Steph"Our aim is to create the appropriate culture to provide nonjudgmental mental health care through awareness, training and education"        
-Stephanie Perry,
Administrative Manager of Psychiatric Clinics

A mental health and wellness clinic specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning individuals will open Monday, July 20 at UAB Department of Psychiatry.

The mission of the UAB LGBTQ Mental Health and Wellness Clinic is to provide culturally competent outpatient psychopharmacology and therapy that is safe, supportive, and affirming for the LGBTQ community in Birmingham and surrounding areas. Additionally, the goal is to raise awareness of the unique mental health needs of this community and provide culturally sensitive training opportunities for health care professionals. Until now, there have been no formal comprehensive standards to help medical schools and health care organizations train providers in the health care needs of these patients. UAB, along with other medical schools in the country, has created curricula for all medical students in the care of LGBTQ patients. Larry McMillan, M.D., who will see adult and adolescent patients at the clinic, says "many LGBT people avoid seeking professional help out of fear of being marginalized or stigmatized." McMillan hopes the new clinic will be a welcoming environment where those who identify as LGBTQ will feel comfortable enough to seek assistance for their mental health needs.

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Yogesh Dwivedi 2013 insetYogesh Dwivedi, Ph.D., Elesabeth Ridgely Shook Endowed Professor and Director of Translational Research, UAB Mood Disorders Program, in the Department of Psychiatry has been awarded a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Dwivedi is searching for a biomarker that will indicate the likelihood of a person’s attempting suicide. This grant will be used to follow up promising preliminary findings — that specific microRNAs (miRNAs) may be associated with suicide ideation. Congratulations to Dr. Dwivedi on being recognized for receiving this grant and for being acknowledged for his very exciting and valued research.

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The Department of Psychiatry’s annual Graduation Banquet and Awards Ceremony was held on Friday evening, June 12, 2015, at Children’s Harbor Building, The Bradley Lecture Center.  The event was well attended, with more than 100 people participating in the evening’s festivities.  A special thank you goes to Dr. Laura Montgomery-Barefield, Denise Cardin and the rest of the training office staff for hosting this spectacular event and making it a memorable occasion. 

The program began with the recognition of the current and Introduction of the new general Psychiatry Interns, Child Fellows and Chief Residents, and the presentation of certificates of completion to the graduating residents and fellows.  Current and new Psychiatry Resident Association Officers were also recognized.  The evening ended with the presentation of awards to the recipients below.  


AWARDS  - General Psychiatry Interns Awards  and Certificates

Battle S. Searcy Memorial Award-  Austin Luker, M.D.
PRITE Awards -  Psychiatry Resident In-Training Exam (PRITE):  
Best Neurology  and  Best Psychiatry Score- Soumya Sivaraman, M.D.                     
PRITE Exam Academic Excellence Award Score-   PGY II Residents
Outstanding Psychodynamic Formulation-   Jaymee Nelson, M.D.                                           
CBT Formulation-  Kinjal Ghelani, M.D.  
Consult Award-  Mark Rynda, D.O.         
PES Award- Soumya Sivaraman, M.D. 
Outstanding Community Psychiatry Resident
(The Jimmy Maus Travel Scholarship) Dr. Feldman’s Father Nathaniel Kouns, M.D.
Outstanding Inpatient Psychiatry Resident- Katie Thrower, M.D.
Grand Rounds Award-  Nathaniel Kouns, M.D.(The Ambiguity of Anxiety)            
First Episode Psychosis Clinic – (Outstanding  Residents Award)-
      Stephen Brackett, M.D.            Michelle Reeves, M.D.
      Iga Lentowicz, M.D.                  Laurence (Larry) McMillan, M.D.
      Megan Browder, M.D.              Irena Bukelis, M.D.
Resident Research Poster Awards-
Jaymee Nelson, M.D.,
Nawal Weaver, M.D.
VA Rotation- Most Outstanding Resident- Nathaniel Kouns, M.D.
Resident Leadership Award -  Charles Davis, M.D.
Ambassador Award - Katie Thrower, M.D

Resident’s Awards:
PGY I Class:  Outstanding Attending:     Dr. Badari Birur  
PGY II Class: Outstanding Attending:     Dr. Harold Fuller
PGY III Class:Outstanding Attending:     Dr. Taylor Preston
PGY IV Class:Outstanding Attending:     Dr. Nancy Blanton  

AWARDS  - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Awards/Certificates

PRITE Exam Academic Excellence Award Score:1st Year Fellow - Highest-                                 Loucresie Rupert, M.D.
PRITE Exam Academic Excellence Award: 2nd Year Fellow – Highest Score- Laurence McMillan, M. D.
Excellence in Child Inpatient Psychiatry Award- Kishan Nallapula, M.D.
Excellence in Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatry Award-Loucresie Rupert, M.D
Excellence in Department of Mental Health Inpatient Award- Jesse Martinez, Jr., M.D.
Excellence in Consultation Liaison Child/Adolescent Award -Lauren O’Connor, M.D.
Psychopharmacology Clinic Award- Laurence McMillan, M.D.
Excellence in Psychotherapy Award- Irena Bukelis, M.D.
Best Diagnostic Evaluation and Formulation Award-Michelle Reeves, M.D.
Engel Day Treatment Recognition Award- Kishan Nallapula, M.D.
Quality Improvement Research Award -Irena Bukelis, M.D.
Best Senior Presentationard-Michelle Reeves, M.D.
Best CBT Case Conceptualization- Michelle Reeves, M.D.
Best Child and Adolescent Case Presentation by General Psychiatry Resident
Janell Tabora, M.D.
Blessing Falola, M.D.
The New Orleans Birmingham Psychoanalytic Center Award-Irena Bukelis, M.D.
Advanced Studies in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program: Child Fellow Outstanding Attending Award-Dr. Sam Rubin

irena 3The UAB Department of Psychiatry is delighted to announce that Dr. Irena Bukelis has accepted our invitation to join the faculty of the UAB Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, 2015. She will be appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Bukelis’s clinical and teaching responsibilities will be largely at Children's of Alabama. Dr. Bukelis is a graduate of Kaunas University of Medicine in Kaunas, Lithuania. She subsequently spent a number of years as a Center and Research Coordinator at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Dr. Bukelis then came to UAB where she completed her General Psychiatry Residency before transferring to the UAB Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is presently completing her final year of the fellowship, where she has distinguished herself as a wonderful clinician, and currently serves as one of our Chief Residents for the fellowship. In Baltimore Dr. Bukelis was very involved in research related to autism. Most recently she has helped steward the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s QI projects related to atypical antipsychotic use in children and adolescents.

Chief Residents
From left to right: Dr. Jaymee Nelson, Dr. Nawal Weaver, Dr. Toby Martinez

We are delighted to announce the appointments of our Chief Residents for the Department of Psychiatry General Program and the Department of Psychiatry Child Fellowship Program for the 2015 – 2016 academic year. 

General Program: Drs. Jaymee Nelson and Nawal Weaver

Dr. Nelson is from Birmingham, Alabama.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and she received her medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine.  Her Psychiatry interests are in General Adult Psychiatry and Consult Psychiatry.

Dr. Weaver is from Algeria.  She received her medical degree from the Institut National d'etudes Superieur en sciences Medicales, National Institute of Graduate Medical Education (INESSM Alger).  She moved to the United States a few years ago and worked in a State Mental Health facility for 3 years before joining the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Psychiatry General Residency Program. Her Psychiatry interests are Severe Mental Illness, Geriatrics, and Addiction.

Child Fellowship Program: Dr. Toby Martinez

Dr. Martinez is from San Antonio, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas and he received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Medical School. Dr. Martinez relocated to Alabama for his training in General Adult Psychiatry with our department in 2011. In 2014 he was accepted to our Child & Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship training program. His psychiatry interests are in Child Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. Dr. Martinez has also demonstrated his interest in Academics and works with Dr. Fargason in UAB Psychiatry Medical Student Clinic and Dr. Yalamanchili with several Brain Module lectures and small groups.

Please join us in congratulating Drs. Nelson, Weaver and Martinez as they take on their new responsibilities with their academic training.