Our Care Team

Our physicians and psychologists are members of the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (DPHB) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, which has been named a Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Training by the John A. Hartford Foundation, the nation's largest private foundation solely focused on aging and health.

Board-certified geriatric psychiatrists form the core of our programs, and our nurse clinical specialists are considered the clinical and educational leaders in the region.

Geriatric Psychiatrist

Britney S. Boykin, MD, is a psychiatrist at Lifespan Physician Group. She received her medical degree from Rutgers University Medical School in New Jersey, completed her residency in psychiatry at Shephard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, and her fellowship at Butler Hospital. Dr. Boykin specializes in geriatric psychiatry. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the Maryland Psychiatric Society.

Division Director of Psychiatry TMH

Jeffrey Burock, MD, has been based at The Miriam Hospital since 2004, soon after completing both residency and fellowship training at Brown University. He is board-certified in psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and psychosomatic medicine. Dr. Burock primarily sees patients with psychiatric disorders in the emergency room and the medical/surgical units of The Miriam Hospital. He has a particular interest in geriatric neuropsychiatry, including management of dementia, Parkinson's disease, and other organic causes of psychiatric illness in older people. 

Deborah Carranza, LICSW
Director, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Center

Michael A. Friedman, MD is the director of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Center and a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He performs diagnostic evaluations of new patients referred to the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center and provides expert consultations for those with particularly difficult or challenging behavioral problems.

Adriana Hyams, PhD, is a psychologist at the Adult Partial Program at Rhode Island Hospital and the Family Therapy program. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology with a concentration in geropsychology at the University of Alabama. Her predoctoral training was completed at VA Palo Alto Health Care System in the geropsychology track, and her postdoctoral fellowship was completed at the Providence VA Medical Center and Brown University.

Her clinical interests include hearing loss, tinnitus, palliative care, and general mental health.  She has authored peer-reviewed publications on hearing loss and quality of life issues; psychotherapy with older adults; racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity; and bipolar disorder among older adults.

Debbie K. Mendelsohn, APRN
Clinical Nurse Specialist

Debbie K. Mendelsohn, APRN, MSN, is an advanced practice clinical nurse specialist in psychiatry and geriatrics. She works in both the nursing home program and the consultation liaison service at The Miriam Hospital. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco and her master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island. She is a senior teaching associate in psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Emily E. Murphy, MD, a psychiatrist at Lifespan Cancer Institute, works with cancer patients to assist with emotional issues that can arise during cancer diagnosis and treatment. She also serves as clinical assistant professor and site director for The Miriam Hospital clinical neurosciences clerkship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. Murphy’s research interests include geriatric psychiatry and patients with dementia and cognitive impairments. Her work has been published in a chapter of Geriatric Forensic Psychiatry: Principles and Practice. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. She is the president of the Rhode Island Psychiatric Society.

Director, Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center

Brian Ott, MD is director of the Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center as well as a professor of neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He divides his time between patient care and clinical research.

Dr. Ott's research interests include development of new drug therapies for Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment, as well as studying behavior problems in aging and dementia, such as driving impairment. 

Deborah Robitaille, LICSW
Clinical Social Worker

Deborah M. Robitaille, LICSW, is an independent clinical social worker and has been practicing since 2002. She received her master’s degree in social work from Boston College. She has experience in community mental health and in inpatient psychiatry, but found her calling in geriatrics when she was an independent contractor providing counseling to nursing home residents. She has worked at The Miriam Hospital outpatient geriatric psychiatry since 2013 and provides individual and family therapy to patients with mood disorders who are adjusting to illness or coping with dementia. 

Psychiatrist

Barbara M. Ruf, MD, is a psychiatrist at Lifespan Physician Group Psychiatry. She earned her medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She completed her residency in general psychiatry and fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Butler Hospital. Dr. Ruf specializes in mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and dementia in the geriatric population. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, and the Rhode Island Psychiatric Society. 

Thomas Sheeran, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with the Aging Family and Caregiver Program, the Adult Partial Hospital program at Rhode Island Hospital, and the Family Therapy program

Dr. Sheeran received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia. He completed postdoctoral training at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University (clinical research) and at the Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry, Weill-Cornell Medical College (geriatric mental health services).

Christina Sokoloff, APRN
Clinical nurse specialist, Outpatient Geriatric Psychiatry and Nursing Home Consultation
Director of Adult Psychiatry Integrated Care

Laura A. Stanton, MD, is the director of adult psychiatry integrated care. She also serves as the clinical director of outpatient geriatric psychiatry at The Miriam Hospital and the director of the geriatric psychiatry fellowship program at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. In addition, she evaluates and treats geriatric patients at the Lifespan Cancer Institute.

Dr. Stanton’s research interests include depression and the aging brain, nursing home violence and psychosis in the elderly. Her work on these subjects has been published in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry and the Rhode Island Psychiatric Society.

Tanya Tran, PhD, is a psychologist in the mood disorders and family therapy programs at Rhode Island Hospital.

She also is an assistant clinical professor in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. Tran focuses her research on how basic cognitive processes and individual differences in emotion regulation influence mood and anxiety disorders. She also is interested in the role that social media sites play in emotion regulation and their impact on emotional well-being. She intends to apply this research to develop internet-based interventions to more effectively reach individuals with depression.

Dr. Tran is a member of several professional organizations, including the Association for Psychological Science, and lead author or coauthor of numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Director of Neuropsychology, Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital

Geoffrey Tremont, PhD completed his PhD in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University, He did his clinical neuropsychology internship at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and his fellowship at Brown University. He is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and director of neuropsychology at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals.

Dr. Tremont is board certified in clinical neuropsychology and conducts comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations in older adults with cognitive impairments. His primary research interests are psychosocial treatments for dementia caregivers, telephone-based assessment of mild cognitive impairment, and mind-body approaches for mild cognitive impairment. 

Sylvia Weber, APRN
Clinical nurse specialist, Nursing Home Consultation