Dr. Jenna Triana officially joined the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department as an Assistant Professor on July 31, 2020. She completed her MD and undergraduate degrees at the University of Minnesota and her psychiatric residency at the University of Colorado in Denver. She then returned to the U of M to complete a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Becoming part of the department’s faculty is important to Dr. Triana. “Staying at the U allows me to be a child psychiatrist and to spend a good chunk of my time working on education and teaching,” she explained. “And the unit I’ll be working on is changing. It’s exciting to be part of making it all work better.”

Teaching skills
Dr. Triana built her teaching experience in several ways, including working with junior residents and medical students throughout her training. Specific projects included an educational session that enabled medical students to experience what it’s like to think like a child and adolescent psychiatrist, a course on family assessment taught to third-year residents, and a new curriculum for psychiatry interns about suicide risk assessment and patient suicide.

In her faculty position at the U, Dr. Triana is working with the child and adolescent psychiatry inpatient service. “From a clinical perspective, inpatient is challenging because everyone comes to you in their worst moments,” she said. “The kids are in crisis, which means the families are in crisis. Everything is feeling raw and their conflict is apparent. During those difficult moments, if you can get the child and the family to work together to help the child come home, it is truly rewarding.”

Quality improvement
In addition to building her clinical and teaching skills, Dr. Triana has worked on several quality improvement (QI) projects. “The projects I’ve done and what I’ve learned about QI can be applied to the educational realm,” she said. “And while I’m part of the inpatient unit changes, using quality improvement processes to make sure our patients have a good experience will be really important.”

She has also been a part of the department’s Cannabis Science Task Force, which aims to provide unbiased information about cannabis to the general public, and the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Special Review Committee that sets quality improvement goals for the fellowship program.

Dr. Triana and her husband recently welcomed a baby boy into their family. They enjoy taking their German Shepherd to the dog park and on long walks, and they get together with friends for board game nights. Dr. Triana knits and crochets, and recently learned how to upholster furniture to complement her husband’s woodworking.

Learn more about Dr. Triana.