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Grady Health System

The Grady Health System, the primary teaching facility of the Emory University School of Medicine, is a Level 1 Trauma Hospital that serves a primarily inner-city, minority, and low income population from metropolitan Atlanta and Fulton and DeKalb Counties. The Grady Health System includes a general hospital (the largest in Georgia and among the largest in the country) and a children’s hospital, as well as multiple outpatient clinics for children and adults. Professional services at Grady Health System are provided under contract with Emory University School of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine, so that the hospital is a teaching hospital.  Grady is involved in training for all the mental health disciplines; clinical psychology, psychiatry, social work, nursing, occupational and recreational therapy.  Thus, there are many opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary seminars and treatment programs.  Emory University is located approximately 15 minutes driving time from Grady Health System. The psychology faculty includes 12 full-time and 2 part-time licensed clinical psychologists.  In addition, there is an American Psychological Association accredited internship training program based at Grady Health System, which received initial accreditation in 1980, and was fully re-accredited in 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2007. The internship program recently was expanded to include a position at the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine.

Adults with Serious Psychiatric Disorders.  The following half-time positions (pending funding) can be combined with other half-time positions at Grady Health System, for the equivalent of one full-time position. There will be the equivalent of 1-2 full-time positions devoted to work with adults with serious psychiatric disorders. Half-time primarily clinical positions are available in the (1) Grady Outpatient Services, which provides comprehensive biopsychosocial and diagnostic assessments, treatment plans, and brief, goal-oriented individual therapy for adult outpatients; (2) Adult Day Treatment Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program, which offers psychosocial rehabilitation services for adults living in the community; (3) Adult Inpatient Milieu Unit, which offers comprehensive short-term inpatient care for adults with serious and persistent mental illness; and (4) Inpatient Crisis Stabilization Unit, which offers stabilization and brief treatment for adults in acute psychiatric distress. Responsibilities for the positions devoted to work with individuals with serious mental illness include psychological assessments, treatment planning, interventions (individual, group, couples/family), crisis management, interdisciplinary consultation, clinical-research, clinical administration, supervision and teaching, and program development and evaluation. Postdoctoral residents in each of these positions also need to spend ½ day per week conducting comprehensive behavioral health biopsychosocial and diagnostic assessments for consumers who present to the Grady Intake Clinic and helping develop appropriate treatment plans for these consumers. Research is ongoing in a number of areas including: suicide, intimate partner violence, schizophrenia and substance abuse, psychosocial rehabilitation-program evaluation, interactions between PTSD and serious mental illnesses, efficacy of short-term inpatient and outpatient/community interventions, and neuropsychological correlates of psychiatric conditions.

Serious Mental Illness and Suicide Prevention Clinical Research. This one year half-time clinical-research position entails involvement in two projects focused on preventing suicidal behavior in patients diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (BD) who present to the Grady Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic (BHC). As part of the Bipolar Clinic and Research Program (BCRP), the purpose of both studies is to better understand the genetic, environmental, and psychological factors that contribute to suicidality in BD patients. The first genetic/epigenetic study examines the potential interaction between the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTT) and childhood maltreatment contributing to subsequent substance use and suicidal ideation/behaviors in African American BD patients. The second study aims to identify treatments to reduce suicide risk factors, enhance protective factors, and improve quality of life through a 6-week group-based intervention program. The fellow will be expected to take a leadership role (i.e., project manager) in the clinical research efforts of the team (e.g., recruitment/ screening of study participants, program implementation, supervising/training, data analysis, manuscript preparation). The fellow will also be involved in conducting diagnostic intake assessments and individual/group therapy with patients at the Grady outpatient BHC diagnosed with a variety of serious mental illnesses.

Suicide Prevention Clinical Research.This one year half-time clinical-research position entails involvement on a clinical-research project focused on a group intervention for preventing suicidal behavior in African American women and men (Grady Nia Project, Grady Compassion and Meditation Program). The resident is a member of an interdisciplinary research team and is expected to take a leadership role in the research efforts of the team (e.g., program implementation, community outreach, supervising/training, data analysis, manuscript preparation, grant writing, etc.). The person will also be involved in the conduct of group, individual, and family interventions for suicidal African American women and men. This person will also aid in the recruitment of study participants, which includes community outreach efforts.

Program Evaluation in Youth Suicide PreventionThis one year half-time research position entails involvement in evaluating the outcomes of a SAMSHA funded grant entitled Georgia Suicide Safer Communities for Youth. Guided by the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and the Zero Suicide Initiative, the main objectives of the grant are to decrease suicidal attempts and deaths in youth. Through training, outreach, and implementation of evidence-based practices, the project builds infrastructure and increases the suicide specific continuum of care among youth ages 10-24 in three targeted Georgia counties with suicide death rates higher than the national average. The fellow will be expected to take a leadership role in the evaluation efforts of the project team to develop, implement, and monitor effective programs that promote wellness and prevent suicide related behaviors. The fellow will also be involved in evaluation of the project implementation and services, data collection/analyses, tracking, and manuscript preparation. The fellow will be expected to participate in SAMHSA training efforts for Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Grantees Cohort 10. Travel to project sites and conferences may be required periodically. Additional opportunities to conduct research and publish results on suicidal behaviors and other associated topics will also be available. The ideal candidate for this position will have experience with program implementation/evaluation and be proficient in data analyses. Moreover, candidates should demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills, with a proven publication record of successful research, preferably in suicide prevention.

Forensic Psychology. Two full time positions will be available in forensic psychology. The postdoctoral resident will be involved in work that focuses on competency restoration of defendants in criminal cases. This novel program is designed to rapidly treat defendants found incompetent to stand trial without transferring them from a county jail to a psychiatric facility. Training experiences include forensic assessment, intervention, and research related to competency restoration.  In addition, the resident will participate in a weekly forensic seminar with forensic psychiatry residents. Other rotations include the following:

  • Georgia Regional Hospital in Atlanta: Forensic psychologists and psychiatrists provide evaluations and treatment for men and women who require an inpatient setting.  Residents conduct 90-day competency to stand trial and violence risk assessments, as well as outpatient forensic evaluations with juveniles.
  • Private practice:  Residents work on federal mitigation evaluations with an experienced forensic psychologist in private practice, as well as receive supervision focused on expert testimony, malingering assessments, and professional development.
  • Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center:  Residents conduct compensation and pension evaluations of veterans under the supervision of forensically trained psychologist who specializes in disability evaluations.
  • Private practice: Residents have the opportunity to conduct sex psychosexual  evaluations with individuals who trained under Dr. Gene Abel.