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Neuropsychiatric Disabilities Fellowship

Faculty

Van R. Silka, MD

Dr. Silka is the medical director for the Neuropsychiatric Disabilities Unit, a 10-bed locked inpatient unit serving individuals aged 16 and up who have mental retardation and acute psychiatric disorders. He is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Silka is board-certified in Psychiatry and served as a fellow in mental retardation during his training. He is a contributing editor to the journal Mental Health Aspects of Developmental Disabilities and has lectured and published on a variety of topics related to the assessment and treatment of individuals with mental illness and mental retardation.

Special Areas of Interest: Modification of DSM-IV criteria for mood and anxiety disorders, education and training of medical students, residents and psychiatrists on the assessment and treatment of individuals with mental illness and mental retardation.

Lauren Charlot, PhD 

Dr. Charlot is the Program Director for the Neuropsychiatric Disabilities Unit. She is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has lectured and published on a variety of topics related to the assessment and treatment of individuals with mental illness and mental retardation.

Special Areas of Interest: Mood disorders in individuals with mental retardation, modification of DSM-IV criteria for mood and anxiety disorders, multimodal assessment and treatment of aggression, impact of developmental stage on the clinical features of psychiatric and behavioral problems.

Susan Abend, MD, FACP

Dr. Abend is Assistant Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is an internist and endocrinologist who has cared for patients with concurrent medical and psychiatric disorders for over 10 years. She manages the medical care of patients on the NDU and works closely with the NDU team in developing comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and treatment plans. Dr. Abend has extensive experience in the assessment of health problems of individuals with mental retardation and psychiatric disorder. She has written and lectured on this topic, and is currently working on further research in this area.

Special Areas of Interest: Impact of comorbid medical problems on the manifestation of psychiatric and behavioral disorders in individuals with developmental disabilities.

Barbara Bonney-Kuropatkin, RNCS

Ms. Kuropatkin is the clinical leader for the Neuropsychiatric Disabilities Unit. She has extensive clinical experience working with individuals with mental retardation and mental illness. She is presently starting a new DBT therapy group for individuals with developmental disabilities at UMMHC's outpatient psychiatric clinic.

Special Areas of Interest: Borderline personality disorder, trauma, therapy for individuals with developmental disabilities

Sheldon Benjamin, MD

Dr. Benjamin is the director of Psychiatric Education and Training and the neuropsychiatry service at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, board-certified in neurology and psychiatry and served as a behavioral neurology fellow during his training.

Special Areas of Interest: Neuropsychiatric aspects of psychiatric disorders in individuals with developmental disabilities.

Kathleen Braden, MD

Dr. Braden is the Director and PI of a MCHB training grant entitled, Leadership Education in the Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND). She is also the Director of Training and Education of the E.K. Shriver Center University Affiliated Program (UAP). Dr. Braden is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Floating Hospital For Children, New England Medical Center, Boston, MA