McQuaid named Vice Chair for the San Francisco VA Health Care System

By Nicholas Roznovsky

After an exhaustive national search, John R. McQuaid, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Vice Chair for Adult Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF has been selected to serve as the department’s new Vice Chair for the San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) and Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health at SFVAHCS, positions he has held on an interim basis since August 2016.

McQuaid holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Oregon and completed a predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF under the mentorship of Ricardo F. Muñoz, PhD. From 1995-2009, he served with distinction on the faculty of the UC San Diego/San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, as well as a member of the Psychology Service at the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS). During his time there, McQuaid provided valuable leadership as director of the VASDHS Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions Program, associate director of the VASDHS Special Treatment and Evaluation Program, acting director of the VASDHS Family Mental Health Program, and associate chief of the VASDHS Psychology Service. He was honored for his efforts with the UCSD Department of Psychiatry’s Clinical Service Award in 2005.

In 2009, McQuaid joined the clinical staff of the San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) and the faculty of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry, where he has continued his record of distinguished service as a clinician, educator, and researcher. Over the past eight years, he has served as the associate chief of SFVAHCS’s Mental Health Service, a three-year term as associate director of the center’s General Psychiatric Outpatient Service and for five years as the site’s coordinator of evidence-based psychotherapy. For the past two years, he has served as the Vice Chair for Adult Psychology within the Department of Psychiatry. Earlier this year, McQuaid received the Patrick DeLeon Advocacy Award in recognition of his commitment to advocating for the mental health services and welfare of the nation’s veterans.

Over the past two decades, he has mentored and advised more than 100 students, fellows, and trainees in educational programs. A two-time recipient of the UCSD/VASDHS Psychology Internship Program’s Teaching Excellence Award, McQuaid has continued his work as an educator at UCSF, working as a lecturer and course leader in programs both at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. From 2009-2014, he served as a co-facilitator of the UCSF Clinical Psychology Training Program clinical seminar, and from 2009-2016 facilitated an annual nine month-long seminar series on evidence-based psychotherapies for VA staff and interns.

McQuaid is an accomplished researcher, having published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and nine book chapters. He currently serves as reviewer for eleven professional research publications and is a former member of the Psychological Services and Journal of Affective Disorders editorial boards. His work has focused on understanding stress-diathesis models of psychopathology, exploring factors that relate to change in cognitive behavior therapy, and developing interventions for disorders using cognitive behavioral techniques. He is currently the site investigator for a multisite VA cooperative study comparing prolonged exposure and cognitive processing therapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

McQuaid is the chair of the American Psychological Association (APA)’s Depression Guideline Panel, as well as a past president of the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders (AVAPL). He is a member of the APA, AVAPL, Academy of Cognitive Therapy, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and Northern California Institute for Research and Education (NCIRE) board of directors.

“I am absolutely thrilled that the SFVAHCS will continue to benefit from John’s extraordinary leadership,” said department chair Matthew W. State, MD, PhD. “He is highly respected by his peers as a clinician, educator, researcher and administrator. He is the perfect person to continue the growth of UCSF’s extremely important partnership with the VA to serve our nation’s veterans and their families.”

About UCSF Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute are among the nation's foremost resources in the fields of child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric mental health. Together they constitute one of the largest departments in the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, with a mission focused on research (basic, translational, clinical), teaching, patient care and public service.

UCSF Psychiatry conducts its clinical, educational and research efforts at a variety of locations in Northern California, including UCSF campuses at Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay and Laurel Heights, UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the San Francisco VA Health Care System and UCSF Fresno.

About the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

The UCSF Weill Institute leverages UCSF’s unrivaled bench-to-bedside excellence in the neurosciences. It unites three UCSF departments—Neurology, Psychiatry, and Neurological Surgery—that are highly esteemed for both patient care and research, as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a cross-disciplinary alliance of nearly 100 UCSF faculty members from 15 basic-science departments, as well as the UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a multidisciplinary research center focused on finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

About UCSF

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises top-ranked hospitals – UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.