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Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, PhD, left, professor of psychiatry, spoke at a news conference August 25 at Yale with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, CT-5. Blumenthal and Esty announced they will seek a federal ban on flavored e-cigarettes based largely on a study by Krishnan-Sarin and her team of researchers at Yale. There are an estimated 7,000 flavors on the market, and the Yale study revealed nearly 42 percent of youth users tried e-cigarettes because of flavor. Read more 

Yale study analyzes treatment patterns for PTSD

A study by Yale Department of Psychiatry researchers addresses concerns associated with the prescription of antipsychotic, sedative, and anxiolytic medications to begin pharmacotherapy treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers studied the relationship between symptoms and medications prescribed to veterans. The study was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry Open, and the first author was Ilan Harpaz-Rotem, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry. Read more 

New survey shows PTSD is a big problem, even for noncombatants

A recent survey of 1,484 U.S. military veterans shows that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remains a major health problem, even for service members who have never seen combat. More than 85 percent of veterans reported exposure to a wide range of traumas, including the sudden death of a family member or friend. The study was published online in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and the senior author was Robert Pietrzak, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry. Read more 

Veterans with PTSD and alcohol dependence are more sensitive to trauma-induced alcohol craving

Stress and trauma images produced increases in alcohol craving, anxiety, fear, and anger in military veterans diagnosed with alcohol dependence and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a Yale study of 25 veterans. Participants were randomly exposed to neutral, stressful, and trauma imagery. Elizabeth Ralevski, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, was first author of the study, which was published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Read more 

Yale paper tracks resident-led efforts to improve patient care at West Haven VA

Several Yale faculty and recent trainees have chronicled the efforts to improve patient care systems at the West Haven campus of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. Their use of a morbidity and mortality (M&M) conference-style model was recently featured in an article published in the journal Academic Psychiatry. Tobias Wasser, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and associate director of the Yale Public Psychiatry Fellowship, was the first author. Read more  

Blumberg joins Brain & Behavior Research Foundation's Scientific Council

Hilary Blumberg, MD, John and Hope Furth Professor of Psychiatry and director of the Mood Disorders Research Program at Yale, has joined the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation's Scientific Council. The council reviews and selects scientific research that will be funded by the foundation, which since 1987 has awarded more than $360 million in grants to more than 4,000 scientists worldwide. Council members decide which research ideas have the greatest potential to lead to breakthroughs. Read more 

Yale Psychiatry Residents' Association elects new officers

Myra Mathis, MD, and Joseph Taylor, MD, PhD, have been elected co-presidents of the Yale Psychiatry Residents' Association (PRA). The organization serves as a liaison between residents and faculty, and helps to cultivate an educational and fun working environment for trainees. The PRA sponsors many educational and social programs, ranging from master interviewing sessions accompanied by wine and cheese evenings with faculty, to the Psychiatry and Cinema series. It also oversees resident participation on committees focused on resident and medical school education. Read more 

Wexler honored with Innovation Award for development of skills training program for students

Bruce Wexler, MD, professor emeritus of psychiatry and senior research scientist, was honored in August with the Invisible Disabilities Association's (IDA) 2016 Innovation Award. Wexler was recognized for his work at Yale and at C8 Sciences, the company he founded, in creating an evidence-based cognitive skills training program called ACTIVATE that improves focus, self-control, and memory in elementary school students with and without attention-related disorders. Read more 

Kerns honored with career service award

Robert D. Kerns, PhD, professor of psychiatry, of neurology, and of psychology, was honored in August with the 2016 Nathan W. Perry, Jr. Award for Career Service to Health Psychology. The award was presented by the American Psychological Association Society for Health Psychology. It honors people who have made significant contributions to Division 38 and/or the advancement of health psychology as a field, nationally or internationally. Read more  

Blackwell, Caro named Webb Fellows

Katherine Blackwell, MD, PhD, and Andres Caro, MD, have been named Webb Fellows by the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine (APM), the chief professional organization for the psychiatry of the mentally ill. The Webb Fellowship is a prestigious and selective award based on achievement in the field of Psychosomatic Medicine. Blackwell graduated from her residency in psychiatry at Yale in June, and Caro completed his residency in psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic. Both are beginning fellowships in Psychosomatic Medicine. Read more 

Yip to attend Early Career Investigator Showcase in San Diego

Sarah Yip, PhD, associate research scientist in psychiatry, has been awarded a place at the second annual Early Career Investigator Showcase co-sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The symposium will be held in November in San Diego. Yip will present her work on "Neural moderators of galantamine treatment response in cocaine dependence." Read more  

Smith honored with award at 30th CINP World Congress

Andrew Smith, an MD/PhD student at Yale who works in a lab run by Joel Gelernter, MD, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Genetics and of Neuroscience, was named a Student Award Winner at the 30th CINP World Congress in Seoul, Korea, in July. The award encourages postgraduate students globally to participate in and experience the CINP World Congress, put on by the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Read more  

Goldenberg: On psychiatry as a career choice, and Trump's mental health

Research by Matthew Goldenberg, MD, MSc, assistant professor of psychiatry, and colleagues that looks at why medical students choose psychiatry as a specialty was featured in Psychiatric News. Goldenberg also wrote an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times about Donald Trump's mental health. His views do not officially represent the position of the department or Yale University.

Read the Psychiatric News article   Read the Los Angeles Times op-ed  

Cook: What 9/11 taught us about helping trauma survivors

On the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Joan Cook, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry, wrote in Time that future trauma survivors will benefit from the knowledge, attitudes, and skills so many people gained from the events of that fateful day. "We now know much more ... about how to swiftly and sensitively implement programs to meet the needs of trauma survivors and their families," wrote Cook, an Op-Ed Project Public Voices Fellow. Read more 

Silva inspects Pennsylvania residential center where migrant mothers, children were held

Michelle Silva, PsyD, assistant professor of psychiatry, was among a delegation of psychologists and pediatricians asked to review conditions at the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania where women and children detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement were held. The families arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum from violence in El Salvador and Honduras. Silva described their extended detention as "very concerning" in a story in The Guardian. Read more 

New Haven MOMS Partnership featured in report on poverty

The New Haven MOMS Partnership, directed by Megan Smith, DrPH, MPH, assistant professor of psychiatry, in the Child Study Center, and of epidemiology, was featured in a report by the Urban Institute that seeks to discover solutions for moving people out of poverty. Authors of the report highlighted the MOMS Partnership's use of community, government, academic, and institutional partners to promote mental health and economic security for mothers. Read more  

YNHH Behavioral Health Services among top hospitals nationally for psychiatry

Yale-New Haven Hospital Behavioral Health Services is again ranked among the top hospitals for psychiatry in U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals rankings. YNHH placed tenth among adult psychiatry hospitals in the national rankings. The Yale Department of Psychiatry has long enjoyed a place on best-of lists. In 2014, the department's residency was rated among the top three medical training programs in the country. Read more 

Yale Public Psychiatry fellow builds faculty publications search engine

After Stan Mathis, MD, started his Public Psychiatry Fellowship at Yale in July, he struggled with how to search for published writing by faculty members in the department. His solution was to code a search engine that gathers all PubMed indexed publications matching current faculty names and collects them into a database. Results are arranged by author and year, allowing for people to quickly search the database for faculty writing. Read more and visit the search engine  

Potenza: Why some people are more susceptible to addiction than others

WNPR radio, Connecticut's public media source for NPR, recently devoted a segment on addiction, and the role that a person's genetic makeup plays in influencing their chances to become an addict. Among those interviewed was Mark Potenza, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry who directs the Yale Program for Research on Impulsivity and Impulse Control Disorders. Potenza is also senior scientist at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. His research in the area of addiction has been widely published. Listen here  

CMHC video series: 'Recovery is ... Reconnecting with Family'

This month's video in the recovery video series at the Connecticut Mental Health Center is "Recovery is ... Reconnecting with Family." The video features Randy, whose recovery has given him a second chance at life and family. He shares his hope to build a strong relationship with his family as part of his recovery journey. The video series was launched by the CMHC Foundation to mark the 50th anniversary of CMHC in 2016. Read more 

Update from the Dean's Faculty Advisory Council

The Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) is a body convened by the Dean last year to "provide a forum for a diverse group of representatives to bring new ideas and concerns from a broad range of faculty to the Dean's office." Elections for members were held last summer, and the committee has been meeting approximately twice per month since it convened in late September 2015. The FAC has an elected chair, Jeffrey Bender (Internal Medicine), and vice chair/chair-elect Todd Constable (Diagnostic Radiology).

The Department of Psychiatry has five representatives on the FAC: Paula Zimbrean (representing YNHPH faculty), Jason Johannesen (VA faculty), Christopher Pittenger (faculty primarily engaged in research), Allison Ponce (clinician-educator faculty), and Peter Morgan (clinician-scholar faculty). The full membership of the FAC can be found here.

As a new committee, our operating procedures and agenda have developed over the course of the past year. The Dean and others from the Dean's office attend one meeting per month, and the minutes for this meeting are made publicly available, once approved, at this link. The second meeting each month is reserved for discussions without representation from the Dean's office.

Topics that the FAC has discussed over the past year have centered on three broad areas: transparency/communication, equity, and climate at the medical school. Specific topics of discussion, to which we expect to return regularly include: transparency of decision-making at the medical school, especially around salary issues; minority representation on the faculty; issues particularly affecting women on the faculty, including pay equity and parental leave; the promotion process; issues affecting specific ranks and tracks (such as the clinician educator track and the associate research scientists); and issues surrounding the climate at the school, as captured in the recent Barrett Values Survey.

Going forward, we will post regular updates on FAC activity in this newsletter, with the aim of getting the department up to date on past activity, and then keeping the department abreast of more current FAC discussions. All faculty in the department are encouraged to contact a department representative to suggest issues for FAC discussion, or to share their thoughts on issues being discussed.

Special Events

Celebration organized to mark publication of Yale Textbook of Public Psychiatry

The Yale Division of Public Psychiatry will sponsor a reception from 4:00 to 5:30 pm September 29 to mark the publication of the Yale Textbook of Public Psychiatry. All are invited to attend the event, which will be in the Penthouse Suite, The Study at Yale, 1157 Chapel St. The 291-page textbook contains contributions from 74 faculty members representing virtually all training sites and research interests in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. Its editors were Selby C. Jacobs, MD, professor emeritus of psychiatry, and Jeanne L. Steiner, DO, associate professor of psychiatry and co-director of the Yale Division of Public Psychiatry. Publication of the textbook was timed to coinicide with the 50th anniversary in 2016 of the Connecticut Mental Health Center.

Yale Division of Public Psychiatry to hold monthly meetings

The Yale Division of Public Psychiatry, co-directed by Michael Sernyak, MD, and Jeanne Steiner, DO, is launching a series of monthly meetings open to all members of the Yale Department of Psychiatry. The division is organized to support scholarship, educational activities, and policy development associated with the field of public psychiatry. The purpose of the meetings is to highlight ongoing work and to facilitate collaborations. The first meeting will be held from 12:00 to 1:00 pm October 14 in CMHC Room W212. Lunch will be served.

CMHC 50th Anniversary Celebration

Connecticut Mental Health Center to mark 50th anniversary September 30

undefined The Connecticut Mental Health Center will mark its 50th anniversary with a celebration September 30 at Edward P. Evans Hall at the Yale School of Management, 165 Whitney Ave. The event will begin at 6:00 pm, and will include presentations and a reception. Tickets are $50 per person. They may be purchased online by clicking here.

Birth Announcement

William Huxley Corlett

Philip Corlett, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, and his wife, Maureen, announce the birth of their son, William Huxley, on August 26. William weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 21 inches in length.

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, September 23, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

VA Addiction Studies: Focus on Sex Differences

Mehmet Sofuoglu, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine; Director, Mental Illness Research, VA New England

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, September 30, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

CMHC's 50th Anniversary: "Heritage and Hope: The Legacy and Aspirations of Public Psychiatry"

Anita Everett, MD, DFAPA, Chief Medical Officer, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

Friday, October 7, 2016; 10:15-11:30 am

Drug Hunting in the CNS: A Case Study and the Challenges that Lie Ahead

David Michelson, MD, Vice President of Clinical Research, Neuroscience, Merck & Co., Inc.

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Details / Download to your calendar 

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


CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

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 

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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