W. Vaughn McCall, MD, MS
Case Distinguished University Chairman
Executive Vice Dean for the Medical College of Georgia Augusta University
Dr. Vaughn McCall has served as Professor and Case Distinguished Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University since 2012. Dr. McCall comes to Augusta University from Wake Forest University School of Medicine after having served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine since 2003. 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 disorders medicine. His research interests include depression, electroconvulsive therapy, quality of life, insomnia, and suicide. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Mental Health since 1995, and he is author of more than 400 publications, including more than 180 peer-reviewed journal articles. He is Editor of the Journal of ECT, Past President of the Association for Convulsive Therapy, and a prior Director of the Board of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. His awards have included The Thomas Ball Award, presented by the Chesapeake Bay Sleep Society for service in Sleep Medicine, and the Eugene Hargrove Award given by the NC Psychiatric Association for achievement in psychiatric research, and the Honored Speaker Award given by the International Association of ECT and Neurostimulation.
Peter B. Rosenquist, MD
Professor and Vice Chair
Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior
Dr. Peter Rosenquist is a Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. Dr. Rosenquist is also Director of Therapeutic Neurostimulation. He comes to us from Wake Forest University School of Medicine where he is a tenured Professor and has been on the Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine since 1991. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, the University of Nebraska Medical School, and completed his Psychiatry residency at the Chicago Medical School. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Anjum Ara, MD
Dr. Anjum Ara is an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. She completed her medical school training from University of Jammu, Government Medical College Jammu in India. She completed her internship and general adult psychiatry residency training at Augusta University and joined the faculty in 2016. Dr. Ara is the attending psychiatrist for the Behavioral Health Unit in Emergency Department. She is responsible for teaching medical students and residents. She is also involved in correctional mental health at ASMP. Her areas of research, academic and clinical interest include schizophrenia, substance use disorders, PTSD, mood disorders, and medical student and resident education. Dr. Ara is the author of many peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Ara is an active member of the American Psychiatric Association and Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association.
Ram J Bishnoi, MBBS
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 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 with 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 Journal
of Alzheimer’s disease.
Jessica Britt, PhD
Dr. Jessica Britt is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. Dr. Britt 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 Forensis Psychology) from Palo Alto University. Dr. Britt 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 (SMI) 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.
Peter F. Buckley, MD
Previous Dean of the Medical College of Georgia
Dr. Peter Buckley served as the Dean of the Medical College of Georgia and clinical professor at Augusta University from 2000 to January 2017. In January 2017, Dr. Buckley accepted a position as Dean of the School of Medicine at the Virginia Commonwealth University. He has remained on faculty at Augusta University as a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. He earned a medical degree from Ireland's University College Dublin Medical College of Georgia. He is editor of the Journal of Dual Diagnosis, an editorial board member of eight journals, including Psychiatric Times and Academic Psychiatry, and annual co-editor of the “Mosby Yearbook of Psychiatry.” He is a referee for more than 40 journals. His research focuses on the neurobiology and treatment of schizophrenia.
Richard Camino, MD
Training Director, General Psychiatry
Dr. Richard Camino is an associate professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, and training director of the general psychiatric 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.
Chelsea Carson, MD
Psychiatry Clerkship Director
Dr. Chelsea Carson is an assistant professor in the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry at Augusta University. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and is a graduate of Creighton University School of Medicine as well. She completed her internship, general psychiatry residency, and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Augusta University. During her time at Augusta University she served as Chief Resident during general psychiatry residency and her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship. Dr. Carson's areas of academic and clinical interest include early-onset psychosis and medical student and resident education. Other areas of clinical involvement include the juvenile justice system (Regional Youth Detention Center of Augusta) and residential, acute inpatient care, and partial hospitalization at Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta. Her research interests include schizophrenia and other non-affective psychoses including relationships between infections and acute psychosis in adults and children.
Tracy Casanova, PhD
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 MPhil in 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).
Bernard Davidson, PhD
Dr. Bernard Davidson is 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 PhD.. from the University of Georgia,
an MSW from the University of Georgia, and a 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.
Lynne Anne Daurelle, PhD
Dr. Lynne Daurelle is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University (Augusta University). She is a psychologist at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) through its partnership with Augusta University. Dr. Daurelle received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Utah, a Master's degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah, and a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology and Intellectual Disabilities from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Daurelle completed her clinical predoctoral internship at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. Before joining the staff at ECRH she worked in schools, hospitals, group homes, nursing homes, and private practice in multiple states, including providing on-site support for the families and survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing and at the Pentagon for the 9/11 attacks. Her area of interest has concentrated on improving social and coping skills for individuals with intellectual disabilities and challenging behavior.
Christopher F. Drescher, PhD
Christopher F. Drescher, PhD, 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 PhD 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.
Lance Evans, PhD
Director of Education Innovations Institute Research Fellowship Program
Dr. Lance Evans is an associate professor at Augusta University, with appointments in the Department of Psychiatry & Health Behavior and the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine. Dr. Evans received his doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Indiana State University, after completing a master's degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an undergraduate degree at Auburn University. He completed an internship, as well as a postdoctoral fellowship in primary care and behavioral health, at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Prior to his appointment at Augusta University, Dr. Evans was Director of Behavioral Science and an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Priscilla Gilman, MD
Dr. Priscilla Gilman completed her MD at Case Western Reserve after receiving her BA from Swarthmore College. Her areas of teaching include Psychotherapy (DBT, CBT, systems, interpersonal, supportive, and dynamic), individual, couple, group pharmacotherapy, and case management. She has 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.
Cassandra M. Groth, PhD
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 PhD 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.
Nancy Harpold, DO
Dr. Nancy Harpold is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior 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.
Jason Henle, PsyD
Dr. Jason Henle is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University (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 Psychopharmacology 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.
Jeremy Hertza, PhD
Dr. Jeremy Hertza is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and the Department of Neurology 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.
Dr. Amy House completed her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Georgia in 1996. She
completed internship and postdoctoral fellowship training 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 CBT 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 wellbeing
in health care trainees.
Ellen House, MD
Dr. Ellen House is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist on the faculty at the AU/UGA Medical Partnership’s Athens campus with a mission to create a cohesive, four-year psychiatry curriculum to help future physicians feel comfortable recognizing and managing mental health conditions across specialization. In addition to her time at the medical school she also works with students at at the Counseling and Psychiatric Services of UGA’s University Health Center.
After completing her undergraduate and medical degrees at Yale University, Dr. House underwent psychiatry training in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital and Mclean Hospital, where she was an instructor at Harvard Medical School. She and her family then moved to Nashville where she was on faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, served as the child psychiatrist in Vanderbilt’s Early Psychosis Program, worked at Vanderbilt’s student health center, and cared for patients in an adolescent day-program focusing on depression, anxiety, suicidality, and self-harm. In addition to earning the Dozier Award for excellence in teaching from her trainees, she served as the Department of Psychiatry’s Master Clinical Teacher where she educated medical students the art of interviewing and how to effectively and empathically approach difficult topics with patients.
William S. Jacobs, MD
Dr. William Jacobs holds a joint appointment as associate professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and Anesthesiology. He is the Chief of Addiction Medicine and is a national clinical expert, triple board certified in Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine, and Addiction Medicine physician. A Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude University of Georgia undergraduate and graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Jacobs did his Anesthesiology Residency at the University of Alabama-Birmingham where he won the Dripps Award for the Best Anesthesiology Resident. He had a 13 year career as a private practitioner in anesthesiology and pain management before matriculating to UF for his Addiction Medicine Fellowship. He is currently the Medical Director of the Bluff Planation and Chief Medical Officer at Georgia Detox and Recovery.
Dr. Jacobs has been a national expert, testifying on Capitol Hill on MDMA and prescription misuse and abuse. He has also served the State of Florida and its Drug Czars. He was a medical and scientific Consultant to the US Senate Crime and Drugs Subcommittee as well as the Department of Labor. Dr Jacobs has also testified and consulted for the DEA on safe prescribing of narcotic drugs and the model of ideal treatment programs. Dr. Jacobs, a gifted clinician and addiction medical director has been the Medical Director of non-profit, profit, and academic chemical dependency detoxification, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and hospital programs. Over his career, he has served as Chief Medical Officer or Medical Director at Gateway Community & Rehabilitation Services (Jacksonville), Wekiva Springs Psychiatric Hospital (Jacksonville), Stewart Marchman (Daytona Beach), Lakeview (Jacksonville), Stepping Stone (Jacksonville), Nancy Reagan TPC Village (Jacksonville), as well as serving as an Attending Physician at UF Health Vista West Dual Diagnosis unit (Gainesville) and River Region Methadone Maintenance Program (Jacksonville). He has been a monitoring physician for the Florida Board of Medicine and an evaluator and treatment provider for Florida Professionals Resource Network, Intervention Project for Nurses, and Lawyers Assistance programs. He has worked with the Duval County Adult and Adolescent Drug Courts. He is a member of the Drug Free America Foundation Board of Directors. After his promotion to Associate Professor, he left academia and started NexStep Integrated Pain Care Inc., a model program for the treatment of patients with both chronic pain and addiction disorders in Jacksonville. He returned to the University of Florida full time as Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine: Co-Chief of Pain Medicine in 2012. He also is a national forensic expert in iatrogenic addiction and accidental overdose, injury and death as well as tobacco.
Dr. Jacobs was a principal investigator or co-PI for the Florida site of the pivotal
trials for bupropion vs placebo in smoking cessation as well as in pharmacological
studies of naltrexone, depression, OCD, and anxiety. He is the author of peer reviewed
scientific papers, abstracts, textbook chapters, and practice guidelines including
highly cited studies on naltrexone, urine drug testing, and body mass index and alcohol
Brett Kaylor, DO
Brett Daniel Kaylor, DO, MA, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia-Augusta University. Dr. Kaylor received his undergraduate degree in art history from University of Washington in Seattle. He then attended medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, where he became a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) in 2013, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He also completed a Master in Bioethics during his medical training and served as a bioethics research fellow at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City. Dr. Kaylor subsequently completed his residency in psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University in 2017. He served as Chief Resident during his final two years of training, and became involved in both resident and medical student education. Among other awards, he was recipient of the Outstanding Resident Teaching Award in 2017. He continues to engage his interest in teaching and education in neuroscience, neuropsychology, and ethics. Dr. Kaylor subsequently completed the Addiction Medicine fellowship program offered by Bluff Plantation at the Medical College of Georgia under Dr. Bill Jacobs. The fellowship provides physicians with rigorous, hands on, science-based clinical education in evaluating and treating alcohol and drug addiction and dual disorders. His primary clinical, teaching, and research activities are at the Bluff Plantation, an addiction residential rehabilitation facility where he serves as Assistant Medical Director to Dr. Jacobs. Dr. Kaylor specializes in process-based cognitive behavioral therapies, particularly through acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in individual and group settings, working with patients on facilitating behavior change utilizing acceptance and mindfulness skills. He helps patients reconnect with their values, discover where they find meaning in life and develop motivation for change.
Christian R. Lemmon, PhD
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
associate director of the Psychology Residency Program in the Department of Psychiatry
& Health Behavior at the 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
Eric Lewkowiez, MD
Associate Dean of Student Affairs
Dr. Eric Lewkowiez is an assistant professor in the Division of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry.
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.
Donna Londino, MD
Dr. Donna Londino is an associate professor in the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry at Augusta University. She is also Medical Director of Inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services. She is a 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 through multidisciplinary inpatient care, outpatient treatment including social skills training of individuals with high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome, psychopharmacology, 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. She is active in medical education 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 Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
P. Alex Mabe, PhD
Professor and Chief of Psychology
Director of Psychology Internship Training
Dr. P. Alex Mabe received his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. Currently, he is professor, Director of Psychology Residency and Postdoctoral Training, and Chief of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. Dr. Mabe is currently the principal investigator for the MCG-VAMC Consortium-Psychology Workforce Development program, Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Graduate Psychology Education Program, having successfully obtained grant awards on this project since 2002.
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.
Sahebarao P. Mahadik, PhD
Dr. Sahebarao Mahadik received his PhD, BS and MS from 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.
Joseph McEvoy, MD
I. Clark Case Chair in Psychotic Disorders
Director of Public Psychiatry, East Central Regional Hospital
Joseph P McEvoy, MD, came to 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.
Brian Miller, MD
Dr. Brian Miller is an associate professor on a research tenure track in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior 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 NIMH K23 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.
Michael Mobley, MD
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 assistance 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.
Joe Morgan, MD
Clerkship Director, Southwest Campus
Dr. Joe Morgan is an associate professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. 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 GPPA PAC. He is a 2008 recipient of the Georgia Psychiatrist of the year award and he is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Dale Peeples, MD
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.
Anilkumar R. Pillai, PhD
Dr. Anilkumar Pillai earned his PhD in biochemistry from MS University of Baroda, India. He began his postdoctoral career at Population Council, Rockefeller University, New York and came to MCG in 2004. Dr. Pillai's research interest is to understand the role of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in the pathophysiology and treatment outcome of schizophrenia. Dr. Pillai's research strategy involves the cellular and molecular techniques using postmortem brain samples, clinical samples and animal studies. The major projects are (1) to examine the role of antisense and epigenetic mechanisms of regulation of BDNF gene expression in schizophrenia, (2) to explore novel treatment strategies with BDNF signaling as a molecular target for schizophrenia, (3) to understand the post-translational mechanism of regulation of BDNF and BDNF receptor, TrkB following chronic stress.
Niranjimi Reddy, MBBS
Dr. Niranjini Reddy completed her doctorate at Osmania University. Her areas of teaching include Psychiatric care in the prison population. Clinical interests are comprised of Crisis Intervention, Outpatient Psychiatry and Chronic/Persistent Mental Illness. Dr. Reddy has expertise in the area of Self Mutilation in the prison population.
Michael Rollock, PhD
Dr. Michael Rollock is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior 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 BSc 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.
Susan D. Sato, PhD
Dr. Susan Sato is an assistant professor and clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry
and Health Behavior. She is the Director of the Augusta University Employee-Faculty
Assistance Program. Dr. Sato received her PhD in clinical psychology from Washington
State University and completed 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.
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.
Simon Sebastian, MBBS
Dr. Simon Sebastian, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior 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 1.5 million physician-visits per month.
Sandra G. B. Sexson, MD
Professor and Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dr. Sandra Sexson is professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics and Chief as well as 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 in Augusta, Georgia. Dr. Sexson graduated from the University of Mississippi Medical College and completed postgraduate training in Child Development (University of Mississippi), General Psychiatry (University of Texas at San Antonio) and Child 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 at Emory University. Her primary professional focus has been in psychiatric education with a clinical and research focus in education and in the emotional issues of children and adolescents with chronic medical illnesses.
Dr. Sexson is an active leader in psychiatric education in the United States. She has served in her career in leadership roles in many of the major psychiatric organizations. Some of these positions include President of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Training, a member of the Psychiatry RRC including serving as both its Vice-Chair and Chair, and a team leader in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as well as a member of various test development committees, and as a senior examiner in both Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Additionally Dr. Sexson has been an active leader in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) as an officer and through extensive work with Education and Training as well as Lifelong Learning, and with the American College of Psychiatrist where she has served on the Board and as both the former Editor-in-Chief of PRITE, the psychiatry in-training examination and the founding editor of the CHILD PRITE, the child psychiatry in-training examination. Dr. Sexson also has served as the psychiatric consultant to medical education in Singapore with ACGME-I and as a part of a consultant medical specialty group, again representing psychiatry, to Qatar as their postgraduate medical education programs prepare to apply for accreditation to ACGME-I.
Presently Dr. Sexson continues to serve on the American Psychiatric Association’s
Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning, having just completed seven years
as Chair, and continues to chair the AACAP’s Work Group on Lifelong Learning. She
works on a number of national committees addressing advances in educational and assessment
issues in psychiatric education and is the immediate past president of the Society
of Professors of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the group that represents the heads
of Divisions of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the United States. 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. She has been regularly named
to the prestigious lists of America’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America and
has been named to the Top Psychiatrists in America.
Reddy Shashank, MD
Dr. Reddy Shashank is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior 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 dealing with geriatric population with mental health needs and got extensive training in ECT. He went to medical school in Simferopol, Crimea, Russia. Dr. Shashank before joining residency had extensive experience working with geriatric population with mental health needs in long term care facilities. He also did extensive reach in neuroradiology at University of Pennsylvania as part of his interest in Neuroscience. His clinical and research interests include working with geriatric population, ECT, PTSD, Bipolar disorders in the elderly and Dissociative disorders. His passion includes working closely with residents and medical students and train them to become successful future Physicians.
Lisa Sheehan, MD
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 DBT 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.
Stewart A. Shevitz, MD
Academic Affairs, 4th Year Class Dean, Medical College of Georgia
Dr. Stewart Shevitz has been at Augusta University since 1992. After obtaining his BA from the University of Virginia in psychology, Dr. Shevitz attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He completed his psychiatric training at Dartmouth medical school, and then served two years as the staff psychiatrist on the Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona. Following 2 years as an attending on the C-L service at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Shevitz spent 13 years as Director of Psychiatry at a large general hospital in Eugene, Oregon. Upon obtaining his Masters in Health Administration degree from the University of Colorado, he returned to academics at Augusta University where he served as Interim Chair from 1996-2000 and since 2000 as general psychiatry training director and director of psychiatric education. Dr. Shevitz has authored articles on recovery, psychiatric administration, psychotherapy, and consultation-liaison psychiatry. He has served as an examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology for the past 30 years. He has been active in organized medicine and served as president of the medical staff for the Augusta University hospital for the 2009-1010 academic year. He is also a member of the Executive Council of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association and currently holds the post of secretary for the organization. He also serves a member of the Association's Ethics Committee, CME committee, and Fellowship committee. In May of 2008 Dr. Shevitz was awarded Distinguished Life Fellow status in the American Psychiatric Association.
E. Devon Smith, PhD
Dr. E. Devon Smith (formerly Eldridge) is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and a licensed psychologist in the state of Georgia. She received her BS in psychology from Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK) and her PhD in clinical psychology from Washington State University (Pullman, WA). She completed her predoctoral internship (HIV/Medical Psychology track) and a 2-year health psychology postdoctoral fellowship at AU-MCG. Clinically, Dr. Eldridge specializes in psychosocial issues related to chronic medical conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and HIV. She also has a clinical interest in sleep disorders and treatment. She has a background in a number of different psychotherapy treatment approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. She currently serves as the mental health consultant for the Medical College of Georgia Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Clinic and co-facilitates the Essentials of Clinical Medicine Problem-Based Learning seminar for first and second year medical students. She has worked in the Equality Clinic of Augusta, a student-run LGBT health clinic, for 3 years and plans to continue to volunteer in this clinic as an attending psychologist. Her research broadly focuses on the intersection of psychological and medical factors, with an emphasis in underserved populations and women’s health.
Vanessa Spearman, MD
Dr. Erin Vanessa Spearman is a professor 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.
Lara M. Stepleman, PhD
Dr. Lara Stepleman, PhD is a professor of Psychiatry & Health Behavior, licensed psychologist, and Director
of the MCG Office for Faculty Success. She graduated with a PhD 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 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.
Sandarsh Surya, MBBS
Dr. Sandarsh Surya is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior 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 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 complete Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship training from Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Holly E. Tabernik, PhD
Dr. Holly Tabernik is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior 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 PhD 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.
Grace Unsal, DO
Dr. Grace Unsal is an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry division. She received a BS in Psychobiology at State University of New Yor Binghamton and afterwards completed medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Unsal completed her internship and general psychiatry residency training at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During her time at Temple, she was involved in clinical trials studying the use of a novel medication in adolescents with ADHD. She then completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During her fellowship, she served as Chief Fellow and was active in medical student and resident education. Dr. Unsal has been involved in the regional council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has presented nationally at AACAP. Dr. Unsal's clinical areas of interest include ADHD, Mood Disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her primary clinical activities are at a community outpatient clinic and at Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta.
Linda Vitacco, PhD
Dr. Linda Vitacco is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior 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.
Michael J. Vitacco, PhD, ABPP
Board Certified in Forensic Psychology
Dr. Michael Vitacco is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University and the Director of Forensic Psychology Training for the partnership with East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH). Dr. Vitacco directs a forensic psychology fellowship through the partnership between ECRH and Augusta University. He received his BS in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and his PhD 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.
Dr. Vitacco is involved in research collaborations with faculty from the University
of New Orleans, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Georgia Southern
University, and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Current research projects involve
biological mechanisms associated with psychopathy, risk assessment with forensic inpatients,
empathy-related phenomenon and their association with psychopathic traits, and clinical
issues relevant to the insanity defense. Licensed in Wisconsin and Georgia, Dr. Vitacco
currently provides clinical supervision to forensic psychology fellows, as well as
psychology and medical residents.
Lori Welch, PhD
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 PhD 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 (IUPUI). 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.
Lindsey West, PhD
Dr. Lindsey West is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. West graduated from Brown University with an AB in Psychology and received her MA and PhD 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 CBT with 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).
David Williams, MD
Dr. David Williams is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Associate Director of Resident Education and Training, and Medical Director for Outpatient Services. 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.
Nagy Youssef, MD
Dr. Nagy Youssef is an associate professor at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, and Psychiatry Educator for medical students at the Office of Academic Affairs. His primary academic activities involve educational activities, curricula, and educational program research and development. His clinical research interests include mechanistic and therapeutic innovation for treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders and suicide prevention. He is especially interested in brain modulation therapeutics including brain stimulation as well as resilience boosting to prevent or treat severe psychiatric disorders and suicide.
He has conducted research studies (as PI or co-investigator) especially in areas of treatment-resistant mood disorders and PTSD in civilians, veterans, and active duty personnel, and has presented his research in several scientific peer-reviewed publications, published abstracts, and in lectures nationally and internationally. Dr. Youssef’s also supervises students and residents in treating patients with a wide array of psychiatric conditions in the outpatient clinic.
Dr. Youssef clinical training included psychiatry residency and postgraduate fellowship at the University of South Alabama and Yale University. He also completed a postgraduate research fellowship at the Durham VA and Duke University. He was on the faculty at Duke University before moving to Augusta as the medical director for acute psychiatric services at the Charlie Norwood VA and a clinical faculty at the medical College of Georgia. He has specialized training in ECT, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) from Duke University. He has been awarded several awards including Who’s Who Distinguished Professionals and the America’s Top Psychiatrists.
He serves the scientific community as an editorial board member of seven scientific journals. He also held several offices in scientific societies including being a member of the Board of Directors and Committee Chairman of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists for 10 years, and co-chaired several scientific conferences.
Amy Lowery-Allison, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior
Director of Psycho-Social Service for Augusta University Cancer Center
Dr. Lowery-Allison is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Augusta University. She serves as Director of Psycho-Social Services for the Augusta University Cancer Center. Dr. Lowery-Allison earned a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Springfield College, a doctorate in clinical psychology from Alliant International University-San Diego, and served as Chief of the NCI-funded postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatry at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She was previously an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh, and was a clinical psychologist with the Biobehavioral Medicine in Oncology Program in the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
She has extensive clinical and research experience in symptom management for cancer patients and survivors, particularly, sleep, pain, depression and anxiety, and has received numerous awards for her work. With over 10 years of counseling experience, she has provided clinical care to patients and families at several leading cancer centers across the country. She is an active member of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the Sleep Research Society, and the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Society.
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
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 WVU. 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.
Frances C. Purcell, PhD
Campus Assistant Dean for Curriculum, MCG Southeast Regional Campus
Assistant Processor, Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior
In 2015, Dr. Frances Purcell was selected as the Assistant Dean for Curriculum for the Southeast Regional Campus. Dr. Purcell joined the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia Department of Psychiatry as Associate Professor in 2015.
Dr. Purcell’s career has been defined by service to communities throughout Georgia. In
2011, Dr. Purcell was honored as one of the Top Ten Working Women of Savannah by Assisting
Working Women in Need (AWWIN) as a Philanthropic Leader. Before joining MCG, she served
as the associate director for academic program development at Mercer University School
of Medicine in Macon as well as the assistant director of their Master of Public Health
Program and assistant professor in their Department of Community Medicine. Over the
years, she has distinguished herself as a community leader and catalyst for improving
the lives of the citizens across Georgia through her work with the Georgia Cancer
Coalition, Chatham County Safety Net, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Georgia
Public Health Association. Dr. Purcell completed her PhD in Educational Leadership
in Higher Education at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., and earned an MS in Psychology
with an emphasis in neuropsychology from Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville.
William H. Salazar, MD, FACP, FAACH
Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine
Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior
Dr. Salazar is 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 emphasis in Psychosocial Medicine and Adult Education at NYU-Bellevue Medical Centers.
Dr. Salazar is active at a national level with the American Academy on 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.
Kimberly Vess Halbur, MD
Associate Dean for Student & Multicultural Affairs
Dr. Kimberly Vess Halbur is an associate professor of Psychiatry & Health Behavior at Augusta University. An Indiana native, she earned her BS from Ball State University, both her MA in community counseling and her doctoral degree in counseling at the University of Cincinnati. In 2009, Dr. Halbur earned a certificate in Management Development from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard. Prior to joining Augusta University, Dr. Halbur garnered experience in private practice, community-based mental health organizations and serving as a board member for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Halbur’s areas of academic and clinical interests are theoretical orientation in counseling and psychotherapy, cultural competence and health disparities. She has published three textbooks and numerous journal articles related to these areas of interest. Dr. Halbur is active in medical education and serves locally on the Good Neighbor Ministries board which advocates for residents of the Harrisburg neighborhood.
Tasha Wyatt, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Educational Researcher, Educational Innovation Institute
Dr. Tasha Wyatt is our new Educational Researcher and an assistant professor with an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. Tasha brings with her a wealth of educator and educational research experience, having earned a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii and an MA in Educational Administration from New Mexico State University. Prior to coming to Augusta University, she was an Associate Specialist at the University of Hawaii where she facilitated a program of professional development on teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students and taught courses at the graduate and undergraduate level on Learning and Development. She also has an extensive background in educational research, consultation, and program evaluation which will be invaluable to the Augusta University’s programming for faculty, students, and educator staff.