March 2018


Scott Teitelbaum

Why treating addiction with medication should be carefully considered

"As medical director of the UF Health Florida Recovery Center, I consider medication to often be part of a multi-pronged treatment approach for many patients suffering from opioid addiction. Each person is different, and we need to individualize treatment."


Wayne Creelman, MD

Dr. Creelman to speak on panel benefiting Woman's Refuge, Vero Beach

UF Department of Psychiatry Professor, Wayne Creelman, MD will serve on a panel for the Women’s Refuge of Vero Beach's 19th annual Physicians Symposium & Luncheon. He will provide discussion on cutting-edge innovations in psychiatry on March 9th at the Vero Beach Oak Harbor Club.    


Dr. Shapiro Feature Image

Raise Concerns Without Fear and Protect Confidentiality: Why the Two Orders?

"We have to address the dilemma of the trainees’ fear of retaliation in reporting concerns or incidents of harassment and discrimination. This is apparently not an uncommon problem, as I found out at the annual meeting of the Association of Academic Psychiatry this year." - Michael Shapiro, MD in Academic Psychiatry


Alachua County PTA

Inaugural Summit: Keeping Kids Safe held at UF Health

UF Department of Psychiatry, Assistant Professor, Miriam Rahmani, MD serves on panel for Alachua County PTA's Keeping Kids Safe Inaugural Summit.



An Urgent Issue for Psychiatrists and Medicine

It is estimated that 2 out of 5 psychiatrists have professional burnout.

Addressing this problem has become one of the most pressing issues for medicine. APA is committed to helping psychiatrists achieve well-being and addressing individual and system-level challenges which contribute to professional burnout. READ MORE >>


Dr. Nixon elected to second term as Chair of APA Scientific Affairs

Dr. Nixon elected to second term as Chair of APA Scientific Affairs

Sara Jo Nixon, PhD has been elected to a rare consecutive term as Chair of the American Psychological Association Board of Scientific Affairs. The Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) is the primary advisory body to the APA Science Directorate. Along with its committees and affiliated groups, BSA is concerned with all aspects of psychology as a science. BSA is responsible for …


Jonathan Browning and Jessica Khan with Dr. Tandon

2018 Celebration of Research

The University of Florida, College of Medicine’s Celebration of Research is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the strength of the research programs and appreciate the breadth, quality, and merit of the science conducted within the College.

Click read more to see more photos from the event …



Congratulations to our Superior Accomplishment Winners!

Layla Lincoln and Robyn Nelson were recognized at a banquet last month and presented their awards by Dean Good.

Layla Lincoln

Layla joined Dr. Nixon’s Neurocognitive Laboratory in 2011 after moving to the Gainesville area. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Layla is a current member of the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Robyn Nelson

Robyn oversees research projects and staff for the Program in Genetics & Epidemiology of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms (PGENeS) Laboratory.

She provides initial and ongoing IRB oversight for all projects within Dr. Mathews lab.


Dr. Lisa Merlo-Greene was recently appointed as Director of Wellness Programs for the UF College of Medicine. 


Brian Cooke, MD appointed to Forensic Fellowship Director


Britany Griffin presented at the AADPRT Annual Meeting in New Orleans

Britany's talk was called "Residency Wellbeing -- Not Only For Residents"  She and her team explore approaches to achieving and maintaining wellbeing during the challenging workday. There is an expectation for residents to be healthy so they can provide safe and quality care to patients. We must also be well so we can be present for the residents and provide optimal support to our programs and health teams.

2018-19 Chief Residents

2018-19 Chief Residents

I am pleased to announce that our new 2018-19 Administrative Co-Chief Residents are Drs. Kathleen Burns and Brett Flanagan. Please join me in congratulating …



Congratulations to our Resident of the Month!

Resident of the month for February is Joshua Proemsey, MD



Staff Recognition


Britany Griffin, Residency & Fellowship Program Assistant

Britany Griffin is a pleasure to work with. She hardworking and always willing to help get the job done. She is great at thinking on her feet and a wonderful problem solver. Britany has helped tremendously in scheduling and working out video conferencing logistics, willing to help IT and individuals set up accounts on conference room computers at multiple facility locations and personal faculty computers to help make faculty members' day to day duties regarding these types of meetings seamless. She is well respected by faculty and residents and assists with a number of events important to all aspects of the department’s goals. Britany is vital in recruitment, grand rounds, resident education, event planning, video and photography documentation for residency/fellowship, just to name a few of the roles she fulfills.


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 by March 15th. 



MBI Training Opportunities

Please spread the word to faculty, fellows and students about several training opportunities, including:

• MBI Travel Awards

• MBI Pilot Grants

• Toffler Leadership Awards

• MBI Trainee Enhancement Opportunities 



Reddit Science AMA: A new way to share your research

One of the world's most visited websites, Reddit, created a Science AMA (Ask Me Anything) series in 2014 to provide a unique format allowing researchers to answer Reddit users' questions in real time.

Researchers typically spend an hour answering users' questions on a timely topic of interest. There is no obligation to answer all questions, but researchers are encouraged to field as many as possible. Please contact science writer Michelle Koidin Jaffee and assistant director of communications Todd Taylor if you have an idea for a future AMA.

Here are recent examples of our researchers on Reddit Science AMA.

Dr. Michael S. Okun: Management of Parkinson's Disease

Drs. Brenda Moore and Todd Golde: Research opens new avenue for Alzheimer's treatment


Call for Videos - 60th Anniversary of DOP

We're collecting videos for the 60th Anniversary. Film a short one-minute cell phone video and send it to


• To include your name

• Whether you are alumni and/or faculty, staff 

• To film horizontally 

Questions? Email us at


NEW Online CME Offering for UF & Non-UF physicians

FREE for UF persons, $35 for Non-UF persons per lecture. We have 18 lectures online for you to choose from!



Andres Pumariega, MD

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist 

Starting in March

Dr. Pumariega is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist. He comes to us from Cooper School of Medicine at Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Miami. Dr. Pumariega did his psychiatry residency at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. His child and adolescent fellowship was a combined program of Duke University Medical Center and Children’s Psychiatric Institute at John Umstead Hospital in Butner, North Carolina. He will join our Child and Adolescent Division.


Regilda Anna A. Romero, PhD

Child Psychologist 

Starting in April

Dr. Romero is child psychologist with experience in pediatric neuropsychological assessments, neurodevelopmental disorders, multicultural psychology, and assessment and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders. She received her PhD in psychology at Palo Alto University and completed an internship at Virginia Beach City Public Schools and postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.



March 12th - 18th 

Brain Awareness Week

Join the McKnight Brain Institute and the UF neuroscience community for several events during Brain Awareness Week, March 12-18.

Check out the list of events here.


March 14th 

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Relationships
March 14, 2018, 6pm - 7:30pm 
ONLINE via Adobe Connect

Presenter: Cindi Gayle, PhD

This presentation will share information regarding gender identity development, sexuality, and enhancing relationships while promoting safe practices for those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Information shared will be based on a review of the literature as well as clinical experience.

Register here


March 14th 

Deadline for Spring Walking Challenge 

Grab your coworkers and join the 2018 Spring Walking Challenge! Participate in this fun, team building opportunity to increase your daily activity, get to know your team members, and compete against other UF and UF Health employees across the state. This spring’s challenge will be six weeks long and will incorporate a variety of new and exciting mini challenges and prizes. The challenge is open to all UF and UF Health employees.

Register by Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Challenge begins Monday, March 19, 2018

• Form a team of 4-15 people and pick a creative team name

• Designate a team captain

• Register! 

To learn more, visit


March 16th

Faculty Research Seminar 

Joseph McQuail, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Jennifer Bizon, PhD Lab

McKnight Brain Institute, L4-101

12pm - 1pm 


March 23rd

12th Annual Laressa Gribbons Memorial Lecture

"Systems Based Suicide Prevention"

Edwin D. Boudreaux, PhD

Professor of Emergency Medicine

Psychiatry and Quantitative Health Sciences

Vice Chair of Research, Department of Emergency Medicine

University of Massachusetts Medical School

McKnight Brain Institute, DeWeese Auditorium 

12pm - 1pm


Deej Movie Trailer

April 2nd

Deej Movie Screening and Discussion

Presented by: DJ Savarese

Hosted by: UF-Gainesville CARD

Abandoned by his birth parents and unable to speak for himself, DJ Savarese ("Deej") found not only a loving family, but also a life in words, which he types on a text-to-voice synthesizer. As he makes his way through high school and dreams of college, he confronts the terrors of his past, the obstacles to inclusion, and the sometimes paralyzing beauty of his own senses.

Training Objectives:

After the presentation, participants will be able to explain issues related to inclusion as discussed in the DEEJ movie:

• Inclusion shouldn't be a lottery.

• Communication is a basic right.

• Redefining "normal."

• "Nothing about us without us."

• Interdependence, not independence.

• View trailer here

• Register here


April 5th 

Guest Chef

Visit Guest Chef Gainesville for more information on this year's event, sponsored by the UF Department of Psychiatry.


April 6th

Special Diversity Week Grand Rounds

“Stigma and Culture: Contributions to Mental Health Disparities”

Michelle Jacobs-Elliott, MD

Assistant Dean for Diversity & Health Equity and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry 

Andres J. Pumareiga, MD

Professor of Psychiatry 


McKnight Brain Institute, DeWeese Auditorium 

12pm - 1pm


April 11th


"Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnancy"

Jason Hunt, MD

Assistant Professor

Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction Medicine

Watch LIVE online

12pm - 1pm 


April 13th 


“Management of Agitation in Elderly Patients”

Uma Suryadevera, MD

Assistant Professor

Department of Psychiatry Adult and Geriatric Psychiatrist,

University of Florida College of Medicine

Malcolm Randall Veteran Affairs Medical Center (VAMC)

Milankumar Chhaganbhai
Nathani, MD

Geriatric Fellow

Department of Psychiatry

University of Florida College of Medicine

McKnight Brain Institute, DeWeese Auditorium 

12pm - 1pm


April 20th 

Faculty Research Seminar

Marcelo Febo, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

McKnight Brain Institute, L4-101

12pm - 1pm 



April 26th & 27th 

Autism & UF: Going Greater Conference

Hilton University of Florida Conference Center

9:00am - 4:00pm both days

This 2-day conference will consist of a series of sessions on a variety of topics related to current research and intervention in autism spectrum disorders. Session topics include: Parent Training for Disruptive Behaviors, Parent-Child Interactive Therapy, Engaging and Empowering Families in Research and Treatment in ASD, Celebrating Our Diversity, Lessons Along the Way from a Parent Perspective, Auditory Processing, Psychopharmacology in ASD, Feeding Disorders

Registration will be available soon. Follow us on facebook at or check our website for updates. If you have any questions please email Carole Polefko at



April 27th 


Third Annual Richard C. Christensen, MD Memorial Lecture & Advocacy Day

“Engaging with the Mortality Gap: Evidence and Experience with the Special Medical Needs of the Seriously Mentally Ill”

John Kern, MD

Clinical Professor

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

University of Washington (UW)

McKnight Brain Institute, DeWeese Auditorium 

12pm - 1pm


Mindfulness Relaxation Minutes 

February Mindfulness Leader:

Carol Lewis PhD, MPH 

Dr. Lewis is a clinical psychologist who has training in 3 mindfulness-based programs – Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  Dr. Lewis uses mindfulness strategies extensively in her clinical work.  As a public health practitioner, Dr. Lewis is working on developing low-intensity, easily accessible mindfulness-based treatment strategies.  She is also a regular meditator and yoga practitioner, who meditates with a Thich Nhat Hanh –based meditation group. Dr. Lewis retreats yearly.

Please be sure to join us Thursdays at 12:15pm via videoconference at MBI, MOB, Little Springhill or call into the conference line 1-888-670-3525 and enter participant code 9372794023#


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


                Articles: Melinda Fawcett                    Editors: Priscilla Spence  &  Caroline Nickerson                      


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