Loma Linda University
Behavioral Health News

Volume 2, Issue 1

philippinesTrauma Team Brings Resiliency Training to Philippines Post-Super Storm Haiyan
International Behavioral Health Trauma Team - Philippines 2014 
Watch as Lori talks about her experience working with and learning from the
LLU International Behavioral Health Trauma Team.

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines as a Category 5 storm on the morning of Friday, November 8, 2013 at Guiuan, Eastern Samar. This super storm, referred to in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda, is believed to be the strongest cyclone storm to hit land in recorded world history, with winds as strong as 380 kph (235 mph). Haiyan took the lives of at least 6,300 people in the Philippines alone, and according to UN officials, 11 million people were affected by the storm, leaving thousands homeless and many without the means to make a living.


As part of a response project developed by Dr. Beverly Buckles, Dean of the LLU School of Behavioral Health and founder of the International Behavioral Health Trauma Team, and with funding provided by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Dr. Buckles and faculty members Kimberly Freeman and Froylana Heredia-Miller traveled to the Philippines to provide resiliency training for members of communities that had been heavily impacted by the disaster ensued by Haiyan. The Trauma Team first traveled to the Philippines in February 2014 to conduct research with Elaine Miller-Karas, Executive Director/Co-Founder of the Trauma Resource Institute and co-developer of the TRM (trauma resiliency model) and CRM (community resiliency model) models.


"We originally went to the Philippines [in February 2014] to conduct research, as part of a larger plan to empirically validate the use of the CRM model within international setting," says Dr. Freeman. "The CRM model is a set of six wellness skills that can be used internationally for training community workers in ways to reach-out and assist people within their own communities during times of distress. The TRM model is more treatment-based and is specifically designed for use by professional therapists."

Members of the Trauma Team pose with a group of trainees.

Two months later, in April, the Trauma Team was asked to return to the Philippines to provide CRM training to personnel in communities impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. ADRA funded this program and helped coordinate and support the Trauma Team's efforts in bringing services and training to Filipino communities. An estimated fifty government social workers were trained on the CRM model during the first 5-day training program. During the second 5-day training program, the Trauma Team also trained an additional fifty ADRA workers, pastors and community members, bringing the total number of CRM and TRM trainees to an estimated 100 individuals. Professor Heredia-Miller comments, "The training provided first responders, social workers and other professionals with an opportunity to take the models, implement them and give people, including themselves, internal resources."


Dr. Freeman adds, "The CRM model is a set of six wellness skills that teaches individuals to track and regulate their physiological reactions to trauma in a manner that allows them to more balanced and resilient in their daily functioning. The theory behind the model is that we have a natural way of functioning that generally allows us to problem solve and deal effectively with the ups and downs of life. However, when we experience stress or trauma we often lose this ability and can become overly anxious, depressed and/or immobile. By working with the body's physiological reactions, the CRM wellness skills are designed to help individuals get back into a more 'balanced' state so that problems can be managed more effectively."


The training is very engaging and hands-on; trainees are given lectures, demonstrations, and many opportunities to practice skills by using their own life experiences. The Trauma Team also accompanied the trainees into the local community and provided feedback during and after they had exercised their skills out in the field. Training is designed to be comprehensive and multifaceted, so that by its completion trainees will have already formed a team that is prepared to go out and serve the community immediately.

Dr. Buckles, Professor Heredia-Miller, and Dr. Freeman with trainees.

This was Professor Heredia-Miller's first trip with the Trauma Team. She says, "The generosity of the people, the hospitality...even in the face of having nothing, or having experienced tremendous loss, the spirit of giving and welcoming [was abundant]...I couldn't have imagined a better experience. Having the opportunity to serve is inherent in my nature...it's why I became a social worker. I'm part of an institution [Loma Linda University] where I'm lucky enough to have these wonderful training opportunities and be able to go beyond a domestic region to impact people on a global level."

Dr. Freeman reflects, "These trips allow me to get into touch with my clinical side, to utilize the knowledge I have, and also to learn a lot in return. I've learned so much from every community that I've traveled to on behalf of the Trauma Team. I'm amazed at how giving people can be, even in the face of tragedy and widespread disaster. These trips have become a really important part of what I do here at Loma Linda University as part of the International Behavioral Health Trauma Team. Being able to truly live the mission of Loma Linda University 'To Make Man Whole' is truly rewarding."

- Jillianne Ajayi
sbhglobalSBH Goes Global!
Trauma Team Offers Community Resiliency Training to St. Vincent
In December of 2013, the small island nation of St. Vincent suffered a devastating flood. With only a handful of psychiatrists and psychologists supporting the entire nation, access to behavioral health was limited, and the local government soon realized that it would need to train some of its citizens in crisis response.
In February 2014, with support from the government of St. Vincent, the Seventh-day Adventist Church of St. Vincent, and ADRA, members of the LLU International Behavioral Health Trauma Team visited the island in order to provide additional training to a crisis response team from Trinidad who had been previously trained at LLU. This team presented psychological first aid to the attendees, which Dr. Adam Ar�chiga and Dr. Winetta Oloo followed with a presentation on the Community Resiliency Model (CRM). All attendees, a mix of local school teachers, counselors, and SDA pastors, were then able to participate in a community training experience where they were able to put their newly acquired skills to work.
As a follow-up to the February trip, the Trauma Team returned to the island in November 2014 in order to expand on the initial CRM training. Participants in the earlier training were invited to return for this second round of instruction. The Trauma Team was also able to gather important data on the usage of the model by those who had been trained earlier in the year. Additional advanced training will be offered in the future.
A beautiful island with a botanical garden and an active volcano, St. Vincent is home to people who were both welcoming and appreciative of all of the information that they were given. The Trauma Team is grateful for the information that was shared by the participants, as it enhanced the team's understanding of the contextual issues that are important in providing behavioral health services to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Dr. Ar�chiga enjoyed sampling the local fruits, including two he had never tried before: soursop and sugar-apples.

- Dr. Adam Ar�chiga
Students from Osaka Jikei College Visit SBH

On October 20, 2014, twenty-four Japanese students from
Osaka Jikei College in Osaka, Japan arrived at the Department of Social Work & Social Ecology for a three-day educational experience to learn about Social Work in America. Students attended lectures about the history of social work, learned techniques and opportunities for working with older adults, and were made aware of the problems of gang violence within the Inland Empire. In addition to classroom experiences, the students made field visits to Patton State Hospital, the Redlands Boys and Girls Club, and the Heritage Gardens Health Care Center where they observed social work in practice.

To conclude the week, all of the students participated in a cultural exchange, including eating diverse traditional dishes, singing "Let It Go" from the movie Frozen in two different languages, and playing games. The visit culminated in a joint banquet where students received LLU certificates for their participation. This is an annual event that the social work students look forward to and we appreciate the opportunity for cultural and educational exchange. An enjoyable time was had by all of the students and faculty!

- Dr. Kimberly Freeman and Dr. Victoria Jackson
SBH Faculty Present at Trauma and Resilience Conference & 2nd Global Conference on Health & Lifestyle

In July 2014, several faculty from Social Work & Social Ecology, Psychology, and Counseling and Family Sciences who serve on of the LLU International Behavioral Health Trauma Team represented the School of Behavioral Health at two international events. The  Trauma and Resilience Conference was developed by a collaborative of Loma Linda University (LLU), Friedensau University, and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Germany, and co-sponsored by several development organizations. It was held 
in  Berlin, Germany from July 2-4. This inaugural international conference was aimed to serve an urgent need to better prepare non-governmental relief organizations to respond to mental health issues they encounter both internally for their own staff and in the populations they support in preparing and responding to natural disasters and complex emergencies. Members of the LLU International Behavioral Health Trauma Team participated as plenary speakers, workshop presenters, and conference moderators on a variety of topics such as "Best Practices for Sustainable Behavioral Health Interventions Post Trauma," "The Community Resiliency Model - Healing Step by Step," " The Effectiveness of Evidence-Based Interventions for Trauma and Co-Morbid Disorders," "Participatory Approaches of Identifying, Measuring and Monitoring Special Challenges in Behavioral Health Evaluation Efforts," and "Resiliency Techniques for Children Experiencing Trauma." The event was extremely successful and well attended, drawing hundreds of participants from a variety of international relief organizations and many countries worldwide.

The  2nd Global Conference on Health & Lifestyle , organized by Adventist Health Ministries and co-sponsored by several other organizations such as the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, LLU, Griggs University, ADRA, and supported by the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization, and the International Commission for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, was held on July 7-12 in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference, with the theme of
Non-Communicable Diseases: Lifelong Lifestyle Prevention, Accessible to All, featured speakers from all over the world as well as from many LLU schools, including SBH.  Mental and emotional health were areas of special emphasis as these, as conference organizers noted, are "poised to be leading challenges for whole-person wellness."  The LLU International Behavioral Health Trauma Team made special presentations on the Community Resiliency Model (CRM) and Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) as a means of sharing with the international community of health providers the importance of equipping individuals with resiliency skills they can use when coping with anything from everyday stress to more severe forms of trauma. The conference was attended by thousands of participants from around the world.

- Dr. David Vermeersch and Dr. Susanne Montgomery
Child Life Faculty and Students Share Skills in Zhejiang, China

In November of 2014, LLU's Child Life MS Program Director Michelle Minyard-Widmann and Clinical Coordinator Alisha Saavedra traveled with four fortunate students (Courtney Camp, Alyssa Garcia, Alejandra Kim Arredondo, and Ariele Macaluso) to the Zhejiang Province of China. It was a great opportunity for us, as students, to participate in the practice of global health service and also to hone basic child life skills within a cultural context much different from our own, thus enhancing our cultural competence. 

Some of the activities completed during this trip included lecture presentations to the hospital staff of The Children's Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine (ZUCH), as well as child-directed workshops which we call Teddy Bear Clinics. The first lecture presented by both the LLU faculty and students was given before a small group of hospital staff with some English-speaking skills. The second lecture was presented to a much larger group of staff with the assistance of a Chinese translator. The presentation consisted of a review of several research articles demonstrating the value and effectiveness of providing opportunities for different types of therapeutic play to pediatric patients. It was exciting for the child life team to see the Chinese staff members' enthusiasm and great interest in the many services of child life. They asked questions about not only the services provided to children and families here in US hospitals, but also about our education programs and what is required to become a child life specialist.

The Teddy Bear Clinics were also quite successful and productive events. The goal behind providing these clinics is to help children learn more about various health care experiences through non-threatening and hands-on activities. The young patients and family members were able to explore the real medical items and cloth dolls that were set out on the tables. Language did not seem to be much of a barrier as there were medical staff helping us out by translating, and also because the children simply gravitated toward the items and were able to "perform" procedures on the dolls. The child life team was able to show children how certain medical items are used and the reverse was also true; many children showed extensive knowledge of the various medical items and their purposes. It is my strong belief that the medical staff of ZUCH were able to see first-hand the wonders of therapeutic play during these medical play clinics.

It was exceedingly rewarding to see how involved and interested the hospital staff, patients, and families were regarding child life services. It was an amazing feeling to be in a different country and to be conversing with its people on the possibility of establishing child life services in their hospital. To be able to share ideas with the hospital staff on how they can implement these services for the patients and families in their care was a true testament to the Child Life Council's core value of collaboration, just as being able to provide child life services to the children in China contributed to LLU's global mission "to serve a worldwide community."

- Alyssa Garcia, participating Child Life student

Testimonies from the China Trip Child Life Team:


We are fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with Children's Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine and share ideas about pediatric psychosocial care. Working directly with the patients and families was one of the highlights of our experiences in Hangzhou and this experiential student learning opportunity will assist students in broadening their clinical skills. We look forward to future visits.

- Michelle Minyard-Widmann, Program Director

 Working with the patients and families at ZUCH was incredible. We often say that play is a universal language and transcends all barriers. Seeing how powerful play was for the children during the teddy bear clinics was an unforgettable sight to see.

- Alisha Saavedra, Clinical Coordinator

 Working with the patients and their families in China was a very valuable and rewarding experience. It was so amazing to interact and experience the culture difference and language barriers, but yet still be effective in our teaching with the patients. It was exciting to share these moments with my fellow classmates and professors. Taking child life to China was a cherished experience that I am so thankful I had the
opportunity to be a part of.

- Courtney Camp, participating Child Life student


The child life global student experience at the Children's Hospital Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, China was a rich learning experience, not only academically, but culturally as well. We were not only able to share our knowledge about child life and therapeutic play, but we also learned about their hospital and culture. This trip has deepened my passion for practicing child life globally.
- Alejandra Kim Arredondo, participating Child Life student

 We were able to share our passion and knowledge of child life and the benefits of therapeutic play, and the families were able to share their love of their children. I couldn't have asked for a better group of families and employees to work with. It was such a great experience.

- Ariele Macaluso, participating Child Life student
communityCommunity Engagement

Annual B.L.U.E. Christmas Event Offers Grief Support


For many, losing a loved one is an experience filled with myriad emotions. Often, surviving family members and friends are left with the difficult task of sorting through these emotions, trying to make sense of them, all while attempting to 'move on with lives.' However, even as we attempt to move forward, feelings of sadness can return and be especially overwhelming during key seasons - birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas. Beginning in 2010, B.L.U.E. Christmas services have provided a safe place for individuals to remember and grieve their lost loved ones during the holiday season. These services include but have not been limited to brief uplifting talks, candle-lighting, hanging of Christmas ornaments with messages to loved ones, and--perhaps most important of all--support and communion with others.


B.L.U.E. was founded by Myrtle "Mia" Valdez and Genevieve Nelwan. The acronym means Bridging Loss with Understanding and Empathy. Sisters, Mia and Genevieve started the organization after Mia lost her husband in a tragic accident. While she had the support of family and friends, she struggled to locate resources in her community for herself and her son. In an attempt to fill this gap, B.L.U.E. was born. Mia and Genevieve were later joined by Candi Epperson, Dr. Winetta Oloo, and Jeannie Miller. Currently, this group shares the responsibility of organizing B.L.U.E. services.


Since 2011, the Department of Counseling & Family Sciences has been involved with B.L.U.E Christmas services in the Inland Empire. Under the supervision of Dr. Winetta Oloo, both Counseling and Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) students have been available to offer grief counseling to interested persons following each service. Any children arriving at the service with adult family members have been invited to work in a group setting with Child Life Specialist (CLS) students, providing developmentally appropriate grief exercises to these younger attendees. Students from these respective programs in the department have been personally enriched through their assistance of grieving adults and children, while gaining robust clinical experience.


As 2015 begins, the Department of Counseling & Family Sciences, in conjunction with B.L.U.E., is excited to expand the ways in which we are able to offer help to those who are grieving. In addition to continuing to provide counseling and grief exercises at BLUE services in December of this year, we will be offering a day-long grief workshop each quarter of the year. These workshops will provide parents and children, who have experienced the loss of a loved one, time apart to work on their loss emotions with peers as well as a time for parents and children to work on these emotions as a family.


All are welcome to attend B.L.U.E. Christmas services and workshops. To date, services have been held at La Sierra University Chapel, Fallbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Victorville Seventh-day Adventist Church. For more information about B.L.U.E. including event dates and/or to gather resources related to the loss of a loved one, please visit www.blueresource.org or call (855) 920-2583.


- Dr. Winetta Oloo
translationalTranslational Research
Psychology Students Present at Annual Society for Neuroscience Conference

Dr. Richard Hartman's Behavioral Neuroscience Lab attended the 2014 Society for Neuroscience Conference in November. Five students from the Department of Psychology presented as first authors, and four other students were listed as co-authors. (SBH students and faculty in bold below.)
Shina Halavi
Inaugural San Bernardino County Brain Bee, by Courtney Ray, Pam Lorenzo, Nikita Mistry, and Richard Hartman : This poster described our experiences setting up and running the Brain Bee.
Inhibition of DNA methylation increased neonatal rat brain hypoxic-ischemic injury and subsequent neurobehavioral defects, by Y. Li, Q. Ma, Shina Halavi, Richard Hartman, Andr� Obenaus, and L. Zhang: This study examined how manipulating changes in DNA after neonatal stroke can affect the degree of brain injury.
Behavioral response to combined exposure of simulated microgravity and radiation, by Keshia Sanders, John Bellone, Rian Montanari, P. Gifford, Richard Hartman, and X. Wen Mao: This study examined how factors that will be encountered by astronauts in deep space (low levels of gravity and high levels of radiation) will affect behavior.
The emergence of a depressive phenotype after mild concussions in the adult mouse, by Nikita Mistry, Shina Halavi, M. Hamer, Andr� Obenaus, and Richard Hartman: This study examined the effects of multiple concussions on affective behaviors in mice.
The effects of closed-head injury on scent marking behaviors in mice, by Shina Halavi, Nikita Mistry, M. Hamer, M. Evans, B. Semple, Andr� Obenaus, and Richard Hartman: This study examined the effects of concussions on social behaviors in mice.
Water maze swim strategies of mice exposed to proton radiation and a pomegranate-enhanced diet, by Pam Lorenzo, Melissa Dulcich, and Richard Hartman: This study examined how diet and exposure to radiation can affect the way in which mice solve a spatial task.
Analysis and mapping of water maze search strategies in cobalt-60 irradiated rats, by Courtney Ray, Mike Finlay, G. Nelson, and Richard Hartman: This study examined how exposure to radiation can affect the way in which rats solve a spatial task.
Courtney Ray explains the Brain Bee poster.
Click here to visit the Hartman Behavioral Neuroscience Lab website.
studentnewsStudent Scoop
6th Annual SBH Food Drive for SACHS Helping Hands Pantry
The 2014 SBH Food Drive was a tremendous success this year! In addition to a $260 cash donation, an incredible 1,245 items were collected and donated to the Helping Hands Pantry!
Final Rankings
1st - Psychology (541 items)
2nd - Counseling and Family Sciences (381 items)
3rd - Dean's Office (208 items)
4th - Social Work and Social Ecology (115 items)
In celebration of a job well done, the Psychology department held a cookie party for its 3rd year cohort (204 total items donated).
The follow-up to our food drive, the annual SBH Christmas Pizza Party, was held on December 3 in Griggs Hall. Along with the delicious cookies, hot spiced cider, and pizza, the occasion was made even cozier by the rain outside!
SBH Pirates Welcome New Students
At this year's Welcome Back Bash (September 22, 2014), faculty and staff welcomed
99 new students to "arrr" School!

Left to Right: Dean Beverly "Blackbeard" Buckles; Dr. Victoria "Barbossa" Jackson; Jillianne "Cervantes" Ajayi and Ruth "Ironhook" Browder; Dr. Buckles, Dr. Susanne "One-Eyed Jane" Montgomery, Dr. Kim "Peg-Leg" Freeman, and Jillianne.
Counseling and Family Sciences New Student Reception 
On September 21, 2014, incoming CFS students were welcomed, creating an environment in which they could meet new peers and professors. An icebreaker called Human Bingo gave guests a chance to meet other students and learn some interesting facts about them. Second-year child life graduate students Alejandra Kim and Kayleigh Ocampo shared some tips on how to navigate through the first year of graduate school. This included ways to get involved, attending SAC events, and using resources like the Griggs Hall computer lab and tea lounge. In addition to SBH resources, they were able to learn about some resources that are available to all LLU students like the University Libraries and the Drayson CenterInformation was also shared about CAPS counseling and SIMS trips, encouraging students to get involved with opportunities available through Loma Linda University.

CFS faculty and new students enjoy the photo booth.
There were some fun prize giveaways, including gift cards for restaurants in the LLU area. As guests were leaving, there was a photo booth with dress-up items available.This event was a great way for new students to meet some of their professors, along with Dr. Curtis Fox (Chair, Department of Counseling and Family Sciences) and some second year graduate students. The CFS department is excited to welcome these new members into the SBH community!
- Kayleigh Ocampo, Chair of the CFS Student Advisory Committee (SAC)
Counseling and Family Sciences Holds Annual Placement Fair

Annually, the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences has planned the Placement Fair for the Marital and Family Therapy programs. This year's event was held from 10am-12pm on November 13, 2014 at the Behavioral Health Institute. In attendance were twelve supervisors and clinic directors, representing various agencies and organizations, who shared with the students information about their clinical sites.

SBH students and agency representatives enjoy the CFS Placement Fair.

During the first part of the Placement Fair, each representative was given 5-10 minutes to speak and
 share information, which included a question and answer session with the approximately 25 students present. During the second half, tables were set up from which supervisors and clinic directors shared their brochures, free gifts, and a variety of information about their agency/organization. The students were able to hand out their resum�s, ask specific questions, and learn more about the agencies that sparked their interest.


Our students gained insight into meaningful clinical experience as shared by the agency representatives and made great strides in choosing and pursuing professional goals for the future. They represented the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences very professionally, and, in conjunction with our guests, made this event a great success.


- Dr. Ian Chand and Patrice Harris

alumniAlumni Alcove

Dr. Williams-Reade visits with alumni of the Marital and Family Therapy PhD Program at the AAMFT Annual Conference in Milwaukee, WI (October 16-19). 
Left to right: James Billings, PhD: Dean, School of Marriage & Family Sciences, Northcentral University; Jackie Williams-Reade, PhD: Director of the Medical Family Therapy Program, School of Behavioral Health, Loma Linda University; Karen Quek, PhD: Associate Professor, Alliant International University; Naveen Jonathan, PhD: Assistant Professor, Chapman University.
Dr. Aimee Galick
Dr. Aimee Galick ('13): I am in the middle of my second year as Assistant Professor of Marriage and  Family Therapy at the University of Louisiana at Monroe . I am working on research related to gender and health, racial discrimination, and the process by which MFTs learn to incorporate research into their clinical work. Since graduating I have been invited to the editorial board of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and serve as a reviewer for several other journals. I am very appreciative of the education I received at Loma Linda, it prepared me well for my current position. I dearly miss the faculty and administrative staff. Hope to come back to visit sometime soon! This is a picture of me in beautiful Mississippi on a mini-vacation with my parents who came to visit me.
Rosealinda Carrillo ('14)  was hired one month after graduation by Kern County Mental Health. She is currently working as a therapist in Bakersfield.
Francisca Buenrostro
Loraine Bailor ('01)  was recently hired as a clinical therapist at the Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center in the Children's Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization program.
Francisca Buenrostro ('13) is now working for San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health as  a social worker at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in the Diversion Psychiatric Triage program. She is working towards obtaining her LCSW license.

Tiahna Frankian ('14)
is working full-time at Christian Counseling Service in Redlands. 
Heather Umsted ('13) is employed as an adoptions worker with the San Bernardino County Children and Family Services Victorville office.

Katherine Garcia ('14) works as a School Service Practitioner (SSP) for San Bernardino County Children and Family Services and is working towards her LCSW.

We'd love to hear from you! Send your updates here.
pubpresawardsPublications, Presentations, & Awards

Grace Lee, PhD:
Dr. Lee recently won a GRASP (Grants for Research and School Partnerships) Award from the LLUH Office of Research Affairs. The project, to be completed with co-investigator Nicole Gatto, PhD, is titled "Dietary patterns and cognitive dysfunction in the aged: Adventist Health Study-2."

Validity of Type 2 Diabetes Self-Reports Among Black And White Church Going Adults. 
Octaviana Hemmy Asamsama, Jerry W. Lee,   Kelly R. Morton, Serena Tonstad.  IJHSR. 2014; 4(12): 286-293.
Narrative-informed medical family therapy: Using narrative therapy practices in brief medical encounters.  Williams-Reade, Jacqueline; Freitas, Cassidy; Lawson, Lindsey.  Families, Systems, & Health, Vol 32(4), Dec 2014, 416-425.
Dr. Williams-Reade and two Medical Family Therapy students presented a day-long intensive course at the American Association of Marital and Family Therapy Annual Conference on October 16, 2014 in Milwaukee, WI. LLU is one of only a handful of Medical Family Therapy training sites in the US.
Left to right: Veronica Kuhn, Dr. Williams-Reade, Cassidy Freitas. 
Dr. Williams-Reade also presented at the 20th International Congress on Palliative Care in Montr�al, Qu�bec on September 12, 2014. The Congress is the premiere palliative care conference and attracts attendees from around the world who are committed to advance the field of palliative care. Dr. Williams-Reade completed a focused ethnography of a neonatal palliative care program looking at clinical, operational, and financial domains that were impacting overall care. Results were presented as part of a neonatal palliative care research forum.

Christina Moldovan
Student Selected for Scientific Committee on Positive Psychology
Christina Moldovan (Clinical Psychology) was recently selected to serve as a student committee member for the 4th World Congress on Positive Psychology. She will review abstracts and proposals and assist in making decisions about acceptances.
9th Annual "Excellence in Research" William James Awards 
This recognition is awarded to students in two categories, based on the quality of writing, data, and involvement in the project, as demonstrated to and voted by faculty. The winners received a monetary award and each made a presentation at the Psychology department's January 15 colloquium.

Experimental/Basic Research
Nikita Mistry (Experimental Psychology),  for "The emergence of a depressive phenotype after mild concussions in the adult mouse."

Clinical Research
Serena Stevens (Clinical Psychology),  for "The effects of weight status and childhood overweight on experience of weight stigmatization, body image, and depression."
Left to right: Serena and Nikita present their projects at the William 
James Award Colloquium on January 15, 2015.

APA Division 33 (Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities) Student Research Award
Merideth Robinson (PsyD student), in conjunction with co-authors Andy Lewallen, Robyn Finckbone, Kristin Crocfer, Keith Klein, and Dr. Cameron Neece) received this award.

Merideth Robinson presents her research at the APA Convention in August.

Western Pediatric Trauma Conference: Runner Up for Best Presentation
Robyn Finckbone (PsyD student), along with co-authors Sydney Young, Dzovak Kazandjian, Tina Lincourt, Dr. Edward Tagge, and Dr. Cameron Neece) received this award.

Robyn Finckbone's poster from the Western Pediatric Trauma Conference in July.

Sonika Ung Guest Lectures for the School of Public Health
Sonika Ung (Clinical Psychology student) presented a lecture for Dr. Pete Gleason's Cultural Psychology class on December 2, 2014. Her presentation was titled "Integrating Culture with Health Behavior: Considering the Role of psychological Factors." The lecture can be viewed in its entirety via Dr. Gleason's blog, here.

appointmentsFaculty Appointments
New Faculty Member: Dr. Kriston Schellinger


The Department of Psychology welcomes Dr. Kriston Schellinger as our newest faculty member! Dr. Schellinger earned her BS at the University of Arizona and her MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. She also completed her internship at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for her academic and research work, and is also a licensed psychologist in California.

Dr. Schellinger's primary expertise is in working with infants and children, and she is currently teaching Infant Mental Health and Child Assessment in the department. She is also currently developing a research program that will explore mental health integration in pediatric and family medicine primary care settings. Among the many activities she enjoys are cross-stitching, recycling, and listening to boy bands! In fact, she was recently spotted at a Backstreet Boys concert! She was also the major organizing force behind our department's efforts to help in this year's SACHS food drive and bring home the coveted turkey trophy. We are so thrilled that she has joined our department and SBH family.


- Dr. David Vermeersch

Operation Christmas Child


This year, faculty, staff, and students from throughout the School of Behavioral Health participated in Operation Christmas Child--a Samaritan's Purse project that organizes the shipment of shoeboxes full of toys and necessities to children in need around the world.

In total, 46 shoeboxes were collected and sent out to children in the Philippines! We would like to thank the LLU School of Dentistry for graciously donating the toothbrushes for our boxes.

Judy Rynearson Retires
After thirty-five years of service at Loma Linda University, Judy Rynearson has retired. In celebration of her dedication, passion, and hard work, a retirement reception was held in her honor on October 14, 2014.
About the reception, Judy says, "I had a wonderful time. A number of the alumni came as well as LLU friends, faculty, and current students. It was overwhelming to see the room filled with friends visiting together. It was a wonderful send-off farewell."
We have received many inquiries about making donations, in honor of Judy, to help begin a scholarship program. Funds received will be used to provide deserving students financial assistance in their pursuit to earn the quality education they will need to obtain a career in behavioral health.
If honoring Judy in this way is something that you would like to do, you may make a donation of any size by clicking here (in the designation field, click on "other" and type Judy's name into the new field that will appear) or by mailing a check payable to Loma Linda University Health, SBH to Loma Linda University Health, Office of Philanthropy, Attn: Lynn Neuenswander, 11175 Mt. View Ave., Ste. A, Loma Linda, CA 92354. As gifts come in, Judy will be notified and LLUH will send you a receipt for tax purposes.
Mission Film Fest 2015
The Mission Film Fest 2015, previously scheduled for Wednesday, April 15, 2015, has been cancelled. Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in this event!
SBH Sponsors Youth Baseball & Softball Team

This past spring and summer, SBH sponsored a Loma Linda Youth Baseball and Softball team composed of 13-14 year old boys, coached by Dr. Kenny Boyd (Department of Psychology).

Competing with teams from across the Inland Empire and Palm Springs area with "LLU School of Behavioral Health" on their backs, the team played hard with great sportsmanship, and ended up finishing 4th in a summer all-star tournament!
simsStudents for International Mission Service
Upcoming SIMS Trips
Spring 2015
June 2015
June 2015
August 2015
Visit the SIMS website to sign up!
booksBook Recommendations
From Holly Morrell, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology:

by Alan E. Kazdin, PhD

This is a great read for both parents and clinicians. It is written by one of the leaders in the field, and outlines evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents with behavior problems. It is reader-friendly, easy to understand, and full of practical tips and advice. The techniques are based on the best research we have to date.

by John Ortberg

I really enjoyed this religious book. It is a fascinating description of the many ways that Jesus has changed (and is still changing) the world over the past 2000 years.


From Kriston Schellinger, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology:

by Christopher Hunter, Jeffrey Goodie, Mark Ooordt, & Anne Dobmeyer

The integration of mental health services in primary care settings has been a growing area of clinical work and research over the past several years. This book includes information about how to develop integrated mental health services in primary care settings as well as assessment and intervention tools that may be used by mental health clinicians in these settings. 


by Andrew Solomon


The central theme of this book is that although families face unique challenges, they are able to cope with these difficulties through love and acceptance. Each chapter describes a unique challenge faced by families and includes information gathered from interviews with parents that discuss how the family remained a united and supportive family unit while coping with significant stress and difficulties.




From Richard Hartman, PhD, Professor of Psychology:


by Claire D. Advokat, Joseph E. Comaty, & Robert M. Julien

This is considered by many (including myself) to be the "gold standard" textbook for learning about the way that psychoactive substances affect the brain and behavior. The book is written using language that is easy enough for a layperson to to understand, but technical enough for a scientist/clinician. It was my PhD advisor's textbook when he took psychopharmacology in the 1970s, and it was my textbook when I took psychopharmacology as a graduate student in the 1990s. Now, I use the 13th edition of this book for the psychopharmacology classes that I teach here at LLU.



by Santiago Ram�n y Cajal


This is one of my favorite books of all time. Easy to read, concise, and witty, it was written in the late 1800s by one of the world's most famous neuroscientists as a brief guide to those entering a career in research. It is still amazingly relevant, and I highly recommend that everyone from new graduate students to seasoned faculty members read this book at least once--I've read it several times myself.


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