SMART Center receives Washington Association of School Administrators’ Community Leadership Award

Department news | May 31, 2022

The Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) presented their Community Leadership Award to the SMART Center this month. The annual award is given to community members or groups in recognition of their outstanding contributions toward education with specific criteria including benefit to students, leadership, motivation, success, cooperation/coordination with local district, recognition by others, and history of service. Sumner Bonney Lake School District, one of the SMART Center’s community partners, nominated the team. Kelcey Schmitz, MSEd, Director of Training and Technical Assistance, received the award on behalf of the SMART Center. Congratulations!

Allana Hall receives Margaret H. O’Donnell Prize in Psychiatry

Department news | February 28, 2022

Congratulations to Allana Hall, a 4th year medical student, for receiving the Margaret H. O’Donnell Prize in Psychiatry. This prize, funded by a generous philanthropic gift to the department, is awarded to a senior medical student at the University of Washington who has been highly involved in behavior health issues and done outstanding academic work in psychiatry. Allana has engaged in a wide range of activities including forming the first Wyoming Chapter of a student group focusing on Adverse Childhood Experiences and their health impacts, serving as a Crisis Text Line counselor and engaging in research focusing on medication for opioid use disorder. In addition to being recognized for her outstanding work, Allana will receive a $600 award. She is hoping to match into psychiatry next month and we wish her well!

Thank you to Heidi Combs, MD, MS, and Paul Borghesani, MD, PhD, for reviewing applications and administering the award.

Mary Larimer receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Department news | December 28, 2021

Congratulations to Mary Larimer, PhD, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Addictive Behaviors Special Interest Group (SIG) from the Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies (ACBT) earlier this month. ABCT is committed to the enhancement of health and well-being by advancing the scientific understanding, assessment, prevention and treatment of human problems through the global application of behavioral, cognitive and biological evidence-based principles. The Addictive Behaviors SIG provides a platform within ABCT for members to communicate and collaborate regarding substance use topics.

Kevin Hallgren, PhD, receives the Outstanding Research Mentor Award given by the UW School of Medicine

Department news | November 30, 2021

Congratulations to Kevin Hallgren, PhD, for receiving the Outstanding Research Mentor Award given by the UW School of Medicine. Dr. Hallgren has been working with Judith Tsui, MD, MPH (Division of General Internal Medicine) as a research mentor and research methods coach on her new MedStAR program that helps medical students develop and complete an addiction medicine-focused research project by pairing them with faculty mentors. Below is an excerpt from Dr. Hallgren’s nomination:

My mentor helped me not only develop my research project almost from the ground up, but also helped me to focus my research in something to which I was personally drawn to. With his help not only was I able to have a very fulfilling and enlightening research experience, but I was able to have a great clinical experience coincide with my research. Dr. Hallgren showed a lot of trust and faith in my abilities to direct a project on my own and gave me a lot of autonomy, but also advice whenever I asked. He was really able to understand my own interests in medicine and my previous background and used that information to show me how research conducted in the field of medicine can be collaborative and rewarding.

The hope is that providing this foundational experience through MedStAR will entice more medical students to be interested in addiction medicine research and clinical care, pursue residencies and fellowships that focus on addiction medicine, and/or champion addiction-related medical care throughout their careers.

Barbara McCann elected to serve as President-Elect of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis

Department news | November 30, 2021

Barbara McCann, PhD, was elected to serve as President-Elect of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH) for a two-year term starting November 2021. SCEH is an international association whose mission is to promote excellence and progress in hypnosis research, education, and clinical practice. A distinguishing feature of the Society is its emphasis on empirical inquiry and the evidence-base of hypnosis. Dr. McCann has served as Secretary of SCEH for the past two years and is Program Co-Chair of the Annual Conference. Catherine McCall, MD, is the other Conference Co-Chair and is current Secretary of SCEH. Congratulations Dr. McCann!

Benjamin Danielson, champion for equitable health access, named 2021 First Citizen

Department news | October 29, 2021

Benjamin Danielson, MD, a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and a celebrated community leader in health equity has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the Seattle-King County First Citizen Award. The former medical director of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic was honored at a civic banquet at the Seattle Art Museum on October 28.

In announcing this year’s recipient, event co-chair Cindy Silverstein called out Dr. Danielson’s extraordinary commitment to the health and well-being of children and families, especially children of color from low-income families, his leadership in the area of equity and social justice, and his lifelong commitment to community service which make him an especially worthy honoree this year when healthcare and a national reckoning with racism are paramount Read more.

We are looking forward to working with Dr. Danielson as he builds a new program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences that seeks to promote paths to opportunity that are youth-centered, community-informed, and evidence-based and that will help end youth incarceration in Washington State by the year 2030. The proposed AHSHAY Center, Allies in Healthier Systems for Health & Abundance in Youth, recently received a foundational grant from the Bezos Family Foundation.

Seattle Met Top Docs 2021

Department news | September 30, 2021

Congratulations to Catherine McCall, MD, and Andy Saxon, MD, on being named one of the Best Physicians in the Puget Sound region in Seattle Met Magazine for 2021.

We are delighted they were selected for this well-deserved honor and appreciate their commitment to excellence in patient care.

Nathan Sackett receives Clinician Scientist Transition (CST) Award to develop novel therapeutics

Department news | June 30, 2021

Nathan Sackett, MD, MS, is the first recipient of our new Clinician Scientist Transition (CST) Award. Funded by philanthropic and departmental support, the award provides funds to advance the career of clinician scientists who are committed to starting careers in clinical or translational research. Finding time to pursue research interests is difficult while fully engaged in clinical and teaching responsibilities, and the CST Award supports this career trajectory by protecting a clinician scientist’s time to do so.

Dr. Sackett will use his award to explore novel therapeutics, such as the use of psychedelics to treat substance use disorders. He completed his psychiatry residency and Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship with us and we are excited to welcome Nathan to the UW faculty and to support his work in novel therapeutics.

Heidi Combs, MD, receives Gary J. Tucker Career Teaching Award

Department news | June 30, 2021

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 his or her career, outstanding skills as a teacher and dedication to education. This year, the award was given to Heidi Combs, MD.

Dr. Combs loves to teach and has a stellar record of exceptional, very highly rated teaching of medical students, residents, faculty, physicians in practice and other learners. She was an outstanding leader of medical student education in our department and was recognized as Teacher Superior in Perpetuity by the UW School of Medicine in 2013. This honor, held by only 21 other teachers in the School’s history, is bestowed upon those who have received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the graduating class four times. She is intimately involved in the education of psychiatry residents and is a founding faculty member of the Clinician-Teacher Pathway for our residency program. She regularly educates primary care providers on detection and treatment of psychiatric illnesses in primary settings and has a long record of significant accomplishment and recognition in faculty development (including the Stern Endowed Chair). She is also a superb role model and mentor. Dr. Combs assumed the role of Vice Chair of Education in 2020 and in that role, she oversees all educational efforts for our department.

Past recipients of the award include Jack Carr, PhDJohan Verhulst, MDChris Varley, MDJoan Romano, PhDDeb Cowley, MDDick Miyoshi, RPhMarcella Pascualy, MDElizabeth McCauley, PhD and Andrew Saxon, MD.

Tracy Simpson, PhD, receives Wayne J. Katon Outstanding Mentor Award

Department news | June 30, 2021

The Wayne J. Katon Outstanding Mentor Award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates sustained commitment to the creative, scholarly, professional and personal development of research mentees. The award honors Wayne Katon, MD, a gifted and dedicated mentor who supervised medical students, psychiatry residents, research fellows and junior faculty across several departments, many of whom have become principal investigators of their own grant funded research programs. He directed an NIH-funded T-32 Fellowship Program in Primary Care Psychiatry for over 25 years that produced more than 30 successful researchers at the interface of medicine and psychiatry, including many members of our department. The award is funded by the Wayne Katon Memorial Fund for Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Faculty Development. This year, the award was given to Tracy Simpson, PhD.

There was a terrific nomination packet submitted on Dr. Simpson’s behalf from a large group of colleagues and mentees which detailed a remarkable generosity and investment in her mentees. The selection committee was very impressed with Dr. Simpson’s track record of mentoring a diverse group of faculty and trainees. Her commitment to developing the next generation of researchers in alcohol use disorders, PTSD and Veterans’ mental health was very clear. An excerpt from her nomination packet states, “She is one of those rare mentors who, behind closed doors and when no credit can be given, consistently puts in the extra effort to support the growth and success of her mentees. I can say without hesitation that even among mentor superstars, Dr. Simpson is truly exceptional.” Dr. Simpson has previously received the Exceptional Psychology Mentorship/Leadership Award by the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and the Outstanding Mentor Award by the American Psychological Association.

Past recipients of the award include Raphe Bernier, PhDMary Larimer, PhDKathleen Myers, PhDChristine Lee, PhD, and Patricia Areán, PhD. We also congratulate this year’s other nominees Michele Bedard-Gilligan, PhD and John Fortney, PhD.