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April 27, 2020
From the Department Chair
It has been more than a month now that we have seen our lives changed so dramatically due to the pandemic. I think it is a good time to give a terrific shout-out to all of our clinicians and support teams who have continued serving our patients throughout this trying time. The most immediate challenges occurred at the hospital. Under the energetic and untiring leadership by Dr. Kate Woods, the psychiatric inpatient services have continued without interruption and only minimal adaptations to minimize the infectious risk. And thanks to Dr. Woods, we have a contingency plan in place in case of a COVID surge. Kate could not have done it without the selfless dedication of the entire team who have unfailingly shown up to keep caring for our patients.

On the outpatient side, WHC, EPICenter, Adult and CAP, have been no less admirable. Here, kudos go to Drs. Saira Kalia and Deepa Khushlani, as well as to our Practice Manager Leslie Armenta and, at the Whole Health Clinic, Practice Management Director Lori Wellman. The volume at the WHC continues to increase, and a special thank you to our Wellness Coaches, Peers, Therapists, Interns, and Externs who continue to see our most vulnerable patient population through this crisis. All the clinicians involved in this, psychiatrists, psychologists and NPs: I am proud to be part of this team!

Unfortunately, there will be no shared celebrations of graduations of our residents and fellows (nor of any students at UArizona and elsewhere). So I want to close by shining a special light on those who have joined us to learn, extending my expressions of gratitude and appreciation to our trainees as well: You, our residents, interns, externs, fellows, are showing that you have what it takes to be professionals even under the most difficult circumstances. Let me convey to you, on behalf of faculty and administration, that your contribution to this joint effort is highly valued!

- Ole Thienhaus
Clinical Updates
eVisit Login Changes Last Wednesday, April 22, Banner switched out the eVisit icon on your desktops with a new icon pointing to Banner's Authentication System. They also put a link on the intranet to eVisit. If you are already logged into Office 365, then the link will take you directly into your waiting room. If you are not logged in, the system will take you to the Microsoft Login Page. On this page you will enter your Banner Network Credentials. Once logged into the system, you will be taken directly to your waiting room in eVisit. There will be no impact for patients who are using this system, they will continue to log in the same way.
Integrated Psychosocial Care (IPC): Implementation efforts continue in bringing Collaborative Care (see University of Washington AIMS Center for details on the model) to Banner with the support of Banner’s Highest and Best Use funding, garnered by Dr. Weihs, with work also being implemented by Dr. Boeve. They have established a robust partnership with physicians in the areas of Pulmonary Hypertension and Nephrology with a steady flow of referrals to the program. The physicians they have partnered with find the support tremendously helpful for their patients and practices. Dr. Boeve wrote: “We are excited about our developing partnership with the General Internal Medicine department and anticipate implementation of IPC starting at BUMCS very shortly. We are also excited about initiating the program with Pediatric Endocrinology. It has been extremely satisfying to see behavioral health care brought to patients who otherwise may have refused or been unable to find this care outside of their primary health clinics.”
Kudos to staff members in 2E, 2W, and 5NE who were nominated by their peers as Employees of the Month for March!

Case Manager/Therapist Dionne DeMontigny in 2E was recognized because “she makes sure she recommends services that fit the patients’ needs upon discharge and confers with the patient about those choices with the patient,” and because “she communicates clearly with nursing staff.”

Nurse Jackie Sable in 2W was recognized for being “compassionate and a hard worker.
I recently saw her helping a patient, that isolates in her room, participate in pet therapy. goes above and beyond; she's always willing to help.”

Tech Chhatra Tiwari, 2E, was appreciated for “his approach, and his communication with patients. He goes beyond and above to meet the patient’s needs, he is always willing to take additional responsibilities to lessen the burden of other staff members. He is caring and compassionate.”
COVID-19 Updates: Masking & Support
For up-to-date information concerning COVID-19 and Banner’s response, please access the Banner COVID-19 toolkit on the employee website. 

Top 5 Areas of Improvement with Masks: Things to Not Do
  1. Pulling mask down under your chin, then pulling back up from front of mask – which contaminates one’s face and hands – increasing the risk for self-inoculation instead of completely removing by the ear loops when the mask needs to be taken off for a moment.
  2. Wearing masks on one ear or on one’s arms during breaks or putting masks on a desk without a paper towel underneath, contaminating the surface it was placed on.
  3. Pulling dirty PPE off over the head, potentially contaminating the face.
  4. Not maintaining hand hygiene between steps where there was potential contamination of the hands (i.e. between gown removal and mask removal).
  5. Wearing comfort cloth masks under or over procedure masks. A comfort cloth mask should never be worn while taking care of patients. This contaminates the cloth mask, increases the risk of self-inoculation, along with the potential to take pathogens home.
Integrative Psychiatry is excited to announce its two new fellows, Drs. Mehta and Kumar. 
Dr. Meera Mehta graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Kinesiology. She then completed training as a Yoga Teacher and Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor before going on to complete medical school at St. George’s University in Grenada. She completed residency in Adult Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico and is currently finishing a Child and Adolescent Fellowship at Creighton University in Phoenix, AZ. She will be joining the Integrative Psychiatry Fellowship in order to expand and integrate her understanding of a greater array of modalities to best help her patients achieve optimal health. She believes that each individual has innate intelligence to heal and deserves to not only be disease-free, but to have the tools and guidance to work towards wellness. She has specific interest in working with those affected by trauma and affective disorders. In her free time, she competes in Latin dancing and spends time with family. She also enjoys meditation, nutrition, fitness, sunshine, and travel.  She loves animals and the outdoors.
Dr.  Reena Kumar completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Arizona - Tucson in Public Health with a minor in Nutritional Science. Thereafter, she obtained her medical degree in Phoenix at Midwestern University - Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Kumar’s Adult Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship were completed at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. She is excited to return back to Arizona to be a part of the Integrative Psychiatry fellowship. She is passionate about using both conventional psychiatry treatment with the incorporation of mind-body medicine and complementary approaches to assist children and adults in pursing mental well-being. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, yoga, and spending time with friends and family. Drs. Mehta and Kumar will be joined by Integrative Track 2020-2021 participants for IMR I (Kevin Sherman, Antoinette Laurel) and IMR II (Jana Spasovski, Connor Champion, Ally Peet, Mehrban Parsi). 
Reminder: All research projects that involve in-person study procedures that have not received an essential research waiver from the Senior VP for Research are on hold until further notice. Studies that are conducted or can be amended to be conducted remotely, are automatically exempt.
Dr. Killgore and the SCAN Lab received a DoD grant that is a subaward to the lab from the US Army Biotechnology High Power Computing Applications Institute (BHSAI) at Fort Detrick, MD. Working with their collaborators at BHSAI, they will test a new statistical prediction model to determine the optimal dosing and timing of caffeine administration during prolonged sleep deprivation. They will monitor sleep patterns using a wrist actigraph for a couple of weeks and will use the prediction model, known as the 2B-Alert program, on a cell phone to predict performance decrements during two full nights of total sleep deprivation. On the second night without sleep, the phone app will be used to predict an optimal dose of caffeine for each participant. Caffeine will be administered to validate the effectiveness of the model. The unique feature of this statistical model is that it uses a machine learning algorithm to learn each individual’s performance pattern and unique caffeine response, so that it can predict the optimal dose of caffeine to sustain performance. 

NAMIWalks — Mental Health for All: A National Day of Hope is now a virtual event taking place on May 30. Thanks to all who have donated so far, getting us closer to our $5,000 goal. We still have $3,067 to raise. Our collective mental health needs are at their greatest, and NAMI’s programs and advocacy are required more than ever. If you have the fiscal capacity, please consider making a donation here.
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