I’m going to start the New Year with something I normally don’t do -- looking backward. According to a report by Dr. Herbert Ripley, the department’s first Chair, the story of Psychiatry at UW began in 1946. Dr. Frederick Lemere, newly arrived in Seattle after psychiatry training in Denver and neurophysiology training in England, contacted the new Medical School Dean asking if he could teach neurology. Dean Turner is reported to have said, “No, but we could use your talent in psychiatry.” And so began UW Psychiatry.
Psychiatry was initially housed in the Department of Medicine and became a separate Department in 1948. Dr. Lemere served as an unpaid, acting Chair along with other unpaid faculty recruited from the local psychiatric community. The first School of Medicine class received an hour lecture on psychopathology during the first half of their first year. Because the new school had no home of its own, lectures were given in Quonset huts located near Meany Hall or in various other campus buildings wherever space was available. One of the more popular activities for students were field trips to Western State Hospital to tour the facility and observe “real live patients” before embarking on their clinical years.
Fast forward to today. Our department has more than 1,200 faculty, staff and trainees and continues to grow. We provide more than 100,000 clinical visits and consultations every year, work on more than 300 research and innovation projects, and offer more than 30 diverse educational pathways and programs to trainees in a variety of behavioral health professions. We have strong legislative engagement and our community is increasingly recognizing the need for effective behavioral health care and the importance of our work. We have expanded our footprint on the UW campus and beyond and we are looking forward to the new Behavioral Health Teaching Facility at UW Medicine-Northwest and a new Behavioral Health Institute at Harborview Medical Center. We have come a long way.
Over the course of this year, we will celebrate and reflect on 75 years of Psychiatry at UW Medicine. We will also look ahead and think about what we could accomplish together in the next 25 years. I have all of my fingers crossed that we’ll get some opportunities to come together and do a bit of both, looking back at what the department has accomplished and working together towards a future where mental health is an important part of all health, and mental health care is an integral part of health care for all. Please reach out to Becky Sladek (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have ideas about the best ways for us to look back and to look ahead.
*For those of you doing the math, it’s technically the 76th year of having a psychiatry presence at the UW, but we were busy with a pandemic last year.
In Memory: Nancy Grote, PhD
Our dear friend and colleague Nancy Grote, PhD, passed away last month at the age of 78. Nancy was a wise, generous, and open-hearted human being who always put the needs of others ahead of her own. She was adored as much for her warmth and kindness as for her many significant academic contributions. She is survived by her husband, Bob, adult children, Sara and Hobie, and grandchildren. Her family held a small private memorial at St. Marks in Seattle earlier this month and are planning a larger service this spring in St. Louis, MO that will be in-person and live streamed.
Nancy received a BA in philosophy and religion from Smith College, a M.Ed. in elementary education from Tufts University, an MSW from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in developmental psychology also from Pittsburgh. She joined the faculty in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington as an Associate Research Professor in 2007.
Nancy’s work focused on developing, testing, and disseminating culturally relevant evidence-based treatments for perinatal depression for socio-economically disadvantaged individuals and families. She received a NIMH-funded K-Award to develop and test culturally-relevant Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) for perinatal depression and in the ensuing two decades, published numerous high impact articles describing her seminal research on the development, testing, and dissemination of culturally relevant evidenced-based treatments for perinatal depression in low-income white and minority women. Among her many contributions, she demonstrated that a culturally-informed engagement session reduced barriers to treatment-seeking in low-income, pregnant women. She collaborated with Wayne Katon, MD, and was the PI of the first large RCT of perinatal collaborative care, (MOMCare), in which she showed that perinatal collaborative care was superior to treatment as usual in socio economically disadvantaged women with perinatal depression and mitigated the risk of postpartum depression among those who experienced adverse birth experiences.
Nancy supervised psychiatry residents in interpersonal therapy, and trained, supervised, and taught numerous students, mentees and colleagues who remember her fondly. She was warm and generous with her time and delighted in helping the next generation of clinicians, social workers, researchers and activists. While Nancy will be truly missed by many in different communities and by many people, her scholarship, friendship and humanity will live on. Read more about Dr. Grote’s life.
Please help us welcome our new faculty and staff! Vaughan Collins, MSW, joined the department in January 2022 as a Research Study Coordinator with the SMART Center where they support the Helping Educational Leadership Mobilize Evidence (HELM) project and the Research Institute for Implementation Science in Education (RIISE). They just graduated with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Chicago and obtained a BA in Psychology and Gender & Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Their undergraduate focus on queer theory, disability justice, decolonization, and Critical Race Theory propelled them into the policy formulation and implementation side of social work through interning with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights while gaining clinical skills through providing residential support services to previously homeless, low-income Black and Latinx clients on the west side of Chicago. As their first full-time job out of school, they were drawn to the SMART Center because the mission and values guiding their work directly align with their priorities and the main projects for this position culminate their diverse passions. They bring over four years of research experience in psychology, educational psychology, and human development labs as well as their grassroots level organizing in mental health and suicide prevention education. Outside of work, they enjoy making new vegan recipes, attending local artists' performance and exhibitions, and have become obsessed with Sudoku over the pandemic. If you would like to reach out to Vaughan and say hello, their email is email@example.com.
Debra Glazer, PT, MPH, joined the department in January 2022 as a Research Coordinator with the Maternal and Child Health team. In her role, Debra will be working on several maternal mental health projects with her PI’s, Drs. Amritha Bhat and Deborah Cowley. Debra earned dual degrees in Physical Therapy and Public Health at Boston University. Debra has a background in Pediatric Physical Therapy and Public Health. She spent the past 20 years (!) at Seattle Children's, most recently splitting her time as a clinician on the Neurodevelopmental team focusing on kids with Spina Bifida, and as a research coordinator in the Department of Surgical Services. In her research role, Debra helped create a learning consortium and a large data registry (www.pcplc.org). She managed all aspects of the study including recruiting, consenting, and administering surveys to the study subjects, most of whom were babies/ children born with congenital conditions, and their parents. She enjoyed being a liaison between the patients/ families and the surgical team and saw the research program as a way to measure success from the standpoint of both the surgeon and the patient/family. She has had a longstanding interest in maternal child health as a foundation for the emotional well-being of the family. She facilitated a program for many years at her children’s elementary school named, Roots of Empathy, which focused on teaching social-emotional skills by observing a new parent with their baby over the baby’s first year. Debra was raised in Kansas City but has called Seattle home for the past 22 years. She lives with her husband, three kids (ages 9, 12, 16), big dog, and small cat. When she’s not working, she can usually be found hiding out in her garden or enjoying the outdoors with her family. If you would like to reach out to Debra and say hello, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill O’Connell, EdD, joined the department in January 2022 as an Associate Professor and Director of the Behavioral Health Support Specialist (BHSS) Clinical Training Program. His office is located at UWMC- Montlake campus, BB1521. Recently, Dr. O’Connell worked for Iora Health as a Primary Care Behavioral Health Consultant and Regional Director of Behavioral Health. He holds a Doctor of Education specializing in Counselor Education and Behavioral Medicine from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. O’Connell held past appointments as a tenured Associate Professor and Department Chair at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and Seattle University. Outside of work, Dr. O’Connell enjoys walking, hiking or cycling through the city, state and national parks (photo is from Waterton Provincial Park in Canada). He enjoys reading novels while riding the light rail to the UW and is also working his way through Antoni Porowski’s cookbook released in Fall 2021. If you would like to reach out to Dr. O’Connell and say hello, his email is email@example.com.
Kiet Pham joined the department in January 2022 as a Student Research Assistant working with Seven Directions. He likes to say that he is in Seattle, but he actually lives in Renton. A native of Atlanta, GA, Kiet completed his undergraduate education in Psychology & Human Services. His experience includes working as a behavior interventionist, a special education paraprofessional, and a student administrative assistant. Now that he is a UW Psychology student, he’s eager to learn more about psychology, education and public health issues. When Kiet is not studying or working, he likes to explore Seattle and see its hidden gems. On a beautiful day you can catch him visiting the many museums here in the city or browsing through vintage bookstores. If you would like to reach out to Kiet and say hello, his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marco Pravetoni, PhD, joined the department in January 2022 as an Acting Professor. His lab is located at the Harborview Research and Training building. Dr. Pravetoni earned a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Minnesota in 2008 and completed post-doctoral training at the Hennepin County Medical Center and University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Pravetoni started his own group in 2011 at the University of Minnesota, and prior to joining the UW faculty, he was a tenured Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, MN. His translational research program focuses on the development of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and small molecules to treat substance use disorders and reduce fatal overdoses. As well as the immunological and pharmacological mechanisms underlying medication efficacy, rational strategies, or technologies to enhance efficacy of antibody-based therapies against drugs of abuse, and clinical biomarkers predictive of vaccine or antibody efficacy. The Pravetoni laboratory extends these antibody-based approaches to other chemical or biological threats such as poisons, COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and cancer. Outside of work, Dr. Pravetoni enjoys hiking, skiing, outdoor, traveling, cooking, and exploring new cuisines. If you would like to reach out to Dr. Pravetoni and say hello, his email is email@example.com.
Chris Tompkins joined the department in January 2022 asa Research Scientist for EEG measures of cognitive & behavioral translational research on neurodevelopmental disorders, located at the Center on Human Development and Disability in Dr. Sara Webb's Research in Autism and the Brain Lab. Chris joined the department after about 10 years working at Electrical Geodesics Inc. (known as EGI, Philips Neuro, and MagstimEGI over the years), an EEG and neuroimaging device manufacturer, where he held a few positions ranging from field service, installations, technical support and training to application specialist. His time at EGI began as a student in their research lab (Brain Electrophysiology Lab) at the University of Oregon department of Psychology, where he obtained his BS in Psychology. In his time as a student, Chris became interested in cognitive neuroscience and the underpinnings of measuring brain activity to best understand cognitive processes and development. Outside of work, Chris enjoys hiking and anything that gets him outdoors. He loves a broad variety of music and live shows (in the "before-times", at least), as well as playing guitar and other instruments himself... or attempting to. He also enjoys relaxing with a good comedy or horror movie. If you would like to reach out to Chris and say hello, his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mikaela Wingard joined the department in January 2022 as a Mental Health Navigator with the Mental Health Navigator team and is located in Seattle. She recently worked in pediatric mental health care at Seattle Children's hospital. Outside of work, Mikaela likes cooking, going for walks, and listening to music. If you would like to reach out to Mikaela and say hello, her email is email@example.com.
Mary Wingerson joined the department in January 2022 as a Research Coordinator in the BRiTE Center. She works primarily to support Dr. Ben Buck on development of mobile health interventions for young adults experiencing Early Psychosis and for their caregivers. Mary holds a BA in History of Science, Medicine and Public Health and most recently worked in a plaintiffs’ law firm. Outside of work, Mary enjoys hiking, cycling, and yoga, and aspires to have a 1:4 ratio of actual baking to watching the Great British Baking Show. If you would like to reach out to Mary and say hello, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Garvey Institute First Annual Meeting
The Garvey Institute for Brain Health Solutions reached a milestone this month by holding its first Annual Meeting. We were thrilled to have Mike and Lynn Garvey, the donors who established the Institute with a $50 M foundational gift, in attendance as well as Dean Ramsey who started things off with a warm welcome. The meeting included presentations by researchers funded with Garvey Institute support including Marco Pravetoni, PhD (Medication development for substance use disorders), Sunny Cheng, PhD, Sarah Kopelovich, PhD, and Dror Ben-Zeev, PhD (Digital health interventions for people with schizophrenia and their caregivers), Nathan Sackett, MD, MS, and Rebecca Hendrickson, MD, PhD (Psychedelics in the treatment of trauma and addiction) and Jeffrey Iliff, PhD (While you were (or weren’t) sleeping).
Since its launch in 2019, the Institute has:
Funded 24 Innovation Grants in the areas of cognitive aging, addictions, trauma and mental health and technology. Investigators supported by these grants come from all three campuses, 9 schools and colleges and 20 departments across UW.
Recruited lead scientist Marco Praventoni, PhD, an expert in the development of vaccines, antibody-based strategies, and small molecules to counteract opioid use disorders and overdose.
The Institute is actively recruiting for three additional endowed professorships in the areas of addiction, cognitive aging and neuromodulation, is exploring new areas of research such as the use of psychedelics in the treatment of trauma and addiction and the gut-brain connection, and is exploring options for the development of an Innovation Clinic that would support clinical research with space for clinical trials and shared services, and is exploring additional interdisciplinary training programs.
Department Research Retreat
We held our 6th Annual Research Retreat this month with over 120 faculty and staff in attendance. A big thanks to Alison Laing, Associate Director of Research Operations, for organizing the retreat and to all our faculty who led this year’s breakout sessions: Marco Pravetoni, PhD (Medication development for substance use disorders), Pamela Y. Collins, MD, MPH, (Opportunities in global mental health in an era of change), Nathan Sackett, MD (Psychedelics for addiction: opportunities and challenges), Emily Dworkin, PhD (Getting out of our ivory towers: fostering community engagement in research) and John Neumaier, MD, PhD, and Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD (Strengthening the research pipeline). You can access the recordings of the meeting here.
BHI launches new round of TeleBehavioral Health Lectures
In response to the COVID pandemic, the Behavioral Health Institute’s Training, Workforce and Policy Innovation Center (BHI-TWP) was asked to provide technical assistance to support community-based and publicly funded behavioral health providers across the State of Washington as they quickly pivoted to providing behavioral health services over telehealth. Led by Bradford Felker MD, Cara Towle MSN, RN, and BHI-TWP Program Director Melody McKee MS, SUDP, and with guest lectures from numerous faculty and subject matter experts from PBSci, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and community leaders, these series have been immensely popular. TeleBehavioral Health 101 series focused on providing core foundational information to complete a professional mental health encounter and included a session that met Senate Bill 6061’s mandated telehealth training. To date, the 101-webinar series has been attended by more than 7,500 people, while the online version has been accessed by over 8,700. This series is attended by learners across the country and is now incorporated into required curriculum for two Master’s level counseling programs in the Midwest.
Based on the success of the 101 series, a TeleBehavioral Health 201 series was developed which focuses on additional topics such as providing telebehavioral care for specific patient populations, mHealth and behavioral health apps, and policy updates. This series was also highly successful with over 1,200 attendees from across Washington and other parts of the country. Both the 101 and the 201 series offer CME credit and CE credits for psychologists, social workers, licensed mental health counselors, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists, and others.
The BHI-TWP is excited to announce the launch of TeleBehavioral Health 301 and 401 series starting in January 2022. The 301 series will focus more on how TeleBehavioral Health skills can be used to enhance the mental health care for certain populations and on developing TeleBehavioral -specific tools and protocols. The 401 series will take a deeper dive into various topics and use a panel format approach. The 401 series will bring national experts from across the country to discuss highly relevant complex issues related to designing and implementing effective TeleBehavioral Health programs. This series also offers CME credit and CE credits for psychologists, social workers, licensed mental health counselors, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists, and others.
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Match Results
We are delighted to announce the 2022 match results for our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency program directed by Ray Hsiao, MD. This was a very challenging recruitment season nationwide with 41% of the programs in the country not filling, and we had additional local challenges including national media coverage of racism concerns at Seattle Children’s and the rapidly escalating call burden for fellows due to the unprecedented volume of patients during the pandemic. Despite this, our fellows and faculty stepped up their efforts and presented our program in a favorable and balanced manner. Their collective efforts led to some significant new milestones for the program:
The 7 fellows who matched make up our largest class ever
25% of the applicants interviewed ranked our program as their #1 choice, including 5 of our top 7 candidates
57% of our incoming class is BIPOC, including three Hispanic women
The cohort includes the first transgender person in the program’s history
A big thank you to Dr. Hsiao and all the faculty and fellows who prioritized interviews and put in hours of extra work. Their efforts resulted in a truly exceptional class!
Update: Northwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
The Northwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) co-directed by Lydia Chwastiak, MD, MPH, and Christina Clayton, LICSW, CDP, is in its 4th year developing and disseminating Evidence-Based Practices for Psychosis (Area of Focus). It has been challenging during the pandemic, but thanks to many partners, including those in our department, the Center has continued to offer training and technical assistance in dozens of topics as well as intensive implementation projects. There is a critical gap between mental health treatments that are effective in research trials and the care that is delivered to people living with serious mental health issues. MHTTC works with systems, organizations, and mental health providers to strengthen their capacity to deliver effective evidence-based practices.
The Northwest-MHTTC is part of a national network of 13 centers funded by SAMHSA in 2018. It supports the behavioral health workforce by disseminating and implementing evidence-based practices or serious mental health issues. It also has an incredible School Mental Health Supplement led by colleagues at the SMART Center, and evaluation partners at WERT. The Center serves HHS Region 10 but has attendees from all over the country as well as the world. In year three alone the team trained over 19,000 people, held over 262 events, created over 130 products, had over 3,000 people take online courses and had over 23,000 views of recorded trainings. The Center is excited to present at the upcoming (virtual) 2022 Washington Behavioral Health Conference on our experience titled, “Supporting Our Well-Being: Workforce Equity, Training and Resilience.”
The Center’s 3rd year Annual Report Flipbook details how the team provided content targeting Evidence-Based Practices for Psychosis, Intensive Training and Technical Assistance, and Addressing Equity and Health Disparities, including how they supported the work force during the continued pandemic, their work with rural Alaskan providers through a Healthy Healers train-the-trainer program and a Wellness Series for BIPOC School Mental Health Providers.
The Center would love to feature any Faculty and/or Staff in a webinar and/or podcast to share their research, clinical topics or Evidence Based Practice (EBPs) with a large and diverse audience. With 125,000 website visitors and over 20,000 newsletter subscribers, your message can reach a large mental health workforce efficiently. Additional collaborations for activities and projects are also welcomed—we are stronger together! If you would like to collaborate to present your work for the MHTTC, please contact Lydia Chwastiak (email@example.com) or Christina Clayton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Appreciation Corner: Anil Kulangara and John Neumaier
We periodically share our appreciation for the faculty and staff who contribute to our teaching efforts and to the education of our trainees. This month, we are calling out our appreciation to the following faculty:
Anil Kulangara, MD, our new Clerkship program site director at VA Puget Sound, started at the inpatient psychiatry unit at the VA this summer after graduating from our program and has hit the ground running. After it was mentioned that residents would like more “morning report” opportunities, he immediately held an impromptu one the next day. Thank you to Dr. Kulangara for his dedication to resident education!
John Neumaier, MD, PhD, has shown exceptional dedication to psychiatry resident research and leads our psychiatry resident research pathway. In this role, he spends countless hours both recruiting and mentoring our psychiatry resident researchers. Thank you to Dr. Neumaier for his dedication to the next generation of psychiatry physician scientists!
University of Washington
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
1959 NE Pacific Street, Box 356560
Seattle, WA 98195
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