Sorenson Center to Celebrate 5th Anniversary with Open House

April 24, 2023
Exterior of the Sorenson Center
The Sorenson Legacy Foundation Center for Clinical Excellence opened in 2018.

The Sorenson Legacy Foundation Center for Clinical Excellence (SCCE) will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year. To honor this milestone, an open house will be held in the Sorenson Center on Wednesday, May 3 from 4-6 pm.

From its inception, the overarching goal of the SCCE has been to integrate client services from across different departments in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services to increase interdisciplinary care and provide easier access to care in one location. The SCCE also provides clinical training for graduate students at USU and contributes to important, clinically-relevant knowledge through its research labs.

Beth Foley, former dean of the college, had the vision to create the SCCE. Gretchen Peacock, a professor in Psychology and executive director of the SCCE, says that seeing Foley’s vision become a reality and working with faculty and students from across the college have been very fulfilling. “The SCCE’s missions to provide evidence-based services, train future clinicians, and engage in clinically-relevant research make the SCCE a unique and important center,” Peacock said. “We hope to continue to expand our services over time to meet the needs of Utahns with accessible, effective, and affordable care.”

Since opening in 2018, the SCCE has served 5,372 unique clients across more than 53,583 visits, with capacity expanding over the past three years. Clients receive evaluations, therapy and support in a variety of service lines including audiology, behavior support services, clinical rehabilitation counseling, dietetics, integrated assessment, marriage and family therapy, pediatric feeding, psychiatry, psychology, and speech/language. The SCCE uses a sliding scale fee structure for many service lines, allowing for reasonably-priced sessions and thus increasing the accessibility of services. Insurance is also accepted by a number of SCCE service lines.

A significant area of growth for the center has been telehealth services, which are readily available for clients throughout Utah. Through telehealth, the SCCE can reach clients outside of Cache Valley, helping to address health care access disparities in rural areas. Telehealth services were also integral to the SCCE’s continuation of services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sorenson Center provides integrated services and trains future professionals.

In addition to health care lines, community-facing educational and intervention programs such as Housing and Financial Counseling services and the ASSERT preschool for children with autism spectrum disorder are housed in the SCCE. The Up to 3 early intervention program and the Aggies Elevated program for college students also have space in the SCCE. These services have additional impact for individuals in the community and provide even more training and learning opportunities for students and faculty. Nursing students in the college also take classes in the SCCE and make use of the state-of-the-art simulation lab housed on the fourth floor.

Each year, over 100 graduate students and other trainees receive valuable, hands-on training in the SCCE. Students in training, primarily from the departments of Psychology, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, and Human Development and Family Studies, are supervised by licensed professionals in their field who are faculty members at USU. Annually, over 25 faculty are engaged in the clinical supervision of students, preparing them to become excellent health and wellness professionals as they continue their careers. The SCCE has also hosted USU social work interns and psychiatry residents from the University of Utah, who complete brief rotations.

Researchers in the SCCE represent many of the departments in the college, including those mentioned above that train students in both research and clinical work as well as those that focus on training researchers, such as the Kinesiology and Health Science department.

Each year, students completing training in the SCCE take part in the SCCE’s Interprofessional Education Program to learn from professionals in the various disciplines represented at the SCCE. This course is an integral part of students’ training and increases their capacity to provide client-centered interdisciplinary care.

The SCCE’s anniversary celebration is open to the public and will provide an opportunity for individuals to engage with students and clinicians who provide services in the SCCE. The event will also feature a photo gallery documenting the construction and growth of the center. Light refreshments will be provided. Students, faculty, and community members are warmly invited to attend as the SCCE celebrates its bright beginning and looks forward to many more years of service, education, and research.