2021, Issue 5, September 15
The occurrence of National Suicide Prevention Month reminds us of the tremendous burden of suicide in our country, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as perhaps the most severe outcome of significant life trauma and depression. It is an outcome that psychiatry and psychology “own,” and one which is front-of-mind in our clinical practices, our teaching, and our research, as a serious brain disorder of complex etiology. It brings unspeakable pain to families, friends, and colleagues. The special month reminds us of the need to address suicide to bring relief and treatment as well as to gain new knowledge for prophylaxis.

The occurrence of Women in Medicine Month reminds us of the value of diversity in medicine. High-quality medical practice is vitally dependent on diversity among its practitioners. It is not only that medicine needs a diverse and vital workforce for service delivery, but it is also that diversities of practice, personalities, and interests as generated by gender and racial diversity remain important for a high-quality medical force.
--Carol A. Tamminga, M.D.
Department Chair
Intensive Outpatient Program for Suicidal Youth
Despite efforts to prevent suicide, US suicide rates are climbing, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents. Rising rates of suicide in youth, which have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, have created a public health need for improved treatments for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Options for care beyond inpatient settings are needed.
In 2014, we developed an intensive outpatient program, Suicide Prevention and Resilience at Children’s (SPARC), to respond to the need for suicide-specific treatment in a less restrictive setting with the focus on reducing risk factors related to suicidal behavior and increasing protective factors.
SPARC is grounded in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and includes components of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness CBT, and Relapse Prevention CBT. The program includes teen groups twice weekly, individual therapy, multi-family groups, weekly skills-based parent psychoeducation groups, family therapy (as indicated), and medication management (as needed). Patients spend 7- 9 hours in treatment each week and participate in programming for 4-6 weeks.

Qualitative improvement data is an important component of the program. Since its inception, feasibility and acceptability outcomes have been positive, and retention rates are satisfactory, with nearly 83% of participants completing the program. Over 95% of parents and patients have reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the program. Outcomes related to future attempts are also positive, with reattempt rates at 6 months less than 12%. Within 6 months, those who did not complete the program had a higher rate of suicide attempts, which suggests that the program may be effective in preventing attempts post-discharge if the patient completes the program (i.e., attends 5 or more sessions). A 2015 meta-analysis found an overall rate of 28% for attempts post-treatment for youth treated for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Thus, our 6-month outcome data compare favorably. Dr. Graham Emslie is the medical director, Dr. Betsy Kennard (pictured above) is program director, Dr. Jessica King is lead psychologist, and Roshini Kumar is clinical manager.
Graham Emslie, M.D.
Jessica King, Ph.D.
Roshini Kumar, LPC
Spotlight On... Kala Bailey, M.D.
Kala Bailey, M.D., serves as Chief of Psychiatry for University Hospital and Clinics. This clinical service line includes a state-of-the-art, 23-bed inpatient unit, an active hospital consult-liaison service, and a large multispecialty outpatient practice. Dr. Bailey's clinical focus is Interventional Psychiatry, through which she specializes in working with patients who have treatment-refractory mental disorders. In her role as Clinical Director of Interventional Psychiatry, she has led the development of a fully integrated program whereby patients can present for a single evaluation and have access to all indicated, FDA-approved treatments, as well as investigational approaches and clinical trial offerings at UT Southwestern.
What motivated you to get into medicine?

“I was inspired to pursue a career in medicine by my maternal grandfather. It had been his dream to become a physician, but he was unable to realize this because of a lasting physical disability from a childhood polio infection. From the time I was young, he fostered an excitement in me to make this dream of his a reality, and I haven’t regretted it a single day since.”

What do you love about your job?

“I am blessed to get to work in such an incredible academic institution that fully supports and encourages my development as a woman in a clinical leadership position. I am surrounded by brilliant colleagues here, and I know I am a better doctor because of them. More than that, I have the privilege of delivering innovative treatment approaches to patients with difficult to treat mental disorders, offering hope to patients and their families when there previously had been none. It is a joy to me to come to work here every day, and I am excited to see what the future brings for our department.”
Join Our Faculty
We have many opportunities!
for openings.
Retreat Sneak Peek
Wouldn't it be nice if the department set aside a day for you to get refreshed by learning about a key national issue important to psychiatry and beyond, enhancing your work effort and work/life balance, learning information about key clinical service in the city, enabling you to connect with other psychiatry faculty and clinicians you rarely get to converse with, and giving you an informative review of the department by the Chair? The Psychiatry Department has done just that!

We will be having a retreat for Faculty, Advanced Practice Providers, and Clinical Therapists on Friday, October 1, from 8:30am to 2:30pm. The retreat will be virtual yet still have many of the aspects of in-person retreats, including many opportunities to enhance our connections with each other.

Topics and format:
8:30 Virtual registration and networking
9:00 Introductions
9:15 Anti-racism presentation followed by breakout rooms for small group discussions
11:00 Two concurrent sessions (attendees have flexibility to attend parts of each):
  • Enhancement Fair (e.g., wellness, enhancing teaching and research skills, networking, clinical effort information, “cone of confidentiality”)
  • Clinical Resources Information (e.g., Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, Parkland Victim Intervention Program, Southwestern Psychotherapy)
12:00 Fun breakout rooms, socializing, a little competition
1:15 Dr. Tamminga presents the State of the Department
2:15 Summary of the day’s programs

Questions? Email the Retreat Committee:
This retreat will occur via Zoom. After registering, participants will receive an email containing information about joining the event. We look forward to seeing you! 
Staff Appreciation Event
The Psychiatry Department expressed its appreciation and provided some help for staying cool in the heat on August 26, with a paleta cart filled with delicious, ice-cold popsicles. Yolanda Barner-Thomas, Cari Norz, and other managers and leadership from the department handed out treats to staff members, who were happy to receive refreshment and physically distanced social connections.
Welcome New Staff
Brown Lab
  • Shuchi Lakhanpal, Research Study Coordinator
General Adult Psychiatry Clinic
  • Benven Dsouza, Ambulatory RN
  • Brooke Gomez, Counselor
  • John Muturi, Advanced Practice RN
  • Fawn Palmer, Advanced Practice RN 
  • James (Jimmie) Watkins, Clinical Staff Coordinator
Mood Disorders
  • Ryan Yale Becker, Clinical Data Specialist
  • Holli Slater, Clinical Research Manager
  • Jeremie Wade Golden, Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Ezrhiel Racelis, Research Study Coordinator
  • Danielle Spano, Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Geoffrey Obel, Senior Research Associate
  • DeWanda Harris Trimiar, Research Patient Navigator
  • Martha Ofelia Gallegos, Psychometrist III
Association for Academic Psychiatry Awards
UT Southwestern Psychiatry was very well represented at the September 8-10, 2021, meeting of the Association for Academic Psychiatry (AAP), an organization devoted to education in psychiatry from the beginning of medical school through lifelong learning for psychiatrists and other physicians. The meeting's theme was "Bridging the Divide: Reducing Inequity through Education."
Two winners of the AAP Resident Psychiatric Educator Award are in our department! Alexis Kropf, M.D., is a fourth-year resident, and Paresh Jaini, D.O., is a first-year child and adolescent psychiatry fellow, who completed residency at John Peter Smith Hospital.
Paresh Jaini, D.O.
Alexis Kropf, M.D.
Adriane dela Cruz, M.D., Ph.D., received AAP's 2021 Early Career Development Award.
Dr. Danielle Morelli's poster "Two Approaches to Teaching Antiracism as
It Pertains to Race in the Psychiatry Clerkship" won both the top poster in the Diversity & Inclusion category and the top overall poster for the AAP conference! Dr. Morelli is a third-year resident in the Internal Medicine-Psychiatry Combined Residency Program.
Danielle Morelli, M.D.
Psychology Division Achievements
Veronica Bordes Edgar, Ph.D.

Dr. Veronica Bordes Edgar and
Dr. Heidi Rossetti were elected as Fellows in the National Academy of Neuropsychology.
Heidi Rossetti, Ph.D.
Dallas Area Gerontological Society Scholarships
Karen Dorsman, a student in our Clinical Psychology Graduate Program, was awarded a scholarship in recognition of her community service, advocacy, and research in the field of aging and health disparities in aging.
Jeffrey Schaffert, Ph.D., a 2020 graduate of our Clinical Psychology Graduate Program, was awarded a scholarship for professional development and in recognition of his research in the field of aging.
Publication Highlights
In BrainStorm podcast episode 4, Kathryn Forbes interviews Dr. Madhukar Trivedi and Dr. Jennifer Hughes about the Texas Youth Depression and Suicide Research Network. Funded by the state as part of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, TX-YDSRN supports important research into identifying, intervening with, and supporting suicidal adolescents and young adults, as well as sharing those findings with health care systems across the state to improve care for all Texans.
In the News
Community Engagement
Brittany Hall, Ph.D., will present her work to cancer survivors and caregivers in Fort Worth on emotional intimacy at the 9th Annual Gynecological Oncology Symposium on Saturday, September 18. She will also participate in the “Stupid Cancer” discussion series on “Managing Treatment Effects,” designed for the adolescent and young adult cancer population, on September 22.
Research Funding and Entrepreneurial Support Opportunities
Life Science Forum presenters will have the opportunity to give a pitch to 500+ venture capitalists, corporate innovation groups, angel networks, industry leaders, academics, and service providers and participate in office hours on November 10.

Digital Health and Biotech Startups in Texas can pitch for a Fast Track into Capital Factory and a $50,000 Investment.

The Johnson & Johnson Scholars Award Program aims to fuel development of female STEM2D leaders and feed the STEM2D talent pipeline by awarding and sponsoring women at critical points in their careers, in each of the STEM2D disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design. Applications for the 2022 WiSTEM2D Scholars Award close September 27. The awards will fund one woman per STEM2D discipline who has completed her advanced degree, is working as an assistant professor (or global equivalent faculty position), and is not yet tenured at an accredited university, institution, or design school. The goal is to fuel the research passion of the awarded women and inspire career paths in their respective STEM2D fields. Johnson & Johnson is looking to identify global women leading in both their research fields and leading as mentors, to be a vision for girls and other women in STEM2D.

The Sponsored Programs Administration team is pleased to assist with the potential review and submission of the above funding opportunities, on behalf of
UT Southwestern Medical Center. Request assistance.
Mark Your Calendar
The Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care's Guest Lecturer Dr. Jane Foster will present "Microbes and Mood: How Your Gut Microbes Are Linked to Your Mental Health" via Zoom at 10am Thursday, September 16.
Starting University Clinical Careers Effectively, Scholarly, and Successfully
The SUCCESS program helps clinician faculty build knowledge and skills for success in Clinical Excellence, Educational Effectiveness, Scholarly Productivity, and Professionalism and Institutional Citizenship. The two-part program is scheduled for September 21, 8am-12pm, and September 28, 12:30pm-5pm.
Psychiatry Department Grand Rounds (select Wednesdays at 12pm via Zoom)
September 22 OBI Grand Rounds: The Hype & Hope of Assistive Technology
September 29 Faculty Development: Optimizing Leadership
Advances in Sub-Specialty Psychiatry (select Tuesdays at 12pm via Zoom)
September 21 Neuropsychiatry: Short & Long Term Outcomes Following Concussion
October 5 Caring for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder in Routine Psychiatric Practice
This monthly discussion forum intends to build a community of support and connection and foster anti-racism, mutual growth, empowerment, respect, and empathy through facilitated dialogue about diversity, equity, and inclusion within our department and the communities we serve. The next Brave Space session will take place on Thursday, September 30, at 2pm.

October 1 Faculty, Advanced Practice Providers & Clinical Therapists Retreat
October 6 Town Hall
Our next Psychiatry Department
Town Hall will be held via Zoom at
12pm Wednesday, October 6. Reach out with your ideas for topics to cover or questions to be addressed!

The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute (OBI) research team has been working on exciting new programs for the UTSW research community. Psychiatry faculty are eligible for three funding opportunities (below). These programs (and others) will be discussed in an “Intro to OBI Research Program Initiatives” meeting, scheduled especially for the Psychiatry Department, via Zoom on Friday, October 15, at 12pm.

  1. Research Interest Groups: The OBI OrBIt Research Interest Group program encourages transdisciplinary groups of UTSW researchers focused in a shared research area to connect and build working relationships. In addition to supplying food for regular group meetings, funds may be used in other ways to support the researchers to organize and hold networking events, focused workshops, or outside speakers. At the end of the granting period, OBI Research Interest Groups will present one (or more) of the following topics at the annual OBI Research Retreat, including an interactive poster session: (1) New partnerships formed to increase the reach of research projects; (2) Innovative approaches to cross-systems solutions in health care; and/or (3) Outline of a grant to accelerate collaboration in a specific research topic. The OBI Research Retreat will include cash prizes.
  2. Focused Funding – Sprout Project: The OBI Sprout Project program is offering internal grants to provide funding for focused research support to facilitate the collection of pilot data to explore new directions that are not easily covered by other funding sources. These awards are primarily aimed at supporting new ideas from trainees working with OBI Investigators. 
  3. High Impact – Visionary Neuroscience Program: The OBI Visionary Neuroscience Program is a new internal grant mechanism to support highly innovative new research that because of its novelty and risk profile is not suitable for NIH funding. These research projects must feature OBI Investigators from at least two different departments. The program will support research aimed at 1) advancing fundamental insight into biology relevant to brain disease or 2) translating scientific discovery into the clinical arena. Preference will be given to proposals in 1) cell and molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease; 2) delineation and/or modulation of normal and disease-altered brain circuits.
OBI Special Seminar: Optimizing Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease Using Physiologic Signals and Biophysical Modeling
Speaker: Svjetlana Miocinovic, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine
When: Thursday, September 23, 12pm
Online: Join Zoom Meeting