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Ursula Myers

Ursula Myers (Medical University of South Carolina)

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 4:00 P.M.

*All Fall 2020 Design@Large talks will be hosted online. This aligns with UC San Diego policy that all events be hosted virtual during the Fall 2020 quarter.


Telemental Healthcare Pre, During, and (someday) Post COVID-19

As the US scrambles to deliver health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, expanding telehealth services has become the most prominently employed access strategy across the majority of health care systems. Current projections estimate there could be 1 billion telehealth appointments conducted in 2020, compared to the original pre-COVID projection of 36 million virtual visits for 2020. Fortunately, in its commitment to providing veterans access to specialized medical and mental health care, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has been an early adopter of telehealth beginning in 2003, leading to over 1 million telehealth appointments in FY2019. With no vaccine or current treatment for COVID-19 available in the near term, social distancing guidelines require the country has robust capacity to provide a full range of virtual mental health services. Using the VHA as a model, we will discuss how mental health treatment is being delivered via telehealth, adaptions that have been necessary due to COVID-19, and the road ahead for telemental health treatment in a future, post-pandemic world.


Ursula S. Myers, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Associate Director of the Telehealth Research Collaborative funded through VA Health Services Research and Development, and clinical psychologist in the PTSD clinic at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center (VAMC). Dr. Myers received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of New Mexico, her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the UC San Diego/San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, and completed her internship at the Charleston Consortium Clinical Psychology Internship Program with MUSC and the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC. Dr. Myers’ research and clinical interests are focused on utilizing telehealth to improve psychotherapy engagement, retention, and treatment- and cost-effectiveness for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related issues. Dr. Myers is principal investigator on multiple mixed-methods grants examining the different aspects of telemental healthcare. Dr. Myers has published over 25 papers examining mental health issues with veterans, and is the recipient of a number of awards including the John C. Roitzsch Memorial Scientist-Practitioner Award and the MUSC Clinical Psychology Internship Consortium Best Supervisor Award.


Design@Large is a speaker series that is hosted by The Design Lab at UCSD, where each quarter we examine a topic in society and the relevance and implications through the lens of human centered design. This fall, hosted by Professor Edward Wang from Electrical & Computer Engineering, we will discuss the topic that has affected all of our lives, COVID-19. In a way, we are all talking about the fundamental thought of “how do we stay safe in the times of COVID-19?” But what does that mean? What are the facets of consideration that goes into this idea of “staying safe?”

We have an exciting list of speakers covering topics around remote and predictive healthcare, break throughs in computational materials towards future proofing our built environments, enabling large gatherings through virtual events, and economic impact on underrepresented communities.


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