CIR strives to reach beyond the realms of social work and traditional responses to the needs of military-impacted populations in order to explore new and innovative approaches to the reintegration challenges faced by servicemembers, veterans, and their family members. Currently, CIR is endeavoring to improve the competency and awareness of behavioral healthcare providers, as well as workforce professionals interacting with military-impacted populations, through the development of innovative training tools and continuing education courses. CIR also seeks to expand community and University awareness of the challenges faced by military-impacted populations by sponsoring and coordinating colloquiums and events that engage students and community members across disciplines and social groups.
CIR expects to accomplish the following objectives through its innovation efforts:
- Create life-like, military-related avatars (Virtual Patient) with whom students and behavioral healthcare providers can practice culturally-informed clinical interactions and develop their clinical practice skills
- Establish Virtual Patient Training Environments (VPTEs) at multiple USC School of Social Work and off-site locations, where students and behavioral health providers can engage in regular interactions with VPs as part of their training
- Embed the VP technology in a web-based platform so that students enrolled from remote locations (through the USC School of Social Work’s Virtual Academic Center) have access to the technology in the same way as on-ground students and providers
- Develop artificially intelligent Virtual Patients that accurately simulates the experiences of various veterans and family members who have been exposed to combat stress and reintegration issues in order to advance the practice skills of behavioral healthcare providers
- Develop a Clinical Skill Assessment measure in order to assess student and healthcare provider clinical interaction skills with military-impacted clients and help them enhance their clinical practice skills
- Establish an annual cross-disciplinary conference on the topic of Military Behavioral Health