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Telepsychiatry In Dialysis Patients: A Dream Or A Reality?

Depression is the most common mental health illness in patients with kidney failure. The reported prevalence of depression in the dialysis population varies widely and can be as high as approximately 40%.1 Join us for a conversation with Dr Shirazian and Dr Behrens as we explore the utility of telepsychiatry in patients undergoing hemodialysis, potential barriers, and the importance of addressing mental health in patients with chronic kidney disease.


  1. King-Wing Ma T, Kam-Tao Li P. Depression in dialysis patients. Nephrology. 2016 Aug;21(8):639-46.

*Drs Shayan Shirazian and Jake Behrens are paid consultants of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC). Dr Tazin Aijaz is an employee of OPDC.

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Featured Speakers
Shayan Shirazian

Shayan Shirazian, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology

Columbia University Medical Center*

Dr Shirazian received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University and did his internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He spent 7 years at NYU-Winthrop Hospital where he was the fellowship program director and the director of nephrology clinical trials before being recruited back to Columbia. He is currently an associate professor of medicine in nephrology and a director of home dialysis at Columbia.

His research aims to test, and implement, interventions to improve quality of life and self-care in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end stage renal disease. To this end, he has been the principal investigator on several investigator-initiated grant-funded studies in this area. He has over 45 peer reviewed publications, and serves on the editorial board of BMC Nephrology and as the social media editor for Kidney International.

Jake Behrens

Jake Behrens, MD

CEO & Medical Director, Regional Director
    Envision ADHD & Brightside Health*

Dr Behrens is a technology-minded, Board-Certified Psychiatrist and CEO of Envision ADHD. He graduated from The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and completed his psychiatry residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Following residency, he continued as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the UW Psychiatry Department and developed a niche in the use of technology in clinical assessment and outcome tracking. Over the years treating busy working adults, he witnessed how in-person meetings and monthly paper refills affected the home and work life of such individuals and envisioned how technology and alternative clinical models may be beneficial. From here, the technical and legal workflows of Envision ADHD emerged. In the summer of 2016, he made the decision to leave his corner office, city, house and academic job to pursue the Envision ADHD clinical startup in Milwaukee, WI. A few years later, he continues to evolve and grow Envision ADHD while bringing software and workflows developed in house to outside psychiatric consulting roles serving severe mental illness in the community, opiate abuse treatment, depression in rural geriatric communities, and underserved inner city primary care clinics. Through the use of telemedicine and flexible scheduling available through Envision ADHD resources, Dr Behrens serves as the Medical Director of both the 10th Street Comprehensive Treatment Center and Senior Life Solutions Intensive Outpatient Program at the Richland Center Hospital. He also serves as the Collaborative Psychiatrist at a participating University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee inner city primary care clinic and a Consulting Psychiatrist with Brightside Health and American Well.

Tazin Aijaz

Tazin Aijaz, PharmD, BCPS

Nephrology Medical Science Director

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.*

Tazin Aijaz, PharmD, BCPS, is a Nephrology Medical Science Director at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio and then completed her clinical residency training at the Atlanta VA Medical Center with a focus in internal medicine and psychiatry. Prior to joining Otsuka, Dr Aijaz held various positions within the pharmaceutical industry in several therapeutic areas including immunology, movement disorders, and epilepsy.



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