The Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program at the University of Vermont Medical Center currently is proud of our four fellows who come from all over the country. A short description of each of them and their journey to our fellowship, as written by them, follows.
2nd Year Fellows
Keeva Madden, MBBCh
Hey, everyone! My name is Keeva (she/her) and I’m excited to be a part of the UVM Child and Adolescent Psychiatry family. I was born and raised in North Bay, Ontario, Canada - a place not unlike Burlington, so coming to UVM is like coming home. I attended the University of Ottawa where I studied health sciences, environmental science and the humanities with aspirations of working with children in some shape or form in the future. My father who is a retired pediatrician set an example for medicine, so I decided to pursue medicine. I attended Trinity College Dublin School of Medicine where I honed in on my choice in becoming a child psychiatrist.
I intended to remain in Ireland for further training however I followed my heart to the US (my husband is an American citizen) where I completed my adult psychiatry residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn NY. During my time at Maimonides I pursued my passion for teaching trainees; working with marginalized populations via the Anti Human Trafficking project; and, gaining leadership and advocacy experience as chief resident.
One aspect of UVM’s training experience is the emphasis on therapy and holistic approaches to the patient and their caregivers. I attended the Psychoanalytic Institute of New York during my adult residency where I was seeped in psychodynamic methodology and practice. And I am thrilled to learn from and partake in UVM’s very unique family based approach as I continue to work with patients through a therapeutic lens.
In my downtime, I love going to live shows and performing arts. I grew up in the performing arts world and it took me all across America. I also love cooking, and have recently been experimenting with a new pasta maker. Growing up in Northern Canada, it’s hard to escape the joy of outdoors and snowsports, so I’m excited to be able to step outside and embrace nature and strap into a snowboard and skis. Fun fact! I have met the Queen of England!
Elizabeth Maring, MD
Hey y'all, Elizabeth here! I'm originally from the Midwest and spent six years in Boston getting my M.S. and M.D. before coming to UVMMC to complete my adult psychiatry residency. I am excited to continue my psychiatry training at UVMMC, now as a child and adolescent psychiatry fellow. The clinicians in this department are so down-to-earth, committed to education, and invested in their patients’ wellbeing, and it is a privilege to work with and learn from them.
Clinically, I am interested in adolescent medicine, LGBTQI+ health, trauma-informed care, holistic mental health treatment, psychotherapy and the intersection between mental health care and social media. The Vermont Family-Based Approach used at the VCCYF is in fact a treatment model that provides comprehensive and holistic care for patients and their families and is a framework that I hope to use throughout my future career.
Michelle Cross, DO
Hello, I’m Michelle! I am ecstatic to start this new chapter in my life in Vermont with UVM! I grew up in the desert of West Texas and traveled around the state in pursuit of my education – Central Texas for undergrad (Southwestern University), North Texas for medical school (UNTHSC Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine) and South Texas for psychiatry residency (UIW-TIGMER in San Antonio). Through my experience living and working in Texas, I witnessed the deep inequities and hardships faced by many families who are new to the US.
In fact, I knew I wanted to become a child and adolescent psychiatrist due to my work in undergrad teaching science to kids who were new to this country, in a summer literacy program. In residency I began to collaborate with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) to perform trauma-informed forensic psychological evaluations for asylum seekers who had faced unimaginable hardship. In addition to this work, I am particularly interested in integrative approaches to psychiatry, namely meditation and nutritional interventions. I completed an online elective and course in Integrative Psychiatry last year through the University of Arizona and am currently pursuing certification in mind body medicine through the Center for Mind Body Medicine.
I believe that a strong and caring family and community are the most important elements of success for all of us to be the healthiest and best versions of ourselves. The Vermont Family Based Approach emphasizes these values in its conceptualization and treatment of psychiatric illness and is ultimately what drew me to UVM! I am excited to learn all that I possibly can and use that to contribute back to the Burlington and greater Vermont communities. When not working I enjoy all things hygge (Danish for a mindful kind of coziness) – creating warm memories with loved ones and my sweet corgi, sharing a great meal with others, curling up on a cold day with a good book and spending time in nature.
Sammy Abusrur, MD
Hi! My brilliant wife and I have been thrilled to join the Vermont community and cannot get enough of the exceptional natural beauty this area has to offer. Calling Vermont home these past few years really has been a pleasure! Between Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains and places like Shelburne Farms, what more could we ask for? Let’s not forget our proximity to the cultural [and therefore, culinary!] bastions of Montreal and Boston, too! And with all the natural splendor, it does not hurt that I’m also a photographer! However, the real key to happiness here is going to a local sugar house and devouring some maple ice cream or creemees… often.
I am originally from Florida, born to wonderful immigrant/refugee parents. After spending my first eighteen years in Florida, I decided to attend Stanford University in the California Bay Area where I received a bachelor’s degree in the History of Science & Medicine and minored in Human Biology as well as Middle Eastern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Later, I attended the Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Newark, New Jersey where I attained a Master of Biomedical Sciences degree. I then decided to return to Florida to attend medical school at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa.
I went to medical school for the sole purpose of being able to help children in need. To that end, I began my post-medical school training at the University of Vermont Medical Center in the combined Adult and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry program. My interests in the field are broad, but they center on the mental health of children, adolescents and transitional age folks from marginalized communities. If you have made it this far, congratulations—it’s the end and you deserve a creemee!
1st Year Fellows
McKay Allred, MD
Hello, I'm McKay, and my time in Vermont has been a fulfilling and transformative experience. Growing up surrounded by the natural beauty of Utah, I developed a deep love for the outdoors, spending hours hiking, camping, and fishing. Vermont's woods and lakes have felt like a second home, and I've even discovered a few new hobbies while living here that make each change of season something exciting to look forward to.
My academic path led me to the University of Utah where I pursued both my undergraduate and medical school education. During this time, I had the privilege of volunteering at the children's hospital, working closely with young patients. I volunteered in the music department at the hospital and at various nursing facilities around our city.
As a fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry I get to continue working in areas that I am passionate about while learning new skills to help serve those around me. One of the aspects I love most about this fellowship is the emphasis on holistic wellness as a core component of treatment. It's incredibly fulfilling to have the freedom and encouragement to explore meaningful ways to support patients and families, moving beyond the conventional approach of solely prescribing medications. The Vermont Family-based Approach allows me to take some of my favorite lessons and skills from my work with youth and patients, and make them effective treatment tools to help patients and families.
I appreciate the mentoring I’ve had during my time in Vermont, and look forward to continued collaboration with the talented and compassionate staff at the UVM Medical Center.
Lilly Rizzo, MD
Hey all, my name is Lilly (she/her)!
I was raised in Central New York where I grew up skiing in the winter and swimming the Finger Lakes in the summer. I first became interested in psychiatry through my work as a mental health case manager in western Washington State. This is also where I gained an appreciation for the importance of rural medicine. I returned to the East Coast for medical school at SUNY Upstate and completed adult psychiatry residency at the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT. Clinically, I’m interested in psychotherapy, trauma-informed care, LGBTQ+ health and adolescent medicine.
I was drawn to the Child & Adolescent Fellowship program at UVM because of the department’s focus on holistic and family-centered care through the Vermont Family-Based Approach. I am delighted to learn from such thoughtful, down-to-earth and dedicated clinicians. I’m excited to join the VT community and to live and work near the shores of the beautiful Lake Champlain where access to the outdoors is so accessible!
Kasania Goikhberg, MD
Amy Johnson, MD
My name is Amy (she/her) and I’m thrilled to be joining the UVM Child and Adolescent Psychiatry program. I was born and raised in Connecticut, and I first moved to Vermont to attend undergraduate school at Middlebury College. There, I majored in neuroscience and developed a growing interest in psychiatry, with a thesis project investigating a rat model of schizophrenia and an internship abroad at a psychiatric hospital in Zanzibar. Following graduation, I worked as a research coordinator at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for the Pediatric Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinic, where I was inspired to pursue a career in child and adolescent psychiatry. I subsequently earned my M.D. from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, NY, and completed my adult psychiatry residency training at Brown University in Providence, RI. During my time at Brown, I had the opportunity to train with child psychiatrists at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Bradley Hospital, the nation’s first child psychiatry hospital. I also completed longitudinal electives at a pediatric gender care clinic and at the Rhode Island School of Design’s College and Psychological Services center. While I loved my time in Providence, I frequently thought of returning to Vermont to finish my training. I was interested in learning more from the Family-Based Approach here, and I missed the incredible access to nature that VT offers. I’m very excited to be here and to continue to grow in my career in child psychiatry at UVM!