Yale Fellowship in Public Psychiatry

Background

The Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) has flourished as a successful partnership between the Yale University School of Medicine and the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) for the past 50 years. CMHC provides a full range of inpatient and ambulatory services to residents of the Greater New Haven area, serves as a training ground for mental health professionals from several disciplines, and is the site for internationally acclaimed research. CMHC is also the Local Mental Health Authority for a Community Services Network comprised of 18 clinical, residential, vocational, and psychosocial rehabilitation providers.

The Center is located in downtown New Haven across the street from Yale-New Haven Hospital and adjacent to the campus of the Yale University School of Medicine. The Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit and Ribicoff Research Facilities at CMHC are the location of basic and clinical neurobiological research programs that have had an enormous impact on the field. The Law and Psychiatry Division is led by national experts who are involved in teaching, consultation and scholarship activities within the Center and on a national level. The Division of Substance Abuse is one of the leading clinical and research programs in the country. Research on mental illness and recovery is another academic center with a national reputation.

DMHAS, CMHC, and the Department of Psychiatry of the Yale School of Medicine are also committed to providing advanced training to psychiatrists who are interested in pursuing careers in the field of Public Psychiatry. The unique settings of state-funded, academic, mental health facilities provide excellent opportunities for obtaining experience and greater understanding in this important area.

Because of the depth and breadth of experience in the understanding and practice of Public Sector Psychiatry that exists within CMHC and its affiliate agencies, the Yale Fellowship in Public Psychiatry was launched in 2007. The program began with one funded position at the level of PG 4 or 5 trainees, and has now expanded to 3 junior faculty positions.

The Yale Fellowship in Public Psychiatry provides advanced training in clinical, administrative, and legal aspects of the practice of psychiatry within the public sector, including policy development on a statewide level. It fosters the development of the participants in their careers as future leaders within the field by providing didactic and interactive learning experiences, mentorship, and opportunities to engage in scholarship.

Structure of Fellowship Program

Fellows who meet eligibility criteria are appointed to the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry in the Yale School of Medicine at the rank of Instructor. A yearly salary is paid at the level approved by the Department for this rank. Medical benefits, malpractice coverage, and reimbursement for licensure are included in the compensation package. The program will also pay travel expenses for a professional conference. The Yale School of Medicine issues a certificate of completion of advanced training to individuals who successfully complete the one-year program.

  • Fellows spend 50% effort providing direct clinical service and/or consultation within public mental health settings, including CMHC and/or Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH) and an urban community health clinic. CVH is the primary state hospital with over 600 beds, and is used as a statewide resource for specialty and intermediate and long term care. CVH is comprised of three divisions – the General Psychiatry Division, the Whiting Forensic Division, and the Addiction Services Division. Fellows can gain clinical and administrative experience in all three divisions. Potential placements of particular interest at CVH include inpatient Young Adult Services, TBI unit, and consultative experience with the Behavior Intervention Team. Potential placements at CMHC include Acute Services, Hispanic Clinic, STEP clinic, the Young Adult Service, and the Inpatient Service.
  • Fellows spend 50% time (20 hours per week) participating in seminars, administrative meetings, supervision and scholarship.
  • The core seminar in Public Mental Health Administration takes place at CMHC on Wednesday afternoons. They also join the weekly CMHC Attending/trainee psychiatrist meeting. Administrative supervision with the Program Director takes place weekly at CMHC.
  • All Fellows attend the monthly Statewide Clinical Chiefs meeting held at CVH, chaired by the DMHAS Medical Director.

Typical Weekly Schedule

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Clinical sites, 9-5

Clinical sites, 9-5

CMHC:


Senior Leadership Group


Group supervision


CMHC MD Mtg


Public MH and Admin Seminar

AM – Clinical sites


PM – Statewide Clinical Chiefs 3rd wk


Academic time

Yale Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds


Academic time

Scholarship

Fellows are expected to develop and complete an academic or quality improvement project during the year that will further their understanding of an aspect of Public Psychiatry and promote the advancement of care in the field. These projects may culminate in lectures for professional staff and/or a community audience, papers suitable for publication, development of statewide policy, etc. Fellows who are based at CVH will be encouraged to seek a topic for study that is relevant to the provision of care in that setting, and may be carried out under the mentorship of CVH leaders.

Core Faculty

Jeanne Steiner, DO, Program Director
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Medical Director, CMHC

Tobias Wasser, MD, Associate Program Director
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
CMHC

Allison Ponce, PhD
Associate Director, Community Services Network
Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Michael Sernyak, MD
Professor of Psychiatry
Director, CMHC

Ezra Griffith, MD
Professor of Psychiatry
Medical Director, DMHAS

Charles Dike, MD
Deputy Medical Director, DMHAS

Dr. Steiner is the Program Director and administrative supervisor of the Fellows. As Medical Director of CMHC, she oversees the training programs, the clinical care provided by faculty, and the administration of the Risk Management and Performance Improvement programs for the hospital. She arranges and monitors all clinical and educational components of this program.

Eligibility and Application Process

Eligibility requirements include graduation from an accredited residency program, board eligibility, employability and licensure in the state of CT. Although the Fellowship is designed primarily for psychiatrists who have completed ACGME approved residencies, the program may accept PG 4 residents who meet all other eligibility criteria.

Please send a letter of interest describing your background, career goals, and how the Fellowship will facilitate your achievement of those goals, and a CV to Dr. Steiner. Please arrange for 3 letters of reference to be sent directly to her.

Contact Information

Jeanne Steiner, DO
Medical Director, Connecticut Mental Health Center
34 Park Street
New Haven, CT 06519

jeanne.steiner@yale.edu or (203) 974-7077

References

The Evolution of Public Psychiatry Fellowships. Steiner JL, Giggie MA, Koh S, Mangurian C, Ranz JM: Academic Psychiatry, 38:6:685-689, 2014.

Public Psychiatry Fellowships: A Developing Network of Public – Academic Collaborations. LeMelle S, Manguran C, Ali OM, Giggie MA, Hadley T, Lewis ME, Runnels P, Sowers, W, Steiner JL, Trujillo M, Ranz JM: Psychiatric Services 63:9:851-854, 2012.