Women in Science, Dentistry, and Medicine Professional Achievement “WISDM” Award

Since coming to VCU in 1989, Dr. Cheryl S. Al-Mateen, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Interim Medical Director, Virginia Treatment Center for Children, has embodied the concept of advocacy. Advocacy for patients and their families, especially patients with exceptional needs. Advocacy for better patient-centered and collaborative clinical care. Advocacy for women and minority faculty members. Advocacy for improved multicultural understanding across our entire University community.

Dr. Al-Mateen has been significantly involved in the development of the new medical school curriculum as Psychiatry Clerkship Director as well as serving as Division Director for the Health Disparities and Cultural Competency, and Introduction to Trauma subject areas for the Physician, Patient and Society (PPS) longitudinal curriculum. She completed the Stanford Faculty Development Course in 2012, a Master Educator program through the Association for Academic Psychiatry in 2011, and training to become a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory in 2010. She is Board Certified in General, Child and Adolescent, and Forensic Psychiatry. Dr. Al-Mateen has special expertise in providing care to hearing-impaired children and survivors of trauma.

In addition to teaching mutual respect and interdisciplinary collaboration, Dr. Al-Mateen models these every day. “We work as a multi-disciplinary team at VTCC, and she was invaluable in role modeling the medical leadership responsibilities for the team, showing empathy and respecting the perspective of all members of the team,” states Rosa Morales Theodore, M.D., Assistant Professor of Child/Adolescent Psychiatry.

Dr. Al-Mateen has served as Chair of the SOM Professionalism Committee since 2013 and serves on numerous curriculum committees to improve education in the SOM, including chairing the Work Group to Develop Cultural Psychiatry Curriculum for the Psychiatry Residency Program since 2013. She has served on the VCUHS Medical Staff Health Committee since 2004, and the MCVP Compliance and Audit Advisory Committee since 2012.

Dr. Al-Mateen’s expertise has been tapped for service at the national level, including a 2012-2014 term on the USMLE Step I Behavioral Science/Behavioral Health Test Material Development Committee of the NBME. She served as the Representative from the SOM for the AAMC Group for Diversity and Inclusion from 2009-2014. Since 2007, she has served as a member of the Diversity and Culture Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, serving as Co-Chair from 2011-15.

Dr. Al-Mateen has contributed 34 publications and over 100 invited presentations at the regional, national and international level. This year, she co-authored a book, Handbook of Mental Health in African American Youth, that is the first of its type to provide a cultural perspective and best practices to meet the needs of this population. She has received many honors including the 2015 Bela Sood Service Award for outstanding service and dedication to trainees in the VTCC, the 2013 Jeanne Spurlock Minority Fellowship Achievement Award from the APA, membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society in 2013, the 2011 VCU Presidential Award for Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) Award, and the 2006 SOM Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.

Leslie Kimball Franck, Ph.D., LCP, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director of Inpatient Clinical Services reflects, “Dr. Al-Mateen was able to see the potential for teaching and leadership skills in myself that I was unaware of, and has incessantly pushed me to stay on the growth edges of these skills. With her encouragement, I have become involved in teaching in the new medical school curriculum (and won a teaching award as a result).”

For her constant and effective advocacy that has made VCU, the School of Medicine, and the profession of Psychiatry more inclusive and patient-centered, we honor Dr. Cheryl Al-Mateen today.