Expanding neuropsychiatric care at the Fixel Institute

By Anna Shavers

The Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health expands neurological care and research with the addition of Greg Pontone, M.D., M.H.S. and Julia Salinas, M.D. to the Aging, Behavioral and Cognitive (ABC) Division of Neurology.

Drs. Pontone and Salinas join the Fixel Institute this summer from Johns Hopkins University and bring expertise and experience in the field of aging, behavioral and cognitive disorders. 

As members of the Fixel institute, Drs. Pontone and Salinas will collaborate closely with the team of neurologists, neuropsychologists, nurses, therapists, social workers and more. This multidisciplinary approach that the Fixel Institute is known for will allow for comprehensive assessment of patients’ needs and the development of tailored treatment plans, integrating both medical interventions and behavioral support.

“I am excited to join the Fixel Institute because of the opportunity to work in a patient-centered multidisciplinary environment. Many of the services and consultations, e.g., occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc., that normally take weeks or more to coordinate can happen in the same visit at the Fixel Institute,” said Pontone.

During his time at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Pontone served as the director of the Johns Hopkins Parkinson’s disease (PD) Neuropsychiatry Clinic, which focuses on diagnosing and treating the neuropsychiatric aspects of PD and related disorders. 

Dr. Pontone’s clinical care and research aims to understand the interaction between neuropsychiatric symptoms such as cognitive impairment, anxiety and depression in people living with complex neurological disorders like PD.

“My work will bring an important dimension to the Fixel Institute and ABC Division by providing a more prominent role for psychiatric care of patients and by informing research that improves mental health in neurological diseases,” said Pontone.

Dr. Julia Salinas, also from Johns Hopkins University, brings her specialization in neurocognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Her research background in the field of cognitive decline and her commitment to improving patient outcomes will drive breakthroughs in early diagnosis, treatment interventions, and care strategies.

“I hope to advance ABC care by providing much needed psychiatric care to patients with various neurological diseases and help grow the Alzheimer’s dementia care and research program,” said Salinas.