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The University of Maryland, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Services Research (DSR) evolved from a restructuring of the Center for Mental Health Services Research (CMHSR). The CMHSR was created in 1990, when the Mental Health Policy Studies Program directed by Dr. Howard Goldman and the Walter P. Carter Center Research Program directed by Dr. Anthony Lehman, now the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, merged into one research center.

Within the DSR there are two individual but interdependent research cores, the Center for Mental Health Services Research (CMHSR), directed by Dr. Seth Himelhoch (interim director); the Mental Health Systems Improvement Collaborative (MHSIC), directed by Dr. Howard Goldman. Overall, the DSR conducts applied research and policy studies on the delivery of services to adults with persistent and severe mental illnesses (PSMI) and to children with and at risk for serious emotional disturbances. The DSR has expanded its portfolio of research interests to include the co-morbidity of somatic conditions, such as diabetes, HIV, and Hepatitis C, to schizophrenia and affective disorders. It also disseminates the results of this research, provides training on its service delivery and policy implications, and offers technical assistance.

The DSR has a history of funding from multiple federal, state and private sources, including NIMH, NIDA, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Center for Mental Health Services, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Maryland Training Collaborative (MD. DHMH), the MacArthur Foundation, the John A. Hartford Foundation, National Association of State Mental Health Directors, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Maryland Systems Evaluation Center (MD. DHMH), and the Veteran's Administration. The DSR also collaborates with the VA Capitol Network (VISN 5) Mental Illness Research Education Clinical Center, directed by Richard Goldberg (Acting Director), PhD, and the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, directed by William T. Carpenter, Jr., MD.