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How to Beat the Holiday Blues: 3 Tips for a Brighter Holiday Season

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Anna Defayette, PhD, and Morica Hutchison, PhD, offer tips for beating the holiday blues.

Read More: How to Beat the Holiday Blues: 3 Tips for a Brighter Holiday Season

News10NBC: Health professionals and Black churches partner to address rising suicide rates

Monday, December 19, 2022

University of Rochester Medical Center has a new partnership with predominantly Black churches called HAVEN-CONNECT.

Read More: News10NBC: Health professionals and Black churches partner to address rising suicide rates

Stemming the Tide: Investments in Pediatric Behavioral Health Make a Difference

Friday, December 16, 2022

Bringing Services Directly to Families

One of the most vital new GCH pediatric behavioral health services is located in a nondescript office in Henrietta. Within these walls are the headquarters of the Mobile Crisis Team, a multi-disciplinary unit that provides rapid-response services to children in both home and school environments. Utilizing psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, social workers, mental health counselors and other specialists, the Mobile Crisis Unit team provides assessment, stabilization, and rapid-linkage to treatment providers.

Read More: Stemming the Tide: Investments in Pediatric Behavioral Health Make a Difference

Meeting Them Where They Are: Research Examines Digital Interventions for Teen Suicide Prevention

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Arielle Sheftall, PhD awarded a $4 million NIH grant to study unconventional digital approaches to helping high-risk youth navigate difficult times. Her project will enroll participants aged 13 to 17 who will try a combination of a peer support app and/or at-home nerve stimulation.

Read More: Meeting Them Where They Are: Research Examines Digital Interventions for Teen Suicide Prevention

What You Need to Know about Lecanemab, the Potential New Alzheimer’s Drug

Monday, December 5, 2022

Anton Porsteinsson, M.D., discusses results from a clinical trial for an experimental drug for Alzheimer’s, who benefits, and how the drug is an advance in care.

Read More: What You Need to Know about Lecanemab, the Potential New Alzheimer’s Drug

Nancy Bowllan, Heather O;Brien, and Courtney Blackwood Present Podium Presentation at Annual American Psychiatric Nursing Association National Conference

Thursday, November 24, 2022

This October, Psychiatric Nursing Leadership presented two podium presentations at the Annual American Psychiatric Nursing Association National Conference held in Long Beach, California. Nancy Bowllan RN, MSN, EdD, Heather OBrien RN, MSN, NPD-BC and Courtney Blackwood RN, MSN, NE-BC presented a two-hour pre-conference session on the development, implementation and evaluation of an educational initiative on “Implementation of a High-Fidelity Inter-professional Clinical Simulation Project in a Comprehensive Interdisciplinary CPEP Simulation for Behavioral Emergencies using Standardized Patients.” In addition, Nancy and Heather presented on the development and evaluation of a new Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Residency Program that was implemented in the spring 2022. Both presentations were well attended with much positive feedback offered.

Though simulation is well-publicized in the literature to enhance academic learning, there is minimal evidence of the impact of the use of high-fidelity simulation with interdisciplinary clinicians in emergency psychiatric situations using standardized patients. This project has the potential to further inform educational initiatives for this unique specialty area to the broader clinician population.

URMC has provided a one-year Nurse Residency Program at the larger hospital level for the past three years. Due to the unique nature of psychiatric nursing practice and a desire to enhance retention, strengthen competence and professional self-identity a 6- month PMHN residency program has been established for our novice psychiatric nurses. In addition, Lara Walker provided a poster presentation focused on further development of psychiatric nurse preceptors and the potential positive impact on transition of novice nurses to practice.


In Response to Colorado Springs

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

We are profoundly saddened by the senseless murder of five people, alongside the injuring of 18, this past weekend at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In response to rising racism, hate speech, and violence targeting the LGBTQ+ community, we would like to reaffirm the right of self-expression and self-determination for everyone.

For those that are struggling with processing the events from this weekend, our Crisis Call Line is open 24/7 at (585) 275-8686 to provide support and help if you are in a mental health crisis. In addition, please see below for a list of national and local resources. 
Additional Community Resources

Hochang Ben Lee Presents Plenary Session at Chinese Society of Psychosomatic Medicine

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Hochang Ben Lee, MD recently gave a plenary presentation as as President of the International College of Psychosomatic Medicine at the 28th Annual Meeting of Chinese Society of Psychosomatic Medicine. His presentation highlighted the Biopsychosocial Model and the future of healthcare.

What Your Retina Says About Your Physical, Cardiovascular, Mental, and Neurological Health

Thursday, November 10, 2022

URMC Media Spotlight

Steven Silverstein, Ph.D., professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Ophthalmology, spoke to EveryDay Health (Nov. 3) about the ways diseases can leave evidence of their presence on the retina. "That means there are circumstances where diseases that affect the body leave traces—or biomarkers—within the eyes themselves, and we can observe those changes thanks to newly enhanced noninvasive imaging technologies," said Silverstein.

Read More: What Your Retina Says About Your Physical, Cardiovascular, Mental, and Neurological Health

Aging Reimagined: A New View of Old Age

Friday, November 4, 2022

Scientists and clinicians in the University of Rochester Aging Institute are blowing stereotypes of old age out of the water, proving older adults can be capable of far more—cognitively, physically, ...

Read More: Aging Reimagined: A New View of Old Age

Anthony Pisani, PhD Among Medical Book Award Authors

Friday, November 4, 2022

Suicide Prevention: Stahl's Handbooks, a publication by Anthony Pisani, PhD alongside Christine Yu Moutier, MD of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Stephen Stahl, MD, PhD of the Neuroscience Education Institute, was recently awarded the British Medical Association's Medical Book Awards. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to medical literature. 

Suicide Prevention: Stahl's Handbooks provides quick tips for suicide screening, risk assessment, interventions, and follow-up communication to mental health and primary care professionals so that they may ensure comprehensive and patient-oriented care. 

Bennett, McDaniel Among Rochester Academy of Medicine Awardees

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Twelve individuals from the University were recognized by the Rochester Academy of Medicine (RAoM), including its two most prestigious lifetime achievement awards for Nancy “Nana” Bennett, M.D., and Susan McDaniel, Ph.D.

The Rochester Academy of Medicine is a community-based organization of health care experts seeking to advance learning, encourage service and initiate collaboration. It honored 20 local health care practitioners, researchers and students at its annual program Oct. 18.

Bennett received the Dr. Albert David Kaiser Medal, given to a physician who exemplifies outstanding professional and personal qualities and lifetime service in medicine, public health and community welfare.

Bennett is a nationally-known expert in immunization, chronic disease prevention and community engagement, the founder and director of the Center for Community Health & Prevention, and co-director of the UR Clinical & Translational Science Institute. Most recently, she also served as director of the Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Hub.

In her award nomination, Medical Center CEO and Medical School Dean Mark Taubman, M.D., called Bennett a “tireless advocate” for local and regional efforts aimed at the prevention of disease and the promotion of health and health equity.

“She is the driving force behind URMC’s community health mission, which seeks to inform policymakers and the community about local health challenges, evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, and apply evidence-based practices to improve health and overall quality of life,” wrote Taubman.

Susan McDanielMcDaniel received the Dr. Madeline H. Schmitt, PhD, RN, FAAN Award for Interprofessional Education, which recognizes a professional who has broken barriers in health care and continues to change the landscape of health care education and practice.

McDaniel is the chief psychologist for the Department of Psychiatry, vice chair of Family Medicine, director of the Physician Faculty Communication Coaching Program, and director of the Institute for the Family. She also served as academic chief for Psychiatry’s division of Collaborative Care & Wellness until 2021.

In her award nomination, colleagues praised McDaniel’s work pioneering the integration of clinical psychology and medicine, most notably in the fields of family psychology and family medicine. For much of her career, she has focused on helping physicians improve their psychosocial knowledge and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration in patient care.

“Her skill in inviting and balancing multiple disciplines’ perspectives, alongside those of patients, families, and communities, is noteworthy,” wrote nominator Tzipora Rosenberg, Ph.D. “Her focus on integrating these principles into living, breathing health care systems, inpatient and outpatient, hospital- and community-based, is admirable.”

Other winners from the University included:

Distinguished Service Awards

Sukardi Suba, Ph.D., RN – URMC, UR School of Nursing
Distinguished Service Award: Early Career

Mehmed Emre Aktas, BS – University of Rochester
Distinguished Service Award: Health Care Individual

Jan Schriefer, MBA, MSN, Dr.P.H. – URMC
Distinguished Service Award: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Academic Awards

Silvia Sörensen, Ph.D., Rachel Missell, MS, Alexander Eustice-Corwin, MA, Dorine Otieno, MS, MPH – Warner School of Education
Carter & T. Franklin Williams Geriatric Award

Michael Privitera, M.D., MS, Kate MacNamee, MS – URMC
Robert L. Berg, M.D. Community Health/Health Care Crisis Award

Student Scholarship Award

Ericka Scott – School of Medicine & Dentistry
Dr. Lemuel A. Rogers’ Memorial Scholarship

Patrick Seche Replaces Carole Farley-Toombs as Psychiatry’s Lead Administrator

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Replacing 40-plus years of experience is never easy, but for the Department of Psychiatry, the answer to the retirement of Carole Farley-Toombs, MSN, MSED, RN, NEA-BC, was clear.

Patrick Seche, M.S., CASAC, who has provided strong leadership in several roles since joining URMC in 2001, will succeeded her as chief administrative officer (CAO) for Department of Psychiatry, effective Oct. 1. His appointment followed a national search.

“Patrick brings a deep knowledge of our department and a deep wealth of experience to his new role,” said Hochang Ben Lee, M.D., John Romano professor and chair of Psychiatry. “He is a prominent leader at the local, regional and state levels and a shining example of how a gifted clinician can expand his role to make great differences at the system level. One of the highlights of my tenure as chair has been to develop a close partnership with Patrick in our ongoing fight against the Opioid Epidemic in our community. It is truly a privilege to work with someone so dedicated to improve the lives of arguably the most stigmatized medical condition in health care.”

Lee praised Seche’s work ethic and creativity, along with his caring and collaborative nature, which he said would aid him greatly in his new role.

“I look forward to continuing to work with our highly skilled Psychiatry team in my new role,” Seche said. “I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Carole for several years and have absorbed a lot from her incredible institutional knowledge. Her dedication to our department’s mission is unmatched.  I am truly honored to be her successor in this role and will look to carry our mission forward for many more years.”

Farley-Toombs served as Psychiatry’s clinical administrator for three years and the lean administrator for the last four years, but her medical center career stretches back to 1980. She began her career as a psychiatric nurse before moving into leadership role including chief of psychiatric mental health nursing for 24 years. She has been recognized at the local, state and national levels as a champion for patients with psychiatric conditions and been instrument in developing and implementing innovative approaches to mental health care that have helped to cement URMC’s reputation as a national leader.

Among other efforts, she helped to spearhead a medical-behavioral health inpatient unit where staff are trained in both internal medicine and behavioral health to improve care for inpatients with mental illness; active support for the development of a Skilled Nursing Facility  Telepsychiatry Program that is now statewide and a national model; collaborating with Seche to submit a successful application to be a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic SAMSHA Pilot Demonstration site in 2017, which is now a robust and instrumental part the department’s clinical service delivery model; and, more recently, the development of an Inpatient/CPEP Crisis Specialist Team to support patient and staff safety through focused patient engagement.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve our department, our medical center and our patients over so many years,” Farley-Toombs said. “Patrick and I have worked together for many of those years in strategic projects that have had great impact on our clinical services and outreach, so I am thrilled with his appointment and by what he will bring to the role.”

Seche began his clinical career as an alcoholism counselor with The Health Association’s MainQuest Treatment Center in 1998 and later worked at the Baden Street Settlement’s Counseling Center.

Since joining URMC, he has held several clinical operations leadership roles, including as director of Strong Recovery and Psychiatry’s associate clinical administrator, overseeing  integration of addiction treatment throughout the UR Medicine system. He also serves as the executive director of Strong Memorial Hospital’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration project.

He has served as president of the Finger Lakes Consortium of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, vice president of the COMPA board (New York’s association of medication assisted treatment providers and advocates), 3rd vice president of the New York State Association of Substance Abuse Providers and a member of the Opioid Task Force of Monroe County and OASAS’ Administrative/Regulatory Relief Workgroup.  He currently has a public service appointment as member of New York State’s Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council.

The Rochester Business Journal recently recognized him as one of its 2022 Health Care Heroes. 

Supporting Puerto Rico in the Aftermath of Hurricane Fiona 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

In response to the recent devastation Hurricane Fiona has left up the Atlantic coast, we will be partnering with Ibero American Action League & Puerto Rican Independence Diaspora from Rochester and their friends to collect supplies for individuals and families in Puerto Rico which has been particularly hard-hit by flooding and mud slides. You can currently drop off any supplies to Brighton Health Center in Suite F (Care Management), 315 Science Parkway (Older Adult Services and Memory Care Program), and the first floor of our 300 Crittenden Blvd. location. Items will be picked up weekly with shipment to Puerto Rico beginning early October. Thank you to Richard Betancourt Rivera for his leadership in this effort. ​For any questions, please reach out to Diana Julian for any questions


Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: A Q&A with Dr. Olivares

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

URMC Newsroom, in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, had an opportunity to sit down with Dr. Telva Olivares. 
View full interview on LinkedIn

Read More: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: A Q&A with Dr. Olivares

New Studies Show Telemedicine is Effective, Doesn’t Reduce Access to Care

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

URMC Newsroom - Myths Busted: New Studies Show Telemedicine is Effective, Doesn’t Reduce Access to Care

Read More: New Studies Show Telemedicine is Effective, Doesn’t Reduce Access to Care

Department of Defense Funds Trial Optimizing Digital Behavioral Treatment for Co-Occurring Insomnia and Depression

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Wil Pigeon, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry was awarded a $6 million contract from the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) to conduct a study entitled Optimizing digital behavioral treatment for co-occurring insomnia and depression. The two-phase pragmatic trial will assess heterogeneity of treatment effects in one clinical trial and then develop and evaluate a precision medicine rule for assigning the right treatment(s) to the right individual in a second trial. The overall study will enroll up to 2,300 U.S. Military Veterans with co-occurring depression and insomnia and will be conducted with Co-Investigators Todd Bishop, PhD at URMC, Ron Kessler, PhD at Harvard Medical School, Rob Bossarte, PhD at University of South Florida and Stephen Schueller at UC-Irvine.

NIH Grant Funds App-based Intervention to Reduce Postpartum Depression in High-Risk Women

Monday, September 19, 2022

Postpartum depression (PPD) affects 1 in 7 mothers in the US with double the rate among low-income women, causing emotional distress, consequences for infant development and later child adjustment, disruptions in family relationships, and significant financial burden. A new $1.66 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will support the development of an app-based version of the ROSE Program (Reach Out, Stay Strong, Essentials for mothers of newborns), an evidence-based intervention for mothers at high-risk for PPD. Currently there are major obstacles to disseminating ROSE broadly to women at risk for PPD such as the labor-intensive nature of offering live group sessions with facilitators trained to fidelity and requiring pregnant individuals (many with young children and competing demands) to attend group sessions at prescribed times. This digital version of ROSE, called e-ROSE, will let soon-to-be mothers at high risk of PPD to access the intervention at their own convenience. e-ROSE will be tested in a clinical trial compared to ROSE delivered as usual to see if there are differences in uptake and effectiveness. Ellen Poleshuck, PhD  will serve as the Primary Investigator on this project. 

University of Rochester Department of Psychiatry Recognized by Senator Samra G. Brouk

Thursday, September 15, 2022

At the International College of Psychosomatic Medicine's 26th World Congress, the University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Psychiatry was recognized by New York State Senator Samra Brouk for our 75th Anniversary with an official proclamation. Read Full Proclamation 

Read More: University of Rochester Department of Psychiatry Recognized by Senator Samra G. Brouk

Psychiatry Grand Rounds resume on Sept. 14th!

Monday, September 12, 2022

WEDNESDAYS 12 pm - 1 pm. Hybrid Events attend in-person or via Zoom!
Visit the Grand Rounds Webpage for more information. 

Read More: Psychiatry Grand Rounds resume on Sept. 14th!

ICPM 26th World Congress starts on Wednesday Sept. 7th!

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The International College of Psychosomatic Medicine 26th World Congress ‘Biopsychosocial Model: Past & Future. is September 7th -9th. 
Due to popular demand, registration for the ICPM 26th World Congress will remain open even during the conference!
Visit for details including registration, schedule of speakers, and information about CME. 

Read More: ICPM 26th World Congress starts on Wednesday Sept. 7th!

Rochester First highlights URMC's partnership with the YMCA

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

URMC Media Spotlight 
Rochester First
 (Aug. 24) highlighted URMC's partnership with the YMCA aimed at equipping youth camp staff to help children and teens with mental health issues. Allison Stiles, Ph.D., said the first-aid training is designed to help staff members understand a variety of situations, ranging from minor to more severe. "A focus is on building the capacity of that staff," said Stiles. "We talk about real-life scenarios coming up in camp. How do we address those? How do we solve those? It's putting our heads together and applying the knowledge and skills they've learned in that training to be able to support each other."

Read More: Rochester First highlights URMC's partnership with the YMCA

Join us on Aug. 30th for the final 75th Anniversary Webinar - Biopsychosocial 2.0!

Friday, August 26, 2022

Biopsychosocial 2.0: The Future of Biopsychosocial Care, Discovery, Learning, and Community Partnership
Speaker: Ben Lee, MD, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry
Dr. Lee will outline a vision for the future of our department and together reimagine the biopsychosocial model to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

View the 2022 DICE Summer Series Webinars!

Friday, August 26, 2022

2022 DICE Summer Series - Using the Biopsychosocial Model to Promote Equitable Care at UR Medicine

Watch video recordings of the summer series on our website. 

Read More: View the 2022 DICE Summer Series Webinars!

Visit the CCBHC Community Resource & Wellness Fair on Sept.9th

Monday, August 22, 2022

CCBHC Community Resource & Wellness Fair
Friday, September 9th, 10 am - 2 pm, 2613 West Henrietta Rd. 
Check out local agencies while enjoying music & snacks from local food trucks! 

Read More: Visit the CCBHC Community Resource & Wellness Fair on Sept.9th

New Division of Medicine in Psychiatry

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Department of Psychiatry enthusiastically announces the creation of a new division of Medicine in Psychiatry, charged with delivering comprehensive medical care to vulnerable psychiatric patients.

The ever widening medical disparities facing patients with psychiatric conditions today has led to an urgent need for innovations in providing comprehensive care for vulnerable populations. Recent growth and development of the Medicine in Psychiatry clinical services has supported the addition of new academic faculty committed to providing compassionate, evidence based medical care to patients who are often marginalized in the health system.

The Mission of the Division of Medicine in Psychiatry Services (MIPS) is:

  1. To be a community leader for comprehensive healthcare targeted to patients with concomitant medical conditions and severe mental illness and/or substance use; and
  2. To be a center for academic innovation focused on creating effective multidisciplinary teams and services that integrate medical, psychiatric and social services for vulnerable patient populations.

The MIPS division includes a patient-centered primary care medical home for patients with psychiatric conditions and 30 inpatient medical beds for patients with acute medical conditions and concomitant psychiatric conditions. In addition, MIPS provides medical consultation to the inpatient Psychiatry units. With 13 dedicated faculty members with expertise in family medicine, internal medicine, addiction medicine and psychiatry, the division plays a critical role in educating residents and fellows from multiple specialty and sub-specialty programs associated with the University of Rochester. The multidisciplinary approach of MIPS also means that there is active clinical and academic collaboration with colleagues in the fields of nursing, social work, psychology, pharmacy, substance and recovery counseling, and peer support.

Dr. Telva Olivares will serve as the clinical chief for the Medicine in Psychiatry Division
Dr. Marsha Wittink will serve as the academic chief for the division.
Dr. Kevin Brazill will take over as the medical director of the MIPS primary care clinic and Dr. Kirk Harris and Dr. Wittink will continue as medical directors of units G92 and 192, respectively.

Celebrating Telva Olivares's 28th Year at MIPS

Monday, August 1, 2022

MIPS staffMIPS staffOn June 30th, we celebrated Dr. Telva E. Olivares's 28th and last year as the director of our Medicine in Psychiatric Services (MIPS) program. Those who have been in the area for a while will be familiar with Dr. Olivares work with Rochester's Latine community as director of Lazos Fuertes, a one-of-a-kind clinic that provides bilingual medical and psychiatric services, as well as her work with patients severe and/or persistent mental illness.

Tzeitel Hernandez BSN, RN-BC, nurse at Wilmot Cancer Institute, comments on Dr. Olivares's career, saying "As one of the founding members of [MIPS] and its director for over two decades, Dr. Olivares has been at the forefront of the intersection of internal medicine and psychiatry. . ."

While Dr. Olivares will be retiring from her role in MIPS, , she will continue to oversee other programs throughout UR Medicine such as Lazos Fuertes as well as our Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Culture and Equity (DICE).

How fast time flies by! Check out this then-and-now photo of Dr. Olivares with Dr. Roger Boulay, mentor and fellow founding member of MIPS!  

Bridge Art Gallery Now Accepting Artwork Submissions

Friday, July 29, 2022

Are you a local artist? Our Bridge Art Gallery is now accepting submissions of artwork for their next exhibition, Mind, Body, and World, which focuses on how our bodies, our psychology and our social contexts connect to impact health. Submissions are due August 25th! Check out their website for information on how to submit artwork!

Read More: Bridge Art Gallery Now Accepting Artwork Submissions

Hochang (Ben) Lee to be Installed as President at ICPM World Conference in Rochester

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Hochang (Ben) Lee, M.D., the John Romano Professor of Psychiatry and chair of the Department of Psychiatry, will be installed this fall as president of the International College of Psychosomatic Medicine (ICPM).

The organization’s membership hails from more than 30 countries and consists of a broad range of professionals, including internists, general practitioners, pediatricians, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists and other health care providers.

Lee’s two-year tenure begins in September, when URMC will host the 26th World Congress of Psychosomatic Medicine. Its focus is the “Biopsychosocial Model: Past & Future.” As the birthplace of the biopsychosocial model, the University of Rochester Medical Center is proud to bring providers together from across the globe to discuss its history and impact on patient care today and into the future.

Early registration for the conference, to be held Sept. 7-9 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, is June 30, offering a reduced rate; final deadline is Aug. 10. Click here for more information and to register.

Myra Mathis, MD Named Medical Director of Strong Recovery

Monday, July 18, 2022

Myra MathisWe are exited to announce that Dr. Myra Mathis has been appointed the Medical Director of our Strong Recovery clinic. Dr. Mathis joined our Department of Psychiatry in August 2020 as an Addiction Psychiatrist after getting her medical degree from University of Rochester and completing her post-doctoral training and residency at Yale University. Dr. Mathis is the recipient of several awards while in medical school and throughout her residency and fellowship.

After 30 years in the role, Dr. Gloria Baciewicz is passing the Medical Director baton to Dr. Mathis. Dr. Baciewicz will continue as a faculty working on Strong Recovery's projects.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Mathis on her new and exciting journey as Strong Recovery’s Medical Director!

Register Now! Early Bird Registration Discount for ICPM Ends July 15th

Friday, July 1, 2022

Early Registration Deadline for 26th World Congress, International College of Psychosomatic Medicine (ICPM) Has Been Extended! Register by July 15th to receive an Early Bird Special price for the 26th World Congress of the ICPM, happening September 7-9, 2022 in Rochester, New York. The Congress will feature a stimulating academic program that includes cutting-edge research in bio-psycho-social, brain-behavior-health-disease relationships. Many of our speakers are world renowned leaders in research and academia.

Read More: Register Now! Early Bird Registration Discount for ICPM Ends July 15th

Join us for the 2022 DICE Summer Series starting on July 13th!

Monday, June 27, 2022

diverse group of people

Using the Biopsychosocial Model to Promote Equitable Care at UR Medicine

The Department of Psychiatry, in collaboration with Golisano Children's Hospital, Wilmot Cancer Institute, the Department of Neurology, and the School of Nursing, will present the 2022 DICE Summer Series.  Wednesdays 12-1pm, July 13th - August 224th 

Read More: Join us for the 2022 DICE Summer Series starting on July 13th!

Is There a Link between Sleep and Dementia?

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Dr. Anton Porsteinsson, professor and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Care, Research and Education Program (AD-CARE) at the University of Rochester Medical Center, talked to Medical News Today, a consumer-focused digital publication, on this topic.  Read the article:  Dementia and Sleep: What Do We Know about this Link?

Aileen Aldalur, Ph.D. Among CTSI's KL2 Career Development Awardees

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Our very own Dr. Aileen Aldalur is among the awardees of a KL2 Career Development Award. This award provides early-career scientists with mentored research support in order to help advance their career. Dr. Aldalur 's project will be adapting Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for use with Deaf individuals. 

Read More: Aileen Aldalur, Ph.D. Among CTSI's KL2 Career Development Awardees

Join us for the 74th Annual Key Day Ceremony on June 14th

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Key Day Ceremony - Department Of Psychiatry
Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | 4:00 – 6:00pm   Flaum Atrium

Key Day is a valued ceremonial tradition of our Department during which we officially recognize trainees who are completing their educational programs in 2022. Join us in the Flaum Atrium.

Excellence of URMC Faculty, Staff Recognized by Quality Institute, URMC Board

Monday, June 6, 2022

star awardThe UR Medicine Quality Institute and the URMC Board honored the winners of the 2022 Board Excellence Awards, recognizing them for the exceptional care provided each day to our patients and the outstanding efforts of our fellow co-workers.

Board Quality Committee Chair Anne Francis, M.D., led the annual awards ceremony at an in-person event at Monroe Golf Club on May 31. Honored were nine individuals, eight teams and four Dr. Robert Joynt Kindness Award winners.

“We are incredibly proud to thank these individuals and teams, recognizing them all for their awe-inspiring examples of dedication and service,” Francis said.

Within Psychiatry, Evelyn Santos, BSN, RN, PMHN-BC, lead nurse at Psychiatry/Lazos Fuertes and our Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) team received awards in the Individual Excellence Award and the Team Excellence Award categories respectively. 

Evelyn Santos, BSN, RN, PMHN-BC and lead nurse at Psychiatry/Lazos Fuertes, the only bilingual-bicultural mental health clinic for Latinx patients in Upstate New York. Evelyn has exceeded all expectations in her five years here. Evelyn is quick to identify and break down barriers to mental health care. She has led the development and implementation of a Lazos Fuertes lead nursing role, developing strong ties with its underserved population. She presents her experiences at UR nursing leadership meetings and consults with Neurology as it embarks on expanding their current Spanish language neurology clinic. Her sensitivity to language barriers helps her to be an effective, empathetic nurse educator. She created a guide dedicated to helping English-speaking nurses best deal with the language barrier that often interferes with receiving and delivering equitable care.

CPEP Team, Department of Psychiatry
The Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program, CPEP, truly embodies the ICARE values and provides ever-better care to our patient population. In 2021, CPEP incurred a substantial increase in patient visits compared to prior years. During this time, the CPEP team worked not only to manage patient flow in a consistently over max capacity state, but also established an ongoing collaboration with Golisano Children’s Hospital ED and the Medical ED, to increase efficiency and improve interdepartmental communication.

The team created a stronger culture around staff engagement, giving staff RNs more input into operational change processes. They also implemented a clinical skill training, focused on effective violence mitigation and de-escalation techniques, which resulted in an 85 percent participation rate across disciplines, during a time of unprecedented mental health crisis. 

The entire team continually focuses on patient-centered care in the face of significant and increasing challenges, showing the level of commitment and dedication to serve the most vulnerable of patient populations.

Suzanne Haber, PhD leads new NIMH award to investigate the brain networks central to OCD

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

“Obsessive-compulsive disorder is among the most disabling psychiatric disorders,” said Haber, professor of Pharmacology and Physiology, Neuroscience and Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. “It affects one to three percent of the population worldwide, yet it hasn’t received the same level of attention as other mental health disorders. We’re excited to receive this funding and use translational methods to understand circuit dysfunction in the disease and to develop new treatment approaches that can improve the lives of patients.”

Read More: Suzanne Haber, PhD leads new NIMH award to investigate the brain networks central to OCD

AAPI Support Group presents Rise of Rochester’s Asian Community Webinar on May 24

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

​In celebration of May AAPI Heritage Month, please join us on 5/24 at noon by zoom:

Rise of Rochester’s Asian Community
Mimi W. Lee, President of APAA, and Lily Lee, Board Secretary/Communications Director of APAA

Asian/Pacific Islander/American Association (APAA) of Greater Rochester is a not-for-profit organization committed to a stronger Greater Rochester Area community where diverse Asian/Pacific Islander American peoples are valued, their heritages and histories are preserved and celebrated.  Our Department of Psychiatry Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Support Group is honored to have APAA leaders Mimi Lee and Lily Lee joining us to share the rich history of our local Rochester AAPI community.

Support the UR Psych Team at the NAMI Rochester Walk Saturday May 21st

Friday, May 20, 2022

NAMI Rochester’s Walk is taking place on Saturday, May 21st, at the Village Gate.
Support the UR Psych Mental Health & Wellness Team!

Read More: Support the UR Psych Team at the NAMI Rochester Walk Saturday May 21st

Stroll for Strong Kids June 4 - Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness Tent

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Stroll for Strong Kids will return as a live event this year!  5K in the early AM, followed by the Stroll/walk and picnic.  There will be a Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness Tent with activities. We also have a team you can “join” so that any funds raised/donated will go to our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry services.  Saturday, June 4, 2022 (in-person) and Friday, June 3 - Sunday, June 5, 2022 (virtual) 

Read More: Stroll for Strong Kids June 4 - Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness Tent

75th Anniversary Webinar - Innovations in Community Partnerships May 24th

Monday, May 16, 2022

Please join us on Tuesday, May 24th, 6-7:15pm for UR Psychiatry's 75th Anniversary Webinar exploring Biopsychosocial Innovations in Community Partnerships.  You will hear from panelists across disciplines and programs within UR Psychiatry discuss the impact of the biopsychosocial model on community partnerships. 

Moderator: Leah Hill, Clinical Engagement Specialist 
A conversation with: Eric CaineCatherine CerulliYeates ConwellStephanie GambleMelissa HeatlyRev. John S. Walker, and others.

Read More: 75th Anniversary Webinar - Innovations in Community Partnerships May 24th

Join the Department of Psychiatry AAPI Support Group for Heritage Month Events

Monday, May 16, 2022

May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. To celebrate, our Department of Psychiatry Asian American Pacific Islander Support Group has compiled a calendar of events around Rochester throughout the month of May celebrating AAPI culture, cuisine, and artists. View the calendar here. 


UR Medicine is Thinking 'Digital First' Under Leadership of Chief Digital Health Officer Michael Hasselberg

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

When Michael Hasselberg, M.S., Ph.D. was approached about digital health, Michael Rotondo, M.D., CEO of the University of Rochester’s Medical Faculty Group, simply said: “We need a strategy.” The pandemic had forced many organizations to jump headfirst into telemedicine but no one was really thinking about how to strategically roll-out digital tools to make care easier to access for patients–with or without a pandemic.

Luckily for UR Medicine, strategy is where Hasselberg shines. A Ph.D.-prepared nurse with a specialization in geriatric psychiatry, Hasselberg is URMC’s Chief Digital Health Officer tasked with overseeing our clinical enterprise’s “Digital First” strategy – a three-phase program that will integrate digital tools into our health system so that we can serve a wider range of patients in the most effective and efficient way possible.

The first phase of the “Digital First” strategy is already underway and the entire plan works like a funnel.

“We need to get people in the front door of our organization, whether that means literally into our practices or digitally meeting with our providers from the convenience of their own home,” explains Hasselberg. “In phase two, we focus on engaging our patients using devices they already own – like smartphones, wearables, and tablets. Finally, in the last phase, we will look at ways to leverage all the data we’re collecting to provide incredibly personalized care and value.”

“We need a strategy,” Rotondo said and a strategy is exactly what he got.

A Serendipitous Career

The path that led Hasselberg to this role is nothing short of “serendipitous,” a word he himself uses to describe his career. He graduated from the University of Rochester’s School of Nursing (SON) in 2013 with his Ph.D. in Health Practice Research, planning to pursue a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. His trajectory changes, however, when he joined the School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) as a faculty member tasked with expanding telehealth offerings.

Hasselberg admittedly “knew nothing” about telehealth but he agreed to the appointment and started learning as fast as he could. As a skilled grant writer, he was able to get several early grants funded to pursue initiatives like Project ECHO, a telementoring project for New York State, and both synchronous and asynchronous care like telemedicine, telementoring, eConsults, and eVisits.

However, the release of DSRIP – a multi-state initiative that incentivizes hospitals to improve outcomes for Medicaid patients – meant that Hasselberg had to change the way he thought about sustainability. He began looking at his programs through the payer’s lens and was able to expand existing telehealth programs from Primary Care practices to nursing homes to hospitals. The programs soon reached saturation and could grow no further–not for lack of funding, however, but because Hasselberg “couldn’t graduate behavioral health providers fast enough to fill open positions.”

Put on the Map by the Pandemic

It was then that another serendipitous meeting occurred. Hasselberg was introduced to David Mitten, M.D., who was setting up an Innovation Center in Orthopaedics. The two started brainstorming on ways to leverage mobile technologies, extended reality, artificial intelligence, and more to provide better patient care. Over time, the Center eventually grew into the UR Health Lab, which features faculty representation from across the University including SMD, SON, Eastman School of Music, Hajim School of Engineering and Simon Business School.

We all know what happened next. In early 2020, the world was struck by a global pandemic and we are still navigating the impact COVID has had on our health systems. The Health Lab didn’t waste any time. URMC needed widespread access to telemedicine and fast. Hasselberg and the Health worked with the Information Systems Division to scale up telemedicine for the whole enterprise, as well as developing and making available through open source some incredibly innovative products like Dr. Chat Bot (which would develop into ROC COVID) – an AI-driven chat tool that screens employees for COVID symptoms before they report to work.

A Caravan of Collaborators Hasselberg attributes his success to the people he has met along the way. His story is peppered with mentions of chance meetings and “serendipity” but at the end of the day, he says: “It’s all about the people. Technology is exciting but transformation is about the people.” “Michael Hasselberg has had a long-standing commitment to providing equitable care, especially in the mental health arena,” says Kathy Parrinello, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Strong Memorial Hospital. “As a clinician himself, he has looked for ways to create greater access so patients can receive the care they need whether in nursing homes, the hospital or in their own homes.” From the people he’s met to the people he serves, Hasselberg has a strong focus on community and the power that Rochester in particular holds. When he looks around the city, he sees endless opportunity rivaling even those at Google or Amazon. “We just have such smart, innovative people who work here,” he says. “I don’t need to be in Silicon Valley to do this work. I can be right here in Rochester and all along the way, there’s been this wonderful caravan of collaborators that keeps on growing.” Although he knows that this “caravan of collaborators” has the power to transform the greater Rochester region, “that’s just the start.” Thanks to Hasselberg and his colleagues, the University is now pursuing collaborations with the likes of Providence Health, the Linux Foundation and other big tech companies. Hasselberg sees this as a chance to improve health care for the whole country. “Healthcare is broken and that’s a problem that none of us can fix individually. We have to work as a whole to come together to share ideas and support each other so we can actually transform heath care. That’s incredibly cool.”


Psychiatry Musicians to be Featured in Spring Showcase

Monday, April 25, 2022

TOMORROW, April 26th, from 12-12:45pm, our URMC Department of Psychiatry will present the first virtual Creatively Connecting: Spring Showcase! This event will feature musical performances by members of the department. We hope this will be an opportunity to not only connect with one another, but also connect with our local Rochester community. View the video recording of the event below.  

Read More: Psychiatry Musicians to be Featured in Spring Showcase

Registration Open for Family Therapy Program 29th Annual Intensive

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Institute for the Family's Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Training Program has opened registration for their 29th Annual Intensive on Integrated Care and Medical Family Therapy. This intensive is a one week interdisciplinary training that blends clinical presentations, small group learning, and skill development to provide training for professionals interested in health care and mental health collaboration when working with patients and families dealing with illness, health concerns and trauma. For more information, contact the MFT program or click here

Clinical Psychology Training Program - April 2022 Newsletter

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Read the April 2022 Clinical Psychology Training Program newsletter for an update from the Training Director, the latest program news, current projects, and upcoming events.

Read More: Clinical Psychology Training Program - April 2022 Newsletter

Caroline Nestro Moves to New Role in School of Nursing after 38 Years

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Caroline Nestro

It is with mixed emotions that we announce that Caroline Nestro, PhD has left the Department of Psychiatry after accepting a new leadership position at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Caroline has been with our department for over 38 years in various roles, including as a nurse on many of our units and programs, a nurse manager for the adult ambulatory service, Co-Director of our Office of Mental Health Promotion until 2017, and most recently as the Director of our Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Culture, and Equity. A celebration was held in March in honor of her many contributions to the department. We will dearly miss her but wish her all the best as she enters this new chapter of her career. 

MSN features Susan McDaniel, PhD on the ‘destabilizing’ effect of illness

Friday, April 15, 2022

Why divorce is more common if the wife gets sick: The ‘destabilizing’ effect of illness

Read More: MSN features Susan McDaniel, PhD on the ‘destabilizing’ effect of illness

75th Anniversary Webinar: Innovations in Research

Friday, April 15, 2022

Join us on April 26th for the next 75th Anniversary Webinar session: How the World Changed UR Psychiatry and UR Psychiatry Changed the World | An Overview of Biopsychosocial Innovations in Research. A conversation with: Tom O'ConnorKim Van OrdenJan MoynihanAnton PorsteinssonSteve SilversteinPeter Wyman, and others. Moderated by Yeates Conwell

Read More: 75th Anniversary Webinar: Innovations in Research

Learn How to Defuse Challenging Situations with Bystander Training

Thursday, April 14, 2022

The TRANSFORM Research Center invites you to join a free 3-hour intensive bystander training exclusive for our Rochester community. "Support Over Silence for KIDS" is a call to action that gives community members the skills to confidently defuse challenging moments between a caregiver and their child in public. Nancy L. Weaver, PhD, MPH, Professor of Behavioral Science at Saint Louis University, created this program to educate community members on how to listen empathetically and non-judgmentally to caregivers in tense situations to help deescalate what’s happening in the moment. For your convenience we are offering three dates for this important training - classes will be held via ZOOM. Please choose one:

  • Friday, April 22, 9:00AM-12:00PM (EST)
  • Tuesday, April 26, 1:00PM-4:00PM (EST)
  • Wednesday, May 4, 5:00-8:00PM (EST)

The first virtual Creatively Connecting: Spring Showcase will be held on April 26th

Monday, April 11, 2022

On April 26, 2022, from 12-12:45pm, the URMC Psychiatry Department will be presenting the first virtual Creatively Connecting: Spring Showcase! This event will feature musical performances by members of the Psychiatry Department. We hope this will be an opportunity to connect with one another, but also connect with our local Rochester community. This event will feature Gre's Concoctions, a locally owned business right on Mt. Hope Ave! A YouTube link of the showcase will be shared via email, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We hope you can join us! ​

Read More: The first virtual Creatively Connecting: Spring Showcase will be held on April 26th

Welcome to Our Incoming Psychiatry Residents!

Monday, April 4, 2022

UR Incoming Psychiatry ResidentsMarch 19th was Match Day, which marks the day when soon-to-be-graduating medical students around the United States find out where they will be beginning their career as physicians as residents. We're excited to welcome our incoming class to our Psychiatry Residency program! Our new residents come from medical schools around the world with a wide range of backgrounds, life experiences, and interests. Welcome again, and we look forward to seeing you all soon!


Read More: Welcome to Our Incoming Psychiatry Residents!

Meyerowitz Lecture to feature Kelli Harding, MD, MPH

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Kelli HardingKelli Harding, MD, MPH, URSMD grad of 2002, will be speaking on the science of kindness for the Department of Psychiatry’s annual Meyerowitz lecture: “Feel Better With Kindness:  A Framework of Care for our Patients, Colleagues, and Ourselves.”  Dr. Harding is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University Vagelos College Of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.  She is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as boarded in the specialty of psychosomatic (mind-body) medicine.

The Sanford Meyerowitz Memorial Fund was established in 1977 as a memorial to Dr. Meyerowitz, a 1954 graduate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and at the time of his death, Associate Dean for Medical Education at URSMD. The fund was established by a committee to create a living memorial in support of Dr. Meyerowitz’s many and numerous interests and enthusiasms. He was actively engaged in Medical Education, Clinical Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis, Psychosomatic Medicine and Arthritis Research. He made important contributions to the relationship between undergraduate and medical education. Each year the Committee selects a host department to be responsible for the selection and arrangement of the guest lecturer.  Open to all University of Rochester affiliated faculty, students, residents, fellows and staff. This activity has been approved for physician, psychology and social work CEUs. The event will take place on April 28th, 2022 at 12pm both in-person at Class of ’62 Auditorium and virtually. 

Read More: Meyerowitz Lecture to feature Kelli Harding, MD, MPH

April 21st is Psychology Day

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

April 21st is our 4th annual University of Rochester Medical Center Psychology Day! Thank you psychologists and psychologists-in-training for all you do for our patients, their families, our community, and our healthcare system at large. This year we especially honor your dedication as we continue to navigate the mental health surge related to the coronavirus pandemic (along with our other dedicated mental health colleagues!). THANK YOU!

Please join us in celebration across social media platforms by using the hashtags #PsychologyDay2022 and #PsychDayUN2022.

April 21st is also Psychology Day at the United Nations as well. Visit their virtual talks between 11am and 2pm.

At URMC, we want to take this day to thank our many psychologists and psychologists-in-training across the UR system, including:  Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Cancer Center, Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn, Neurosurgery, Orthopaedics, Neurology, and Psychiatry plus the College Counseling Center on River Campus. We have students, interns, and postdoctoral fellows, drawing top candidates from across the US to each.  In addition, we have psychologists across our UR Leadership, including President Sarah Mangelsdorf. Please spread the word to all your Psychology colleagues!

A Q&A with Catherine Cerulli on intimate partner violence

Monday, March 28, 2022

Catherine Cerulli, director of both the University’s Susan B. Anthony Center and the Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization talks about how to spot an unhealthy relationship before domestic violence starts.

Read More: A Q&A with Catherine Cerulli on intimate partner violence

Paul Geha leads a new study on brain linking pain and food

Thursday, March 10, 2022

URMC Newsroom: Researchers find new clues in the brain linking pain and food

A new Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience study led by Paul Geha, MD an assistant professor of psychiatry, of neurology, and of neuroscience, suggests that circuitry in the brain responsible for motivation and pleasure is impacted when someone experiences pain. “These findings may reveal new physiological mechanisms linking chronic pain to a change in someone’s eating behavior,” says Geha. “And this change can lead to the development of obesity.”

Read More: Paul Geha leads a new study on brain linking pain and food

Anthony Pisani to Speak at Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

Monday, March 7, 2022

Anthony Pisani, PhD will be speaking on the March 7th hearing of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide of Australia. Dr. Pisani will be sharing his expertise in suicide prevention with the commission as they hear from community members and experts on the issues surrounding the rise in deaths by suicide among serving and ex-serving Defence members. The hearing will be streamed live on the Royal Commission's website from 6 PM to 12 AM Eastern Time. ( March 7th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm AEDT).

Read More: Anthony Pisani to Speak at Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

Support Partnerships with Historically Marginalized Communities through the GCH Jacket and Shirt Sale

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Racial Justice Initiatives Team of Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness is hosting a GCH Jacket and Shirt Sale as a fundraiser this year. Jackets and shirts will have the UR Medicine/Golisano Children’s Hospital embroidered logo and Sandy and Friends emblem on opposite sides. “Equality for All” will be written on the sleeve of each item (back of the collar on vest). You have the option to add a service’s name and/or personalization for an upcharge. The money raised from the fundraiser will enable us to expand our community partnerships and outreach efforts to support emotional wellness in historically marginalized families. For example, in November we collaborated with God’s Work Pentecostal Church & Pentecostal Power of Deliverance (with financial assistance from the National Parent Leadership Institute and the Greater Rochester Health Foundation) to sponsor a great day filled with discussion on children's mental health, food, and give-a-ways.  Please consider purchasing a jacket, shirt, mug, backpack or lunch bag to support more of these events and others. The link to items is below and will be active throughout February, Black History Month. 

Read More: Support Partnerships with Historically Marginalized Communities through the GCH Jacket and Shirt Sale

Anton Porsteinsson, MD spoke to WXXI about the health benefits of playtime

Friday, February 11, 2022

URMC Media Spotlight: Anton Porsteinsson, M.D., spoke to WXXI (Feb. 11) about the health benefits of playtime, which can be a fun way to relieve stress, alone, or with other people. "We know that stress is neurotoxic, it increases certain compounds in the brain that basically can cause accelerated nerve cell death."

Read More: Anton Porsteinsson, MD spoke to WXXI about the health benefits of playtime

January 2022 Publications

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Read More: January 2022 Publications

Leadership Changes at HEAL

Friday, February 4, 2022

We are excited to share that Kristen Holderle, PhD will be taking over as the director of the Healing through Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law (HEAL) Collaborative, effective January 1st, 2022. Dr. Holderle will bring to this role her expertise in team-based trauma-informed care, and treatment for patients and families with chronic health conditions.

Dr. Holderle will be assuming this position from Ellen Poleshuck, PhD who has held the position since 2017. Under Dr. Poleshuck's leadership, HEAL became a valuable resource to patients and families experiencing interpersonal violence in our community, as well as for the clinicians who care for them.

Welcome, Dr. Holderle, to this new role and thank you, Dr. Poleshuck, for all your years of dedication to helping those facing trauma and safety issues. 

Bridge Art Gallery Celebrates Decade of Fostering Healing, Connection through Expression

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Can making art help people heal? Or feel empathy for someone who expresses their pain through art? Ten years ago, members of the Department of Psychiatry looked to answer these questions by establishing a community art gallery at URMC to showcase work addressing themes related to mental health. The resultsgetachew taye have been a remarkable success.

The Bridge Art Gallery is a dedicated space at SMH where artists can connect with each other through art, either by creating or experiencing it. In keeping with its name, the gallery gives Psychiatry a presence in the community by giving a platform to artists who work at URMC, visit the hospital, or simply live in the local community.

“To me, art is one of the transformational ways we engage in the lives of others and bring them into our own lives and interact with them,” said Eric Caine, M.D., who was the Psychiatry Chair when he and fellow department members, including Caroline Nestro, Ph.D., and others, took the idea from inception to reality. “It gave us a way to bring people beyond our walls inside. It also became a way for people who were ‘inside’—staff, patients, families—to look out to a wider world.”

Since it was founded, Bridge has hosted more than 28 exhibits and shown nearly 670 works of art from 363 different artists. Contributors range from amateur to professional, many of whom shared their work publicly for the first time because Bridge provided the opportunity.

One such artist is Getachew Taye, who works at SMH as a patient care technician on 7-1400. Originally from Ethiopia, he came to the U.S. in 2004 and married his wife, Deborah, who also works at URMC. He is a lifelong artist with an art degree that he earned while studying on scholarship in Ukraine. He also lived several years in Germany as an asylum seeker, teaching art and working as a caseworker helping fellow refugees.

After coming to the U.S., Getachew started working at SMH in Environmental Services. He says he would sometimes draw on white boards in patient rooms and it wasn’t long before his manager noticed his talent and told him about the Bridge Gallery. He has been a regular contributor ever since–even selling one of his prints, a beautiful painting depicting a dancing ballerina in motion, “In the Still of the Night,” to Chief Operating Officer Kathy Parrinello at one of the exhibit openings.

For him, art will always be fulfilling, and a source of great enjoyment–especially when it can be shared with others. It can help others catch a glimpse into what inspires you, and appreciate what makes your own artistic style unique.

And while working in a patient care setting may not seem like a place to flex one’s creative muscles, he has used it for good. In 2016, he even started a 5x5 art exhibit on 5-1200, where he worked at the time. Coworkers and hospital visitors drew or painted on paper squares that he provided, and 100 colorful pieces lined the walls when complete. Whether it’s inspiring others or building upon his own talent, Getachew says art is a way to leave your mark.

“I feel an obligation to leave something behind,” he said.  “You do it for yourself, but also for your family, community or country.”

Watch this video to hear more from the artist. 

Stop by the Exhibit

“The Bridge Art Gallery Celebrates 10 Years of Bridging Art and Mental Health” is on display now through March 31. This features artwork of contributors and special collections of works by Renee Simone Lee and George Engel, one of the Department of Psychiatry's founders (like below). 

Engel Image
Where: First floor of SMH Psychiatry, near the Blue Elevators. 
Follow Along: Learn more about Bridge by visiting their websiteFacebookInstagram, or Twitter to see current art, upcoming exhibits and calls for entries.
Other Locations: In addition to the gallery on the first floor, Bridge has satellite galleries, on the ground floor of Mental Health & Wellness (G-9000) and an offsite gallery at Strong Minds, Adult Ambulatory Outpatient Psychiatry (150 N. Chestnut St.)
Questions? Email

Psychiatry Celebrates 75 Years

Psychiatry’s 75th anniversary. Throughout 2022, URMC faculty and staff, alumni and community members are invited to participate in discussions about the department’s rich history, including its key role in the innovative biopsychosocial model, and learn about its clinical, research and education initiatives impacting
leading-edge mental health care. A webinar series begins Feb. 8. The anniversary celebration culminates with URMC hosting colleagues from around the globe at the 26th International Congress of Psychosomatic Medicine World Congress in September.

The Past, Present & Future of Biopsychosocial Education, Care, Research, and Community Partnerships

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

As part of our anniversary this year, the 75th Anniversary Webinar Series will examine our history and attempt to understand the staying power of the biopsychosocial approach which remains the cornerstone of our practice.​ These webinars will be held throughout the year and will discuss the many ways in which UR Psychiatry has been an innovator in clinical care, education, research, and relationships with the communities in which we live and work.

Read More: The Past, Present & Future of Biopsychosocial Education, Care, Research, and Community Partnerships

Deadline to Submit Abstracts to ICPM 26th World Congress

Monday, January 31, 2022

26th World Congress Abstract announcement

After postponing last year, we are thrilled to announce the 2022 International College of Psychosomatic Medicine (ICPM) Meeting entitled “The Biopsychosocial Model: Past, Present and Future” will take from September 7th to September 9th in Rochester, New York. The ICPM Meeting will offer diverse keynote addresses, workshops, symposia, and presentations that highlight the biopsychosocial model developed by George L. Engel, MD. The deadline to submit abstracts has recently been extended to February 28th, 2022!  

Read More: Deadline to Submit Abstracts to ICPM 26th World Congress

Harriet Washington Speaks at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Grand Rounds 

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Our 14th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Grand Rounds will take place on January 19th, 2021 from 12 PM to 1 PM. Join us for a guided conversation with Harriet A. Washington '76 ranging from topics including the relevance of her work, Medical Apartheid, and environmental racism to the overall care we provide at the URMC. This event is held in partnership with the URMC Office of Equity & Inclusion, The Wilmot Cancer Institute, the School of Nursing, and the Departments of Medicine, Neurology, and Pediatrics.


Harriet A. Washington is a prolific science writer, editor and ethicist who is the author of the seminal Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Oakland Award, and the American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award and five other well-received books, including A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and its Assault on the American Mind as well as the forthcoming Carte Blanche: The Erosion of Informed Consent in Medical Research, will be published in 2021 by Columbia Global Reports. 

Read More: Harriet Washington Speaks at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Grand Rounds