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Mahar, Dixon appointed to positions in residency program

Kelley Mahar, MD, has been named associate program director for the new Upper Peninsula track of the Michigan State University Psychiatry Residency Program.

“The Upper Peninsula has been desperately underserved in the mental health arena for so long,” said Mahar in a news release. “It’s really exciting to have the opportunity to help recruit and train a psychiatric workforce with the particular needs of the UP in mind.”

Her time will be divided between the MSU Psychiatry Residency Program, UPHS-Marquette office (Neldberg building), where she will teach and oversee the residents, and her contract practice with community mental health. Mahar graduated from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, did her internship at NYU/Bellevue and residency at University of Washington. She has served as medical director and psychiatrist at Pathways Community Mental Health, psychiatrist at Northpointe Behavioral Health in Menominee/Iron Mountain and has provided psychiatric outreach and services to underserved populations in Marquette, Seattle and Alaska. She is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and Michigan Psychiatric Society.

Mahar will be joined by Megan Dixon, who has accepted the role of assistant program coordinator. Dixon graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree and completed the Northern Michigan University’s Practical Nursing Program. She worked as an LPN at UPHS Lakewood Family Medicine, and in the ICU of Marquette General Hospital. Her involvement with the community includes roles in the Marquette Alger Medial Society Alliance, Harbor House “Shower” Fundraiser, Hiawatha Music Festival Medical Care Volunteer, and volunteerism through her children’s schools.

“My involvement with this new and exciting program incorporates so many experiences that I have had,” said Dixon. “As a nurse, I saw first-hand how the lack of mental health services impacted patients and their families. I walked the path of medical education with my husband, Dr. James Bryan Dixon, alumnus of MSU and the Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program. I understand the process and the need of recruiting physicians to our underserved areas.”

The expansion of the psychiatry residency was made possible through the MIDOCs initiative, a state-funded, collaborative effort that offers up to $75,000 loan repayment for MIDOC physicians committed to practicing in an underserved area of Michigan for two years post residency. In order to graduate from this program, psychiatry residents will complete two years of training in Lansing followed by two years of training in the Upper Peninsula. Doug Bell, MD, will be beginning the UP portion of his training in July of this year. Tovah Aho, MD and Ann Marie Botros, MD, both alumnae of MSU College of Human Medicine, will follow in July of 2021. The MSU College of Human Medicine Upper Peninsula Education Corporation works in conjunction with the UP Health System-Marquette to coordinate the training of family medicine residents, psychiatry residents, and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine medical students. Since its inception in 1974, 298 medical students and 204 family medicine resident physicians have graduated from the programs. Currently, approximately 30% of our physicians are practicing in the Upper Peninsula in primary care and additional specialties of medicine.

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