UCSF Psychiatry Update


UCSF Psychiatry Update 
September 4 2015

The following is a summary of recent, exciting developments compiled by Vice Chair for the San Francisco VA Medical Center Sophia Vinogradov, MD.

It’s been a truly busy and productive year for all of us here at the VA.  In addition to implementing curricular changes at the residency level and preparing for major curriculum innovation at the medical student level, we have continued to expand our clinical programs through new VA “Access to Care” funding initiatives with an emphasis on facilitating veterans’ entrance into mental health treatment, developing creative integrated care approaches, and expanding telemental health services.  We also continue to further develop our research portfolio through the activities of both junior and senior investigators and of new faculty members.

Below is just a tiny sampling of some of the developments on our service, to give you a taste of what is in the air:

Our newly named Addiction Recovery Treatment Services (ARTS) service has created a multidisciplinary Prescription Opioid Safety Team to work with primary care providers to assess and treat Veterans with hazardous opioid use, chronic pain and addiction. New research grants have been given for Mobile Technology for Smoking Cessation in Veterans with PTSD (Ellen Herbst, MD), Alcohol Treatment for Veterans with TBI (Steve Batki, MD), and Cognitive Training for Alcohol Use Disorder in Veterans (David Pennington, PhD).  The PTSD program has also been active in terms of grants, with recent awards to Anne Richards, MD, MPH, and Shira Maguen, PhD, and an expansion of VA Cooperative Studies funding to William Wolfe, MD

Our collaborative work with Mental Health Nursing Staff has helped to support the development of five years of VA grant funding to create a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Training and Residency program, in conjunction with faculty at UCSF. Our Collaborative Move, Strength, and Wellness Program with RT was an NCP “Bright Spot” for both FY 13 and FY 14 and was presented nationally in 2013 and 2014. The Access Center is in active collaboration with Psychiatric Emergency Services and the ER to develop an outpatient drop-in mental health clinic. In the Women's Mental Health ProgramLeila Zwelling, LCSW, has been named national consultant for IPT, while Caitlin Hasser, MD, has been accepted into the Teaching Scholars Program at UCSF and was also the recipient of a PGY-2 teaching award. We now have an active Workplace Violence Prevention Program (Michael Drexler, PhD) and a pro-active team of clinicians that works to identify and intervene with veterans at high risk for disruptive behavior throughout the medical center.

Our General Psychiatry Outpatient Service is growing in the area of evidence-based psychotherapies and specialty clinics for psychosis and for mood disorders, including early plans to develop an interventional psychiatry program.  Recent grants have been awarded to Dan Mathalon, MD, PhD, and Susanna Fryer, PhD, for their research in psychosis, and to Joshua Woolley MD, PhD, for his work on bonding and social cohesion. Our Geriatric Mental Healthfaculty and fellows have been actively presenting their work in a number of national and international conferences, including the APA Annual Conference in Toronto (Arnaldo Moreno, MD), the AAGP in New Orleans (Arnaldo Moreno, MDAlex Threlfall, MDJeremy Doughan, PsyDUyen-Khanh Quang-Dang, MD), and  the Conference on Violence in the Health Sector (Elizabeth Sutherland, PsyD). Geropsychiatry researcher Kristine Yaffe, MD, continues to be at the forefront of the research field at an international level on the topic of cognitive aging and risk for dementia with new projects in TBI and the risk for dementia. 

Will Hua, PhDErin Watson, PsyD, and Michael Burnias, PsyD, from the Psychology Program were awarded a public health grant through the HIV, Hepatitis, and Public Health Pathogens Program  to provide rapid, point-of-care, HIV and HCV tests to at-risk veterans at Stand Down events and accelerate access to care to those veterans who test positive.John McQuaid, PhD, Associate Chief of the Service, served this year as president of the American Association of VA Psychology Leadership and continues to serve on an APA panel developing guidelines for evidence-based treatments for depression. He also became the site PI for a VA Cooperative Studies grant. Dawn Lawhon, PhD, with help from the Diversity Curriculum Planning Committee, organized and conducted a successful panel discussion of Women in Psychology Leadership.

New UCSF faculty hires at the VA include Brian Borsari, PhD (motivational interviewing and substance abuse in veterans), Susanna Fryer, PhD (neural system impairments in psychosis), and Toby Marton, MD, PhD (interventional psychiatry). John Devine, MD, has recently retired from our service.

About UCSF Psychiatry Update

You have received this email as a faculty member, staff member or trainee of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry. In each issue, a member of our department leadership team shares an overview of some recent developments within UCSF Psychiatry. Archives of previous issues are available online at psych.ucsf.edu/departmentupdates.