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

South Central MIRECC Communique Newsletter

SC MIRECC Communique Newsletter - Spring 2021, Volume 23, Issue 2

In This Issue

2020 SC MIRECC Awards Recipients

2020 SC MIRECC Awards

We congratulate the recipients of our 2020 SC MIRECC Awards. Their achievements include contributions to the implementation and expansion of telehealth in VA, mentoring of research trainees, championing the use of measurement based care, and much more.

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Dr. Alexander Uzdavines

Meet Our New SC MIRECC Fellow: Alexander Uzdavines, PhD, Houston Anchor Site

Meet Dr. Alexander Uzdavines, the newest fellow in our Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment. Dr. Uzdavines started in fall 2020 and will spend the next two years receiving advanced clinical training and building research skills in his area of interest, the development and implementation of quality improvement projects within the field of health services research. 

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2021 SC MIRECC BEST Fellows

2021 BEST Fellows

Meet our 2021 Building Educational Scholarship in psychiatry Training (BEST) fellows. The BEST program encourages psychiatry residents to enter post-residency research training fellowships in VISNs 16 and 17. Directed by Dr. Ali Abbas Asghar-Ali, the program recognizes talented residents with academic interests and offers consultative experiences in mental health research careers. Awardees attend a national scientific meeting, get a stipend for books or tuition, and work with a career mentor.

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Recognizing the SC MIRECC Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

In Spring 2020, SC MIRECC took action to support discussion of social injustice issues and work towards diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within our organization. A Diversity & Inclusion Task Force was charged with identifying areas for improvement within SC MIRECC on DEI issues. We recognize and thank the task force for their active participation and thoughtful recommendations.

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Calendar of Events April-June 2021

This month we are excited to launch a new feature, a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) calendar of events for VA-recognized holidays and months. We also highlight DEI training in VA and beyond that may be of interest to readers.

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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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New Resource for Selecting Major Depressive Disorder Psychotherapy and Updated Resource for Treating Sexual Trauma

Check out our Major Depressive Disorder: Selecting a Psychotherapy that's Right for You guide that helps Veterans learn about different treatments for MDD and then consider the pros and cons of each. Our updated Courage Group manuals helps providers deliver this educational group that draws on cognitive and behavioral principles to promote healing, self-discovery, and self-efficacy.

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Publication Highlights

Check out recent publications from our affiliates on topics that include caregivers, PTSD, weight management, intimate partner violence, 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 July 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 VISN16SCMIRECCEducation@va.gov.

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