Clinical Professors

Karen M. Lommel, DO, MHA, MS

Clinical Professor
Clemson University School of Health Research

Behavioral Health Chief Medical Officer
Department Chair
Prisma Health Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine


Contact: or 864-455-4238

Who is Dr. Lommel?

Dr. Lommel currently serves as the Behavioral Health Chief Medical Officer, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and interim Vice Chair of Academics after filling the role of the founding Division Chief of Emergency Psychiatry at Prisma Health and University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. She completed a dual-degree program in 2000, earning the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Master of Healthcare Administration degrees. In 2005, she completed a combined residency training program in pediatrics, adult psychiatry, and child/adolescent psychiatry at the University of Kentucky (UK). That same year, she joined the University of Kentucky faculty and practiced as a child psychiatrist with multiple clinical, research and administrative roles and joint appointments in psychiatry, pediatrics and surgery. During her career at UK, she earned a graduate certificate and master’s degree in clinical and translational science. After receiving a promotion to associate professor with tenure, she opted to return to training in an emergency medicine residency program. Dr. Lommel maintains her clinical skills with bedside practice in three areas; emergency medicine, child psychiatry, and emergency psychiatry. During her time at Prisma Health she has supported the Clemson Embedded Scholar Program and worked with Architecture + Health students.
For more information, see her Curriculum Vitae.

How Dr. Lommel’s research is transforming health care

Dr. Lommel’s current areas of research interest cover several topics within behavioral health, including crisis intervention, behavioral health facility design, virtual reality, and implementation of behavioral health services within primary and specialty care practices. There has been a growing recognition of the role of mental health in overall wellbeing and chronic disease management. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of quality research in this area.
In her three years at Prisma Health she has had the opportunity to meet with Clemson University faculty to begin exploring collaborative projects that address the deficits in the behavioral health literature. They are in the unique position to work within a newly merged large health system focused on quality improvement and seeking innovative ways to improve care and reduce growing healthcare costs. One example of a successful transformational project was the positive and sustained results of massive process changes for care of the psychiatric patient in the emergency department. She proposed the changes after attending a conference three years ago and continue, as an invited speaker, to share the results of our transformation of care for this conference and several other national venues.


News and media related to Dr. Lommel's research

•  Greenville News: “OPINION: There's help for those battling depression
•  Greenville News: “Suicide rate increases nationally, soars in South Carolina
•  Greenville News: “New psychiatric hospital, once in jeopardy, is back on track for Greenville
•  Prisma Health’s FOCUS on Pediatrics magazine: “Improving Access to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Key Health Research Interest Areas

Behavioral science, virtual reality, emergency psychiatry, telepsychiatry, collaborative car