Two Residents Receive 2023 James H. Carter, Sr. Community Service Award

By Susan Gallagher

Ryan Slauer, MD, a fourth-year internal medicine-psychiatry resident, and Lynette Staplefoote-Boynton, MD, MPH, a third-year internal medicine-psychiatry resident, have received this year’s James H. Carter, Sr. Community Service Award.

James H. Carter, Sr., MD, was the first Black full professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. The Carter Clinic, LLC, led by M. Ojinga Harrison, MD—an alumnus of the Duke internal medicine-psychiatry residency program and a close colleague of Carter—established this award in honor of Carter’s commitment to community service. 

Carter’s Dedication to Serving the Underserved

Carter dedicated his career to serving the underserved. In addition to his faculty position at Duke, he played a critical role in building mental health services at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, the Alcohol Treatment Center in Raleigh, the Johnston County Mental Health Center and the North Carolina Department of Corrections. 

Carter provided critically needed clinical and educational services during his career and inspired and mentored scores of budding mental health professionals. He was recognized for his work at the institutional, local, state and national levels, including receiving the Solomon Carter Fuller Award in 2003. Toward the end of his career, he co-founded the Carter Clinic with his wife, Elsie Carter. Learn more about Carter’s life and legacy.

Award Recognizes Service in Community Psychiatry

The James H. Carter, Sr. Community Service Award recognizes one or two Duke Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences trainees each year for outstanding commitment and service in community psychiatry, particularly among underrepresented minorities and with attention to health disparities. Award recipients receive a certificate and $1,500 from the Carter Clinic in recognition of their service.

Slauer Serves those Experiencing Homelessness & Patients with Substance Use Disorder

Ryan Slauer, MD, was selected for the award based on his leadership in the Lincoln Community Health Center’s (LCHC) Healthcare for the Homeless clinics, as well as his work with individuals suffering from substance use disorders both at Duke and at the Durham VA Healthcare System (VA).

Slauer has coordinated the LCHC Healthcare for the Homeless mental health clinic for the past two years; prior to that, he volunteered regularly with the clinic. He also coordinated the LCHC volunteer urgent care clinic—a resident-run internal medicine clinic for people needing after-hours care—for two years.

Slauer has also dedicated significant time working with patients with substance disorders at the VA and caring for patients with opioid use disorder with an inpatient team at Duke. He’s also been working to expand Duke’s ability to test for and treat addiction to fentanyl.

In addition to his clinical focus on addiction psychiatry, Slauer is also helping to educate future physicians in this area. He’s currently co-directing a course for fourth-year medical students on substance use disorders and their cultural contexts.

Staplefoote-Boynton Helps Address Patients’ Unmet Health-Related Social Needs

Lynette Staplefoote-Boynton, MD, MPH, was selected for the award based on her work to establish a process to systematically assess and address unmet health-related social needs for individuals receiving treatment on the Behavioral Health Inpatient Unit at Duke Regional Hospital, using tools in EPIC and the NCCARE360 platform Learn more about Duke Psychiatry’s implementation of NCCARE360. 

And like Slauer, Staplefoote-Boynton is also involved with the Lincoln Community Health Center’s (LCHC) Healthcare for the Homeless mental health clinic; she serves as a co-resident director.

Her nominator remarked that he was “very impressed by the time she’s put in networking with the leaders involved and researching the current landscape of public mental health in the Triangle. She is very knowledgeable and has persevered through administrative barriers to keep the project alive.”