Maya Angelou once said “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.” That quote couldn’t have been more empowering!
Each week during the month of March, the Indianapolis Recorder will highlight a smart, savvy and magnificent woman in our community who is going beyond female stereotypes by engaging in her community and subsequently enriching her own life.
This weekly series also will showcase some of the women at the Recorder and show that behind this strong Black institution lies many strong Black women.
Dr. Jeanne L. Dickens has been described by many observers as a rising star in Indiana’s medical community.
She remains dedicated to using her gifts to empower the state’s growing senior population with advice to help them fight a range of challenges.
Dickens currently serves as an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She is director of the university’s geriatric psychiatry fellowship program, and oversees the academic, clinical, and professional development of new psychiatrists in the geriatric area of specialty.
“As an educator and practitioner of geriatric psychiatry, it is my goal to provide – and help other professionals provide – the high quality care our seniors need and deserve,” Dickens said.
She also is active at Midtown Community Mental Health Center, where she performs clinical assessments, helps lead a clinical research team and works actively with various academic, corporate and medical community partners to promote better mental health for seniors.
“It is nice to work with the staff at Midtown to help meet the outpatient psychiatric care needs of elders in our community, especially those in long-term care environments,” Dickens said.
She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is a graduate from that university’s medical school and conducted her residency at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
Dickens has earned prestigious fellowships in geriatric psychiatry from Indiana University, and in electroconvulsive therapy from the Duke University School of Medicine.
Additionally, she is known for her landmark research and studies on topics such as Alzheimer’s disease, community psychiatry, the prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer’s in African-Americans and the risk factors for mild cognitive impairment in elderly African-Americans.
Currently, she is involved in a project examining methods of improving communication systems among health care providers in clinical care.
Dickens especially enjoys conducting discussions and lectures with medical students and residents in the fellowship program at Indiana University.
“It is important to prepare them for solutions to the pressing needs of seniors,” Dickens said. “Especially those related to late-life depression and Alzheimer’s disease.”