October 2021


October is filled with a focus on mental health education and depression awareness

• National Depression Education and Awareness Month

• Mental Health Screening Month

• Emotional Wellness Month

• Health Literacy Month

• Mental Illness Awareness Week (First week of October)

• OCD Awareness Week (Second week of October)

• National Health Education Week (Third week of October)

• National Depression Screening Day (October 8)

• World Mental Health Day (October 10)

• World Bioethics Day (October 19)

Josepha Cheong feature Image

Dr. Cheong receives Roberts Award for Mentorship in Academic Psychiatry

Josepha Cheong, MD is the recipient of the 2021 Roberts Award for Inspirational Mentorship in Academic Psychiatry by the Association of Academic Psychiatry. The Roberts Award honors psychiatric educators who have supported medical students, residents and early career psychiatry faculty in their development as educators and who have, by their example, modeled academic careers in psychiatry and …


De Faria

Getting Your First COVID Shot Can Boost Mental Health

Ludmilla De Faria, MD speaks with U.S. News on a new study examining short-term changes in mental distress following the receipt of the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.



UF Health psychiatrist talks about the mental health challenges posed by COVID-19

Jacqueline Hobbs, MD, PhD, discusses the burden of coping with the stress caused by the upheaval of normal life and the need to pay closer attention to our mental well-being. 

It's a pandemic without an end. The latest coronavirus variant is fueling a surge in cases while Americans worry about ever-more infectious versions to come. The daily news is filled with talk of sickness, overburdened health care providers and the struggle to mask and vaccinate a nation.


Marcia Morris, MD

College Students Are Facing Increased Mental Health Issues With The Return Of In-Person Classes

Marcia Morris, MD tells WUFT News loneliness is the No.1 stressor in college students today and it's important for students to seek out on and off campus services. 


Autism Spectrum Disorder Title Slide

University of Florida Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate Helps Teachers Seeking Autism Endorsement

The University of Florida Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorder prepares a range of professionals to help others while advancing their own careers. Gregory Valcante, PhD, a core instructor in the certificate and director of the UF Center for Autism and Related Disabilities discusses...



September was the National Suicide Prevention Month where mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. That is why on September 10th, in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day 2021, Shands Psychiatric Hospital’s leaders and staff painted the 34th Street graffiti wall to help raise community awareness. The message to the community: “Together (not alone), let us Stop Suicide".

Jessica Shubert LEAD Award

Schubert receives LEAD Nurse Award

Jessica Schubert, ASN, RN, PMH-BC received the LEAD Nurse Award. Schubert, who was nominated by PGY-2 Megan Single, MD, is a psychiatric nurse at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital. The University of Florida's Graduate Medical Education (GME) office allows residents and fellows to nominate their nurse colleagues for the LEAD Nurse Award. The LEAD Nurse Award recognizes …



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.


Tip of the Cap

Tip of the cap goes to Dr. Laurie Solomon and Melanie Parrott MS4, as well as all the UF undergrads for their helping hands at clinic. All of the patients appreciate the care given to them.  Everyone is welcome to participate.

Helping Hands Clinic


Anti-Racism and Health Equity Group

It’s not too late to join the Anti-Racism and Health Equity Group on the UF Health Bridge!

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. 



Join UF Psychiatry Alumni 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: https://psychiatry.ufl.edu/alumni/registration/

• 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. (calliewilkes@ufl.edu). 


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


Amanda Mihalik-Wenger

Dr. Mihalik-Wenger receives ACLP William Webb Fellowship

The Webb Fellowship Program is designed to support a select number of outstanding advanced residents and fellows in C-L psychiatry at an early stage in their career. The program is named for William Logan Webb, Jr., MD, FACLP, president of the Academy 1986-87. Dr. Webb had an impressive career in C-L psychiatry and was among the early strong advocates of …



September 27 - October 13th | Gators Give

It’s time for Gators Give, the UF Campaign for Charities. It’s the official charitable fundraising drive for UF employees.

Your Contributions:

• SUPPORT not-for-profit agencies serving the people and communities of North Central Florida

• PROVIDE a consistent source of essential funding for participating agencies

• HELP UF raise more than $1 million annually

• BENEFIT the specific agencies of your choice

• MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of people throughout North Central Florida

Easily pay through payroll deduction, cash check, credit card or Penny Wars!

We’re competing with other departments in the College of Medicine to see which department can collect the most loose change!

You can drop your change at the following locations:

• Springhill 1 – Holly Pfiester

• Springhill 2 – Monica Brook

• Psychiatric Hospital – Jackie Garcia

• FRC – Hannah Hatcher

• 1329 – Sammi LeClair

• MBI – Melinda Fawcett


October 2 | 2nd Annual Run 4 Recovery 5K

Join UF Health Florida Recovery Center for the 2nd Annual Run 4 Recovery 5k, as we aim to increase awareness of substance use disorders and celebrate those in recovery.

When: October 2 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Depot Park
How much: Free to register
Perks: All participants receive a T-shirt at the 5k

FRC Run4Recovery Registration is open: https://floridarecoverycenter.ufhealth.org/2021/06/22/run-4-recovery-5k/


October 7 | Guest Chef 20th Anniversary

5:30 pm
Gainesville Woman's Club
Special dishes from over 30 guest chefs

For more information & to purchase tickets, please visit guestchefgainesville.com


October 11-29 | Benefits Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for 2022 benefits will take place Oct. 11 - 29. UF’s annual Open Enrollment period is your opportunity to add, change or remove benefits enrollment elections for the next plan year. Elections made during this period will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. 

Now is a good time to make sure your contact information is up-to-date so you don't miss any important mailings or other communications. Read about the steps you should take to prepare for Open Enrollment: https://news.hr.ufl.edu/benefits/benefits-open-enrollment-runs-oct-11-29/.

This year, in lieu of an in-person Benefits & Wellness Fair, both the State of Florida and UF will be hosting a series of webinars designed to help you learn more about the full range of benefits available to you as a UF employee.


October 13 | FRC Wednesdays at Noon

William Hollifield, MD
Assistant Professor
Division of Addiction Medicine
Head of Addiction Medicine Inpatient Consult Service
University of Florida



October 15-17 | Addiction Health Summit

2021 Florida Society of Addiction Medicine (FSAM) and Florida Medical Practitioners Group (FMPG) joint conference known as the Addiction Health Summit, October 15-17, 2021 at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort.  This year’s theme is Reconnecting After Isolation, and features a great lineup of speakers.  Friday afternoon and all-day Saturday feature scientific CME/CEU lectures on various relevant addiction medicine topics, and Sunday morning will be recovery-themed programming.  This is a great opportunity for networking and fellowship.  Hope to see you there!

Registration info: Addiction Health Summit | Register for the 2021 Summit Today


October 22 | World Bioethics Day “Medicine and Morality: Lessons from the Holocaust”

Stacy Gallin, DMH
Founder and Director
Maimonides Institute for Medicine,
Ethics and Holocaust (MIMEH)

Friday, October 22, 2021
12:00 -1:00 pm



October 25 | Anti-Racism & Health Equity meeting

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 940 8732 0057
Passcode: 478196


October 31 | Flu Shot Campaign Ends

For faculty, staff and volunteers working in or supporting human-patient care programs, you’re required to get vaccinated and wear this year’s teal badge sticker. If you receive a flu vaccination from a provider outside of UF Health Shands Occupational Health Services or the UF Student Health Care Center, please provide proof of vaccination paperwork to obtain the sticker. If you opt out of the flu vaccination, you must follow a formal opt-out process. 

Visit Flu Central at Bridge.UFHealth.org/flu to learn more.


November 2 | Reception for Regina Bussing

5:30 - 7:00 pm
One Love Cafe


November 12 | Grand Rounds, Flash Talks: Part 2

Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida

Andrea Guastello, PhD
Damon Lamb, PhD
Ben Lewis, PhD
Carol Mathews, MD
Sara Jo Nixon, PhD
John Williamson, PhD

November 12, 2021
12:00 -1:00 pm



Scott Marshall

Scott joins us from UF’s Animal Care Services (ACS). He will be taking over responsibilities as our Fiscal Assistant II for research.  These responsibilities include assisting our research faculty and staff with purchase orders, travel, reimbursements and PCard verification. We are excited to have him join our Research Admin team! Please welcome Scott to UF Psychiatry!


Samantha Kitchens

Samantha will be taking over responsibilities as our Fiscal Assistant II for departmental purchases. These responsibilities include assisting our faculty and staff with purchase orders, travel, expense reimbursements and PCard verification. We are excited to have he join the Business Office Team! Please welcome Samantha to UF Psychiatry!


Gloria Gordon

Gloria previously worked with University of Florida in Pediatrics and most recently with the Department of Psychiatry. She brings a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the department and we are excited to have her back with us.

Gloria will be responsible for onboarding HouseStaff, OPS, graduate students, clinical and research post-doctoral associates, faculty leave processing, and payroll processing as well as other administrative support duties. Please welcome Gloria back to UF Psychiatry! 


Haley Weber

Haley has accepted a position with the Department of Anesthesiology. Thank you for your contributions to the department.




UF CARD Update

Behavior Strategies That Work
Thursdays, 9/9/21 – 10/28/21; 12:00 - 12:50PM
Appropriate for educators and caregivers of children with ASD.
Details and Registration

Online Social Learning Sessions for Children 8-12
First Thursday of Each Month, Sept – Dec; 4:15–5:15pm
Details and Registration

Online Social Learning Sessions for Teens 13-17
Third Thursday of Each Month, Sept – Dec; 4:15–5:15pm
Details and Registration

UF CARD Literacy Institute
October 8, 2021 & March 14, 2022
Details and Registration

Tuesday Night Training (TNT): Special Olympics
Tuesday, 10/12/21; 4:00 – 5:00PM
Details and Registration

Skills for Adulthood Success: The PEDI-PRO Self-Report App
October 13, 2021; 3:30pm
Details & Registration

ADOS-2 Clinical Training
January 12-14, 2022
Details and Registration

29th Statewide Annual CARD Conference
January 14-16, 2022
Conference Website

UF CARD Groups
Parent Support Group, MyFriends Adult Group, Adult Support Group, Housing Forum

If you know someone in need of UF CARD services please direct them to the UF CARD registration page or have them call 352-265-2230.


UF Health Center for Autism & Neurodevelopment (UF CAN) Housing Survey

Purpose: This study aims to collect information on the housing needs for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) and their families. This information will be used by UF CAN and other organizations in measuring, defining, and sharing information about the housing needs and support services needed for adults with developmental disabilities in the State of Florida, in order to help them transition more independently into affordable and inclusive housing of their choice.

Who is eligible to participate in the survey?
Individuals 18 years or older, Living in Florida, and Diagnosed with a developmental disability OR Caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities living in Florida.

What do you need to do?
• Click the survey link: https://ufl.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bpU49BZ5ViAbLoi
• Answer the 21 questions listed on your computer, tablet, or phone. (Should take about 10 - 15 minutes to complete.)

For more information about this research study contact Carla Schmidt carla.schmidt@coe.ufl.edu or Ann-Marie Orlando aorlando@ufl.edu. Study ID: IRB202100150 Date approved: 06/07/2021



"Walktoberfest" walking challenge

GatorCare’s Walktoberfest: Soles Rise Again — runs Oct. 4–31. In this four-week, competitive challenge, faculty and staff teams will virtually "explore" the spookiest spots around the U.S.

Participants looking for an extra wellness boost may also participate in two mini-challenges to be entered into a prize drawing. 

Learn more and register: https://gatorcare.org/walking-challenge/


Streamed Classes

Did you know that it only takes 15 minutes of exercise/stretching each day to improve your health? We are excited to share our new, 15-minute lunchtime classes, available to any UF or UF Health employee! Each are live-streamed via Zoom.

Jump Start - Mondays from 12-12:15 pmJumpStart focuses on elevating your heart rate, energy, and mood for the week through cardiovascular and strength-based interval training. Register here.

Flow - Tuesdays from 12-12:15 pmFlow will offer gentle yoga that can be done at a desk with a focus on linking breath to movement.  Register here.

Build - Wednesdays from 12-12:15 pmImprove your total-body strength with this 15-minute virtual workout. No equipment needed! Register here.

Unwind - Thursdays from 12-12:15 pmThis class focuses on gentle stretching that can help improve muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. Register here. 


New mental health helpline devoted exclusively to UF faculty and staff

In an effort to more efficiently connect UF and UF Health faculty and staff and their families to mental health services, UFHR, in partnership with the UF departments of Psychiatry and Clinical and Health Psychology, is introducing a new Mental Health Services Access Line devoted exclusively to university employees and their dependents. Faculty, staff and their dependents may call (352) 627-0032 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to receive assistance identifying and securing access to the mental health services best suited to their needs.

The new helpline is designed to increase access to mental health care and to supplement existing resources like the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) rather than replace them, providing a single point of entry and ensuring employees get the help they need in a timely manner. UF employees and their household members may still call the EAP at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (833) 306-0103, and anyone experiencing a crisis with more urgent needs should call the Alachua County Crisis Center at (352) 264-6789.



Mindful Relaxation Minutes 


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

Join Zoom Meeting using: https://ufl.zoom.us/j/159914780?pwd=aXVGcXh5dTFweWwwNkxrOXJHOEpNUT09

Meeting ID: 159 914 780

Passcode: 601221



COVID Vaccinations

Learn about the COVID-19 vaccines available from UF Health. As federal and Florida COVID-19 vaccination plans evolve, we’ll update this site and keep you informed.



Working Through COVID-19

Find the information you need to work through COVID-19 at a glance on the UF HR website!



Get a Plan / Get a Kit / Be Informed

We are well into the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season. If you haven't made a plan...you should.

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



Don't forget to check us out on social media to stay informed in-between newsletters!

Click on the icons below to follow us.