Michael Jellinek, MD, Receives AACAP Prevention Award



Newton, Mass. (September, 2008) — Michael Jellinek, MD, President of Newton-Wellesley Hospital, is the recipient of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Irving Philips Award for Prevention. The annual award is given to a child and adolescent psychiatrist who has made significant contributions to the field of prevention of mental illnesses in children and adolescents.

Dr. Jellinek was instrumental in the creation of the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC), a psychosocial screen designed to facilitate the recognition of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems in children and adolescents so that appropriate interventions can begin as early as possible.

Dr. Jellinek's first work on the checklist was an effort to create a questionnaire that could identify children who would likely benefit from child psychiatric consultation. His collaboration with J. Michael Murphy, Ed.D., prompted the design of an outpatient screening tool that helps primary care physicians to determine which children need extra attention for psychosocial needs.

"We started designing an outpatient screening tool that would allow a primary care pediatrician to determine which children needed extra attention to their psychosocial needs. The PSC was validated against psychosocial dysfunction, not specific diagnoses, to be congruent with the pediatrician's view of development and their responsibility to provide comprehensive care," said Dr. Jellinek.

Currently the PSC is accepted as a primary care screening approach to meet Medicaid Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) requirements. It is used by many primary care offices and community clinics, and is being rolled out as a national mandated psychosocial screening tool for children entering first grade in Chile. The PSC is free and available online.

Rachel Kagno
Public Affairs & Marketing
Newton-Wellesley Hospital

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