Research news, Homecoming recap, and new faculty!

Behavioral Health News | Vol. 4, Iss. 1
Research Links Social Media Use with Body Image Dissatisfaction

Researchers in Loma Linda University School of Behavioral Health's  Department of Psychology have found evidence linking social media use with body image dissatisfaction. A press release from the Society of Behavioral Medicine  quotes doctoral student Dean Lim, MA: "For young adults with overweight/obesity, the amount of appearance comparisons that are made seems to determine the extent to which social media use affects body dissatisfaction."  Read the press release →

Associate Professor of Psychology Sylvia Herbozo, PhD and doctoral student Dean Lim, MA present their work at the Society of Behavioral Medicine annual conference on March 31, 2017.
SBH Goes Global!
Child Life Playrooms Opened in China!
Child Life Specialist faculty and students traveled to China in the fall to facilitate and prepare the opening of several play areas for pediatric patients and their families at The Children's Hospital at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China!
Community Engagement

Phi Alpha Chapter First Ever to Win All 4 National Honors Society Awards
Loma Linda University's Phi Alpha Chapter, Iota Pi, received the Chapter Support Award, the Chapter Service Award, the Chapter Grant, and first place in the poster presentation competition at the annual meeting of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in November!
"Stars Against Stigma" Raise $2,160 for NAMI
A team of School of Behavioral Health students, "Stars Against Stigma," participated in November's National Alliance on Mental Health Illness (NAMI) Walk, helping to increase awareness against mental health stigma. The team raised an amazing total of $2,160 for NAMI, and out of 83 teams, the SBH team placed in the top ten for total donations raised!

Translational Research

Research on Adolescents Who Self-Harm: A Translational Approach
Translational research aims, as the term suggests, to make research useful to clinical practice. This SBH student and faculty research team spent time this summer examining the effectiveness and suitability of a new outpatient program offered at the Behavioral Health Institute (BHI), the Stage 2 Outpatient Recovery Program (SOAR) for adolescents with self-harming and suicidal behaviors.

Student Scoop
Psychology Students Present at Annual Society for Neuroscience Conference
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) annual conference (this year held November 12-16 in San Diego) is an international conference where students and professionals at all levels of their career can come together to present and discuss the latest neuroscience research in their respective laboratories. A major component of this conference is the poster presentation session, in which both students and professionals are given the opportunity to individually present and showcase their research projects. During this time the conference attendees have the opportunity to walk around, examine the various presentations, and discuss the projects with their presenters. Our laboratory has been presenting our research at SfN for many years and this year we had two students (myself and Andrea Briseño) present individual research projects. Andrea's research examined the effect of pomegranate supplementation on cognition following repetitive mild brain injuries, while my research examined the effect of pomegranate supplementation on cognitive and physical recovery following an ischemic stroke in humans. All attendees of the conference who inquired about our research not only appeared to appreciate and enjoy our exciting results, but also seemed very interested in the prospect of continuing to apply our laboratory's bench science discoveries directly to human healthcare.
- Jeffrey Murray, Psychology PsyD student
Department of Psychology Students Achieve a 100% APA-Accredited Internship Match Rate for 2017-18
As their capstone clinical experience, 5th-year Clinical Psychology PsyD and 6th-year Clinical Psychology PhD students must complete a one-year, full-time clinical experience prior to graduation. Not only did 100% of PsyD and PhD intern applicants match for 2017-2018, but 100% of these placements are in APA-accredited internships, and include VA and general medical centers, children's hospitals, forensic hospitals, community and county mental health sites, and university counseling centers. Congratulations to all of these students on an amazing accomplishment, and we wish you the best as you embark on this next phase of your career!
- David Vermeersch, PhD, Interim Chair, Department of Psychology
Alumni Alcove

One LLUH Homecoming and the SBH Alumni Fiesta!
More than 2,000 alumni came home to Loma Linda for the first ever One Loma Linda University Health Homecoming! And on the evening of March 4, alumni from the School of Behavioral Health came together for a reunion fiesta! It was an exciting evening, with door prizes, an opportunity to greet former classmates and professors, delicious Mexican foods, and even a live Mariachi band! We look forward to seeing everyone again during next year's Homecoming weekend! (Be sure to save the date: March 2-5, 2018!)
Alumna Rachel Kinsinger Becomes First Ever Child Life Fellow at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital
At Loma Linda University Children's Hospital (LLUCH) we have an amazing team of Child Life Specialists (CLS) who are able to provide comfort and support to our pediatric patients and their family members throughout hospitalization. The role of a Child Life Specialist is different with each individual child. Sometimes it's educating about a new diagnosis, other times it is teaching and accompanying patients to surgery, and oftentimes it's facilitating play opportunities to help our children continue to learn and grow throughout their stay with us. There are Child Life Specialists on each pediatric unit, including one in the Emergency Department during the evening hours. However, we recognized the need for additional Child Life staff, as our ED Child Life Specialist and other daytime staff were continually being called away from the unit to assist with needs in other busy a reas. After a little research, we discovered that  Spirit of Children , an organization that raises money for children's hospitals around the nation, could help us with this problem.
Spirit of Children has donated almost $300,000 to the Child Life Department at LLUCH over the last six years, providing countless opportunities for pediatric patients. Additionally, they donate a variety of Halloween costumes, allowing children to dress up and experience a little bit of normalcy while hospitalized during the holidays. Most recently, Spirit of Children began funding a Child Life Fellowship position at LLUCH. This has helped our department immensely, as our wonderful fellow is now meeting the needs of many patients that otherwise would not have received child life services. Our Child Life Fellowship is a one-year, entry-level, paid position, providing services throughout different areas of the hospital and allowing for a wide variety of unique learning experiences. Below, our current Child Life Fellow shares her experience thus far.  - Dinah Evans, Director of Child Life Services at LLUCH

In October 2016 I started as the first ever Child Life Fellow at Loma Linda University Children's  Hospital. My name is Rachel Kinsinger, and I graduated from LLU in June 2016 after finishing a Child Life Internship at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. The fellowship is such a great experience for a recent graduate, and I couldn't be more thankful! As  a fellow, I have the opportunity to gain a wide array of experiences from floating to different units, covering where needed while working full-time. I feel like I am getting quality and quantity, from getting experience on every unit, but also from working in the hospital full-time. For a new Child Life Specialist, it really is the best of both worlds and the exact experience I wanted in my first Child Life job. As much as I see the fellowship as my own benefit, it has been exciting to see how the fellowship is helpful to the Child Life Department. My home base is the surgical unit, which is always very busy. I am able to help the Child Life Specialist on those busy days seeing many of the children who otherwise would have been missed. So, a big thank you is in order to the Child Life Department at LLUCH for having me this year!  - Rachel Kinsinger, Child Life Specialist MS alumna (2016)
Awards and Accomplishments
Dr. Jackie Williams-Reade at AAMFT
From January 2-4th, Dr. Jackie Williams-Reade (back row, middle) participated in a summit at the American Association of Marital and Family Therapists headquarters in Arlington, VA to work on official competencies for MFTs in integrated healthcare settings. AAMFT and faculty from East Carolina University invited leaders in the field to develop official competencies to help move the field of MFT forward in integrated behavioral healthcare.
CFS Students Selected as Authors and Reviewers for First CFHA Blog Book!
The Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA) recently published its first blog book--a compilation of the very best blog posts from 2009-2015! CFS faculty member Dr. Williams-Reade was a co-editor of this endeavor, and PhD students Gabriela Gutierrez and Gregory Davis were volunteer reviewers. The blog book team reviewed approximately 500 blog posts and selected the top 80. Of those selected, two were from LLU PhD graduates Brittney France and Cassidy Freitas.

Thank you to Gabriela, Gregory, Brittney, and Cassidy for your involvement and help with this CFHA endeavor!

More info and link to blog book →
Faculty Appointments

School of Behavioral Health

Dr. Adam Aréchiga, Associate Dean for Academic and Student
On behalf of the School of Behavioral Health, I am pleased to announce that, effective January 1, 2017, Dr. Adam Aréchiga joined the leadership team in the School of Behavioral Health as the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs. Dr. Aréchiga brings to this position his academic expertise, working knowledge of the University, and years of professional engagement with colleagues at all levels of the institution--all of which support the purposes and interests of the School of Behavioral Health and its departments.

Dr. Aréchiga is a licensed psychologist and has been a faculty member at Loma Linda University since 2007. In addition to his administrative duties, Dr. Aréchiga will continue to be involved in both research and clinical practice. Most recently, he was a co-investigator on a funded project investigating the use of walnuts to attenuate age-related cognitive decline. Currently, he is collaborating with Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health to implement and examine the effectiveness of the Community Resiliency Model (CRM) as a culturally responsive model to reduce and respond to the impact of trauma on communities through a public health wellness approach. In addition, Dr. Aréchiga is a long-standing member of Loma Linda University's International Behavioral Health Trauma Team. In this capacity, he travels to areas of the world impacted by natural and man-made disasters, and trains local leaders in behavioral techniques used to help manage trauma and promote wellness. As part of this effort, Dr. Aréchiga also participates in international studies that examine the effectiveness of the interventions used by the team.

Dr. Aréchiga, received his master's degree in Counseling from Walla Walla University, and then completed his doctorate degrees in Psychology and Public Health at Loma Linda University. He then went on to complete an APA internship and postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA before returning to a faculty position at Loma Linda University. 

Dr. Aréchiga, thank you for joining the School of Behavioral Health leadership team.
- Dr. Beverly Buckles, Dean

Department of Counseling and Family Sciences

The Department of Counseling and Family Sciences is pleased to welcome two new faculty members to our team--Drs. Lena Lopez Bradley and Zephon Lister. Both are LLU alumni, having received Master's and Doctoral degrees in Marital and Family Therapy.

Dr. Lena Lopez Bradley, Assistant Professor
Dr. Bradley earned her master's degree in June 2003 and her doctoral degree in June 2013. While completing her doctoral degree, she also worked full-time as Associate Director of Clinical Services at Catholic Charities, San Bernardino. Dr. Bradley is a licensed marital and family therapist who has maintained approved clinical supervisor status--an honor awarded by the national accrediting body for MFT training programs--for several years. Since 2013, she has taught courses in the department and provided clinical supervision to MFT and Counseling students seeking licensure in the state of California. She brings expertise in clinical training of future marital and family therapists as well as certification in the following areas: T riple P (Level 4) Facilitator, Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Late-Life Depression and Anger Management Facilitator. We were excited for Dr. Bradley to join our team as a full-time faculty member and Director of Clinical Training for our MFT programs in September 2016.
Dr. Zephon Lister, Associate Professor
Dr. Lister earned his master's degree in June 2003 and his doctoral degree in June 2010. He too is a licensed Marital and Family Therapist and is a candidate for approved supervisor status. Dr. Lister comes to us after a seven-year tenure as Director of the Collaborative Care Program, Family Medicine Residency Program and Assistant Clinical Professor within the University of California San Diego Division of Family and Preventive Medicine.  He has advanced training in medical family therapy and extensive experience in facilitating the provision of collaborative care by behavioral health and medical professionals. Other areas of specialization include c ouples and chronic illness, religion and family functioning, and trauma-informed couples therapy. Dr. Lister has served as an adjunct professor at a several universities and is the recipient of numerous professional awards including the LLU Wil Alexander Whole Person Care Award. He joins us in July 2017 as an Associate Professor and Director of our PhD in Systems, Families, and Couples program. 
- Dr. Winetta Oloo, Chair

Department of Social Work and Social Ecology

Talolo Lepale, Assistant Professor

The Department of Social Work and Social Ecology proudly
welcomes Talolo Lepale, MSW, MBA, LCSW as their new MSW Field Director. Mr. Lepale earned his Bachelor of Social Work degree from La Sierra University in 1997 followed by his Masters of Work degree from Loma Linda University in 1999. He has been full-time with the MSW program since August 2016 but has been Adjunct Faculty since 2009. Mr. Lepale is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of California with over 17 years of professional experience. He has worked in the areas of, forensic psychiatric social work, child welfare, medical social work, oncology social work, palliative care, and academics. He has spent over 15 years as either a preceptor or supervisor to bachelor's and master's level social work interns, PhD psychology interns, master's and PhD marriage and family therapy interns. He also provides clinical supervision for behavioral health professionals seeking state licensure in California. Mr. Lepale also provides psychotherapy to middle and low income communities in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. Areas of treatment specializations include the use of Dialectal Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Mr. Lepale is actively engaged in his professional and local community as a member of the California Association of Social Work Deans and Directors - California Field Directors Committee as well as a member of the Southern California Field Directors Consortium. He is an active member in the Inland Empire Clinical Education Collaborative which is composed of local field directors from the Inland Empire area and county behavioral health representatives. Further, he is an active member of the City of Riverside Mayoral Task Force on Homelessness, which is working on networking churches in Riverside to provide services designed to transition the city's homeless into permanent housing and bring its population down to a functional zero.
Finally, Mr. Lepale volunteers his time outside of work at his local community church where he serves in the music ministry and assists with delivering the sermon for the week when needed.
- Dr. Kimberly Freeman, Executive Associate Chair

Terrence Forrester, LCSW, Emeritus Associate Professor
Terrence Forrester, MSW, LCSW was appointed the status of
Emeritus faculty in the School of Behavioral Health (SBH) at the August 30, 2016 meeting of the Loma Linda University Board of Trustees. Mr. Forrester (Terry) has a long association with Loma Linda University (LLU) which began in 1988 at the Redlands Charter Hospital and continued as the hospital was purchased in 1993 by LLU and renamed the Behavioral Medicine Center (BMC). Not long after, Terry began supervising students at the BMC for LLU's new MSW program. His impressive work with students led to him transitioning in 1996 to a full-time faculty position in the Department of Social Work and Social Ecology as one of its first clinical faculty.

During his years as a full-time faculty member (1996-2010) he provided tireless support not only for student learning, but also for the advancement of clinical curricula and direct services programming. As such, in addition to being Director of Field Education for the MSW Program and an outstanding and inspiring clinical educator, he also supported the initial development of behavioral health services at SACHS, supported the implementation of two externally funded stipend programs for MSW students, and engaged collaboratively within LLUH, throughout the Inland Empire and across California to develop quality learning experiences for graduate students. The latter also resulted in an impressive network of lasting professional relationships for the Department, School, and ultimately the University.

Although Terry retired from Loma Linda University in 2010, his dedication and passion for serving this institution and SBH resulted in him staying involve--including, but not limited to, volunteering, contract teaching, clinical supervision at SACHS, and as part-time staff supporting the development of the School's alumni relations and leading out in the implementation of targeted marketing and recruitment. Because of his outstanding success in these areas, he was recently convinced to rejoin the administrative team in SBH as the Director of Marketing and Recruitment. Congratulations Terry, and thank you for your unwavering support for SBH and Loma Linda University.
- Dr. Beverly Buckles, Dean
Annual SACHS Food Drive and Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Collection

The Department of Social Work and Social Ecology this year brought in an incredible 1,310 items for the SACHS Helping Hands Pantry! In total, 1,655 items were donated to help make the holidays a little brighter for Inland Empire families!

In addition to the annual food drive, faculty, staff, and students in the School of Behavioral Health also filled 53 Christmas shoeboxes for underprivileged children around the world as part of Operation Christmas Child! A very special thank you to the School of Dentistry for donating toothbrushes and toothpaste to add to the boxes!

Shoeboxes stacked and ready for delivery (left and middle)! Shipping boxes filled with shoeboxes are loaded onto the truck in San Bernardino (right).
SBH Spirituality Integration Lunches

This year's Spirituality Integration Lunches have been wonderful so far! In January, Professor  Randall Walker spoke on "The Big Picture: Situating Our Lives in Stories," and in February, Dr. Dennis Wallstrom presented "Timely Issues in Integration: Institutions, Experience, Character." In April, Dr. Barbara Couden Hernandez presented on "The Relevance of Belief in God in the Lives of Children."

The last Spirituality Integration Lunch of the academic year will be held on May 24 in the BHI CFS Clinic Group Room, 2101 at noon. Check our Facebook Events page for more details on this and other upcoming events!
Behavioral Health in Honduras

On December 26, 2016, three students from the School of Behavioral Health along with fifteen other LLU students were blessed in traveling to Honduras to provide a range of needed services to children being served under the Pan American Health Service program, as well as adults and children in the local community. The trip was organized through Students for International Mission Services (SIMS) and it was the tenth time services were offered to children who had been abandoned and were living in shelter care. The PAHS is a center offering shelter, nutritional guidance, and care to children. The trip's goals included providing dental care, emotional support, increasing public health awareness, and demonstrating God's love to the children and the community surrounding PAHS through outreach and fellowship. The SBH students included K'dee Elsen (Clinical Psychology PhD student), Vanessa Minishian (Child Life Specialist MS student), Gabriela Navarro (MSW student), along with dental students, nutritionists, a physician assistant student, and an assistant speech therapist. Although these SBH students had not known each other prior to trip, their shared values of compassion and service were a key for them in quickly developing relationships that would be a core factor in their joint service during the mission trip.

The Role of SBH at PAHS
The SIMS Honduras team was a truly remarkable group that in many ways became a family with a clear mission of service to God's children. Being away from the daily stressors of student life, the team was able to focus its energies on providing necessary health care. While the team's mission was to provide health care to residents with little access to services, specifically focusing on dental and nutrition, the Behavioral Health group served the community through interpersonal interactions, needs assessments, active listening and empathic attention. They were referred to as the "glue" that kept the entire team together.

During their time in Honduras, the team stayed on the property of Pan American Health Service, Inc. and started each morning by assisting staff with children's nursery care routines. After the daily morning devotion, the team would then head out to the clinic sites. Members of the dental team would do extractions, fillings, and cleanings. Height, weight, and BMI were measured, and information was shared about nutrition, diet, hydration, and cardiovascular health. Further, eye exams and reading glasses were available for patients with vision problems. In the afternoon, the team visited residents in the community, performing nutritional-themed skits for children.

How SBH Can Be Utilized in the Future
The annual mission trip to Honduras has been designed to provide physical healing through dental work and nutrition (the nutrition component being added this year). While these services are immense blessings to the site and surrounding community, the SBH students witnessed an unfulfilled need for emotional and mental healing. Many of the children at the PAHS site presented with extensive traumatic histories, the caretakers with excessive responsibilities and stress, and the surrounding community with the effects of oppression. The SBH students attempted to address these needs and provide Christian holistic healing. The healing process was indeed begun. However, given the large number of wounded Hondurans, and the deep nature of those wounds, continued follow-up care is sorely needed.

The SBH students spent eight days together in the mountains of North Central Honduras offering emotional healing through the tools they had learned at Loma Linda University. Serving in this way helps meet the urgent needs of the global community and furthers the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ. If you'd like to participate, please contact the SIMS office.
- Gabriela Navarro, MSW student
Upcoming SIMS Trips
  • Nigeria, June 13-28
  • Peru, June 14-28
  • Brazil, July 13-27
  • Madagascar, August 8-22
  • Cuba, August 16-30
  • Honduras, December 18-29 
  • Sierra Leone, Dec. 18 - Jan. 2
  • Thailand, Dec. 19 - Jan. 1

Book Recommendations

This issue's recommendations come from Social Work and Social Ecology students Stacey Beckman, Ashley Hutchinson, and Marquita LaGarde!

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