February 2021


Stand Up & Holler
February 18th

Help the UF Health Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Disorders (CAN) unlock a $50,000 gift this Giving Day! An anonymous donor has pledged to give $10,000 for every 10 gifts to CAN, up to $50,000. That means, if we can reach 50 donations by February 18th, CAN will receive an additional $50,000 to support its mission of providing centralized and state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services for children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Give here: https://givingday.ufl.edu/campaigns/uf-center-for-autism-and-neurodevelopment#/

Family playing in a field

*NEW* Online Professional Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorder

The University of Florida College of Medicine's 12-credit Online Autism Spectrum Disorder program offers a flexible learning environment for working professionals and other individuals who want to enhance their education and career opportunities in autism spectrum disorder. Complete in as few as two semesters.



Defeating depression in college students during COVID

UF Psychiatry Associate Professor Marcia Morris, MD, offers parents steps they can take to help their children defeat depression. These helpful tools can be found in Dr. Morris’ Psychology Today College Wellness column.



Jennifer Bizon, PhD, has been named chair Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Bizon, a professor in the department of neuroscience and co-director of UF’s Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory Clinical Translational Research Program (CAM), has served as interim chair of the department since April. In addition, she serves on the College of Medicine’s promotion and tenure committee and the UF Health Neuroscience and Neuromedicine Executive Committee. She also co-leads the UF Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute’s Education and Outreach Committee with Drs. Jada Lewis and Gordon Mitchell.

Over the last 10 years, the department of neuroscience has greatly expanded its breadth, national visibility and scientific impact, and Dr. Bizon looks forward to continuing to work with the department’s outstanding faculty, students and staff to sustain its steep trajectory of growth. Today, with an annual grant portfolio of over $21 million, the department is ranked fifth nationally with respect to NIH funding. With Dr. Bizon’s leadership and through collaborations with others in the neuroscience community at UF, including the McKnight Brain Institute and the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases, the department of neuroscience has the momentum to lead the state and nation in discovery-based research and to expand educational opportunities in the neurosciences for students and trainees at all academic levels.


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.



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


A Special Thank you

Thank you to the following child and adolescent fellows, Drs. KC Knudson, George Teaford, Jordanne King, Samar Abdel-Jabbar, and Josh Proemsey for going above and beyond in providing unexpected coverage of clinical duties on short notice. Your teamwork and dedication to patient care is appreciated.


Resident of the Month


Quality and Safety Stars

For the month of January, we recognize Drs. Jeena Kar, Sara Rahal, Faryal Mallick, and Tessy Korah as our Quality and Safety Star Award recipients. Drs. Kar and Rahal provided exemplary weekend handoff communications, to ensure excellent patient care. Dr. Mallick took the time in a difficult situation to perform expert diagnosis and triage, and Dr. Korah made two great observations on medication and laboratory findings to ensure safe care. Thank you for being Quality and Safety Stars! 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.


Tip of the Cap

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

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


Mariam Rahmani, MD, joins the ACGME Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Milestones 2.0 Work Group

Milestones are used in resident and fellow outcomes-based assessment based on the 6 general competencies: medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, practice-based learning and improvement, professionalism, and systems-based practice. The 6 competencies were introduced by the ACGME and the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) in 1999.

This multidisciplinary group (which includes representatives from child psychiatrists faculty, child psychiatry trainees, ACGME, and education specialists) will revise the current milestones. When completed, their work will be utilized by Child Psychiatry Fellowship programs around the country to assess fellows’ performance.


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). 


New Initiative: Learning Network for Program Directors

Drs. Jacqueline Hobbs, Uma Suryadevara and Mariam Rahmani are participating in a new ACGME pilot initiative called Program Director Patient Safety and Quality (PDPQ) Educators Network. This network is being formed to create a national learning network for program directors, associate program directors, and residency/fellowship faculty members to rapidly advance their capacity to develop, model, and evaluate resident and fellow physician engagement in patient safety and health care quality improvement.



Meena Nuthi, MD Selected for the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) Scholars Program

The AAGP Annual Meeting is the premier educational event in geriatric mental health care, providing the latest information on clinical care, research on aging and mental health, and models of care. The AAGP membership provides scholarship funding for eligible medical students and psychiatry residents to attend the AAGP Annual Meeting and supports a special educational program for trainees during the meeting. The aim of the Scholars Program is to encourage trainees to pursue specialized training in geriatric psychiatry to meet the mental health needs of the expanding population of older Americans.



Dr. Faryal Mallick, MD Selected for Group Relations International Training

Dr. Mallick has been selected to train as a consultant for Group Relations Conferences under the organization, Group Relations International. This is a unique training provided to those who have attended Group Relations conferences as a member, and there is a waitlist of individuals looking to train as consultants. This training provides an opportunity to develop consulting skills and an interpretive stance through practice using Group Relations methods (including focusing on the conscious and unconscious group and systemic dynamics as they arise and are experienced in the moment) through Small and Large Study Groups in the practical setting of a Group Relations Conference. There is an opportunity to experience and learn from the different dynamics of large and small study groups online and the dynamics that shifting roles can engender; to develop your consulting skills; to link theory to practice and experience and relate it to what is happening around us; and to take up your authority and develop leadership by taking up different roles with purpose.


Clinical Research Seed Funding Opportunity Announcement

The Department of Psychiatry has released a new clinical research seed funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for which applications are now being accepted.

The purpose of the Psychiatry Clinical Research Seed Money Award is to provide financial support for faculty members in the UF Department of Psychiatry to initiate and develop a program of clinical research.  For purposes of this FOA, a “faculty member” is defined as faculty who have a minimum of 0.5 FTE appointment, not an Adjunct Faculty, Courtesy Faculty of OPS professional. Consideration will be given to junior faculty, post-graduate fellows in research training programs and senior faculty planning a change in career direction that requires empirical research.  Funding decisions will be based on the proposal’s scientific merit, its relevance to the clinical and academic emphases of the Department of Psychiatry and the potential for the proposed project to facilitate future extramural research support.  

Opportunity Title: Psychiatry Clinical Research Seed Money Award 

Award Amount: $10,000 to $20,000 for one year
Award Period: 1 year 
Annual Application Due Dates: August 1st & March 1st

Please contact Nicole Bristow at nhenning@ufl.edu with any questions or for more information.


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.

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

3/4, 11, 18, 25; 4-5pm REGISTRATION OPEN
Social Skills Group for Children 13 - 17 years old

UF Stomp the Swamp for Autism
Hosted by Impact Autism at UF

Supporting the Mental Health Needs of Students with ASD


Photo Guidelines Updated

Pictures of faculty or events taken indoors must have photo subjects masked, but individuals are no longer required to be 6 feet apart. However, a group photo outside is still preferred if possible. View the updated photography policy on the Creative Services website.

Questions about a particular photo? Reach out to social@ahc.ufl.edu


Brian Harlan, MD

After almost a year and a half of service to the department of Psychiatry, Dr. Brian Harlan will be moving to Arkansas as he continues his life journey.  We feel fortunate to have Dr. Harlan as part of our faculty; we are grateful for his many contributions.  We will miss Dr. Harlan and wish him all the best in all his future endeavors.


February 8  | Town Hall - APA Addresses Structural Racism, Part 4: 

Structural Racism & Psychiatric Residency Training: Recruitment, Retention, and Development

8:00-9:30 pm ET

A panel of experts will examine how structural racism affects diversity in the psychiatry workforce. Topics will include the disproportionate number of minority psychiatrists, their experiences in different practice settings, and why having diversity in the psychiatric workforce is important for everyone. The discussants will describe ways to grow a diverse workforce in psychiatry, including pipeline programs like APA's, making academic psychiatry settings inclusive and welcoming spaces for diverse students, residents and attending psychiatrists, and ways to increase the number of minority underrepresented psychiatrists who are promoted to higher academic, administrative, clinical and research in hospitals, communities and organized psychiatry. The advantages of having a diverse psychiatric workforce will be explored.

 Register Today: psychiatry.org/townhall


February 10 | FRC Wednesdays at Noon "Managing Challenging Patients and Difficult Colleagues"

Martha Brown, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry

12:00-1:00 pm



February 12 | Grand Rounds "Impact of Health Inequality and Minority Stress on College Students Mental Health"

Ludmila De Faria, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry

12:00-1:00 pm



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!

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


February 22 | Translational Research Seminar

Alcohol, Cognition, and Aging

Ben Lewis, PhD

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry 

Period 8 (3:00-3:50 PM)

This Seminar is associated with a T32 Grant: Translational Science Training to Reduce the Impact of HIV on Alcohol Infection. Topics will include alcohol's effects on the brain and cognition, prevention research, longitudinal studies, and e- and m-health-based interventions.

For information, contact: Dr. Robert Leeman (Robert.Leeman@ufl.edu)


February 26 | Grand Rounds "Implicit Bias and Microaggression: Impact on learners, physicians and patients"

Donna M Parker, MD
Associate Dean
Office for Diversity & Health Equity
Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics

12:00-1:00 pm



March 10 | FRC Wednesdays at Noon "The Emotional Basis for Chronic Pain"

William Yvorchuk, MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry

12:00-1:00 pm




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 Classes

Did you know that it only takes 15 minutes of exercise/stretching each day to improve your health? We are excited to share our new, 15-minute lunchtime classes, available to any UF or UF Health employee! Each are live-streamed via Zoom.

Jump Start - Mondays from 12-12:15 pm. Start your Monday off with a short cardio and strength class. Register here.

Build - Tuesdays from 12-12:15 pm. This class focuses on building strength in different muscle groups each week - no equipment needed! Register here.

Relax - Wednesdays from 12-12:15 pm. Stressed? This class focuses on breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation. Register here.

Unwind - Thursdays from 12-12:15 pm. Wind down on Thursdays with a gentle stretching class. Register here. 


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.

UF HR is currently evaluating its current Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, ComPsych, to determine whether it is adequately meeting employee needs. They are requesting [anonymous] feedback. If you have utilized the EAP's services in the past year and would be willing to share your experience, you are invited to do so anonymously via the online feedback form. If you would like a follow-up, please feel free to include your name and contact information or email eap-help@ufl.edu for assistance.


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.



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].




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