2023 Annual Report

Scene from inside the Duke Behavioral Health Center North Durham

Advancing Behavioral Health Together

Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences 2023 Annual Report

Greetings from Department Chair Dr. Moira Rynn

Moira Rynn

Thanks for taking time to check out our 2023 annual report—we’re grateful for your interest and support. While the report is packed with examples of the innovative and impactful clinical programs, training initiatives, and research currently underway, it merely scratches the surface of the many ways our stellar faculty, staff, and trainees are advancing behavioral health across each of our mission areas. And as our thriving health system continues to launch a new faculty clinical practice, I’m even more excited for the promising future of behavioral health at Duke. I hope you’ll stay in touch by visiting our website, following us on social media, and reaching out to us anytime.
— Moira Rynn, MD, department chair

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Clinical        Education        Research        Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Campus        Community        Philanthropy        Awards and Honors

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Clinical Highlights

Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences offers a range of evidence-based, patient-centered outpatient clinical services to meet the behavioral health care needs of patients and their families. Faculty and staff provide a variety of assessment and treatment services, including psychiatric consultation, medication therapies, and individual, family and group psychotherapy.

Learn more about our patient care

Five Years of Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Care

Led by Duke Psychiatry's Nicole Heilbron, PhD, and Gary Maslow, MD, MPH, the North Carolina Psychiatry Access Line (NC-PAL) has been expanding access to behavioral health care to children and others throughout the state. NC-PAL leaders, staff, and partners gathered at a special event in Fall 2023 to celebrate the program’s five-year anniversary.

Kody Kinsley speaking at podium


Impact of the Youth Behavioral Health Crisis in North Carolina

In this North Carolina Medical Journal invited commentary, behavioral health leaders including Duke Psychiatry chair Moira Rynn, MD, discuss the impact of the youth behavioral health crisis in North Carolina. There is a great need, they say, for more behavioral health services, a bigger workforce, and environments where children and adolescents can thrive.

Infographic: 75,128 outpatient visits; 8,727 new patient visits; 2,782 inpatient consults; 3,648 emergency department consults
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Education Highlights

In Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, we’re passionate about training future leaders in psychiatry and clinical psychology. Our trainees benefit from a well-rounded cadre of faculty members who are committed to their development, numerous clinics and labs in a world-class medical institution, and a community of fellow learners who share their ambition to improve people’s mental health and quality of life.

Learn more about our education programs

Nicole Helmke

“Every day I see the benefits that med-psych’s whole-person care can offer to patients, and it’s wonderful to help develop the next generation of med-psych doctors.”
Nicole Helmke, MD, new director of the internal medicine-psychiatry residency

Infographic: Trainees by the Numbers: 1 geriatric psychiatry fellow; 8 child & adolescent psychiatry fellows; 10 psychology interns; 10 med-psych residents; 44 psychiatry residents; 15 countries of origin (map)
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Research Highlights

Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences is an internationally recognized leader in laboratory and clinical research across a spectrum of areas in mental and behavioral health. Our faculty members’ grants from federal and other external sources support a diverse range of work that spans the translational continuum from bench to bedside and beyond.

Learn more about our research

First Presidential Distinguished Chair Awarded to Kafui Dzirasa

School of Medicine Dean Mary E. Klotman, MD, announced this week that Duke’s first Presidential Distinguished Chair will be named in honor of outgoing Chancellor for Health Affairs A. Eugene Washington, MD, and his wife, Marie. The professorship will be awarded to Duke Psychiatry's Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD.

Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD

Growing the Next Generation of Psychiatry and Psychology Researchers

Enriching the careers of our faculty members, staff members, and trainees is an integral component of Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences’ strategic plan. In recent years, department leaders have worked diligently to bring this goal to fruition for our research mission. 

Group photo - NCCU & Duke faculty and staff, NCCU psychology interns
Infographic: 46% increase in total research funding ($19.73M-$28.75M); improvement in NIH funding ranking #8 to #13; 460+ peer-reviewed publications
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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Highlights

Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences is committed to a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and just environment where all faculty, staff and trainees feel respected and valued regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation or identity, disability, education, discipline, or any other bias. We’ve launched a range of equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives to bring this vision to fruition.

Learn more about our equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts

The ME² Black Employee Resource Group Aims to Empower Black School of Medicine Staff

Annise Weaver, MSEd, CRC, Duke Psychiatry's assistant director of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and several of her colleagues, highlight how the School of Medicine's Black Employee Resource Group, ME², fosters community, empowers staff, and serves the local community. Weaver co-founded the group.

Trent Lecture Explores Case Highlighting the History of Segregation in Medicine

Duke Psychiatry's Damon Tweedy, MD, and Duke Pediatrics' Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD, delivered the Trent Humanities in Medicine Lecture, “Remembering Maltheus Avery: Race, Medicine, and Duke Hospital in the Jim Crow Era.” They discussed the Avery case and why it remains important nearly 75 years later.

Damon Tweedy, left, and Jeff Baker, stand together at a sign advertising the Trent Lecture.
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Across Campus

In addition to our work in the clinical, education, and research spheres, many Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences faculty, staff, and trainees are helping to support our Duke family in creative and impactful ways. 

Tara Chandrasekhar

“Building synergy for neurodiversity across our research mission is key, alongside clinical services and training or workforce development. We try to be mindful and intentional about how to help patients access care and make the latest information available to anyone who’s seeking it.”
Tara Chandrasekhar, MD

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In the Community

With community engagement as one of our core values, Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences team members embrace opportunities to work with community partners and find ways to positively impact our local and statewide community.

Courtney McMickens

“We heard from local Department of Social Services staff that they did not feel equipped to handle some of the mental health issues that come up and they didn’t always feel comfortable asking mental health professionals questions about diagnoses and medications. We hope to break down some of those barriers.”
Courtney McMickens, MD, MPH, MHS

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Philanthropy Highlights

There are many ways to make a difference through philanthropic giving to Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. Below are just a few recent examples.

Learn more about giving opportunities

Zach Rosenthal

“With the family’s continued commitment, we have been able to jump-start discoveries about the nature and treatment of misophonia. We are changing people’s lives and bringing hope. It’s an enormous and humbling privilege and I am forever grateful.”
M. Zachary Rosenthal, PhD

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Awards and Honors

In 2023, nearly 50 Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences faculty members, staff members, and trainees authored or co-authored a book, took on a new leadership role, or received a notable award or honor.