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Exceptional and Unique Training Experiences

As a community program, our child/adolescent psychiatry fellows also have access to a variety of exceptional and unique training experiences throughout the Valley. Fellows are trained in neurology at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, one of the largest children’s hospitals in the nation and the principal pediatric affiliate of the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Rotations at Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center of Arizona (an integrated investigation and treatment center that focuses on addressing child maltreatment), Southwest Human Development (a non-profit agency specializing in treating children from birth to five years of age), and Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital (a health care setting within the Gila River Indian Community) offer experiences with specialized populations.

Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Valleywise Health has a proud tradition as both a community health care system, with a mission to serve the underserved, and Arizona's only public teaching hospital. Valleywise Health has served the Maricopa County area for more than 140 years. District Medical Group (DMG) is a not-for-profit integrated medical group practice focused on excellence in patient care and education. DMG providers staff Valleywise Health and several additional sites in the Valley. In addition to adolescent inpatient services and Valleywise Behavioral Health Center – Mesa Outpatient Clinic, behavioral health sites associated with Valleywise Health/DMG where fellows may rotate include:

  • Valleywise Health Medical Center, the only hospital in Maricopa County verified by the American College of Surgeons to provide adult (Level I) and pediatric (Level II) trauma care
  • DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services, the only multi-specialty interdisciplinary clinic in Maricopa County with over 25 medical specialties designed to support coordinated, high-quality care for children with complex conditions
  • Valleywise Community Health Center - Mesa, a recognized patient-centered medical home designed to provide comprehensive medical care for the entire family in one location including adult and pediatric primary care, behavioral health services, obstetrics, dental care, and pharmacy services. These services are provided on a sliding scale to better serve the community.
  • Arizona Children's Center, designed for pediatric care at Valleywise Health Medical Center

Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) is one of the largest children’s hospitals in the United States. As a free-standing entity, PCH provides comprehensive medical and psychiatric services to children representative of the diverse populations living in Maricopa County. All fellows are trained in neurology at PCH through the renowned Barrow Neurological Institute. Fellows rotate through inpatient and outpatient services where they participate in teaching rounds and case discussions with faculty and adult and child neurology fellows. Fellows also rotate at Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center where they are exposed to cutting-edge treatment and rehabilitation for adolescents with concussions, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Fellows may also have opportunities at PCH in acute inpatient care, consultation to pediatric inpatient, emergency department consultation, child maltreatment assessment, and more.

The Child Maltreatment Rotation provides the opportunity to work with a multi-agency child maltreatment team. Pediatricians, social workers, police officers and caseworkers from the Department of Child Safety all participate at the Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center of Arizona. This teaching and observing rotation educates fellows about abuse, neglect, domestic violence, forensic interviewing and court testimony. Fellows do not carry independent cases or provide direct treatment. On any given day, fellows may observe a forensic interview conducted by a criminologist and physical examinations conducted by pediatricians to evaluate the potential of abuse; be involved with medical chart reviews for possible abuse and neglect; participate in formal case conferences and informal case discussions; or observe court testimony.

Southwest Human Development Good FIT serves very young children and their families, assisting in their development. Fellows evaluate and treat toddlers and preschool-age children under the supervision of, and accompanied by, Erum Ali, MD. They gain experience in the specialized assessment and diagnosis of young children, including the use of the Diagnostic Classification 0-5 developed by the National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. Specific family and child treatment modalities found to be effective in this population are observed. Fellows are involved in psychiatric and developmental evaluations, outpatient treatment, observation and consultation in preschools, collaboration with infant mental health professionals, and exposed to home-based behavioral health services.

Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital is located within the Gila River Indian Community. Here, fellows are supervised by Lisa Cobourn, MD, gaining practical experience in school and systems consultation-liaison. Fellows have the unique opportunity to work with Head Start and the local schools in this Indian Community setting, gaining cultural knowledge and understanding. The Native American Community Outpatient elective also trains fellows to provide culturally sensitive and effective care to children and families.

At Devereux Arizona Treatment Center, fellows provide care to children and adolescents with severe mental illness, as well as those struggling with substance abuse. Many of the patients have a history of abuse/trauma including some who have been victims of child sex trafficking, requiring specialized treatment services. In addition to the treatment center, Devereux has an on-site school for residential children with special needs.

During their inpatient rotation, fellows are supervised by medical director Robert Shuch, DO. Fellows provide individual psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy interventions to patients as well as participating in team treatment planning, family therapy, group therapy, behavioral therapy, and other interventions. Fellows have the unique opportunity to participate in adolescent group dialectic behavioral therapy. In addition, fellows are trained in the responsibilities of the medical director through modeling and supervision with administrative experiences.

Aurora Special Needs Unit is a unique inpatient setting designed to meet the needs of children and adolescents ages 8-17 with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and acute behavioral concerns.  Treatment is holistic and incorporates therapeutic programming including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) in addition to specialized psychiatric care.  

Arizona's Children Association was founded in 1912 and is one of the oldest and largest statewide comprehensive child welfare and behavioral health not-for-profit agencies in the state of Arizona. They offer a wide range of services at their sites including psychiatric evaluations, medication management, child and family team meetings, individual therapy, family therapy, processing groups, parenting education groups, and Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT). All fellows in their second year of training rotate through the outpatient clinic supervised by Dr. Erum Ali. Additional elective rotations include administrative psychiatry with Medical Director Dr. Ramiz Audi, assisting AZCA providers with social welfare programs to educate and support foster parents and children in the welfare system, or focused specifically on NMT.

Mercy Care is a not-for-profit health plan providing integrated care to children and adults who are eligible for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) benefits. AHCCCS is Arizona’s Medicaid agency.  Eligible individuals include those with developmental disabilities and serious mental illness. Fellows gain valuable administrative experience and learn about state systems of care at this site.