July 2019


Fear Facers Summer Camp

Fear Facers Summer Camp featured in The New York Times

In its third year, the Fear Facers Summer Camp is receiving recognition by The New York Times. Fear Facers Summer Camp is a one- or two-week camp session hosted by the Center for OCD, Anxiety, and Related Disorders (COARD) designed for children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder and/or anxiety.


Sara Jo Nixon

Research examines the impact of 'social' drinking among older adults

Professor, Sara Jo Nixon, PhD discusses the impact of 'social' drinking among older adults.


Uma Suryadevera, MD

Dr. Suryadevara to serve on Governor's Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) Initiative

UF Psychiatry Assistant Professor, Uma Suryadevara, MD has been asked to serve on the new priority area 9 - Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias - in the Florida State Health Improvement Plan. Dr. Suryadevara will participate in the ADRD priority area by serving on the ADRD2.1 subcommittee. This subcommittee is focused on engaging with the hospitals and universities that house …





Housestaff Graduation

Congratulations to the Department of Psychiatry Graduating Housestaff!


Dawn Bruijnzeel and Uma Suryadevara

Congratulations to Drs. Bruijnzeel and Suryadevara

Please join us in congratulating Drs. Bruijnzeel and Suryadevara on their promotions to new ranks in their career as of July 1, 2019. We appreciate their commitment to academic development and their leadership contributions to the department.  



UF Psychiatry Assistant Professor, Ana Turner, MD, Wins UF COMJ, Excellence in Student Education Annual Award!



Dr. Christopher Ong Receives the Ralph Maurer Award for Excellence in Child Psychiatry

Our Director, Greg Valcante, and Meg Thornton, a UF CARD consultant, presented Dr. Christopher Ong with the Ralph Maurer Award for Excellence in Child Psychiatry. It is awarded each year to a graduating UF Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellow who shows exceptional compassion for children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


2019 Staff Retreat

On June 6th the Department of Psychiatry held their staff retreat at Lake Walburg. The retreat kicked off with a welcome from the Department Administrator, Marika Brigham followed by "Mirage of Multitasking" training from UF Human Resources. In closing the staff participated in a group painting activity sponsored by Corks and Colors. Each participant went home with their very own masterpiece.


Quality and Safety Star Award

Andres Pumariega, MD


Joseph Thornton, MD

For our June Quality and Safety Star Award, we are honoring Drs. Joseph Thornton and Andres Pumariega. Drs. Thornton and Pumariega have done an amazing amount of work the last several months heading up our Suicide Prevention Task Force. Preparing the department through training and leadership for the new Joint Commission regulations being instituted on July 1. There is so much behind-the-scenes work including leading and training staff that goes into efforts like this.

Thank you for being quality and safety stars!


Resident of the Month


Tip of the Cap

Tip of the cap to all the volunteers at clinic!  

The patients are very appreciative of the care they receive.

Everyone is welcome to join the Helping Hands Clinic.

 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 by July 15th. 



UF at Work's Second Summer Photo Contest

UF at Work invites you to share your best summer photos now through Aug. 16. Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling near and far, we invite you to share your experiences with the UF community!

 Winners will receive one of these great UF giveaways:

• Two tickets to a performance in UF Performing Arts’ 2019–20 season

• Two tickets to a Men’s Basketball 2019–20 season game

• Two tickets to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Rainforest

• A complimentary three-day gear rental for two stand-up paddleboards, two single kayaks or one tandem kayak from UF RecSports’ Center for Outdoor Recreation and Education

• Books from University Press of Florida: Made in Florida: Artists, Celebrities, Activists, Educators, and Other Icons in the Sunshine State and In Season: Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places In Between

• A gift from the UF Bookstore

For details on how to enter please visit: Summer Photo Contest 


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!




Brian Harlan, MD

Dr. Brian Harlan is an Associate Professor and Program Director for Unit 52, as well as an attending with the Consultation/Liaison service starting July 1.  


Welcome to our new psychiatry residents!


July 11th | Raising Hope At Work Fundraiser


July 8th-12th | Fear Facers Summer Camp


UF CARD  Summer Literacy Institute! July 23 & 24, 2019

Learn and Practice: Emergent Literacy for Complex Students
Presented by: Susan Norwell, M.A.

Tue, Jul 23, 2019 & Wed, Jul 24, 2019
9:00 AM –​ 3:30 PM EDT
Registration begins at 8:00 AM.

DoubleTree by Hilton – Gainesville
3726 SW 40th Blvd.
Gainesville, FL 32608

This high energy and hands-on workshop is built on the principles of teach, show, model, practice, and review.




Parent Training for Disruptive Behaviors

UF CARD is offering a free parent training program to parents of children 12 years of age and younger with autism spectrum disorder or a related disability. This parent training program consists of 6 sessions designed to reduce disruptive behaviors.



HIIT with Britt

Join GatorCare Wellness Coordinator & Certified Personal Trainer Brittany Evans on the first Tuesday of every month for a high-intensity interval workout!

• First Tuesday of each month, 5:15-6:00 p.m.

• Located at the Parking Garage behind UF Health Springhill, Builidng 2, 4197 NW 86th Terrace


Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy & Tools for Resilience



Mindful Relaxation Minutes 

July Mindfulness Leader:

Carol Lewis, PhD, MPH, CPH

Carol Lewis, PhD, MPH 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, and retreats yearly.

Please be sure to join us Thursdays at 12:15pm via videoconference at MBI, MOB, Little Springhill or 

Join Zoom Meeting using: https://ufl.zoom.us/j/887954641​

Dial in toll-free: 1-888-585-9008, Conference Room ID#: 524541356   (Please use *2 to mute your line once you have joined.​)


Guided Meditation Call

Every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. through the end of June, the 10@10 Campaign will include a live 10-minute guided meditation led by Dr Marika Alois, Dr Lisa Merlo, and Dr Carol Lewis. Visit the campaign page for more information.

• On the phone dial +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)  Meeting ID: 443 386 835

On the web via Zoom (Password: 10@10)


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: David Roberts          

Editor: Priscilla Spence


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