Dr. Bella Schanzer has been named vice chair for clinical affairs for the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, effective Jan. 1.
Schanzer started at Baylor in May 2016 and currently is the medical director of the Baylor Psychiatry Clinic. Previous to this position, she was the chief of the Mental Health Service at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit.
During Schanzer’s time with the VA in Detroit, she made significant improvements, including reconfiguring the outpatient clinic from multiple silos into four multidisciplinary outpatient ‘mental health home’ teams that were integrated and housed together to improve patients’ access to doctors. She also helped expand the hospital’s services for homeless veterans and the hospital’s training programs. Under her leadership, the hospital also was the first VA in the country to have a chief resident in quality and patient safety within the Department of Psychiatry. In addition, she helped expand access to substance use treatment services for veterans and reduce the number of heavy users of psychiatry services.
In her new role, Schanzer will oversee and expand clinical services at Baylor Psychiatric Clinic and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and Houston Methodist. She will also collaborate with the leadership at Ben Taub Hospital and the Menninger Clinic to enhance coordination of behavioral health clinical services.
Schanzer earned her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College where she majored in American history and graduated summa cum laude. She attended medical school at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She completed her medicine internship at the New York-Presbyterian Medical Center and her psychiatry residency at New York University where she was chief resident during her fourth year. She also completed a one-year fellowship followed by a three-year research fellowship at Columbia – New York State Psychiatric Institute that focused on mental illness and homelessness. In addition, she received her Master of Public Health degree with a focus in administration and policy from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.