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At a gala celebration September 30 to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Connecticut Mental Health Center, Michael J. Sernyak, MD, professor of psychiatry and CEO of CMHC, held the ceremonial shovel used to break ground on the building in 1964. More than 400 people attended the gala at the Yale School of Management, where they listened to speeches, socialized with friends and colleagues, watched a video produced for the occasion, and enjoyed food and entertainment. See more photos from the celebration 

Goldenberg: Physicians' political beliefs affect medical treatment

Doctors' political beliefs influence their treatment decisions on politicized health issues like marijuana use, gun safety, and abortion, suggests a new study by Yale researchers, including Matthew Goldenberg, MD, MSc, assistant professor of psychiatry. Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found patients receive substantially different care depending on whether their doctor is a Democrat or Republican. Read more  

Psychics help psychiatrists understand the voices of psychosis

People with psychosis are tormented by internal voices. In an effort to explain why, a Yale team enlisted help from psychics who hear voices but are not diagnosed with a mental illness. The study, published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin, found that voices experienced by psychics are similar to those reported by people with schizophrenia. The lead author was Albert Powers, MD, PhD, right, a psychiatry fellow. The senior author was Philip Corlett, PhD, asistant professor of psychiatry. Read more  

Yale study: Mental health of LGB U.S. veterans linked with age

Age affects the mental and emotional well being of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) military veterans, a Yale study has found. Younger LGB veterans are more likely to report lifetime depression and/or post-traumatic stress disorder and current depression compared with older LGB veterans. Published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the study was conducted by Becca Levy, PhD, professor of epidemiology and psychology, and Robert Pietrzak, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry. Read more  

Yale study: Cognitive behavioral therapy program proves effective in treating alcohol use disorders

A computer-based cognitive behavioral therapy program developed by Kathleen M. Carroll, PhD, Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry, was shown to be effective in treating alcohol use disorders, according to a Yale study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The study evaluated a web-based version of Carroll's program developed by Carroll and Brian D. Kiluk, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry. Read more 

Two mood drugs combat virus implicated in birth defects

Two mood-stabilizing drugs provide protection against the potentially dangerous cytomegalovirus, implicated in birth defects in infected fetuses, according to a study by Yale researchers published in the journal Virology. The drugs, valnoctamide and valpromide, are approved for treatment of neurologic and psychiatric brain disorders such as epilepsy and bipolar disorder. The senior author was Anthony van den Pol, PhD, professor of neurosurgery and psychiatry. Read more 

The Connecticut Mental Health Center: Celebrating 50 years of a successful partnership between the state and Yale University

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Connecticut Mental Health Center, 20 authors collaborated on a paper that highlights the range of clinical, educational, and research initiatives offered by CMHC. The paper, published in the journal Psychiatric Services, combines the work of authors who have affiliations with the Yale Department of Psychiatry and State of Connecticut. The paper's first author was Jeanne L. Steiner, DO, associate professor of psychiatry and CMHC's medical director. Read more 

Foster co-chaired APA committee that translated science for the public

Dawn W. Foster, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, co-chaired an American Psychological Association committee that sought to the improve the public's appreciation and understanding of psychological science. The committee was formed in 2014 to "assist APA staff in creating and disseminating new public education materials that translate psychological science to thhe public." Foster was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health at the time of her appointment. Read more  

Ponce receives education award; chairs psychology training council

Allison N. Ponce, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry, was awarded the Leadership in Education award from the American Psychological Association Division of Psychologists in Public Service (Division 18) in August. The award recognizes an educator with an outstanding record of teaching or training at any level of psychology education - from high school to postgraduate continuing education. Ponce was honored for her commitment to internship, postdoctoral, and continuing education. Read more  

Anticevic Lab collaborates on neuroimaging study examining treatment in major depresssion

Capitalizing on advances in resting state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging and the distinctive paradigm of rapid mood normalization following ketamine treatment, a study by the Anticevic Lab investigated intrinsic brain networks in major depressive disorder during a depressive episode and following treatment with ketamine. The lab, which probes the cognitive neuroscience of psychiatric illness, is directed by Alan Anticevic, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and of psychology. Read more 

Connecticut, Yale unveil new strategy to combat opioid addiction, overdoses and deaths

Gov. Dannel Malloy has unveiled a new strategy to address the opioid epidemic in Connecticut that he hopes will reduce the number of fatal overdoses by providing more access to addiction treatment. Malloy made the announcement at the Yale School of Medicine, a partner in the plan. He was joined by several state commissioners, including Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Read more 

Pilot program in New Haven focuses on addiction treatment for prison inmates

Sherry McKee, PhD, professor of psychiatry and clinical director of the FORDD Addiction Clinic, is helping to direct a pilot program in Connecticut that is treating inmates with substance abuse issues before they leave prison instead of after, when their chances of relapse are much higher. The program is called Living Free, and it is a partnership between the Yale School of Medicine, the Connecticut Department of Correction and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Read more 

D'Souza wants more study of state's medical marijuana program

Deepak Cyril D'Souza, MD, professor of psychiatry, is cheering an announcement by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection to accept requests for research proposals to study impacts of the state's new medical marijuana program. D'Souza has said Connecticut's program is not based on science, and that the state approved cannabis for patients without rigorous standards the Food and Drug Administration uses to approve medications. Read more  

Sinha offers perspective on the brain under stress in article about police shootings

Rajita Sinha, PhD, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Yale Stress Center, provided insight about how the brain reacts to stress in an article published in Scientific American about recent police shootings. The article suggested that better training in police academies could help officers respond to stressful situations. Sinha said some police officers may react to behavioral training such as mindfulness excercies that help people cope with stress. Read more 

Yale-Bridgeport GEAR UP graduate to attend leadership academy

A graduate of the Yale-Bridgeport GEAR UP Partnership Project, directed by Nadia Ward, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry, has been chosen to attend a competitive leadership academy. Saul Almazan lives in Bridgeport, and is a 2014 graduate of Central Magnet High School. While in high school he was part of Yale-Bridgeport GEAR UP, a partnership between the Yale Department of Psychiatry and Bridgeport Public Schools. The program aims to increase the number of students prepared for higher education. Read more 

A day in the life of a Yale Department of Psychiatry resident

Eight residents, top row from left, Lily Balasuriya, Joe Gallego, Chad Lane and Amalia Londono Tobon; bottom row from left, Erin Habecker, Kunmi Sobowale, Ish Bhalla and Youngsun Cho, recently shared their impressions of a typical day for a Yale Department of Psychiatry trainee in a series of stories published on the department's website. Read more  

SAMHSA Chief Medical Officer Delivers Grand Rounds

Anita Everett, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and President-elect of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), spoke September 30 at the Connecticut Mental Health Center on the occasion of CMHC's 50th anniversary. The title of her talk was, "Legacy and Aspirations of Public Psychiatry." Watch a video of Dr. Everett's address 

Junior Faculty Administrative Orientation

The Yale Department of Psychiatry held its first Administrative Orientation for Junior Faculty on September 23. Representatives from several teams made presentations, including Central Administration, Research Administration, Faculty Affairs, Human Resources, Clinical Operations, and Communications. Brian Spector, deputy chair for finance and administration, led the discussion in the large conference room at 300 George St. He said the orientation session will be held annually for the benefit of new faculty.

Mental Health Policy/Services Group

The Yale Department of Psychiatry's Mental Health Policy/Services Group heard a presentation September 20 by Kiki Kennedy, MD, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale, and her husband, State Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr., about policy making on the state level. Attending the presentation were, from left, Paul Desan, MD, PhD; Kiki Kennedy, MD; Luming Li, MD; Nkemka Esiobu, MD; and State Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr.

Staff Corner

The Yale Department of Psychiatry's Social Committee sponsored a guided tour of the university for staff on October 12. The tour wound through the Old Campus and stopped at several landmarks, including Sterling Memorial Library and Beinecke Library.

Alumni Spotlight

Ursano to retire as psychiatry department chair at Hebert School of Medicine at USU

Robert J. Ursano, MD, who completed a fellowship in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, will retire as chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). Ursano worked in the position for more than 24 years. He will remain as the director of USU's Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS), which he established in 1987. It is a national resource for disaster responders and for communities addressing natural disasters, community violence and terrorism. Read more 

Chilakamarri named to top doctors list in Atlanta

Jagan K. Chilakamarri, MD, a 1988 graduate of the Yale Department of Psychiatry's residency program, has been named to a roster of the best metro Atlanta doctors by Atlanta Magazine. Chilakamarri was one of three child and adolescent psychiatrists named to the list. The doctors were chosen by their peers, and were honored at a reception in Atlanta in June. Chilakamarri has worked in private practice in Atlanta since 2007, seeing adults and children. He credited his training at Yale with helping to launch his career. Read more 

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Special Events

Desan to give talk on symptoms, treatment for winter blues

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as the "winter blues," begins to affect people as the long, warm days of summer are replaced by the short and cold days of late fall and early winter. It is marked by a seasonal depression in people who otherwise have normal mental health. Paul H. Desan, MD, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, will discuss the symptoms, prevalence and treatments for SAD on October 20 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at the Yale-New Haven Hospital Saint Raphael Campus.

Program for Biomedical Ethics Lecture: "Legacy of the Nazi Physicians: How the Holocaust Informs Medical Ethics"

Mark Mercurio, MD, director of the Yale Pediatric Ethics Program and Program for Biomedical Ethics, will give the talk, "Legacy of Nazi Physicians: How the Holocaust Informs Medical Ethics," from 5:00 to 6:30 pm October 27 in Cohen Auditorium at the Yale Child Study Center. Mercurio is an instructor for the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics. The Program for Biomedical Ethics serves as a center for clinical and scholarly work and discourse in the field of medical ethics at Yale.

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, October 14, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

From Silicon Valley to New Haven: A Survey of Three Technology Driven Innovations in Mental Health Delivery

Oren Frank, co-founder and CEO, Talkspace; Anitha Iyer, PhD, Vice President, Contact Center Services at the Mental Health Association of New York City; Seth Feuerstein, MD, JD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, October 21, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

Using MEG to Identify Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Cognitive Dysfunctions in Schizophrenia

Peter Uhlhaas, PhD, Reader, University of Glasgow

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, October 28, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am


Hedy Kober, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology; director, Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Lab

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, November 4, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

Psychiatry Grand Rounds in Honor of W. Leonard Hill, Jr.

Froma Walsh, PhD, co-director and co-founder of the Chicago Center for Family Health; Mose and Sylvia Firestone Professor Emerita in the School of Social Service Administration and Department of Psychiatry, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

VA/Psychiatry Grand Rounds Shuttle

Door-to-door shuttle service is provided from the VA to Psychiatry Grand Rounds at CMHC. Take the Yale University Shuttle that leaves the VA beginning at 9:00 am and every 20 minutes thereafter. Tell the driver you are going to CMHC. The shuttle will leave CMHC at 11:45 am for a return to the VA. Riders should meet in front of CMHC.

CME Credits

CMEs are awarded to those who complete an evaluation sheet.

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