Winter newsletter | Updates on our faculty, research, resources, accomplishments, and more!

South Central MIRECC Communique Newsletter

SC MIRECC Communique Newsletter- Winter 2021, Volume 23, Issue 1

In This Issue

Dr. Jamie Tock

Meet the SC MIRECC Researcher:
Dr. Jamie Tock, New Orleans Anchor Site

This month, we restart our Meet the Researcher series with an interview with Dr. Jamie Tock in New Orleans. Dr. Tock has a PhD in cognitive psychology with a focus on the study of expert performance and statistical theory and analyzes datasets for our Center as a methodologist. He has expertise in network analysis and is expanding his abilities in the fields of managing large data sets and composing machine learning models.

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Dr. Estella Morris

Consumer Advisory Board Spotlight:
Dr. Estella Morris

Our Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) is composed of Veterans, caregivers of Veterans, and VA healthcare providers. Individual CAB members draw upon a wealth of diverse knowledge and experience to support leaders, researchers, educators and clinicians in VISN 16 in the development of educational programs, research materials and proposals, and clinical services that benefit Veterans and their families. In this issue, we're featuring Dr. Estella Morris, who has served on the CAB since its planning and inception in 2001.

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New Pilot and Education Grants

We congratulate the researchers and clinicians in VISNs 16 and 17 who are starting work on pilot and education grants in 2021. Our pilot study program stimulates research that can be used to develop clinical policy or programs that improve access, quality and outcomes of mental health and substance abuse treatment services for rural and underserved Veterans. Our clinical education grant program develops clinical tools, such as brochures, videos, intervention materials, and evidence-based treatment manuals for this population and are given to the public for free. Check out our new grants seeking to improve care for underserved Veterans and targeting topics such as telehealth, smoking cessation, diabetes, moral injury, wellness, and more.

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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.

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Older couple sharing a kiss and smiling

New Resource for Managing Dementia Related Behaviors

Check out our Management of Dementia Related Behaviors brochures for caregivers and healthcare professionals. The caregiver brochure defines dementia related behaviors, describes causes and treatments for these behaviors, and lists tips and services to encourage caregiver wellness. The provider brochure is available in pocket and letter sizes and describes evaluation, contributing factors, and pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of dementia related behaviors. Both brochures highlight resources for support.

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Visual abstract for Dindo article


Publication Highlights

Check out recent publications from our affiliates on topics that include rural health, elder abuse, telehealth, COVID-19, and more.

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Pilot Study Research Grant Opportunity

Researchers in VISN 16 and those located in San Antonio, Texas (VISN 17) are invited to apply for a pilot study grant. Our program is intended to increase both the quantity and quality of federally funded research that will help us better understand the experiences of underserved Veterans and to support development and dissemination of evidence-based practices that can make a real difference in their lives. In addition to encouraging proposals addressing the needs of rural Veterans, we also encourage submission of proposals addressing the needs of other underserved and vulnerable Veteran populations, including those facing access barriers and/or disparities in the quality of mental healthcare due to age, race or ethnicity, birth sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic status. The next deadline to submit an application is April 1, 2021.

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Research Methods and Analysis Consultation Services

Our MIRECC Implementation, Design and Analysis Support (MIDAS) program offers centralized design, methodologic and analytic support to VISN 16 researchers and those located in San Antonio, Texas (VISN 17) who are seeking intramural or extramural funding or conducting pilot projects. The MIDAS team is experienced in biostatistics, epidemiology, demography, psychometrics, qualitative methods, application of technology to research and education, and project implementation.

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About Us

The mission of the South Central MIRECC is to promote equity in engagement, access, and quality of mental health care for Veterans facing barriers to care, especially rural Veterans. The Communiqué is published quarterly by the SC MIRECC Education Core. Contact us at

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