Gayani DeSilva, MD
Medical Director, IEHP Behavioral Health
One in five adults in the United States are living with some form of behavioral health issue.
In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 50 percent of lifetime mental health illnesses begin by age 14. Yet unlike diabetes or cancer, most people don’t feel comfortable talking about their behavioral health concerns with their Doctor.
Dr. Gayani DeSilva is hopeful that will change sooner rather than later.
“Physical health and mental health affect the whole person, so it’s important that both are considered when we look at how to improve quality and awareness,” said Dr. DeSilva, a psychiatrist and the medical director of Behavioral Health at IEHP.
Before joining the health plan in 2019, Dr. DeSilva treated IEHP Members in a variety of settings and even then she realized IEHP was different in terms of its coordination of behavioral health care. She saw that IEHP patients were more educated about how to access their services and were more confident that they would get the treatment they needed.
Now, as an IEHP Team Member, Dr. DeSilva knows why.
“The team is very conscientious and aware of what our Members need. We don’t just want to meet the expectations of our Members, but exceed them,” she said.
Dr. DeSilva said her role as medical director isn’t just to provide clinical leadership for the department. She also wants to facilitate the ongoing integration between Utilization Management, Behavioral Health and Care Coordination even more. Removing barriers and improving access to care is another top priority, she said. That’s the goal behind a new program that will offer home-based behavioral health services to IEHP Members who are unable to go outside of their house for treatment.
“We’re always thinking of how to do things better in order to meet the needs of our Members,” she said.