Dr. Alexander S. Young is a psychiatrist and health services researcher. He is Professor at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, Director of Health Services for the VA Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center in Southern California, and Senior Scientist at RAND. He has focused on improving and studying the quality of care for people with mental illness, emphasizing serious mental illness, implementation science, psychopharmacology, measurement-based care and health informatics.
Dr. Young has developed quality measurement for mental health, and worked to implement state-of-the-art treatments for people with mental illness. He has implemented clozapine programs at public clinics. He led a national project that developed a set of competencies that clinicians need to possess to treat people with mental illness successfully, and an instrument that measures these competencies. He co-led a multi-site trial of an innovative consumer-led intervention that improved these competencies. Since a major barrier to improving mental health care is inadequate information regarding patients and treatments, and inadequate information provided to patients and caregivers, he has implemented informatics systems to support care improvement. He led EQUIP, which implemented and studied the effectiveness of measurement-based care to improve treatment for schizophrenia with 801 patients at 8 medical centers in 4 states. EQUIP implemented and studied the effectiveness of evidence-based quality improvement and patient-reported outcomes (using patient-facing kiosks) to improve mental health treatments. EQUIP increased appropriate services for diet, activity and competitive employment, and improved weight outcomes. He recently completed a randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of a personalized computer system with peer coaches that helped people with serious mental illness improve their diet and activity, and led to clinically meaningful lower weight. He recently led an NIMH grant developing a computerized system that measures the treatment preferences of people with serious mental illness, and studying these preferences. He is leading a project that implemented and is studying a patient centered medical home tailored to improve general medical care and psychiatric treatment of patients with serious mental illness. He is also Psychiatry Clinical Lead for SMI Adviser, a SAMHSA program promoting person-centered treatment and recovery support of individuals with serious mental illness (https://smiadviser.org). SMI Adviser improves clinical competencies and treatment fidelity through consultation to clinicians, learning collaboratives, and dissemination of evidence-based education.