Every month, I have the pleasure of welcoming new faculty and staff to our department. It is an honor and privilege to meet with the talented and amazing new members joining our team and to introduce them to the mission of our department and the tremendous impact that we can have when we work together, providing compassionate care for individuals and families living with mental health and addiction problems today, conducting research to find better solutions for these serious problems tomorrow, teaching and inspiring the next generation of behavioral health professionals, and advocating for better mental health and for a more equitable and just society for all.
We are grateful to our parent organizations, UW and UW Medicine, for recognizing that mental health is a crucial part of health for all and to the many friends of our department who support our work through philanthropic contributions, small and large. You keep us connected to the real world to make sure that the work we do is not purely academic, but that it makes a real difference in the communities we live and work in.
With more than 1,000 of us working in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and more than 50,000 students and faculty across our university, it can be hard sometimes to feel valued and appreciated, and to feel that we are really ‘all in this together. Thanks to all of you who are helping to bring our community together, to find and facilitate the connections between the diverse aspects of our work, and to create a welcoming environment for all our faculty, staff, and trainees. We have been through a lot these past few years, we have experienced levels of stress and burnout that are unprecedented in recent history, and when we are stressed as individuals, it can become challenging to have empathy and compassion for other team members and to focus on how we can best work together as a team. This is a job for all of us, every day. One way to show your appreciation for your colleagues is to nominate them for a departmental award such as our faculty teaching and mentoring awards. Please consider taking a few minutes to nominate and celebrate colleagues who are making important contributions to our work together.
The notion that we are ‘all in this together’ also applies to our role as part of UW Medicine’s new Mission Forward initiative, which aims to address serious capacity and staffing constraints, to address financial challenges that our hospitals and clinics are facing in a post-pandemic environment, and to ensure that UW Medicine can continue providing high-quality, equitable patient care to meet the current and future needs of our community. Over the past few months, our flagship hospitals, UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, have experienced high rates of occupancy, increased lengths of stay, and serious challenges with staffing our clinical programs during a time of reduced revenues and rapidly increasing staffing and labor costs and other inflationary pressures. As a department chair, I will be working closely with our health care system to address this crisis over the coming year. We will help with efforts to improve revenues, to reduce redundancies and streamline our operations and to reduce associated costs. If you have ideas of how we can achieve any of these goals or how we can reach and serve more people in need with creative new (and hopefully cost-effective) approaches, please reach out to me to share your thoughts. The financial status of our department is solid and secure and we are well positioned to contribute to this effort. UW Medicine’s mission to ‘improve the health of the public’ stays the same and our department’s contribution to this important mission is perhaps more important than ever.
Results from a recent wellness survey of our faculty clinicians underscore how challenging it has been these past two years to do our clinical work. Our faculty who completed the survey this year report concerning rates of professional burnout and challenges related to meeting the complex needs of the patients and families we are caring for. We are working hard with our health care system to better serve patients by investing in expanded outpatient space and programming and we are making good progress with the construction of the new Behavioral Health Teaching Facility on the Northwest Campus which will allow us to offer new treatments such as state-of-the-art Neuromodulation therapies. Balancing the competing needs of clinical work, teaching, professional and academic development, promotion, and personal needs related to childcare and health care for family members including aging parents can be particularly challenging for junior faculty, and we are working hard to be flexible and supportive as our faculty work to balance these competing priorities. On the positive side, our faculty clinicians who responded to the survey report slightly higher rates of professional fulfillment than faculty in other clinical departments at UW Medicine and they also report feeling appreciated for the hard work they are doing.
One of the things that brings many of us together in an academic department is our shared passion for teaching and inspiring the next generation of behavioral health professionals. To underscore the importance of this part of our mission, we are working with the university to create a new, 5th pathway for faculty in our department, the Teaching Professor pathway. This new pathway creates opportunities for faculty whose primary focus is teaching rather than clinical work or research. This month, we also celebrate the legacy of Marcella Pascualy as she steps down from her role as the Program Director of the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship to enjoy retirement as well as the happy announcement that Tom Soeprono has agreed to be the new leader of that successful program.
On the research front, we highlight some exiting new partnerships in our neurosciences work including a new neuroscience mentorship program for postbaccalaureate researchers from diverse backgrounds who attended an undergraduate institute with limited research opportunities, and a new partnership with the Alliance for Therapies in Neuroscience which will accelerate the development of new therapies for a broad range of brain conditions. We are also initiating the search for a new endowed faculty position for a faculty member who will dedicate time and energy to training and supporting the development of clinician scientists ranging from medical students to residents, fellows, and junior faculty members.
New Teaching Professor Pathway promotes excellence in teaching
The mission of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is to improve the health of the public, and we seek to advance that mission through excellence in all components of our academic and clinical activities. We are committed to providing a supportive environment that enables faculty members to take ownership of their professional development and to build a successful career following a pathway that recognizes and rewards their contributions as clinicians, researchers, or clinicians. With the addition of a new Teaching Professor Pathway, we now offer five distinct career pathways for our faculty:
New! Teaching Professor Pathway: for faculty who are primarily committed to the creation of new educational content/courses, contributions to interdisciplinary teaching, and the furthering of educational best-practices.
Salaried Clinical Faculty Pathway: for faculty whose primary focus is providing excellent patient care with a defined area of clinical expertise.
Clinician Teacher Pathway: for faculty primarily committed to clinical care and teaching.
Faculty Scientist Pathway: for faculty primarily committed to research and teaching.
Research Professor Pathway: for faculty who primarily conduct research.
We are one of the few departments in the School of Medicine that offers all five pathways, a testament to our faculty’s diversity of interests, expertise and passions. Staci Guerrero, MBA, Associate Director of Human Resources, is working with Eric Bruns, PhD, and Lydia Chwastiak, MD, MPH, co-chairs of our departmental promotions committee, to create a brief overview of the promotions criteria for each pathway and to help orient new and junior faculty to the various pathways and options as they begin their careers. We will share that overview soon; in the meantime, for those of you in the department, there is a wealth of information about promotions in PsycSource.
Celebrate your colleagues -- faculty award nominations due Nov 27
We need your help acknowledging and celebrating faculty members who are making amazing contributions to the success of our clinical, research, education and mentoring programs. Receiving a departmental award is meaningful and can also help the recipient with their promotion. Paid and courtesy faculty can submit nominations for any of the awards below through this linkby Friday, November 27. Please direct any questions to Heidi Combs, MD, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty Mentoring Awards
Faculty Mentoring Awards celebrate faculty who have invested a significant amount of time and energy to mentoring. A nomination is a chance to show your appreciation for the help they have given you to further your career.
Salaried Clinical Faculty Pathway Outstanding Mentor Award - Nominate a colleague
This award recognizes a faculty member in our department who has done an outstanding job mentoring and furthering the careers of salaried clinical faculty members (e.g., mentoring about developing clinical expertise, achieving regional and national recognition, developing and leading clinical programs, or how to be promoted in this pathway). The mentor does not need to be on the Salaried Clinical Faculty pathway themselves; they can be from any faculty pathway if they are an outstanding mentor for salaried clinical faculty members.
Clinician Teacher Pathway Outstanding Mentor Award - Nominate a colleague
This award recognizes a faculty member in our department who has done an outstanding job mentoring and furthering the careers of clinician teacher faculty members. The mentor does not need to be a clinician teacher themselves; they can be from any faculty pathway if they are an outstanding mentor for clinician teachers.
Wayne J. Katon Outstanding Research Mentor Award - Nominate a colleague
This award recognizes a faculty member in our department who has demonstrated excellence in research mentoring of faculty members and trainees, including students, residents, fellows and postdocs. Faculty mentors selected for this award have demonstrated a sustained commitment to fostering the creative, scholarly, professional and personal development of their mentees. Past recipients include Raphe Bernier (2016), Mary Larimer (2017), Kathleen Myers (2018), Christine Lee (2019), Patricia Areán (2020), Tracy Simpson (2021) and John Fortney (2022).
Faculty Educator Awards
Faculty Educator Awards recognize faculty that have invested a significant amount of time and energy into education. We have many amazing educators in our department and these awards are a lovely way of acknowledging their important contributions.
Outstanding Clinician Teacher Junior Faculty Award - Nominate a colleague
This award recognizes an outstanding clinician teacher faculty member at the Assistant Professor level for excellence in teaching, curriculum development, educational scholarship and/or educational administration.
Gary J. Tucker Career Teaching Award - Nominate a colleague
This award recognizes an academic or clinical faculty member in our department who has demonstrated outstanding skills as a teacher and a strong dedication to education throughout their career. Nominees can be senior associate professors or professors (i.e., it is not an end-of-your-career award). Both paid faculty and clinical faculty can nominate someone for the Tucker award. The award recognizes Gary J. Tucker, MD, Chair of our Department from 1985 through 1997. The following members of our faculty have received this award: Jack Carr, Johan Verhulst, Chris Varley, Joan Romano, Deb Cowley, Dick Miyoshi, Marcella Pascualy, Elizabeth McCauley (2018), Andrew Saxon (2019), Heidi Combs (2021) and Rick Ries (2022).
Please help us welcome our new staff!
Alexa Beaulieu joined the department in September 2022 as a Research Manager with the BRiTE Center. Prior to working at the BRiTE Center, Alexa provided applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapeutic services to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the Seattle area and China. While she enjoyed improving health at the individual level, Alexa returned to school to learn how she could make a larger impact at the population level and began working on a variety of research projects. Some of the projects she has worked on include expanding mental health resources for women in Yemen, an economic evaluation of nutrition projects in low-middle income countries, and promoting equity in healthcare policy. Alexa has a graduate degree in public health from the UW and an undergraduate degree in exercise science from WWU. Outside of work, Alexa enjoys exploring new areas, being outdoors, and spending time with her close friends and family. If you would like to reach out to Alexa and say hello, her email is email@example.com.
Jennifer Blank joined the department in September 2022 as a Research Coordinator working with Sarah Kopelovich, PhD, in the SPIRIT Lab. Prior to working at the UW, Jennifer worked with Dr. Will Spaulding's Serious Mental Illness Research Group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an undergraduate Research Assistant and a Research Coordinator. Outside of work, Jennifer loves being outdoors and is especially fond of hiking, camping, and going to the beach. If you would like to reach out to Jennifer and say hello, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natalie Crouch joined the department in September 2022 as a Research Assistant on the Searchlight Study at CSPAR located at Harborview Medical Center. Having previously worked as a substitute teacher and Certified Behavior Technician, this is Natalie’s first research role. Natalie graduated from EWU in 2021 with a BS in Applied Developmental Psychology. She plans to pursue a career in clinical social work and is passionate about research relating to addiction science. Outside of work, Natalie enjoys playing video games, DJing, watching Jeopardy! and trying different craft beers. If you would like to reach out to Natalie and say hello, her email is email@example.com.
Monica Harrison joined the department in October 2022 as a Practice Coach & Trainer with the AIMS Center. She is physically located in Connecticut (working remotely) but has southern roots in New Orleans and North Carolina. Monica has experience working with hospital outpatient medical clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers around aspects of Integrated Care. Monica has a BS in Human Development and Family Studies (Early Childhood) with a Birth thru Kindergarten Teaching License, a Masters Degree in Social Work and a Social Work License to practice clinically (LCSW) in North Carolina and Connecticut. Outside of work, you’ll find Monica engaged in “Game Nights” where fun is great, but winning over her boys is the goal, or diving into marathon watching of Reality TV. If you would like to reach out to Monica and say hello, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tierney Huppert joined the department in October 2022 as a Research Coordinator for CSPAR. She received her BA with Honors in Psychology and Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Forensic Psychology at Seattle University in 2017 and is now a first-year student in the MSc in Psychology program at Drexel University. She previously worked at CSPAR from 2016-2019 and the Uniformed Services University from 2020-2022, coordinating randomized clinical trials (RCTs) for suicide prevention among various populations, including community mental health, substance/alcohol use, and military/Veterans. She has also served as a volunteer providing companionship to individuals with severe mental illness (SMI). Her research interests include alternatives to incarceration, the relationship between self-/other-directed violence, and reentry after incarceration. She is particularly interested in the reentry of exonerees. In her free time, Tierney enjoys reading non-fiction, watching documentaries, spending time with friends, and facetiming her baby niece. If you would like to reach out to Tierney and say hello, her email is email@example.com.
Jamie Lan joined the department in September 2022 as a Research Coordinator on the Seven Directions Opioid Overdose Prevention in Tribes project. Jamie worked with Seven Directions as a Student Assistant starting in July 2021 and graduated in June 2022 with her BS in Public Health-Global Health from the University of Washington School of Public Health. Some of her favorite things to do outside of work are cooking, being outside, and spending time with her friends and family. If you would like to reach out to Jamie and say hello, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marissa Reeves joined the department in September 2022 as a Research Assistant at the HaRRT Center, located in the Patricia Steel building. Marissa is a second year MSW student from UW. She is originally from Texas, but has been in Washington since 2014 after completing her BS in Psychology. Marissa entered social work as a volunteer at ROOTS Young Adult shelter. Later, she went on to work at DESC as a mental health case manager in their SAGE program, and finally as an intern for DSHS at the Aging and Long-Term Support Administration before joining the HaRRT Center. She is passionate about Harm Reduction, ending homelessness, and serving the most vulnerable folks. Outside of work, school, and mom duties, you can find her in the gym or the kitchen as eating and working out are her two favorite things to do. If you would like to reach out to Marissa and say hello, her email is email@example.com.
Victoria Shepard joined the department in July 2022 as a Research Coordinator in the SPIRIT Lab, under the supervision of Sarah Kopelovich, PhD. Victoria assists with phase two of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Training Study. She also coordinates Psychosis REACH (Recovery by Enabling Adults Carers at Home) which utilizes skills from CBTp to help caregivers better care for and relate to their loved ones with psychotic disorders. Prior to beginning her position as a Research Coordinator, Victoria attended the UW and majored with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. She worked as a Research Assistant at CSHRB under the supervision of Brittney Hultgren, PhD, in the YARD study examining daily health behaviors and transportation habits among young adults in WA state. Outside of work, you can find Victoria watching true crime documentaries. She also loves to play sports like tennis and soccer. If you would like to reach out to Victoria and say hello, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
New neuroscience mentorship program aims to improve the quality and diversity of science
The tremendous growth in neuroscience research and training has not translated into training opportunities for historically marginalized groups, including ethnic minorities, people from economically disadvantaged groups and people with disabilities. These disparities in training, mentoring and education are particularly concerning for the study of addiction, as the harms related to drug use and addiction disproportionally affect minority and underserved communities. The historic underrepresentation of marginalized groups in neuroscience stems, in part, from a lack of research opportunities in these groups during their undergraduate education which can lead to lower admittance and completion of neuroscience PhD programs.
To address this lack of opportunity, Susan Ferguson, PhD, and Paul Phillips, PhD, have led the development of the University of Washington Substantial Opportunities in Addiction Research (UW-SOAR) Doctoral Readiness Program. Funded by a four-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, SOAR will bring in a total of 12 postbaccalaureate researchers, each receiving a two-year mentored research experience in the world-class UW NAPE (Neurobiology of Addiction, Pain and Emotion) Center coupled with educational and professional development opportunities to facilitate their recruitment and success in neuroscience doctoral programs. The target audience is people from diverse backgrounds who attended an undergraduate institute with limited research opportunities. Program participants will be expected to develop novel research projects that will provide important new insights into the neurobiology underlying drug use and addiction. The first cohort is expected to begin Summer 2023.
UW joins the Alliance for Therapies in Neuroscience (ATN) The University of Washington has joined the Alliance for Therapies in Neuroscience (ATN), a long-term research partnership between academia and industry geared to accelerate the development of new therapies for a broad range of brain and central nervous system conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, depression and psychiatric disorders.
Launched in 2021 by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), UC Berkeley, Genentech, and Roche Holding AG, the new alliance builds on an academic partnership begun in 2019 with UCSF and UC Berkeley that formed the Weill Neurohub to speed discovery and innovation across neurological and psychiatric disorders. With UW now part of the ATN, scientists at all three Weill Neurohub institutions can access this novel pipeline to channel academic discoveries toward new therapies and treatments. In addition, Genentech and Roche committed up to $53 million over 10 years for research at the ATN’s participating academic institutions.
Tom Daniel, PhD, led the UW effort to join the ATN and Jürgen Unützer, MD, MPH, MS, serves as one of the faculty leads representing UW in the Weill Neurohub and the ATN partnership.
“The Alliance for Therapies in Neuroscience is a new and transformative template for research and academia to partner, and it is an ideal collaboration for the University of Washington,” said Daniel. “Scientists at the UW will be integrated with academic and industry partners in a way that has simply never been done before.” Read more.
Director search for Clinician Scientist Training Program
The UW and our department have some of the largest research programs in behavioral health in the world, but only a relatively small number of our medical students and psychiatry residents actively participate in research during their training. To bridge this gap, we are launching a new Clinician Scientist Training Program to nurture the development of clinician scientists in our department.
To support this effort, we are conducting an internal recruitment for a clinician scientist faculty member who can help develop and lead this new program. The position will be supported, in part, by the Mark N. Tabbutt Endowed Professorship for Education in Brain Health. This endowed professorship will provide protected time for faculty mentorship as well as research expenditures and travel expenses for trainees to present at national academic research conferences. You can find more information about the position and application procedure on the Garvey Institute website. Please direct questions to Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, who is leading the search committee for this position. Applications are due November 30, 2022.
Save the Date! Garvey Institute 2nd Annual Meeting
The 2nd Annual Meeting of the Garvey Institute for Brain Health Solutions will be held on January 27, 2023 at UW Medicine South Lake Union in downtown Seattle. Join us to learn about new clinical programs, training programs and research innovations funded by the Garvey Institute. There will also be networking opportunities for future collaborations. Registration and further details will be provided in the coming months. Add to calendar.
Jesse Fann featured in Fred Hutch ad campaign
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (FHCC) began the rollout of a new brand and logo that represent the combined science and clinical skills of its single unified organization. The two halves of Fred Hutch – clinical care and research – formally merged in April 2022 and FHCC will serve as UW Medicine’s Cancer Care program. The brand rollout started in October along with an advertising campaign featuring our own Jesse Fann! Dr. Fann is the Medical Director of the Department of Psychosocial Oncology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and is consistently named a Top Doc by Seattle Magazine. Perhaps it’s no surprise that they chose him to be the face of excellent patient care.
Tom Soeprano named new director of CL Psychiatry Over the past ten years, the UW Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship has risen to one of the top programs in the country under the directorship of Marcella Pascualy, MD. As Dr. Pascualy steps down to enjoy retirement, we are happy to announce that Tom Soeprono, MD, has been selected to become the next Program Director of the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship.
With the assistance of our outstanding associate program directors, Amelia Dubovsky, MD, and Julia Ruark, MD, MPH, and our nationally recognized consultation-liaison faculty, Dr. Pascualy has provided top-notch training to over 30 trainees with a focus on Integrated Care, Oncology, Transplant Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatry, Cardiology, Pain, Women’s Mental Health, Addictions, HIV, Geriatrics and Addictions. Many graduates of the fellowship have stayed in the WWAMI region, joined the faculty or have gone back to their home institutions to serve in prominent positions.
Dr. Soeprono is an example of one such graduate. He joined our faculty in 2015 after completing his Psychiatry Residency and Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship at the UW. Since joining the faculty, he has established himself as a consummate educator, clinician and mentor. He has been very active in national psychiatry-related professional organizations and is well poised to step into the Program Director role and build upon the successful program Dr. Pascualy has led.
We thank Dr. Pascualy for her tremendous contributions to this important fellowship program and congratulate Dr. Soeprono on this new leadership role.
University of Washington
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
1959 NE Pacific Street, Box 356560
Seattle, WA 98195
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