About Us : Message from the Chair

June 2015

Another summer is upon us and with it our Department has much to be proud of. We celebrated the graduation of our Psychiatry residents and fellows, psychology interns, and postdoctoral fellows on June 6, 2015 at the Coral Gables Country Club. What a terrific celebration. Earlier this month we welcomed our new, much heralded first year residency class. These 14 new medical school graduates join us from excellent schools and I was delighted to see them at our recent Grand Rounds. They are the product of one of our very best residency matches.

We closed the fiscal year on May 31st, and it has been a successful one for both the Department and the University of Miami Health System. 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 and we have expanded the inpatient service at the Jackson Mental Health Hospital to 170 beds. We were delighted to recruit Carolyn Drazinic, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Connecticut, to serve as our Chief Medical Officer in Psychiatry at JMH.

The University of Miami Hospital (UMH) Mood Disorders Inpatient Unit, 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. The construction of the new Day Treatment Program at UMH, supported by the generous donors on our community External Advisory Board, is imminent.

Speaking of that Board, led by Mr. Harley Tropin and Mrs. Susan Racher, we have witnessed remarkable activity including the “Stop the Stigma” event, co-hosted with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at UMH. This “sold out” affair featured well known mental health advocates Ms. Elyn Saks and Mr. Pete Earley, as well as a number of our faculty. I am delighted to report that the Department will host its first major fundraising event, featuring Pulitzer Prize winning author and comedian Dave Barry, on October 8, 2015 at the De La Cruz Museum in the Design District. Seating is limited so purchase your tickets as soon as possible. For more information, please visit the Department’s website: www.psychiatry.med.miami.edu . With Ms. Kelly Kirkpatrick, our new development officer, having joined us from Chicago and the addition of a few new and energetic board members, several additional outreach events are being planned.

I would be remiss if I did not mention some of the many accolades received by our faculty in the last few months, including new NIH research grants (Drs. Beurel, Kumar, Weiss-Jones, Loewenstein); election to the American College of Psychiatrists (Drs. Rueda-Lara, Crocco, and Durand) being named editor of a new journal (Dr. Philip Harvey), and receiving an honorary doctorate from Maimonides University in Buenos Aires (Dr. Nemeroff).

We have welcomed several new faculty (Drs. Drazinic, Rosado, McLeod-Bryant, Starovic) and are in the midst of several additional recruitments.

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.

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

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D.
Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chairman
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Center on Aging
Chief of Psychiatry, Jackson Memorial Hospital
Chief of Psychiatry, University of Miami Hospital
Associate Director – MD/PHD Program
Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine