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At Atrium Health Behavioral Health, our commitment to advancing behavioral health services through evidence-based practices is unwavering.

As a national leader in integrated behavioral health research and practice, we operate as a learning health care system, continually striving to enhance the quality and accessibility of mental health care. Using epidemiologic and clinical trial methods, our researchers undertake diverse and complex tasks. These include assessing the prevalence of various mental health diagnoses, evaluating treatment effectiveness and pioneering innovative models of patient care.

In the intricate landscape of neuropsychiatric disorders, the need for innovative solutions is crucial. Central to this quest for progress is the development of new pharmacological agents, which hold the promise of transformative interventions. Clinical trials form the bedrock of scientific advancement in medicine, furnishing a structured and ethical framework for assessing the safety and efficacy of emerging treatments.

In the domains of psychiatry and neurosciences, these trials not only facilitate the testing of novel pharmacological agents but also yield invaluable insights into the underlying pathophysiology and mechanisms of disorders. Spanning a diverse spectrum of therapeutic areas, including treatment-resistant schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, affective disorders and anxiety disorders, our behavioral health service line and department of psychiatry are actively engaged in conducting clinical trials.

Our investigators diligently collect, analyze and share data to strengthen patient well-being by reducing depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. At Atrium Health, we are committed to exploring new areas in mental health care through in-depth research and compassionate practice.

Members of the team

Jason Roberge.

Jason Roberge

Dr. Roberge received his PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Arizona and his MPH from Emory University. He has been designing, managing and analyzing epidemiologic studies for more than 17 years. As a senior data scientist within the department of psychiatry, he focuses on assessing initiatives and teaching study designs. He is the principal investigator on several pragmatic clinical trials, evaluating the effectiveness of virtual care programs among behavioral health patients. One such trial, assessing a post-discharge virtual care program among patients seen in urban EDs, can be found in JAMA Open Network. DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.19954.

Oleg V. Tcheremissine, MD

Oleg Tcheremissine

Oleg V. Tcheremissine, MD, is a professor of psychiatry and research director at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He is a board-certified psychiatrist and clinical investigator with more than 30 years of research experience in human behavioral and applied clinical psychopharmacology. Dr. Tcheremissine oversees a broad research portfolio for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disorder, schizophrenia, and affective disorders. He has successfully combined his research interest, teaching, clinical and administrative responsibilities while focusing on eliminating external and internal barriers to development of novel and innovative treatments with the overall goal of reducing health disparities, improving access to care and increasing the generalizability of clinical trial results.

Durga P. Bestha, MD

Durga Bestha

Durga P. Bestha, MD, is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He is a board-certified psychiatrist and has been part of Atrium Health since June 2011. Dr. Bestha has significant experience across different clinical settings including inpatient, tele-psychiatry, emergency psychiatry, consultation-liaison psychiatry and interventional psychiatry. He served as a sub-investigator and clinical rater on numerous Alzheimer's and schizophrenia clinical trials. Dr. Bestha has presented at national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. He is a core faculty member for medical student and psychiatry residency teaching at Atrium Health Behavioral Health Charlotte, a facility of Carolinas Medical Center.

Nicole Latz.

Nicole Latz

Nicole Latz embarked on her social work journey in 2013, earning her master's from Loyola University Chicago and becoming a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Her experience spans community support teams, inpatient psychiatric units and virtual behavioral health services. Since 2017, Latz has been integral to Atrium Health Behavioral Health. In 2021, she spearheaded the launch of the virtual psychiatric transition of care program. This initiative involves facilitating the transition for patients from inpatient facilities or behavioral health emergency departments, by offering virtual outreach support services and providing assistance through a virtual psychiatric clinic.