Helen C. Kales, a physician leader who specializes in geriatric psychiatry, mood disorders and the neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia, has been selected as chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC Davis School of Medicine and the Joe Tupin Endowed Chair in Psychiatry. Her appointment is expected to begin July 1, 2019 pending final review and approval according to University of California procedures.
“Kales brings remarkable strengths in psychiatry, as well as a longstanding devotion to education and research, which position her as a successful leader for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,” said Lars Berglund, interim dean at the School of Medicine and associate vice chancellor for Biomedical Research at UC Davis.
Kales joins UC Davis Health from the University of Michigan where she served as professor of psychiatry and was the founding director of the Program for Positive Aging. She has previously served in key positions as director of the Section of Geriatric Psychiatry, associate director for Mental Health and Aging Research at The Geriatrics Center. Additionally, she has provided service at the VA Ann Arbor Health System as a research investigator at the Center for Clinical Management Research in the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center.
As chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Kales will lead the department to even greater growth in its missions to improve population health, engage deeply with the community through a variety of programs and services, and enhance education and discovery.
Her efforts will focus on elevating care to meet the growing needs of the region; advancing the department’s research endeavors; creating robust and impactful teaching and academic programs; recruiting, retaining and developing talent; and increasing collaboration between the department and colleagues across the university and with community partners.
Kales was selected following a national search and replaces Robert Hales, who retired earlier this year. Ladson Hinton, a geriatric psychiatrist recognized for his expertise on the cultural aspects of geriatric mental health and family caregiving, will continue to serve as interim chair during the transition.