Congratulations to our Staff Scholarship Award recipients

Department news | March 28, 2024

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. Awardees for this round include:

  • HaRRT Center Team Award – for staff and research assistants to attend the American Psychological Association conference in Seattle.
  • SPIRIT Center Team Award - to attend the POD Course “Creating Equity with Gracious Space”.
  • Aaron Davis (HaRRT Center) – to attend the American Psychological Association conference in Seattle.
  • Kelcey Schmitz (SMART Center) – to attend the Association for Positive Behavior Support Conference in Chicago.
  • Mackenzie Tennison (SPIRIT Center) - to attend a two-day Certified Clinical Trauma Professional Training.
  • Roger Goosey (SMART Center) – to attend the Society of Clinical Research Associates Conference in Las Vegas.
  • Victoria Shepard (SPIRIT Center) – to enroll in a Spanish Medical Terminology course.

Thank you to the Staff EDI Professional Development & Training subcommittee (Vaughan Collins, MSW, Amy Davis, Winnie Ho, and Andie Uomoto, MPA) for reviewing the proposals and to the donors who make this program possible.

Joey Mazzola, 2024 UWMC Patient Safety Hero Award

Department news | March 28, 2024

Joey Mazzola, MD, a second-year psychiatry resident, was selected as the recipient of the 2024 UW Medical Center Patient Safety Hero Award. The award is given to faculty and staff who have gone above and beyond to intervene on behalf of patients. Dr. Mazzola exemplifies excellence in dedication to patient care as exemplified in this excerpt from his nomination:

“I have not seen a resident more dedicated to patient safety than Joey Mazzola. Once, he took care of patient J - unhoused, her schizophrenia decompensated, her reality skewed from substances, her cognition just intact enough to refuse the care she needed. Joey made it a priority that she safely discharge to a supportive environment. However, he took it a step further. He coordinated resources for her, checked in on her when appropriate, and identified community champions to help her safely make it to walk-in appointments. Without Joey's tender care for a human in need and a penchant for understanding safety in the long term, J would not have succeeded in the way she has today.”

UW SOM grad, CoLab recognized for research

Department news | February 29, 2024

Congratulations to UW School of Medicine graduate Andy Wen, MD, MPH, whose paper, Racial disparities in youth pretrial detention: a retrospective cohort study grounded in critical race theory, was recently selected as a finalist for the Office of Health Equity Research (OHER) Award for Yale Research Excellence. The paper was supervised and coauthored by Sarah Walker, PhD, with whom Dr. Wen worked while pursuing his MPH at UW. Dr. Wen is currently a psychiatry resident at Yale School of Medicine.

Alex Whitebirch receives WRF Postdoctoral Fellowship

Department news | January 31, 2024

Alex Whitebirch, PhD, received a Washington Research Foundation (WRF) Postdoctoral Fellowship to investigate the role of prefrontal cortex neurons in fentanyl addiction and relapse using fiber photometry and chemogenetic approaches. Dr. Whitebirch completed a doctorate in neurobiology and behavior at Columbia University and is currently working with Susan Ferguson, PhD. Learn more

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.