January 2021


Dr. Febo and Nino

UF Awarded $1 million for AI Research, Project to Detect Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Underway

Learn how Dr. Marcelo Febo & UF Department of Materials Science & Engineering's Dr. Juan Nino are teaming up to advance Alzheimer's research using a grant from University of Florida Research's Artificial Intelligence Research Catalyst Fund.



CAN Receives Anonymous $1 million Donation

The UF Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment (CAN) has received a transformative gift of $1 Million from an anonymous donor ultimately benefitting the families who have come to rely on its services. This generous gift provides critical support for CAN to fulfill its mission offering centralized and state-of-the-art care to its patients with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families. The Center’s patient navigators and clinical operations will be the primary beneficiaries of the support – distributed equally over four years – for their integral role in the patient intake process and coordination of care that makes it a hub for patient diagnoses and treatment. Dr. Jeremy Melker, CAN community liaison and fundraising chair (pictured), has played an invaluable role in securing support for the Center, including the $1M gift. He and the anonymous donor received a framed print with thank you messages from our CAN patient families, faculty, and staff.

If you’d like to support CAN, you can request more information from Callie Wilkes or make a gift here.


Committed: Kids With Disabilities Increasingly Swept Into Mental Health System Under Baker Act

Each year, about 36,000 children in Florida are involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluations under the state's Baker Act and disabled kids are becoming increasingly ensnared.

The Baker Act was not designed for kids, yet the number of children who are involuntarily committed keeps going up. State data shows kids with certain disabilities are becoming increasingly ensnared — despite language in the law meant to keep them out of the mental health system. 



CAN’s Impact on Families

CAN parent Sydeny Stelmaszek talks about the benefits of the interdisciplinary intensive treatments her son is receiving at the UF Health Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment. Learn more about how these services work together to improve the quality of life and skills for her son in her video.



Anti-Racism and Health Equity Group

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.


Registration Open: Black Voices in Research Storytelling Event 
This unique event will feature a cast of five Black voices who will share their stories in a live stream format via the Heartwood Soundstage. Their stories will help to highlight the unique experiences of Black biomedical researchers and research professionals at UF, contributing to the university's continuing mission to promote an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible community.

Learn more about the event > 
Register here >



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



Resident of the Month


Quality and Safety Stars

For our December Quality and Safety Star Award, we are honoring Bobby Nipper, RPH, for going above and beyond to ensure that a patient was able to get their medication in a difficult and complex situation. He demonstrated excellent coordination of care and communication among family, pharmacies, and the physician. Thank you for being a Quality and Safety Star! Thank you for all you do! 

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


Natalie Brown

Natalie supports the Medical Student Education Program and the CME program with Dr. Martha Brown. She assists the Child Fellowship Program and the Med-consult Program when needed.  Natalie has been an integral part of the transition to in-person rotations for the medical students following remote learning due to COVID. She has done a great job at keeping the clerkship flexible to accommodate for the ever-changing expectations. Natalie’s work ethic is to be admired and she is always willing to help. She takes initiative and is a true asset to our department. She is attentive and very in tune with what is going on.

Thank you Natalie for all you do for our department!


Tip of the Cap

Tip of the cap to Dr. Rob Averbuch for his virtual helping hands at clinic. All of the patients appreciate the care given to them by all the volunteers.

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


For iPhone and iPad users (update your devices)

Please be sure to update your personal, as well as professional, iPhone and/or iPad to the latest iOS version (version iOS 13.6.1 or iOS 14.2).

Updates are important as they fix vulnerability issues that could put your device, and your data/information, at a security risk.

We recently learned of a vulnerability issue that affects iOS versions prior to 13.5. It can allow an attacker, over Wi-Fi, full access to the user’s personal data, including emails, photos, messages and passwords stored in the keychain … without any indication to the device’s owner.

We strongly recommend that everyone check for and apply updates to your personally owned computers and mobile devices at least monthly. You’ll want to be sure your device can run the latest vendor-supported operating system such iOS 14, Windows 10, Android 8.1 and macOS 10.14 (Mojave) to receive security patches.


"Why is my inbox filled with training reminders?"

You may have noticed an email from myTraining-noreply@ufl.edu 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

• 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: https://psychiatry.ufl.edu/alumni/registration/

• 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. (calliewilkes@ufl.edu). 


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

Watch our Facebook page and website for announcements and registration details.

1/11; 3:30-5:00pm 
Designing Virtual Learning Environments for K-12 Learners w/ Special Needs

1/12; 6:30-7:30pm
Tuesday Night Training: Accessing ABA Services

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - Second Edition (ADOS-2) Workshop

CARD Statewide Conference

1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/3; 4-5:30pm
Behavior Strategies that Work! 

2/4, 11, 18, 25; 4-5pm
Social Skills Group for Children 8 - 12 years old

Social Skills Group for Children 13 - 17 years old


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

Theresa Beachy, PhD
Executive Director
Peaceful Paths

12:00-1:00 pm



January 13 | Addiction Medicine Conference "Five Things I've Learned About Pain"

Gary Reisfield, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry
University of Florida College of Medicine

12:00-1:00 pm



January 16 | 28th Annual CARD Conference

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



February 19 | 11th Annual NCF SfN Virtual Chapter Conference

The fully remote experience will afford everyone the opportunity to compete to be highlighted as a Postdoctoral and Junior Faculty speaker, present your research through a virtual poster session, have lunch with our keynote speaker (undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows), and engage with other scientific professionals throughout the day!

Poster Abstracts Due: February 1st

Register: https://forms.gle/4s6XCFoD1KaAfhmA6



Jessica Figueira awarded COARD pilot grant

Congratulations, Jessica Figueira, PhD, Postdoc in the Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention, has been chosen as the recipient of the research pilot grant for December 2020. COARD, with support from the Brooke Professorship and the McKnight Brain Institute at UF, is delighted to award this grant to help forward her research.


UF CARE Podcast with Christian Garcia 

Christian Garcia talks about his research at the UF Psychiatry Neurocognitive Laboratory with Dr. Sara Jo Nixon on the UF CARE Podcast https://bit.ly/2WFnPRC


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: https://ufl.zoom.us/j/230607362


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 http://eap.ufl.edu. If you have questions, please contact UFHR Communications and Worklife at (352) 392-2477 or eap-help@ufl.edu.


Mindful Relaxation Minutes 


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

Join Zoom Meeting using: https://ufl.zoom.us/j/159914780?pwd=aXVGcXh5dTFweWwwNkxrOXJHOEpNUT09

Meeting ID: 159 914 780

Passcode: 601221



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 Vaccinations

Learn about the COVID-19 vaccines available from UF Health. As federal and Florida COVID-19 vaccination plans evolve, we’ll update this site and keep you informed.


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 c19peersupport@shands.ufl.edu [please provide name, contact number, and best time(s) to receive a call back].




Don't forget to check us out on social media to stay informed in-between newsletters!

Click on the icons below to follow us.