Pediatric Health Psychology Concentration

Fellows in the Pediatric Health Psychology concentration work with a variety of patients with chronic and acute medical diagnoses. Fellows participate in consult rounds and collaborate on patient care with psychiatry fellows and attendings, play therapists, other psychology trainees, and psychologists. They evaluate how a child is functioning in the context of a medical condition, conduct both short-term and long-term interventions, and consult with other staff and the medical team. 

All fellows participate in providing consultation/liaison services throughout the training year.  Additionally, fellows choose core and elective rotations in which they receive more specialized training with particular patient populations. The training year is divided into 3 four-month blocks of time.  During each four-month block, fellows provide consultation/liaison services and choose 2-3 clinical rotations of interest.  Over the course of the year, fellows typically gain experience in 5-6 different areas of clinical service.

Rotations

Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine
  • Primary care clinic for adolescents
  • Assessment of psychosocial concerns; individual therapy. 
Child Maltreatment (REACH Clinic)
  • Children from birth through 17 years who are suspected victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect, who have been referred for a medical evaluation 
  • Initial assessment of children and adolescents for safety, adjustment, psychosocial risk factors; trauma-focused outpatient intervention (e.g., TF-CBT, Child-Parent Psychotherapy); behavior management and adherence interventions in Failure to Thrive Clinic; occasional inpatient consultation and intervention; Abusive Head Trauma Parent Support Group; collaboration with medical team, social work, child life, CPS, police, legal system
Cochlear Implant 
  • Children who are candidates for cochlear implants
  • Pre-surgical evaluation to help team determine candidacy for cochlear implant; multi-disciplinary team meetings
Continuity of Care Clinic
  • Primary care clinic for children and adolescents
  • Assessment of psychosocial concerns; interventions; behavioral health education for medical residents
Craniofacial & Plastic Surgery 
  • Individuals from birth through young adulthood with craniofacial anomalies
  • Brief evaluation/assessment in a busy multidisciplinary clinic; communication and collaboration with a large multidisciplinary team; pre-surgical neurodevelopmental evaluation of infants and toddlers; intervention with children and families targeting a wide range of issues including self-image, social functioning, and treatment adherence; efficient note writing; exposure to various genetic and craniofacial anomalies 
Cystic Fibrosis 
  • Patients and families with cystic fibrosis from diagnosis at newborn screening through the lifespan
  • Brief mood assessment and interventions; pediatric to adult transition; behavior planning, intervention, and management
Endocrinology 
  • Children and adolescents with endocrinological disorders (frequently diabetes) & families
  • Evaluation of individual and family factors impacting adherence to medical regimen; intervention with patients & families to promote adherence
Foster Care Clinic
  • Individuals from birth through young adulthood living in foster care or kinship care
  • Comprehensive psychological assessments; provide consultation services to PCPs in Foster Care Clinic; parent groups; individual therapy with children in kinship care; family-based behavioral interventions
Gastroenterology 
  • Children and adolescents with gastrointestinal disorders and their families (including constipation, encopresis, functional abdominal pain, and inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Extensive behavior modification and brief motivational interviewing; psychoeducation, gut-directed hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy; behavior planning and motivational interviewing for non-adherence, as well as coping with chronic illness
Hematology & Sickle Cell Disease
  • Patients and families with Sickle Cell and other hematological disorders
  • Assessment, screening, and consultation Adolescent Transition Clinic; inpatient C/L for Heme Service & Heme-to-Bone Marrow -Transplant Service; inpatient pain management; adjustment to illness & Factors impacting health outcomes; pain/Somatization treatment; family-based behavioral interventions (pica, enuresis) 

Low Birth Weight Clinic 
  • Multidisciplinary comprehensive primary care (medical home) for NICU graduates up to age 5.
  • Brief screenings, evaluations, and interventions, including empirically supported treatments, targeting child social-emotional and behavioral problems, parent-child relationship problems, and health problems (e.g. obesity, failure to thrive). 
Oncology 
  • Children with oncological diagnoses (infants to early adulthood) and their families (parents, siblings, extended family); children undergoing stem cell transplant and their families 
  • Diagnostic interviewing; child interventions; parent-child interventions; parent training/support; behavior management; adherence; management of treatment side effects (nausea, pain, etc.); hypnotherapy; multidisciplinary collaboration; cancer survivorship/transitions; end of life issues 
Pain Management 
  • Children and adolescents with chronic pain conditions (e.g., migraine, functional abdominal pain, complex regional pain syndrome, amplified pain syndrome, somatoform disorders, etc) or acute pain complaints (e.g., post-injury, post-surgical)
  • Diagnostic interviewing; acute pain intervention; adjustment to illness; psychoeducation re: the mind-body connection; assessment and treatment of Somatoform Pediatric Pain Management Disorders; treatment of comorbid mood and anxiety disorders; biofeedback; multidisciplinary collaboration; multimodal treatment in Pediatric Pain Management Center
Pulmonary
  • Children and adolescents seen in the pulmonary umbrella of clinics including asthma, high risk asthma, sleep disorders, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, allergy, food allergy, immunology and neuromuscular patients
  • Consultation and intervention for mood issues; adherence assessment and intervention; parent/family training and support; multidisciplinary collaboration; adjustment to illness; anxiety protocols 
Solid Organ Transplant 
  • Infants, children, and adolescent/young adults who are waiting for or have undergone a solid organ transplant 
  • Pre-Transplant Evaluations; adherence clinic; end of life issues; ethical decision-making; inpatient, outpatient, and clinic experiences; transition to adult health care; integrated report writing for health care setting

Concentration Faculty

Crista Wetherington Donewar, Ph.D. (Consult)
Dr. Crista Donewar completed her Ph.D. in School Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006. She completed her predoctoral internship in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools in 2006 and her postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at CMC in 2007. Dr. Donewar is the Training Director for the Clinical Child Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at CMC and an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at UTSW.  Dr. Donewar provides supervision to fellows on the psychiatry C/L service.  Her primary areas of research and clinical work include infant/early childhood mental health; abuse risk, prevention, and sequelae of abuse; treatment adherence; and childhood and adolescent adjustment to chronic illness.  

Julie N. Germann, Ph.D. (Oncology)
Dr. Julie Germann completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at The University of Toledo in 2000.  She completed her predoctoral internship at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago in 2000 and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at Children's Hospital of New Orleans in 2002.  Subsequently, Dr. Germann was the Clinical Director of the FitMatters Weight Control Program at La Rabida Children's Hospital in Chicago for six years.  She joined CMC in 2008 as the Psychologist for Oncology and also holds an appointment as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UTSW.  Dr. Germann's primary areas of research and clinical work include adjustment, resilience, and factors promoting adaptive coping—particularly the application of hope theory; coping with cancer diagnosis and survivorship issues; empirically based treatments to address stressors and side effects of cancer treatment; the role of self-efficacy in health behaviors; and family factors that promote physical & mental health.

Jamie A. Grollman, Ph.D. (Pulmonary)
Dr. Jamie Grollman received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in 2005.  Dr. Grollman completed her predoctoral internship at Depelchin Children’s Center/Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX in 2005, and her postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 2007.  As an Assistant Professor at UTSW and an embedded psychologist at CMC, she has developed clinical programming for the Department of Pulmonary Medicine.  Dr. Grollman provides clinical services to families receiving care in the Cystic Fibrosis Care and Teaching Center, the High Risk Asthma Program, the Food Allergy Center, and the general Pulmonary Clinics. Her clinical and research interests are in the areas of pediatric to adult health care transition and adherence to medical regimens in chronic medical illness. 

Jami Gross-Toalson, Ph.D. (Solid Organ Transplant)
Dr. Jami Gross-Toalson received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 2006 from the University of Iowa.  She completed her predoctoral internship at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit in 2005.  Dr. Gross-Toalson finished her training at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, where she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric and adult health psychology in 2006.  At CMC, Dr. Gross-Toalson provides psychological assessment and intervention for children who are undergoing, or have undergone, solid organ transplantation.  She participates in the pre-transplant evaluation process and follows patients throughout transplant and beyond.  Her clinical and research interests include adherence to medical regimens, adjustment to chronic illness and health care changes, and transition of pediatric patients to adulthood.  

Celia Heppner, Psy.D. (Plastics and Craniofacial)
Dr. Celia Heppner completed her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology in Tampa, Florida in 2011.  After completing an internship in Infant Mental Health at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in 2011, she completed her postdoctoral fellowship training in Pediatric Health Psychology at Children’s Medical Center in 2012.  She was hired into a staff position at CMC in 2012 as a pediatric psychologist in Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery, as well as the Psychology Consult-Liaison service. Her current responsibilities include evaluation and treatment of children ages 0 to 18 with a wide range of craniofacial diagnoses and traumatic injuries.  Dr. Heppner serves as the psychologist for an interdisciplinary team treating pediatric craniofacial conditions.  Additionally, she conducts neurodevelopmental and presurgical evaluations of infants and children receiving surgical intervention for craniofacial conditions. Dr. Heppner also participates in the clinical supervision of doctoral students and fellows.  Dr. Heppner’s primary areas of research interest are quality of life and bullying in the craniofacial population. 

Lily Iteld, Ph.D. (Foster Care)
Dr. Lily Iteld completed her Ph.D. in School Psychology at the University of Washington in 2010.  After completing her predoctoral internship in the Dallas Independent School District in 2010, she joined CMC as a postdoctoral fellow in Outpatient Psychiatry.   Dr. Iteld became a staff psychologist at CMC in 2011 and works primarily in the hospital’s Foster Care Clinic.  Dr. Iteld’s primary areas of research and clinical work include challenges facing youth in foster care, early intervention for youth with severe behavioral problems, parent training, and early childhood assessment and intervention.

Mary Lazarus, Psy.D. (Hematology & Sickle Cell Disease)
Dr. Mary Lazarus completed both her Masters and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA in 2005 and 2007, respectively.  Dr. Lazarus finished her predoctoral internship training at Lakeview Specialty Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in 2007, and her fellowship in pediatric psychology at the NeuroDevelopmental Center at Akron Children’s Hospital in 2008.  At CMC, Dr. Lazarus provides C/L services to families receiving care in the UTSW Pediatric Sickle Cell Program and the General Hematology Service.  Her clinical and research interests include pain management, medical adherence, and neurocognitive health outcomes.

Gretchen Noble, Psy.D. (Pain Management)
Dr. Gretchen Noble received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2009 from Indiana State University.  Dr. Noble completed her predoctoral internship at the Hawthorn Center, an inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric hospital in Northville, Michigan and at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and in 2009.    Following completion of a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at CMC, Dr. Noble joined CMC as the Psychologist for the Pain Management Service.  She holds a faculty appointment at UTSW as an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry.  Dr. Noble provides inpatient consultation, assessment, and intervention to children and adolescents within the hospital, in addition to conducting evaluations and providing biofeedback intervention within the Pediatric Pain Management Center.  Her research and clinical interests include pediatric pain, adjustment to chronic illness, internalizing disorders, and severe childhood mental illness.

Gabby Reed, Ph.D. (Gastroenterology)
Dr. Gabriela Reed received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and completed her predoctoral internship at UTSW in 2007.  Dr. Reed completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at CMC in 2008.  Following her fellowship, Dr. Reed joined CMC as the Psychologist for the Department of Gastroenterology and Nutrition and holds an appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UTSW.  Dr. Reed provides C/L and other psychological services to patients and patient families receiving care in the Department of Gastroenterology.  Dr. Reed’s primary areas of research and clinical work include functional gastrointestinal disorders and inflammatory bowel disease.

Eileen Santa, Ph.D. (Low Birth Weight Clinic, NICU) 
Dr. Eileen Santa, who joined CMC in 2012, received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts-Boston in 2009. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-University Behavioral Healthcare in 2009, and her postdoctoral fellowship at the CARES Institute at UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011. Her primary areas of interest are working with infants & toddlers and their families, pediatric traumatic stress, primary care psychology, cultural factors and disparities in maternal and child health & mental health, bilingualism, depression in parents, parenting, CBT, family systems, evidence-based practice, and health policy.

Concentration Objectives

In addition to the general objectives shared by the training program for all postdoctoral fellows, fellows in the pediatric health psychology specialization do the following:

  • Utilize a biopsychosocial framework to guide a thorough clinical interview and to develop a clear case conceptualization of each patient and family.
  • Demonstrate understanding of evidence-based interventions in pediatric psychology, and use that knowledge to develop and implement effective treatment plans.
  • Collaborate and communicate effectively with various members of the multidisciplinary team within a medical setting to positively impact patient care.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of ethical and cultural issues in pediatric psychology and child health issues.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of various pediatric health conditions on patient and family adjustment and quality of life.

For more information about the Pediatric Health Psychology concentration, please contact:

Crista Wetherington Donewar, Ph.D.
crista.donewar@childrens.com

Contact the Psychiatry Inpatient Program's Intake Coordinator

214-456-8899

Contact the Psychiatry Outpatient Program's Intake Coordinator

214-456-5937