MIRECC / CoE
Newsletter | Fall 2021 | South Central MIRECC
Highlights from Our Anchor Sites
Our affiliates in Houston, Little Rock, New Orleans, and VISN 17 work hard to promote mental health education, research, and treatment locally and nationally. Here are some highlights of their accomplishments over the past three months.
- Dr. Mark Kunik Discussed Alzheimer’s Disease on Houston Public Media Podcast
Dr. Kunik was interviewed on research and treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in honor of World Alzheimer’s Day on Houston Public Media podcast “Town Square.” Listen to the podcast at https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/shows/town-square/2021/09/21/409046/understanding-new-research-and-resources-for-alzheimers-disease-and-dementia/.
- Dr. Darius Dawson Featured in VA Research Currents for DEI Research Award
Dr. Dawson was featured in September’s VA Research Currents as one of the first of ten recipients of the VA Office of Research and Development’s (ORD) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Research Awards. These awards match early-career investigators with established researchers who have funded ORD grants. Dr. Dawson’s “Examining Racial/Ethnic Minority Veterans’ Access to Mental Health Treatment and Research” grant supplements Drs. Terri Fletcher and Jeffrey Cully’s “A Pragmatic Trial of Brief CBT for Anxiety in VA Primary Care” grant. Read the article at https://www.research.va.gov/currents/0921-VA-grants-first-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-research-awards.cfm.
- Dr. Rajinder Sonia Singh Received VA QUERI Advance Diversity in Implementation Leadership Grant Award
Dr. Singh received a VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) Advance Diversity in Implementation Leadership (ADIL) award to fund a program evaluation of the national LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer with the + including identities beyond LGBTQ) Veteran Care Coordinator program in VA. Dr. Singh will complete this work under the mentorship of Dr. Sara Landes and Behavioral Health QUERI, and in partnership with the national VA LGBTQ+ Health Program. The goals of this grant are to analyze existing program data, collect additional qualitative data related to barriers and facilitators of LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinators’ abilities to carry out their task, and design an implementation toolkit that includes best practices for LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinators.
- Dr. Eva Woodward and Colleagues Published Community Engagement Resource
Dr. Woodward and colleagues published a new resource for community engagement in implementation science and practice. The document, “Resources for Stakeholder & Community Engagement,” is an annotated bibliography of readings, trainings and videos for researchers and community members. Get the bibliography at https://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/sites/default/files/2021-08/CCIS_Engagement-Bibliography_080931_508.pdf.
- Dr. Brandon Griffin Disscused Moral Injury at Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience
Dr. Griffin spoke at the Lyda Hill Institute’s Seminar Series about prevalence and outcomes of moral injury among Veterans, applying moral injury to frontline workers affected by COVID-19 and research and collaboration. View the presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owDhp79eKJ4.
- Dr. Chelsea Ennis Featured in VA Research Currents and Receives Early Career Award from ABCT
Dr. Ennis was featured in October’s VA Research Currents for her work linking PTSD and fears of anxiety among women with a history of military sexual trauma. Read the article at https://www.research.va.gov/currents/0921-VA-researchers-link-PTSD-anxiety-fears-in-women-with-history-of-military-sexual-trauma.cfm.
Dr. Ennis also received an early career award from the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Anxiety Special Interest Group (SIG) for her contributions to evidence-based psychotherapy dissemination and outreach. Along with a monetary stipend, this award allows Dr. Ennis the opportunity to present at the 2021 annual Anxiety SIG meeting.
- Dr. Amanda Raines Received ABCT Early Career Award
Dr. Raines received an early career award from the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Anxiety Special Interest Group (SIG) for her contributions to anxiety research. Along with a monetary stipend, this award allows Dr. Raines the opportunity to present at the 2021 annual Anxiety SIG meeting.
- Dr. Laurel Franklin Received Louisiana Psychological Association Award
Dr. Franklin received an award from the Louisiana Psychological Association for her contributions to psychological science. This award is given annually to an individual who has significantly increased knowledge of psychological concepts via research and dissemination of research findings.
- Dr. Gala True Awarded VA ORH Grant and Completes ACT Study
Dr. True was awarded a $135,000 grant from the VA Office of Rural Health (ORH) for the project, “Preventing Firearm Suicides among Rural Veterans by Engaging Military Caregivers.” This work will build capacity for rural caregivers to serve as credible messengers to promote safe firearm storage options to Veterans and other caregivers. In the first year of the grant, the project team will engage caregivers and VHA staff in Suicide Prevention and Caregiver Support Programs at facilities with high rates of Veteran firearm suicides to identify barriers, assets, and opportunities for a caregiver-centered firearm safety intervention to prevent suicide and firearm-related injuries. Dr. Claire Houtsma is a co-investigator.
Drs. True and Lilian Dindo (Houston) finished a three-year ORH funded study that implemented acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) workshops in rural, community-based settings. As part of their dissemination efforts, they produced a brief video featuring Dr. Dindo and two Veterans talking about the workshops that can be viewed at https://youtu.be/j-ybdEqnLX0.
Last updated: October 25, 2021
In this Issue
— Meet Our New Fellows
— Affiliate Profile: Dr. Claire Houtsma
— New DEI Statement
— Targeted DEI Pilot Research
— DEI Calendar of Events
— Anchor Site Highlights
— New Clinical Eduction Resources
— Publication Highlights
— MIDAS Consultation Service
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