About Us : Message from the Chair

July 2016

The summer has been an unusually busy one in our Department. We celebrated the graduation of our Psychiatry residents and fellows, psychology interns, and postdoctoral fellows on June 4, 2016 at the Coral Gables Country Club. It was truly a memorable event. We have now welcomed our new, highly ranked, first year residency class. These 16 new medical school graduates join us from excellent schools. They may well be the very best residency class we have recruited. We also welcome our new fellows in Addiction, Psychosomatics, Geriatrics, Forensics, and Child Psychiatry.

We closed the fiscal year on May 31st, and it has been a very successful one for the Department both fiscally and in terms of research and training. Our faculty continue to excel in all aspects of academic life with new NIH grants, research and teaching awards, and the provision of outstanding clinical service.

Our relationship with Jackson Memorial Hospital (JMH) is stronger than ever. The inpatient service at the Jackson Mental Health Hospital has 170 beds and a new psychiatric emergency facility is being constructed—necessitated by the increased volume of emergency room patients that we have witnessed. Indeed, our JMH Crisis Center is the busiest psychiatric emergency service in the United States.

The University of Miami Hospital (UMH) Inpatient Service, led by Edmi Cortes, M.D. continues to thrive. Our electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) services, led by Martin Strassnig, M.D., continue to grow. Our Veteran’s Administration Hospital Psychiatry Service with particular expertise in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) continues to thrive.

Our community External Advisory Board, led by Mr. Harley Tropin and Mrs. Susan Racher, has engaged in much activity. An inaugural golf tournament in planned for October 28, 2016 at Turnberry Isle. The proceeds from this event will benefit the Department.

Our faculty have received much recognition in the past several months with new NIH research grants (Drs. Czaja, Brothers, Weiss-Jones, Kumar and others), election to the American College of Psychiatrists (Drs. Vasiliu-Feltes and Durand), and being named editor of a new journal, Personalized Medicine in Psychiatry (Dr. Nemeroff).

We have welcomed several new faculty (Dr. William Pirl from Harvard and Dr. Firdaus Dhabar from Stanford) and there are more on the way.

Our faculty have contributed a column on mental health to the Miami Herald every two weeks for the past several months and will continue to do so.

At a time when many academic medical centers in general and departments of psychiatry, more specifically, are contracting, we are fortunate to continue to grow, in large part due to the support we receive from our medical center leadership. We are delighted to be working closely with Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, and CEO, UHealth – University of Miami Health System who joined us from the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania.

My best wishes to all of you for a relaxing and fulfilling summer and early fall.