Chair Files

Innovations in Mental Health Care

Children diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavior disorders need quality care in a nurturing but structured and safe environment. The Innovations Program at Our Lady of Peace in Louisville, part of KentuckyOne Health, opened in 1997 with one adolescent unit and 22 beds and has expanded to four units and a total of 72 beds. To provide quality care for these special-needs children and adolescents—a majority of whom are in state’s custody—a multidisciplinary team of RNs, child psychiatrists, social workers and behavioral analysts work with the program’s occupational therapist and speech and language pathologist to implement the behavioral program. Mandatory monthly behavior-plan trainings increase staff’s awareness of the patients’ unique challenges and provide information to address difficult behaviors. The behavior analyst and social worker teams model intervention strategies with families. Kim Dwyer-Moore, Innovations Program manager, notes, “We must focus on long-term change by teaching communication and appropriate social skills rather than just stopping the behavior in the moment, as this may cause the behavior to get worse.” Data are collected to record challenging behaviors, day and night. Psychiatrists use graphed data and scatter plot analyses to assess and revise medications. Adds Martha Mather, vice president and COO, “We have a patient safety program in place to coach and mentor all team members, including housekeeping, dietary and medical staff. No patient safety concern is insignificant.” Our Lady of Peace has gone 210 days, and counting, without a serious safety event.

For more information, contact Dwyer-Moore at or Mather at


Additional Resources

Webinars December 13th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 2: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 20th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 1: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 17th, 2017

Transportation and the Role of Hospitals This AHA webinar on “Transportation and the Role of Hos......