Staff & Faculty Directory

SPIRIT Lab logo and Northwest MHTTC logo
Co-Directors
Lydia A. Chwastiak, MD, MPH (she/her)

Photo of Lydia ChwastiakUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine
Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Adjunct Professor, Department of Global Health
Northwest MHTTC Role: Co-Director and PI
Email: [email protected]     

 

Lydia is an internal medicine physician and psychiatrist. Over the past 15 years, her clinical and research interests have focused on the intersection of chronic medical illness and serious mental illness. Her clinical work involves integrated care models for patients with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders in both primary care and community mental health settings. She has conducted health services research that has investigated the prevalence, impact and costs of cardiovascular disease among veterans with serious mental illness. More recently, she has adapted and implemented evidence-based integrated care models for low resource settings in the US and in Southeast Asia. Dr. Chwastiak’s current projects include developing and testing a community mental health center-based team approach to treating poorly controlled type 2 diabetes among outpatients with schizophrenia.
 

Christina N. Clayton, LICSW, SUDP (she/her)

 

NW Clayton

University of Washington
- School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences 
- School of Social Work—Clinical Assistant Professor

Northwest MHTTC Role: Co-Director
Email: [email protected] 

 

Christina has worked in the behavioral health field since 1993, primarily serving adults who live with severe mental health issues, substance use, experience chronic homelessness, suffer from poor physical health, trauma and any number of co-occurring issues. Christina has education and licenses/credentials in clinical social work, mental health and substance use, and highly values her direct service experience. Prior to joining the MHTTC in 2018, she spent 25 years working in and managing numerous clinical programs including: HIV/AIDS housing & health care, school-based mental health, substance use outreach and treatment, homeless mental health outreach, intensive case management, assertive community treatment, crisis respite, integrated care, housing first and other evidence-based practices. She has provided licensure supervision, training and consultation, and has worked on multi-disciplinary teams in a number of settings. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor and Field Instructor for the University of Washington School of Social Work (MSW ’97). She is grateful to people who choose to work in this field, as it is their collective energy, passion, dedication and commitment to social justice that supports the people we serve and brings real change to our communities.  Most importantly, she is honored to work with people who every day, live their experience and share their journey through advocacy as they strive for a world where behavioral health is adequately supported and everyone can thrive equitably.


Administration & Evaluation
 
Gabrielle E. Orsi, PhD (she/her)

picture of Gabrielle GorsiUniversity of Washington
School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences 
Northwest MHTTC Role: Program Manager
Email:
[email protected]

Gabrielle is our Project Manager and provides administrative, technical and budgetary support, including planning and allocating resources, monitoring progress, and keeping stakeholders informed. She brings a background in higher education, distance learning, professional development, project management. Gabrielle holds a PhD in Italian from Columbia University. 

 

Rebecca Ritchie, BFA, GradDipEd (she/her/they)

picture of Rebecca RitchieUniversity of Washington
School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences 
Northwest MHTTC Role: Instructional Designer
Email:
[email protected]
 

Rebecca has worked in education since 2001. Originally as a Visual Arts, and Design & Technology high school teacher in Australia, Rebecca moved into higher education working at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, then Macquarie University, Sydney and moved to Seattle in late 2019. She has a wide range of skills in curriculum and development, pedagogy, and technology. She is passionate about creating effective, accessible learning experiences that draw on research and best practices in adult learning principles, educational psychology, neuroscience and design.

 

Jonathan Olson, PhD (he/him)

picture of Jon OlsonUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Wraparound Evaluation & Research Team
Northwest MHTTC Role: Research Scientist
Email:
[email protected]

 

Jonathan Olson, PhD, is a Research Scientist with the Wraparound Evaluation and Research Team. His research interests include predictors of internalizing and externalizing outcomes among young people, positive youth development, mental health outcomes among young people and adults, and the effectiveness of systems designed to support the implementation and sustainability of prevention and intervention programs for children, youth, and families. His recent research has specifically focused on evaluating the impact of technical assistance support on the implementation of systems of care for youth with complex behavioral health needs and learning about factors that promote successful uptake of such strategies.  In this area, he works with the National Wraparound Initiative, the National Wraparound Implementation Center, and the UW Wraparound Evaluation and Research Team.

 

Zoey Bass, BA (she/her)

Image of Zoey BassUniversity of Washington
School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences 
Northwest MHTTC Role: Research Coordinator
Email: [email protected]

 

Zoey has a B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati. She has a background of clinical research experience, most recently in PTSD treatment examination among the veteran population at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. Zoey moved to Washington to pursue a Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree to one day specialize in clinical social work. Zoey is interested in learning more about mental health treatments, specifically among BIPOC and LGBTQ+ populations to one day become a licensed social worker that specializes in trauma-informed therapy and outreach. 


Core Faculty
Maria Monroe-DeVita, PhD (she/her)

Photo of Maria Monroe-DevitaUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine
Director, Washington State Center of Excellence in First Episode Psychosis
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Northwest MHTTC Role: Associate Professor, Trainer and Consultant on EBPs including ACT, FEP
Email: [email protected]       

 

Dr. Monroe-DeVita’s expertise is in implementation and services research related to evidence-based practices for adults with serious mental illness, particularly the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model. She has served as the Principal Investigator on several projects with the Washington State Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, including the development, implementation, and fidelity assessment of 10 new ACT teams, and several Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) and Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT) pilots across the state. She is also in the process of developing and testing novel approaches to better serving people with serious mental illness. She received a collaborative R34 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to develop and pilot-test the integration of IMR within ACT teams and is working to better define and implement integrated primary care services within ACT. She is also the lead author of the new ACT fidelity tool – the Tool for Measurement of Assertive Community Treatment (TMACT) – which has been disseminated and pilot-tested in several U.S. states and countries.

 

Sarah Kopelovich, PhD (she/her)

Photo of Sarah KopelovichUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Professor, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis
Northwest MHTTC Role: Associate Professor and Consultant on EBPs including CBTp, FEP, AVT
Email: [email protected]   

Dr. Kopelovich is a forensically-trained, licensed clinical psychologist based at Harborview Medical Center. She holds a Professorship in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis. Her research aims to enhance implementation and dissemination strategies for psychosocial interventions indicated for individuals with Psychotic Spectrum Disorders. She leads the only CBT for psychosis Provider Network in the country, which has received continual state funding since 2015. She regularly conducts workshops, seminars, and professional consultation across the country for mental health practitioners in CBT for psychosis (CBTp) and CBTp-informed care; Coordinated Specialty Care for First Episode Psychosis and Assertive Community Treatment; and diagnostic, suicide, and violence risk assessment. Dr. Kopelovich is one of the founding faculty with the Northwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center.

 

Akansha Vaswani-Bye, PhD (she/her)

Dr. Vaswani-ByeUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine
Acting Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Northwest MHTTC Role: Acting Assistant Professor and Consultant on EBPs and Social Justice & Inclusion
Email: [email protected]   

 

Akansha Vaswani Bye, PhD, is an Acting Assistant Professor in the SPIRIT Lab (stands for Supporting Psychosis Innovation through Research, Implementation and Training) at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She grew up in Mumbai and her first learnings as a professional came from individuals and families navigating developmental disabilities. Early in her career, she was introduced to the principles of family-centered care, early intervention, and community-based advocacy. Her interest in narrative practices and systemic change has been at the forefront as she moved into spaces as a researcher, clinician, consultant, and trainer. Her doctoral work focused on drivers of institutional corruption in psychiatry and solutions for reform, particularly the practice of deprescribing and rational prescribing grounded in informed consent. Her current research and implementation work is focused on supporting communities impacted by psychosis, building the family peer workforce, and developing and disseminating culturally responsive principles and practices. She is particularly interested in non-pathologizing interventions and interventions that account for the impact of structural and social determinants of health. Currently, her clinical work is located at the Madison Clinic, a primary care clinic for people living with HIV/AIDS. 

 


School Mental Health Supplement
Eric Bruns, PhD (he/him)

Bruns headshotUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences 
Associate Director, UW SMART Center
Northwest MHTTC Role: School Mental Health Faculty
Email: [email protected]

 

Eric is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Bruns’s research focuses on public child-serving systems, and how to maximize their positive effects on youth with behavioral health needs and their families. Toward this end, Dr. Bruns focuses primarily on two areas with high public health significance. The first is intensive care coordination models for youths with serious emotional and behavioral challenges. In this area, Dr. Bruns co-directs the National Wraparound Initiative (www.nwi.pdx.edu) and the National Wraparound Implementation Center (www.nwic.org), and directs the UW Wraparound Evaluation and Research Team (www.wrapinfo.org). In this area, Dr. Bruns has led multiple federally-funded (NIMH, SAMHSA, CMS) research and intervention development projects aimed at defining and evaluating impact of intensive care coordination models. The second area is school mental health services. In this area, Dr. Bruns is Associate Director of the UW SMART Center, where he leads the Center’s Technical Assistance Core and directs its Institute for Education Sciences (IES)-funded Post-doctoral Research Training Program. He has served as PI or Co-I on six Institute for Education Sciences (IES)-funded research studies, on topics such as development and efficacy testing of an assessment, engagement, triage, and brief intervention strategy for school clinicians and counselors, intensive Tier 3 intervention-models for high school students with SEBC, and methods for addressing racial disparities in school discipline.

 

Kelcey Schmitz, MSEd (she/her)

Portrait of Kelcey SchmitzUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Director of Training and Technical Assistance, UW SMART Center
Northwest MHTTC Role: School Mental Health Director
Email: [email protected]

 

Kelcey is the Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the University of Washington School Mental Health, Assessment, Research and Training (SMART) Center. Kelcey has been involved in many Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) efforts providing training, coaching, and evaluation to schools, districts, families and community organizations to support the social, emotional, and behavioral strengths and needs of students within an MTSS framework. She brings extensive experience leading state-wide MTSS efforts. Kelcey has a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Kansas.

 

Nathaly Florez, BA (she/her)

picture of Nathaly FlorezUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine,  Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Northwest MHTTC Role: School Mental Health Program Assistant
Email: [email protected]

 

Nathaly has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington with a Minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate, she began working at the University of Washington School Mental Health, Assessment, Research and Training (SMART) Center as a Research Assistant, before transitioning into the position of a Program Assistant upon receiving her degree. She also worked at the University of Washington Medical Center in the Patient Nutrition Department as a Dietary Unite Aide where she provided appropriate nutrition to the ICU patients. Nathaly is interested in gaining knowledge and experience to prepare her for graduate school and beyond where she hopes to help bridge the gap between technology and mental health for underrepresented communities through the implementation of school mental health. During her free time she enjoys being mentally and physically active by playing video games, gardening, walking the dogs, biking, and exploring new places.

 

Casey Chandler, BA (she/her)

Casey headshotUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine,  Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Northwest MHTTC Role: School Mental Health Data and Evaluation Coordinator
Email: [email protected]

 

Casey obtained a B.A. in Cognitive Science from Berkeley and has over 3 years of experience conducting social/demographic and psychological research across a range of contexts (e.g., community, home, school). Casey’s primary interest is in the development and implementation of evidence-based practices and interventions, primarily those for school aged children and adolescents suffering from mood and anxiety disorders.

 

Jennifer A. Cohen, MNPL (she/her)

Portrait of Jennifer Cohen

University of Washington, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Northwest MHTTC Role: School Mental Health Program Operations Coordinator
Email: [email protected]

 

Jennifer joined the Northwest MHTTC with a broad background in non-profit leadership and private sector experience. She is excited to utilize her skills in financial management, marketing and communications, and project management to further the goals of the Center. Jennifer is passionate about school mental health and recently served on the Secondary Counseling Program Committee for Shoreline Public Schools. She holds a BA in Journalism/Public Relations and Minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Oregon and a Masters in Not-For-Profit Leadership from Seattle University.

 

Rayann Silva, MEd (she/her)

Portrait of Rayann SilvaUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Northwest MHTTC Role: School Mental Health Training & Technical Assistance Coordinator
Email: [email protected]

 

 

Rayann supports program development, and training and technical assistance for the MHTTC School Mental Health supplement. In addition, she supports the Technical Assistance Core (TACore) at the UW SMART Center providing systems-change training and technical assistance to state, local agencies, and districts across the Northwest.  Her professional career spans across many years, roles, and agencies. While Rayann began her professional journey as an ABA Therapist for children with Autism, she eventually grew an interest in prevention and became a teacher. In her previous role, she served as a district administrator in Tacoma Public Schools leading the development and implementation of district-wide social emotional learning for in and out of school time. She has also supported district MTSS implementation through professional development, coaching, and program evaluation across many districts across Washington State. Rayann has a Bachelors in Psychology and Masters of Education from the University of Puget Sound. Her special talent is travelling, and her happy places include anywhere sunny on a beach--or in Microsoft Excel.


Clynita Grafenreed, PhD (she/her)

Portrait of Clynita GrafenreedUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Northwest MHTTC Role: School Mental Health Training & Technical Assistance Coordinator
Email: c[email protected]

 

Dr. Grafenreed is a Licensed Psychologist (LP) and a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP). She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology (1993) and Ph.D. in Psychology (1998) from Texas A&M University in College Station. While she is a LP, Clynita considers herself first as an educator, having spent 24 years in education as a School Psychologist. For 12 years, Clynita worked as a LSSP in several Houston area school districts and then 12 years as an Education Specialist at Region 4 Education Service Center (Region 4) in the Department of Special Education Solutions. While at Region 4, the largest Education Service Center in Texas, Clynita led the Texas Behavior Support Network, a Texas Education Agency sponsored statewide network designed to build capacity in Texas schools through the provision of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to all students for ten years. Clynita has expertise in the areas of equity, school discipline, mental health, and behavioral supports and interventions.  

 

Mari Meador, M.Ed. (she/her)

Mari MeadorUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Northwest MHTTC Role: School Mental Health Implementation Coach
Email: mmeador@uw.edu

 

Mari Meador is an implementation coach at the University of Washington. She works in collaboration with Schools to support implementation efforts of proactive systems of support. Mari joins us from the University of Washington Tacoma where she worked in collaboration with Tacoma Public Schools to support implementation efforts of the Tacoma Whole Child Initiative. Mari has served as a PBIS State Facilitator and Assistant Coordinator for the Northwest PBIS Network providing training and technical assistance, coaching, and ongoing supports to build local and district capacity to implement, sustain, and scale PBIS, and she began her career as a school support counselor and school-based mental health associate. Her professional interests include systems change, culturally responsive positive behavior support and social emotional learning, and fidelity of implementation. Her research interests include equitable and inclusive school discipline practices, implementation science, and effective teaming practices in schools.

 

Corinne Anselm, B.A., M.S.P. (she/her)

Corinne Anselm PhotoUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Northwest MHTTC Role: School Mental Health Research Analyst
Email: [email protected]

 

Corinne Anselm has a BA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Master's in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to working at the SMART Center, she worked as a graduate research and teaching assistant for OU and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Her research focused on survey methodology, suicide prevention, and group identity dynamics (esp. gender identity and sexuality) within public opinion research. She is especially interested in understanding the role of carceral systems in the context of mental health care and marginalized communities. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, watching Bob's Burgers, and spending time with her friends and family. 

 

Elsa Ferguson, B.A. (she/her)

Elsa Ferguson PhotoUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Northwest MHTTC Role: School Mental Health Digital Content and Graphic Design Specialist
Email: elsakf@uw.edu

 

Elsa Ferguson is the new Digital Content and Graphic Design Specialist for the UW SMART Center and the School Mental Health Supplement at the Northwest MHTTC. She is excited to visually engage in the school mental health world to assist in delivering practical, inclusive, uplifting, and empowering content and imagery. She has over 13 years of non-profit experience in various sectors, including nutrition/food insecurity, public health, cancer care, event planning and tech industry, which gives her a unique perspective to her work. Elsa has a B.A. in Nutrition & Public Policy and a minor in Adult Education from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Outside of work Elsa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, eating ice cream and delicious meals, and cheering on her favorite sports teams Kansas Jayhawks (Basketball) and the Seattle Seahawks.