News • April 07, 2021

Psychological Services of Riverside provides services to hospital staff during COVID-19

Psychological Services of Riverside provides services to hospital staff during COVID-19

Riverside, Calif. (April 7, 2021) – When the pandemic hit last year, Psychological Services of Riverside, the California Baptist University-run community clinic, made the transition to telehealth.

The doctoral student clinicians saw the need to serve the community and thought specifically of the front-line workers and how they might benefit from therapy, said Dr. Timothy Sisemore, director of Psychological Services of Riverside.

Sisemore met with Riverside Community Hospital’s chief medical officer, Dr. Saba Habis, to develop a partnership program.

“The CBU clinic offered free [telehealth] sessions to the hospital staff as an act of support as they provided critical, albeit terribly stressful, services during these trying times,” Sisemore said.

A number of nurses and physicians have received services through the program, which ends June 30. Second-year students in the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program conduct the sessions. The students are supervised by licensed psychologists—mostly CBU faculty—who also provide services at the clinic.

In January, the clinic and the hospital also created a program where residents of the hospital could receive free services at the clinic, funded by grants the hospital obtains.

Dr. Gregory Guldner, program director for emergency medicine residency, said he is eager to facilitate the clinic’s services to help residents through what is already a stressful period of their careers. He has turned the program into part of a research project.

“Riverside Community Hospital has coupled with the experts at California Baptist University’s Psychological Services of Riverside to provide much needed therapy and psychological support for our heroic front-line resident physicians,” Guldner said.

Sisemore said the partnership has provided service to the medical workers and training for students.

“I think this serves the community by protecting front-line workers during COVID and allows CBU to reach out to the community that surrounds us,” Sisemore said. “It also provides excellent training opportunities for our Doctor of Psychology students. We hope also that residents who see the benefit of therapy will be more inclined to refer their patients for therapy during their careers.”