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Six Yale Psychiatry Residents Selected For 2021 APA Fellowships

April 27, 2021
by Jordan Sisson

Six Yale Department of Psychiatry residents have been selected to participate in The American Psychiatric Association (APA)’s 2021 fellowship programs.

William Coe, MD, MPH, was selected for the APA Child Fellowship. Bárbara Trejo Ortega, MD, and Brittany Atuahene Robinson, MD, were selected for the APA Foundation’s SAMHSA Funded Minority Fellowship Program. Chidinma Okani, MD, and Yvonne Uyanwune, MD, MPH, were chosen for the APA Diversity Leadership fellowship. Jihoon Kim, MD, MSc, was chosen for the APA Leadership Fellowship.

The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship

The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship is designed to develop and enhance interest among general psychiatry residents in pursuing careers in child and adolescent psychiatry and to foster child and adolescent psychiatrists' active involvement in the APA and APAF. This two-year fellowship program provides residents with opportunities to attend and participate in APA Annual meetings and mentoring activities with senior psychiatrists and leaders in the field.

"I'm very excited and honored to be awarded an APA fellowship,” said Coe. “I hope to use this opportunity to expand my professional network in adolescent addiction and help address some of the larger structural inequities facing this population.”

The Minority Fellowship

Supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Minority Fellowship is for one year, with the possibility of renewal for a second year. Fellowship grantees receive about $25,000 to be used toward their proposed project and related expenses and attendance at up to two APA annual meetings.

Ortega’s project proposed an expansion of the Dr. June Jackson Christmas Summer Fellowship Program (started at Columbia University Department of Psychiatry) for first-year medical students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to gain exposure to the field of psychiatry. The goal of the program is to increase representation of people of color within psychiatry to better serve the diversity of patients treated.

Robinson’s project involves interviewing Black college students at predominantly white institutions (PWIs) to learn more about their experiences accessing mental health supports that fall outside of traditional college counseling centers. The data will be provided to those involved in campus mental health efforts to inform culturally relevant mental health resources for Black college students.

“My interest in college mental health emerged as a result of my own undergraduate experience, over 10 years ago,” Robinson said. “My intent has always been to return to where my journey started, with a new set of skills, and address mental health concerns in the college student population, especially among Black students. This fellowship program will equip me with the tools to begin to fulfill this longstanding vision.”

The APA/APAF Diversity Leadership Fellowship

The APA/APAF Diversity Leadership Fellowship identifies and motivates minority psychiatry residents or those interested in minority and vulnerable populations who, through the experiential and training opportunities of the fellowship, will become well equipped to teach, administer, and provide culturally-competent, evidence-based mental health and substance abuse services to diverse minority groups and at-risk populations.

Okani is currently the APA Assembly Resident-Fellow Deputy Representative of Area 1, representing New England and Eastern Canada. In this role, she has worked alongside other leaders in both regional and national APA outreach efforts. She plans to further expand her efforts in this role, by promoting initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in medical education.

“I was very excited to receive this fellowship because the APA has a longstanding track record of developing leaders in the field of psychiatry,” Okani said. “I applied for the APAF Diversity Leadership Fellowship because I felt that it could provide me with the skills and mentorship necessary to further my mission of reducing healthcare disparities and tackling structural inequity within the mental healthcare system.”

Uyanwune said: “This fellowship will allow me to meet my goals by advancing my leadership skills, as well as providing diverse mentorship opportunities by seniors and peers alike. I am also looking forward to joining the community of fellows and contributing towards projects, newsletters and other activities. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to establish lifelong relationships with a diverse group of peers with shared goals towards providing culturally sensitive and evidenced based mental health care to minoritized populations.”

The Leadership Fellowship

The Leadership Fellowship aims to develop national leaders in the field of organized psychiatry by offering psychiatry trainees opportunities to interact with national thought leaders in the field and to further develop their professional leadership skills, networks, and psychiatric experiences. It also pays for travel to meetings.

Kim’s work has been mainly focused on youth suicide prevention, intervention, and research, and he has worked with several organizations prior to and during residency, educating suicide prevention strategies to teenagers and providing crisis support for minority youths.

“This opportunity will allow me to gain professional experience and develop leadership skills, that are relevant to my goal of bringing a more meaningful impact on youth suicide through systemic-level changes,” Kim said.

Submitted by Jordan Sisson on April 27, 2021