Since the U.S. Surgeon General’s report on mental health (1999) declared mind and body to be inseparable, integrated healthcare, bringing the body and mind back together, has been gaining significant momentum across the nation as a preferred approach to care for people with co-morbid physical health and mental health conditions. Primary care settings often are the gateway to healthcare for racial and ethnic minority populations and individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) and, as such, it has become the portal for identifying undiagnosed or untreated behavioral health disorders. An integrated holistic philosophical approach to behavioral healthcare provides an opportunity to address mental and physical health disparities and achieve health equity through a culturally and linguistically centered integrated healthcare delivery model that by definition must be person-centered, family-centered, and community-centered.

Key Take Away Points

  1. A culturally and linguistically centered integrated healthcare approach can help eliminate physical and behavioral health disparities to help achieve health equity.
  2. Culturally and linguistically centered integrated healthcare will help achieve the Quaternary Aim: improve quality of services and outcomes, enhance the patient experience of care, decrease cost, and increase engagement.
  3. A culturally and linguistically centered integrated healthcare approach includes the core principles of respect for the whole person across their lifespan; includes prevention and early intervention methodologies; and is strengths-based, trauma informed, and recovery focused.

Author Biography

Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. is the fifth executive director and the first Hispanic to lead the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health since its creation in 1940. The foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Martinez holds an appointment of Associate Vice-President within the division; he is also a clinical professor with an appointment in the university’s School of Social Work; and holds an adjunct professor appointment at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. He currently serves on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s, Health and Medicine Division’s Standing Committee on Medical and Public Health Research during Large-Scale Emergency Events and on HMD’s Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities. He has formerly served on the IOM’s Committee on the Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education (2014) and on the Committee on the Mental Health Workforce for Geriatric Populations (2012). From 2002 to 2006, he served as a Special Emphasis Panel Member for the National Institutes of Health, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Martinez also serves on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services. He is the board chair of the National Hispanic Council on Aging, board chair for the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, and committee chair for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission – Behavioral Health Integration Advisory Committee. He is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a member of The American College of Psychiatrists, a member of the American College of Mental Health Administration, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the Texas Society for Psychiatric Physicians, and The Philosophical Society of Texas. He has a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University’s School of Public Health, a doctor’s degree in medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration with a concentration in finance from The University of Texas at Austin. He was Chief Resident during his psychiatric training at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and is an alumnus of The Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard Medical School.