What's New

Kudos Drs. Dougherty and Hameed

Two members of our faculty have been elected to leadership positions in the PA Psychiatric Society: Dr. Dougherty is President, and Dr. Hameed has just been elected Secretary. For a small department like ours, this is a noteworthy honor! Congratulations, Kathy and Ahmad!!!

Congratulations to Dr. Ilia Kritikou

Congratulations to new AMWA (American Medical Women's Association) Residency Division member Dr. Ilia Kritikou for publishing her abstract titled: "High Fat Intake Is Associated With Psychological Sleepiness In Healthy, Non-Obese Adults", in the Abstract Supplement, Vol. 36, Sleep. Dr. Kritikou's mentor is Dr. Alexandros Vgontzas, Professor of Psychiatry at Penn State Hershey. 

"Get Psyched" Wins ShapeUp Wellness Challenge

ShapeUp is a wellness program open to all HMC and PSU employees (and spouses).  ShapeUp is the leading global provider of clinically-proven, social networking-based employee wellness programs that help people exercise more, eat healthier, and lose weight. Founded in 2006 by two medical doctors, ShapeUp has pioneered an innovative approach to behavior change that leverages the power of social networking, gaming and coaching to improve the health of large populations and reduce healthcare costs. The latest challenge, Balancing Act uses healthy activities to balance out unhealthy choices for a 6 week period.  Each week you'll have one healthy and one unhealthy behavior to track. Teams with the healthiest balance win!  

Challenges were as follows:

Week 1: +1 point for every minute of exercise, -1 point for every minute of television

Week 2: +20 points for every serving of fruits or vegetables, -20 points for every serving of sweets

Week 3: +25 points for taking the stairs, -25 points for taking the elevator

Week 4: +20 points for every glass of water, -20 points for every high calorie beverage

Week 5: +25 points for every five minute walk, -25 points for every uninterrupted sitting hour

Week 6: +35 points for every meal from home, -35 points for every time you eat out

Our "Get Psyched" team members are Wendy Elmslie, Shawn Cannon, Lisa Cannon, Beth Swartz, Margaret Seidenberg-Ellis, Yoko Spayde, Kathy Hess, Steve Hess, Jordan Gaines, Marisa Klein, and Lynn Dawson. 

All eleven team members did an outstanding job each week and we garnered 334 points for 1st place.   

Penn State Psychiatry Welcomes New Faculty

The Department of Psychiatry welcomes new faculty members: Amol Chaugule, M.D., Usman Hameed, M.D., Antolin Llorente Ph.D., Richard Mattison, M.D., Daniel Waschbusch, Ph.D., and James Waxmonsky, M.D.

Dr. Amol Chaugule joins the faculty in August as an Assistant Professor, having completed his Psychiatry residency at Penn State Hershey. He will be based in our adult outpatient clinics.

Dr. Llorente, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Neuropsychology, and Director of the new Psychology Internship Training Program, joined the faculty in June. Previously, he was a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland and Director of Neuropsychology, Director of the Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Training Program, and Director of the Neuropsychology Assessment Laboratory, at the University of Maryland and John Hopkins Medical Systems (Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital). Dr. Llorente is board certified by the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology (AAPdN). He also serves as Honorary Faculty in the Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, SAR, China.

Dr. Usman Hameed joined the faculty in July as an Assistant Professor and will be based on the child inpatient unit at the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (PPI).   He comes to us from Clearfield Jefferson Community Mental Health Center in DuBois, PA. Dr Hameed completed his residency and child fellowship at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, where he was also Chief Fellow.

Dr. Mattison, Professor of Psychiatry, re-joined the faculty in July and will be based in the child outpatient clinics.  He comes to us from SUNY at Stony Brook where he served as the Director of School Consultation and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry. While at SUNY, he received the "Teacher of the Year Award in Child Psychiatry" multiple times.

Dr. James Waxmonsky joined the faculty in July as an Associate Professor and will also serve as the Division Chief for Child Psychiatry and Vice Chair for Child and Adolescent Services. Dr. Waxmonsky  previously served as Medical Director and Director of Research at  Florida International University (FIU) Center for Children and Families. He has been named to the "Best Doctors in America" list from 2009-2013 by Best Doctors, Inc.

Dr. Daniel Waschbusch will join the faculty as a Professor in August. He most recently served as a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Florida International University.  He is a well-published researcher, with a focus on child ADHD.

Congratulations to Dr. Aditya Joshi and Dr. Jolene Hillwig-Garcia.

Congratulations to Dr. Aditya Joshi and Dr. Jolene Hillwig-Garcia who recently graduated from the Junior Faculty Development Program sponsored by the Office of Professional Development. This year-long program required each participant to complete a research project under the guidance of a senior faculty member. Dr. Joshi's project involved the development and testing of a screening tool for delirium.  Dr. Hillwig-Garcia's project was titled, "Developing an innovative, creative and interactive approach for providing needing support services to siblings of patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder."  

Fauzia Mahr, M.D. awarded 2013 Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

Congratulations to Fauzia Mahr, M.D., who was awarded a 2013 Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award from the Society of Distinguished Educators at Edventure on Thursday, April 25, 2013.  The Woodward Endowment for Medical Science Education awards this honor to recognize junior faculty members in the initial stages of their career who have demonstrated exceptional promise as educators at the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine and Penn State Hershey Medical Center.  The award is presented by the Society as a means of recognizing and advocating excellence in the educational missions of Penn State Hershey.

Susan Calhoun, PhD Awarded ABPP Diplomate Status

Dr. Susan Calhoun was awarded American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) Diplomate status after completion of three rounds of examination. As a Diplomate, Dr. Calhoun has earned the highest level of competency and credentialing awarded by a board of professionals comprised of her peers, and the highest level of recognized expertise a psychologist can obtain.

Nine Psychiatry Faculty Members Named to 2013 Best Doctors in America

Congratulations to Dr. Kathleen Dougherty, Dr. Linda Durst, Dr. Alan Gelenberg, Dr. Ahmad Hameed, Dr. Aftab Khan, Dr. Mark Rapp,Dr. Erika Saunders, Dr. Steven Sinderman, and Dr. Tjiauw-ling Tan! All were named to the 2013 Best Doctors in America. The Best Doctors in America List, assembled by Best Doctors, Inc., results from exhaustive polling of over 45,000 physicians in the United States. Doctors in over 40 specialties and 400 subspecialties of medicine appear on this year's List.  In a confidential review, current physician listees answer the question, "If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, to whom would you refer?"  Best Doctors, Inc. evaluates the review results, and verifies all additional information to meet detailed inclusion criteria.

Postdoctoral Scholar Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, PhD Receives Honors

Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar in Sleep Research, completed his Ph.D. with Honors from Complutense University of Madrid, Spain based on doctoral dissertation granted Summa Cum Laude and postdoctoral achievements (CV). Dr. Fernandez-Mendoza's oral presentation completed at the 11th Annual Data & Dine of the Penn State Hershey Postdoctoral Society received 1st place (Bond Bradley Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award). Dr. Fernandez-Mendoza also recently received his Pennsylvania psychologist license.

Alan J. Gelenberg, M.D. Interviewed for Patriot News/PennLive Article

Dr. Alan Gelenberg, Shively/Tan Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, served as the expert source for a Patriot News/PennLive article on warning signs of severe mental illness. To read the article, visit PennLive.com at the following link: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/01/mental_health_warning_signs.html

Child Psychiatry Fellows Jitendra Annapareddy, M.D. and Lance Feldman, M.D. Pass Adult Psychiatry Boards

Congratulations to Dr. Jitendra Annapareddy and Dr. Lance Feldman on passing the Adult Psychiatry Board Exam which they took in September!

Congratulations to Fauzia Mahr, MD and Mary Jo Laudermilch, CRNP on Patient Satisfaction Scores

Congratulations to Fauzia Mahr, M.D., and Mary Jo Laudermilch, CRNP, who were recently recognized at the November 20, 2012 Penn State Hershey Patient Satisfaction Event for achieving the Dean's List for FY 11-12.

Dr. Mahr scored in the 99th percentile of care providers nationwide, while Ms. Laudermilch scored above the 90th percentile of non-physician care providers nationwide.

Bixler Named Keynote Speaker for SLEEP 2013

Edward Bixler, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Vice Chair of Research, Department of Psychiatry, has been named keynote speaker for SLEEP 2013, the 27th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC (APSS). SLEEP is the only five-day meeting in the nation with scientific sessions and an exhibition hall focused solely on sleep medicine and sleep research. Dr. Bixler has been involved in the field of sleep research for over 40 years. His own research in the epidemiology of sleep and its disorders has been funded by NASA, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, numerous scientific laboratories and pharmaceutical companies, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Congratulations to Alan Gelenberg, MD on Successful Four Diamonds 5K Run

Congratulations to Dr. Alan Gelenberg, Shively/Tan Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, on placing 1st in his age bracket in the October 6th Four Diamonds 5K Run! This year's record-breaking event raised more than $80,000 for the Four Diamonds Fund to help children with cancer.

Hameed and Joshi Receive Dean's Awards for Excellence in Teaching

Ahmad Hameed, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Associate Medical Director, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, and Aditya Joshi, M.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Medical Student Clerkship Director, have each been selected to receive a Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award was established to recognize faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to medical and graduate education at the Penn State College of Medicine. Drs. Hameed and Joshi will be recognized at the College's annual Convocation and Awards Ceremony on Friday, September 21.

Congratulations to Drs. Hameed and Joshi for this well-deserved accomplishment! 

Psychiatry Welcomes Ajay Bhandari, M.D. and Azim Shahsavar, M.D.

As of July 1, 2012, Psychiatry welcomes two new faculty members to the department: Ajay Bhandari, M.D. and Azim Shahsavar, M.D. Both Dr. Bhandari and Dr. Shahsavar join the department as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and both will be primarily based at Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (PPI) Adult Inpatient Unit.

Dr. Bhandari is a medical graduate of Cebu Institute of Medicine, Philippines, and completed his Psychiatry residency at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C. Dr. Bhandari also completed an Adult Psychoanalytic Fellowship, at Baltimore Washington Center for Psychoanalysis.

Dr. Shahsavar is board-certified in Psychiatry. A medical graduate of Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade (Serbia), he completed his Psychiatry Residency at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C. Dr. Shahsavar also completed a Postgraduate Addiction Fellowship at Yale University.

Please welcome Dr. Bhandari and Dr. Shahsavar to the department!

Department of Psychiatry Promotions

The university has honored two Department of Psychiatry faculty members with promotions from Instructor to Senior Instructor of Psychiatry, effective July 1. The department congratulates Shiyoko Cothren, MHA. and William Milchak, LCSW, CAC, CCDP Diplomat.

Congratulations to Jolene Hillwig-Garcia, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Jolene Hillwig-Garcia, MD recently passed the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology board certification exam for the Psychiatry specialty. Congratulations to Dr. Hillwig-Garcia!

Alan J. Gelenberg, M.D. Interviewed for Realage.com Article

Shively/Tan Professor and Department Chair Alan J. Gelenberg, M.D.  was interviewed by realage.com for an article on the topic of depression. To view the article, please visit: http://www.realage.com/major-depression-mdd/depression-treatment-questions

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Recognized by AACAP's 100% Club

The 100% club is AACAP's (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry) way of recognizing program directors and coordinators for their efforts in helping all fellows in their program join AACAP. The Department's fellowship was recognized as a member of the 100% club in AACAP's May/June 2012 issue.

Graduate Student Jonathan Harris Receives CTSI TL1 Career Development Award

Jonathan Harris, a student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program who is completing his Ph.D. thesis research in Dr. Scott Bunce's lab, has been selected to receive a CTSI TL1 career development award. The Penn State Clinical & Translational Science Institute Predoctoral (TL1) Training Program provides unique training opportunities for medical, life sciences and other clinical predoctoral students. The key objective of the program is to provide a supportive interdisciplinary environment in which clinical and translational scholars with diverse research interests and backgrounds can train with health researchers from multiple disciplines to acquire the skills and experience needed to become successful, independent clinical and translational scientists.

Aditya Joshi, M.D. and Jolene-Hillwig Garcia, M.D. Accepted into 2012-2013 Junior Faculty Development Program

Assistant Professors of Psychiatry Aditya Joshi, MD and Jolene Hillwig-Garcia, MD have each been accepted into the Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) for the 2012-2013 academic year. The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) provides a foundation for the success of junior faculty in the Penn State College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Since its establishment in 2003, over 140 junior faculty have participated in the program, guided by almost 90 senior faculty mentors. This flagship program is a model for faculty development programs nationally.

Congratulations to Dr. Fauzia Mahr - Finalist for 2012 Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

In recognition of substantial and excellent contributions to the educational missions of Penn State Hershey, the Society of Distinguished Educators selected Dr. Fauzia Mahr, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, as a finalist for the 2012 Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. One of a select group of honorees who progressed from nominees to finalists, the Society presented Dr. Mahr with a certificate acknowledging her accomplishment. The department congratulates Dr. Mahr on receiving this honor! 

Department Faculty Elected as Officers of Central PA Psychiatric Society

Three Department of Psychiatry faculty members have been elected to serve as officers of the Central Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society (www.papsych.org). Steven C. Sinderman, MD , Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, is President; Ravi K. Singareedy, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, is Secretary/Treasurer; and Ahmad Hameed, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, is Councilor. 

Tjiauw-Ling Tan, M.D. Selected for Fulbright Award to Indonesia

The department congratulates Dr. Tjiauw-Ling Tan on his selection for a Fulbright Award to Indonesia. Dr. Tan was selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB), a Presidentially appointed 12-member board that is responsible for establishing worldwide policies for the Fulbright Program and for selection of Fulbright recipients. The principal purpose of the Fulbright Program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of the more than 150 countries that currently participate in the Fulbright Program. As a Fulbright grantee, Dr. Tan joins the ranks of distinguished participants; Fulbright alumni include judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, university presidents, artists, professors, and teachers, and have been awarded 43 Nobel Prizes. The Department of Psychiatry already includes two Fulbright Alumni: John Ellis, Ph.D. and Ravi Singareddy, M.D.

Erika Saunders, M.D. Receives 2012 NCDEU New Investigator


Dr. Erika Saunders has been selected as a 2012 NCDEU New Investigator Award recipient. The goals of the program are to expose awardees to the breadth of opportunities available to clinical researchers, introduce them to potential senior investigators from other institutions, and facilitate the establishment of a national peer group for the New Investigators. There are three components to this unique program: 1) a day-long closed didactic workshop led by experts from NIMH, the Food and Drug Administration, academia, and the pharmaceutical industry; 2) an opportunity to present a poster at the 2012 NCDEU meeting, and 3) a special Award Ceremony where new investigators have an opportunity to informally meet leaders in the field. 

Erika Saunders, MD Selected for KL2 Career Development Award

The department congratulates Erika Saunders, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, on her selection as a recipient of the Penn State Clinical and Translational Institute KL2 Career Development Award. From 19 applicants across the institution, 5 recipients were chosen for this honor. For more information on the KL2 program, please follow this link: http://ctsi.psu.edu

Poster Accepted for Presentation at American Psychiatric Association's 165th Annual Meeting

A poster entitled "Non-epileptic seizures vs. Panic Disorder in patient with Pervasive Developmental Disorder" has been accepted for presentation at the APA's annual meeting. The poster's authors are: Lidija Petrovic-Dovat, MD; Richa Aggarwal, MD; Christopher Petersen, MD; P Ulmen, LCSW (Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute), and Nidhi Gupta, MD. 

Dr. Angela Gorman Honored with Donation to YWCA Lancaster's Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center

Angela Gorman, Ph.D. was recently honored by the family of a patient. In recognition of the work of Dr. Gorman and Dr. Richard Levine, the family made a donation to the YWCA Lancaster's Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center. Please join the department in congratulating Dr. Gorman on this tremendous honor! 

Best Poster Presentation Award: Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, Ph.D.

Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, Ph.D., post-doctoral scholar in the department of Psychiatry, was awarded Best Poster Presentation at the 5th annual Diabetes and Obesity Forum, for his poster titled "Unveiling the Causal Association Between Short Sleep Duration and the Incidence of Obesity". The forum, sponsored by the Penn State Hershey Diabetes and Obesity Institute, rook place on November 9th, 2011. 

Edward Bixler, PhD Featured in Episode of "Medicine in Blue and White"

Edward Bixler, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Vice Chair of Research, was featured in the second episode of "Medicine in Blue and White". To view the entire episode, including the science of sleep segment featuring Dr. Bixler, please visit: Medicine In Blue and White: Episode 2 - Penn State Hershey Medical Center