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Training Goals

The health psychology residency program abides by OBOP standards, policies and procedures. The goal of residency is to ensure competence and proficiency across the areas of clinical and health psychology at a higher level than achieved at the end of internship. As the national health care model adapts, it is appropriate and important for psychologists to be skilled in collaborating with other health care professionals in order to best serve the public. Such proficiency requires being well-informed about the interplay between physical and psychological health and to be able to work efficiently and effectively with an integrated team. This program focuses on training health psychologists who utilize evidence-based treatment, skills and ideas across a variety of medical settings. 

An integral part of residency training at Samaritan Health Services is the transition to increased independence and confidence in practicing, collaborating effectively with multidisciplinary teams, and representing psychology as a profession within the medical field. As such, residents are expected to participate in program development, attend clinic meetings, and participate in hospital committees and departmental meetings as appropriate by their supervising psychologist. Research is also an integral component to competent and ethical practice and residents are required to complete a research project related to program development during their training year. They will present their results to the Samaritan Health Services Behavioral Health Department and are expected to submit their findings to a local or national conference. 

Residents are expected to advance their skills in areas relevant to health psychology and evaluation ensures attainment of this knowledge. Residents are evaluated on the following competencies following OBOP guidelines:

Ethical and Legal Standards 
Community Involvement
Professional Development and Conduct 
Managed Care and Utilization
In addition to the competencies listed above, residents will be expected to utilize evidence-based practices and to incorporate considerations of individual and cultural diversity into their work.

Residency Structure

The health psychology residency program consists of one year of training, with exception for extenuating personal circumstances (e.g. pregnancy leave, family leave). Residents must complete at least 1,500 hours of psychological services in no less than a 12-month period and no longer than a 24-month period in order to meet Oregon licensure requirements. Candidates should be aware that if they are selected and decide to accept a residency position at Samaritan, they will need to apply to be a candidate for licensure in Oregon in order to receive approval for residency supervision contract, per OBOP requirements (OBOP- Chapter 858, Procedure 10, clause 3). Residents will focus their training on one primary community for their training year. They also have the opportunity to gain skills in a specialty clinic one half day or one full day per week, dependent on provider availability and interest within each clinic, which can change each year. This allows for a broadening of knowledge in a clinical area and translation of advanced skills to a different population. Specialty clinics include cardiology, metabolic surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, addictions, and consult and liaison services. 

All behavioral health services performed by Samaritan psychologists, residents, interns and practicum students follow the Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) model. The PCBH model emphasizes brief treatment of mental health and physical health related issues, consisting of 30 minute sessions for approximately 6-8 sessions, with focus on improving overall functioning in managing current difficulties. Referrals for patient care come directly from primary care providers in the identified clinic and residents, psychologists and trainees work closely with medical providers in implementing treatment plans, conducting brief consultative services, and curbside consultation with medical providers as needed. The purposes of the PCBH model are to improve access to mental health care, improve medical provider satisfaction and improve patient outcomes.  Emphasis is on brief treatment with referrals to specialty mental health services for traditional psychotherapy in the community when identified as appropriate. Residents work within the PCBH model for patient care and conduct warm handoffs to meet briefly with patients during regularly scheduled primary care appointments to introduce patients to behavioral health services.

To continue to enhance their clinical skills, residents will be expected to carry 1-2 long-term cases throughout the year and to provide evidence-based psychotherapy. Long-term cases may include trauma and utilizing Cognitive Processing Therapy, substance abuse, binge eating or bulimia nervosa, chronic depression or anxiety interfering with management of a health condition such as diabetes, weight management, adjustment to surgery or management of bipolar disorder.

The program consists of four primary care locations (Samaritan Internal Medicine - Corvallis, Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic - Geary Street, Park Street Clinic and Main Street Clinic, and Samaritan Health Center - Newport). For the 2019-2020 training year, there is a residency placement available in the Weight Management Institute in Corvallis. Residents spend the majority of their time at one clinic for the year, with the option of spending a half day or one day at a specialty clinic, dependent on availability. In addition to individual supervision at their primary site, residents spend 1 hour in group supervision per week and attend didactics regularly throughout the training year that are offered to the psychology interns, the Behavioral Health Department staff and to the wider medical community. 

All Samaritan psychology training programs are overseen by the Director of Clinical Training and Associate Director of Clinical Training. The residency program is directly overseen by the Assistant Director of Clinical Training. The Director, Associate Director and Assistant Director operate in conjunction with the Training Committee (TC), which consists of a larger group of Behavioral Health Department staff.

Training Experiences

The behavioral health residency program’s training experiences take place within clinics located in the communities Samaritan Health Services serves.

Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic - Geary Street/Samaritan Albany General Hospital
Behavioral health providers: Christopher Smith, PhDPetra Zdenkova, PsyD, Alan Silver, PsyD

Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic - Geary Street and Samaritan Internal Medicine - Albany are departments of Albany General Hospital. Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic - Geary Street treats patients across the lifespan and consists of 10 primary care physicians, 2 physician assistants, 6 family medicine residents, 2 RN coordinators, 1 community health worker, 1 psychology doctoral practicum student, 1 clinical social worker and 2 primary care psychologists (Christopher Smith, PhD, and Petra Zdenkova, PsyD). Geary Street is a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home and staff participate in true integrated biopsychosocial care.  Internal Medicine treats primarily adult patients, particularly senior patients. The clinic consists of 4 internal medicine physicians and one psychologist (Vanessa Welch-Pemberton, PsyD). The clinic specializes in diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, thyroid disease and other medical problems.  

Samaritan Internal Medicine – Corvallis
Behavioral health provider: Samantha Domingo, PsyD

Samaritan Internal Medicine - Corvallis operates with 7 physicians, 4 nurse practitioners, 18 resident physicians and 3 patient care coordinators. This clinic primarily serves adults, especially senior adults. The training on this rotation emphasizes knowledge of the following domains: cognitive models and associated brief interventions for both mental and behavioral health concerns, case conceptualization and screening measures interpretation, efficient documentation and feedback to the medical providers and staff, effective interaction with other disciplines as a consultant, and patient feedback and follow-up. Navigating the clinic requires a behavioral health consultant model of clinical service and communication. 

Samaritan Heart Center (Specialty)
Behavioral health provider: Vanessa Welch-Pemberton, PsyD

At Samaritan Heart Center, Dr. Welch-Pemberton sees patients age 18 and older with behavioral health and psychological concerns. Dr. Welch-Pemberton conducts diagnostic evaluations, develops plans for cardiovascular behavioral risk modifications, and brief ongoing treatment and support. This clinic has a team of 28 providers which includes cardiologists, cardiac electrophysiologists and mid-level cardiologist practitioners. Mornings are dedicated to rounds with the inpatient team of cardiology providers consisting of an attending cardiologist, a cardiology fellow and medical interns rotating through the cardiology specialty. Bedside evaluations, care consultations and brief treatment are performed. The afternoon is devoted to outpatient cardiology services. Typical referrals may include smoking cessation, changes in diet/physical activity, depression, anxiety and adjustment related to cardiac conditions and/or procedures. 

Samaritan OB/GYN – Corvallis (Specialty)
Behavioral health provider: Petra Zdenkova, PsyD

At Samaritan OB/GYN - Corvallis, Dr. Zdenkova sees primarily patients age 18 and older with mental and behavioral health issues. She conducts diagnostic evaluations and brief CBT treatment. Common presentations include postpartum and peripartum depression, anxiety, loss and grief, pelvic and endometriosis pain, and other women’s health and mental health concerns. This clinic has 4 obstetrics/gynecology physicians, 7 midwives and 1 OMT physician. 

Samaritan Weight Management Institute
Behavioral health provider: 

Samaritan Weight Management Institute is an ASMBS Center of Excellence for weight loss and metabolic surgery for adults. Staff consists of 2 surgeons, 1 nurse coordinator, 3 dietitians, 1 psychologist (Dr. Ng), 1  endocrinologist, medical assistants, medical residents and interns. Samaritan Weight Management Institute is a progressive program requiring an interdisciplinary approach to weight management and requires working closely with the dietitians to assist patients in meeting pre- and post-surgical recommendations. Psychologists both within Samaritan and the community provide additional support in assessment and treatment. Patients must meet pre-surgical requirements that include meetings with the physicians and nurse coordinator, monthly meetings with the dietitians, and at least one assessment with a psychologist. The pre-surgical psychological assessments include both an interview process and utilization/interpretation of formal assessment measures. The surgical decision-making is completed at monthly review committees, requiring the ability to present cases at an interdisciplinary level. In addition to pre-surgical psychological assessments, training on this rotation focuses on utilizing CBT, mindfulness, ACT and DBT for weight management and disordered eating. Regular patient follow-up occurs to assist with behavior change and effective management, and/or adjustment issues both before and after surgery. Additionally, there are opportunities to work with patients with eating disorders, behavioral weight loss, and to lead and implement behavioral support groups. 


Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic – Lebanon
Behavioral health provider: Alexandra Koenig, PhD

Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic – Lebanon merged with the Mid-Valley Medical Group in January 2018. This is a more rural site located approximately 30 minutes from Corvallis in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain range. This site is considered a patient centered medical home that provides comprehensive medical, psychological and social care. The providers at Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic - Lebanon treat individuals across the lifespan and participate in teaching and training residents. Currently the clinic is staffed by 13 primary care providers, including 7 family medicine doctors, 4 residents, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, a social worker and a psychologist (Dr. Koenig). Training in this clinic focuses primarily on mental health diagnostics, behavior change and managing chronic conditions, collaboration with the whole medical team, brief CBT and motivational interviewing. There may also be opportunities to lead psychoeducation groups and basic cognitive screens.  

Park Street Clinic
Behavioral health provider: Allegro Johnson, PhD

Park Street Clinic has 2 physicians, a third part time physician, a psychologist (Allegro Johnson, PhD), a nurse practitioner, 2 physician assistants, chaplain and diabetic management/nutrition. At Park Street Clinic, Dr. Johnson sees patients ages 18 and up with mental and behavioral health issues. She conducts diagnostic assessment, brief psychotherapy and cognitive screenings. 

Samaritan Recovery Clinic - Lebanon (Specialty)
Behavioral health provider: Laura Sisson, PsyD

Samaritan Recovery Clinic - Lebanon is an outpatient clinic that is a part of Samaritan Treatment & Recovery Services that is located in Lebanon and specializes in serving patients recovering from opioid, substance and alcohol abuse. The clinic is in a new facility finished in 2018, and the clinic’s primary aim is addressing the opioid crisis in the region. The guiding philosophy of the clinic is based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 10 Guiding Principles of Recovery. The clinic serves patients from a wide variety of ages, socioeconomic status and levels of complexity. The clinic consists of 2 physicians and 1 psychologist (Dr. Sisson). Dr. Sisson works closely with patients’ primary care providers and physicians on-site to aid patients in recovery.