INDIANAPOLIS, Ind (WEHT) – Indiana University School of Medicine has named its first executive director of the recently announced Mary O’Daniel Stone and Bill Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at IU School of Medicine – Evansville.

According to a press release sent out by IU School of Medicine, Stephen M. Strakowski, MD, will become the new center’s leader, effective April 1. “I am thrilled to return to my home state of Indiana and join IU School of Medicine at this exciting time of growth and innovation in the mental health services space,” said Strakowski, an Indiana native who will also serve as a professor with the Department of Psychiatry at IU School of Medicine. “I look forward to building a dedicated team of world-class scientists and clinicians. This team will bring much needed mental health services to Indiana, beginning with the southwestern region and eventually spreading statewide. The center’s potential for groundbreaking research is limitless, with the reach extending far beyond Indiana’s borders.”

According to Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, dean of IU School of Medicine and IU’s executive vice president for university clinical affairs, Strakowski’s background in leading on both the research and clinical fronts – particularly his work in bipolar disorder research – makes him uniquely qualified for this new role at the Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

“This new center allows for IU School of Medicine to harness the incredible strength in neuroscience research we have become nationally regarded for and build on it in a way that will create a lasting impact on mental health services in the state,” said Hess. “We are very excited to welcome Dr. Strakowski as the Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s inaugural director, and look forward to the advancements we are certain will unfold under his leadership.”

According to a press release sent out by IU School of Medicine, the center seeks to fundamentally alter and improve the standard of care for people with bipolar disorder, and dramatically increase access to psychiatric care for the children and adolescent youth of southwestern Indiana. According to a press release sent out by IU School of Medicine, some psychiatrists will also be conducting research at the center, with a focus on bipolar and other mood disorders.