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Joseph Stoklosa, MD, clinical director of McLean’s Center of Excellence in Psychotic Disorders and assistant program director of the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program, has been awarded the prestigious 2018 Jonathan O. Cole Award. The annual award—established in 2006, thanks to a gift from the Fleetwing Charitable Foundation—honors Dr. Cole, a former McLean psychiatrist, and is intended to recognize individuals who embody many of Dr. Cole’s notable personal and professional qualities, including dedication to excellence, humility, compassion, innovation, perseverance, creativity, individuality, and a willingness to be unconventional.
In accepting the award, Stoklosa humbly recognized the importance of the hard work of his colleagues and all that his patients give back to him. “I think this award is a testament to the teams I’m a part of and the people who support me,” said Stoklosa. “This award is really about them.”
As this year’s recipient—selected by Scott L. Rauch, MD, president and psychiatrist in chief for McLean Hospital, and key leadership across the hospital—Stoklosa receives a discretionary monetary award to support clinical, research, or training activities. Previous recipients include J. Alexander Bodkin, MD; Hilary Smith Connery, MD, PhD; Beth L. Murphy, MD, PhD; Sherry R. Winternitz, MD; Joseph Gold, MD; and Milissa Kaufman, MD, PhD.
Rauch cited Stoklosa’s “unwavering efforts to deliver patient-centered care in the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Inpatient Program, dedication to improving evidence-based treatments for psychotic disorders, and steadfast leadership and mentorship” as being exemplary of Cole’s ideals.
“Taking care of patients with psychotic disorders is my passion and calling,” said Stoklosa. “I am drawn to helping those most marginalized.”
As part of this passion, Stoklosa has focused on giving his patients the best scientifically proven care possible. This includes rolling out the implementation of the principles of Open Dialogue, a person-centered system of care that has led to dramatic gains for patients with psychotic disorders; helping to establish the Get Fit Together program, which has helped patients with weight gain and at risk for metabolic syndrome, a common co-occurring condition in patients with psychotic disorders; and partnering with Dost Öngür, MD, PhD, and Chloe Pedalino, LICSW, to develop the Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT), which has provided invaluable treatment for patients to help them remain well in their homes and communities.
Stoklosa has also been credited with devoting much of his time and energy to helping students and colleagues. He teaches and trains medical students, residents, and interdisciplinary staff at the inpatient program, and helped establish a mentoring program that helps research assistants, mental health specialists, and community residence counselors progress in their careers. He also helped establish the Clinician Educator Program, which offers additional training and mentorship to prepare psychiatric residents for a career as clinician educators.
As a tribute to his commitment to supporting colleagues, Stoklosa has decided to use the monetary award to help fund conference attendance and additional education for the nurses and mental health specialists at the psychotic disorders inpatient program. He noted that funding additional training and education is just one of the things that can and should be done to improve care for patients with psychotic disorders.
“Folks with psychotic disorders get less care, and often less evidence-based care, due to a variety of system, patient, and physician factors that all get in the way,” said Stoklosa. “Because of this, there are many opportunities to improve the care that we offer. Folks with psychotic disorders die on average 25 years earlier than the general population and 35 years earlier if there is co-occurring substance use. We must do better, and we can do better.”