Dr. Amanda Raines, Clinical Investigator at Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Louisiana State University, has been named the 2020 Early Career Psychologist by the Louisiana Psychological Association.
Highlighting her extensive peer-reviewed publications, development of novel interventions, ability to secure funding for the benefit of veterans in underserved areas, Awards Chair Dr. Mike Chafetz announced Dr. Raines as this year’s recipient on May 29. The Early Career Psychologist Award is given to an individual who is within 10 years of completing their doctorate in psychology and who has distinguished themselves by contributing to psychology research, practice, or both during the initial years of their career.
“Dr. Raines has published 89 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including 29 as first author, and presented her work at local, national, and international conferences. And keep in mind,” Chafetz said, “this is the Early Career Award!
“Dr. Raines’ research focuses on identifying and empirically examining diagnostic risk and maintenance factors, as well as the development of novel interventions that can be used to prevent and treat anxiety and related forms of pathology including suicide. Equally impressive,” he said, is “Dr. Raines’ ability to secure funding for treatment of veterans in rural and underserved areas.”
Consistent with LPA’s mission to advance psychology as a science, explained the Awards Committee, she conducts this research using a translational framework wherein basic laboratory science is carried out with the goal of informing clinical practice. In turn, knowledge gleaned from the clinical arena reciprocally informs basic science methodologies.
The Committee explained that Dr. Raines is not only a highly productive scholar but also an influential one. Her h-index of 24, indicates that to date, 24 of her manuscripts have been cited 24 times or more. Many of her publications have been featured in high impact journals such as the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of Psychiatric Research, and Journal of Affective Disorders. Her research has been featured on national forums including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Suicide Prevention Fact Sheet for helping to further understanding of the relationship between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suicide.
As a resident, Dr. Raines obtained pilot funding to test the acceptability, feasibility, and utility of a group-based transdiagnostic treatment delivered to veterans living in rural and underserved areas throughout Louisiana. During this time, she also obtained pilot funding to examine the effects of a brief, one-session computerized cognitive behavioral intervention delivered to veterans seeking treatment for an opioid use disorder.
Dr. Raines has also received a New Investigator Research Award from the American Public Health Association. In addition to a monetary stipend, this award allows her to access the National Violent Death Reporting System database, which links data from vital records, coroner/medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies, to obtain comprehensive data on suicides, homicides, deaths from legal intervention, deaths of undermined intent, and unintentional firearm deaths. With this data, Dr. Raines plans to utilize network analysis as a foundation for identifying characteristics of veterans who die by self-inflicted gunshot wound versus alternative methods in hopes of identifying novel prevention and intervention targets.
Dr. Raines has received a prestigious and highly competitive Career Development Award, which was established by the VA to attract, develop, and retain talented researchers. Dr. Raines is the first psychologist and researcher at SLVHCS to receive one of these awards since 2004 (prior to Hurricane Katrina). Her project, titled, “Examination of a Safety Aid Reduction Protocol for Treatment Resistant PTSD among Veterans,” will bring around $800,000 to the facility and is designed to adapt and extend an existing groupbased anxiety protocol for use among veterans with PTSD.
Another of Dr. Raines’ many notable qualities is her commitment to giving back to the field of psychology. Currently, she serves as a research supervisor to trainees in the American Psychological Association accredited internship and residency program. She serves as a mentor for the VA’s Training Residents in Psychiatry Scholarship program, which aims to increase the number of psychiatry residents entering research training fellowships. Additionally, Dr. Raines serves as a member of SLVHCS Bioethics Committee, as a peer-reviewer for over 20 scientific journals, as a Director on the LPA Executive Council, and as the Co-Chair of the Convention Committee