International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Clinical Excellence, Research and Service Acknowledged with Awards

Posted 1 October 2005 in StressPoints by ISTSS

Sarah Haley Memorial Award for Clinical Excellence

Greg Passey, MD

Greg Passey, MD, received the 2004 Sarah Haley Memorial Award for Clinical Excellence, which is given to a clinician or group of clinicians in direct service to traumatized individuals, exemplifying the work of Sara Haley.

Passey has made significant contributions to treatment of individuals who suffer from PTSD from a wide range of sources, including war trauma, trauma related to childhood abuse, sexual trauma, domestic trauma, torture and disaster trauma.

In 1993, Passey initiated the first PTSD Outreach Clinic in Canada for the assessment and treatment of PTSD in Canadian UN peacekeepers.

He served as the doctor in charge of PTSD and comorbid disorders at the Canadian Field Hospital in Rwanda in 1994, where he provided briefings, assessment and treatment for Canadian Forces medical staff and support staff deployed to Rwanda and exposed to the horrors of the 1994 genocide.

He has served as chief of Mental Health Services for Canadian Forces in British Columbia and has provided PTSD treatment since 1992. In 1997, Passey established a PTSD clinic at Vancouver General Hospital that is one of the few PTSD outpatient treatment programs in Canada.

He has been involved with educating professionals about posttraumatic stress and its treatment, including the destigmatization of PTSD, particularly within the military community, and was appointed to Veterans Affairs Canada-Canadian Forces Advisory Council in 2000.

Passey is an advocate for the appropriate recognition, treatment and care of veterans with PTSD within the military, devoting his career to PTSD education and treatment.

Chaim Danieli Young Professional Award

Christine Heim, PhD

Christine Heim, PhD, received the 2004 Chaim Danieli Young Professional Award, which recognizes excellence in service or research in the field of traumatic stress by an individual who has completed training within the past five years. The award was established by Yael Danieli in commemoration of her father.

Heim’s research has focused on the clinical psychobiology of early-life trauma, starting with her postdoctorate fellowship in which she concentrated on the long-term impact of childhood sexual and physical abuse on the neurobiology of depression and anxiety disorders, including PTSD.

She quickly gained recognition as an independent investigator. Her work provided first demonstration in humans that early adverse experience results in long-term sensitization of the neuroendocrine and autonomic stress responses, which in turn relates to depression and anxiety.

She also had a major impact on the societal and political awareness of the consequences of child abuse.

Heim has published reports in top journals in the field, including a seminal paper on the role of trauma and low cortisol in a variety of physical disorders, and she has collaborated in studies with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heim’s contributions to the field of trauma research has advanced the understanding of trauma-related disorders and their prevention and treatment.