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Meet Diana Ghelber of Institute for Advanced Psychiatry in Fort Worth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Ghelber.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was trained in psychiatry and worked in Israel in different settings: inpatient/out-patient, academic position; worked with holocaust survivors and victims and families of victims of terror.

In 2004, we arrived in the USA. It was initiallsy planned as a short stay, but was transformed in a permanent decision.

After 3 years, of enjoying the status of a full-time mom for the first time in my life, in 2006 I switched gears to marathoner life style: USMLE’s and new residency training at UT Houston. Four years of intensive exposure and immersion in a new education, perspective and culture.

Once this ended, I had the freedom to choose my professional path.

Private practice was a compelling new territory.

I just moved to Fort Worth and met a few psychiatrists, that I will be always thankful to, for their valuable support.

In the beginning, I was very apprehensive, and decided to start low and go slow. To check the waters. My first office was at home. Thirty minutes after posting my name I received the first call. With each new call, a new story, prepared me for the next appointment, and, “I” the psychiatrist, was not any longer a mystery for the prospective patient.

In the meantime I was preparing the move for a conventional setting. To find a location, I hired an agency that had presented statistical data of need of psychiatric services in different zip codes.

Their results were very well founded, but, I went ahead with an area that made sense to my gut feelings, and was not present in their data base.

Since my home office soon became insufficient for the number of patients, and the location I liked wasn’t ready yet, I found a temporary location in an office shared with an attorney.

I also started to interview for staff, people mostly recommended by persons I knew that had some involvement with patient care.

Being pleasant, patient, caring, and compassion evident from the first “hello” was an essential attribute to an interviewee.

Two years ago, we moved to a new location very close to the first one. A matter of convenience, change and scenery, and more empty walls, for more art works.

World is a dynamic place, and we are part of this world.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In the beginning, I started working with insurances. It became clear that the hoops and challenges one has to pass in order to get paid were above what I was able to do.

Probably the problem is twofold.

On the insurance companies side, there is much less willingness to pay for psychiatric services than for somatic illnesses. Most mental health services need time consuming and frustrating preapproval, while most other medical services do not need preapproval.

Once a claim is submitted it takes forever for the insurances to pay, and multiple times inquiries are met with prolonged periods of wait and denial that the claims were received.

The forever promised equality between mental health and physical diseases, despite the promises of various politicians, is still in the realm of fantasy.

On my office side, mostly for my lack of expertise as an employer, I initially hired people that were un-experienced or even actively sought to jeopardize my work. One of the persons I hired, stole a large amount of money from the office, money that was never recouped.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Institute for Advanced Psychiatry – what should we know?
We strive to offer an integrative and modern approach to our patients.

We are mostly specializing in treatment resistant depression. Our office was the first in North Texas to offer outpatient Ketamine treatment for depression. We were also among the first to offer Neurostar Transcranial magnetic stimulation and were the first in DFW to offer deep TMS (Brainsway) Alternative modes of treatment such as Brain Music Therapy and acupuncture are also part of our armamentarium.

We created an environment where the person is taken away from a conventional medical setting.

Our location doubles as a modern art gallery, and, the art on the walls provides a distraction and diversion from the anxiety of encountering a psychiatrist.

Since July of 2017 we host a small, but unique collection of North Korean art.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
This new beginning was difficult. Another new place, new people, new setting. I look around me thinking who can be there, with me and for me.

The best place to meet people are medical conferences, and, there, I approached Dr. Debra Atkinson. The encounter was natural and simple, as if we knew each other forever. A few minutes later I was already in the circle of Fort Worth providers.

In the next few weeks, Debra introduced me to OUR future call group. Seven psychiatrists in Fort Worth, that continue to be an incredible valuable support system.

Every staff member I hired, had his own and unique contribution, even if included some hard lessons at times. A special recognition deserves the members of our current staff:  Eduardo, Kumud and Ashley. They run the office smoothly and efficiently. This is a type of work that requires cooperation with a large network of medical providers and therapists.

Some of them I met personally on different occasions, or visited my office, but the majority are known only through patients’ stories; people that I never met but that contribute to our practice.

The real supporters of this practice are the patients through the knowledge and challenges they bring. They are the ones that put us on the map.

Last and not least my family. My husband, that, on every empty inch on the wall finds an opportunity for artistic expression, my boys that that in moments of crisis, mobilized themselves to work in the office, my daughter with advertising ideas, my mom with 4.00 pm facetime call, and Bere my grand-dog, blending in the atmosphere of the waiting room.

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Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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