Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
I am honored to receive this award and privileged to have served patients in the Orlando area for the last 22 years. As a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist working with a diverse population of different ages, I am an advocate for bringing more mental health awareness, quality treatment, and education to the community. I am experienced in treating a variety of adult and childhood disorders, such as ADHD, bi-polar disorder, depression and early-onset child and adult schizophrenia. I am trained in providing alternative and non-invasive treatments for youth and adults. I find that despite all of the advances in Psychiatry, there is still a lingering stigma associated with mental health issues, and that all too often, that stigma heavily weighs on one’s decision to seek help. I strive to educate the community that mental health issues are indeed health care issues. Vulnerable communities have disproportionate access to mental health treatment, and I have worked to narrow that gap by promoting all avenues of health care including community-based alternatives.
I come from a diverse background, my family having emigrated from Haiti to Chicago in the late 1960’s in search of a better life. I always knew that I wanted to be doctor, and education has always been a priority in our close-knit family, which includes a growing line of health care professionals. My mother is a retired nurse, my middle son is currently completing a residency in cardio-thoracic surgery, and several close relatives are physicians. My eldest daughter is a corporate employment attorney, and my youngest son is a senior executive assistant for a government defense contractor.
I began considering the field of Psychiatry in the early 1990’s, excited by the revolution of new lines of research and treatments. I was captivated when physicians, on a wide scale, began using evidence-based pharmacological treatments and combining them with psychological approaches in order to provide more effective care. In 1992 the prospect of being in a field in which I would be able to treat my patients as a whole brought me to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, an institution at the forefront of advances in Psychiatry.
I originally planned to focus my practice on adults, but changed my mind after observing confused families admit their young adult children for hospitalization, distressed over having missed early signals of mental health issues during the crucial adolescent years. The consequences of untreated childhood mental health disorders are often devastating. I was determined to be a part of bridging that treatment gap, and decided to further prolong my training in order to pursue a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. My treatment philosophy is the same now as it was back then: treating the initial stages of illness not only helps young patients with severe psychiatric illnesses learn to accept and manage aspects of their illnesses, but demonstrably helps mitigate important developmental and social delays.
Aside from running a busy private practice in Winter Springs, I also serve as the Medical Director of Pasadena Villa, a well-regarded private psychiatric residential treatment center in the Orlando area. I have been affiliated with the University of Central Florida Medical School as an Adjunct Professor since its nascent. My philosophy is to never stop learning and discovering, give back through volunteering, and pass the torch through teaching and mentoring. During my leisure time, I enjoy outdoor fitness activities and supporting the local performing arts community.