It is a great pleasure to share that Patricia Holland, BSW, MS, has been promoted to Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Ms. Holland came to the Brown School of Public Health from the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness, where she was an outstanding mindfulness instructor for courses such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Eat Right Now. Prior to that, she was she was an Assistant Professor and Director of Bachelor Degree granting programs in the Dept. of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Behavioral Healthcare at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Now at the Mindfulness Center in the Brown School of Public Health, Ms. Holland continues to lead innovative and rigorous instruction in mindfulness-based programs, and trains MBSR instructors. Furthermore, while mindfulness training in healthcare settings owes much of its foundation to MBSR which has about 40 years of clinical trial research, evidence is showing important benefits for programs that are grounded in MBSR but adapted to specific populations and contexts, such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for people who have recurring depression. Ms. Holland is one of the few certified MBCT instructors in the northeast. Ms. Holland’s training, with her MS in Rehabilitation Counseling focused on Psychiatric Rehabilitation, and as one of the only jointly-certified MBSR and MBCT instructors in the United States, gives her a unique niche in developing a strong mindfulness-based program teacher training curricula. The Mindfulness Center is increasingly relying on her insights and knowledge as we develop the next generation of mindfulness teachers and researchers at Brown.
Ms. Holland has particular scholarship interests in two areas. Firstly, as described above, she implements adaptations of mindfulness-based programs to specific populations and contexts, such as MBCT. She is also trained to teach other mindfulness-based programs, such as Eat Right Now, Unwinding Anxiety, Mindfulness-Based College, and Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction. As part of research studies, she is leading the creation of lower dose versions of MBSR and Mindfulness-Based College to evaluate in clinical trials. Her formal training in mental health clinical settings through her MS in psychiatric rehabilitation, along with her depth and breadth of knowledge in different mindfulness-based programs, allows her to see across programs skillfully, and create curricula to effectively train the next generation of instructors in mindfulness-based programs such as MBSR and MBCT.
Secondly, Ms. Holland has strong interest in implementation science, including health insurance reimbursement for mindfulness programs. The Mindfulness Center is currently activity applying for funding, and engaging in research in partnership with health insurance organizations (e.g. Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Medicare/Medicaid) and policy makers (e.g. Office of Governor Gina Raimondo, U.S. Representative Tim Ryan) to provide them with evidence syntheses of MBSR, and navigate skillful steps to support providing health insurance coverage of MBSR and other mindfulness-based programs if the evidence merits it. In various professional roles as a social service agency administrator, and a state government public policy and national consultant, Ms. Holland was responsible for implementing SAMSHA-designated evidence-based practices (EBP) for behavioral health conditions. Specific EBP foci included Permanent Supportive Housing, Assertive Community Treatment, Individual Placement and Support model of Supported Employment, and Housing First model for homeless individuals. Her activities included designing implementation strategies aligned with principles and practices of implementation science; monitoring adherence to established fidelity of an EBP and impact on outcomes; identifying and addressing challenges to transferring science to “real world” practice and implementation; and ensuring high quality staff training to ensure successful implementation and desired outcomes. Additionally, Ms. Holland has expertise in working with the Federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) to establish Medicaid approval for reimbursement of a new service on a state level (Community Support Service, New Jersey). She brings this expertise to the adaptation and implementation of mindfulness-based programs, as well as supporting efforts to establish health insurance reimbursement for MBSR to the mission and work of the Mindfulness Center at this critical time when adaptation and implementation of mindfulness-based programs is widespread and threatens to dilute understanding of effectiveness.
This Assistant Professor position should further foster Professor Holland’s career in adapting mindfulness-based programs to specific populations and contexts, implementation science, as well as contributing to research and training the next generation of high-quality mindfulness-based program instructors. Furthermore, it is strengthening the Mindfulness Center by having a cadre of highly skilled faculty leading the mindfulness teacher training program, and contributing to implementation science-focused research that should have impact locally and globally.
Please join me in welcoming Professor Holland to Brown’s faculty.
Eric B. Loucks, PhD
Director, Mindfulness Center