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.

Debra Morrison & Michele Roe receive Exceptional Staff Award

Department news | June 30, 2021

The Exceptional Staff Award honors and celebrates the valuable efforts staff members make toward supporting the mission of the department and upholding our core values of collaboration, continuous learning and mentorship, and integrity and accountability. This year’s Exceptional Staff Award went to Debra Morison, Senior Project Manager and Practice Coach for the AIMS Center, and Michele Roe, Process Improvement Analyst and Education Project Manager. The below excerpts from their respective nomination packets give a hint at their exceptional service.

“Debra is one of the most humble and collaborative people I’ve had the privilege to work with over the course of my career. She never seeks the spotlight, is the quickest person to give credit to her collaborators, and always look for the ways she can continue to learn and grow rather than resting on her considerable expertise. I know I can count on Debra to bring her ‘A-game’ to every meeting, every email, every conversation. She never cuts corners or takes the easy path.”

“Michele’s work is notable for accuracy, flexibility, creativity, adaptability and efficiency. She produces real results quickly, and her quality of work improved the success of every project I have seen her work on. She is always open to suggestions and is an effective team member even when it involves a diverse group of individuals (residents, faculty, students, internal and external to UW), but also works well independently. She has a knack for proposing solutions to problems and rising to every occasion.”

Department Finance Team wins Exceptional Team Award

Department news | June 30, 2021

New in 2021 is the Exceptional Team Award, 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 inaugural award is the Department Finance Team consisting of Binyam AbrahamMarlene ParafinaLinda Sandhop and Beth Kunze-Sieps. The Finance Team is led by Nadia Khan, Associate Director of Financial Services. The team works across our department and in all our mission areas (education, clinical and research) and processes over 100 transactions a week with an eye on delivering timely service and ensuring a high level of compliance with state and federal financial guidelines.

“In my 20 years of employment at UW, this is hands down the most talented team I’ve worked with. In the last year, they have managed to provide seamless support to the Department despite the abrupt transition to remote work and the loss of a key fiscal position due to layoffs. Most importantly, they consistently operate with the Department’s values in mind (Diversity, Collaboration, Continuous Learning and Mentorship, Integrity and Accountability).”

Pamela Y. Collins appointed to the National Advisory Mental Health Council

Department news | June 30, 2021

Pamela Y. Collins, MD, MPH, who holds a joint professorship in psychiatry and global health, has been appointed to the prestigious National Institute of Mental Health’s National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC) for a three-year term.

The Mental Health Council advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) on all policies and activities relating to the conduct and support of mental health research, research training and other programs of the Institute. The Council is chaired by NIMH Director Dr. Joshua Gordon.

“For me, this is a re-entry into NIMH at an incredibly meaningful time for research on BIPOC mental health and health equity, as well as racial equity in NIH funding. NIH has expressed its commitment to antiracism, and I look forward to contributing to NIMH’s efforts to stimulate innovative research on disparities reduction that engages communities in the US and internationally.”  

Dr. Collins is the Director of the UW Global Mental Health Program, Executive Director of the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), and associate director of the new NIMH-funded UW Behavioral Research Center for HIV (UW BIRCH). She coordinates the West Coast Global Mental Health Consortium, among other leadership roles.

Christine Lee receives Translational Science Award

Department news | June 30, 2021

The Society of Prevention Research (SPR) honored Christine Lee, PhD, with the 2021 Translation Science Award. The Translational Science Award is given to an individual or a team of individuals in recognition for contributions to the field of prevention science in the area of Type 1 or Type 2 translational research. Dr. Lee’s scholarly interests focus on the etiology and prevention of substance use behaviors and consequences during adolescence and young/early adulthood. She has developed a highly successful portfolio of work bridging developmental, social, and motivational theory with applied prevention and intervention techniques to strategically address high-risk behaviors during the transition to adulthood. Dr. Lee’s research addresses important questions regarding how recent marijuana legislation in Washington State impacts young adult marijuana use and consequences; what motivates young adults to engage in alcohol and marijuana use; how alcohol expectancies, alcohol use and consequences are linked in a natural feed-forward process that maintains high-risk behaviors; how developmental transitions and event timing influence use; and what are efficacious prevention and intervention strategies and for whom and under what conditions are these most effective.

SPR is dedicated to advancing scientific investigation on the etiology and prevention of social, physical and mental health, and academic problems and on the translation of that information to promote health and well-being.

Margaret Sibley honored by the Association for Women in Science

Department news | June 30, 2021

Margaret Sibley, PhD, received the Early Career Achievement in STEM Award from the Association for Women in Science, Seattle branch. Dr. Sibley was recognized for her achievements in advancing science and contributing to STEM education as well as being an outstanding mentors and leader.

Dr. Sibley received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2012 from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her work focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in adolescents and young adults, building motivation and executive function skills in teenagers, and parenting teenagers and young adults with ADHD. She authored a book on delivering therapy to adolescents with ADHD (The STAND Program: Supporting Teens’ Autonomy Daily). Dr. Sibley’s clinical work combines Motivational Interviewing and organization skills training to support teen with ADHD and their parents. She is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), Professional Advisory Board for Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), and the editorial boards for scientific journals that include the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Sibley has co-authored over 75 scientific papers on ADHD. Prior to coming to UW in 2019, Dr. Sibley was an Associate Professor at Florida International University.

Brittany Mosser receives UW Together We Will Award

Department news | May 27, 2021

Congratulations to Brittany Mosser, MSW, LICSW, Manager of the ALACRITY Center and CREATIV Lab, for receiving the 2021 Together We Will Award from UW President Ana Mari Cauce! The UW Together We Will Awards were created to celebrate outstanding staff contributions made during the extraordinary challenges of 2020, serving as a temporary replacement for the Distinguished Staff Award program. Nominated by Patricia Arean, PhD, and Patrick Raue, PhD, Brittany was selected for contributing to the successful implementation of funded studies involving community-dwelling older adults and rural populations, a challenging task as older adults are a vulnerable and underserved population and are at even higher risk to mental health conditions due to increased social isolation associated with the COVID pandemic.

Brittany was also instrumental in looking for funding mechanisms to support on-going research under COVID, as well as funding opportunities that were meaningful in addressing the needs of our communities. Her work resulted in four awards, one from our department and three from NIMH to study the impact of COVID19 on older adults, to create a novel social isolation prevention program called Stay Connected (which is being considered for adoption by King County Housing Authority), a study on how essential workers and those unemployed under COVID19 are coping emotionally, and which mobile health apps (if any) they are using to cope, and a national study to determine how hospitals are providing emotional resources for front line workers. Read more about Brittany’s work and all Together We Will awardees