Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service

The Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service is dedicated to the psychiatric care of medical and surgical patients who develop neuropsychiatric manifestations of their medical illnesses, as well as those experiencing exacerbation of a pre-existing psychiatric condition.

We offer specialized psychiatric consultations throughout John Dempsey Hospital in units including Intensive Care, Oncology, Cardiac Step Down, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Corrections, and Medical/Surgical units. In addition, we coordinate transfers to inpatient psychiatric units and referrals to outpatient psychiatric providers and to residential alcohol treatment facilities.

In addition to our consultations, our liaison with medical/surgical colleagues (M.D.s, R.N.s and others) is equally important. We strive to address their clinical questions, offer education on psychiatric presentations and psychological factors that affect medical outcomes and care. We serve as experts in the medical /legal interface regarding capacity evaluations, utilization of Physician’s Emergency Certificates and applications to the probate court for conservator and for involuntary alcohol residential treatment. Consultation Liaison team is also part of interdisciplinary rounds with Palliative Care Medicine and educational rounds with Medicine teams.

Our Staff

Diana M. Paez, M.D.

  • Graduate of University of Connecticut Adult Psychiatry Residency Program
  • One year fellowship: University of Pennsylvania in psychosomatic medicine
  • Clinical interests in psychooncology and women’s behavioral health

Heather Spear, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., B.C.

  • Yale University School of Nursing, masters in psychiatric mental health nursing, with specialty in psychiatric consultation liaison nursing
  • Specialties include cognitive behavioral therapy, chronic pain, geriatrics

UConn Psychiatry residents in their second year rotate through the Consultation Liaison Service at two-month intervals. Supervised by Dr. Paez, they perform consultations, attend all Code Strongs and coordinate transfers to the two inpatient psychiatric units at John Dempsey Hospital.

In addition, students in Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology and Chaplaincy may join our service for clinical practicums.