December 2020


Quadcast Logo

Health, Wellness and Safety for the Holidays Podcast

Marcia Morris, MD goes on The Quadcast to talk about safeguarding physical and mental health for college students (and their families) over the holidays.


cleaning products

Hoarding, stockpiling, panic buying: What’s normal behavior in an abnormal time?

In The Conversation, Dr. Carol Mathews discusses the effect the pandemic has had on a common but often misunderstood problem — hoarding.


Billie cartoon animation

Animated cartoons developed by COARD to educate families about OCD

A group of UF researchers teamed up with an animation company to create two cartoon videos for children with anxiety and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, and their families.  



Anti-Racism and Health Equity Group

It’s not too late to join the Anti-Racism and Health Equity Group on the UF Health Bridge!

We would love for you to join us for these new and thought provoking opportunities and welcome you to join the group and present ideas of your own. Go to the UF Health Bridge to join the group, and see more details, on resources, activities, and events. “ 



COM Email Signature Blocks

The department would like to remind everyone to please review and update your email signature blocks as soon as possible.

Per creative services website “The UF Health logo, when used, should appear below your name and contact information. Please do not warp or skew the UF Health logo in your email signature. If it needs to be resized, please resize it to scale. A secondary icon, if used, must be placed below the UF Health logo, and must not appear larger in size than the UF Health logo.”


2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season by the Numbers

As we come to an end of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, we can be thankful our area did not receive any major damage. It is important to stay vigilant and be prepared year round, as a natural disaster can happen at anytime. 

13 Hurricanes - Average season has 6

6 Major hurricanes - Average Season has 3

12 Storms hit the US coastline - Previous record 9 in 1916

30 Named storms

5th consecutive above normal season - previous record 4 1998-2001


UF GatorSAFE Mobile App

Safety resources at your fingertips with the new UF GatorSAFE Mobile App. Smartphone users who download the free GATORSAFE app can now report tips, including those not adhering to COVID-19 guidelines, to the UF Police Department, make emergency calls and perform other functions that improve their personal safety and security.

Apple Store

Google Play Store


Sign up for UF Health’s mass notification system

The UF Health Shands Emergency Preparedness team is constantly monitoring the weather and its impact on Alachua County. Make sure you're signed up for UF Alert — Shands, UF Health’s mass notification system.




Thank you to all of the faculty that provided quality training for our child and adolescent fellows!


Resident of the Month


Child & Adolescent Fellow of the Month


Quality and Safety Stars

For our November Quality and Safety Star Award, we are honoring Drs. Andrew Thompson and Samar Abdel-Jabbar. Dr. Thompson for preventing a medication error and Dr. Abdel-Jabbar assisted staff during a high-stress patient care situation. Thank you for being Quality and Safety Stars! Thank you for staying vigilant so our patients and staff can be safe.

Check out our latest Quality and Safety Star Awardees on the Quality whiteboard in the adult workroom at Springhill 1. 

If you have a nominee for future Quality and Safety Star Awards, please email Dr. Jackie Hobbs.


Staff Spotlight


Tovah Lawrence

Tovah is responsible for OPS, Housestaff, & Volunteer requests, and Faculty Leave. Since March, our HR team have been tasked with additional payroll duties related to COVID; which brought about a lot of unknowns and questions. In June, our HR manager left her position at UF and the workload of three had to be absorbed by our two remaining HR staff. Despite the added tasks and challenges, Tovah has done a wonderful job of maintaining a positive outlook and helping keep our HR process running smoothly. Thank you so much Tovah for all your hard work this past year, we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.

Thank you Tovah for all you do for our department!


Tip of the Cap

Tip of the cap to Dr. Rob Averbuch and the UF undergrad volunteers for their helping hands at clinic. All of the patients appreciate the care given to them by all the UF psychiatrists.

Helping Hands Clinic


We need your help!

We'd like you to keep an eye out for those staff members that continually go above and beyond for the department.

Then we would like you to nominate them by submitting their name and a brief explanation of the awesome thing(s) they do!

The Executive Leadership Committee will vote on the candidates and we will announce the winner in the newsletter. 

Please submit your entries to Priscilla Spence


"Why is my inbox filled with training reminders?"

You may have noticed an email from in your inbox and wondered, "Who is this myTraining-noreply and why do I keep receiving emails from them asking me to complete another training?" A number of needs have prompted a surge of required courses this fall, but each really does fulfill a unique and necessary purpose. Here's a quick breakdown:

• Managing Bias represents an initial step in our shared efforts to fight racism and create a more racially just UF, prompted by President Fuchs' commitments announced last June.
Complete training by: Jan. 31, 2021

• At-Risk for Faculty and Staff is designed to help us all improve our mental health literacy in support of students who may be showing signs of stress; it is required of all state university employees at the request of the Florida Board of Governors.
Complete training by: Jan. 31, 2021

• Compliance & Ethics: Doing Your Part for the Gator Good reviews important provisions of the Florida Code of Ethics and UF expectations for employee behavior and departmental operations.
Complete training by: Dec. 15

• Protecting UF: Information Security Training provides education about restricted data, the cloud and sharing, as well as common cyber security risks, and is required annually in response to the Board of Governors' recommendation.
Complete training by: End of fall semester


Join UF Psychiatry Alumni Society

Become a member of the UF Psychiatry Alumni Society! The society fosters alumni networking, socializing and sharing current trends in psychiatric and behavioral science. Show your support of the education, research and clinical mission of the department by joining.

Join today at:

• Annual Dues: $100

• Lifetime Dues: $2,500 (payable over five years, $500 per year)

Membership dues support activities of the society and training programs.

To learn more about giving back to the department and alumni opportunities, please contact Callie Wilkes. ( 


Participants needed for kava clinical trial

A clinical trial led by Carol Mathews, MD, Brooke Professor and Vice Chair for Strategic Development in the Department of Psychiatry and Chengguo “Chris” Xing, PhD, a professor of medicinal chemistry and the Frank A. Duckworth Eminent Scholar Chair in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, seeks healthy participants for a study of the pharmacokinetics of kava. Kava is a dietary supplement emerging in popularity in the United States, but there is limited pharmacokinetic data available to evaluate its use as a dietary supplement or potentially a botanical therapeutic. The research team aims to collect pharmacokinetic data by enrolling study participants who are healthy adults ages 18-50, non-smokers, not pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the next 12 weeks, and are not experiencing liver disease or other chronic health conditions. Anyone interested in enrolling, or learning more about the kava study, is encouraged to contact Robyn Nelson, the study’s coordinator, at 352-294-5563.


UF CARD Update

The CARD Statewide Conference is Going Virtual!
FRIDAY 1/15/21 - SUNDAY 1/17/21
The annual autism conference presented by the Centers for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) is the largest autism-related conference in the state of Florida, and is rapidly gaining recognition throughout other states and countries. In January 2021, the conference will be held virtually, and will feature 60 sessions linking autism research and interventions for professionals and parents of individuals with ASD and related disabilities. Featured keynotes for 2021: Stephen Hinkle, Christine Reeve, Jessica Minahan, Lamar Hardwick, Catherine Lord, Dan Tomasulo & Matt Savage. Register Now!

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - Second Edition (ADOS-2) Workshop
WEDNESDAY 1/13/21 - FRIDAY 1/15/21
Professionals wanting to add the gold standard ASD diagnostic tool to their assessment repertoire are invited to attend the ADOS-2 Clinical Workshop which will be offered preceding the 28th Annual Statewide CARD Conference via zoom with live demonstrations. Register Now!

CARDcasts (Podcasts from the University of Florida Center for Autism and Related Disabilities)
The mission of UF CARDCasts is to share with our listeners relevant information about who we are, what we do, and what we can do to help you. Over the course of our podcast series, we will be talking with members of our own staff as well as our constituents and their families, service providers, and researchers who are doing groundbreaking work in the field of autism.
Check out our newest episode in which our Director, Greg Valcante, interviews Teresia Dulaney,  author and mom of two adults with autism.



Nicholas Martinez, MD

We would like to welcome Nicholas Martinez, MD as Adjunct Assistant Professor. Dr. Martinez is a recent graduate of our residency program and will be working full time at the VA and spending one half day a week in our adult outpatient clinic at Springhill 1.

We look forward to you joining us on December 18th!


Angel Perez

Angel is an Assistant Director/Education Training Programs for FAVI. She will assist Dr. Regina Bussing in planning, implementing and evaluating the technical assistance, training, and dissemination activities of projects. She will build and strengthen agency collaboration at the state, regional and national level to increase organizational abilities to implement evidence-based practices and policies relevant to youth under the age of 22 years who are deaf-blind. She will provide technical support for family members, school district personnel, and other state and local agencies, who provide services to children and young adults who are deaf-blind.

We are happy to welcome Angel to the Psychiatry team!



December 9 | Grand Rounds "The Role of Addiction Medicine Consult Service in Hospital Setting"

William Hollifield, MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry

12:00-1:00 pm


December 11 | Grand Rounds "2021 Outpatient Coding Changes: Clinical Examples for Psychiatry"

Michael Shapiro, MD
Associate Clinical Professor
Department of Psychiatry

12:00-1:00 pm


January 8 | Grand Rounds "Intimate Partner Violence Healthcare Update 2021"

Theresa Beachy, PhD
Executive Director
Peaceful Paths

12:00-1:00 pm


January 16 | 28th Annual CARD Conference

Join Associate Director of UF CARD, Ann-Marie Orlando, as she presents "Strategies for Supporting College Students with ASD" at the 28th Annual CARD Conference.




Resources to Promote Well-Being During the COVID-19 Outbreak

While we are maintaining social distance and/or quarantined, many people lose access to resources that support their self-care. Here is a list of resources to help you navigate this challenging time while maintaining your own well-being.


Guided Meditations

Lead by Dr. Carol Lewis and Dr. Lori Waxenberg, these guided meditations, ranging from 1 1/2 to 15 minutes, will help you learn to notice thoughts, sensations, and emotions without being swept away by them. They have been shown to benefit both physical and emotional health.

Meditation Playlist »


Streamed Fitness Class

Join a GatorCare staff member on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon for 15 minutes of an office (or home office)-friendly workout. No need to leave the office or change out of office clothes! Can’t join the live stream? Check out the recorded streams here.

Meeting URL:


Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

An expansion of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides UF employees with improved access to mental health counselors as well as enhanced work life, financial and legal resources and services. To learn more about the expanded UF EAP, please visit If you have questions, please contact UFHR Communications and Worklife at (352) 392-2477 or


Six Steps to Emotional Health

Dr. Carol Lewis, led a session on iRest®, a practice based on the tradition of Yoga Nidra. If you missed it, you can view the recording here.

In addition to practicing iRest Yoga Nidra, Lewis, a clinical psychologist trained in mindfulness-based treatment protocols, offers the following recommendations to achieve better emotional health.

1. Sleep 7 to 9 hours nightly. Stop using all electronics (TV, computer, phone, etc.) at least 30 minutes before you try to go to sleep; read a book or magazine just before going to sleep (to get your mind off the concerns of the day).

2. Eat at least 3 times a day (something with nutritional value), and don’t go long periods of time without eating.

3. Exercise by moving around a little more than you do now, aiming for 20-30 minutes or more on most days. Exercise is mood-regulating and anxiety-reducing, and can be done in 10 minute chunks.

4. Do pleasant activities daily and pay attention to them while you’re doing them. Put your mind on the pleasant activity (instead of the worry or sad thoughts), and redirect your attention back to the pleasant activity as many times as you need to.

5. Perform slow, deep, rhythmic breathing for 5 minutes or more each day, breathing in calm and breathing out tension. Maybe breathe to music, or use a phone app or website like or Stop, Breathe & Think for 2 or more minutes daily.

6. Mindful thinking – It’s healthy to bring our attention to the present moment as often as we can. Learn the 4 steps to mindful thinking and find more information and resources via the link below.



Mindful Relaxation Minutes 


Please be sure to join us Thursdays at 12:15pm via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting using:

Meeting ID: 159 914 780

Passcode: 601221



2 Minute Resilience Reset 

Try these 2 minute sessions hosted by Dr. Carol Lewis that focus on breathing to stimulate the soothing part of the nervous system, and learn a practical tip from resilience science to help you maintain your stability in these difficult times.


Do you have some news or an announcement you would like to share?

Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond and who you would like to recognize? 

Want us to save the date for an upcoming event?

Email us


COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources



Busting COVID-19 myths


Have you had it with all of the hearsay? The World Health Organization is sorting fact from fiction with their Coronavirus Myth Busters resource. Stay empowered by staying informed.

Learn More »


Reminder that we have a new centralized contact for any UFCOM/UF Health employees in need of mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

• Psychiatric medication consultation and management

• Free individual short-term counseling

• Individual psychotherapy

• Resilience-based group therapy

If anyone reaches out to you for assistance, please encourage them call the UF Health Staff Telepsych Services center between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. (7 days per week) at 352-265-5459 or email [please provide name, contact number, and best time(s) to receive a call back].



The Gator community sticks together in all kinds of weather, and that's never more evident than in times of transition and hardship. Aid-a-Gator has processed more than 1,000 requests for a total of $955,695 from students to help cover a variety of needs, including rent due to lost wages, unanticipated travel, additional technology requirements, replacements of medications, emergency childcare due to extended school closures, and other needs. To file an application or to donate for students, visit and for employees, visit



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