Nodes

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern)

Psychiatry

The UT Southwestern/Children’s Health node is led by Drs. Betsy Kennard (Node Lead), Graham Emslie (Node Co-Lead) and Laura Stone (Node Co-Investigator), who all have expertise and extensive clinical and research experience focused on child and adolescent depression and suicidality. They have conducted numerous clinical research studies for youth with depression and suicidality, many of which are pivotal NIMH-funded trials, including but not limited to the Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS), Treatment of Resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) Study, and Treatment of Adolescent Suicide Attempters (TASA) Study.

These trials, as well as other studies they have conducted, involved collaboration with several other sites in the US to develop treatments specifically tailored to treat depression and suicidality in adolescents. They have also conducted studies demonstrating that implementing measurement-based care for depressed youth in primary and specialty care settings improves clinical outcomes. In addition to developing treatments, conducting research, and disseminating their findings, they developed the Parents’ Medication Guide for Depression published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Betsy D. Kennard, PsyD
Betsy D. Kennard, PsyD
Node Lead

Betsy D. Kennard, PsyD, ABPP is currently a Professor in Psychiatry, the Program Director of the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at UT Southwestern, and the Program Director of an intensive outpatient program for suicidal youth at Children’s Health. She has been the Program Director or Associate Director of the doctoral program for over 19 years, and during that time have been involved in educating over 170 psychologists.

Dr. Kennard has expertise in pediatric depression and suicide prevention and have served as a site co-investigator in four NIMH funded multi-site treatment studies of adolescent depression and suicide, and co-authored CBT treatment manuals for these four studies.

She has developed a CBT sequential treatment strategy to prevent relapse in youth with depression, and was a Principal Investigator in an NIMH funded treatment study to prevent relapse in depression and on a NIMH R34, “Brief Intervention for Suicide Risk Reduction in High Risk Adolescents;” in collaboration with U. of Pittsburgh, NIMH R34 MH100375-01. She is currently the PI on a project to determine efficacy of an inpatient intervention and a smartphone app for suicidal adolescents to reduce suicide attempts following hospital discharge, funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Dr. Kennard has directed a suicide prevention treatment program (launched in 2014), where over 1700 youth and their families have been treated. She received funding to adapt the program for a community mental health setting, that serves low-income, culturally diverse suicidal youth, funded by Texas Health and Human Services.

She serves as protocol vice chair of the “Combined Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and a Medication Management Algorithm for Treatment of Depression among Youth Living with HIV in the United States,” funded by the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network (IMPAACT). Dr. Kennard is Co-site lead for the Youth Depression & Suicide Research Network within the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, funded by the state legislature, to research mental health care delivery and outcomes.

Graham Emslie, MD
Graham Emslie, MD
Node Co-Lead

Dr. Graham J. Emslie is a Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics and holds the Charles E. and Sarah M. Seay Chair of Child Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Health, Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Emslie has served as Medical Director for the Inpatient, Outpatient, and Day Treatment units of Children’s Medical Center’s Psychiatry Division.

From 2002 through 2017, he was the Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UT Southwestern and Children’s Medical Center. Currently, he is the Medical Director of the Suicide Prevention and Resilience at Children’s (SPARC) Intensive Outpatient Program, and he is continuing his work in the research and treatment of child and adolescent depression and suicide.

Dr. Emslie’s early research focused on the biological basis of depression in youth by studying HPA axis and sleep physiology. He was the PI on the first two positive randomized-controlled trials of fluoxetine for pediatric depression. He has also been involved in many other clinical trials of psychopharmacological agents for treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. Over the past two decades, Dr. Emslie’s research has focused on integrating pharmacological and psychotherapy treatments for depressed youth, as well as a focus on suicidality.

He was the PI on Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS), the Treatment of Resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) Study, and the Treatment of Adolescent Suicide Attempters Study (TASA), which was the first study to examine treatment outcomes for suicidal youth in an outpatient setting.

More recently, his work has focused on continuation treatment strategies in pediatric depression. He has also been involved in disseminating clinical research to clinical practice, initially by developing treatment algorithms and practice parameters, and more recently to disseminate his findings from clinical trials by implementing evidence-based treatments for depression into clinical practice in the community.

Dr. Emslie served as the Psychopharmacological Consultant of a controlled trial that demonstrated effective treatment of depressive disorders in medical clinics for adolescents and young adults living with HIV, funded by the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network (IMPAACT).

Dr. Emslie is Co-site lead for the Youth Depression & Suicide Research Network within the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, funded by the state legislature, to research mental health care delivery and outcomes. In addition, he worked with Dr. Kennard to develop the Suicide Prevention and Resilience at Children’s (SPARC) Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), in which evidence-based treatments for suicidal youth are implemented. Dr. Emslie has authored or co-authored over 200 papers and 30 chapters. He is known internationally for his work in the treatment of pediatric depression.

Doctor Laura Stone
Laura Stone, MD
Node Co-Lead

Dr. Stone is currently an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and the Medical Director of the Day Treatment Program at Children’s Health, Children’s Medical Center’s Psychiatry Division.  She has served as the Interim Medical Director of the Consult-Liaison Service and Associate Medical Director of the Inpatient unit of Children’s Medical Center’s Psychiatry Division.  She currently serves as a Co-I on a study to determine efficacy of an inpatient intervention and a smartphone app for suicidal adolescents to reduce suicide attempts following hospital discharge, funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  She is a Co-I of a multi-site study comparing the outcomes of psychiatric treatment of suicidal adolescents in different treatment settings, funded by PCORI.  She is also a Co-I of a project examining the mental and behavioral health presentations to the emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Dr. Stone is Co-I for the Youth Depression & Suicide Research Network within the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, funded by the state legislature, to research mental health care delivery and outcomes.  

 

Node Team
David Morgado
Ebanie Griffith
Elizabeth Lacy Montgomery
Jessica Jones
Karen Aguilar
Kennedy Balzen
Leah Cherner
Mayra Ramos
Raney Sachs
Sarah Gibson
Savannah Krantz
Shamari Pitts