Eva M. Szigethy, MD, PhD

  • Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Medicine
  • Director, Behavioral Health, UPMC Chief Medical Office
  • Co-Director, IBD Total Care Subspecialty Medical Home
  • Consultant, UPMC Health Plan, Behavioral Unit of Digitally Delivered Interventions

Over the past 20 years, Szigethy has demonstrated clinical expertise, innovative research funded by national, foundations and institutional grants, a strong history of professional mentorship of multi-disciplinary teams, and the ability to solicit local and national philanthropic funds. As a practicing psychiatrist, her expertise developed around treating depression and anxiety with complex co-morbid medical-psychiatric conditions in adolescents and young adults. In her role as a clinical researcher with a doctorate in basic neuroscience and masters in translational clinical science, the past 15 years of her research career have focused on characterizing symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and designing behavioral interventions to target neuropsychiatric manifestations of IBD. Specifically, her focus is how behavioral interventions can be used to target particular domains of depression and, once positive effects have been shown, how such interventions can be disseminated to clinicians in the field. Her interdisciplinary background, clinical research expertise, and ability to generate meaningful results have been recognized by being awarded the NIH Director’s Innovator Award (DP2 OD001210) and through the publication of over 75 peer-reviewed articles.Szigethy is experienced leading multi-center trials, as demonstrated by my National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) R-01 grant that used both variable and patient-centered approaches to characterize depression.

Throughout the years, she has established administrative leadership skills, starting with the completion of the Katz UPMC Physician Leadership Executive Business Program in 2016, to management of large grant budgets and programmatic budgets of her various integrated behavioral medical clinical programs. In addition, she received two national awards for her leadership in translational science - the Sherman Prize for Crohn’s and Colitis innovation and the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Leadership Award in Consultation Liaison Psychiatry. Through her experience, she became an expert in translating research findings into clinical practice for screening patients with anxiety, depression, fatigue, sleep disturbance and pain.

Szigethy's recent work focuses on evidence - based integration of health technology in medical settings. She became a clinical innovator, setting up behavioral clinics embedded in gastroenterology, and most recently have been Co-Director of the first IBD subspecialty medical home at UPMC and in the United States. Their research and clinical team has shown that this model of care is not only feasible, but that it has a positive impact on clinical and health utilization outcomes. At UPMC, she is involved with vetting and scientifically testing behavioral health technology in real world settings.  They showed that a digital cognitive behavioral health therapy program was significantly more effective in improving clinical and medical utilization outcomes in primary care settings and outperformed behavioral monitoring alone in our IBD subspecialty medical home. To evaluate a high touch team versus health technology approach to patient care within gastroenterology medical homes, she was awarded a PCORI contract where, as Principal Investigator, she is leading a multi-site study with UPMC, Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Mount Sinai Medical Center.

As their IBD medical home is a project sponsored by the UPMC Health Plan, she learned the business of balancing clinical excellence with cost effectiveness.  She was appointed to a leadership role in the UPMC Health Services Division as Director of Behavioral Health within the Chief Medical and Scientific Office (CMSO) at UPMC, where she has focused on system-wide expansion of behavioral integration by incorporating innovation, data-driven care and health technology. By combining clinical research registries, UPMC electronic medical record informatics with the formation of multidisciplinary teams, her CMSO team has successfully expanded specialty medical homes with health technology integration across the system for both adolescents and adults. she has shown the ability to support the infrastructure of these programs by utilizing grant funds, philanthropic donations, shared savings plans within thier IDFS model at UPMC, and improving efficiency and scalability of behavioral care using digital behavioral solutions.

While performing her clinical, research and administrative responsibilities across the system, Szigethy continues to increase her role in mentoring junior staff and faculty to optimize their own research, clinical, and career goals.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • American Psychiatric Association, 1993-Present
  • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1997-Present
  • Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, 2002-Present
  • American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, 2007-Present
  • American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, 2009-Present
  • American Psychosomatic Society, 2012-Present
  • American College of Gastroenterology Fellow Status, 2014-Present
  • American Gastroenterology Association, 2015- Present
  • Crohn’s and Colitis UK Steering Committee Member, 2019-Present

Education & Training

  • BA, Neuropsychology, Princeton University, 1985
  • PhD, Neuroanatomy, McGill University, 1989
  • MD, University of Rochester, 1993
  • MS, Medical Sciences, Harvard Medical School, 2003
  • Residency in General Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University, 1993-1997
  • Residency in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University, 1997-1998
  • Residency in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Children's Hospital of Boston, 1998-1999
  • Six-Month Training in PASCET Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Children's Hospital of Boston, 1999
  • Clinical Research Training Program, Auditing Participant, Children's Hospital of Boston, 1999-2001
  • Advanced Training in Clinical Hypnosis, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2007
  • American Society of Clinical Hypnosis Certification, 2009
  • Visiting Scholars Program, UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders, 2011
  • Opioid Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies Training, Pennsylvania Medical Society, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Selected Publications

Szigethy E, Murphy SM, Ehrlick O, Engel-Nitz, NM, Heller C, Henrichsen K, Lawton R, Meadows P, Allen JI.  Mental Health Costs of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2020. Doi: 10.1093/ibd/izaa030

Hashash J, Knisely M, Germain A, McAuliff K, Strassburger M, Vachon A, Binion D, Regueiro M, Wallace M, Szigethy E. rieg Behavioral Therapy and Bupropion for Sleep and Fatigue in Young Adults with Crohn’s Disease: An Exploratory Open Trial Study. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2020 September 30. DOI: 10.1016.

Lupe S, Keefer L, Szigethy E. Gaining Resilience and Reducing Stress in Age of COVID-19. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. 2020 July; 36(4): 295-303. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000646.

Scott P, Lockhart JS, Zoucha R, Jakub KE, Szigethy EM, Nguyen GC. Coping Behaviors of African Americans With Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Focused Ethnography. Journal of Transcultural Nursing. November 2020. doi:10.1177/1043659620967443

Parkinson M, Vodovotz Y, Barnard N, Hu F, Jakicic J, Lianov L, Loveland D, Buysse B, Szigethy E, Finkel T, Sowa G, Verschure P, Williams K, Sanchez E, Dysinger W, Maizes V, Junker C, Phillips E, Katz D, Drant S, Jackson R, Trasande L, Woolf S, Salive M, South-Paul J, States S, Roth L, Fraser G, Stout R. Prioritized Research for the Prevention, Treatment and Reversal of Chronic Disease: Recommendations from the Lifestyle Medicine Research Summit. Frontiers in Medicine. 2020. Accepted 

Novins D, Stoddard J, Althoff R, Charach A, Cortese S, Cullen K, Frazier J, Glatt S, Henderson S, Herringa R, Hulvershorn L, Kieling C, McBride A, McCauley E, Middeldorp C, Reiersen A, Rockhill C, Sagot A, Scahill L, Simonoff E, Stewart S, Szigethy E, Taylor J, White T, Zima B. Editors’ Note and Special Communication: Research Priorities in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Emerging From the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. March 16, 2021. doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2021.03.005

Szigethy E, Murphy SM, Erlich OG, Heller CA, Engel-Nitz NM, Meadows P, Allen, JI.  Opioid use associated with higher costs among patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn’s & Colitis 360. 2021 Accepted.

Szigethy E, Hoberman A, Marroquin M, Pavlick A, Serio C  Evaluating feasibility and impact of coach-enhanced digital behavioral therapy for anxiety and depression in adolescents and young adults in pediatric outpatient practices.  In preparation, 2021

Szigethy E, Nikolajski C, Pavlick A, Marroquin M, Serio    Qualitative Surveys of Acceptability and Helpfulness of coach-enhanced digital CBT for adolescents and young adults: User and provider perspectives.  In preparation, 2021

Szigethy E,  Tansel A, Kingsley M, Pezzone M, Marroquin M, Pavlick A, Levinthal D.  Implementation of Digital Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety and Depression in Patients with Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders During the COVID Era  In preparation, 2021

Commiskey P, Armstrong A, Coker T, Dorsey E, Fortney J, Gaines K, Gibbons B, Nguyen H, Singla D, Szigethy E, Krupinkski E. A Blueprint for the Conduct of Large, Multi-Site Trials in Telemedicine. Journal of Medical Internet Research. Submitted, 2021.


Academic and Research Interests

  • Behavioral Health
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Digital Behavioral Tools, Health Technology
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Research Grants

Szigethy E (PI) PCORI Grant Specialty Medical Homes to Improve Outcomes for Patients with IBD and Behavioral Health Conditions, February 2019 – July 2023. Direct costs $ 4,478,571  20% effort.

Szigethy E (Co-I) Designing and Implementation Strategy for Delivering Routine Mental Health Screening and Treatment for Adolescents and Young Adults with Sickle Cell Disease (Jonassaint C, PI). NIMH Grant # R34MH125152.  October 2020-August 2022. 

Szigethy E (Co-I) Beckwith Institute Transformation Grant-Phenotyping and Digital Behavioral Intervention of COVID-Long Patients. 2021-2022. $200K

Szigethy E (Co-I) Mindfulness meditation training for Irritable Bowel Syndrome R-01 DK128114 (Creswell, PI) Carnegie Mellon University/University of Pittsburgh. 2021-2025. $2,472,974 5%effort