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Everyone is invited to attend an upcoming Continuing Education Workshop entitled “An Overview of Mental Health and Legal Issues related to Working with Refugees and Asylees. The presenters will be Barbara Lopes Cardozo, MD, MPH, Alpa Amin, JD, and Betsy Gard, PhD. The workshop will be held Friday, March 8, 2019, 9:00am – 12:00pm (Registration starts at 8:30am) at the Emory Faculty Office Building (FOB), Room 101, 49 Jesse Hill Jr Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30303, Grady Health System Campus. Please RSVP to Dr. Rachel Ammirati at


The next leadership consultation is scheduled for Wednesday May 22, 2019 from 9:00-10:30am at EP12, Room TBD.


We have scheduled all of the 2019 seminars so that people can save the dates. These all will be held at EP12 in the 1st floor training room, Room 2

  • April 3, 2019, 9:00-10:30am - Crafting a Professional Identity – Andrew Furman, Rickey Gillespie, Sheila Rauch
  • September 18, 2019, 9:00-10:30am - Erotic Transference and Countertransference
  • December 5, 2019, 9:00-10:30am - Harmful Supervision


The writing support group meetings monthly on the 1st Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is Wednesday March 6 at 8:00-9:00am at EP12 Room 554.


We will now spotlight a faculty member, staff member, and trainee each month. We welcome suggestions about people to highlight.


Kara Brendle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, as well as the Site Administrative Director and clinical supervisor for the Child/Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the Atlanta VA and a member of the Emory Faculty Development Committee. Kara also serves as the team lead for the Depression/Mood Treatment track in the General Mental Health Clinic at the Atlanta VA and co-lead for the Family/Couples Intervention Team (FIT). She is the founder and co-chair of the Family/Couples Services Committee, which aims to enhance family/couple services across VA and connect providers who have training and/or interest in couples/family work. She is also active on the Psychology Training Committee. Kara has previously served as the Acting Clinical Director of the GMH Central clinics for a rotation. 

There are many aspects of Kara’s work that she enjoys. First and foremost, she values her role as therapist accompanying her patients in their journey through painful challenges to build awareness, self-acceptance, while fostering change. Another piece she is passionate about is program development and procedural improvement. Since 2012, Kara has been an integral part of implementing structural change within the department’s large system of care and helping create recovery-oriented and evidence-based programming for the clinic to best serve patients.  Being able to use her systems thinking to enhance the services provided is highly rewarding. Kara also enjoys training, teaching, mentoring and supervising psychiatry and psychology students. Finally, in her role as team lead, encouraging others to collaborate and think outside the box when considering what treatments might best fit for complex patients is another component that makes her work meaningful. 

Broadly, organizing and developing family/couples services, which began in collaboration with Emory Child/Adolescent Psychiatry program in 2012, has been a central highlight of Kara’s career. The ability to incorporate her extensive training background with children/families into her work at the VA is an ongoing professional dream.  Being able to bring together providers from across sites and disciplines who have an interest in and passion for family/couples services who were previously unknown to one another; to develop the mission and vision of the Family/Couples Services Committee; to create the role of Family Champion which serves as a helpful resource on each team, these are all related highlights.  Receiving two Innovation grants enabled her FIT co-lead and herself to assess the needs of families, staff and facility leadership, better understand the systemic challenges related to these services and ultimately develop and implement of a new model of care.

Kara’s goals and plans for the future are to continue bridging her long-standing clinical interest in children/families with her work at the VA by expanding the family services offered to include community partnerships, comprehensive follow-up with families and creation of communities of support via monthly family nights. She aims to continue training and supervising students, while encouraging systemic conceptualization. She hopes to continue exploring and implementing innovative models of treatment that enhance the quality of care our Veterans receive. Outside of her role at work, Kara would like to participate more frequently through service organizations she values (e.g. St. Vincent de Paul Society), as well as professional organizations (e.g. GPA).

Currently, Kara’s greatest interest outside of work is her one-year-old son, James.  She enjoys spending time with him and her husband at the park, reading together and singing songs. Aside from time with family and friends, Kara loves trying new restaurants, running/walking/hiking, cooking and listening to music. She hopes to find time in the future to learn how to play the banjo. 


Del Hanson serves as the Adult Psychiatry Lead for the front desk and guest services, as well as Coordinator for the resident psychopharmacology clinics. She has been part of the Emory family for over 26 years. She enjoys the supportive, collegial environment within the Brain Health Center and the people she works with daily. Del considers her colleagues to be her family outside of her family. The things she enjoys most about her work revolves around the patients: she enjoys being a familiar face to help them feel comfortable and welcome when they arrive. Del believes the ability to enhance the patient experience with personal relationships and continuity in care over time. She also loves to see the patients do well. 

Some highlights of her career to date include the ability to shape the team through being part of the interviewing process of both managers and support staff. She believes having a cohesive, supportive and communicative team makes all the difference, and she strives to bring out the best in coworkers. Del has seen the department come a long way from Building B, North Decatur Campus and Tufts House. She has enjoyed the opportunity to develop structures to help the day-to-day processes with support and caring. 

Outside of Emory, Del enjoys spending time with her family. She is a wife, mother, stepmother, daughter, big sister and grandmother of seven. She enjoys bowling, reading, cooking (family favorites are mac cheese, potato salad and Caribbean oxtail stew), all types of music, plays and movies. She is very involved in the community, partnering with Hosea Williams Feed the Hungry, 100 Black Women of Atlanta and her church Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church. Everywhere she goes she enjoys helping others feel good about themselves no matter what their circumstances may be, while bringing a smile to the people she comes in contact with. 

Del’s future plans include keeping Emory as home, and after retirement, traveling and enjoying life. 


Andrew Ebner is a first-year psychiatry resident at Emory, most recently completing several weeks of inpatient and emergency psychiatry at Grady Memorial Hospital. Andrew enjoys working with patients on 13A, especially when he is able to meet with their families and offer support, counseling and work together on a plan to help everyone – both caretakers and patients – continue to do well after leaving the hospital. He most enjoys working with the treatment teams, discussing patients and working with the clinicians and social workers. He also especially enjoys working with folks in the intern class, as they are an exceptional group of thoughtful, intelligent and hardworking people who deserve just as much recognition for all they do.  

One of the highlights of Andrew’s medical training has been working with Dr. Goldsmith and Dr. Cotes at PSTAR as a medical student at Emory and following up with patients over five months. It was rewarding to rotate there again as a resident and find patients still remembered him over a year later.  

Outside of work, Andrew continues to write poems, often about his experiences in psychiatry and medicine as a means of reflection. Down the line, he hopes to work towards a fast-track application in child and adolescent psychiatry, while also becoming involved in research within the next two years. 


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Black History Month – Erica Lee, PhD, and Keith Wood, PhD, ABPP, Faculty - Grady – Black History Month is a yearly observance of accomplishments by African Americans. Originally established in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans as “Negro History Week,” it is a time for acknowledging the central role of blacks in the history of the United States. Negro History Week evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses by the late 1960’s and every U.S. president since 1976 has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. The 2019 Black history month theme is Black Migrations.  In fact, Black History Month’s roots originated with the Great Migration of the early 20th century.  At this time, millions of African Americans relocated from the South to northern cities looking for better quality of life and job opportunities. Carter G. Woodson published his book A Century of Negro Migration in 1918.  Therein he stated that the Great Migration signified a “new phase of Negro American life which will doubtless prove to be the most significant event in our local history since the Civil War.”  Black migrations highlight a 400-year journey that began between the 16th and 19th centuries.  During that time, millions (“the actual number is estimated to have been as high as 12.5 million … (traveling) in 36,000 slaving voyages.”) of enslaved black people were taken from Africa to the Americas during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.  At least 10.7 million survived the Middle Passage and were sold as cargo throughout North America, the Caribbean, and Brazil.  The years 1619 to 2019 mark the quadricentennial of the experiences and contributions of Africans and African Americans. Other countries around the world, including Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.


None reported


Major Leadership Appointments, Activities and Achievements

Joyce Cohen was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.


Schwartz AC, Cotes RO, Kim J, Ward MC, Manning KD. (2019). Bite-Sized Teaching: Engaging the Modern Learner in Psychiatry. Academic Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1007/s40596-018-1014-3. 


Bremner J, Gurel NZ, Wittbrodt M, Nye JA, Alam Z, Herring I, Ladd SL, Shallenberger L, Haffer A, Levantsevych O, Murrah NV, Huang M, Ko Y, Pearce BD, Shandhi MH, Shah A, Vaccarino V, & Inan OT. (2019). Non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation paired with stress exposure in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Brain Stimulation, 12. 438. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2018.12.417

Drews-Botsch C, Celano M, Cotsonis G, Dubois L, & Lambert SR. (2019). Parenting stress and adherence to occlusion therapy in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study: A secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial. Translational Vision Science & Technology, 8. 3. DOI: 10.1167/tvst.8.1.3 

Dunlop, B.W., LoParo, D., Kinkead, B., Kletzko-Crowe, T., Cole, S.P., Nemeroff, C.B., Mayberg, H.S., & Craighead, W.E. (online). Benefits of sequentially adding cognitive-behavioral therapy or antidepressant medication for adults with nonremitting depression. American Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.18091075 

Dunlop BW & Wong A. (2018). The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in PTSD: Pathophysiology and treatment interventions. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 89. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2018.10.010 

Evans APB, Mascaro JS, Kohn JN, Dobrusin A, Darcher A, Starr SD, Craighead LW, & Negi LT. (Epub ahead of print, 2019). Compassion meditation training for emotional numbing symptoms among veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2018.0425

Jiang F, Rakofsky J, Zhou H, Hu L, Liu T, Wu S, Zhao P, Liu H, Liu Y, & Tang YL. (2019). Satisfaction of psychiatric inpatients in China: Clinical and institutional correlates in a national sample. BMC Psychiatry, 19. DOI: 10.1186/s12888-019-2011-0

Parlante CM, Harrison NA, Miller AH, Spencer SJ, Su, KP, & Pittman QJ. (2019). What’s in a name? How about being listed in the “psychiatry” category In Clarivate’s Journal Citation Index!. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.01.005.

Pimple P, Hammadah M, Wilmot K, Ramadan R, Mheid IA, Levantsevych O, Sullivan S, Lima BB, Kim JH, Garcia EV, Nye J, Shah A, Ward L, Raggi P, Bremner JD, Hanfelt J, Lewis TT, Quyyumi A, & Vaccarino V. (2019). The relation of psychosocial distress with myocardial perfusion and stress-induced myocardial ischemia.Psychosomatic Medicine. 1. DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000674

Rowson SA, Bekhbat M, Kelly SD, Binder EB, Hyer MM, Shaw GA, Bent MA, Hodes G, Tharp G, Weinshenker D, Qin Z, & Neigh GN. (2019). Chronic adolescent stress sex-specifically alters the hippocampal transcriptome in adulthood. Neuropsychopharmacology. 1. DOI: 10.1038/s41386-019-0321-z. 

Sharma S, & Ressler KJ. (2018). Genomic updates in understanding PTSD. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 90. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2018.11.010.

Sripada RK, Blow FC, Rauch SAM, Ganoczy D, Hoff R, Harpaz-Rotem I, & Bohnert KM. (2019). Examining the nonresponse phenomenon: Factors associated with treatment response in a national sample of veterans undergoing residential PTSD treatment. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2019.02.001

Welsh,JW & Hadland SE. (2019). Treating adolescent substance abuse. New York: Springer Publishing; 2019. Print ISBN: 9783030018924.

Zhang, H., Dong, L., Watson-Singleton, N. N., Tarantino, N., Carr, E. R., Niles-Carnes, L. V., Patterson, B., & Kaslow, N.J. (2019). Psychometric properties of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) in an African American sample. Mindfulness. DOI: 10.1007/s12671-019-01099-6 

Zuj DV, & Norrholm SD. (2018). The clinical applications and practical relevance of human conditioning paradigms for posttraumatic stress disorder. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 88. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2018.08.014. 

Honors, Awards, Rankings

Michelle Casimir was honored as a Fellow of the Georgia Psychological Association in recognition of her distinguished service.

Sarah Cook was honored as a Fellow at the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association Winter CME Meeting. 

Erin Elliott was honored as a Fellow of the Georgia Psychological Association in recognition of her distinguished service.

Quality and Safety Initiatives and Capital Campaign Initiatives

None reported

Community Benefit Programs and Activities

The Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee sponsored for BHC faculty, staff, trainees, patients and their families a reading and discussion of Something happened in our town: A child’s story about racial injustice, which is written about by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard.

Joseph Cubells led a panel at the Atlanta Autism Consortium on the subject of Medication Management of Challenging Behaviors.

Justine Welsh presented “Medication-Assisted Treatment: Separating Myths from Reality,” at the Medical Association of Atlanta Opioid Symposium, Atlanta, GA, 2019 


None reported

Emory in the Media 

Andrew Furman (1) – WABE: City Lights.

Nadine Kaslow (1) – Dance Spirit: Help! I Think My Friend has an Eating Disorder. (2) – The Washington Post: A Pediatrician Exposes Suicide Tips for Children Hidden in Videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids.

Andrew Miller (1) – Psychology Today: Can My Dentist Cure Depression?.

Justine Welsh (1) – Reuters: More Young Adults Binge-Drinking Well Into Their 20s.

Other Accomplishments 

Hynes, ST*, Morrier, MJ. Achieving self-initiations: Toilet training minimally-verbal children with autism spectrum disorder. Presented at the annual Autism Conference of the Association for Applied Behavior Analysis, San Francisco, CA, 2019 (poster presentation).


Susan Chance has been certified in Adult Psychoanalysis by the American Board of Psychoanalysis.

Dauda Griffin was honored as a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association Winter CME Meeting. 

Raymond Kotwicki was honored as a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association Winter CME Meeting. 

Stefanie Speanburg has been certified in Adult Psychoanalysis by the American Board of Psychoanalysis.

Laura Westen has been approved by the American Association for Psychoanalytic Education as a Training and Supervising Analyst

Glenda Wrenn was honored as a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association Winter CME Meeting. 


Trygve Dolber was awarded a Wellborn Fellowship for 2019-20. 

Goodnight JRM, Ragsdale KA, Rauch SAM, Rothbaum BO (2018). Psychotherapy for PTSD: An evidence-based guide to a theranostic approach to treatment. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 88. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2018.05.006. 

Jesse Mahautmr finished third place in the Skobba Poster Competition at the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association CME Winter Meetings on the subject “Myotoxic Injury from Paliperidone Palmitate Resulting in Rhabdomyolysis without Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome.” 

Richman, E.E., Ku, B.S., & Cole, A.G. (2019). Advocating for underrepresented applicants to psychiatry: Perspectives on recruitment. American Journal of Psychiatry Residents’ Journal, 14, 2 – 4.  

Gaby Ritfeld finished third place in the Skobba Poster Competition at the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association CME Winter Meetings on the subject “Psychopharmacological Treatment of Inattention in Children Prenatally Exposed to Teratogenic Substances: More is More.” 

Madison Silverstein has accepted an Assistant Professor position at Loyola University in New Orleans where she will be teaching undergraduate courses, mentoring undergraduate research, and supervising students engaging in clinically-oriented service learning practicum placements.  

Van Rooij SJH, & Jovanovic T. (2018). Impaired inhibition as an intermediate phenotype for PTSD risk and treatment response.Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 89. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2018.10.014. 

Jack Van Bezooyen finished third place in the Skobba Poster Competition at the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association CME Winter Meetings on the subject “Limb Self-Amputation without Replantation: Case Report and Management Considerations.” 

Joseph Vinson finished second place in the Skobba Poster Competition at the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association CME Winter Meetings on the subject “A Humanities Approach to Applying Existential-Humanistic Principles for Psychotherapy Competency Development in Psychiatry Residency Training.

Joseph Vinson was awarded a Wellborn Fellowship for 2019-20.


None reported


Kallio Hunnicutt-Ferguson and her partner Daniel Bell announced the birth of their son Finn Benjamin Bell on February 19 at 4:300 am.

Laura Watkins and her husband Charlie welcomed their new daughter, Billie Rose Davidson on February 18 at 12:41 pm.