John Fortney named to Population Health Initiative Executive Council

Department news | September 28, 2023

Congratulations to John Fortney, PhD, for being named to the Population Health Initiative Executive Council as a representative of the School of Medicine (SOM). Chaired by President Ana Mari Cauce, the council includes senior leaders, faculty, students and staff representing a range of contributing colleges, schools, programs and stakeholder units. It is quite an honor to be one of a very small number of SOM representatives to this UW-wide effort appointed by President Cauce. Dr. Fortney is the second SOM faculty member from our department to represent us on the council, the first being Jürgen Unützer, MD, MPH, MA.

Patricia Areán appointed Director of NIMH’s Division of Services and Intervention Research

Department news | September 28, 2023

Patricia Areán, PhD, became the new director of the National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) Division of Services and Intervention Research (DSIR) in August. In this role, she leads the funding of major national scientific research programs and ensures the coordination of scientific substance, policy and procedural issues across NIMH’s extramural intervention and services research programs.

Dr. Areán joined the department in 2015. She founded the CREATIV Lab, served as the director of the NIMH-funded ALACRITY Center, and received the Wayne J. Katon Outstanding Mentor Award among numerous other honors and awards for her mentorship, disparities research, and contributions to geriatric psychology and health services research. We wish her well in her new role. Read more

Honors & Awards

Department news | September 28, 2023

Congratulations to the following faculty, staff and trainees!

Psychiatry resident Yanni Chang, MD, received an Honorable Mention recognition for the 2023 NIMH Outstanding Resident Award. Yanni has been an active member of the research track, co-authoring a manuscript published in BMC Health Services Research, and she is currently involved in three separate research projects around substance use disorders. As an awardee she has been invited to virtually present her research and research interests in a short talk during the award program.

Emily Dworkin, PhD, received a Partners in Justice Award from the Lutheran Community Services of Northwest Spokane for helping support trauma survivors, especially during the pandemic.

Rebecca Hendrickson, MD, PhD (psychiatry) and Andrew Saxon, MD (addiction medicine) were named a Top Doc by Seattle Met Magazine for 2023. We are delighted they were chosen by their peers for this well-deserved honor and appreciate their commitment to excellence in patient care.

James Lee, MD, Chief Resident for Harborview Medical Center, received the 2023 Resident Psychiatric Educator Award at the Association for Academic Psychiatry (AAP) Annual Meeting.

Jill Locke, PhD, was recognized as one of the 25 most prominent autism researchers. Her work has focused on social interventions for autistic students in elementary schools. Read more

Four department teams were among the recipients of the first UW Medicine Well-Being Grants for their creative approaches to foster well-being: the Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI), the Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors (CSHRB), the School Mental Health Assessment, Research, and Training (SMART) Center, and the Center for Mental Health Policy and the Law (CMHPL). See the list of Well-Being Grants for descriptions of all funded grants.

Faculty and staff department awards

Department news | July 5, 2023

At the department annual meeting in June, we honored several members of our faculty and staff who have contributed in various ways to the success of our department. A big congratulations to each of them! And thank you also to the Staff Awards Committee (Semhar Abraha, Lori Ferro, MHA, PMP, Winnie Ho, Maya Magarati, PhD, Sara Ochoa, MEd and Michele Roe) and the Faculty Awards Committee (Heidi Combs, MD, MS; Deb Cowley, MD; Ray Hsiao, MD; Ty Lostutter, PhD; Elizabeth McCauley, PhD; Suzanne Murray, MD; Marcella Pascualy, MD; Jagoda Pasic, MD, PhD; Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD; and Chris Varley, MD).

Exceptional Professional Staff Award:
Meg Brunner, MLIS
The Exceptional Professional Staff Award honors and celebrates the valuable efforts a professional staff member makes toward supporting the mission of the department. The award recognizes individuals for their overall dedication and service and for upholding our core values of collaboration, continuous learning and mentorship, and integrity and accountability. This year’s Exceptional Professional Staff Award went to Meg Brunner, MLIS, Director of Information Services at the Addictions, Drugs and Alcohol Institute (ADAI). These excerpts from her nomination packets give a hint at her exceptional service:

“I know I can reach out to Meg regarding a range of issues, and without fail, she will be able to aid in resolving the issue. If she cannot address the issue herself, then without fail she will do the legwork to identify the person that can.”

“Meg’s creativity in her work is also outstanding, and she has been instrumental in pushing a number of ADAI initiatives forward, including those that have enhanced diversity, equity and inclusion. I have found Meg to be an exceptional colleague that goes above and beyond in all aspects of her work”.

Exceptional Classified Staff Award:
Joanne Quiray
The Exceptional Classified Staff Award honors and celebrates the valuable efforts a classified staff member makes toward supporting the mission of the department. The award recognizes individuals for their overall dedication and service and for upholding our core values of collaboration, continuous learning and mentorship, and integrity and accountability. This year’s Exceptional Classified Staff Award went to Joanne Quiray, Research Study Coordinator Lead for the Perinatal Mental Health & Substance Use Education, Research & Clinical Consultation (PERC) Center. These excerpts from their nomination packets give a hint at their exceptional service:

“Joanne brings curiosity and consideration to improve existing tools, workflow, processes – they do not settle for just ‘good enough’. They patiently teach me and colleagues what they have learned – sometimes multiple times without complaint or judgment.”

“Working with them is always a collaborative process and ideas are bounced off each other freely. Joanne is truly a joy to work with and their influence has made me a better member of this Department.”

Exceptional Team Award:
AIMS Center Staff DEI Committee

The Exceptional Team Award was born from the recognition that we have an incredible number of effective teams that support our work and that no one person acts in isolation. The winner of this year’s Exceptional Team Award is the AIMS Center DEI Committee. Members include Paul Barry, MSW, LICSW; Alan Gojdics, MEd; Anna Hink, MSW, LICSW; Kristi Malmstrom, Sara Ochoa, MEd; and Juliann Salisbury, MSW. An excerpt from their nomination says, “The DEI Committee has been committed to making concrete changes and actually moving the needle along, moving past just talking about changing things. They should be commended for their commitment to this important work.”

Gary J. Tucker Career Teaching Award
Steven Engelberg, MD
The Gary J. Tucker Career Teaching Award, named in honor of the Chair of our department from 1985 through 1997, recognizes exceptional career achievement in teaching and education and honors Dr. Tucker's significant contributions to our academic programs, his leadership and dedication as a teacher, clinician, and scholar, his love of teaching, and his ability to inspire and encourage trainees.

The award is given to a member of the academic or clinical faculty who has demonstrated, throughout their career, outstanding skills as a teacher and dedication to education. This year, the award was given to courtesy faculty member Steven Engelberg, MD.

Salaried Clinical Pathway Outstanding Mentor Award
Jesse Fann, MD, PhD
The Salaried Clinical Pathway Outstanding Mentor Award recognizes a faculty member who has done an outstanding job mentoring and furthering the careers of salaried clinical faculty members (e.g., mentoring about developing clinical expertise, achieving regional and national recognition, developing and leading clinical programs, or how to be promoted in this pathway).

Clinician Teacher Pathway Outstanding Mentor Award
Marcela Pascualy, MD
The Clinician Teacher Pathway Outstanding Mentor Award recognizes a faculty member who has done an outstanding job mentoring and furthering the careers of clinician teacher faculty members.

Anna Duncan receives Bloomberg Fellowship

Department news | July 5, 2023

Congratulations to Anna Duncan, Program Operations Specialist at CoLab, for being selected a Bloomberg Fellow! Sponsored by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Bloomberg Fellows program represents an innovative way to train the next generation of public health leaders as it requires not only a commitment to public health practice from the students, but also a commitment of collaboration from the organizations for which they already work. Anna will receive a full scholarship to earn an MPH while participating in a learning community of organizations doing innovative work for adolescent health around the country, including CoLab, then return to CoLab to continue furthering its mission.

McKenna Parnes recognized by NIDA

Department news | July 5, 2023

McKenna Parnes, PhD, a Primary Care/Behavioral Health Integration Postdoctoral Fellow, received an honorable mention in the Substance Use Prevention Services in Primary Care Challenge administered by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for her substance use prevention model framework, “Girls advocacy and impact network +: A gender-responsive substance use prevention model for girl-identified youth.”

Girl-identified youth (GIY) experience gender-based risk factors that place them at elevated risk for problematic substance use, but few GIY-focused substance prevention programs exist. Dr. Parnes’s submission addressed these gaps by adapting an evidence-based, GIY-specific substance use disorder prevention program to work smoothly within the Justice for Girls Coalition of Washington State GAIN program, an existing GIY peer-based policy advocacy and empowerment organization. In her model, pediatric primary care clinics would receive a referral package with guidelines for screening for GIY-specific risk factors and connecting identified GIY to the prevention program. The cash prize will allow Dr. Parnes to further develop and test the effectiveness of the model.

Peskind, Russo and Turner ranked among the best female US scientists

Department news | May 31, 2023

A new ranking by ranks the top female scientists in the United States based on a scientist's general H-index, a metric for evaluating the cumulative impact of an author's scholarly output and performance. The aim of the ranking is to inspire female scholars, women considering an academic career, and decision-makers worldwide with the examples of successful women in the scientific community. Of the seven women who made the list from the University of Washington, three were from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: Elaine Peskind, MDJoan Russo, PhD; and Judith Turner, PhD. Each of them has made tremendous contributions to their respective fields. We are honored and privileged to have them as colleagues and are thankful for their contributions to the department’s work over the years. Congratulations to Drs. Peskind, Russo and Turner!

Katherine Hoerster receives the Leading the Narrative Award

Department news | May 31, 2023

Congratulations to Katherine Hoerster, PhD, MPH, for receiving the Leading the Narrative Award from the Society for Behavioral Medicine honoring her work and dedication to effective community-engaged behavioral medicine science communication. Dr. Hoerster has published eleven op-eds and letters since 2017 and is a frequent contributor to The Seattle Times and other local and national publications. She is known for “passing the microphone,” mentoring writers whose voices are underrepresented. Two of two of her recent pieces focused on active transportation were called out in her nomination: Transportation: try active commuting published in The Seattle Times and Make public transit accessible for all! published in the South Seattle Emerald. Dr. Hoerster was also recently featured in The Whole U’s People of UW series

Patricia Areán receives Susan Essock Award

Department news | March 30, 2023

Patricia Areán, PhD, received the Susan Essock Award from Columbia University for her work in services and policy research. Dr. Areán is an international expert on the effectiveness of behavioral interventions for mood disorders in special populations such as older adults and ethnic minorities. She leads a research and training group known for developing, studying, increasing access to and implementing user friendly, high quality behavioral interventions for mood as it presents in chronic illness, aging, low income and ethnic minority populations.

Susan M. Essock, PhD, is the Edna L. Edison Professor of Psychiatry, Emerita, in the Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University.

Congratulations, Pat!

Staff Scholarship Awards

Department news | February 28, 2023

Congratulations to the recipients of our latest round of Staff Scholarship Awards! Funded by department and philanthropic funds, these awards support professional development of classified and professional staff who work in our department. Awards are given twice per year. Awardees for this round include: 

  • Center for Mental Health, Policy, and the Law, team award, to complete a live professional training program on ‘Stigma in the law and the impact on the forensic mental health evaluation’ offered through Palo Alto University.
  • Angela Dahiya-Singh (ECHO/INCLUDE/Seattle Children’s Autism Center) to attend the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) Annual Meeting in Sweden.
  • Linda Nzabamwita (CHAMP Study) to complete courses on project management, strategic planning, team building, and effective communication.
  • Sally Ngo (CoLab) to complete the Google UX Certificate Course.
  • Yesenia Navarro-Aguirre (PERC Center) to complete a course on the fundamentals of Stata: data management, analysis, and graphics.
  • Afomia Assefa (Doorway Project) to complete a class through the Institute for Radical Permission.
  • Alanna Feltner (Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute) to take an online python programming course through Seattle Central College.
  • Sarah Franich (UW Psychiatry/PCAP) to take a continuing education class in Python.
  • Stacy Dimmich (Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute) to take a POD course on Practical Approach to Anti-Racism; What’s the Word: Inclusivity in Language.
  • SPIRIT Lab/Northwest MHTTC, team award, to take a POD course on Exploring Cultural Competence. This course is intended to build skills and provide frameworks to enhance communication between individuals with different cultural backgrounds.
  • Vaughan Collins (SMART Center) to take a series of POD courses toward the completion of Supervisory Skills Certificate.

Thank you to the Staff EDI professional development selection committee (Vaughan Collins, MSW, Winnie Ho, Andie Uomoto, MPA, and Jasmine Zhu) for reviewing the proposals and to the donors who make this program possible. If you are interested in supporting this program, you can contribute to the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Staff Development Fund. The deadline for the next round of funding is August 1, 2023.