Elizabeth Piatt, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Hiram Sociology Department, has won the Clinical Quality Researcher Award from the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) for her research on premature mortality among mental health patients receiving treatment for serious mental illness. Published in July, 2010 issue of “Psychiatric Services,” a leading mental health journal, Piatt’s research found that some individuals who suffer from and receive treatment for serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, die prematurely compared to the general population receiving regular medical care. “Essentially we found that patients were dying sooner when they had mental health issues and that they would benefit from integration of their mental health services with regular primary care health services,” she said. Piatt conducted her research in partnership with Community Support Services, an Akron provider that combines mental health and primary medical care. Piatt’s work was announced at the ODMH All-Ohio Institute On Community Psychiatry Conference in Cleveland March 26, which focused on reform in the health care industry and its implications for mental health care.