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May 2012

Comings and Goings

Michael (Mike) Burke joined the faculty in 2001, coming to Emory from the University of Miami and the Miami VA. His first position in the department was at the VAMC working with the homeless programs. Quickly he became the Assistant Chief of Service at the VA and then for two years was the Acting Chief of Service at the VA. During that time he was the Medical Consultant for the National Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Program. In 2005, he moved his based to Emory University Hospital and the Winship Cancer Center as the Director of Clinical Psycho-Oncology. In 2007, he joined Grady’s Consultation-Liaison Service and he has continued to work part-time on that service. In addition, in 2009, he began attending in Grady’s Crisis Intervention Service (formerly known as the Psychiatric Emergency Service). Over the years, he has trained countless residents and medical students. He has also been on a number of MPH thesis committees at the Rollins School of Public Health. Mike will be the Medical Director for the Partial Hospitalization Program at Anchor Hospital. This position is consistent with his focus on providing quality care to persons with serious and persistent mental illness and his investment in community psychiatry.

Svathi Reddy joined the faculty in 2005.  She came to Emory from Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City where she was director of the Psychiatric ER Service, Assistant Professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and had a private practice focusing on psychotherapy.  She has worked since 2005 in the crisis stabilization unit at Grady Hospital and in previous years at the outpatient clinic at Grady.  In addition, she previously provided consultation services at Emory Midtown both in the general hospital as well as for the Reproductive Endocrinology Department.  She has been the director of medical student rotations in the crisis intervention service at Grady. Svathi has trained numerous residents, medical students and P.A. students since 2005.  She has also provided psychotherapy supervision to residents. She has started a private practice called Compass Psychiatry LLC and provides some community mental health services at Northside Mental Health Center.  She looks forward to continuing her long and positive relationship with Emory through her adjunct faculty affiliation.

During Chaundrissa Smith’s  eight years as part of the Emory/Grady family (2 years of those as a trainee – psychology intern, psychology postdoctoral fellow) she primarily focused her clinical, teaching, and research endeavors  in the areas of child, adolescent, and family therapy. Most of these experiences occurred at Grady's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic. More recently, she served as the staff psychologist in the Sickle Cell Program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta - Hughes Spalding. She received an Emory EMCF grant to evaluate the efficacy of the evidence-based Triple P-Positive Parenting Program at Grady's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic. Since 2009, Chaundrissa has been part of the NIH funded Promise Neighborhoods Research Consortium (PNRC). This consortium, led by prevention scientists including Drs. Tony Biglan, Ron Prinz, and Dennis Embry, provides consultative services to low income neighborhoods in their efforts to implement evidence-based preventive intervention programs within their communities. In her role as a PNRC early career scientist, Chaundrissa was instrumental in building a collaborative relationship between Atlanta communities (e.g., Adamsville) and the PNRC. Most recently, Chaundrissa spearheaded the collaboration between the NIH-funded Legacy Together intervention program of Pennsylvania State University (PI, Emilie Phillips Smith, PhD) and the Atlanta Parks and Recreation Program. This collaboration has led to the implementation of the evidence-based PAX Good Behavior Game in two afterschool programs within the Atlanta area, with the long term goal of implementation in all 33 Atlanta based after school programs.  At Kaiser, she will continue in her dedication to providing clinical services to children and families within the context of a Behavioral Health/Psychiatry department.

Faculty Kudos

Major Leadership Appointments, Activities and Achievements

Marietta Collins has been chosen to be on Emory’s Advisory Council on Community and Diversity.

Barb D’Orio graduated from Emory University School of Medicine’s Quality Academy. She has been appointed Vice Chief of Quality at Grady.
Belinda McIntosh has been chosen as the Chair-Elect for the Mental Health Section of the American College Health Association.


The psychology interns have all secured postdoctoral fellowship positions. Jamila Cunningham will be going to the Georgetown Counseling Center, Angelika Marsik will be going to Shepherd Pratt, and Allison Hill and Tomina Schwenke will be staying at Emory.
Many of the psychology postdoctoral fellows have secured jobs. Kara Snead will be at the Atlanta VA in the general mental health clinic as a staff psychologist. Nicole Styperek will be opening a private neuropsychology practice in Rome, GA named the Center for Neurocognivite Assessment and Rehabilitation.


Fani, N., Jovanovic, T., Ely, T.D., Bradley, B., Gutman, D., Tone, E.B., & Ressler, K.J.  (2012). Neural correlates of attention bias to threat in post-traumatic stress disorder. Biological Psychology, 90, 134-142. DOI:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.03.001

Farber, E. (2012). Supervising humanistic-existential psychotherapy: Needs, possibilities. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 42, 173-182. DOI:10.1007/s10879-011-9197-x

Forbes, L.L., & McIntosh, B.J. (2012). Mental health and substance use: Focus on college student affairs meeting. College Health In Action, 51, 11-12.
Jacob, M.K., Larson, J.C., & Craighead, W.E. (2012). Establishing a telepsychiatry consultation practice in rural Georgia for primary care physicians: A feasibility report. Clinical Pediatrics, 20. DOI:10.1177/0009922812441671

Johnson, K.C., LaPrairie, J.L, Brennan, P.A., Stowe, Z.N., & Newport, J. (2012). Prenatal antipsychotic exposure and neuromotor performance during infancy. Archives of General Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2012.160

Morrier, M. J., & Hess, K. L. (2012). Ethnic differences in autism eligibility in the United
States public schools. Journal of Special Education, 46, 49-63.

Honors, Awards, Rankings

Scott Firestone was recently listed as one of the Leading Physicians of the World through International Association of Healthcare Professionals and as one of the 2012 Atlanta Super Doctors. Also, in 2012, his service (Psychiatry at MOT) received the Emory Healthcare, Emory Clinic Top Score in Patient Satisfaction for exceeding their Press Ganey target.

Nadine Kaslow received a Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa from Pepperdine University, which she also provided the commencement address. The address can be found at

Mike Owens has been named a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP).  He also gave Grand Rounds in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Gent on animal modeling of the consequences of maternal depression and its treatment with antidepressants in offspring.

Quality and Safety Initiatives

No new initiatives to report

Development Achievement and Capital Campaign Initiatives

No new initiatives to report

Community Benefit Programs and Activities

Vivianne Aponte-Rivera will be the subject matter expert for the behavior health track for the 2nd annual Latino Health Summit.

The Emory University News Center featured Joe Cubells, MD, PhD, in a webcast addressing the impact of autism spectrum disorders on individuals and their families.

Michael Morrier did a series of media interviews: (1) Interview with Melissa Long, WXIA/WATL TV Channel 11. Retrievable from (April 5, 2012); (2) Interview with Will Frampton, CBS News Atlanta. Retrievable from (March 30, 2012); (3) Interview with Michelle Wirth, WABE, Georgia Public Radio (90.1FM). Retrievable from (April 2, 2012).

Belinda McIntosh presented Psychopharmacology Review and Update to a group of 200 licensed mental health practitioners (psychologists, clinical social workers, counselors, psychiatrists) at the 5th Biennial Cultural Competency Conference at Georgia State University.

Doug Bremner organized the Callaway Gardens Homecoming Initiative, which is designed to help members of the US military reconnect with their fellows and assimilate into a peace time home environment upon return from combat deployment.

Resident and Psychology Training Kudos

Telsie Davis received the 2012 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award in recognition of outstanding scholarship from Georgia State University’s Department of Counseling and Psychological Services.

Negar Fani received the Anxiety Disorders Association of America Career Development Travel Award, as well as the Wisconsin Symposium on Emotion Travel Award.

Fani, N., Jovanovic, T., Ely, T.D., Bradley, B., Gutman, D., Tone, E.B., & Ressler, K.J.  (2012). Neural correlates of attention bias to threat in post-traumatic stress disorder. Biological Psychology, 90, 134-142. DOI:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.03.001

Nisha Shah was selected to participate in the APA/SAMHSA minority fellowship program for the academic year beginning July 2012. This will support her efforts in the International Medicine Clinic at Grady, as well as her work with the broader refugee community.

Arshya Vahabzadeh and Justine Wittenauer published an article entitled Reaping the rewards of collaboration in the May 4, 2012 Psychiatric News.  This commentary in the Residents Forum underscores the importance of collaboration when working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Staff Kudos

I am pleased to inform everyone, that on a monthly basis, I will also be sharing staff members’ accomplishments. Please send those my way, And staff will now be receiving this update email.

Carolyn Knight received the Outstanding Clerkship Coordinator Award from the Medical School.

Karen Owens has been chosen to join the board of the Administrators in Academic Psychiatry (AAP), serving as Member-At-Large – Membership.

Previous Kudos