Doctor of Behavioral Health

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The DBH: Meeting the Needs of the Department of Defense, Military Health System and the Department of Veterans Affairs

Integrated behavioral health – the coordinated treatment of medical and behavioral conditions in primary care clinics by a behavior health consultant – is the emerging new model of behavioral health care in the United States. The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is the new team-based model of primary care designed to achieve the “Triple Aim” of improved patient experience and quality of care, improved health for populations and improved cost-effectiveness.

The Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) is preparing a new breed of healthcare professionals with the ability to deliver integrated behavioral health programs that achieve the triple aim of improved quality, outcomes and cost of care. The DBH curriculum is based on behavioral interventions in primary care and medical settings, healthcare management and entrepreneurship and value-based care that demonstrates improved clinical and cost of care outcomes.

The DBH is an online degree that allows flexibility for busy professionals balancing education, work and family obligations. Admission to the DBH requires a master’s degree and completion of 54 credits (18 courses), including an internship and culminating project to earn the DBH. Students choose between a clinical concentration for practicing clinicians and a management concentration for managers and executives.

DBH students and graduates reflect health care professionals from diverse backgrounds: behavioral health clinicians such as social workers and counselors; allied health professionals such as nurses, physician assistants, and occupational therapists; managers and executives with degrees in management and public health.

Why DBH for DoD, MHS and VA?

The Department of Defense (DoD) Military Health Services (MHS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have embraced the integrated behavioral healthcare model in the PCMH. The PCMH model has been adopted by all services – Navy and Marines, Air Force and Army – in an effort to provide improved quality of care to all DoD beneficiaries. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) is rapidly adopting the PCMH model of care, known in the VA as the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT). The need for trainers and clinicians to provide integrated care and managers to develop and evaluate sustainable MHS and VA integrated care programs is significant. The DBH focus on integrated behavioral health clinical interventions and management is ideally suited to meet this emerging need for qualified professionals. Read more ...

DBH Faculty, Student and Graduate Veterans

The DBH faculty, student body and graduates have strong representation from the DoD, MHS and VA. The DBH offers courses and resources are tailored to the needs of integrated behavioral health in the DoD, MHS and VA.

DBH Faculty Veterans

Jeff Reiter, Ph.D., ABPP was an U.S. Air Force Health Professions scholar during graduate school. He then spent the first 8 years of his career as an active duty Air Force psychologist. Those years included assignments in Washington, DC (Andrews Air Force Base); Sacramento, CA (Travis Air Force Base); Izmir, Turkey; and Saudi Arabia (Operation Northern Watch). In his subsequent civilian career, Dr. Reiter was one of three psychologists contracted by the Air Force in 2008-09 to help develop integrated primary care services at bases around the world. He is co-author of Behavioral Consultation and Primary Care: A Guide to Integrated Services (Robinson and Reiter, 2015), the revised edition of the classic guide to integrating behavioral health services into the Patient-Centered Medical Home. Dr. Reiter believes the DBH “can provide a significant advantage to anyone wishing to work in the Department of Defense (DoD) healthcare system”.

Angela Giles, DBH, LCSW, BCD helped to launch the Primary Care Mental Health Integration program at the Hampton VA Medical Center. Dr. Giles serves in many capacities in chronic disease management: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia and Chronic Pain; faculty presenter for the Diabetes University; Patient and Family Diabetes Support Group Facilitator; Insulin Initiation Facilitator, Diabetes subcommittee member, and; Health Promotion Disease Prevention committee member. Dr. Giles has been involved in innovative VA National initiatives in the field of integrated behavioral health such as clinical video teleconferencing, opioid safety education in the rural health communities, and Primary Care Mental Health Integration On-Demand. Dr. Giles noted that “Attendance at the DBH integrated care conferences and the ASU Online interactive webinars gave me an opportunity to network with students, faculty, and leaders in the behavioral health arena”.

Thomas Barrett, DBH, LPC, NCC served 20 years in the United States Army. He enlisted as an Intelligence Analyst and was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was selected to attend the U. S. Army's Officer's Candidate School. Upon being commissioned, he served as an Infantry, Intelligence, and Psychological Operations Officer. It was during his tour of duty as a Psychological Operations Officer his passion for behavioral health was solidified. In a quest for for excellence, he pursued and completed his Doctorate in Behavioral Health from Arizona State University. Dr. Barrett currently services as the Associate Vice President of Operations at Adventist Behavioral Health where he is the administrator for a Psychiatric Hospital in Rockville, Maryland.


“Veterans Healthcare” course

This elective course is taught by DBH graduate Dr. Angela Giles, who works in the VA primary care behavioral health integration service. The course is focused on topics related to integrated primary care behavioral health for Veterans and active duty personnel.

ASU for Military and Veterans

Arizona State University has been named a “Military Friendly School for 2015” by G.I. Jobs magazine for the sixth consecutive year.

ASU is ranked No. 2 as a "Best College For Veterans" by College Factual.

ASU opened the Pat Tillman Veterans Center in fall 2011 and has continued to expand services to support a military, veteran and dependent population.

For More Information

For enrollment information, start here

For detailed information about the DBH curriculum, please browse our College of Health Solutions DBH website