When counseling and clinical care meet: Jennifer Hsia joins USC Student Health as its first behavioral health consultant

Portrait style photo of Jennifer Hsia, who is photographed standing outside in front of a wall that is covered with bushes and a tree. She is wearing a black jacket and black t-shirt that says "USC Student" Health.
Jennifer Hsia will recognize opportunities to provide mental health consultation when it can benefit a patient's health at USC. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Hsia, who started at USC in July, will be a bridge between medical and mental health services for student patients. Her role as a behavioral health consultant was developed collaboratively between medical and mental health teams in USC Student Health, working on an integrative approach to patient care.

“Our most frequent contact with our patient population often comes in through the medical care side,” said Sarah Van Orman, USC’s chief student health officer. “When there’s an opportunity to provide mental health consultation to improve patient well-being, having Jennifer as a resource in clinical care serves as in important bridge between the two service areas.”

The collaboration between medical and mental health care providers is indicative of the integrated model of patient care, one that reflects the patient-centered strengths of Keck Medicine of USC, recently ranked No. 16 on the U.S. News & World Report 2019-20 Best Hospitals Honor Roll. The academic medical center, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, also was ranked among the top 5 hospitals in California and top 3 hospitals in Los Angeles.

“High-quality, accessible mental health services are essential to supporting individuals as they progress through the challenges that rigorous academic pursuits can present,” said Steven Siegel, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Keck School of Medicine of USC, where Hsia serves as a clinical assistant professor in the department’s Division of Student Mental Health. “The unique implementation of a behavioral health consultant is an example of integration between areas of practice, aligning mental health and clinical medical care to achieve the best possible outcomes for the patient.”

Read more at USC News.