Child & Adolescent Faculty
Division Chief and Associate Program Directoy, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dr. Brown officially joined the Department of Psychiatry on January 2, 2015 as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has assumed the position of Program Director for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Dr. Brown is a Gainesville area native. He completed his undergraduate training here at UF and received his MD degree at the University of South Florida. He went on to complete both his General Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base/Wright State University (WPAFB/WSU) in Dayton, OH from 1999 – 2004. He was then stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base (Shreveport, LA) before returning to WPAFB to serve as the U. S. Air Force Fellowship Training Director for Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. During his tenure in the USAF, he also spent time serving his country at Keesler Air Force Base (Biloxi, MS) and was deployed to Afghanistan before separating in July of 2008.
As a civilian, Dr. Brown worked as a staff Child Psychiatrist at Halifax Behavioral Services in Daytona Beach for just under one year, before moving to Little Rock, Arkansas and joining the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) from 2009 – 2014 as an attending. He served as Medical Director for various child psychiatry clinics and was the Division Chief for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry during the last 2.5 years at UAMS. He returned to Gainesville in May of 2014, at which time he worked as a staff Child and Adolescent psychiatrist at Meridian Behavioral Healthcare before joining us here at UF.
Chair and Professor
Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics
Dr. Bussing’s major clinical interests include comprehensive treatment approaches to disruptive disorders of childhood, combining pharmacotherapy, parent training, clinical group therapies, and school interventions. She enjoys treating the entire spectrum of child and adolescent disorders.
Of special clinical interest is the comprehensive outpatient treatment of disruptive disorders of childhood, combining evidence-based pharmacological and psychosocial therapies. She adapted an established parent group intervention for ADHD, combining it with a child social skills group, into an eight-week manual-based program. Another related project has been the development of a school-problem clinic in conjunction with our psychology services. This clinic provides multidisciplinary assessment of the various school problems children get referred for, with comprehensive treatment planning including medication regimens, behavioral interventions, and tutoring.
Dr. Avila comes from the great state of Texas. He grew up along the Texas-Mexico border and is of Mexican heritage. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Chicago. He then went on to complete his medical education at Universidad Central Del Caribe, in Bayamon, PR. After medical school he followed a long trajectory of taking the road less traveled and developed a career that has lead him to complete residency in General Psychiatry, fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and a fellowship in Addiction Medicine all at the University of Florida.
His clinical interests include child and adolescent depression and anxiety disorders, adult and adolescent substance abuse disorders. He is also interested in working with patients and their families using Family Therapy modalities and Cognitive-Behavior therapies, as well as psychopharmacological interventions. He has dual appointments in both the University of Florida’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
A 1991 graduate of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Dr. D’Alli completed residency training in general psychiatry and fellowship training in child psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. For 13 years Dr. D’Alli took clinical and administrative leadership of the Division of Child Development and Behavioral Health in the Duke Department of Pediatrics.
Dr. D’Alli developed an Internet-based telepsychiatry service for special education students with learning, social, and emotional difficulties in self-contained Durham, North Carolina, public school therapeutic programs, providing weekly, interactive telehealth consultation to the children, school staff, and on-site child psychiatry trainees during the school year. In 2015 Dr. D’Alli joined the faculty of the University of Florida College Of Medicine, where he is playing an active role in the clinical, educational, and scholarly missions of the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, including program development in autism and developmental-behavioral pediatrics services.
Pediatric psychiatry is a mid-career change for Dr. D’Alli. After earning a bachelor of science in physics and a master of science education from the University of Florida in Gainesville, he taught physics, earth and general science, and coached football in a suburban Atlanta public high school. Later, he returned to graduate school at Brown University, participating as a member of NASA’s Mars Viking Lander Imaging team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1976 and completing a master of planetary geology in 1977. After working two years at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C, he was recruited by NASA to develop a summer enrichment short course for university faculty in planetary geology at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. A serendipitous guest appearance in 1979 on KPNX TV, the Phoenix NBC affiliate, evolved into a part time role as an on-air science reporter and two years later into a full time on-air science editor and back-up anchor on KAET TV, the PBS affiliate in Phoenix/Tempe. He also contributed to the PBS network’s MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. On February 23, 1983, D’Alli anchored the first, prime-time, network television live broadcast of open-heart surgery, originating from a Phoenix hospital and carried internationally via satellite on PBS. This and similar experiences in medical journalism persuaded him to become a physician.
Dr. Flores earned a doctoral degree from the University of Florida’s graduate training program in School Psychology. Her graduate and postgraduate training include clinical activities across a variety of settings including the hospital, school, community, and legal clinic.
After earning her doctorate, she worked as a Psychology Resident and Postdoctoral Associate for the Division of Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at UF Health where she acquired specialty training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Dr. Flores’ current clinical and research interests are focused on the evaluation and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Additionally, she has special expertise in the behavioral treatment of individuals who have comorbid Autism Spectrum and Anxiety Disorders. Dr. Flores also has clinical expertise with dual disorder patients as the Co-Director of Medical Psychology’s consultation-liaison service for Psychiatry’s Partial Hospitalization Program for Substance Use Disorders at the Florida Recovery Center (FRC). Dr. Flores serves as the Division of Medical Psychology’s Director of School Psychology for school aged children and adolescents, though her clinical and research interests range across the lifespan.
Meridian Behavioral Health Center
Dr. Frazier completed both her Adult Psychiatry residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Florida. She intermittently serves as the site supervisor for the Child Psychiatry fellows during their community mental health rotation. Dr. Frazier is a staunch patient advocate, working with large underserved populations. She has experience both with inpatient and outpatient Child Psychiatry and is a wonderful role model for the trainees. Her major focus is on mood and anxiety disorders, though she has worked with other populations, including disruptive behavior disorders and substance use/abuse.
Chief, Division of Medical Psychology
Departments of Psychiatry and Clinical and Health Psychology
Dr. Geffken completed a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville. His Internship was completed at the West Virginia University Medical Center, and he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Florida Medical Center.
Dr. Geffken directs the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Clinic (CBT) for the UF-OCD program and is Chief of the Division of Medical Psychology. The CBT Clinic operates on an outpatient basis where patients with treatment refractory Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are seen on a daily basis. Dr. Geffken also supervises a clinic that conducts weekly or biweekly outpatient Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, and other anxiety related disorders. He treats both children and adults, and has received additional training in Exposure-Response Therapy (ERP) from the Behavior Therapy Institute formed by the OC Foundation (OCF).
Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics
Affiliate Associate In Nursing, College of Nursing
Ms. Hill is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) in Psychiatry. She brings to the faculty greater than 25 years of clinical and teaching experience in the field of Child Psychiatry and a strong medical background in Oncology and Palliative Care nursing. She has previously served as the Administrative Assistant to the Child Psychiatry Division Chief from 1985 to 1999, directed daily operations on the Children’s Mental Health Unit for children with severe developmental disabilities, served as Director of the ADHD clinic, served on the Child Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison service to Pediatrics for 15 years, and currently provides clinical evaluation and treatment services in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic.
Ms. Hill has also served as the Medical Student Coordinator for their outpatient clinic rotation and currently continues to teach Medical students during their Psychiatry clerkship and elective rotations. Ms. Hill has also served as the research coordinator for two multi-center inpatient clinical trials; involving the use of Depakote in the treatment of patients with Bipolar Disorder and the treatment of memory loss in patients receiving Electro-Convulsive Therapy. She has been a member of the Department of Psychiatry Institutional Site Review Committee for the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), and has conducted site visits at DCF facilities. In addition, Ms. Hill lectures and provides clinical supervision in both the General Psychiatry Residency Training Program and Child Psychiatry Fellowship.
She currently serves as a Consultant to the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) located at the University of Florida, regularly consulting with school districts and providing community outreach services and trainings on Autism and related issues. She is responsible for developing and integrating Medical Student and Resident training opportunities into the CARD model. Ms Hill also holds faculty appointments in the Department of Pediatrics and in the College of Nursing. In addition to a broad background of clinical experience, she has special interest and expertise in treating children with Autism and related developmental disabilities.She is a committed clinician and teacher, who models a client-centered, capacity building, and advocacy-based approach to working with patients and families.
Associate Division Chief of Medical Psychology
Director of Online Education
Co-Director/Research Director, Division of Medical Psychology Clinic
Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dr. McNamara’s training includes the completion of Ph.D. programs in both Counseling and Developmental Psychology, an Internship in Clinical and Health Psychology, and Psychology Residency in the Division of Medical Psychology at the University of Florida. Over the course of his training, he sought out an array of clinical experiences in a variety of settings such as counseling centers, psychiatric outpatient facilities, and hospitals. These training experiences provided him with a solid foundation for treating a variety of disorders from a cognitive behavioral perspective.
Moreover, Dr. McNamara has worked with patients across the lifespan, ranging from ages 4 to 83. He treats both children and adults and has received additional training in Exposure-Response Therapy (ERT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). He has also received training in the treatment of insomnia. Within the teaching domain, Dr. McNamara is qualified to teach Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), therapeutic treatment of anxiety disorders, therapeutic treatment of depression, psychotherapy, supervision, and typical development.
Dr. McNamara conducts clinical research with patients as part of daily, biweekly, and weekly outpatient CBT for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, and other anxiety related disorders. His research interests are concerned with the development of executive functioning, the role sleep plays in executive functioning, and the impact of executive function and sleep on treatment outcome. Currently, Dr. McNamara’s research team has both graduate and undergraduate students working on a several different research projects.
Medical Director and Associate Chief: Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Medical Director, Psychiatry and Psychology at Springhill Health Center
Medical Director and Chief, Eating Disorders Recovery Center
Medical Director, Program and Contractual Development
Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics
Dr. Nguyen is the Medical Director and Associate Chief for the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, overseeing the various clinical services, and Chief of the Psychiatry Consultation/Liaison Services at Shands Teaching Hospital. He has also recently assumed leadership of the Eating Disorders Recovery Center and has begun expanding the program for both anorexia/bulimia and obesity, both in adults and children/adolescents.
His interests focus on Anxiety Spectrum Disorders in children, with knowledge in both pediatric psychopharmacology and various therapy modalities, including cognitive behavioral therapy and insight-oriented therapy.
Nguyen also focuses on psychotherapy training for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellows. He supervises the trainees in behavioral modification, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, interpersonal therapy (IPT) and psychodynamic psychotherapy: “A non-biological approach to Psychiatry in today’s atmosphere of newer medications and managed care is becoming more a lost art form, and it is important for our trainees to be able to conceptualize patients in a more global fashion.”
His other main area of interest involves the treatment of psychiatric illness in the medical setting. He is well-versed in treating medically and surgically complicated patients with co-morbid psychiatric illnesses, consulting to general services as well as the varied Intensive Care Units. As Chief of the Psychiatry Consultation/Liaison Services, he interfaces with the other major medical services within Shands to manage medically ill children and adolescents and also those patients with somatoform symptoms on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit.
In addition to his administrative and clinical roles, Dr. Nguyen serves as the clerkship director for Psychiatry C/L and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 4th year electives for MS-4s. He has a strong focus on medical student and resident education and has received several awards in these areas, including the William Rufkin Outstanding Resident Teacher Award, the Carlos E. Muniz Resident Mentor Award, and the UF College of Medicine Medical Student Exemplary Teaching Award.
Dr. Olsen completed his doctoral degree in the clinical psychology program at the University of Cincinnati. He came to the University of Florida to complete his internship in the department of Clinical and Health Psychology. During his clinical training, Dr. Olsen specialized in working with patients with chronic medical conditions and their families across a variety of settings including pediatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, and schools. He then continued his training as a Psychology Resident and Postdoctoral Associate for the Division of Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at UF Health where gained specialty training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Dr. Olsen regularly supervises and teaches child fellows.
Dr. Olsen’s primary research focus is geared toward understanding how individual, peer, and familial perceptions impact children’s coping strategies and treatment adherence. Dr. Olsen is currently conducting research assessing the impact of parenting styles and online health information seeking on health outcomes among children with Type I Diabetes. He is also part of a team examining treatment outcomes for children with OCD.
Assistant Child Psychiatry Residency Program Director
Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dr. Rahmani has a multicultural background. She was born in Kuwait. She has lived in Kuwait, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates, and moved to the US for college. She completed her undergraduate education in Environmental Engineering at the University of Central Florida. She completed her medical education, residency in General Psychiatry, and fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Florida. She is board certified in both General Psychiatry and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Her clinical interests include child and adolescent depression and anxiety disorders, and treatment with Interpersonal, Psychodynamic, and Cognitive-Behavioral therapies as well as psychopharmacology. She has presented research at local and national meetings. She serves on the Women’s Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), multiple committees of the Florida Psychiatric Society, and on the executive board of North and Central Florida chapter of ROCAP (regional organization of child and adolescent psychiatry).
Dr. Rahmani is committed to advocating for mental health and serving the community. She provides psychiatric services to children in the foster care system through the Camelot Community Care (formerly Florida Mentor) clinic and is a regular volunteer provider at the local Helping Hands Clinic for Gainesville’s indigent population. She is passionate about education, whether it be undergraduate students, medical students, psychiatry residents, and child psychiatry fellows. As the Assistant Training Director, she is responsible for curriculum development for the Child Psychiatry Fellowship Program and for the Child Psychiatry lecture series provided to residents in UF’s General Psychiatry program. She has worked closely with colleagues to develop new and innovative learning opportunities for the Fellowship, and works tirelessly with the rest of the divisional faculty to ensure that our training program meets all ACGME standards and provides a comprehensive and nourishing experience to all our trainees.
Clinic Director, Child Psychiatry Clinic at Springhill Health Center
Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit, UF Health Psychiatric Hospital
Dr. Shapiro completed his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Florida in 2013. He also completed Adult Psychiatry residency, medical school, and undergraduate training at UF.
He was named a Child PRITE Fellow from 2011-2013 and currently is a member of the PRITE Editorial Board. Dr. Shapiro’s main interests include adolescent mental health, particularly in treating mood and anxiety disorders; he employs various modalities of individual and family therapy to improve communication and overall emotional well-being. Dr. Shapiro also has experience in treating ADHD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorders.
Dr. Shapiro previously served as the site supervisor for Child Psychiatry at Family Preservations Services in Gainesville as well as the Alachua and Marion County Juvenile Detention Centers. In 2014, he was appointed the Medical Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit at UF Health Psychiatric Hospital.
Director of Child Community Outreach in Vero Beach
As Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at his medical alma mater, he asserts a wealth of experience in general Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at all levels of the continuum of care, and brings his dedicated mission of keeping the best of “old” Psychiatry (talking and listening) to the best of “new” Psychiatry (modern diagnostics, psychopharmacology, inter-disciplinary collaboration, historic-socio-anthropologic perspectives, and a pragmatic, non-dogmatic approach) to treating children, adolescents, and their families.
His current research interests include post-infectious, immunologic aspects of Psychiatry, neuroimaging, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s disorder, ADHD, and the Autism Spectrum Disorders. In his commitment to teaching the next generation of psychiatrists and nurturing in them the truest flame of his accumulated expertise, he brings dedication to leaving no effort unspent helping his patients.