Psychiatry Department to Host Distinguished Lecturer


MACON – John Rolland, M.D., an internationally-recognized author and teacher in the area of caring for patients with chronic and terminal illness, will be the inaugural speaker for a distinguished lecture series hosted by Mercer University’s Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine. The two-day series, to be held April 18-20, 2007, was made possible by a grant from the American Association for Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry.

“We invited Dr. Rolland because we felt that his work on the interface between medicine and mental health fits the Mercer mission to train physicians and health care professionals to work with patients and their families in rural and underserved areas,” said Dr. Melton Strozier, chair of the Department of Psychiatry. “Medical students, psychiatrists, primary care physicians and family therapists will learn about the care of both patients and their families affected by illness.”

Rolland, the co-founder and co-director of the Chicago Center for Family Health, received his training in medicine and psychiatry at the University of Michigan and Yale University and earned a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He was the founding director of the Center for Illness in Families at Yale University, and continues as a lecturer at Yale’s School of Medicine. He is author of the classic text, Families, Illness and Health, and his book, Families, Illness, and Disability: An Integrative Treatment Model, was nominated for book of the year by the American Medical Writer’s Association.

He is currently co-author of a new book, Individuals, Families, and the New Era of Genetics: A Biopsychosocial Perspective. He has given more than 250 national and international presentations on topics related to his work. In addition to his duties with the Chicago Center for Family Health, he also serves as clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.
Rolland’s visit will be co-sponsored by the Grassman Rural Medicine lecture series of the Community Medicine Department and the Armour Family Therapy lecture series of the Marriage and Family Therapy program of the Psychiatry Department. The collaborative effort of these three lecture series will provide an excellent educational opportunity for medical students, physicians and family therapists.

During the Armour lecture series, Rolland will be joined by Froma Walsh, MSW, Ph.D, the co-founder and co-director of the Chicago Center for Family Health, who will will lead a session on working with families with complicated bereavement issues. Walsh is the Mose and Sylvia Firestone Professor in the School of Social Service Administration and Department of Psychiatry, Pritzker School of Medicine, at the University of Chicago. She is a leading expert on a family resilience practice approach in fostering recovery from crisis, trauma and loss; navigating disruptive life transitions; and mastering ongoing challenges with chronic, multi-stress conditions and widespread disasters. Her books include: Strengthening Family Resilience, Spiritual Resources in Family Therapy, Normal Family Processes: Growing Diversity and Complexity, Living Beyond Loss: Death in the Family, and Chronic Disorders and the Family and Women in Families.

About Mercer University and the School of Medicine:
Mercer University’s School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Students entering Mercer University School of Medicine will be graduated from a school that utilizes a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice.  The medical school has two teaching hospitals: the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon and Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.

Rick Cameron is senior assistant vice president for marketing communications. He is liaison for the Athletic Department and is known as the "Voice of the Bears" for his radio play-by-play of football and men's basketball games, as well as select women's basketball and baseball games.