Gov. Brown signs bill to spread TRC model across the state

By Nicholas Roznovsky

Among the 59 bills signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown this past weekend was Assembly Bill No. 1384,  recognizing the UCSF Trauma Recovery Center at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center as the State Pilot Trauma Recovery Center (TRC). The bill also mandates that the California Victim Compensation Board will use the evidence-informed integrated trauma recovery services model developed by the Trauma Recovery Center when it provides future grants to other trauma recovery centers.

The State Pilot TRC was established by the California Legislature as a four-year demonstration project to develop and test a comprehensive model of care as an alternative to fee-for-service care reimbursed by victim restitution funds. It was designed to increase access for crime victims to these funds.

The results of this four-year demonstration project have established that the model was both clinically effective and cost effective when compared to customary fee-for-service care. Seventy-seven percent of victims receiving trauma recovery center services engaged in mental health treatment, compared to 34 percent receiving customary care. The State Pilot TRC model also increased the rate by which sexual assault victims received mental health services from 6 percent to 71 percent, successfully linked 53 percent to legal services, 40 percent to vocational services, and 31 percent to safer and more permanent housing. Trauma recovery center services during the pilot program resulted in 34 percent lower overall costs than customary care.

“Victims and their families often face debilitating mental, physical and economic consequences from the trauma of violence, sex trafficking and other types of serious crimes,” said the bill's author, Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber. “They need to heal and rebuild their lives. We should ensure that providers offer a service model that is easy to access and provide integrated services tailored to the specific needs of these individuals.”

Since its founding in 2001, the Trauma Recovery Center has evolved from a small, state grant-funded pilot program into a national model for providing compassionate, effective mental health services and support to adults whose needs extend beyond mending just physical injuries. The center provides support services for domestic violence and physical/sexual assault survivors, and family members of homicide victims. In 2012, it expanded its services to encompass Survivors International, which offers services for refugees and asylum-seeking survivors of torture, war-related, and gender-based violence.

Earlier this year, Trauma Recovery Center released a free trauma recovery center manual to share their expertise and insights with other programs hoping to replicate their success around the country. Seven more centers have been started or are in development across California, and similar trauma recovery centers planned in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois.

About UCSF Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute are among the nation's foremost resources in the fields of child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric mental health. Together they constitute one of the largest departments in the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, with a mission focused on research (basic, translational, clinical), teaching, patient care and public service.

UCSF Psychiatry conducts its clinical, educational and research efforts at a variety of locations in Northern California, including UCSF campuses at Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay and Laurel Heights, UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the San Francisco VA Health Care System and UCSF Fresno.

About the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

The UCSF Weill Institute leverages UCSF’s unrivaled bench-to-bedside excellence in the neurosciences. It unites three UCSF departments—Neurology, Psychiatry, and Neurological Surgery—that are highly esteemed for both patient care and research, as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a cross-disciplinary alliance of nearly 100 UCSF faculty members from 15 basic-science departments, as well as the UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a multidisciplinary research center focused on finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

About UCSF

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises top-ranked hospitals – UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.