Duke Gives Back


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As a leader in mental and behavioral health, Duke Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences strives to be a good citizen locally and globally. Our faculty, staff, and trainees are involved in a variety of activities that give back to the community.

Lincoln Community Health Center

Lincoln Community Health Center is a leader in providing accessible, affordable, high quality health care services to the medically underserved. Our psychiatry residents participate in rotations at Lincoln Community Health Center to provide mental health services to residents of Durham and its surrounding communities, and often go above and beyond to volunteer their time. In addition, several of our attending psychiatrists volunteer to supervise residents and care for patients at the health center. Read about our department’s involvement in the Durham Herald-Sun.

Mood Disorders Support and Education Group

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences runs a free support and education group on mood disorders. Led by Cynthia Jones, MS, LPC, this group meets monthly at Duke Faculty Practice in Psychiatry and is available at no charge to the participants. Please visit our calendar for the current schedule.

This group is open to both people and their loved ones who experience mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety. While it do not function as a therapy group, it offers a venue to ask questions and receive peer support around mood disorders. Discussion topics vary from month to month, and guest speakers occasionally speak about relevant topics as well. Information is also provided about current research studies in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke, as well as available clinical interventions within Duke and the community.

If you have questions, need directions, or would like to receive email reminders about these events, please contact Cynthia Jones, MS, LPC, at 919-286-5261 or jones106@mc.duke.edu.

AMPATH Global Health Partnership

Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) Consortium was established as a strategic global health partnership between North American Universities, Moi University, and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kenya. AMPATH’s mission of care, research, and education is embraced by institutions worldwide, who partner with the Moi Hospital and University, allowing the Kenyan leaders to draw upon the resources and talents of North American academic health institutions to tackle the challenges of disease and poverty. Duke joined the AMPATH Partnership in 2006 and has established bi-directional research, education, and service opportunities for students, post-graduate trainees, and faculty members. Duke is one of nine consortium partners.Dr. Atwoli with new ECT machine

In October 2012, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences secured the donation of an electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) machine to Moi University's Department of Psychiatry, which was installed in February 2013. Duke's Dr. Kristen Shirey, who spent three months at Moi University as a medicine and psychiatry resident in 2009, has since traveled back twice to be involved in medical education and research. She shares that, given the establishment of a psychiatry residency training program in fall 2012 and the current construction of a new inpatient psychiatric unit, “it is perfect timing for us to help our Kenyan colleagues resume this treatment modality. I have no doubt that, in addition to providing important clinical care with improved quality of life for many patients, this generous donation will save the lives of a number of people."

Pictured above is Dr. Lukoye Atwoli, a Psychiatrist and Senior Lecturer at Moi University School of Medicine, with the donated ECT machine.

Community Outreach

Dr. Lisanby Durham Center for Senior LifeDr. Lisanby visited the Durham Center for Senior Life as part of their monthly Fit for Life event in which participants learn about different aspects of healthy living. She spoke about “the blues”: how to recognize the symptoms of depression and the importance of seeking help; not only for one’s mental health, but physical health as well since we now know that depression can be linked to vascular disease and may lead to poor overall health outcomes.

Duke Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is proud to participate in community events such as this in order to raise awareness about mental health and to give back to our Durham community. 


Some members of our department are also actively involved in volunteering on their own time. Here are a few examples of how faculty members have shared their expertise in mental health to give back around the world.

Over the years, Wei Jiang, MD, Associate Professor, has volunteered her services to local Chinese residents in the Triangle and to people living in China. Her contributions include free lectures educating people on mental health and medical professionals on topics of mental health in physical diseases. She has also provided free medical and psychiatric consultations to people in need, including organizing and leading a medical team serving the victims of a massive earthquake in China in 2008, and supervising medical staff who were providing mental health to the earthquake victims regularly over several years. Dr. Jiang also leads a dance team that performs in the community for events such as fund raising for schools and comforting nursing home residents.

Elaine Crovitz, PhD, Associate Professor Emeritus, became an American Red Cross disaster mental health volunteer shortly after September 11, 2001, and spent several months in New York City working at service centers close to Ground Zero. In addition to providing services to survivors of the terrorist attacks, she taught a workshop for mental health professionals who were embarking on an ongoing Red Cross program of providing treatment for the families of those who died. In subsequent years of mental health disaster work, she has lived on an Apache reservation during Arizona wildfires, dodged tornadoes in Oklahoma, and provided mental health services to over 100 American Red Cross volunteers in the New Orleans area following Katrina.