Psychiatry Faculty & Staff

 

Ronald D. Franks, M.D.Acting Chair, Department of Psychiatry; Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Franks earned his medical degree, with distinction, from the University of Michigan, completed his internship at Virginia Mason Hospital, and completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Colorado. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He was the vice president for health affairs and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at East Tennessee State University.  He has also served as dean of medicine at East Tennessee State and at the University of Minnesota Duluth School of Medicine. Dr. Franks has served as chair of the Liaison Committee of Medical Education, the governing council of the section on medical schools of the American Medical Association and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. He is a past member of the executive council of the Association of American Medical Colleges and of the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry of the Health and Resources and Services Administration. Dr. Franks currently serves as the President of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama.  He has authored and co-authored numerous articles in professional journals and has received several grants for his research.


Sandra Parker, M.D.  - Vice-Chair, Department of Psychiatry; Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Chief Medical Officer, AltaPointe Health Systems

Dr. Parker graduated from the University of Alabama in 1982 with an Honors degree in Biology. She attended medical school and completed residency training in psychiatry at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. She completed her fellowship in child/adolescent psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for the Health Sciences in Little Rock. As a second year resident, she was awarded her department's Most Outstanding Resident Award, and as a fellow, she was awarded her department's Most Outstanding Child Fellow Award. She is dual certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in adult psychiatry and child/adolescent psychiatry. In addition to her role as vice-chair for the department of psychiatry, Dr. Parker also serves as chief medical officer for AltaPointe Health Systems. During her tenure, the organization has grown from 300 employees to more than 750 employees. Dr. Parker has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career. She is the current president of the Alabama Psychiatric Physicians Association, a district branch of the American Psychiatric Association. In 2007, she was named an Alabama Health Care Hero by the Alabama Hospital Association. She was appointed by Alabama Governor Bob Riley to serve as a member of the Alabama Interagency Autism Coordinating Council, a position she still holds. She serves as an adjunct faculty member in the USA College of Allied Health Professions, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, and in the USA College of Nursing. She has served as a member of the USA Center for Healthy Communities Advisory Committee. Past appointments include the Mercy Medical Advisory Board, the Mayor's Transitional Task Force on Healthcare, and the Mobile Ballet Board of Directors. Dr. Parker's major psychiatric interests are in the fields of autism related disorders, health care disparities and telepsychiatry. She and her family do mission work in Ecuador and participate in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.


J. Luke Engeriser, M.D. -  Residency Program Director; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Deputy Chief Medical Officer, AltaPointe Health Systems

Dr. Engeriser attended medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois where he was the recipient of an NIH research grant in Molecular Biology and Environmental Pathology. His psychiatry residency training was at Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. During his final year of residency, Dr. Engeriser received the Al Glass Award, the military's highest resident research award, for his paper exploring the psychological effects of warfare. Dr. Engeriser served an additional three years in the Army at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he held the position of Chief, Department of Behavioral Health. After separating from the Army, Dr. Engeriser was Medical Director of Mid-Coast Mental Health Center/PenBay Psychiatry in Rockland, Maine. Prior to attending medical school, he completed a Master of Arts in Divinity at the University of Chicago and worked as a teacher of English at the Teacher Training College in Torun, Poland. Dr. Engeriser has served the past five years on the Executive Council of the Alabama Psychiatric Physicians Association, and he is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is board certified in Adult Psychiatry. Dr. Engeriser received the Red Sash Award from the USA medical student classes of 2013, 2014, and 2016 for making significant contributions to their medical education, and he was awarded the American Psychiatric Association Assembly Resident-Fellow Section Mentor Award in 2014.


Edgar W. Finn, M.D. -  Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Director; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Finn graduated from the University of Alabama in Birmingham with a degree in Economics. He attended the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, and received his medical degree in 1988. He completed residency training in general psychiatry at UAB and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and child/adolescent psychiatry at Vanderbilt. He was selected Chief Fellow during his second year of child/adolescent fellowship. He is board-certified in adult psychiatry and in child/adolescent psychiatry. Following residency training and fellowship, he began his career at the Children's Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham as a staff psychiatrist of the Vaughan Psychiatric Service. He has extensive consultative experience, having worked with the Chilton-Shelby Mental Health Center, the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, Gateway Mental Health, the Alliance Project, Mitchell's Place, the Shelby County Board of Education, and Glenwood, Inc. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Horizons School and the Children's Policy Council, both on Birmingham, and is currently a member of the Alabama Medicaid Physician's Advisory Committee. In 1998, he became the Associate Medical Director at Glenwood, Inc. in Birmingham, and served as Medical Director there beginning in 2004. His professional experience has led to a primary interest in autism and other developmental disorders. He has three adult children, and two precious grandchildren..


 W. Bogan Brooks M.D. - Psychiatry Clerkship Director; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Brooks, a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Tennessee in Memphis where he served on the Honor Council. After the completion of his Psychiatry Residency at the University of Tennessee where he served as Chief Resident, Dr. Brooks joined the faculty of the UT College of Medicine where he served as Medical Director of the University's Psychiatric Emergency Services. After leaving Memphis to enter private practice in Lewiston, Maine, Dr. Brooks served as the President of the Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians and served as Maine's Representative to the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association. After leaving private practice, Dr. Brooks worked at community mental health centers in Damariscotta, Maine and Portland, Maine before completing his Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.   After Fellowship, Dr. Brooks joined the faculty of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile where he has served as Director of the Medical Student Clerkship in Psychiatry, and received the Red Sash Award from the USA medical student classes of 2013, 2014, and 2015 for making significant contributions to their medical education. The residents in the USA Department of Psychiatry named Dr. Brooks Faculty Teacher of the Year in 2012 & 2014, and he was elected by the medical student Class of 2015 into the University of South Alabama Chapter of the Arnold P. Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society. In 2015, Dr. Brooks was the recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, which is given to the USA faculty member who best demonstrates outstanding compassion in the delivery of care; respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues; and clinical excellence. Dr. Brooks was board certified in Geriatric Psychiatry in 2012, and he was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 2003.


 Charles L. Rich, M.D. - Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry

Dr. Rich completed medical school and his psychiatry residency training at Washington University in St. Louis. He is certified in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. After a year of psychoharmacology fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health, he held faculty positions at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of California San Diego, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the University of South Alabama where he was Professor and Chairperson of Psychiatry for 16 years. He retired in 2008 and is currently Professor Emeritus at the USA. Dr. Rich was the Founding Editor of the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry and Editor-in-Chief from 1988-2003. He was a Founding Member and past President of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists. His publications span a wide range of interests with his main focus being the study of suicide. Dr. Rich continues to collaborate with international scholars in suicide prevention research. Dr. Rich has also served as an expert in many civil liability cases involving suicides.


Bayani Alberto Y Abordo, M.D. - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Abordo obtained his Doctor of Medicine from the University the Philippines College of Medicine. He completed an internship in Internal Medicine at the State University of New York Health Sciences Center, Kings County Hospital Center and the Brooklyn VA Medical Center. He completed his general psychiatry residency at Saint Vincents Hospital and Medical Center of NY. He went on to complete a Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship at the same institution, graduating with honors. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both General and Geriatric Psychiatry. He participated in a VA Hospital study on the effectiveness of donepezil on the cognitive deficits of chronically psychotic patients. During his residency he was a volunteer psychiatrist for the Project for the Psychiatric Outreach to the Homeless in Manhattan . After graduation, Dr. Abordo moved to North Dakota where he served as staff psychiatrist at the state hospital in Jamestown, working as the unit attending for the geropsychiatry unit and as consultant for the personality disorders and sex offender inpatient programs & the James River Correctional Center mental health clinic. He joined Altapointe Health Systems in June of 2005. He is currently at Mobile Infirmary Medical Center serving as an attending psychiatrist for the adult inpatient and geriatric psychiatry units. Dr. Abordo has received the following Awards from students and residents: University of South Alabama College of Allied Health Professions Department of Physician Assistant Studies Clinical Instructor of the Year Award (2008), the University of South Alabama College of Medicine Honors Convocation Red Sash (2008 and 2011) and the University of South Alabama Department of Psychiatry Supervisor of the Year Award (2009).


Julie Berstein, D.O. - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

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Dr. Bernstein grew up in Southern Ohio where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Biology and Psychology.  She went on to work as a County Behavioral Support Specialist before entering the medical field. She began medical education at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed in 2011, earning her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine degree.  Upon completion of medical school, Dr. Bernstein followed her passion for working in the mental health field, entering Psychiatry Residency at the University of South Alabama.   During training, she served as a chief resident to the General Psychiatry program.  After her third year of general psychiatry residency, she began specialty training as a member of University of South Alabama’s first Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship class and completed in 2016.  She took part in policy development as the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program Evaluation Committee resident representative.  As a resident and fellow, she taught and mentored junior residents, medical students, physician assistant students and published and performed professional presentations. Upon completion of training, she became a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Outside of her professional life, Dr. Bernstein enjoys spending time with family, outdoor activities and traveling.  


William Billett, M.D. - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Billett attended a 6 year combined BS/MD program at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in 1987. Dr. Billett spent one year in General Surgery at SUNY Stony Brook, and then completed Psychiatry Residency at University of Florida where his training emphasized biological psychiatry but was also well rounded. Dr. Billett was Board Certified in General Adult Psychiatry in 1992. Dr. Billett has a strong clinical background and has had 16 years post graduate practice experience. During his career Dr. Billett has treated patients in a variety of settings including private practice, acute care hospital units, consultation and liaison, nursing homes, state hospitals, and community mental health based out patient clinics. Interests currently are focused on anxiety disorders and schizophrenia. He received the Red Sash Award from the USA medical student classes of 2014 and 2015 for making significant contributions to their medical education.  Outside work, Dr. Billett is interested in aviation and is a private pilot.

 Mary Cohen-Colson, M.D. - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Colson received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Delaware and attended medical school at Penn State University.  She completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Virginia.  During residency she received awards for humanitarianism and her research on cancer mortality rates in patients with schizophrenia.  Since completing residency she has worked in a variety of psychiatric settings including adult and geriatric inpatient units, consultation/liaison, nursing homes and outpatient psychiatry.  She remains board certified in both Internal Medicine and Psychiatry.

 


 Kinjal Ghelani, M.D. - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Kinjal Ghelani joined Altapointe Health Systems in 2016, after completing her general psychiatry residency at University of Alabama in Birmingham.  During her residency she was awarded Resident of Month in 2012 and 2013.  In her fourth year of residency, she certified in Electroconvulsive Therapy, and has provider experience in Tele psychiatry.  She received her medical degree from Grant Medical College & Sir J.J Group of Hospitals in Mumbai, India.  She is trained and has work experience in Internal medicine and Critical care from Bombay Hospital, Mumbai.  She speaks English, Hindi, Gujrati and Marathi.  Her special interests are inpatient psychiatry and psychopharmacology.

 


  Mark Haygood, D.O. - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Mark Alan Haygood was born in Decatur, Alabama and has lived most of his life in Gadsden, Alabama. He transitioned to the Mobile area during residency and joined the faculty of AltaPointe Health Systems and the University of South Alabama Department of Psychiatry after residency completion. He graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in 2004 and Master’s degree in 2006 from Jacksonville State University. Dr. Haygood achieved his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in 2010 and completed psychiatry residency at the University of South Alabama in 2014.  During residency, Dr. Haygood served the American Psychiatric Association  (APA) Assembly for Area 5 as the Resident and Fellow Member (RFM) Deputy Representative and Representative. While engaged in the APA leadership, he was elected as RFM Chair to the APA Assembly Executive Committee. He also served as the RFM Representative for the Alabama Psychiatric Physicians Association during his APA Assembly tenure. Dr. Haygood was recently elected to the APA Assembly for Area 5 as the Early Career Psychiatrist (ECP) Deputy Representative. He was also recently elected to serve on the Alumni Board of VCOM and was invited to serve as a founding faculty member to the VCOM branch campus located in Auburn, Alabama. Dr. Haygood’s professional interests include consultation/liaison psychiatry. When not working, he enjoys traveling, exotic restaurants, attending plays and musicals, going to movies, and spending time with his family.


  J. Clint Moore, D.O. - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

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Dr. Moore attended the University of Alabama for his undergraduate studies where he received a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology. He then obtained a master’s degree from the University of South Alabama in applied psychology. Dr. Moore attended medical school at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Pikeville where he served as class president. His residency training was at the University of South Alabama where he served as chief resident and completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. He has served on the executive council for the Alabama Psychiatric Physicians Association and served for several years on the Board of Censors for the Medical Association of the State of Alabama while a resident. He is board certified in general psychiatry.


 Praveen Narahari, M.D. - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Narahari, received his medical degree from N.T.R .University of Health Sciences - Kakatiya Medical College, Warangal, India in 2005.  He also obtained a Masters in Community Nutrition (MS) from Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky in 2008. Later on, he volunteered as research assistant at the University of Louisville Department of Psychiatry, Louisville, Kentucky before beginning his residency in adult psychiatry at the University of South Alabama in 2009. He served as Chief Resident of Psychiatry during his PGY 4 year at the University of South Alabama. He also served on the Graduate Medical Education Committee as a Member-In-Training Representative, at the University of South Alabama during his PGY4 year.  He received the Red Sash Award from the USA medical student class of  2015 for making significant contributions to their medical education.  Dr. Narahari’s special interests are in the area of biological psychiatry and psychopharmacology.  He speaks English, Hindi , and Telugu.


Candace Lyn Perry, M.D. - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Perry graduated summa cum laude from Agnes Scott College with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and English. She completed medical school at the University of Mississippi where she was the recipient of the William K Purks Scholarship and a member of the Carl G. Evers Honors Society. She completed psychiatry residency at Mayo Clinic serving as Associate Chief Resident of Education during her PGY-IV year. While a resident, she received the Colleague of the Year Award and the AAGP Fellowship.  She completed a fellowship at Harvard University/Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Psychosomatic Medicine. She previously was a staff psychiatrist with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Marianne Saitz, D.O., M.P.H. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Saitz is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She received a Master's of Public Health in Epidemiology from Emory University in 1996 and graduated  from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2000. She graduated from her Adult Psychiatry training at East Carolina University in 2004. She is board certified in Adult Psychiatry. She has a special interest in substance abuse and is the medical director for the methadone clinic at Alta Pointe.

 

 


  Lalit Singh, M.D., M.P.H. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Singh received his medical degree from Mahatma Gandhi Missions's Medical College, Aurangabad, India. He also obtained a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Wichita State university, Wichita, KS in 2006. Later on, he worked with veterans in  V. A. Medical Center in Washington, DC before beginning his residency in adult psychiatry at University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL in 2007. He did his child/adolescent psychiatry fellowship at medical College of Wisconsin affiliated Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI. His areas of interest includes ADHD, mood and anxiety disorders in children. He is dual board-certified in Adult and Child/Adolescent psychiatry. He is an attending child psychiatrist at Bay Pointe Hospital Children's unit where he supervises residents, medical and Physician Assistant students.

 


 

Adjunct Faculty

Alvah Clark, Ph.D. Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry 

clark.jpgDr. Al Clark is the director of the University Counseling and Testing Service at the University of South Alabama. He received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Mississippi and has taught courses in human development, psychology, psychotherapy and counseling for over twenty-five years. He has served as a psychotherapy supervisor for graduate students and medical residents. His past employment history includes: three years as an Army Officer, work with juvenile delinquents at Oakley Training School in Raymond, Mississippi, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Dyersburg State University in Dyersburg, Tennessee, Psychological Consultant and Psychotherapist at Western State Psychiatric Hospital in Bolivar, Tennessee and Psychology Instructor at the University of Mississippi. He has served as consultant to numerous community groups and conducted workshops and seminars for business, government, and industry.  Dr. Clark holds memberships in the American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association and the Southeastern Psychological Association.


Harold Veits, M.D. - Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Veits attended college and medical school at the University of Minnesota where he graduated in 1970 with honors (Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha).  He completed a psychiatric residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA in 1974, and then served in the U.S. Navy until 1976 as a Lt. Commander in the Medical Corps.  He was then in full time private practice in Bangor, ME until 1995, when he became an Assistant Professor at a medical school (Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX).  In 2000 he moved to Mobile, AL and began working for Alabama Psychiatric Services.  He was board certified in Psychiatry in 1976, in Psychiatric Administration and Management in 2003, and became a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 2012  Dr. Veits served as President of the Mobile Bay Psychiatric Society from 2003-2011.


Suzanna Freerksen, M.D. - Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

freerkson.jpgDr. Freerksen is a Board-Certified early career psychiatrist. A graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, her first two years of residency were in the University of Iowa Family Medicine-Psychiatry combined program. She transferred to University of South Alabama's Psychiatry residency as a Third-year Resident and served as Chief Resident. Dr. Freerksen was published during residency in the Journal of Academic Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association's National Meeting, and the Mental Health Clinician. Other published works include a Team-Based Learning Module on MedEd Portal. She currently practices in California's Silicon Valley in a multi-specialty group practice. When not occupied with clinical work, Dr Freerksen reading, hikes, and writes short stories. She enjoys collaborating with residents on research projects.


Paul O'Leary, M.D. - Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. O'Leary has completed specialized training in general, pediatric and forensic psychiatry.  He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and completed his medical training at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and Emory University.  Dr. O’Leary is certified in general psychiatry and eligible for certification in child and adolescent psychiatry, as well as forensic psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is an active member of the American Medical Association (AMA), American Psychiatric Association (APA), American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), American Society of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL) and other professional organizations.  He is currently a delegate to the AMA House of Delegates, Alabama Deputy Representative to the APA Assembly, and a member of the AACAP Juvenile Justice Reform Committee, AAPL Ethics Council, and executive council for the Alabama Psychiatric Physician Association.  Dr. O’Leary provides clinical and forensic psychiatric services at Psychiatry Associates, PC and forensic consultation at Emory University’s jail restoration program. He is also a psychiatric consultant at the Jefferson-Blount-St. Clair Counties Mental Health Authority


James "Tres" Stefurak, Ph.D. Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Stefurak received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Georgia and is a licensed psychologist in the state of Alabama. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at the University of Virginia Elson Student Health Center. At USA he holds an appointment as an Associate Professor in the Department of Professional Studies, College of Education. Dr. Stefurak serves as the Practicum/Internship Coordinator for the Community Counseling M.S. program and is on core faculty of the Community Counseling M.S. and Combined-Integrated Clinical/Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at USA. Dr. Stefurak's research and clinical interests are primarily in the area of adolescent mental health and psychological assessment and intervention practices within the juvenile justice system. He is the coordinator of the Mobile County Juvenile Court Collaborative, a research/service/training collaboration with the local juvenile court. He also has research interests in the psychology of religion as it relates to coping and help-seeking behavior. Dr. Stefurak maintains a small caseload of psychotherapy clients at the USA Psychological Clinic, and works from an integrative-prescriptive therapy approach with en emphasis on Cognitive-Behavioral and Interpersonal therapy approaches.


Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Ph.D.   - Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Langhinrichsen-Rohling obtained her undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1984 and her masters and doctorate degree in Psychology from the University of Oregon in 1990. She has practiced for 25 years as a licensed Clinical Psychologist and has amassed over 120 peer reviewed publications in her role as a scientist and professor. The majority of Dr. L-R’s publications focus on her longstanding interests in relationship and family violence (e.g., stalking, rape, physical abuse, and the inter-generational transmission of relationship behaviors), and adolescent risky, unhealthy, suicidal, and/or life-diminishing behaviors. Her most recent research is community-based, focused on under-served and disadvantaged populations, and occurs while integrating mental and behavioral health care into primary care and school settings. In particular, implementing, evaluating, and educating others to provide evidence-based, solution-focused and resiliency-enhancing interventions is a priority for Dr. L-R. Prior to Dr. L-R initiating and establishing the Gulf Coast Behavioral Health and Resiliency Center which she currently directs, Dr. L-R served as the Head of USA’s Youth Violence Prevention Program. Dr. L-R has received numerous awards for her work including being awarded the honor of "Top Prof" by the USA Mortar Board on several occasions. In 2007, Dr. L-R received the Dean's Lecture Award for Scholarship in the College of Arts and Sciences. She received the Olivia Rambo McGlothren National Alumni Outstanding Scholar Award that same year.

 

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