January 11, 2018
Jolene Bostwick, PharmD
This course is a pilot, and will demonstrate the feasibility and usefulness of this approach to psychiatric continuing education for NPs across Michigan.

Jolene Bostwick, PharmD’04, clinical associate professor of pharmacy and clinical pharmacy specialist in psychiatry, Michigan Medicine, has been awarded $50,000 from the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation in support of a project aimed at improving psychiatric medication use.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, forty-three million American adults -- that is approximately 20% of the population -- will experience mental illness in a given year. Meanwhile, the psychiatrist population is dwindling. “One way to increase primary and mental health care capacity is greater use of Nurse Practitioners (NPs),” suggests Dr. Bostwick. “NPs deliver high quality, safe, and effective care to diverse populations, and are more likely than physicians to provide care in a wider range of community settings and to vulnerable populations, including isolated, underserved, remote and rural areas.”

In the United States, NPs fall under the umbrella of advanced practice registered nurses. NPs are trained at the graduate level and specialize in wide variety of practice areas. While psychiatric NPs have specialized skills in assessment, psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and care management, those specializing in primary care often encounter patients with mental illnesses and would benefit from advanced training.

“We are developing an online course on the use of medications to treat mental health disorders, or psychopharmacology, for nurse practitioners,” explains Dr. Bostwick. “Through this course, we will promote the professional development of nurse practitioners and patient safety. The course will provide advanced psychopharmacology training and related management of major psychiatric disorders including major depression, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, and managing key drug interactions.”

The content will be delivered in an interactive, web-based, continuing education program in an affordable, convenient, accessible, and flexible format. This course is a pilot, and will demonstrate the feasibility and usefulness of this approach to psychiatric continuing education for NPs across Michigan. It will also serve as a model for future courses aimed at both specialists and primary care prescribers. In addition to Dr. Bostwick, the program is led by Sagar V. Parikh, MD, associate director for education and outreach at the University of Michigan Depression Center, John F. Greden Professor of Depression and Clinical Neurosciences in the U-M Medical School, and Maria Bastida, MS, APRN, psychiatric nurse practitioner in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

The Ethel and James Flinn Foundation is a Detroit based private foundation established in 1976 by Ethel “Peggy” Flinn and her brother, James “Jim” Flinn, Jr. Jim, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his early 20’s, and led a remarkable life until his passing in 2007 at the age of 91. The Foundation is committed to improving the scope, quality, and delivery of mental health services in Michigan. Since its inception, over $32 million in grants have been awarded, primarily in Southeast Michigan. 

Dr. Bostwick received her PharmD degree from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. Following graduation, she completed a specialty residency in psychiatry with Kaiser Permanente in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bostwick uses her passion and enthusiasm for psychiatric pharmacy to engage and motivate her students and aspires to apply what she has learned in clinical practice to enhance her effectiveness as a teacher. She strives to embed students in her clinical practice, and has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications, many of which were co-authored by students or other trainees, including pharmacy residents. In 2016, she was named to the inaugural cohort of the Interprofessional Leadership Fellows program, which is designed to build fellows' capacity as interprofessional educator scholars, as well as effective leaders and change agents. Dr. Bostwick is also an active leader in the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists.