Patients with serious mental illness (SMI) experience inequities in cancer care that contribute to increased cancer mortality. Comorbid mental illness is also associated with increased healthcare utilization and costs compared to other patients with cancer. Proactive psychiatry consultation and person-centered, team-based care are promising approaches. We will discuss how we adapted the collaborative care model to address the needs of patients with SMI and cancer and share best practices and case examples.
MD @Harvard Medical School; Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Irwin is an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a faculty psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center and MGH Schizophrenia Program where she founded the Cancer Prevention Program. Dr. Irwin is the Director of the Collaborative Care and Community Engagement Program, a research and clinical program focused on improving cancer outcomes for people with severe mental illness. In collaboration with community partners, she is also establishing a 2nd opinion service for patients with severe mental illness and cancer. Dr. Irwin graduated from Harvard University in 2001, worked with Doctors for Global Health in El Salvador, and then returned to Harvard Medical School, receiving her MD in 2008, and completing her residency in psychiatry at MGH and McLean in 2012. She received the Dupont-Warren Fellowship from Harvard Medical School in 2013 and the Program in Cancer Outcomes Research Training (PCORT) fellowship in 2015.