Newswise — University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that Jill RachBeisel, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, has been appointed to serve as the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, effective immediately. Dr. RachBeisel has served as the Department’s Interim Chair for the past two years and was previously Acting Chair and Vice Chair of the Department. A prominent leader at UMSOM, she has garnered tremendous support among faculty and staff for her efforts to forge partnerships among various entities in an effort to strengthen mental health services provided to patients and the community at large. Dr. RachBeisel will be named The Dr. Irving J. Taylor Endowed Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, when she is invested March 18.
The appointment of Dr. RachBeisel was recommended by a Dean-appointed Review Committee led by Peter B. Crino, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology, and Rodney J. Taylor, MD, MPH, Professor and Chair, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. After extensive review, the committee unanimously recommended to Dean Reece that she be considered for the permanent chair position.
For more than 20 years, Dr. RachBeisel has played an increasing role in leading the Department’s clinical and academic activities, and in leading the integration of the UMSOM’s Department’s academic programs with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), as well as with the State of Maryland and City of Baltimore.
“Dr. RachBeisel is a tremendous leader and has had an enormous impact on the department during her terms as Interim Chair, Acting Chair, and Vice Chair. She has built lasting bridges between UMSOM and UMMS/UMMC, as well as bridges between UMSOM and the community at large which have benefitted greatly from her efforts to expand mental health services to those in need, ” said Dean Reece, who is also Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “She is highly respected across our academic community and has demonstrated unwavering and effective leadership throughout the years. Her gift for building partnerships between researchers and clinicians to create innovative and highly successful initiatives is remarkable and highly desirable.”
Under her leadership as Interim Chair, Dr. RachBeisel has focused on building vital and lasting collaborations to strengthen the Department’s infrastructure to support faculty growth and development, and the fusion of research and clinical agendas.
“Dr. RachBeisel is a phenomenally talented clinician, educator and mentor to our medical trainees and behavioral health specialists,” said Bert W. O'Malley, Jr., MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). “She has been a guiding light and inspiration to our hospital staff during this stressful time of the global pandemic. Her passion for designing programs that span a spectrum of settings and for partnering with colleagues to provide integrated behavioral care expertise is invaluable.”
The Department of Psychiatry received research and service grants totaling $43 million for fiscal year 2020 from the National Institutes of Health and elsewhere. Dr. RachBeisel worked with Dean Reece to establish the Vice Chair of Research and appointed Gloria Reeves, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, to serve in this role. Other successful efforts include the establishment of the “Foundation Academy” to assist faculty in learning the intricacies of working effectively and successfully with non-profit foundations and to help prepare successful grant submissions. A newly established and formalized Mentoring Program for all new and mid-level faculty was also implemented to enhance faculty growth, professional development, and promotion leading to enhanced clinical and research success.
Dr. RachBeisel is the first woman to chair the UMSOM Department of Psychiatry. Immediately after assuming the interim chair position, Dr. RachBeisel established the Department of Psychiatry’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, chaired by Anique Forrester, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. The committee has focused on developing a training curriculum and diversifying the hiring of faculty and staff. They also have collaborated on efforts to retain new hires and maintain momentum to facilitate change. With support from a highly engaged faculty and resident group, Dr. RachBeisel also created a DEI lecture series that began last fall and will run through FY21.
“I am proud and honored to be taking the permanent helm of this department with its devoted faculty and staff,” said Dr. RachBeisel. “Together we have risen to the challenges of the past year and have worked as a united team to sustain our programs and meet the increased needs of our patients and the campus workforce during the pandemic and the movement against racial injustice.”
Heralded for her clinical achievements, Dr. RachBeisel helped spearhead the 2019 opening of two new state-of-the-art units–an adult inpatient behavioral health unit and the adult day hospital program at the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus (MTC). The programs, designed to optimize patient experience and safety, are led by Stephanie Knight, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of Psychiatry at MTC. They are staffed by nurses, social workers, occupational and recreational therapists, addiction, counselors, and clinical nurse educators.
Dr. RachBeisel has also played a key role in developing a new partnership with other Baltimore area hospitals to strengthen and expand the crisis response infrastructure and community-based services to Baltimore City and its three surrounding counties. The Greater Baltimore Regional Integrated Crisis System (GBRICS) Partnership will enable UMMC to expand its Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs for adults and children, statewide tele-mental health program, and extensive addictions care program.
“Dr. RachBeisel has been instrumental in helping us develop and implement robust and evidence-based programs to provide expert, compassionate, team-based care for our community, including the citizens of West Baltimore, the City of Baltimore, and the region,” said Alison Brown, MPH, President, University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus. “We are so excited to have her continue permanently in this leadership role.”
Serving as a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry since 1989, Dr. RachBeisel began her career in the field of acute psychiatric care, emergency psychiatric interventions, and quality management in the hospital setting. She received her BS Degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from Carlow College in Pittsburgh, PA, and her RN Certification from the Western Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She then went on to complete her medical degree in 1985 from Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine. She completed her Psychiatric Residency Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center in 1989, serving as chief resident during her fourth year.
During her tenure at the UMSOM, Dr. RachBeisel has held numerous leadership positions at the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and served as the Division Director for Community Psychiatry at the University of Maryland Medical Center, overseeing 200 staff and physicians and providing a range of community mental health services. Through collaborations with the Division of Psychiatric Services Research, she became focused on the study of implementation of evidenced-based care for persons with a serious mental illness. In addition to her Division responsibilities, Dr. RachBeisel has been Chief of Clinical Services for the Department of Psychiatry since 2014, providing oversight of program development, performance improvement, and collaboration with the research divisions within the Department.
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 45 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1.2 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has more than $563 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 students, trainees, residents, and fellows. The combined School of Medicine and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact more than $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu
About the University of Maryland Medical Center
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is comprised of two hospital campuses in Baltimore: the 800-bed flagship institution of the 14-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) — and the 200-bed UMMC Midtown Campus, both academic medical centers training physicians and health professionals and pursuing research and innovation to improve health. UMMC's downtown campus is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurosciences, advanced cardiovascular care, women's and children's health, and has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country. All physicians on staff at the downtown campus are clinical faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The UMMC Midtown Campus medical staff is predominately faculty physicians specializing in diabetes, chronic diseases, behavioral health, long term acute care and an array of outpatient primary care and specialty services. UMMC Midtown has been a teaching hospital for 140 years and is located one mile away from the downtown campus. For more information, visit www.umm.edu.