September 2020


Mother and child wearing masks looking out a window

Keeping kids healthy during COVID-19

Keeping children safe is a top priority for all parents during the COVID-19 crisis and will become increasingly challenging this fall. These tips are helpful for all parents, including those whose kids have neurodevelopmental disorders or special needs, as they do their best to keep their children physically and mentally healthy during these difficult times.


Meena Nuthi, MD

PGY3 Meena Nuthi to serve on Housestaff Council Executive Committee

Meena Nuthi, MD has been selected to serve as the Vice Chair of Diversity on the Housestaff Council's Executive Committee. The Housestaff Council was founded in July 2019 to represent Housestaff with regards to education, training, facilities and resources. The council works closely with the UF office of GME and GME Committee, UF School of Medicine and UF Health to …



UF Psychiatry Residency Program Ranked #45 in Residency Navigator

Choosing a residency program is one of the biggest decisions new physicians face in their careers.

U.S. physicians have contributed nominations, ratings, and hand-written reviews to help medical students find the right training program.

Residency Navigator combines their feedback with objective data on residency programs across 28 specialties, and "alumni outcomes" analysis from analyzing the CVs and career paths of all U.S. physicians.



Anti-Racism and Health Equity Group

Join the Anti-Racism and Health Equity Group on the UF Health Bridge. A learning collaborative focused on anti-racism, social justice and health equity. With participation from staff, trainees and faculty, we can learn together to strengthen our teams. 

One of our latest initiatives is the a Movie Night where we schedule movies that help us view and discuss racial issues and social injustices. We will be streaming via Netflix Party, “13th”, a documentary on the 13th amendment on Tuesday, September 8th @ 5:30pm. Look for more details in your email.

We would love for you to join us for these new and thought provoking opportunities and welcome you to join the group and present ideas of your own. Go to the UF Health Bridge to join the group, and see more details, on resources, activities, and events. 



Get a Plan / Get a Kit / Be Informed

We continue our preparedness on Get a Plan / Get a Kit / Be Informed by focusing on personal disaster supplies. A basic kit includes needed items for 3 days. While a kit should be customized to your specific situation, below are general guidelines to follow. A printer-friendly version is also available for handy reference.

You can find a copy of the Department’s Emergency Plan on SharePoint and the Internal Resources/Call Schedule pages



UF GatorSAFE Mobile App

Safety resources at your fingertips with the new UF GatorSAFE Mobile App. Smartphone users who download the free GATORSAFE app can now report tips, including those not adhering to COVID-19 guidelines, to the UF Police Department, make emergency calls and perform other functions that improve their personal safety and security.

Apple Store

Google Play Store


Sign up for UF Health’s mass notification system

The UF Health Shands Emergency Preparedness team is constantly monitoring the weather and its impact on Alachua County. Make sure you're signed up for UF Alert — Shands, UF Health’s mass notification system.




Congratulations Faryal Mallick

Please Congratulate Dr. Mallick on her acceptance to the 2020-2021 Washington Baltimore Center Psychoanalysis (WBCP) Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytical Fellowship Program! 


Congratulations on your promotion Britany Ratliff

Residency & Fellowship Program Coordinator II

Brittany is responsible for the administrative supervision of residency and grand rounds. She will also oversee clerkship program and event planning.


Resident of the Month


Quality and Safety Stars

For our August Quality and Safety Star Award, we recognize our chiefs for all they do to ensure quality and safe patient care through the shepherding of our new interns June-August and throughout the year. Thank you for being Quality and Safety Stars! 

Check out our latest Quality and Safety Star Awardees on the Quality whiteboard in the adult workroom at the MOB. 

If you have a nominee for future Quality and Safety Star Awards, please email Dr. Jackie Hobbs.


Staff Spotlight


Denise Lambert

Denise has stepped up over the last two months to cover the additional faculty hires and other HR duties that were added due to the loss of our HR manager. She has done this in a professional and responsible manner. Working hard to ensure that her work is accomplished along with the additional duties to include: personnel actions,the AWL process, Screenings, Faculty on-boarding, credentialing (new & reappointments), staff hires, recruitment and on-boarding are kept up to date and timely.

Thanks Denise for your dedication to the Department staff and faculty.


Tip of the Cap

Tip of the cap to Doctors Rob Averbuch, Elizabeth Ahn and the UF undergrads for their helping hands at clinic. We saw patients both in person and via telemedicine. The patients all appreciate the care given to them by the UF psychiatrists and other volunteers.

The patients appreciate the care given by all the UF volunteers. 

Helping Hands Clinic


We need your help!

We'd like you to keep an eye out for those staff members that continually go above and beyond for the department.

Then we would like you to nominate them by submitting their name and a brief explanation of the awesome thing(s) they do!

The Executive Leadership Committee will vote on the candidates and we will announce the winner in the newsletter. 

Please submit your entries to Priscilla Spence


Co-President of Psychiatry Alumni Society

Dr. Laura Rodriguez-Roman, has accepted the role of co-president with Dr. Ana Turner of our Psychiatry Alumni Society.  We are excited to have both working with the department and society.

Become a member of the UF Psychiatry Alumni Society! The society fosters alumni networking, socializing and sharing current trends in psychiatric and behavioral science. Show your support of the education, research and clinical mission of the department by joining.

Join today at:

• Annual Dues: $100

• Lifetime Dues: $2,500 (payable over five years, $500 per year)

Membership dues support activities of the society and training programs.

To learn more about giving back to the department and alumni opportunities, please contact Callie Wilkes. ( 


Homecoming 2020 Holiday

Because of COVID-19, all face-to-face events scheduled on Homecoming Friday, October 2, 2020, including the Homecoming parade, have been cancelled or will be held virtually at a later date.  In support of a recommendation from our UF Faculty Senate, the Friday, October 2, holiday will revert to a work and instructional class day.  December 24 will be considered an official holiday in its stead.  

This shift from October 2 to December 24 will provide benefits of regaining one of the instructional class days lost from the one-week delay of the start of the Fall term, aligning with Alachua County Schools' decision to hold classes on October 2, and ensuring no change in total hours of holiday leave for UF employees.


Research Pilot Project Grants Available

UF Health CAN offers funding for pilot projects for trainees and junior faculty to stimulate research in areas directly relevant to autism spectrum disorder. The description of the program and guidelines as well as a template for preparing a proposal can be found on the UF Health CAN Research website.

Up to $25,000 per proposal is available to initiate research that will generate preliminary or pilot data needed for competitive extramural grant applications.

Applications should be submitted by October 1, 2020 or June 1, 2021 using the proposal submission template found on the CAN website. Awards will be made by November 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021.

Please direct any inquiries to Dr. Mark Lewis at


UF CARD Update

Parent Training for Disruptive Behaviors

UF CARD is offering a free parent training program to parents of children 2-14 years of age with autism spectrum disorder or related disabilities. This parent training program consists of 6 sequential sessions designed to teach parents ways to reduce disruptive behaviors.

DATES/TIMES: Thursdays from 4:00-5:30pm; Sep 17, 2020​ -  Oct 22, 2020

LOCATION: Online via Zoom

To be eligible participants must be:

-parent/caregiver of a child with ASD or a related disability 2-14 years of age

-registered with UF CARD

-able to attend all 6 sessions


If you are not already registered with UF CARD and want to learn more visit our website or call 352-265-2230.​

More UF CARD events can be found here​!


New Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

An expansion of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides UF employees with improved access to mental health counselors as well as enhanced work life, financial and legal resources and services. To learn more about the expanded UF EAP, please visit If you have questions, please contact UFHR Communications and Worklife at (352) 392-2477 or


Sheryl Fleisch, MD

Dr. Fleisch is triple boarded, in general psychiatry, consultation psychiatry and addiction medicine. She obtained her medical degree from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN and completed a residency in General Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, while simultaneously enrolled in the Academic Administrator Clinician Educator (ACCE) Track. She subsequently completed a fellowship in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (formerly Psychosomatic Medicine) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

Dr. Fleisch will provide psychiatric services through Consultation-Liaison, in the Emergency Room and on the Psychiatry Medical Unit 52. She will provide administrative leadership as Chief of UF Shands Psychiatric Services and Chief of Health Equity, leading and developing clinical services, participating actively in the executive leadership team of the Department of Psychiatry, and representing the department to the hospital and College. Dr. Fleisch will also participate in the educational mission of the University of Florida as a teacher and mentor for medical students, interns, residents and fellows. 

Please welcome Dr. Fleisch to the Department of Psychiatry!


Dorothy McCallister

Congratulations and Happy Retirement! Thank you Dorothy for your years of dedication to the department, you will be missed!


Now in its 31st year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.

Each September, Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.

The theme for 2020 National Recovery Month is Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.

Read More »


September 4 | Dermatology Grand Rounds: A Psychiatry Viewpoint to Approaching Challenging Psychodermatology Cases

Carol Mathews, MD

Sami Saikaly, MD




September 8 - 9 | Movie Night

Please join the Anti-Racism and Health Equity Group for Movie Night.

September 8
Movie: 13th
5:30 pm
Springhill 2 Lobby/Vista Conference Room 1901/Netflix Party
RSVP or with Natalie Brown

September 9
12:15 – 1:00 pm
Zoom:Join Now
Meeting ID: 974 7984 5903
Passcode: 245731


September 16 | CARE Seminar

Catalina Lopez-Quintero, MD, MPH, PhD

3:00-4:00 pm



September 18 | Psychiatry Grand Rounds: Medicare for All

Robert L. Hatch, MD, MPH

L. Chad Hood, MD, FACP

12:00-1:00 pm



Fall Walking Challenge

Ready to start stepping? It's that time of year again: registration for the Fall Walking Challenge is open! Here's what you need to do:

• Form a team of four to twenty people and choose a captain.

• Login or create an account on

• Your captain will create the team and join the challenge under the “challenges” tab on Walker Tracker.

• Then you’ll get ready to start the challenge on September 21!

This challenge’s theme is Unusual USA. Join the trek around the United States to see unique roadside attractions and strange landmarks. The challenge will run from September 21-October 18.
Interested in becoming a captain? Join us tomorrow, September 1, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. for the Captain’s Kickoff. Learn about Walker Tracker, find out about mini-challenges, and get your questions answered! Register here.
Questions? Email Brittany or check out the GatorCare Walking Challenge page for more information.


September 24| Psychiatry Town Hall

12:00 - 1:00 pm


Meeting ID: 922 8443 0521

Passcode: 022355


September 25 | Psychiatry Grand Rounds: Suicide Prevention

Stephen Welch, MD

12:00-1:00 pm


September 28 | Retirement Party for Joseph Thornton, MD

Please join us in celebrating Dr. Thornton's career as he will be retiring the end of September. We will be holding a Zoom retirement party for him. If you have any pictures, stories, maybe write down a few thoughts that you would like to pass on to Dr. Thornton or if you would like to record a short video clip and send to Priscilla Spence by Wednesday, September 9th.  

6:00-7:30 pm

Meeting URL:

Meeting ID: 995 7791 4246

Passcode: 756395


September 29 | UF Leave Policy Information Session

Please join us 2:00-3:00pm September 29th for an information session to learn about the new UF Leave policy effective 2021.

This session will be recorded for future viewing opportunities. Please submit questions in advance to Thank you and we look forward to seeing you virtually!



October 1-2 | NNDC Annual Conference

As you know, the NNDC conference is going virtual this year on October 1-2. They will have six sessions spread over two days that you can plug into no matter where you are. The theme is Advances in Psychiatry: COVID-19 and Beyond and are excited to bring sessions on public health and prevention, returning to clinical research, and updates from the task groups. Each session will include panelists, a Q & A segment, and the opportunity to write in questions for the experts. 

In the coming weeks, NNDC will release more information about the 2020 conference including: registration information, ticket prices, program guide, and more. 

• When: October 1 - 2, 2020

• Time: TBD

• Location: Virtual



Resources to Promote Well-Being During the COVID-19 Outbreak

While we are maintaining social distance and/or quarantined, many people lose access to resources that support their self-care. Here is a list of resources to help you navigate this challenging time while maintaining your own well-being.


Guided Meditations

Lead by Dr. Carol Lewis and Dr. Lori Waxenberg, these guided meditations, ranging from 1 1/2 to 15 minutes, will help you learn to notice thoughts, sensations, and emotions without being swept away by them. They have been shown to benefit both physical and emotional health.

Meditation Playlist »


Streamed Fitness Class

Join a GatorCare staff member on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon for 15 minutes of an office (or home office)-friendly workout. No need to leave the office or change out of office clothes! Can’t join the live stream? Check out the recorded streams here.

Meeting URL:



Mindful Relaxation Minutes 


Please be sure to join us Thursdays at 12:15pm via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting using:

Meeting ID: 159 914 780

Passcode: 601221



2 Minute Resilience Reset 

Try these 2 minute sessions hosted by Dr. Carol Lewis that focus on breathing to stimulate the soothing part of the nervous system, and learn a practical tip from resilience science to help you maintain your stability in these difficult times.


Do you have some news or an announcement you would like to share?

Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond and who you would like to recognize? 

Want us to save the date for an upcoming event?

Email us


COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources



UF Coronavirus Updates

University officials are closely monitoring updates regarding the novel coronavirus and will continue to provide information as the situation evolves. All students, faculty and staff are urged to stay informed. UF communications and other details regarding the situation are posted at


Busting COVID-19 myths


Have you had it with all of the hearsay? The World Health Organization is sorting fact from fiction with their Coronavirus Myth Busters resource. Stay empowered by staying informed.

Learn More »


Reminder that we have a new centralized contact for any UFCOM/UF Health employees in need of mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

• Psychiatric medication consultation and management

• Free individual short-term counseling

• Individual psychotherapy

• Resilience-based group therapy

If anyone reaches out to you for assistance, please encourage them call the UF Health Staff Telepsych Services center between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. (7 days per week) at 352-265-5459 or email [please provide name, contact number, and best time(s) to receive a call back].



The Gator community sticks together in all kinds of weather, and that's never more evident than in times of transition and hardship. Aid-a-Gator has processed more than 1,000 requests for a total of $955,695 from students to help cover a variety of needs, including rent due to lost wages, unanticipated travel, additional technology requirements, replacements of medications, emergency childcare due to extended school closures, and other needs. To file an application or to donate for students, visit and for employees, visit



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