Learn about how our fellows practice and prescribe Wellness in the video below!

Meet the Fellows VCCYF (1) PICTURE

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Meet our 1st Year Child Psychiatry Fellows!

Alexis Bailey

Alexis Bailey, MD

1st Year Fellow

Avni Mehta Photo

Avni Mehta, DO

1st Year Fellow

Hi, I am Alexis. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and I completed my medical school training at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. I moved to Vermont in 2017, where I had the wonderful opportunity to train in the adult psychiatry residency program at the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC). Presently, I am in the first year of the child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at UVMMC.

Prior to my medical training, I had the incredible privilege of working with adolescents and families within my local community, which impressed upon me the verity of the adage, “it takes a village to raise a child.” I appreciate that the Vermont Family Based Approach (VFBA) is a strength based system that takes into account the various influences on the child’s wellbeing including family, peers, school, community, and the dimensions of wellness. It gives me great satisfaction to work with a team of professionals whose goal is to deliver high quality, evidenced based, and comprehensive care to the children and families in Vermont. As a person who prioritizes wellness in my personal life, I value mindful living, a healthy lifestyle, and connection with others. I am enthused to be in a program where this is emphasized and encouraged within all areas, and it is an exciting challenge to learn how to incorporate these principles into the care of my patients.


Hi, I'm Avni! I was born and raised in Michigan and did all of my schooling and medical training there. Moving to Vermont is a big move for me but I think it is going to be a great fit! In looking for a child fellowship program I wanted a program that took a holistic approach to treating child patients. I happened to hear about the program while I was on another interview and I'm so glad I applied.  

I am excited to join the University of Vermont and find ways to continue to develop professionally and personally.  During my interview I felt like this was a place where I could find like-minded practitioners who emphasized other aspects of treating patients alongside medication. I take my extracurriculars very seriously and am looking forward to finding ways to bring forth the therapeutic aspects of yoga, painting and writing into my practice of Medicine. I am also eagerly anticipating life in a small town and am very excited to explore some of Vermont's natural beauty!

Joe Pepitone

Joseph Pepitone, MD

1st Year Fellow

I’m Joseph Pepitone, and I’m one of the first year child and adolescent psychiatry fellows. I completed my medical school training at the Florida State University College of Medicine, and am originally from Orlando, Florida. When applying for residency programs, I applied to the combined-track program here after reading about the Vermont Family-Based Approach and wanting to learn more. Now that I’m here, I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

My road to psychiatry was not a direct one. I’ve had a few pit-stops along the way, originally graduating with an undergraduate bachelors in mathematics from Florida State, then spent some time in graduate study of theoretical chemistry at The University of Chicago. At this last pit-stop, my advisor and I had a conversation about my interests in medicine, and he told me about how he had seen the field of psychiatry change overtime from watching the practices of his psychiatrist parents. He encouraged me to consider a career in this direction. Ultimately, I left this graduate program to pursue a career in medicine, and during my medical school training, enjoyed my experiences working with children and adolescents in mental health.

My interests include functional and developmental neuro-anatomy, family-based assessment and treatment, behavioral interventions, manualized treatments, psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapies, rTMS, and ECT. I’m currently working with doctors Peter Jackson and Brady Heward on designing a manualized intervention for children and adolescents from high-risk profiles for developing substance use disorders. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, going to the gym, hiking the many awesome trails nearby, listening to music, reading good evidence-based medicine articles, baking pastries with sourdough, and am now attempting to learn to develop software.


Dhruv Shah

Dhruv Shah, DO

1st Year Fellow


Hi, I’m Dhruv and I am so excited to be training in child and adolescent psychiatry in the beautiful environment of Vermont. I’ve moved around a bit, but mostly grew up in New Jersey.  I attended college in New Paltz, at the State University of New York where I studied biology and philosophy. I worked as a ski instructor and on an ambulance but I eventually returned to NJ and moved to Philadelphia for medical school at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. I trained in psychiatry at Cooper University Healthcare, a level one trauma center in the city of Camden. I nurtured a passion for caring for the most vulnerable, especially children and adolescents. Now I am looking forward to integrating my love for nature, music, and wellness into my practice of psychiatry.

Meet our 2nd Year Child Psychiatry Fellows!

Aamani Pic

Aamani Chava, MD

2nd Year Fellow


Hi, I’m Aamani, one of the second-year child and adolescent psychiatry fellows. I grew up in the New York/New Jersey area and never thought I would leave the tri-state. However, after finishing up my residency at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in New Jersey, as I began interviewing and broadened my search along the East Coast, I found myself exposed to a variety of different programs. UVM and the Vermont Family Based Approach was one that stood out as it that resonated with my philosophy of practice with its approach to patient care with evidence-based treatment that focuses on the family as a unit and utilizes wellness as a resource for patients, families, and staff.

As I approach my second year at UVM, I can completely attest that my first impressions were right. This is a program that practices what it preaches as I have been able to continue to develop as a clinician, expand my academic interests in teaching and research, and create a great balance between work and family.

In my spare time, I love to explore all that Burlington has to offer in regards to the variety of restaurants, outdoor activities like hiking and skiing (I am very much still an amateur!), and the copious amounts of wineries and breweries! Because of our flexible schedule, I have the opportunity to go back to NY/NJ to visit my friends and family often as well as travel the world!


Kristina Foreman Headshot

Kristina Foreman MD

2nd Year Fellow


Hello, I am Kristie and I am a second-year child and adolescent psychiatry fellow at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

 I am originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and I chose to go to St. George’s University for one year of pre-med and my medical degree. Travel is one of my biggest passions and this afforded me the opportunity to live in Grenada, the UK, New York, and now Vermont! I did my adult psychiatry training here at the University of Vermont, and I fast-tracked into the Child Psychiatry Fellowship. I was drawn to this fellowship program because of the Vermont Family Based Approach and emphasis on well-being not only for patients and their families but also for staff. I appreciate the work-life balance this fellowship affords and the support I am given to pursue my own interests in positive psychiatry and departmental well-being.

 I am infinitely glad that I matched at the University of Vermont for my adult training and even more pleased that I am continuing my child training in this lovely state.


Erica Marden headshot

Erica Marden MD

2nd Year Fellow


Hi I’m Erica, one of the second-year child and adolescent psychiatry fellows. I grew up in Pennsylvania, attended undergraduate university there, and then moved to Vermont for medical school. I attended the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine and have stayed at the University of Vermont for my adult residency and child and adolescent fellowship.

 I have been thrilled with my decision to do my medical school, residency and fellowship training at UVM. The Vermont Family Based Approach integrates evidence-based treatment with family-centered care and this makes our work so fulfilling. I appreciate that the department emphasizes high quality care and wants to ensure that you have the resources and education to provide this care to all of your patients and families.

 My clinical interests are treating transitional age youth, especially college-aged youth. I am also interested in health promotion efforts and suicide prevention work. Outside of work I love traveling, reading, spending time outside and enjoying Lake Champlain.