Penn State Hershey Psychiatry

Like all of medicine and health care, psychiatry stands poised on a threshold of great and rapid changes. In the near future, advances in imaging and molecular biology will unlock many of the brain's mysteries, allowing more personalized treatments, based on new understanding of pathophysiology. Psychiatric patients, their families, and society at large will benefit. It is an exciting time to be a physician and to specialize in the evolving specialty of psychiatry. Click here to learn more

For clinical concerns and appointments, please contact the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (PPI) Admissions Department at 717-782-6493 or 866-746-2496. For out-patient appointments in Hershey, please call 717-531-8338.

Is your child struggling with paying attention, or having issues with behavior?

Penn State Hershey Psychiatry offers an eight-week group counseling program for parents and their children who have issues with paying attention, following the rules, temper outbursts, or getting along with others.


Children (ages 5-12) with attention or behavior issues and their parent(s).


Wednesday afternoons and evenings (eight week sessions) offered throughout the year


Penn State Hershey Medical Group - Psychiatry
22 Northeast Drive, Hershey, PA 17033
(behind Tanger Outlet Center)


Standard co-pay charges may apply for parents; separate fees apply for optional children's sessions ($20 per session)


Registration is required. Please call 717-531-6772 or email Click here to learn more about about these group sessions.


Volunteers Needed

If you have bipolar disorder, you may be eligible for a research study to investigate whether dietary regulation could affect the course of bipolar disorder.

Who may participate?

Anyone undergoing current psychiatric treatment who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with at least one manic or mixed episode may participate. Additionally, participants need to be over the age of 18 and not have a strong aversion to fish.

What will I have to do?

If eligible for the study, you will undergo a personal interview and then complete daily stress, sleep, headache, mood, and diet logs that will be completed on a provided smartphone. Sleep will be periodically monitored via a watch-like device called an actigraph. Blood and saliva samples will be collected four times throughout the following year and your questionnaires will be completed. You will meet with a dietary counselor every two weeks where study foods and oils will be provided to be used in the preparation of your meals.

For more information

Contact Katerina Martin at 717-531-4802 or

The Central Pennsylvania Regional Autism Partnership, an ASERT center, was established in December of 2008 through a generous grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare's Bureau of Autism Services. In establishing the ASERT centers, the Bureau is intending to create three regional centers for Autism Service, Education, Research, and Training (ASERT) as a cost-effective way to address the chasm between research and quality diagnostic and intervention practices. The establishment of these three centers is a direct result of the work of the Autism Task Force, which recommended development and funding of regional centers as a means to leverage work from the research community.

Visit the Autism Central PA Website


Alexandros N. Vgontzas, M.D. - Dr. Vgontzas’ paper entitled “Insomnia with Physiological Hyperarousal is Associated with Hypertension” was selected by the Editors of Hypertension as one of the Top Papers for 2015 in the category of clinical science. (Hypertension. 2015; 65:644-650. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.04604.)

New Staff

Suzanne Medina, CRNP, nocturnist, joined us on May 31, 2016 and will provide services at Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute on Monday, Tuesday, and every other Wednesday evenings/nights. Ms. Medina received her MS in Nursing/Nurse Educator degree from DeSales University in Center Valley, PA and her Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate from Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Nicola Gray, M.D., Assistant Professor, joined us on June 13, 2016 and will be providing adult outpatient and inpatient coverage services at Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Gray completed her M.D. at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, her residency at Allegheny General Hospital, and ECT Fellowships at Western Psychiatric Institute and Duke University. Dr. Gray’s interests include: management of psychiatric illness during pregnancy, electroconvulsive therapy, treatment of opiate addiction, and the recognition and management of psychiatric illness. She also has a passion for teaching and teamwork. She comes to us from private practice in North Carolina.

Christopher R. Martin, M.D., Assistant Professor, joined us on July 1, 2016 and will provide adult inpatient care at PPI. Dr. Martin completed his M.D. at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University and his residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He comes to us from Christiana Care Health System where he served as Medical Director of the Behavioral Health Consultation Service.

Lee Ann Grisolano, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Director of Pediatric Neuropsychology, joined us on July 1, 2016 and will provide pediatric neuropsychology services at UPC 1100. Dr. Grisolano completed her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. Her interests include neuropsychological assessment of children, adolescents, and young adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities (e.g., learning and attention disorders, Autism Spectrum, Tourette’s, Traumatic Brain Injury) and other chronic health conditions (e.g., seizure disorders, hem/onc, congenital heart disease). 


Ed Bixler, Ph.D., recipient of the 2016 Career Citation Milestone Award by the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and the Unified Campus Research Team at Penn State College of Medicine. The Career Citation Milestone Award recognizes a career milestone of 500 or more citations for a primary article where the recipient was first or last author. The nominee must be a current College of Medicine faculty member.

Ed Bixler, Ph.D., recipient of the 2016 Career Research Excellence Award by the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and the Unified Campus Research Team at Penn State College of Medicine. The Career Research Excellence Award was established to recognize the outstanding achievements of a faculty member who has dedicated their career to enhancing the research mission through education, mentorship and collaborative efforts to further advance science. 

Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, Ph.D., recipient of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine's Early Career Distinguished Achievement Award for 2016. The SBSM presents this award to scientists who have made significant scientific or clinical contributions to behavioral sleep medicine as exemplified by innovations in service delivery, dissemination and public policy.