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FALL 2017

Chairman's Message

mark rapaport  
Mark Hyman Rapaport, MD

Despite the chaos in our current healthcare system, we are committed to providing innovative care and research to all our patients. This issue of Brainwaves highlights our work through the community with the exciting Open Dialogue initiative as well as the important clinical and research work that Dr. Sheila Rauch is spearheading with our veteran community. Both of these stories focus on Emory’s commitment to developing creative intervention programs that help some of the most deserving yet most underserved groups of patients in our community. This issue of Brainwaves also reports on the tremendous breadth and strength of our training programs and a new social media feature - our Emory Brain Health Facebook page. I hope you enjoy our Fall newsletter.

Beyond PTSD: Research and Care for Military Veterans

When the planes hit World Trade Center in September 2001, Dr. Sheila Rauch, PhD, ABPP, knew it was time to refocus her career. The psychologist had been working with researcher Edna Foa on treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and social anxiety.

Sheila Rauch, PhD, ABPP

“After 9-11, I knew the United States would end up in some military conflicts,” says Dr. Rauch. “I wanted to contribute to the care of our returning veterans. I felt some responsibility since I knew effective treatment for PTSD.”

Fifteen years later, Dr. Rauch splits her time between Emory and the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC). At Emory, she is Clinical Director of the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Based on her work with postdoctoral students, she was recently awarded a 2017 Mentor of the Year Award. At the VA, she directs mental health research and program evaluation.

Dr. Rauch says that her clinical experience, research, and administrative roles feed into her primary goal of providing effective treatment to people suffering with PTSD. “At Emory and the VA, I’m implementing what we know about treatments that work and systems that work so we can give efficient and effective care to veterans,” says Dr. Rauch.

Dr. Rauch’s research includes enhancing accessibility of PTSD treatment. “People don’t tend to finish treatment or medications for PTSD. Some of them may get some benefit, but without a full course of care most won’t fully remit from PTSD.” She is currently exploring in-home and primary care models of treatment.

For Dr. Rauch, working with military veterans has made her an even stronger believer in mental health treatment. “It’s exciting to see patients get better and find the models of care that are the best fit.”

Open Dialogue – An Innovative Program of Engagement

open dialogue
Front row (L to R): Stephanie Johnson, Shaina Gordon, Zoe Dale; Back row (L to R) Courtney Crooks, Justin Palanci, Keith Wood, Robert Cotes, Michael Lowley

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory is pleased to announce the establishment of the Open Dialogue/First Episode Psychosis Program at the outpatient clinic at Grady Behavioral Health.

Open Dialogue is a recovery-oriented, network-based approach to care for individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis. Developed in Finland, Open Dialogue has shown success in Europe and is now being implemented in the US. It is guided by seven key principles: (1) immediate help, (2) social network perspective, (3) flexibility and mobility, (4) responsibility, (5) psychological continuity, (6) tolerance of uncertainty, and (7) dialogue.

The Open Dialogue/First Episode Psychosis Program seeks to provide individuals from this vulnerable population with comprehensive care that is person-centered, emphasizes autonomy, and facilitates shared decision-making. The primary modality of treatment is the network meeting during which two or more clinicians meet with the person at the center of concern and their support network to explore the circumstances leading up to the meeting and how to best proceed.  Located on the 2nd floor of 10 Park Place, the program has gotten off to a strong start, holding approximately one hundred network meetings since starting in April. Co-directors Keith Wood, PhD and Robert Cotes, MD lead the program’s interdisciplinary team comprised of resident psychiatrists, psychologists, clinicians, and social workers.

This work has been made possible by the generous support from the Foundation For Excellence in Mental Health Care, Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation, and the Sparks Foundation.

In addition to clinical work, a research study to assess the feasibility of implementing the Open Dialogue approach in the Grady community is being conducted (PI: Robert Cotes). For referrals, please contact the program coordinator, Stephanie Johnson, at (404) 910-3739.

Solar Eclipse

open dialogue

The Solar Eclipse was witnessed by many supporters of the Autism Foundation of Georgia who is a major partner and supporter of the Adult program at the Emory Autism Center( EAC) at the wonderful venue of Chota Falls outside of Clayton, Ga.

This exciting event included a talk by an Emory astronomer as well as a presentation on Autism by Dr. Matt Segal of the EAC while we waited for the eclipse to occur.


On June 15, 2017, graduation was held for the Psychiatry and Psychology trainees. We were proud to graduate 11 General Psychiatry residents, 2 Medicine-Psychiatry residents, 3 Addiction Psychiatry Fellows, 2 Forensic Psychiatry Fellows, 2 Geriatric Psychiatry Fellows, 3 Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellows and 1 Psychosomatic Medicine Fellow. We also graduated 9 psychology interns , 2 pre-doctoral interns from our Child and Adolescent Mood Program , and 21 Psychology Post-doctoral Fellows. A number of our graduates will be remaining in the Atlanta area.

Several of our faculty members ( Drs. Boadie Dunlop, Jennifer Felger and Dorian Lamis) and their research were recognized by the School of Medicine on Research Appreciation Day. Read more here.

Dr. Adriana Hermida, who is the Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship among her other varied responsibilities, was selected as a recipient of the 2017 Emory University School of Medicine Dean’s Teaching Award . This award recognizes her superior teaching of medical students and other allied health professionals.

The Walter Wellborn Endowed Fellowship in Psychiatry allows one resident each year to participate in a project in an international medical setting that might not be covered during their general residency . This competitive award was given this year to Dr. Mina Boazak who worked in Liberia in the area of Crisis Intervention Training ( CIT) for police as well as working with mental health clinicians in various training roles. An article of interest about the CIT training can be read here.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan PGY-4, Medicine-Psychiatry resident was the recipient of the Maqbool Hashmi Education Fund Award. This award enables a resident to attend a professional meeting and provides books for each of the residents.


Dr. Andrew Owens, a recent General Psychiatry graduate is now the primary Psychiatrist on the new Psychiatric unit as Davis Regional Medical Center in Statesville, NC. He credits his education at Emory with allowing him to work in this position. An article about this opening is here.


doug bremner

Dr. Douglas Bremner discusses how pharmaceutical companies influence prescribers. Read more here.

jordan cattie

Dr. Jordan Cattie talks with a patient about her treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder ( OCD) and how she has improved with treatment. Read more here.

seth norrholm

Dr. Seth Norrholm comments on how terrible events affect us all. Read more here.


This section will highlight different aspects of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences that people may not be aware of.

The Emory Brain Health Center now has a Facebook page!

We are excited to launch this site under the oversight of Jaye Watson our Director of Brand Awareness and Outreach. Please look at this page often to hear many of our patients inspiring stories as well as to learn about cutting edge research that is taking place at the Brain Health Center.

Emory has a number of new clinical studies that are actively recruiting people seeking treatment as well as control participants. If you are interested in learning more, please click here.


Your support will help us to partner together for Atlanta and Beyond. To make a gift to the Department of Psychiatry please click here.

If you have any comments or suggestions please contact Phyllis Rosen LCSW at prosen@emory.edu