Dr. Smith stands in her office.

Smith Named Interim Chair of Department of Psychiatry

Published June 30, 2023

I am pleased to announce that Beth A. Smith, MD, has been appointed as interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo and interim president of UBMD Psychiatry. She will assume her new duties as of July 1, 2023. 

A gifted clinician-scientist, Dr. Smith’s research and clinical expertise will help keep the Jacobs School at the forefront of developments in psychiatry and will be invaluable as we strive to take the medical school to national prominence as a Top 25 public research institution.

In her new role, Dr. Smith will lead the school’s efforts to build upon the excellent success of recently retired chair of the department Steven L. Dubovsky, MD. She will work to continue to enhance innovative clinical initiatives; continue the development of outstanding undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate psychiatric education programs; support current research activities and develop new areas of investigation; and enhance the wellbeing of our community.  

A highly respected physician, Dr. Smith has been a member of the Jacobs School faculty in the Department of Psychiatry’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Department of Pediatrics since 2005. She is currently the executive vice chair in the Department of Psychiatry and chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the school and UBMD Psychiatry. She is also the chief of Behavioral Health for Kaleida Health and medical director for the Childrens Psychiatry Clinic of Oishei Children's Hospital.

Dr. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Skidmore College. She then obtained her medical degree and completed psychiatric residency and child psychiatry fellowship at UB. Dr. Smith is board certified in both psychiatry and child psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. In 2022, she completed the SUNY Institute for Academic and Innovative Leadership (SAIL) for mid-career physicians, which will serve her well in this new leadership role. 

Dr. Smith’s current clinical work focuses on the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with comorbid medical illness, including collaboration with other medical specialties. She has a particular interest in adherence in medically ill children. She is widely recognized as an international expert in mental health of individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF). 

In addition to her extensive clinical work with patients with CF, Dr. Smith has been a leader in developing and studying psychiatric therapies for patients with CF, and coauthored international guidelines on depression and anxiety in CF for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and European CF Society. She has spearheaded the implementation of these guidelines in CF centers worldwide. 

In addition to presenting widely at national and international conferences, she is the founding chair of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation‘s Mental Health Advisory Committee, the mission of which is to promote and support the mental well-being of individuals with CF and their families by partnering with CF Care Centers to provide screening, preventative interventions and ongoing innovative services. She has had extensive funding for research on depression, cognitive behavior therapy, adherence, and other key psychiatric issues in patients with CF in addition to receiving the Carolyn and C. Richard Mattingly Leadership in Mental Health Care Award in recognition of this work.

Recognized as a leader in her field, Dr. Smith has received a multitude of awards, including the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Education from the Department of Psychiatry three times, as well as the Award for Excellence in Clinical Supervision. She was inducted into the Emeritus Faculty Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society in 2019. 

We are very grateful for her extensive service to the Jacobs School, chairing the Committee for Appointment and Promotion to Clinical Ranks and serving on the Faculty Steering Council Committee at the medical school. 

Dr. Smith remains active in the community and throughout the nation with memberships the Western New York Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Association of Women Psychiatrists, to name a few.

Dr. Smith has served in many editorial roles on psychiatry journals and publications, writing dozens of peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters. She is a frequently sought-after speaker, having presented regionally, nationally, and internationally on depression, anxiety, and cystic fibrosis.   

Dr. Smith joins our leadership team as the United States continues to experience a growing shortage of psychiatrists and an enormous demand for mental health services. Her demonstrated commitment to medical education, research and patient care will take us far as we work to improve mental health resources in Western New York and expand the availability of excellent mental health care regionally and nationally. 

Allison Brashear, MD, MBA
Vice President for Health Sciences
Dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
University at Buffalo