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Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA)

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) ranks among the "best children'shospitals" in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. CHOA has 575 licensed beds in three hospitals (Egleston, Hughes Spalding and Scottish Rite), an affiliate specialty outpatient center (Marcus Autism Center), and 26 neighborhood locations throughout Atlanta. CHOA enhances the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research, and education. With close to a million annual patient visits, it is one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the country. CHOA is recognized for excellence in cancer treatment, neurosciences, rehabilitation medicine, cardiology, and transplant services, etc. Marcus Autism Center, a subsidiary of CHOA, is one of the leading institutions in the country for autism spectrum disorder clinical care and research. More than 5500 children with autism and related disorders are treated there annually. As one of the largest autism centers in the U.S. and one of only three National Institutes of Health (NIH) Autism Centers of Excellence, Marcus Autism Center offers families access to the latest research, comprehensive evaluations and intensive behavior treatments. With the help of research grants, community support and government funding, Marcus Autism Center aims to maximize the potential of children with autism today and transform the nature of autism for future generations.

Pediatric Psychology (CHOA – Egleston and Scottish Rite). Two full-time pediatric psychology postdoctoral residency positions with a specialty in Hematology/Oncology will be offered at Children's Healthcare. Residents will be exposed to a wide variety of pediatric subspecialties, such as Oncology, Neuro-Oncology, Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT), Sickle Cell Disease, and Hemophilia. Residents will receive year-long training in outpatient and inpatient consultation-liaison, outpatient therapy for patients following BMT, outpatient cognitive-behavioral therapy for pain management including supervised training in biofeedback and neuropsychological and psychoeducational assessment. Additionally, Residents will rotate through at least two six-month clinics based on their areas of focus, which will be determined at the start of residency with the help of their mentors and faculty supervisors. Available clinic rotations include: brain tumor survivorship, cancer survivorship, sickle cell teen transition, sickle cell chronic pain, sickle cell neurology, hemophilia, and research. A variety of current psychological research opportunities are available in Sickle Cell Disease, Oncology, and Cancer Survivorship. Up to 50% protected time will be made available to qualified candidates interested in pursuing research. Residents also are provided with professional development funds to support travel to conferences or specialty training.

Stephanie V. Blank (SVB) Center for Safe and Healthy Children (CHOA – Scottish Rite and Hughes Spalding). One to two full time positions will be available in the SVB Center for Safe and Healthy Children, a child advocacy center at the CHOA Scottish Rite and the CHOA Hughes Spalding sites. Typically one postdoctoral resident is located at the Hughes Spalding site, and a second is at the Scottish Rite site. Both postdoctoral residents provide the same clinical services: consultations to parents presenting at the SVB Center for their child's forensic interview or medical exam, diagnostic evaluations of children and adolescents who have experienced abuse or neglect, and evidence-based, trauma-focused treatment of maltreated children/adolescents and their families. Postdoctoral residents are integrated into the multidisciplinary team of providers at the SVB Center, often offering consultation on behavioral health issues, such as suicide risk assessment. Residents are given an opportunity to provide training to Georgia child service providers via webinars, and to engage in research and/or program evaluation related to child maltreatment. Hours for direct service provision are typically 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 or 5:00 p.m., though the Scottish Rite site has extended hours (11:30 to 8:00 p.m.) one night per week. Residents are trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), applying one or both of these models to cases at the SVB Center.

Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program (Marcus Autism Center, a Division of CHOA). The Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program provides an interdisciplinary approach to assessment and treatment of serious feeding problems in children from birth to age 18 years. In keeping with the Marcus Center’s mission to provide information, services and programs to people with developmental disabilities and their families, the Feeding Program helps children overcome feeding difficulties related to their complicated medical histories or developmental delay.   Typical problems include food refusal; tube feeding dependence; failure to thrive; food selectivity by color, texture, or type; and feeding skill deficits. The team consists of professionals in the fields of medicine, nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, behavioral psychology (with an emphasis on applied behavior analysis), speech pathology and social work.  Thus residents learn about the contributions and unique needs of multiple disciplines. Residents participate in all levels of service, including a multidisciplinary assessment/consultation clinic, intensive day treatment, gastroenterology clinic consultation and outpatient behavior therapy.  Interventions focus on empirically supported treatments that utilize primarily behavioral techniques.  The program has an active research program, including clinical trials.  Training activities include providing direct consultative and outpatient services, supervising behavioral technicians or trainees who provide treatment, participating in ongoing research projects, individual and group supervision, learning about administrative support structures for these services, and participating in training seminars. 

Severe Behavior Programs (Marcus Autism Center, a Division of CHOA). The purpose of the Severe Behavior Program is to provide behavioral assessments and interventions for children who engage in problem behaviors that cause significant danger or disruption to their lives or the lives of their families. While there is no restriction on the type of problem behavior, those most frequently encountered include aggression, self-injury, property destruction, disruption, noncompliance, elopement (running away from supervision), pica (ingesting inedible objects), and stereotypy (repetitive behavior that interferes with adaptive behavior). Patients in the Severe Behavior Programs also represent a range of backgrounds and diagnostic categories. Treatments are matched to the individual needs of the child and their family, but frequently include the teaching communicative alternatives to challenging behaviors. Caregiver training and generalization to the natural environment are key aspects of the treatment model: parents, teachers, or other care-providers are trained in the implementation of the treatment both at the Marcus Autism Center, as well as in naturalistic settings such as in the child’s home, classroom, or other public venues. Children admitted to the intensive day treatment service attend 6 hours per day for an average of 12 weeks. For children with less severe problem behaviors, outpatient admissions are available that focus on parent training.

Skill Acquisition Program: Language and Learning Clinic (Marcus Autism Center, a Division of CHOA).  The Skill Acquisition Program includes the Language and Learning Clinic, which focuses on the acquisition of skills in children, most of whom have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Typical skills targeted for intervention include language, social, self-help, vocational, and academic skills. Interventions are rooted in applied behavior analysis reflected in the empirical literature about verbal behavior.  Services are delivered one-on-one and in small groups in a day-treatment setting. Trainees in this rotation also contribute to broader parent-training programs that include education about autism spectrum disorder and basic principles of applied behavior analysis as it applied to skill acquisition and behavior management. These standalone parent training programs are offered in the clinic, in the community, and via telehealth.  

Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis Program (Marcus Autism Center, a Division of CHOA). Three full-time positions are available.  This placement offers advanced clinical training in the assessment of children with an array of childhood disorders. The resident will provide neuro-developmental and psychological evaluations assessing for autism and related disorders as well as provide parent consultation. Typical problems of children presenting at the clinic include autism spectrum disorders, other developmental disorders, behavior problems, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders.  In addition, this residency provides the opportunity to work on some cases within a multidisciplinary team that provides diagnostic and intervention services to children who are referred for autism spectrum disorders. The multidisciplinary team includes clinical psychologists, developmental pediatricians, social workers case managers, nurse practitioners and speech pathologists. The resident will focus on early and accurate diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and also provide treatment planning for children and their families.  The resident may provide follow-up intervention services, such as parent training, behavioral family therapy, and parent-child interaction therapy.  The resident may also participate in existing research and conduct supervision (under supervision) of graduate students. Weekly and monthly clinical and didactic sessions, including Marcus Grand Rounds and clinical case conferences will be offered.

Clinical Assessment Core for Research (Marcus Autism Center, a Division of CHOA)(THIS POSITION IS NOT AVAILABLE IN 2018).  This placement offers advanced clinical training in neurodevelopmental disorders. Clinical training will take place in the Clinical Assessment Core of the Marcus Research Program, directed by Celine Saulnier, PhD. The Assessment Core consists of a multidisciplinary team of licensed psychologists, speech pathologists, care coordinators, a nurse practitioner, and a phlebotomist, as well as research staff, students and doctoral trainees. The resident will conduct clinical and diagnostic assessments on children participating in research paradigms ranging in age from infancy through young adulthood. Assessments include conducting parent feedback sessions and providing written reports with recommendations for treatment and intervention. Opportunities for participating in clinical treatment protocols are an option, as are opportunities for conducting research. The resident will also be provided with opportunities to conduct supervision (under supervision) of undergraduate and graduate students and research staff. Weekly and monthly clinical and didactic sessions, including Marcus Grand Rounds, clinical case conferences, and data management tutorials, will be offered.

Pediatric Neuropsychology/ Division of Neurosciences (Egleston & Scottish Rite Campuses). The Department of Neuropsychology at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine are happy to announce one opening for a postdoctoral resident for 2018-2020, beginning September 1, 2018.  Our training program is a member of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN) and is designed to meet criteria set forth by the Houston Conference Policy Statement. Children’s Pediatric Neuropsychology Residency program builds competency in the neuropsychological assessment and treatment of children (newborn to adult) with a variety of neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders. Upon completion of the two-year, full-time program, residents have gained clinical and research skills required for independent practice and/or academic pursuits in pediatric neuropsychology and to pursue board certification (ABBP-CN).  Approximately 75% of the resident’s time is devoted to clinical activities, and 25% to research and education. The Department of Neuropsychology consists of eight neuropsychologists and one pediatric psychologist, four who are ABPP-CN boarded, four who are in progress in the boarding process, and all who are adjunct faculty in the Emory University School of Medicine and Morehouse University School of Medicine. Some hold academic appointments at Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology as well. These neuropsychologists reflect diversity of training backgrounds and bring to supervision a variety of developmental models and theoretical orientations. Additional details about the program and the facility are available at: Neuropsychology Landing Page – and the Neuropsychology Residency –

The areas of training consist of interdisciplinary involvement in a CARF-Accredited inpatient and partial-day rehabilitation program for acquired brain injury and medical disorders that affect cognition and physical functioning; inpatient/outpatient epilepsy, including video-EEG monitoring, Wada and epilepsy surgery; outpatient epilepsy social support group; inpatient neuropsychological consultation; concussion evaluation and education; congenital heart disease outcome; fMRI, cortical mapping procedures, and neurological and neurosurgical outpatient evaluations. Treatment opportunities are offered through a cognitive remediation program targeting executive functioning in pre-adolescents and adolescents, with a parent-training component, to prepare for transition of care to adult medical providers and young adulthood. There is short-term psychotherapy/education for inpatients and day treatment patients and their parents.

Residents participate in and/or develop research topics and are encouraged to present at national meetings. Current faculty research interests include: learning/memory in children with epilepsy and traumatic brain injury, cognitive and family functioning in children with neuromuscular disorders, fMRI / DTI / Morphometry in children with frontal and temporal epilepsy, and the effectiveness of cognitive remediation with children with neurological disorders. New research projects include neuroimaging grant funded studies involving sports medicine and concussion, neurocardiac developmental disorders, and neuroimaging and cognitive effects for Sickle Cell Disease.  Future grant initiatives include treatment efficacy and imaging studies involving cognitive remediation. Opportunities are also available for the resident to be mentored in:  book, test and journal article reviews.

Residents are mentored by their faculty supervisors to participate in hierarchical supervision of doctoral interns in our lifespan neuropsychology APA-Approved internship with Emory University School of Medicine as well as with externs, in didactic, assessment and clinical treatment situations. They also are mentored so that they are prepared for board certification. This mentoring effort includes weekly didactic opportunities within the department and with Emory University School of Medicine on such topics as neuroanatomy, case conceptualization, ethics and fact-finding. Residents also observe brain cuttings and attend neuroradiology rounds.