UCSD C-L Psychiatry Fellowship Faculty Bios

Kristin Beizai, M.D. obtained her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed her psychiatry residency at New York University School of Medicine. Since the completion of residency, she has worked consistently in Consultation-Liaison settings, inpatient and outpatient. She has served in a variety of leadership roles including Director of the CL Service, Acting Associate Chief of Psychiatry at the VA San Diego, and Co-Chair of the VA San Diego Ethics Consultation Service. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the APA and a Fellow of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. She has been involved in medical education throughout her career, including the development of this fellowship, and has been a recipient of the Nancy C. A. Roeske Certificate for Recognition in Medical Student Education by the American Psychiatric Association. Currently, she is the Program Director for the UCSD Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship and is also involved in the development of inter-professional educational programs. Dr. Beizai is a member of the membership committee of the Academy of CL Psychiatry and the Ethics Committee Chair of the San Diego Psychiatric Society. She is involved in multiple scholarly activities in a variety of topics in CL Psychiatry. Dr. Beizai is board certified in Psychiatry with added qualifications in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD.

Alan Hsu, M.D. obtained his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He completed his psychiatry residency at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, and his Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is a staff psychiatrist for the Consultation-Liaison Service, Primary Care Mental Health Integration, and Psycho-oncology programs at the VA San Diego Healthcare System in La Jolla. He also serves as a psychiatrist at Moores Cancer Center, part of the University of California San Diego Health System. Dr. Hsu teaches and provides supervision to psychiatry residents, CL fellows, psychology post-doctoral fellows, and pharmacy residents at the VA and UCSD, serving as Associate Program Director for the UCSD Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship, core faculty member for the Pain/Consultation-Liaison and Primary Care-Mental Health Integration/Psycho-oncology Behavioral Medicine Psychology Post-doctoral Fellowships, and Clerkship Director for the CL Psychiatry 4th year medical student elective at the VA. He is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a member of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, as well as co-chair of the ACLP Early Career Special Interest Group and member of the Early Career Subcommittee. Dr. Hsu is board certified in Psychiatry with added qualifications in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD.

Maria Tiamson-Kassab, M.D. obtained her medical degree from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine and migrated to the US where she completed a residency in Psychiatry and a fellowship in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry in New York. She was Director of AIDS Psychiatry and managed the Consultation Liaison Service at Westchester Medical Center/New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. She then joined the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System in New York where she managed the Consultation-Liaison Service and the Community Mental Health programs. She was Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York Medical College. Dr. Tiamson-Kassab was Acting Chief of Psychiatry and then Associate Chief of Psychiatry at the San Diego VA Healthcare System and Division Director of Acute and Intensive Mental Health Services. She is currently the Director of Psychiatry and Psychological Services at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center and Jacobs Medical Center. She is actively involved in the American Psychiatric Association (APA) at the local, state and national levels as Assembly Representative for San Diego, a member of the Assembly Committee on Procedures, Vice Chair of the APA Council on Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and a member of the Education Committee of the California Psychiatric Association. Dr. Tiamson-Kassab is the Treasurer of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and a member of its Executive Board. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the APA and a fellow of the ACLP. She has co-authored two editions of Practical Guide to Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry/Psychosomatic Medicine, which has been translated to several languages and has written book chapters and articles in various topics in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and other Psychiatry topics. Dr. Tiamson-Kassab is board certified in Psychiatry with added qualifications in Consultation Liaison Psychiatry and is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD.

Thomas Rutledge, Ph.D., ABPP received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1999. He completed his internship at the Toronto Hospital, and a postdoctoral fellowship specializing in the study of behavioral factors in cardiovascular disease at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Rutledge is a Professor In-Residence with the UCSD Department of Psychiatry, and a clinical psychologist in the VA San Diego Healthcare System. He is board certified in clinical health psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Rutledge directs the behavioral medicine services in the Weight Control and Diabetes clinics in the San Diego VA and provides chronic pain assessment and treatment services for the Anesthesia Pain Clinic. He is active researcher in the area of interventions for chronic disease management.

Pia Heppner, Ph.D. received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology in 2004 with a specialty in behavioral medicine. She completed her internship at the UCSD/VA San Diego predoctoral psychology internship program and was a VA Associate Investigator awardee studying the health-related impacts of posttraumatic stress disorder. Dr. Heppner is an Associate Clinical Professor with the UCSD Department of Psychiatry, and serves as staff psychologist and Health Behavior Coordinator (HBC) at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. In her role as HBC, Dr. Heppner provides motivational interviewing training to VASDHS staff and trainees (medicine, psychology, psychiatry, pharmacy, dietetics, nursing, social work). She is co-chair of the VASDHS Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) program and works collaboratively with VA Healthy Living teams in supporting and promoting patient engagement. Since 2009, Dr. Heppner has supervised psychology trainees at all levels, with a focus on integrating behavioral health in medical settings, and serves as a primary supervisor within the VA Psychosomatic Medicine Interprofessional Fellowship and the SDSU-UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. She currently provides and supervises patient care within the VASDHS Psycho-Oncology program.