoke about how managed care has made it harder for primary care physicians to provide mental health services for children and to obtain health services for families in need.

"I was thrilled to be invited. I felt like it was the singular opportunity to participate in an open discussion about a political topic that is receiving so much public attention," Margolin said.

"It was a great honor and I appreciated the government's interest and commitment to mental health issues," Wolraich said. "I was particularly impressed with Mrs. Gore's advocacy in this area."