GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida College of Medicine leaders have appointed Regina Bussing, M.D., chair of the department of psychiatry.
Bussing, a leader in developing comprehensive treatment approaches to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and other mental-health disorders of childhood and adolescence, was also appointed the Donald R. Dizney endowed chair in psychiatry, established in 2006 with a generous gift from Donald and Irene Dizney, to support the leadership efforts of the chair of the UF department of psychiatry.
“Dr. Bussing is passionate about gaining an ever deeper understanding of mental health issues in individuals and in populations, with a goal of consistently improving care,” said Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the UF College of Medicine. “She will build upon the foundation of excellent patient care, education and research in the psychiatry department and expand that high level of scholarship to an even greater variety of psychiatric conditions and treatments.”
A professor in the departments of psychiatry, pediatrics and clinical and health psychology, Bussing has served as interim department chair of psychiatry since 2014.
“Dr. Bussing will continue her excellent efforts as interim chair of the department of psychiatry, in which she has advanced all of its missions,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health. “She has shown leadership in helping faculty to develop their academic careers in a manner that is tailored to each faculty member, in creating rich education and training experiences for students, residents and fellows, and in facilitating innovative models of delivering mental health care. We are confident that, as permanent chair, Dr. Bussing will be able to accelerate these efforts and achieve great success for the department of psychiatry, for UF Health and for the University of Florida.”
After completing her residency in general psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at UF, Bussing earned a master’s degree at the UCLA School of Public Health and began a career-long research approach that focuses on population health — aiming to help not only the patient at the door but also all others. Among her National Institutes of Health-funded research was a longitudinal cohort study examining pathways to care, quality of care and outcomes for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She has served as principal investigator of multiple pediatric clinical trials and frequently collaborates on pharmacoepidemiology studies.
In clinical practice, she treats the spectrum of childhood psychiatric disorders, with a special emphasis on combining therapy, medication and parent training. She is also a certified master trainer in parent-child interaction therapy.
“I am very excited to have someone as dedicated to excellent patient care and advocacy as Dr. Bussing in this essential position,” said Ed Jimenez, CEO of UF Health Shands.
Bussing takes the helm of the psychiatry department at a time of great growth at UF Health, and she sees the department’s inclusion in the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida as an important opportunity to advance psychiatric care.
“It is a distinct privilege to work collaboratively with colleagues from neuroscience, neurology and neurosurgery, jointly dedicated to enhancing our understanding of the brain, with the goal to accurately diagnose, cure and even prevent disorders of the brain, including psychiatric disorders,.” she said.
Bussing has outlined plans to enhance patient care and research in the areas of depression, geriatric psychiatry and obsessive compulsive disorders, as well as to integrate outcomes research into the existing clinical and research efforts in addiction medicine.
“Producing cutting-edge addiction outcome research will be an important goal because the field of addiction treatment is exploding — there are a lot of treatment centers opening that are not necessarily of very high quality or yielding strong results. The area of outcome research still needs a lot of work,” she said. “We’ll be able to contribute to the science of improving addiction treatment and show why our Florida Recovery Center treatment approach is unique and produces unparalleled results.”
She also points to the success of the UF Health Center for Psychiatry and Addiction in Vero Beach, Florida, an innovative community-medical school partnership made possible by gifts from the Robert F. and Eleonora W. McCabe Foundation and many Vero Beach philanthropists.
Bussing also sees faculty and scholarly development among the top priorities in her new role. Another goal is to integrate care for patients experiencing acute psychiatric illnesses. Currently, patients are routed to either a large freestanding inpatient facility or an inpatient unit in the main UF Health Shands Hospital. In addition, UF psychiatrists perform consultations in the emergency department and in many other medical and surgical units of the hospital.
Bussing, who is affiliated with the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida, is currently the principal investigator of a U.S. Department of Education-funded grant to provide technical assistance and training to children and young adults who are deaf and blind.
Bussing’s research has twice garnered the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry’s Elaine Schlosser Lewis Award for the best paper on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that is published in the group’s journal.