photo of W. Vaughn McCall, MD, MS

W. Vaughn McCall, MD, MS

  • Case Distinguished University Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior
  • Executive Vice Dean, Medical College of Georgia
  • Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs

Dr. McCall has been the Case Distinguished University Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Augusta University since 2012.  He also serves as Executive Vice Dean of MCG.  He completed his medical degree and post-graduate psychiatric training at Duke University. He completed a Masters degree in Epidemiology from Wake Forest University. He is board certified in general psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and sleep medicine. His research interests include depression, electroconvulsive therapy, quality of life, insomnia, and suicide.   He received 22 years of research support from the National Institute of Mental Health, and he has more than 500 published items, including more than 220 peer-reviewed journal articles, with a Google Scholar H-index of 55. His papers in the American Journal of Psychiatry were twice picked by the Editors as among 7 “most interesting and important papers” published in that journal for the years 2017 and 2019. He is Editor of the Journal of ECT, Past Associate Editor for the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, and on the Editorial Board of Sleep. He has been the Past President of the Association for Convulsive Therapy, and a prior Director of the Board of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He previously was the Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine from 2001-2012.

 
photo of Peter B. Rosenquist, MD

Peter B. Rosenquist, MD

  • Executive Vice Chair
  • Director of Therapeutic Neurostimulation
  • Leon Henri Charbonnier Endowed Chair

Dr. Peter B. Rosenquist is professor and executive vice chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.  He was named as the Leon Henri Charbonnier Endowed Chair in Psychiatry and Health Behavior in 2020. Dr. Rosenquist, is also director of the department’s Therapeutic Neurostimulation Program, came to MCG from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 2012. He is an expert in electroconvulsive therapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation, techniques that apply various types of electromagnetic energy to the brain as an alternative to traditional pharmacologic therapies for psychiatric disorders.

He has participated as an investigator in multiple National Institutes of Health and industry funded trials over the past 25 years which have helped to define best practices in the field. His research efforts are primarily focused on finding alternatives for treatment resistant major depressive disorders.

He also is a coinvestigator on a $1.6 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration aimed at training psychiatrists, nurse practitioners and psychologists to work collaboratively with primary care practitioners to address rural behavioral health disparities.

An honored educator, Rosenquist is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a past recipient of the association’s Nancy C.A. Roeske Certification of Excellence in Medical Education award. He has twice been named Didactic Teacher of the Year by MCG and AU Health psychiatry residents.

Rosenquist is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of ECT and is a past examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is a member of the International Society for ECT and Neurostimulation, the American Psychiatric Association and the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association.

He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, the University of Nebraska Medical School, and completed his psychiatry residency at the Chicago Medical School.

 

photo of Sameera Azeem, M.D., MPH

Sameera Azeem, M.D., MPH

  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Director, Psychiatry Clerkship Program

 

Dr. Sameera Azeem is an assistant professor in the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. She grew up in Augusta, Georgia, spent her entire childhood in the area, and is proud to still call Augusta her home. She completed her undergraduate studies at Augusta University, after which she worked as an assistant in research labs at the Medical College of Georgia’s Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine as well as in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Following this, she left Augusta for two years to obtain her Masters of Public Health at Rollins School of Public Health in Emory University. She then returned to Augusta to complete medical school, internship, General Psychiatry residency, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at Augusta University. She served as Chief Resident during her Child and Adolescent fellowship. Upon completing her fellowship, she remained with the department to join as faculty and also began serving as Associate Director for the Psychiatry Clerkship program for medical students. Her current clinical duties include providing inpatient care on both the acute and residential units at the Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta. She also provides outpatient care to children and adolescents at Transitional Family Services and at the Department of Behavioral Health at Augusta University. Her interests include mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and the influence of culture and spirituality in psychiatry.  

photo of Marshall Bedder, M.D.

Marshall Bedder, M.D.

  • Associate Professor
  • Director, Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program

Dr. Marshall Bedder is an Associate Professor and Director of the Addiction Medicine Fellowship program. He is a Canadian born and trained physician, now a naturalized US citizen. He is an ABA boarded anesthesiologist with added qualifications in pain medicine and certification in Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM).  Dr. Bedder is the former head of the Pain Management Center at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) where he established an Anesthesia Pain Fellowship training program.  He also helped to establish the hands-on workshops for implantable therapies, which are now the industry standard.  Dr. Bedder continues to present extensively on pain management topics world-wide.  He has published over 40 original journal articles, reviews and textbook chapters.

Dr. Bedder is a founding member, past Board member, Treasurer and was President-Elect for the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS). He has served on the Editorial Board for the Journal Neuromodulation and is a current reviewer for the journals Neuromodulation and Pain Medicine.  He served as the pain medicine and anesthesia member for the Alaska and Washington Medicare carrier advisory committee (CAC). Dr. Bedder served as Director of Anesthesia Services and Pain Fellowship Director for the Alaska Spine Institute in Anchorage, Alaska.

Dr. Bedder relocated to the Pacific Northwest in 2009 and was Director of Interventional Pain for Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) in Seattle, WA. PacMed is a multispecialty medical group comprising over 150 primary care providers and specialty physicians. As a Direct Commission Officer Commander Bedder served in the United States Navy from 2011 until 2017. He was deployed as a combat anesthesiologist to the Role 3 NATO Hospital in Kandahar Afghanistan in 2014.

Dr. Bedder is a Board member Emeritus for the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience, and continues to serve on the Medical Advisory Board for Boston Scientific Neuromodulation since 2006. Dr. Bedder joined the Augusta Pain Center in 2019 to provide advanced technology solutions for chronic pain patients who have not had success in their individual therapies.

photo of Candace Best, Ph.D.

Candace Best, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor

Dr. Candace Best is a licensed clinical health psychologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. Dr. Best completed her B.A. in Psychology at Hampton University. She then obtained a M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University. Dr. Best also completed her pre-doctoral internship training at The University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry. Afterwards, she pursued postdoctoral training in The Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Best’s research focus includes improving disparities and ethics in health care. Clinically, she embraces assisting children, adolescents, young adults and their families navigate through the many challenges of life. These challenges often involve life transitions, anxiety, stress, depression, relationship problems, and/or improving academic performance. Dr. Best also enjoys supporting patients and their families as a Mental Health Consultant in the Cystic Fibrosis Child Clinic and other Pediatric Clinics. Using a Cognitive-Behavioral framework, Dr. Best encourages patients and their families to recognize how thoughts influence feelings and subsequent behaviors. Overall, Dr. Best is dedicated to interdisciplinary clinical care and improving the well-being of her patients and those in the greater CSRA community.

photo of Lauren Bigham, Ph.D.

Lauren Bigham, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Lauren Bigham is an assistant professor at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, with appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and the Georgia Cancer Center. Dr. Bigham serves the Director of Psycho-social Oncology and Associate Director of the Psycho-oncology Fellowship Training Program. She earned her PhD in counseling psychology with an emphasis in health psychology from the University of Georgia. Dr. Bigham’s graduate education also includes a master’s degree in kinesiology-sport psychology from Georgia Southern University and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Mercer University. She completed an APA-accredited predoctoral internship in clinical health psychology at the Medical College of Georgia – Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In addition to teaching and completing research at the University of Georgia, she completed additional fellowship training at the Georgia Cancer Center in health psychology/psycho-oncology. As a licensed psychologist in the state of Georgia, Dr. Bigham provides consultation, evaluation, and psychotherapy in both the inpatient and outpatient settings to patients diagnosed with acute and/or chronic medical concerns, with emphasis on oncologic and hematological diagnoses. Her professional interests include health psychology, psycho-oncology, health behavior change, integrated interdisciplinary team-based care, and program development/quality improvement.   


photo of Ram J Bishnoi, MBBS

Ram J Bishnoi, MBBS

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Ram J Bishnoi is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University. He received his medical degree from NHL Municipal Medical College and post-graduate psychiatry training from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad in India. He completed general psychiatry residency training (research track) at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio and Geriatric Psychiatry clinical fellowship at Saint Louis University. Currently, Dr. Bishnoi provides clinical services at East Central Regional Hospital. His current academic and research focus is identification of neuroimaging and blood-based biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease and other aging-related disorders. He has published his research in peer-reviewed journals and presented in scientific meetings. For his early career research, he has been awarded scholarships/awards by University of Texas Health Science Center, American Psychiatric Association, American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, and American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease.


photo of Jessica Britt-Thomas, Ph.D.

Jessica Britt-Thomas, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Jessica Britt-Thomas is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. Dr. Britt-Thomas is also a Licensed Psychologist on one of the inpatient forensic wards at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH). She provides treatment services, conducts forensic evaluations, and supervises trainees. She received her BA in Psychology from Auburn University and her MS and PhD in Clinical Psychology (with an emphasis in Forensic Psychology) from Palo Alto University. Dr. Britt-Thomas completed a predoctoral internship at Napa State Hospital, during which she completed major rotations in neuropsych forensic evaluations, Competency Restoration, Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity assessment and treatment, and comprehensive Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).  She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Persistent Seriously Mentally Ill (SSMI psychology through the partnership between Augusta University and East Central State Hospital, during which she completed major rotations in neurocognitive assessments, forensic evaluations (Competency to Stand Trial, Criminal Responsibility, and Violence Risk Assessments), and DBT group therapy.  Her publications span in the areas of forensics, substance abuse, and Neuropsychology Current research interests include evaluating psychological factors related to insanity acquittals and factors leading to recidivism.


 

photo of Richard Camino MD

Richard Camino MD

  • Training Director, General Psychiatry
  • Associate Professor


Dr. Richard Camino
 is an associate professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and training director of the general psychiatry residency program at the Medical College of Georgia. Previously, Dr. Camino served as clerkship director and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at Mercer University. After finishing his Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico he graduated from the Universidad Central de Caribe School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. He completed his general psychiatry and child fellowship at the University Of Puerto Rico School Of Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Camino obtained a Masters in Arts in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He holds board certification in general psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry. He has been active in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, especially with their Religion and Spirituality Committee, where he is co-chair of the committee. Dr. Camino practiced for 17 years in Puerto Rico and was recognized by his peers for 10 consecutive years to the “Doctor Choice Awards” given annually by a Buena Vida Health magazine. As an educator, he has given presentations in Buenos Aires, Medellin, Havana, Caracas, and Santo Domingo. His interests have been in education, cultural psychiatry, religion and spirituality in clinical practice, ADHD in children and adults (where he has done research), and addiction disorders.


photo of Chelsea Carson, MD

Chelsea Carson, MD

  • Associate Professor
  • Psychiatry Clerkship Director

Dr. Chelsea Carson is an Associate Professor in the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and is a 2009 graduate of Creighton University School of Medicine as well. She completed her General Psychiatry Residency as well as her Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Augusta University during which she served as a Chief Resident in both programs. She is board-certified in both General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Dr. Carson is passionate about medical student education, gender equity in medicine, and lifelong education. She serves as the Psychiatry Clerkship Director, leader of the Medical Student Advisory Group, and Faculty Liaison for Group on Women in Medicine and Science (GWIMS). Regionally she has served as Trustee of the Board for the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association. Nationally she is an active member of AACAP as a member of the Lifelong Learning Committee and is a member of ADMSEP and the APA. She is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a 2016 recipient of the Faculty Educational Excellence Award from Department of Psychiatry & Health Behavior at Augusta University.

Dr. Carson serves as Medical Director at Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta, where she spends her clinical time treating pediatric patients on the acute and residential units. Her areas of clinical interest include inpatient treatment and early-onset psychosis.


photo of Tracy Casanova, Ph.D.

Tracy Casanova, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor


Dr. Tracy Casanova
 is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. She attended Michigan State University where she received a BS in Psychology. She went on to earn an MPhilin Social and Developmental Psychology from the University of Cambridge. She concluded her graduate education in Psychology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where she received a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology and a graduate certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Dr. Casanova completed her pre-doctoral internship at Southern Illinois University Counseling and Psychological Services. She finished her training at Charlie Norwood VAMC with a postdoctoral fellowship specializing in Military Sexual Trauma. Dr. Casanova’s expertise lies in working with individuals who have experienced trauma and the LGBTQ community. She is passionate about social justice and focuses her research on examining intersectional issues of identity. She volunteers her time at the Equality Clinic and the LGBTQ Patient-and-Family Advisory Council through Augusta University Health. Dr. Casanova is licensed in the state of Georgia and a member of APA Division 35 (Women) and Division 44 (Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity).


photo of Bernard Davidson, Ph.D.

Bernard Davidson, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor


Dr. Bernard Davidson
 is an associate professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. He is a licensed psychologist in Georgia and has served on the faculty as the Director of Family Therapy Training for psychiatry and psychology residency training programs since 1989. His clinical practice focuses on child, adolescent, and family issues associated with relationship distress. He also provides individual psychotherapy, for a number of presenting problems, for children and adults that are associated with anxiety, depression, mood disturbance, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He received his Ph.D.. from the University of Georgia, an MSW from the University of Georgia, and an M.A. from Farleigh Dickinson University. His current research interests focus on multiple family group programs as diversions to youth probation and factors associated with youth delinquency and prevention. He has received grant funding and has published in this area. He has recently studied "excessive video game usage and family behavior" and has presented and published in this area. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Division of Family Psychology. Prior to his appointment at MCG, he has served as associate professor and Associate Chairperson for the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Texas Tech University from 1980-1988.

photo of Erin Dexter, M.D.

Erin Dexter, M.D.

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Erin Dexter is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Dr. Dexter is the treating psychiatrist on one of the inpatient forensic units at East Central Regional Hospital. She works with a multidisciplinary team and supervises trainees in evaluating and managing patients who are navigating the legal system and also in need of inpatient psychiatric care.

She earned a B.S. in Exercise Science and Philosophy from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri and is a graduate of University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kansas. She completed her internship, general psychiatry residency, and served as Chief Resident during her time at Augusta University. She then completed a fellowship in forensic psychiatry at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia before returning to the Medical College of Georgia to join faculty. Dr. Dexter’s areas of academic and research interest include violence prevention in the forensic psychiatric inpatient population and detection of malingering in the forensic setting. She is a member of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and is a member of the correctional committee. Dr. Dexter is invested in teaching and enjoys working with trainees at all levels of their medical training.


photo of Christopher F. Drescher, Ph.D.

Christopher F. Drescher, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor

Christopher F. Drescher, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and a licensed psychologist in the state of Georgia. He completed his predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship through the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Mississippi and his BA in psychology from West Virginia University. Clinically, Dr. Drescher specializes in psychotherapy with children, adolescents, and young adults. He directs the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Adolescent Skills Group, and frequently implements Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for mood and anxiety disorders. He also serves as a mental health consultant for the Medical College of Georgia Cystic Fibrosis Center. He is a regular volunteer at the Equality Clinic of Augusta. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. He teaches the Essential of Clinical Medicine Problem-Based Learning seminar for second-year medical students. His publications span a range of topics; current research interests include positive youth development, clinician burnout, LGBT health, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and the effects of fitness/exercise on mental health and cognition.


photo of Priscilla Gilman, MD

Priscilla Gilman, MD

  • Professor Emeritus


Dr. Priscilla Gilman
 completed her MD at Case Western Reserve after receiving her BA from Swarthmore College. Her areas of teaching include Psychotherapy (DDBT CCBT systems, interpersonal, supportive, and dynamic), individual, couple, group pharmacotherapy and case management. She has an interest in women's issues and conducts research on agents of change and comparisons of different theories and applications of psychotherapies. Dr. Gilman also has board certification in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology for which she held various academic and military positions for 25 years before retraining in psychiatry. For three years she worked as an Expert Scientist at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in the Clinical Epidemiology Section with a particular interest in the genetics and etiology of various childhood cancers. She is a retired Colonel from the US Army Reserve where she also was Training Director of the Transitional Internship Program for three years at Eisenhower Army Medical Center. Her clinical activities/interests include personality disorders and treatment-resistant depression as well as patient and family-centered care, and end of life and palliative care.

photo of Heather Griffin, M.D.

Heather Griffin, M.D.

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Heather Griffin is an assistant professor in the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. She earned her B.S. in Biology at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. She is a graduate of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, located in her hometown of Mobile, Alabama. She relocated to Augusta, Georgia to complete her internship, General Psychiatry residency, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at Augusta University. She served as chief resident during her Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship. She primarily provides treatment to children and adolescents admitted to the residential treatment programs at Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta. She enjoys teaching, particularly at the medical student level. Her professional interests include early-onset psychosis and pandemic effects on the mental health of children and adolescents.

 


photo of Cassandra M. Groth Ph.D.

Cassandra M. Groth Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Cassandra Groth is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. She is a psychologist on one of the inpatient forensic wards at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH). She provides treatment services, conducts forensic evaluations, and supervises trainees. Dr. Groth received her BS in Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Human Services from Elmira College, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with a concentration in forensic psychology, from Nova Southeastern University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner North Carolina with rotations focused on forensic evaluations and the treatment of chronically ill and forensic populations. Before joining the staff at ECRH, Dr. Groth completed her post-doctoral fellowship in forensics and worked as a licensed psychologist at Larned State Hospital in Kansas. She has published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at professional conferences. Her research interests include intimate partner violence and trauma in incarcerated populations, the death penalty, and false confessions.

 
photo of Nancy Harpold, DO

Nancy Harpold, DO

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Nancy Harpold is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. She completed her undergraduate studies at Ohio University in Nursing. She is a graduate of Nova Southern College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her psychiatry residency at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center and the Medical College of Georgia. She has served twenty-two years in the United States Army as a general adult psychiatrist.  Her many roles included chief of outpatient clinic and inpatient services with four oversea deployments. Dr. Harpold worked as a federal employee for several years with her main focus on addictions in the military. Dr. Harpold is the attending psychiatrist for the Behavioral Health Unit, responsible for teaching medical students and resides.  She also cares for patients at ASMP.


photo of Jason Henle, PsyD

Jason Henle, PsyD

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Jason Henle is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.  He is the Forensic Program Director at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) through its partnership with Augusta University. Dr. Henle received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Psychology from Concordia University, a PsyD from Nova Southeastern University, and Post Doctoral Master’s in Psycho-pharmacology from Nova Southeastern University. Before joining the staff of ECRH, he was working at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Ga. in their maximum-security mental health hospital. 

 
photo of Joseph Hernandez, MD

Joseph Hernandez, MD

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Joseph Hernandez is an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He completed his undergraduate and medical school training at Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, Florida. He completed his internship, general adult psychiatry residency training and addiction medicine fellowship at Augusta University.  Dr. Hernandez joined the faculty in 2019 and is an outpatient psychiatry and addiction medicine doctor at Serenity Behavioral Health.  His interests include addictions, depression, anxiety, behavioral change as well as schizophrenia.  He uses motivational interviewing to facilitate behavioral change as well as acceptance and mindfulness skills.  He provides education on addiction to residents, medical students, physician assistant students and the community at large.


photo of Jeremy Hertza, PsyD

Jeremy Hertza, PsyD

  • Associate Professor

Dr. Jeremy Hertza is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and the Department of Neurology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He is the neuropsychologist and PBS lead for East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) through its partnership with Augusta University. Dr. Hertza received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Michigan State University and a  PsyD from the American School of Professional Psychology in Washington, D.C. followed by a specialty two-year fellowship in neuropsychology at the Indiana Neuroscience Institute at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Ind. Dr. Hertza is a lifespan neuropsychologist who is involved in both research and teaching at the university. Before joining the staff at ECRH, he was the Director of Behavioral Medicine at Walton Rehabilitation Hospital in Augusta.  He is board certified by the American Board of Neuropsychology (AABN) and is a fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology.  

Dr. Amy House completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Georgia in 1996. She completed internship and postdoctoral fellowship training at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and has been on the faculty since that time. Dr. House's clinical and teaching interests are in the contextual behavioral psychotherapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavior therapy, and specifically in the treatment of borderline personality disorder and PTSD. Dr. House heads the CCBT training program for psychology and psychiatry residents in the department. Dr. House's research interests have focused on the impact of trauma on mental and physical health outcomes. More recently, her research interests have focused on psychological flexibility processes as they relate to issues of stigma in patients with chronic illness, and to burnout and well-being in health care trainees. 


photo of Christian R. Lemmon, Ph.D.

Christian R. Lemmon, Ph.D.

  • Professor
  • Director of Psychology Internship Training

Dr. Christian Lemmon received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Mississippi after receiving his MA in Experimental Psychology from the University of Texas–El Paso and his BA in Psychology from Washington College. Currently, he is a professor and director of the Psychology Residency Program in the Department of Psychiatry & Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He serves on the Psychology Residency Selection Committee, Psychiatry Residency Selection Committee, Psychology Residency Core Committee, Psychiatry Resident Education Committee, and the departmental Medical Students' Education Committee. Dr. Lemmon has served the Medical College of Georgia on the Medical Students' Admission Committee and is Chair of the Faculty Senate Student Promotions Committee. He serves as the Health Behavior Program Leader for the outpatient psychiatry clinic. Dr. Lemmon’s areas of teaching include eating disorders, obesity, the Psychotherapy Process Seminar and Essentials of Clinical Medicine I and II (ECM-I Small Group and ECM II-Problem-Based Learning). His publications include articles and book chapters in the areas of eating disorders, the psychological implications of bariatric surgery and the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. He has made numerous presentations at national and international professional meetings on the aforementioned topics and he has been a reviewer for several professional journals. As the director of the Augusta University Eating Disorders Program, Dr. Lemmon’s clinical interests include the assessment, and individual, group and family treatment for patients diagnosed with anorexia nervosa bulimia nervosa binge eating disorder, and other feeding disturbances. He is also involved in the assessment and treatment of bariatric surgery candidates.


photo of Eric Lewkowiez, MD

Eric Lewkowiez, MD

  • Associate Dean of Student Affairs
  • Associate Professor

Dr. Eric Lewkowiez is an assistant professor in the Division of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He received his MD degree from the University of South Carolina and an MS in Microbiology and Immunology from the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed a General Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Dr. Lewkowiez came to MCG in 2003, after 3 years of private practice in Columbia, S.C. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., in both adult and child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Lewkowiez was recently appointed Associate Dean in the Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs. He functions primarily as the rotation director of the Community Psychiatry Rotation in the second year. His teaching areas include Basic Pediatric Psychopharmacology, Advanced Pediatric Psychopathology, Development, and ADHD. Dr. Lewkowiez's clinical areas of interest include ADHD, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, and Mood Disorders. He is also very interested in medical student and resident education and advocating for children. Dr. Lewkowiez is currently president of the Georgia Council for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and serves on the Committee on Residents and Students for the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association.


photo of Donna Londino, MD

Donna Londino, MD

  • Professor

Dr. Donna Londino is a professor in the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry at Augusta University. She is a 1995 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine (MCG) and received her residency and fellowship training through the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at MCG.  She is board certified in both general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Londino's clinical interests include acute stabilization of severe mental health disorders in children and adolescents.  She served as the Director of Inpatient Services for close to 15 years until the unit at MCG closed.  She now consults in the emergency room at Augusta University.  Her outpatient interests include the treatment of individuals with high-functioning autism (and those previously diagnosed with Asperger's disorder).  She also specializes in pediatric pharmacology, treatment of early-onset psychotic disorders and therapy for young children and their families.  Her research interests include neurofunctioning and psychopharmacologic treatment of mental health disorders in the pediatric population. Dr. Londino is active in medical education of and curriculum development for medical students and residents and serves on several committees related to the same at the Medical College and nationally through the American College of Psychiatrists.  


photo of P. Alex Mabe, Ph.D.

P. Alex Mabe, Ph.D.

  • Professor

Dr. P. Alex Mabe received his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. Dr. Mabe is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior.

His publications include over 60 articles in the areas of clinical child and pediatric psychology as well as other mental health care issues. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and a Fellow of the Georgia Psychological Association. He has been a reviewer for 13 professional journals and has made numerous presentations at national and international professional meetings on topics related to children's mental health, family and parent management training, and the recovery model of mental health services. Dr. Mabe is licensed as a psychologist in Georgia and South Carolina and has been providing clinical psychology services to children and their families in the Central Savannah River Area for 30 years including extensive work with military families on assignment at Fort Gordon, Georgia. His current research interests include parenting and child treatment services. In addition, he is the team leader of Project GREAT (Georgia Recovery-Based Educational Approach to Treatment) that has been developing innovative approaches to transforming an academic psychiatry department to a Recovery model of care. Project GREAT was the recipient of the American College of Psychiatrists' annual award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education in 2012.


photo of Sahebarao P. Mahadik, Ph.D.

Sahebarao P. Mahadik, Ph.D.

  • Professor Emeritus

Dr. Sahebarao Mahadik received his Ph.D., BS, and MS from the University of Poona. His clinical interests incorporate schizophrenia, neurodevelopmental disorders, and stroke. Teaching areas include neurobiology and psychopharmacology of psychiatric disorders. Dr. Mahadik conducts research in the areas of neurobiology, neurochemistry of schizophrenia and its treatment and neuroprotection after brain injury.


photo of Joseph McEvoy, MD

Joseph McEvoy, MD

  • Professor
  • I. Clark Case Chair in Psychotic Disorders
  • Director of Public Psychiatry, East Central Regional Hospital

Joseph P McEvoy, MD, came to the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University in July of 2013 after his retirement from Duke University Medical Center as professor emeritus.  He is a tenured professor of Psychiatry and Health Behaviors and the I. Clark Case Chair in Psychotic Disorders at Augusta University, and also serves as the Director of Public Psychiatry in the Augusta University partnership with DBHDD His clinical work is currently at East Central Regional Hospital. Dr. McEvoy’s research has focused on severe and persistent mental disorders (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder). Dr. McEvoy edited the Expert Consensus Guidelines for the treatment of schizophrenia in 1996 and 1999. He served as Co-Principal Investigator and Project Medical Officer for the CATIE Schizophrenia Trials and for several subsequent trials funded through the NIMH funded Schizophrenia Trials Network, as well as for the industry-funded Comparison of Atypicals for First Episode (CAFÉ) trial. He is currently the principal investigator for the NIMH funded ACLAIMS (A Comparison of Long-Acting Injected Medications for Schizophrenia) trial. He is an author on more than 175 refereed publications and numerous invited publications, including books and book chapters. 

photo of Rohini Mehta, M.D.

Rohini Mehta, M.D.

  • Assistant Professor

Rohini Mehta, M.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and a board certified Psychiatrist. She earned a Bachelor's of Science degree from McGill University in Montreal, Q.C., and her medical degree from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. After completing her residency in psychiatry from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., where she served as chief resident, Dr. Mehta held a clinical position at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center before joining the faculty at the Medical College of Georgia to serve as a Clinician Educator. Dr. Mehta has received numerous accolades, including induction into the Gold Humanism Honor Society, the Leonard M. Tow Humanism in Medicine award, the APA Resident Recognition Award, and a teaching award.  Her clinical interests include mood and anxiety disorders, and she is passionate about medical education. 


photo of Brian Miller, MD

Brian Miller, MD

  • Professor

Dr. Brian Miller is a professor on a research tenure track in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He earned a BS in mathematics from Vanderbilt University, a combined MD/MPH degree from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in psychiatric epidemiology from the University of Oulu (Finland). He completed his general psychiatry residency and fellowship in psychotic disorders at Augusta University, where he served as chief resident, and joined the faculty in 2010.
Dr. Miller's research interests include schizophrenia and other nonaffective psychoses, psychoneuroimmunology cognition, paternal age, and mortality. His current research focuses on inflammation/cytokines as a potential clinical state and relapse predictive marker in schizophrenia and is funded by an NIMHK23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award and the NIH Clinical Loan Repayment Program Award. He has been recognized with several young investigator awards, the 2010 Laughlin Fellowship from the American College of Psychiatrists, the 2010 MCG Resident of the Year, and a 2011 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In addition to his research, Dr. Miller leads the general psychiatry journal club and clinical case conference and serves as a PGY-4 outpatient clinical supervisor.


photo of Michael Mobley, MD

Michael Mobley, MD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Clerkship Director, Southeast Campus

Michael C. Mobley, MD, a native of Burke County Georgia, graduated from the University of Georgia in 1971 and obtained his MD, degree in1975 from the Medical College of Georgia where he completed his residency in psychiatry in 1978. He was on faculty at Medical College of Georgia briefly before moving to Savannah, Ga. In 1981, where he has been in full-time private practice in psychiatry. He became a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry for the Medical College of Georgia in 2009 and is the psychiatric clerkship site director for the SE campus of the Medical College of Georgia. He is married to his wife, Debbie, who is a MCG graduate from the physician assistants school and has two daughters, Elizabeth Mobley, MD a graduate from MCG and a practicing urologist and Susan Mobley, MD, a graduate of Mercer and a practicing OB/GYN.


photo of Joe Morgan, MD

Joe Morgan, MD

  • Associate Professor
  • Clerkship Director, Southwest Campus

Dr. Joe Morgan is an associate professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.  He received his undergraduate degree from Valdosta State College in Valdosta, Georgia and his master’s degree in Veterinary Physiology from the University of Georgia.  He is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia where he also completed a medicine internship and residency in psychiatry.   After serving as chief resident in psychiatry, he was a full-time faculty member and attending physician at the VA Medical Center in Augusta for five years. He has maintained a faculty appointment from the Medical College of Georgia since 1991and has a private practice in Valdosta, Ga. He is currently the Southwest Campus clerkship director for psychiatry. Dr. Morgan is chief of psychiatry service at South Georgia Medical Center, Medical Director for Parkwood Development Center, Unit Director of the Dogwood Senior Healthcare Center in Nashville, Ga., an honorary commander at Moody Air Force Base and past President of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians’ Association (GPPA. He is one of the three Georgia representatives on the American Psychiatric Association Assembly and is co-chairman of the GPPA legislative committee and chairman of the GPPAPAC. He is a 2008 recipient of the Georgia Psychiatrist of the year award and he is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. 


photo of Dale Peeples, MD

Dale Peeples, MD

  • Associate Professor

After completing medical school at USC in Columbia, South Carolina, Dr. Dale Peeples continued his training at MCG in the Department of Psychiatry. He completed his internship, residency, and fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at MCG. Since staying on as faculty, Dr. Peeples continues to work in both inpatient and outpatient services in the child and adolescent division. He primarily works with a child and adolescent population but does see some adults with ADHD. Further, he continues to work in the field of telepsychiatry and provides services to Georgians in under-served areas in this manner. Dr. Peeples also has an interest in juvenile corrections and currently provides services to the Regional Youth Detention Center of Augusta and the Augusta Youth Development Campus. Additionally, he does occasional work in child custody evaluations. Other areas of clinical involvement include residential care at Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta and student health at the university. In terms of serving the school’s educational mission, most of his work focuses on training the child & adolescent psychiatry fellows as the assistant program director for the fellowship program, & the outpatient director as well. Nationally, he’s a member of the AACAP media committee, & has served as a board examiner for the ABPN child & adolescent boards.

 
photo of Michael Rollock Ph.D.

Michael Rollock Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor

Dr. Michael Rollock is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and practices as a licensed clinical psychologist at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) through its partnership with Augusta University. Originally from Barbados, Dr. Rollock graduated with honors from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA with his BBSc in psychology and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2010. He completed an APA-accredited predoctoral internship at the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology (CMTP) at Boston Medical Center and a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in health psychology at Augusta University. Dr. Rollock has facilitated seminars to psychiatry and psychology residents at the Medical College of Georgia including Group Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Professional Issues. He has worked extensively with individuals who have chronic medical and psychiatric illnesses, and substance use disorders. In his teaching, research and clinical work, Dr. Rollock is committed to understanding and facilitating strength-based and multiculturally thoughtful approaches to the amelioration of psychopathology in under-served populations and the enhancement of happiness, purpose, and wellbeing. Dr. Rollock is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association and the American Psychological Association, Division 38, Health Psychology.


photo of Susan D. Sato, Ph.D.

Susan D. Sato, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor
  • Director of the Employee-Faculty Assistance Program

Dr. Susan Sato is an assistant professor and clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. She is the Director of the Augusta University Employee-Faculty Assistance Program. Dr. Sato received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Washington State University and completed an internship at the Long Beach VA Medical Center in health psychology. She subsequently completed a fellowship in geriatric psychology at the Palo Alto VAMC and an additional fellowship in health psychology at Augusta University. Her professional interests are in employee psychological wellness, severe mental illnesses, geriatric/caregiver issues, and clinical training of residents.


photo of Joseph Seal, MD

Joseph Seal, MD

  • Clinical Director, Rome Crisis Unit
  • Director, Medical Student Clerkship, Rome Regional Campus

Dr. Joseph Seal received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Ohio State University where he also completed his Psychiatry Residency. He served in the United States Air Force Medical Corps for three years, and went on to a 25-year career with the State of Georgia, working primarily in the State Hospital system. His special interests are severe, chronic mental illness, addiction, and undergraduate medical education.  He has been the Clinical Director of the Rome Crisis Unit for the past six years. He also serves as the medical student clerkship director for the Rome Regional campus.

 
photo of Paul Seale, MD, FASAM, FAAFP

Paul Seale, MD, FASAM, FAAFP

  • Professor

Dr. Paul Seale is a professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University with an appointment in the Institute of Public and Preventive Health.  A graduate of the University of Texas (Austin) and Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Seale is board certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. Since completing an NIAAA-NIDA sponsored faculty development fellowship in 1987-1988, he has been involved in practice, teaching and research related to substance use screening, brief intervention, and referral for treatment (SBIRT) for over 30 years. Working with faculty at Johns Hopkins University, Mercer University, Augusta University and U. of Georgia, he has helped provide SBIRT training to over 1,500 primary care providers. With over 14 years’ experience in office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) practice, training, dissemination and mentoring, he has a special interest in bridges and barriers to treatment of opioid use disorder and is conducting a pilot study of opioid use disorder in older adults. His involvement in full-time global health in Asia and the Americas led to the development of resilience and recovery training programs taught through storytelling which are now helping indigenous and other vulnerable populations across Latin America and Africa. He is author/co-author of more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Dr. Seale’s research has been funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Betty Ford Foundation, the Conrad Hilton Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation.

His research interests include improving and disseminating the use of storytelling approaches for resilience and recovery training, recognition and treatment of opioid use disorder in older adults, substance use screening, and improving delivery of SBIRT and Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT) in rural and underserved areas.

Dr. Simon Sebastian, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University received his medical education at St. John's Medical College, Bangalore, India. He completed his psychiatry residency at the Philadelphia Psychiatric Center and was on the faculty of Louisiana State University Medical College in Shreveport before moving to Augusta. As a faculty member of Augusta University, he was the Medical Director of Georgia Regional State Hospital for nine years. Since then he has been at the outpatient clinic at MCG and is currently the Director of the Schizophrenia and Mood Disorder Program and the Mental Health/Mental Retardation Clinic. He is Board Certified in General and Forensic Psychiatry. His research interests include Schizophrenia, Mood Disorders and managing the psychiatric problems of developmentally challenged individuals. He has extensive experience in Disability Determination for Social Security, Veterans, and Independent Medical Evaluations. Recently, “eMedicine by WebMD recognized his active contributions to the peer-reviewed, online eMedicine Clinical Knowledge Base on his article entitled “ Mental Retardation”. eMedicine is the most authoritative and accessible point of care medical reference available to physicians and other health care professionals on the Internet. eMedicine has a worldwide audience, representing some 230 countries. The site is part of the Medscape Professional Network, which receives an average of 1.5 million physician-visits per month.


photo of Sandra G. B. Sexson, MD

Sandra G. B. Sexson, MD

  • Professor and Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Dr. Sandra Sexson is a professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, as well as Chief and Training Director of the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry within the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.  Dr. Sexson graduated from the University of Mississippi, College of Medicine and completed postgraduate training in Child Development and Pediatrics (University of Mississippi), General Psychiatry (University of Texas at San Antonio) and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Washington University in St. Louis). Prior to her present appointment, she has served as Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Training Director at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and for 20 years at Emory University.  She is board certified in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  Her primary professional focus has been in psychiatric education with a clinical and research focus in education and clinical areas of interest.  Dr. Sexson’s focused clinical interests have been in the areas of infant psychiatry and emotional issues of children and adolescents with chronic medical illnesses, although her practice runs the full gamut of child and adolescent psychiatry.

Dr. Sexson has published over 50 articles, 12 chapters and one book.  She has been awarded many regional and national awards.  Some include Atlanta’s Black Psychiatrist of the Year (for her efforts in expanding the number of African American child and adolescent psychiatrists in Georgia), as well as numerous local and regional teaching awards. As an educator, she has trained well over 100 child and adolescent psychiatrists just here in Georgia, many of whom still practice here, including one who is presently the first African American woman to be president of the American Medical Association.  Her goal always has been to expand access to excellent mental health care to children and their families wherever they may live. 


photo of Reddy Shashank, MD

Reddy Shashank, MD

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Reddy Shashank is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and East Central Regional Hospital. Dr. Shashank before joining here finished his General Psychiatry residency at St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO. While at St. Louis University got special training in caring for the geriatric population with mental health needs and received extensive training in EECT He went to medical school in Simferopol, Crimea, Russia. Dr. Shashank before joining residency had extensive experience working with the geriatric population with mental health needs in long term care facilities. He also completed extensive reach in neuroradiology at the University of Pennsylvania as part of his interest in Neuroscience. His clinical and research interests include working with the geriatric population, EECT PTSD, Bipolar disorders in the elderly, and Dissociative disorders. His passion includes working closely with residents and medical students and training them to become successful future Physicians.


photo of Lisa Sheehan, MD

Lisa Sheehan, MD

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Lisa Sheehan is an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry division. She grew up here in Augusta and went to college locally at Augusta State University. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. She stayed at Wake Forest for general psychiatry residency and served as the Co-Chief resident for the 2007-2008 academic year. While at Wake Forest she participated in research concerning OCD and participated as a co-therapist for a DDBT group. She returned to Augusta for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship. She served as Co-Chief Resident for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship program for the 2009-2010 academic year. She joined faculty in August 2010 and her interests include ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, and Psychotic illness. She has several roles on faculty including outpatient clinician at MCG and at Lighthouse Residential Treatment Facility.


photo of Vanessa Spearman-McCarthy, MD

Vanessa Spearman-McCarthy, MD

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Erin Vanessa Spearman-McCarthy is a professor at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University who holds dual appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and Internal Medicine. A native of Augusta, she was educated in the Richmond County Public School System, graduating with honors from John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School. Upon completion of her secondary education, she attended Spelman College (Atlanta, GA), where she earned a BS in Biology with Latin and College-wide Honors. Dr. Spearman then attended medical school at Augusta University. Upon completion of medical school, she trained in the Combined Internal Medicine and Psychiatry Program at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) (Charleston, S.C.), where she served as Chief Resident during her last year of training. In 2010, she was named MUSC Department of Geriatrics and Internal Medicine Outpatient Resident of the Year and the MUSC Reynolds Aging Q3 Project Resident of the Year.

Dr. Spearman's areas of interest and clinical expertise are that of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Outpatient Internal Medicine, and Medical Student Education. Her research interests include the effects of depression on diabetes and hypertension management as well as the effects of undiagnosed anxiety and depression on the academic performance of medical and other health professional students. 

When not involved in patient care, Dr. Spearman enjoys spending time with family, mentoring, volunteering at her church, creative writing, public speaking, and performing music with local concert bands and choirs.


photo of Lara M. Stepleman, Ph.D.

Lara M. Stepleman, Ph.D.

  • Professor and Chief of Psychology

Dr. Lara Stepleman, Ph.D. is a professor of Psychiatry & Health Behavior, licensed psychologist, Chief of Psychology and Director of the MCG Office for Faculty Success. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During this time, she became proficient in career guidance and coaching and has continued to develop and apply this expertise with MCG faculty, fellows, residents, and students. Within the Psychology internship program, she is the Chielf of the Psychology section, director for the HIV & LGBT Health Disparities Track. Her clinically-focused research and training interests are related to sexual health and functioning, LGBT health disparities, gender-affirming care, and the intersection of chronic physical and mental illness.  


photo of Sandarsh Surya, MBBS

Sandarsh Surya, MBBS

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Sandarsh Surya is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and East Central Regional Hospital in Augusta. Dr. Surya is an attending psychiatrist at the East Central Regional Hospital acute mental health unit and will be involved in the training of residents and medical students. His clinical and research interests include geriatric neuropsychiatry and therapeutic brain stimulation in psychiatry. He completed medical school training in Bangalore, India and post-graduate training in Psychiatry at Wake Forest University and Augusta University. He served as Chief Resident during his training at Augusta University. He then completed Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship training from Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Penn. 


photo of Holly E. Tabernik Ph.D.

Holly E. Tabernik Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor


Dr. Holly Tabernik
 is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Dr. Tabernik is also a Licensed Psychologist on one of the inpatient forensic wards at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH). She received her BA in Psychology from the Westminster College in New Wilmington, Penn., her MA in Clinical Psychology from Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (with a concentration in Forensic Psychology) from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Dr. Tabernik completed a predoctoral internship at Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, Mo., during which she completed major rotations in Forensic Evaluations/Competency Restoration and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Forensic Psychology through the partnership between Augusta University and East Central State Hospital. Dr. Tabernik has published in several peer-reviewed journals and presented at a number of professional conferences. Dr. Tabernik’s research interests include Malingering; Borderline Personality Disorder; Dialectical Behavioral Therapy; and The Assessment of Competency to Stand Trial. 


photo of Ashwin Tiwari Ph.D., MPH

Ashwin Tiwari Ph.D., MPH

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Ashwin Tiwari is an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University with an appointment in the Institute of Public and Preventive Health.  She received her HonBSc at the University of Toronto and her MPH, MS, and Ph.D. in public health at Georgia State University.  She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University in 2019.  Dr. Tiwari's research program is focused on reducing health disparities among high-risk and victimized populations in a family violence context.  Her work focuses on biobehavioral trajectories and responses to trauma-based prevention and intervention efforts while considering the impact of non-modifiable contextual stressors and intra-individual variation.  She has a special interest in stress physiological and genetic profiles among victimized youth populations who receive trauma-based care.  Her recent research has focused on understanding the implementation, barriers and effective components of trauma-based treatments for youth victims of sexual abuse in community settings.  Dr. Tiwari is also a section counselor for the mental health section of the American Public Health Association.


photo of Linda Vitacco, Ph.D.

Linda Vitacco, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Linda Vitacco is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. She is the Mental Health Program Director at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) through its partnership with Augusta University. Dr. Vitacco received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Doctorate of Psychology from Argosy University. Dr. Vitacco completed her clinical internship working for the United States Department of Justice at Butner Correctional Complex. She worked in treatment facilities in both Massachusetts and Wisconsin providing intensive treatment to sexual offenders before joining the staff at ECRH.


photo of Michael J. Vitacco, Ph.D., ABPP

Michael J. Vitacco, Ph.D., ABPP

  • Professor
  • Board Certified in Forensic Psychology

Michael Vitacco, Ph.D., ABPP is a board-certified forensic psychologist who serves as Professor in the Institute of Public and Preventive Health with his home department in Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He earned his BS in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Texas. Dr. Vitacco completed a predoctoral internship at a program dually sponsored by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and the United States Department of Justice. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine. Dr. Vitacco has published on topics related to mental health and the law, with emphases on psychopathy, risk assessment, forensic assessment, and malingering. He is licensed to practice psychology in Georgia, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. 

Dr. Vitacco is involved in research collaborations with faculty from Iowa State University, University of North Texas, Medical University of South Carolina, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Current research projects involve biological mechanisms associated with psychopathy, correlates of psychopathy, improving quality of forensic examinations, and how intellectual disabilities may influence forensic examinations.     


photo of Lori Welch, Ph.D.

Lori Welch, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Lori Welch is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. She completed a Bachelors of Science in Psychology at Florida State University; a Masters of Science in Applied Psychology at Augusta State University (now Augusta University); a Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University; and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with specialization in Health Psychology, at Fielding Graduate University in 2004. She has been licensed as a psychologist since 2005, and she provides clinical supervision of staff, predoctoral psychology students, and Clinical Psychology Residents on the campus of East Central Regional Hospital.

Dr. Welch also has held faculty positions at Liberty University, Ball State University, and Indiana/Purdue University (IIUPUI. She has provided clinical and administrative services in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, including private and public inpatient psychiatric facilities, university hospitals, and private practice. She has earned post-doctoral certifications in Executive and Management Coaching from the College of Executive Coaching in Pismo Beach, Calif., and Coles Business School at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Ga. She is currently engaged in the Augusta University Educational Innovation Institute (EII) Teaching Scholars Fellowship, a program designed to optimize faculty effectiveness in health science education.


photo of Lindsey West, Ph.D.

Lindsey West, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor

Dr. Lindsey West is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. West graduated from Brown University with an AB in Psychology and received her MA and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. West completed her predoctoral internship training at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga.  She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Augusta University.  Dr. West’s clinical interests include CCBTwith underserved populations, including the application of mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies with diverse individuals and groups, and multicultural therapy. West’s research has focused primarily on enhancing the mental health and quality of life of individuals from diverse backgrounds. In the department, Dr. West serves as the course director for psychotherapy and provides lectures in psychotherapy, cross-cultural psychiatry, and women’s issues for psychiatry residents. In addition to being licensed in the state of Georgia, West is a licensed psychologist in South Carolina. Dr. West is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a member of APA’s Division 35 (Psychology of Women) and Division 45 (Society for Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues).  


photo of David Williams, MD

David Williams, MD

  • Associate Professor

Dr. David Williams is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Associate Director of Resident Education and Training, and Medical Director for Outpatient Services at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He obtained his medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and a BA in Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University. He completed his internship and General Psychiatry Residency Training at Augusta University and joined the faculty in 2014. His areas of clinical involvement include adult outpatient care and resident supervision in the Health Behavior and Women’s Health Clinics. Dr. Williams’ interests include mood and anxiety disorders, resident wellness, and pharmacogenetics.

 Joint faculty


photo of Kimberly Loomer Ed.D.

Kimberly Loomer Ed.D.

  • Associate Professor
  • Associate Dean for Student & Multicultural Affairs

Dr. Kimberly Loomer EdD, currently serves as the Associate Dean for Student & Multicultural Affairs as well as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Health Behavior in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta Univeristy.

Dr. Loomer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Masters in Community Counseling from Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. She also earned her Doctorate in Counseling and Psychology from the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. Additionally, she earned a Management Development Certificate from Harvard University.
Dr. Loomer is passionate about diversity and inclusion as evidenced by her creation and implementation of courses in Cultural Competence and Health Disparities at two institutions. Dr. Loomer has produced a plethora of scholarly activity, resulting in the publication of 5 textbooks, numerous book chapters, and over a dozen peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Loomer co-authored a textbook about Cultural Competence after noticing a dearth of information on the topic. Additionally, she has given over 50 invited, refereed presentations, and procured grant funding.
Dr. Loomer immerses herself in the community. She serves (or has served) on boards at the local, state and national level, including the Good Neighbor Ministries board in the Harrisburg neighborhood of Augusta, the University of Georgia Camp Kesem chapter, The Pink Pumpkin Party raising money for mammograms, Junior League, National Academic Advising Association, Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Ronald McDonald House.


photo of Michelle Nuss, MD

Michelle Nuss, MD

  • Professor of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine
  • Campus Dean for Graduate Medical Education
  • Of the Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership

Dr. Shelley Nuss is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.  She completed her Bachelors of Science degree in Pharmacy at Purdue University, and her MD at West Virginia University.  Dr. Nuss completed a combined residency program in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at West Virginia University and later became the Program Director for the Med/Psych and Internal Medicine programs at WWVU Dr. Nuss had an active faculty practice in Psychiatry and Internal Medicine before coming to Georgia.  
Dr. Nuss was recruited to the Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership campus in August 2010 as the Campus Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education. Her primary focus will be developing new residency programs in Athens and Northeast Georgia.



photo of William H. Salazar, MD, FACP, FAACH

William H. Salazar, MD, FACP, FAACH

  • Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior
 

Dr. Salazar is a professor of Medicine and Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University Augusta, Medical College of Georgia.

Dr. Salazar is double board-certified in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. He trained in Internal Medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital an affiliated of the University of Rochester in New York. He did Psychiatry training at NYU Bellevue Medical Centers. He also pursued a Fellowship in General Internal Medicine with an emphasis in Psychosocial Medicine and Adult Education at NYU Bellevue Medical Centers. 

Dr. Salazar is active at a national level with the American Academy of Health Care Communication (AACH) where he serves as a national facilitator for faculty development in Psychosocial Issues and Medical Interviewing. He also works with the Society of General Internal Medicine where he is a member of the committee for Psychosocial Medicine’s workshops and abstracts. He is also a member of the committee of doctors of color.

Dr. Salazar areas of interest are Teaching and Faculty Development, Ambulatory Education, Cross-cultural issues in Medicine and Psychiatry, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Depression and Anxiety in Primary Care, Sexual History Gathering and Sexual Dysfunction, and The Medical Interview.