Vallejo is a rapidly growing community in Solano County that includes Downtown Vallejo, Mare Island, Northgate, and the Waterfront. The surrounding area provides a number of fun activities including a Six Flags amusement park, naval museum exploring the history of the city and former naval base at Mare Island, concerts and films at the historic Empress Theater, hillside trails, and rugged beaches at the Benicia State Recreation Area. San Francisco is easily accessible via the Vallejo Ferry and the Napa wine country is less than an hour’s drive away. The cost of living in Vallejo is one of the most affordable in the Bay Area.
Kaiser Permanente Napa Solano, first established in Vallejo in 1945, has steadily grown to serve 312,000 members, spanning an area stretching from the Carquinez Bridge north to Vacaville and Dixon, through the Napa Valley to Calistoga, and over to Benicia.
The Kaiser Vallejo Medical Center, rebuilt in 2010, is comprised of a 267-bed hospital and large outpatient medical office complex offering a range of primary care and specialty services. The hospital houses the renowned Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center, which provides state-of-the-art rehabilitation services to health plan members throughout Northern California. The ethnic diversity of the patient population is broad and includes Latino/a, African American, Pacific Islander, Asian, Caucasian, and those of other backgrounds. Kaiser Vallejo provides services to a large Medi-Cal population and functions much like a county hospital.
Equity, Inclusion & Diversity
The Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano Practicum Extern Program provides services to a culturally diverse population across two counties covering the cities of Vallejo, Vacaville, Fairfield, and Napa. Vallejo, one of the larger covered cities, is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in all of the United States and represents a wide array of backgrounds, cultures, languages, and identities. Kaiser Permanente also serves a large number of Medi-Cal members.
In addition to the inherent diversity of our location, the Napa-Solano Practicum Program provides regular didactics and supervision opportunities that focus on topics of equity, including, and diversity. Our supervision team is committed to the importance of individual identity for both trainee and patient. There are also opportunities outside of didactic and supervision hours for EID mentorship and consultations hours. This commitment to diversity is also reflected in Kaiser Permanent’s hiring practices and each medical center follows Kaiser Permanente’s guidelines for diversity recruitment.
The Mental Health Training Program’s Regional Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Committee organizes monthly forums that are designed for trainees only. Forums are held with experts from the community, within Kaiser Permanente, and national leaders on EID topics impacting trainees clinical work and personal development. Example of forum topics include immigration, micro-aggression, unconscious bias, Black maternal mental health, white privilege, and gender-affirming care. In addition to the forums, our Regional EID Officers also provide optional monthly consultation sessions for trainees.
Regularly scheduled weekly didactic seminars, formerly held at the consortium level, are now organized, and administered at the regional level for all KP NorCal trainees. Doctoral externs are required to attend the one-hour weekly seminar. Diversity issues are always integrated into seminar presentations.
Didactic topics include:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Adverse Childhood Experiences, How Wonder Makes Us Happier, and more.
Our Regional Mental Health Training Program also sponsors professional training courses for continuing professional development. These courses and presentations are offered at select times during the year for all KP mental health trainees and staff at Kaiser Northern California Medical Centers. We bring in national experts and keynote speakers on a variety of cutting-edge topics in mental health treatment and research. Externs are required to attend these monthly regional trainings in addition to the weekly didactic seminars. Training course dates and a list of speakers and topics can be found on the Regional Mental Health Training Programs website. In addition, many of these lectures are recorded and available under the continuing education lecture library.
Seminars and Meetings
Practicum Externs are expected to attend weekly team meetings as a part of their training depending on their current rotations. There will also be opportunities to attend various professional development seminars throughout the year and regular check-ins with their training director.
Kaiser Permanente has greatly expanded its’ virtual presence, which will allow residents to fully train and practice in a variety of trailblazing platforms in telemedicine to provide accessible mental health care.
Each practicum extern is supervised by a licensed psychologist who meets with the extern for one hour a week in individual face-to-face supervision. This supervisor takes the lead role in developing the extern’s learning plan and schedule, supervising their clinical work, and helping them navigating the KP mental health system. This supervisor additionally is responsible for completing the extern’s evaluation after gathering input from other staff members who have worked with the extern. At some practicum training sites, externs may receive supplemental individual supervision from Psychology Postdoctoral Residents.
Practicum externs also receive 1 hour of group supervision per week for case presentation and consultation. Depending on the training site, externs may also participate in group supervision for psychological testing/ADHD assessment and in a cultural conversation/diversity seminar. Group supervision allows for vicarious learning and modeling as well as giving and receiving feedback. These experiences help the extern to develop both the collegial and supervisory aspects of their professional identity.
All externs complete psychological/psychodiagnostic testing as part of their training program. Primary referral questions include ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with opportunities for additional psychological testing and referral questions including personality testing and brief cognitive screening. Residents have weekly supervision for opportunities for support, consultation, and training related to assessment.
Tracks and Rotations
The Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano Psychology Practicum Program offers education and training in an integrated health care system with a multidisciplinary team providing empirically supported treatments to a wide variety of patients. Each extern will spend part of their time working in the Adult Outpatient Mental Health clinic as a part of their training year.
The Adult Outpatient Mental Health department has opportunities for intake assessments, individual therapy, group therapy, and ADHD screening. Externs will evaluate and diagnose mental health disorders based on DSM-5 and ICD-11 criteria and will develop treatment plans and learn how to articulate those plans to their patients. The psychology extern will utilize evidence-based interventions within a feedback informed care model and will utilize individual and group supervision for case formulation and treatment planning. The extern will provide individual psychotherapy under supervision and will have the opportunity to co-facilitate groups with licensed staff.
Services are currently largely being offered virtually with some opportunities for in-person work.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
All externs will rotate through our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) which serves patients identified as needing a higher level of care in an outpatient setting. The Adult Intensive Outpatient Program is a two-week comprehensive program that serves as a step-down program for patients who were recently psychiatrically hospitalized or for patients who are needing further support due to higher need or severity of symptoms. Patients attend the program multiple times per week and engage in group therapy, psychiatric medication evaluation, and individual therapy.
Externs in IOP will offer group-based psychoeducational and process support to patients currently enrolled in IOP and assist in intakes for patients referred for care. Training in evidence-based group treatment will consist of co-facilitating groups under the supervision of licensed Adult Intensive Outpatient therapists. It also involves twice daily meetings and consultation with small tight-knit, interdisciplinary treatment team. Externs will be exposed to crisis-based treatments using models from CBT, DBT, mindfulness, and more.
All IOP services are currently virtual.
- Direct Patient Care: 12-14 hours
- Individual Supervision: 1 hour
- Group Supervision: 1 hour
- Assessment Supervision: 1 hour
- Didactic Training: 1 hour
- Supplemental Supervision with Postdoctoral Resident: .5 – 1 hour
- Team Meeting: 1 hour
- Non-patient Care: 4 hours