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Dr. Mindy Asbury will be presenting the importance of clozapine use for the treatment of schizophrenia and related disorders to a group or mental health professionals at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) Psychiatry Grand Rounds on March 17, 2022.

The information presented at this educational activity will highlight the evidence supporting clozapine use. Cased-based learning will be used to explore common laboratory abnormalities encountered in clozapine use and how to interpret them, and underscore the importance of co-prescription of a bowel regimen to clozapine patients. Finally, the role of the North Carolina Clozapine Network in increasing clozapine utilization in North Carolina will be investigated.

The North Carolina Clozapine Network was established by the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health in 2021 to increase clozapine use across North Carolina. Clozapine treatment for patients with schizophrenia has consistently demonstrated superior outcomes in several measures, including increases in quality of life and functioning, and decreases in psychiatric hospitalizations and mortality. Despite these clear advantages clozapine remains vastly underutilized according to North Carolina Medicaid with only 1 in 6 individuals who have treatment resistant schizophrenia being prescribed this evidence-based treatment.

The program is run by Dr. Asbury and Dr. Fred Jarskog, Director of NCPRC.

Dr. Asbury specializes in treatment of serious mental illness with a focus on psychotic disorders. Her primary areas of clinical interest are intensive community-based interventions, first episode psychosis, integrated
care, interventional modalities, and the use of long-acting antipsychotic medication and clozapine. She spends her clinical time with the UNC Wake Assertive Community Treatment Team and in the UNC Encompass First Episode Psychosis Program, of which she serves as the Medical Director and Associate Medical Director, respectively. She is also a member of the UNC Interventional Psychiatry Group and practices electroconvulsive therapy. In her non-clinical time, Dr. Asbury serves as the primary investigator of the newly developed North Carolina Clozapine Network, is a co-investigator in the North Carolina Psychiatric Research Center, and is the fellowship director of the UNC Community and Public Psychiatry Fellowship.