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Latest News

20202019

New Adult Outpatient Mental Health Services Building Officially Opens

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Adult Outpatient Mental Health Services Opening In July, our new Adult Outpatient Mental Health Services building officially opened at 150 North Chestnut Street. We look forward to continuing to serve the Rochester community through our new expanded location. Our new facility is conveniently located between the Central Business District and South Marketview Heights and provides a warm, inclusive atmosphere for our current and future clients. This new location will be the largest adult mental health clinic in downtown Rochester and consolidates services previously offered at our Strong Hospital and Science Parkway locations in one convenient building in the heart of Rochester. Lazos Fuertes, which is also moving to N. Chestnut Street, is the only all bi-lingual and bi-cultural mental health clinic of its kind in the county. A recording of the event can be viewed online. 

The grand opening of our new Adult Outpatient Mental Health Services building was also featured on 13WHAM ABC, News 8 WROC, and Spectrum News.

Read More: New Adult Outpatient Mental Health Services Building Officially Opens

Michael Hasselberg Appointed URMC Senior Director of Digital Health

Monday, July 20, 2020

To capture the vast opportunity that emerging technologies present in reshaping the future of health care, URMC appointed Michael Hasselberg, M.S., Ph.D., associate professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Nursing, to serve as its first senior director of Digital Health.

Hasselberg, an ANCC Board-Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with a PhD in Health Practice Research from the University of Rochester School of Nursing, assumed his role July 1, and reports directly to URMFG CEO Michael F. Rotondo, M.D.

As senior director, Hasselberg will be charged with developing the strategy for implementing digital health solutions throughout UR Medicine. By optimizing existing programs and accelerating new technologies, Hasselberg will seek to differentiate UR Medicine to our patients, expand our market and offer high-value care delivery in support of our “think digital first” philosophy.

“We had identified Mike as our digital health leader due to his solid track record of successfully launching innovative digital solutions with Project ECHO and his position as Co-Director of the Health Lab,” Rotondo said. “But like many things these past few months, we put a pause on finalizing his role due to COVID. Not surprisingly, Mike’s talents shone during the pandemic, as he led a team to develop and launch Dr. Chat Bot for URMC, the highly successful COVID-19 screening tool being used at URMC, the University—and now available to all organizations nationally."

“This role is even more critical now as we adapt our clinical enterprise to new models of care we’ll need to safely interact with our patients to provide care and treatment,” Rotondo added.

“Michael brings unique expertise to an area of need for our institution,” said Gregg T. Nicandri, MD, FAOA, Chief Medical Information Officer and Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working closely on many projects including telemedicine, patient and employee screening, surge planning, and operational reporting. We have made significant strides in our enterprise digital health capabilities. During a very challenging time for our clinical operations, Michael has demonstrated highly effective leadership. I look forward to working with him, and am excited for what URMC’s future holds.”

Hasselberg founded the UR Medicine Telepsychiatry program and has served as an expert advisor on digital health to the New York State Department of Health, the Department of Health & Human Services, the American Hospital Association, and the National Quality Forum. A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar Fellow, he also serves as the Chief Innovation & Technology Officer in the Department of Psychiatry.  He will maintain these responsibilities at varying levels of time and workload.

“In my new role, I hope to make URMC a national leader in using digital technologies the way tech industry giants like Amazon and Google do—by deeply understanding who their customers are, anticipating their needs and preferences, and delivering services that are high-quality, cost-efficient and responsive,” Hasselberg said. “COVID really fast-tracked us into what the future of health care is going to look like—it’s going to be a digital world. There is no going back.”

Hasselberg will collaborate with colleagues at the University and across the medical system, including the chief medical and nursing technology officers, to integrate emerging technologies into the electronic health record platform in a way that synchs up and improves day-to-day operations. 

But that’s just a start. Hasselberg points to a host of other promising avenues to explore to improve health care outcomes, as well as the experience for patients and health care providers alike. These technologies include machine learning analytics in EHRs to risk-stratify patients and predict who will do better with various care pathways; collecting and using data from patients’ wearable devices like Apple Watches and Fitbits and integrating that data into the EHR; touchless technology and speech recognition that will go far beyond mere scribing for providers; mobile apps for android and IOS devices plus web-based applications; augmented reality and virtual reality. 

“These may seem futuristic, but many are already in use and demonstrating value here,” Hasselberg said. “We have brilliant folks at the University of Rochester in computer engineering and data science, and a world-renowned optics program. PROMIS is a huge patient-reported outcomes data repository—the largest in the world. We have assets that no one else has, and we can be national leaders in this field.”

Psychiatry Awarded Additional $2.5M to Combat Opioids in Rural Communities

Monday, July 20, 2020

URMC’s Department of Psychiatry has been awarded an additional $2.5 million to expand the scope of its UR Medicine Recovery Center of Excellence project, bringing total funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to $9.17 million.  

The project focuses on assisting rural communities, particularly in Appalachia, with implementing evidence-based practices that reduce the use of and overdose from synthetic opioids. The additional funding will allow for the development and sharing of materials in four areas:

  • Reducing stigma, self-stigma and shame
  • Addressing and preventing opioid-related suicide
  • Improving methadone accessibility in rural opioid treatment programs
  • Providing accessible treatment to patients released from correctional facilities

The center, one of three Rural Centers of Excellence on Substance Use Disorder in the country, provides organizations across the U.S. with the practical tools they need to support program development. These tools have been adapted specifically for rural communities, which face a unique set of challenges in addressing this crisis. The center also provides coaching and technical assistance as organizations work through planning and implementation challenges.

The dissemination program grant from HRSA retains its original three-year timetable and service area of 23 counties in New York, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

“Over the first six months of our work, we confirmed that many Appalachian communities and collaboratives have established successful evidence-based programs that are positively impacting this crisis,said Michele Lawrence, MBA, MPH, assistant vice president of Regional Business Development for URMC and co-principal investigator for the project.“We look forward to highlighting many of those in our webinars over the next two years. However, other communities are still not sure where to begin or how to build on their initial success. This generous increase in funding allows us to expand our breadth of programming and the depth of our technical assistance into areas where we know they are struggling.”

“One area we have heard about from organizations across the U.S. is stigma,”said addiction medicine expert Gloria J. Baciewicz, MD., professor of Clinical Psychiatry, senior medical director of URMC’s Strong Recovery program, and co-principal investigator for the project. “There continues to be a range of values and beliefs embedded in the fabric of our communities that prevent us from fully recognizing persons with substance use disorders among us and engaging the community, families, employers, providers and patients in creating an environment that supports recovery and ultimately improves the overall economic resilience and health of our communities. Together, we can have a more significant, sustainable impact as we work to defeat the opioid crisis that is ravaging our society.”

The center also has seen additional needs emerge as a result of the current pandemic. Treatment programs have had to redesign operations, and the UR Medicine Recovery Center of Excellence has shared its struggles and successes with those challenges. Patients who may have been in recovery for months or years face new difficulties as the social support system they rely on has drastically been altered. The center is pushing out information in July to help patients and providers across the U.S. access life-saving drugs such as naloxone by mail and maintain that social support through new types of communities, all of which can be found on the website.

“Our team has partnered in a unique way with rural Appalachian communities, researchers, clinicians, community based organizations and more,” said Psychiatry Hochang B. Lee, M.D., and John Romano, Professor of Psychiatry. “They are reducing the impact of synthetic opioids by recognizing the power of each of us to contribute to the health of our community.”

8th Annual Summer Series Discusses Anti-Racism & Transformation

Monday, July 6, 2020

Our 8th Annual Summer Series, held in partnership with the Department of Neurology and Department of Pediatrics, will begin on July 8th, and presentations will continue on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of July and August. To capitalize on the current strides being made in the growing recognition of systemic, structural racism as our number one public health threat, this year’s series is designed to help University employees broaden their understanding of themselves in relation to racism with a focus on how to become an anti-racist activist. Through didactics and small group conversations, personal, programmatic, and institutional actions will be jump started throughout the summer months.

In addition to these biweekly presentations, small group intensives will be held on the 1st and 3rd of July and August with exercises provided at the presentations the week prior. Space is limited for groups. 

Register today for the presentations, groups or both! 

Read More: 8th Annual Summer Series Discusses Anti-Racism & Transformation

As PRIDE month comes to a close...

Monday, July 6, 2020

As June is ending and we approach July, the month Rochester has historically celebrated Pride, we want to make sure that our department takes a moment to reflect on the needs of the communities we serve, the legalized discrimination that impacts so many, and our own biases. All too often, our education system does not teach us about the historical experiences of diverse communities.

Anti-Mask and masquerade laws originated in the 1800’s in response to individuals wearing disguises to evade taxes or debt. Over time, these laws were applied to lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) communities. Specifically, the “three-piece law” which required individuals to wear at least three articles of clothing socially connected to their sex assigned at birth was used. While this was never an actual law, police routinely pulled individuals into restrooms or less private spaces to visually “verify” their sex matched their clothes. More recently, this law was used in response to Occupy Wall Street.

These Anti-mask laws were a catalyst for LGBTQ+ Rights Movement. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, but this time the patrons refused to go to the bathroom with police to be violated and degraded through anti-mask laws. After the police were especially physical with some of the women, an uprising occurred, and many individuals credit transgender women of color for being the first to stand up to the police that night. The following year the first Pride march occurred in NYC, and here we are 50 years later. Amidst pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, many Pride festivals across the country have transformed into marches for both Black Lives Matter as well as Pride or were cancelled altogether (i.e., due to COVID).

With each step forward, there is often a step backwards. This year the Supreme Court has voted in favor of protecting LGBTQ+ individuals from employment discrimination just after President Trump pushed forward with healthcare rollbacks that can significantly affect the basic healthcare of transgender and gender diverse individuals. In addition, one of Rochester’s gems, the Out Alliance, has recently closed its doors, taking with it a vital safe space, advocacy, and education center for the Rochester LGBTQA+ community.

Therefore, as clinicians, researchers, scholars, administrators, and staff, please take a moment to acknowledge or listen to the experiences your co-workers, patients, and participants often go through on a daily basis. Question what you are doing to learn about Black history, LGBTQ+ history, and the barriers that so many face, especially Black transgender individuals. While URMC has again been acknowledged by the HRC as a LGBTQ Healthcare Equality leader, so much work is needed. Feel free to reach out to our Office of DICE, Megan Lytle, or local resources for more information on what you can do. There are Allyship Workbooks, guidelines, and information available to start this process.

Multi-Year Grant to Study Peer-Led Vaping Prevention Program in Middle Schools

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A new $4 million, five-year grant will enable researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center to study the effectiveness of peer-led efforts to prevent adolescent vaping in schools.

The project, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), will center on a program called “Above the Influence of Vaping” (ATI-V). Started in 2017, ATI-V engages eighth graders to create a school culture in which more students overcome pressures to abuse vaping. Key opinion leaders selected from diverse friendship groups go through training to learn what motivates them to rise above negative influences, in particular what they gain in life by not vaping, versus what they lose if they do. They also learn how peer norms drive behaviors and their role in shifting attitudes toward vaping resistance. After training, peer leaders lead prevention campaigns with adult mentors in their school and disseminate ATI-V to their friends. The prevention campaigns use science-validated strategies, which peer leaders adapt for their local school culture.

“Eighth grade is a fairly early stage of experimentation with vaping products, which makes that age an optimal window to engage key opinion leaders before attitudes normalizing vaping become widespread,” said Peter Wyman, Ph.D., professor of Psychiatry, lead investigator, and director of the School and Community-Based Prevention Program at URMC. “School districts are extremely receptive to students taking the lead and working with adults in the school to strengthen resistance around vaping use.”

Wyman and his colleagues saw early evidence of ATI-V’s effectiveness during a pilot project conducted during the 2018-19 school year. Working with eighth-grade peer networks in three schools, ATI-V identified and trained 50 peer leaders to disseminate vaping-prevention messages among friends. Twelve to 16 weeks afterward, students with more of these peer leader friends were less likely to report vaping.

ATI-V is based on a social network approach. Many new behaviors spread through peer friendship networks, with key opinion leaders playing an influential role by introducing new practices and encouraging others to adopt them. Research shows vaping prevention is well-suited to this approach because peer group attitudes are influential in adolescents’ decisions to try vaping products. 

This new project will work with eighth and ninth graders at 20 schools across the Finger Lakes Region and Western New York, including a mix of urban and rural locations. The study will test if ATI-V reduces vaping behaviors by 10th grade by increasing students’ perceptions that vaping is unacceptable to peers and has social costs. The program will also examine if ATI-V bolsters connections to positive adults who support non-use decisions, and increases social influence of non-using students.

The project will also look to identify implementation barriers by comparing three schools that successfully implemented ATI-V with three that struggled to adopt it, in order to identify what implementation strategies would be needed above and beyond the current ATI-V. New York State agencies including Mental Health, Addiction Services and Supports, and Education will assist in disseminating what is learned through the project.   

The comprehensive school-wide approach used by ATI-V is needed due to the increase of vaping among teen and young adult populations, and the demand from school communities to see more interventions that can be tailored to local needs, according to Wyman.

“Two years ago, vaping was taking off due to several factors, including new products that delivered high doses of nicotine. We were hearing from adults in the schools that there was a tremendous need to start prevention, as well as from older teens who wished they had resisted vaping before becoming dependent. And since there was no evidence base of research-informed programs, we adapted our peer-led Above the Influence – which started as an overall substance abuse program – and focused it on vaping prevention.”

Research shows that adolescent vaping has been spreading rapidly. The proportion of 10th- and 12th- grade students reporting regular nicotine vaping (16.1% and 21%, respectively) in 2018 was double the rate from 2017. Since 2018, rates of vaping have continued to rise. Evidence also exists that early nicotine exposure can act as a gateway to using other substances and may increase risk for addiction.

In order to identify peer leaders, this project will work with each school to send out an initial, anonymous survey of eighth graders to identify social groups and influential opinion leaders.

“We focus on opinion leadership for a fairly small group. For the eight or nine students that hang out together, one or two of those students are usually influencers. ATI-V aims to activate those influencers with the intent of long-lasting impact to prevent initiation of vaping within these peer friendship groups,” Wyman said.

May 2020 Publications

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Virtual Graduation Ceremony Celebrates Residency and Fellowship Graduates

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

We are again forced to change an honored tradition in our department as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.  For the first time in 74 years, our department will not have a Key Day Ceremony and will instead, we will be combining elements of the Key Day Ceremony with our various disciplines’ graduation dinners or ceremonies.

A Virtual Graduation Ceremony was held to celebrate our residency and fellowship graduates took place on Wednesday, June 10th. Short speeches honoring graduates were given by program directors and awards were given out. 

2020 Psychiatry Graduates

Congratulations to the following: 

Psychiatry Graduates

  • Andrew Martina
  • Lorangelly Rivera
  • Samantha Kamp
  • Kelly Lamb
  • Mustafa Rehmani
  • Larry Sorrell
  • Mark Messih
  • Maura Tappen
  • Brittany Mott
  • Jessica Ee 
  • Tom Jacob
  • Emily Clark
  • Adrianna Hitchins

Psychology Graduates

  • Aileen Aldalur
  • Rachael Arowolo
  • Jia Hui “Yvonne” Chaw
  • Melissa Dudley
  • Shiloh Eastin
  • Sarah Georgianna
  • Jeremy “Mac” Kelly
  • Elisabeth “Lizzie” O’Rourke
  • Marisa Malone, Ph.D.
  • Lindsay Sycz, Psy.D.

To read more about our grads, visit our 2020 Celebration Headquarters website! Congratulations again to all our grads, and we look forward to seeing your next steps! 

Read More: Virtual Graduation Ceremony Celebrates Residency and Fellowship Graduates

Practical Tips for Family Wellness during COVID-19 Webinar Scheduled for May 29th

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Please join a panel of Psychiatry experts on May 29th at 12:00pm for a free virtual town hall focused on practical parenting tips, strategies for family resilience and more. ?Register for this free webinar here! 


Speakers include:

  • Ben Lee, MD, Chair, Department of Psychiatry
  • Melissa Heatly, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, School Mental Health Initiatives
  • Aparajita ‘Tuma’ Kuriyan, Ph.D. – Clinical Psychologist, Family Engagement Specialist
  • Kenya Malcolm, Ph.D. –Clinical Psychologist, Early Childhood Mental Health
  • Linda Alpert-Gillis, Ph.D. -Clinical Psychologist, Director, Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness
  • Jim Wallace, MD., Psychiatrist, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Project TEACH
  • Tony Pisani, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide
Read More: Practical Tips for Family Wellness during COVID-19 Webinar Scheduled for May 29th

Kelly Vandermark Featured in UR Medicine Primary Care

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Kelly Vandermark is building a bridge.

After more than a decade working as a Strong Recovery addiction specialist, she’s forging a connection with Primary Care aimed at bringing services to people where they are, when they need them.

“It’s a different way of approaching substance use disorder and treatment—going to the patient when they’re in a crisis so we can catch them during that vulnerable time and link them to treatment,” Vandermark says. Her newly created position straddles Strong Recovery and Primary Care in an effort to create a long-term sustainable approach to identifying and treating substance use disorder (SUD).

As a credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselor (CASAC), Vandermark has close to 25 years of experience in addiction therapy. She also holds a master’s degree in health administration.

Now she is Primary Care’s go-to for helping patients with substance use disorders who may need treatment, including medication-assisted therapy (MAT). “I’m here to link them to the help they need,” Vandermark says.

She’s also leading the way in creating a deployable CASAC unit, “So we can travel throughout the Primary Care network, bringing services to our patients. We will meet them in their doctor’s office, assess their needs, and collaborate with their provider to come up with a treatment recommendation so everyone can work as a team,” she says.

This connection aims to improve Primary Care patients’ access to Strong Recovery’s expanded stabilization program, which provides immediate treatment for patients as young as age 14 and can get them started on medication-assisted therapy with buprenorphine. Once stabilized, they are referred back to their primary care provider to continue their treatment, with Vandermark’s support as needed.

“There’s a misconception that people have to wait to get into treatment, but there is actually access to care the same day—which is key,” Vandermark says. “This program offers a great opportunity to access that care and to raise awareness among providers of all the resources we have to help them care for their patients.”

And given the network’s geographic size, Vandermark is also interested in reaching out to offices beyond Monroe County to understand the resources they have and learn how they can work together to meet their communities’ needs. “This is where we really want to develop mobile services, which may include things like telemedicine and providing treatment in rural primary care offices, to address barriers to treatment,” she says.

Vandermark is uniquely qualified to launch this new position. With her long-term experience in the field, she brings a wealth of knowledge of all the resources available in Monroe County and beyond.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity. I’m not aware of anything else like it on an outpatient basis,” she says. “This is just the beginning. We’re very much in the developmental stages and I’m excited to play a role in getting it up and running.

“I’m also excited and grateful to have this opportunity to work with Rob Fortuna, Alisa Stetzer and their team in developing best practices for opioid prescribing,” Vandermark adds. “This team has welcomed me as a resource in working with the two opioid care managers, Terri Dale and Barb Myers. They assist providers and patients in tapering off of opioids safely and their groundwork has paved the way for my added resources.”

“I’ve only been working with Kelly for the last few months, though in that short time I have come to appreciate her breadth and wealth of information in substance use disorders—assessments and treatment, etc.,” says Alisa Stetzer, director of Care Management for Primary Care. “I learn so much each time I meet with her. She is very team-oriented, warm and creative, with a ‘can-do’ attitude. I’ve been having a fun time collaborating with her, and look forward to more!”

Vandermark keeps busy on the home front, too. With John, her husband of 25 years, free time is often filled with their kids’ sporting events. Patrick, 21, is an aspiring PA studying biology and playing football at St. Lawrence University; Brianna, 19, played travel soccer and is in nursing school at LeMoyne College; and Tyler, 17, plays football for Webster Thomas High School.

The Vandermarks have achieved a level of fame around their Webster neighborhood—thanks to their “celebrity dogs”—two Newfoundlands. At 125 pounds and 150 pounds, you can't miss them!

Psychology Day is May 27th!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Mark your calendars – Psychology Day is May 27th this year!

Psychology Day IconThank you to all of our fabulous psychologists and psychology trainees for ALL that you do, in so many places!  Our department has many faculty psychologists who provide clinical services and research initiatives across the medical center and throughout our community.  We are so proud of our American Psychological Association accredited Doctoral Internship (Adult and Child/Adolescent tracks) and Postdoctoral Fellowship (Integrated Care Family and Child/Adolescent tracks) programs which prepare outstanding clinical psychologists for careers in patient care, teaching, scientific research, and administration. We appreciate you all every day, not just on Psychology Day!

For the first time, the annual Psychology Day at the U.N. will be a virtual event. Celebrate with us and the U.N.! 

On social media?  Share in the international celebrations via hashtags:  #PsychologyDay2020 and #PsychDayUN2020. Thanks for all that you do!

Read More: Psychology Day is May 27th!

A Person-Centered, Integrated Team Approach for Patients With Severe Mental Illnesses

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Several members of Psychiatry recently published this paper in Psychiatric Services exploring the impact of a specialized medical unit using a biopsychosocial model to care for patients with severe mental illnesses. The study assessed the impact of the Inpatient Medicine in Psychiatry Unit on important hospital process metrics, notably reducing length of stay and improving discharge to home and readmission rates. Authors included Marsha Wittink, M.D., Wendi Cross, Ph.D., Jacqueline Goodman, MA, Heather Jackson, R.N., M.S., Telva Olivares, M.D., Hochang Ben Lee, M.D.,  Dukjae Maeng, Ph.D., and Eric Caine, MD.

Read More: A Person-Centered, Integrated Team Approach for Patients With Severe Mental Illnesses

Psychiatry Residents Selected for American Psychiatric Association Fellowships

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Three residents in our Psychiatry Residency Program were recently selected for fellowships with the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

  • Carla Velarde, M.D., was selected for an APA SAMHSA Funded Minority Fellowship Program. This program provides a one-year minimum fellowship to psychiatry residents who  are committed to becoming a leader in the field of minority psychiatric mental health issues.
  • Emilie Transue, M.D., was selected for an APA Public Psychiatry Fellowship Program. This program provides support for a group of outstanding residents interested in the field of public and community psychiatry.
  • Joshua Wortzel, M.D. was selected for an APA Leadership Fellowship Program. This program provides psychiatry trainees opportunities to interact with national thought leaders in the field and to further develop their professional leadership skills, networks and psychiatric experiences.

Congratulations to our residents for these well-deserved opportunities!

Suicide Prevention During the Pandemic: An International Panel Conversation

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Supporting suicide prevention in our communities is more important than ever as we contend with the international Covid-19 pandemic. In a panel, hosted by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention chief medical officer Christine Moutier, M.D. and University of Rochester prevention expert Anthony R. Pisani, Ph.D., experts from four continents will share their experiences and perspectives. The webinar will take place on April 27th, 2020, starting at 4 PM. Registration is now open online. 

Panelists include 

  • Yeates Conwell, M.D., University of Rochester, United States. Older adult suicide prevention, extensive experience in China.
  • Carrie Lumby, Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative, Australia. Suicide prevention community advocate / lived experience expertise.
  • Maurizio Pompili, Ph.D, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. European suicide prevention, psychiatry education, Italian experience with COVID.
  • Paul Yip, Ph.D., DCS, University of Hong Kong, HKSAR. Suicide and SARS epidemic, youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention.
Read More: Suicide Prevention During the Pandemic: An International Panel Conversation

April 2020 Publications

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds Halted for 2020

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Our Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds have been temporarily halted for the safety and well being of our faculty, staff, and students. In its place, the Psychiatry Department is holding a series of COVID-related Cyber Town Hall Meetings Wednesdays at Noon, via Zoom. For more information regarding what the department is doing to help in this difficult time, please see our Coronavirus Info page.

Psychiatry Joins Annual NAMIWalks For 2020

Friday, March 6, 2020

The Department of Psychiatry will once again be joining the annual NAMIWalks Rochester on May 2nd, 2020! Four teams from Psychiatry will be walking- Psychiatry Ambulatory Nurses/Techs, Department of Psychiatry Advisory Council of Consumers (DPACC), 3-9000, and Psychiatric Emergency- to support NAMI Rochester's services.

Interested in supporting NAMI Rochester and the free advocacy, support and education they provide to clients and families? Join the walk or donate! You can also contribute to our teams' donation goals by searching for the team name on the NAMIWalks Rochester website. 

Read More: Psychiatry Joins Annual NAMIWalks For 2020

Todd M. Bishop Receives Sleep Grant Award During National Sleep Awareness Month

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Hypersomnia Foundation recently awarded a grant to Todd M Bishop, Ph.D. Not only is Dr. Bishop an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry, he also holds appointments as a researcher and Assistant Director of Fellowship Training at the VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention.
 

Dr. Bishop’s awarded work will center on the development and validation of a case ascertainment algorithm for idiopathic hypersomnia within the electronic medical record of the Veterans Health Administration. Subsequently, the study team will aim to 1) estimate the prevalence of IH diagnosis among the Veteran population, 2) facilitate an examination of treatment utilization patterns and prescribing practices, and 3) explore co-occurring physical and behavioral health conditions with an emphasis on suicide risk factors.  He has been invited to present details of this sponsored work at the Hypersomnia Foundation's Annual Conference in June.   

People Born Blind Are Mysteriously Protected From Schizophrenia

Monday, February 17, 2020

Steven Silverstein, Ph.D. recently spoke with VICE on the complex relationship between congenital blindness and schizophrenia. 

“I was struck by how many of the compensations that the brain seems to make, or the skills that blind people develop, seem to be the exact opposite of what you find in schizophrenia,” he says.

Read More: People Born Blind Are Mysteriously Protected From Schizophrenia

January 2020 Publications

Monday, February 10, 2020

Linda Chaudron Featured in "Women, Unlimited" Article

Friday, January 31, 2020

Linda Chaudron, MD, Associate Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Inclusion and Culture Development at URMC, was featured in the "Women, Unlimited" cover story of the latest issue of Rochester Medicine. "Women, Unlimited" highlights accomplishments of trailblazers and new leaders that are driving the advancement of women in medicine. In this interview, Dr. Chaudron discussed closing the gender gap in health care.

Read More: Linda Chaudron Featured in "Women, Unlimited" Article

Future Behavioral Health Center Aims to Ease Demand for Adolescent, Children's Services

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

13 WHAM ABC recently discussed our Golisano Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness Building under construction off South Avenue.

Speaking on the new facility as well as the need for "right-sized programs" for youth, Michael Scharf, M.D., says, "Kids who are at a crisis level of severity, who'd potentially be in an inpatient unit, can come in and get the same level of intensity of treatment that you could get in the hospital."

Read More: Future Behavioral Health Center Aims to Ease Demand for Adolescent, Children's Services

Jeff Lyness Awarded 2020 APA Vestermark Psychiatry Educator Award

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Jeff Lyness, MD has been selected as the recipient for the 2020 Vestermark Psychiatry Educator Award. This annual award is given by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and recognizes an psychiatric educator for outstanding contributions to psychiatric education. As part of this award Lyness will present the annual Vestermark lecture at the 2021 APA Annual Meeting.

Two Honored With Presidential Diversity Awards

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Kit Miller, director of the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, and Caroline Nestro ’18W (PhD), a senior associate in the Department of Psychiatry, are the recipients of the 2020 Presidential Diversity Award. 

The honor is presented annually to recognize faculty, staff, students, units, departments, or teams that “demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion through recruitment and retention efforts, teaching, research, multicultural programming, cultural competency, community outreach activities, or other initiatives.”

Read More: Two Honored With Presidential Diversity Awards

URMC Awarded $6.7M to Combat Opioid Crisis in Rural Communities

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Department of Psychiatry of the University of Rochester Medical Center has been named one of the three Rural Centers of Excellence on Substance Use Disorder in the country, and awarded a $6.7 million federal grant to identify and adapt evidence-based practices that effectively impact synthetic opioid morbidity and mortality in rural Appalachian communities.

The three-year dissemination program grant, from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will connect leaders in substance use disorder and rural medicine from the UR Medicine Recovery Center of Excellence with local community leaders and health care providers across 23 counties in New York, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Read More: URMC Awarded $6.7M to Combat Opioid Crisis in Rural Communities

$3.6M NIH Grant Funds Center for Social Ties and Aging Research

Friday, January 10, 2020

Caring for a family member with dementia creates both challenges and opportunities for families. Strong social connections can help caregivers manage the challenges, but the demands of caregiving sometimes create obstacles to social connections. When this happens, caregivers may experience social isolation and loneliness, adding to stress, low quality of life, and increased risk for poor health.

A new center at the University of Rochester is bringing together researchers to find new and innovative ways to promote social connectedness and the overall health of older adults caring for a loved one with dementia.

The Roybal Center for Social Ties and Aging Research (STAR), a joint initiative between the UR School of Nursing and the Department of Psychiatry, is funded by a $3.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The center will focus on fostering collaboration among researchers to make a significant impact on the problem of social disconnection in older caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and other related dementias (ADRD). Its major activity will be funding pilot studies through its annual Pilot Award Program. Requests for proposals will be announced in the next several months.

Read More: $3.6M NIH Grant Funds Center for Social Ties and Aging Research

Adolescent, Young Adult Clinics Open at UR Medicine’s Strong Recovery, Strong Ties

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Unique programs offer integrated substance use disorder and mental health treatment services

UR Medicine Mental Health and Wellness has opened two new Community Division programs that provide comprehensive care for adolescents and young adults facing both substance use and mental health concerns:

Strong Recovery’s Adolescent and Young Adult Program is the region’s only Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) to provide comprehensive treatment for adolescents and young adults who are struggling with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Strong Recovery is an exclusive clinic consisting of an Adolescent Program for patients ages 14- to 18-years-old, and an Emerging Young Adult Program for those age 18 to 24. It offers an environment tailored to the specific needs of this population related to addiction, while also providing support to patients’ families, significant others, legal guardians, mentors and friends to help patients maintain recovery and find a successful path to wellness.

Strong Ties Young Adult Program, also a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), offers specialized early intervention treatment for young adults 18- to 28-years-old, struggling with serious mental health concerns such as schizophrenia, with or without substance use issues. The Young Adult Program is a subspecialized clinical pathway, part of the larger Strong Ties Clinic that has received national recognition for providing comprehensive mental health treatment for individuals across the adult age continuum for decades.

Read More: Adolescent, Young Adult Clinics Open at UR Medicine’s Strong Recovery, Strong Ties

TRANSFORM Center To Hold Meet and Greet

Monday, January 6, 2020

Join Sheree Toth, Executive Director of Mt. Hope Family Center, Jody Todd Manly, Clinical Director of Mt. Hope Family Center, Catherine Cerulli, Director of Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence & Victimization, and special guest Adam Bello, Monroe County Executive Elect, in the TRANSFORM Research Center's inaugural Meet and Greet event on January 7th, 2020 at Knoblauch Gallery. The purpose of this event is to introduce the TRANSFORM Research Center and to connect organizations across disciplines working with children and child maltreatment.

TRANSFORM (Translational Research that Adapts New Science FOR Maltreatment) is a national resource center that conducts research, disseminates discoveries, and builds on state-of-the-art research and practices to foster the next generation of interdisciplinary professionals committed to preventing and addressing child abuse and neglect. Partners include the Susan B. Anthony Center, Mt. Hope Family Center, Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization, as well as the University of Minnesota Education Development Center and Institute for Translational Research on Children's Mental Health. 

Read More: TRANSFORM Center To Hold Meet and Greet