Psychiatrists and psychologists from the department treat inpatients at University Hospital and outpatients at the University Health Center-Downtown.
John A. Chiles, MD, professor of psychiatry, is the medical director of the Center for Health Care Services, which is Bexar County's designated community mental health component. The organization is financed primarily by the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.
Dr. Chiles and his staff have developed innovative programs to better diagnose and treat patients with special needs, such as those with mental retardation and criminal offenders who are mentally ill.
The countywide program includes an emergency psychiatric center and crisis stabilization unit developed by the psychiatry department, University Hospital and the Center for Health Care Services. The three units are directed by Sally E. Taylor, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry. This group has developed a crisis management program and a citywide computer network that contains information on patients seen at these facilities. Many of the patients use all three facilities.
A new program developed by Kenneth L. Matthews, MD, professor and director of the Psychiatry Residency Training Program, contracts for a psychiatry resident to work at the Rio Grande State Center in Harlingen or at the Tropical Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center in Edinburg under the direction of faculty and volunteer clinical faculty members. These satellite programs are sponsored by the Area Health Education Centers of South Texas.
Psychiatry faculty and residents in training also are involved in research conducted outside the Health Science Center. Faculty and residents staff the clinical research unit at the San Antonio State Hospital, which is studying schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other depressive illnesses with support from state and federal sources. The unit is directed by Alexander L. Miller, MD, professor of psychiatry.
"Universities such as the Health Science Center are very important to ongoing psychiatric research in Texas," said Stella Mullins, executive director of Mental Health Association in Texas, an advocacy group headquartered in Austin.
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