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BMC 2016 Service Awards

Coongradulations to the following members of the Department of Psychiatry, who were recently recognized at the 2016 BMC Service Awards: 
Suzanne Vitt 
 Psychiatric Emergency Services

Deborah Clark
Cambridge-Somerville Emergency Service Team

Maria Gianan
Boston Emergency Services Team

Yuka Gordon
Recovery Learning Community for the Metro Boston Area

Zoie Wong
Psychiatry Finance

Tiffany Raper
Administrative Assistant 

This annual event celebrated employees who have reached their 5, 10, 15, 20 etc., year service milestones in the previous calendar year. 
Congratulations to Newly-Licensed Clinical Social Workers
The Department of Psychiatry proudly acknowledges the following social workers for receiving their licenses over the past nine months:
  • Felicia Rodney-Osboune, LICSW
  • Mildred Sheppard, LICSW
  • Xi Pan, LCSW
  • Jonathan Pak, LCSW
  • Claire Madden, LCSW
  • Shayna Smallwood, LCSW
  • Enin Rudel, LCSW
New Faculty and Interns: August & September 2016

The Department of Psychiatry at Boston Medical Center is excited to welcome new faculty and staff in the months of August and September. Follow the link below to learn more about the specialties of our newest staff members.
New Faculty & Interns | BMC Psychiatry
New Grants and Awards in the Department of Psychiatry
Stanley L. Robbins Award for Excellence in Teaching
Recipient: John Otis, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
Funder: NSTC: Department of Veteran's Affairs
Recipient: Erika Wolf, VA Boston Healthcare
Epidemiological and socio-cultural landscape off schizophrenia in rural Ethiopia
Funder: NIH K23
Recipient: Christina Borba, PhD

Children’s Mental Health Initiative - Core and Learning Collaborative
Funder: Smith Family Foundation
Recipient: Lisa Fortuna, MD
BARS-LAI: Comparing Aripiprazole Once Monthly and Standard of Care Oral Antipsychotics in Non-adherent Outpatients with Schizophrenia 
Funder: Montana State University & Otsuka
Recipient: David Henderson, MD

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Intervention for People with Severe Mental Illness in Low-and Middle- Income Country Primary Care Settings.
Funder: NIH K23
Recipient: Lauren Ng, PhD

Are you interested in applying for grants? Check out the link below for the Department of Psychiatry's regularly updated list of psychiatry- and health-related grant opportunities and submission deadlines!
Grant Opportunities | BMC Psychiatry
BARS-LAI: Our Newest Clinical Trial in Schizophrenia
The Dept. of Psychiatry Research Center will be initiating a new clinical trial this fall to compare the efficacy of a long-acting injectable (LAI) form of aripiprazole with standard of care oral antipsychotic medications, specifically in a population of patients with schizophrenia who are non-adherent to their regular oral antipsychotic medications. This study is sponsored by Montana State University (MSU) and funded by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.

Although LAIs are the first-line recommendation for non-adherent patients with schizophrenia, this recommendation is made in the absence of robust empirical support. Researchers have hypothesized that LAIs are underutilized in this population due to the lack of a simple and accurate clinician-rated assessment of adherence. Researchers at MSU have developed such a scale, called the Brief Adherence Rating Scale (BARS), which will be utilized in this study to detect non-adherence. This study seeks to address prescribers’ challenges in identifying non-adherence as well as provide evidence that LAIs are superior to oral agents in non-adherent patients.

The study will take place at the Dept. of Psychiatry Research Center on the 11th floor of the Doctor’s Office Building. Active enrollment will begin in September and will continue through early summer 2017 with the last participant completing the study in December 2017. For more information about this research study, please contact the primary Research Assistant, Nellie Shippen at or at 617-414-1987.
Welcoming Northeastern Coops
The Psychiatry Research Center has recently started work with two senior undergraduate students from Northeastern University, Kelsey Johnson and Alessandra (Ally) Grillo, as part of the school's coop program. Kelsey and Ally will work with the Research Center full-time for the next six months to help kickstart the BARS-LAI study, a clinical trial for patients with schizophrenia.

Ally is a 5th year student at Northeastern, majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience and minoring in Sociology. Her clinical research interests include mental illness, global psychiatry, psychopharmacology, genetics, and genomics. Kelsey is in her 4th year, with a major in Psychology and minors in Behavioral Neuroscience and Biology. Kelsey is interested in research with severe mental illness, global mental health, trauma, and health disparities for gender and sexual minorities.

To learn more about hiring coops in your department, visit Northeastern's coop website or contact a recruitment officer.
Recognition for Two Exemplary Traumatic Stress Researchers
The John B. Barnwell Award was given to Terence M. Keane, Ph.D. in December, 2015. This award is VA Clinical Science and Research Development’s highest honor, awarded annually to one VA researcher nation-wide for their lifetime achievement in clinical research. It was given to Dr. Keane in recognition of his exemplary involvement in, and service to the VA, as well as his landmark contributions to the field of traumatic stress studies.
In addition, Dr. Denise Sloan was selected by the Student Section of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) as the 2015 recipient of the Distinguished Mentor Award, reflecting her deep commitment to the education and training of students and early career scientists.
Appointees Named to Three Opioid Special Commissions
The Baker-Polito Administration today announced appointees to three special commissions created under the landmark opioid legislation signed into law earlier this year. Two commissions, a Special Commission to Study the Incorporation of Safe and Effective Pain Treatment and Prescribing Practices into the Professional Training of Students that may Prescribe Controlled Substances and a Special Commission to Examine the Feasibility of Establishing a Pain Management Access Program, are comprised of public and private industry experts from across the Commonwealth, including six appointments each from the Governor. Marylou Sudders. Read More

One of the appointee’s was Dr. Nitigna Desai. Dr. Desai currently serves as Director of Addiction Psychiatry at Bedford Veteran Affairs Medical Center and Director of Substance Abuse Service Line within the Psychiatry Department at New England Healthcare. Additionally, she works as an instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an assistant professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School (BUMC) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is also the fellowship site director for Addiction Psychiatry fellowship for BUMC  and UMASS Medical School.
Boston Center for Refugee
Health & Human Rights

The Boston Center for Refugee Health & Human Rights (BCRHHR) at Boston Medical Center was established in 1998. From its inception, the program emphasized a holistic model as it recognized that many facets of peoples’ lives are affected by human rights violations.  At its founding, the program was very innovative as it emphasized integrative care decades before it was fashionable.  The Center grew out of the International Mental Health Program established in 1995 by Dr. Piwowarczyk.  Its founders include: Susan Akram, JD, Associate Professor of Law, Paul Geltman, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Michael A. Grodin, MD, Professor of Health Law, Psychiatry, and Socio-Medical Sciences and Community Medicine, Terence Keane, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Alejandro Moreno, MD, Instructor of Medicine, Raul Garcia, DMD, CAGS, MMSc, Professor, Goldman School of Dental Medicine, and Linda Piwowarczyk, MD, MPH, Instructor of Psychiatry. One of the few hospital based programs of its kind in the country, we have served over 3000 people from over 90 countries fleeing persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality/ethnicity, social group, and political opinion. 

BCRHHR provides comprehensive mental health, medical, and social services to approximately four hundred individuals on a yearly basis who are survivors of torture and human rights abuses. Staff utilizes “radical hospitality” to provide patients with a place of safety in an effort to heal from a fractured capacity to trust. Some of BCRHHR  programs and services include: Refugee Patient Navigators, a process that streamlines intake and direct services; Mental Health, one-to-one, trauma-focused clinical care in the form of individual and group therapy and psychopharmacology; Health Literacy, a workshop series for patients focused on methods to keep healthy in the US; Case Management, assistance and referrals connected to concrete services to support our patients’ quality of life; and Career Development, small group and individualized support to prepare patients for jobs and opportunities in the US workplace, as well as English classes on site. Modalities include: CBT, MBSR, EMDR, sensorimotor psychotherapy, IRT and narrative.  We are also very active in providing expert testimony and affidavits for individuals seeking asylum in the United States.

At this time, the Center works closely with ObGyn and primary care providers, in addition to the many subspecialties that BMC offers. Moreover, since its creation, due to issues of hunger, Center patients have benefitted from the BMC food pantry as well as winter clothing. We have evolved organically in response to the needs of the patients we see. Most recently, with the surge of women coming following rape during conflict and torture, we are expanding our services to more specifically address their needs. Our goal at intake is to meet each person where they are at, and build upon the relationship with individualized care plans and treatment.

In addition, The Center is a member of the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs. As President, Dr. Piwowarczyk has spoken at the UN in Geneva advocating for the right to rehabilitation as stated in General Comment 3 of the Convention Against Torture. The Center is also among several programs highlighted in the UN Voluntary Fund/ UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights brochure “From Horror to Healing”   BCRHHR continues to expand as a training site for social work students, psychiatry residents, and our first global fellow in addition to students in medical anthropology and public health.  BCRHHR trains professionals to serve torture survivors, conducts research to understand and implement best practices, and promotes health and human rights both locally and globally. As staffing expands, we anticipate also serving refugees who have not experienced torture but have fled persecution on other grounds.  We are a leader in specialized mental health care for survivors of torture and cultural mental health.
Click here to learn more about August's Psychiatry Department Spotlight

MGH/BU Global Dinner


Christina P. C. Borba, PhD, MPH: "Global Mindset, Local Relevance: Learning from Ethiopia, Liberia, & Boston" 

Dr. Borba presented on the important role of cross-directional mental health research between Liberia, Ethiopia and Boston. 

During the academic year, we have a monthly dinner series on various global health, psychiatry, and mental health topics. See some of our past events here.

Join us at the Fall Fête Wed., Oct. 19!
For the third year, the Boston Center for Refugee Health & Human Rights at Boston Medical Center is happy to invite you to join us for an exciting, fun-filled night to celebrate the courage and resiliency of our clients and to support the work of the Center! This year's fete will be held at Cinquecento (500 Harrison Ave. Boston). To get your tickets, underwrite a ticket for a client, or sign up to be a sponsor, follow the link below. By offering your support, you are directly helping Boston's asylum seekers and refugees. 

We hope to see you there!


African Diaspora Global Mental Health Conference

11/17/2016 - 11/18/2016
Century City Conference Centre
Cape Town, South Africa

Preceeding the WPA International Congress in Cape Town, Boston Medical Center and BU School of Medicine will host the African Diaspora Global Mental Health Conference in collaboration with George Washington University, Addis Ababa University, University of Nairobi, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Stellenbosch University, the Africa Mental Health Foundation, and the MGH Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry.

This conference will bring together African and African descent health professioinals and their partners from all over the world to address contemporary global mental health challenges and to initiate the development of solutions for Africa. Proceedings from the conference will serve as the foundation for the Africa Global Mental Health Institute.

Psychiatry Department BBQ

Thank you all for making this year's Department BBQ a success! Click here to see more pictures from the event.

Welcoming New Staff: VA Boston

Assistant Professors
Shimrit Black, PhD
Michelle Bovin, PhD
Sarah Leone, PhD
Matthew King, PhD

Research Assistant
Ellen Healey, PhD

Promoted: Associate Professor
Margret Bell, PhD

Michelle Durham recently attended the Latina Researchers Conference in San Antonio, Texas. She chaired a panel on Latino Child and Adolescent Mental Health and presented talk titled "Pediatrician’s readiness for addressing mental health needs of adolescents in primary care in urban low-income communities".

Co-presenting with Michelle were Shari Berkowitz. PhD from Mercy College and Ligia Chavez, PhD from University of Puerto Rico.
Dustin Patil was recently accepted to present at the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Annual Meeting in Bonita Springs, FL. His poster, titled "Veterans’ Perceptions of Opioid Agonist Therapy," will be presented on December 10, 2016.

Cristina Montalvo was also accepted to present at the 2016 IPS Mental Health Services Conference in Washington DC. Her poster is titled "The Problem of Pain: Additive Analgesic Effect of Tramadol and Buprenorphine in a Patient with Opioid Use Disorder."
'Guilty But Mentally Ill' Doesn't Protect Against Harsh Sentences
NPR  |  August 2

In this second of a four-part series, Natalie Jacewicz explores how juries respond to insanity defenses.
Mental illness stigma and engagement in an implementation trial for Cognitive Processing Therapy at a diverse community health center: a qualitative investigation

Int Journal of Culture and Mental Health  |  Jan 12

Sarah E. Valentine, Louise Dixon, Christina P. C. Borba, Derri L. Shtasel & Luana Marques

Cognitive Processing Therapy for Spanish-speaking Latinos: A Formative Study of a Model-Driven Cultural Adaptation of the Manual to Enhance Implementation in a Usual Care Setting
 Journal of Clinical Psychology |  Jan 12

Sarah E. Valentine, Christina P. C. Borba, Louise Dixon, Adin S. Vaewsorn, Julia Gallegos Guajardo, Patricia A. Resick,5 Shannon Wiltsey Stirman, and Luana Marques
An exploratory evaluation of Take Control: A novel computer-delivered behavioral platform for placebo-controlled pharmacotherapy trials for alcohol use disorder
Contemporary Clinical Trials  |  August 10

Eric G. Devine, Megan L. Ryan, Daniel E. Falk, Joanne B. Fertig, Raye Z. Litten


2016 Hong Kong International Conference on Education, Psychology and Society
Hong Kong, China
Dec. 14-16, 2016
Abstracts Due: 8/30/2016

10th International Neuroscience and Biological Psychiatry ISBS Regional (S. America) Conference "NEUROSCIENCE OF STRESS"
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dec. 1-3, 2016
Abstracts Due: 9/15/2016

Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture: Trauma, Recovery and Culture
Radnor, PA, USA
Apr. 27-29, 2017
Abstracts Due: 9/21/2016

3rd Annual International Conference of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology

Mar. 6-7, 2017
Abstracts Due: 9/23/2016

International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS 2017)
Vienna, Austria
Mar. 23-25, 2017
Abstracts Due: 9/30/2016

Global Psychology Symposium
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Oct. 7-8, 2016
Abstracts Due: 9/30/2016

XXV World Family Therapy Congress
Malaga, Spain
Mar. 15-18, 2017
Abstracts Due: 9/30/2016

Global Health & Innovation Conference 2017- Yale University
New Haven, CT, USA
Apr. 22-23, 2017
Abstracts Due: 9/30/2016

25th European Congress of Psychiatry (EPA 2017)
Florence, Italy
Apr. 1-4, 2017
Abstracts Due: 10/6/2016

7th World Congress on Women's Mental Health
Dublin, Ireland
Mar. 6-9, 2017
Abstracts Due: 10/12/2016

18th world congress of WADP: 'Creative processes in psychotherapy and psychiatry'
Florence, Italy
Apr. 19-22, 2017
Abstracts Due: 10/15/2016

International forum on Mood and Anxiety Disorders
Rome, Italy
Dec. 8-10, 2016
Abstracts Due: 11/7/2016

Women's Health 2017, The 25th Anniversary Congress
Washington, DC
Apr. 28-30, 2017
Abstracts Due: 11/15/2016

Updated list of Psychiatry Conferences
Want to see your program featured in our monthly spotlight?

Contact Amandeep Sangha at to find out more! Please include your name, title, and program in your message.
Copyright © 2016 Boston University School of Medicine, All rights reserved.

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Department of Psychiatry
Boston Medical Center
720 Harrison Ave
Doctor's Office Building , Suite 914
Boston, MA, 02118

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Boston Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry · 720 Albany Street · Doctor's Office Building, Suite 914A · Boston, MA 02118 · USA

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