July 27, 2006

Contact: Luke Frank, Senior Public Affairs Representative, 505/272-3679

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALBUQUERQUE, NM UNM Psychiatrist Joel Yager, M.D., recently was honored by the American Association of Technology in Psychiatry (AATP) with its Marvin J. Miller Lifetime Achievement Award for his overall contributions to the field of psychiatry and his recent innovative work using e-mail as an effective outreach for treating New Mexico patients with eating disorders.

Access to regular treatment for eating disorders and other psychiatric conditions in New Mexico 's rural populations is difficult. "I started e-mailing my patients when I came to New Mexico about 10 years ago," Yager offers. "It's very suitable to adolescents, as they're comfortable with the Internet, text messaging and e-mailing. I found they were more open and honest in our interaction and much more involved in their diagnosis and treatment often writing pages and pages of information for me."

Yager still sees his patients face-to-face as often as possible, but in outlying areas it's more challenging. He adds that studies are underway to verify the utility of using e-mail in this and other medical contexts, and he believes this type of treatment and patient interface will serve as a model for other disciplines. Yager, who is internationally renowned for his work in eating disorders, also specializes in medical school residency training, medical student education, and psychiatric practice guidelines.

The AATP is a nonprofit organization of physicians and mental health professionals dedicated to the development and use of information technology to improve the quality and availability of psychiatric and mental health care.

For more information on UNM's Department of Psychiatry or Dr. Joel Yager, call 505/272-3679.