Advisory Board Members
Senior Clinical Consultants Biographical Sketches
Teresa Chapa, PhD., MPA serves as the Southern CA Regional Vice President for Fred Finch Youth and Family Services- a non-profit organization that provides innovative, effective, caring mental health and social services to children, young adults, and their families that allows them to build on their strengths, overcome challenges, and live healthy and productive lives. She is a life-long advocate for mental health and wellness, health equity, integrated behavioral health, cultural and linguistic competence, and workforce development. She’s had a distinguished career in government and higher education, most recently as senior clinical consultant with the National Hispanic and Latino Mental Health Technology Transfer Center; Executive Dean for the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP), Alliant International University, and more than 16 years in senior positions across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that includes the Office of Minority Health (OMH) within the Office of the Secretary where she established and led the Behavioral Health Section and integrated behavioral health care efforts. She had previously served as Director of the Division of Data and Policy for OMH; Chief of the Office of Extramural Research for the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health; and Special Expert to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Chapa was awarded a 2-year intergovernmental assignment to the National Hispanic Medical Association, where she served as Executive Director and promoting integrated behavioral health care strategies to provider communities.
Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, MD is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the New York State (NYS) Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program, and Co-Director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, at NYS Psychiatric Institute. He is also a Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard University. Dr. Lewis-Fernandez’s research focuses on developing clinical interventions and novel service-delivery approaches to help overcome disparities in the care of underserved cultural groups. His work centers on improving treatment engagement and retention in mental health and physical health care by persons with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and other serious mental illnesses. He also studies the way culture affects individuals’ experience of mental disorder and their help-seeking expectations, including how to explore this cultural variation during the psychiatric evaluation. He led the development of the DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview, a standardized method for cultural assessment for use in mental health practice, and the Principal Investigator of its international field trial, conducted in Canada, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, Peru, and the United States. Dr. Lewis-Fernandez’s research has been funded by US federal and state agencies as well as private foundations. He has published over 200 articles, editorials, commentaries, reports, books, and book chapters on the topic of cultural mental health.
Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., MD, MPH, MBA, FAPAI, a native Texan and licensed psychiatrist, is the fifth Executive Director to lead the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health since its creation in 1940 at the University of Texas at Austin, where he oversees the vision, mission, goals, strategic planning and day-to-day operations of the foundation. Dr. Martinez holds an appointment of Senior Associate Vice-President within the university’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement; he is also a clinical professor in the university’s School of Social Work; and a Professor of Psychiatry at the Dell Medical School. His academic interests include minority health, health disparities and workforce issues. In addition to his administrative and academic duties, he currently serves on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s, Health and Medicine Division’s (HMD’s) Standing Committee on Medical and Public Health Research during Large-Scale Emergency Events and on HMD’s Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity. He has formerly served on the IOM’s Committee on the Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education (2014) and on the Committee on the Mental Health Workforce for Geriatric Populations (2012). From 2002 to 2006 he served as a Special Emphasis Panel Member for the National Institutes of Health, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Martinez also serves on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services to the Secretary of Health. He is a member of the board of directors for Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a member of the editorial board for the Home Health Care Services Quarterly Journal, and former chair of the board and board member of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA).
Luis H. Zayas, PhD, is the Dean, Professor, and the Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work; and Professor of Psychiatry at the Dell Medical School of The University of Texas at Austin. In addition to numerous papers in scientific journals, Dr. Zayas is the author of Latinas Attempting Suicide: When Cultures, Families, and Daughters Collide (Oxford, 2011) and Forgotten Citizens: Deportation, Children, and the Making of American Exiles and Orphans (Oxford, 2015).
Advisory Board Members
Scott Bloom, LCSW-R, has spent his career at the intersection of mental health and schools working to improve access to social-emotional services and resources by integrating these programs into school systems creating opportunities for students to overcome emotional and behavioral barriers to academic achievement. He is the founding Director of School Mental Health Services for the Office of School Health in the NYC DOE. The School Mental Health unit facilitates partnerships with mental health organizations, implements Mayoral Thrive NYC projects, and focuses on prevention initiatives that have created a city-wide system of mental health services and resources in over 1800 city schools. He has been working with children and families for over 30 years. He serves on the advisory boards for a number of city, state and national mental health initiatives including the Center for the Advancement of School Mental Health in University of Maryland. Mr. Bloom has contributed to journals, magazine articles, book chapters, and has presented at local and national conferences on school mental health.
Thelma Garcia, is a Director of HIV Prevention Services for the East Los Angeles Women’s Center. Mrs. Garcia has worked for over twenty years addressing sexual, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention needs, and violence against women issues in the Latino community. While working for the East Los Angeles Women’s Center, Mrs. Garcia established the Promotoras en Acción Program to improve access for Latino women at risk of HIV/AIDS. Mrs. Garcia has become a steadfast community activist promoting HIV/AIDS programs and policies that address women issues. She serves on various community advisory boards, planning task forces and committees where she builds strong professional relationships with local and statewide organizations.
Luz M López, PhD, MPH, MSW, was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She completed a PhD in Social Work and a master degree in Public Health from Tulane University in New Orleans. She is a faculty member at Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW), director of the Global Health Core at the BUSSW Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health and the Associate Director of the dual degree program in Public Health and Social Work. She has more than 25 years conducting prevention, education, and research in the fields of substance abuse and trauma with Latinx and other ethnically diverse communities. She also facilitates trauma informed support groups. Prof. López conducts and annual cultural immersion course for graduate students to Puerto Rico and in the past two years, a service component was added to contribute after the impact of Hurricane Maria on the Island. On this effort, she collaborates with faculty and students from the University of Puerto Rico graduate school of Social Work, InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico, and with the University of Houston graduate college of Social Work. In addition, Dr. López works with immigrants and refugees and provides culturally specific mental health and trauma trainings in partnership with Makarere University in Uganda; with the Superemos Domestic Violence Program in Estelí, Nicaragua and with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN-FAREM).
Luis R. Torres, Ph.D., is Associate Professor, Director of the Center for Drug and Social Policy Research, and Humana Endowed Chair for the Social Determinants of Health in the Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) at the University of Houston. His research focuses on co-occurring mental health, substance use and medical disorders with a particular focus on Hispanics, African Americans, and other minority communities, and has been funded by SAMHSA, NIDA, and ACF. He also has several ongoing research collaborations in Mexico, El Salvador, and Puerto Rico. A member of the UH Health Initiative and the College of Medicine since their inception, he has a joint appointment in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences in the UH College of Medicine and is the primary liaison between the GCSW and other UH health professions programs, actively involved in developing interprofessional education and research initiatives at the university. He serves on several local and national boards, among them the Board of Directors of Avenue 360 Health and Wellness Inc. in Houston, where he currently serves as Board President, and the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA). In 2019, Dr. Torres was appointed to a 3-year term to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Interdepartmental Substance Use Disorders Coordinating Committee, which is charged with identifying areas for improved coordination related to substance abuse, including research, services, supports and prevention activities across all relevant Federal agencies. Dr. Torres is also on the Advisory Board of the SAMHSA-funded National Hispanic and Latino Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. A native of Puerto Rico, Dr. Torres has a doctorate in clinical psychology from Fordham University in New York City and almost 30 years of clinical, teaching, administrative, and research experience.
Olga Acosta Price, Ph.D. is director of the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, and is associate professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health at the University. She is a clinical psychologist with postdoctoral training in school mental health. Dr. Acosta Price has dedicated herself to promoting prevention and early intervention programs that address the mental health needs of children and their families, and has developed, implemented and evaluated programs promoting mental health and resilience conducted in school and community settings. In 1999, Dr. Acosta Price became founding director of the School Mental Health Program (SMHP) at the Department of Mental Health in Washington, DC and launched comprehensive school-based mental health programs in more than 30 public charter and DC public schools over six years. In her current capacity as director of the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools she provides leadership and direction to the Center in an effort to impact the development and quality of school health services across the U.S. The position requires that she advise government officials as well as leaders in education systems and health care institutions on how to provide integrated, cost-effective and high-quality health programs in schools, address the social and environmental conditions that perpetuate health and academic disparities, train professionals in best practices in school health, and inform policymakers and the public on alternative approaches in school-based health care.
Manuel Paris, Psy.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine and Deputy Director of Hispanic Services for the Connecticut Mental Health Center. He also serves as Director of Training for the Latinx Track of the Yale Psychology Pre- and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program at the Hispanic Clinic. His professional contributions focus on the evaluation of cultural/linguistic adaptations of evidence-based interventions, multisite training and fidelity monitoring, workforce development, and public policy advocacy.