Dr. Howard Liu co-authors paper on social media

(left to right) Dr. Howard Liu, Dr. Linda Love, Dr. Lindsey Smith and Dr. Donald Hilty gather after their presentation on social media at the 2018 ADMSEP Conference. Dr. Liu co-authored a paper on social media skills in the Psychiatry Clinics of North America journal.

Department of Psychiatry Chair Dr. Howard Liu has co-authored a paper to show how social media skills can increase professional development in psychiatry and medicine.

Dr. Liu (Twitter handle: @DrHowardLiu) has long had a substantial presence on social media sites like Twitter and professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Currently, Dr. Liu has nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter – many of whom are in the health care field.

“Twitter is a real-time, 365 day/24/7 conference,” Dr. Liu said. “National and international colleagues in medicine and mental health are online, and they are reacting to news events, journal articles, best practices, health care culture, etc. As a trainee or an attending physician, you have a chance to express yourself online and connect with thought leaders. It’s a very “flat” or egalitarian platform where famous speakers dialogue with medical students and vice versa.”

Dr. Liu co-authored the article with Dr. Eugene Beresin (@GeneBeresinMD) – founder of the Mass General Hospital’s Clay Center – a pediatric media center in Boston – and Dr. Meg Chisolm; a national expert on social media and scholarship. Dr. Liu met Dr. Chisolm (@whole_patients)while both were attending the American College of Psychiatrists meeting. They are professors of psychiatry at Harvard and Johns Hopkins, respectively.

“This paper was conceived when Dr. Chisolm and I were live-tweeting the American College of Psychiatrists meeting. We wondered how we could get more psychiatrists online to share best practices and to advocate for patients,” said Dr. Liu.

The paper, which was included in the most recent Psychiatry Clinics of North America journal, discusses four key points:
1. Twitter is a useful social media platform to facilitate professional development and advocacy.
2. Social media can help psychiatrists develop a professional brand.
3. Networking is one of the significant advantages of social media.
4. Several organizations, journals, and specialty societies are using Twitter to enhance member engagement and interest in resources/articles.

“You can spend as much or as little time on social media as you’d like. I recommend new users get online at least once a week to like, retweet, or follow fellow psychiatrists, or organizations like the American Psychiatric Association and journals in their specialty area” said Dr. Liu.

Read the full article at

Fourth-year medical student earns scholarship to attend major conference

In 2018, UNMC medical student Jessica Thai presented a poster with UNMC psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Gih at the International Conference on Eating Disorders. Thai has attended several conferences during medical school and will attend the IPS: Mental Health Services Conference in October after receiving a travel scholarship from the APA.

UNMC fourth-year medical student Jessica Thai has made a point to attend as many national conferences as possible.

She has presented research and will appear on panels and help lead discussions at upcoming conferences this year. Even at past conferences, attended solely as an attendee, she found that the mentorship and networking opportunities were well worth the time and effort spent applying for competitive travel scholarships.

“I’ve been able to meet so many people and meet some great mentors,” she said. “These mentors can help you in several ways, including advice on different residency programs and career paths or collaborating on research or a presentation.”

Thanks to a travel scholarship from the American Psychiatry Association, Thai will be attending the IPS: Mental Health Services Conference from Oct. 3-6 in New York City. Thai said she applied for the travel scholarship because hotel costs can exceed $300 a night. She also plans to attend another conference (Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) in downtown Chicago a week later and the American Psychiatry Association’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in late April, where she will help run the corresponding PsychSIGN national psychiatry student interest group meeting as a PsychSIGN board member.

“I was thrilled to receive the scholarship because there’s no way I could attend IPS without it,” Thai said.

The AACAP meeting in Chicago is also important for Thai as she considers a future as a child and adolescent psychiatrist. This will be her third time attending AACAP since medical school.

“Dr. (Daniel) Gih and Dr. (Howard) Liu, both child psychiatrists, have been huge mentors to me and are two big reasons I’m going into psychiatry,” Thai said. “From the first time I met them at the psychiatry mentoring night at Joslyn Castle as an M1, I’ve been interested in psychiatry.”

Along with child and adolescent psychiatry, Thai also has interests in eating disorders and has presented research performed under the guidance of Dr. Gih at AACAP and the International Conference of Eating Disorders. Although, she remains open to any field in psychiatry.

“I like that in psychiatry you get to learn so much about a patient. There’s time to learn their story,” she said. “In other fields, you don’t learn as much or spend as much time with your patients. That’s why psychiatry stands out for me.”

Vicki Adolf still going strong after 35 years

(left to right) Dr. Andrew Baumgartner, Tammy Anderson, Vicki Adolf, Cali Letchworth-Bahati, Lori Davitt, Dr. Thomas Magnuson and Dr. Steven Wengel celebrate Adolf’s 35 years with Nebraska Medicine.

Department of Psychiatry nurse Vicki Adolf says she’s seen more than 25,000 patient encounters since she started at Nebraska Medicine in 1984, and Dr. Steven Wengel says she probably remembers all of them.

This year, Adolf, a nurse in the geriatric psychiatry, celebrated her 35th year with Nebraska Medicine. In her first years at Nebraska Medicine she worked with Dr. William Roccaforte, Dr. Matthew Egbert, Dr. Mark Fleisher, and Dr. Steven Wengel when they were residents and later worked with them after as psychiatrists. Wengel, who works with Adolf in geriatric psychiatry, said Adolf possesses a fantastic memory. Adolf visits fifteen facilities regularly and has to learn the passwords and records procedures for each location. If that isn’t impressive enough, she needs to remember important personal information about her patients.

“Vicky sees hundreds of patients and knows so much about them, whether it’s their former jobs, family members, hobbies. She knows so much about their lives,” Dr. Wengel said.

During her time at Nebraska Medicine, Adolf has worked as a nurse and manager for inpatient psychiatry, inpatient geriatric rehab, and outpatient geriatric medicine and psychiatry.
“I’ve always liked it here and been very happy,” she said. “I go to 15 different facilities. I like going to different places and meeting different people. I love the variety. I work with really nice people. It’s been great.”

Adolf said some significant changes she has seen during her 35 years has been the onset of electronic records and the growth of geriatric psychiatry.

“I started in the adolescent unit. Then one day, somebody said they needed help on the adult unit. I liked it and stayed on,” she said. “At first, there wasn’t a separate unit for geriatrics. But soon, we had a geriatric unit, and we had to become geriatric experts quickly.”

Dr. Cates named Vice Chair for Clinical Services in Psychiatry

Dr. David Cates has been named Vice Chair for Clinical Services within the Psychiatry Department. Along with his new role, Dr. Cates will continue to lead the Behavioral Health Division at Nebraska Medicine.

Nebraska Medicine Behavioral Health Director Dr. David Cates had added Vice Chair of Clinical Services for the Department of Psychiatry to his title. Dr. Cates succeeded Dr. Rebecca Wysoske, who had been the interim Vice Chair of Clinical Services.

“Dr. Cates is one of those rare leaders who combines a sophisticated ability to analyze the big picture with the heart to treat each team member as a valued contributor,” UNMC Department of Psychiatry Chair Dr. Howard Liu said. “He brings integrity, intellect and an incredible work ethic to every challenge and I have full confidence in his ability to thrive as our new vice chair clinical.”

Dr. Cates said, along with his new role, he will continue to serve as Nebraska Medicine Director of Behavioral Health, including providing patient care in the Psychology Department and Pain Management Program, and serving as Behavioral Health Consultant for the Biocontainment Unit and National Quarantine Center.

Dr. Cates said it is a privilege to collaborate with talented and dedicated colleagues at both institutions.

“Serving as both Director of Behavioral Health at Nebraska Medicine and Vice Chair for Clinical Services in Psychiatry provides an opportunity to align UNMC and Nebraska Medicine strategy and operations even more closely,” Dr. Cates said. “We all share the same goals, namely, improving wellness and reducing suffering by expanding access to quality behavioral health and addictions services, training and research. Behavioral Health is growing at Nebraska Medicine and UNMC. This is an exciting time and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”

Dr. Cates took on the Nebraska Medicine Behavioral Health Director role in 2016. In that capacity, he worked closely with primary care leadership on the integration of behavioral health in primary care as part of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) initiative, led the development of Nebraska Medicine’s Intensive Outpatient Program for patients with psychiatric illness and substance use disorders, and collaborated with Psychiatry Department leadership and a private donor to develop the Behavioral Health Connection Program. Dr. Cates has also developed online training modules for NETEC (National Ebola Training and Education Center) on behavioral health considerations for patient and staff, and is a member of the workgroup developing inpatient suicide and violence screening/prevention protocols. Dr. Cates serves on the Nebraska Psychological Association Ethics Committee and is involved in a variety of community behavioral health initiatives, including the Douglas County Health Department’s Community Health Improvement Plan for Integration of Care.

Dr. Liu said Dr. Wysoske did an excellent job as Interim Vice Chair of Clinical Services during the year-long search for a permanent leader. “Dr. Wysoske is a dedicated member of our leadership team and will embrace a new role as Phase 3 Director in medical student education and continue as ambulatory medical director in psychiatry.”