The University of Texas System
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Executive Committee

Name

Title

Institution

Joseph Blader headshot

Joseph Blader is a clinical child and adolescent psychologist who, over the past 30 years, has led clinical, research, and innovative service programs to meet the needs of youth with severe behavioral health challenges. He currently holds the Meadows Foundation and Semp Russ Professorship in Child Psychiatry Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. A graduate of Tufts University, Joe completed his doctoral clinical psychology training at Queen’s University in Ontario and at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. He earned an MS in clinical research methods from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM). Prior to his arrival at UT in 2013 he held clinical and academic positions in the New York metropolitan area at the North Shore – LIJ Health System, New York University Medical Center, AECOM, and Stony Brook State University of New York. He has conducted impactful research on the treatment of youngsters with ADHD who are also affected by severe emotional dysregulation and dyscontrolled behavior, and developed and led a city-wide pediatric/mental health collaborative care project in 10 sites throughout San Antonio.

james bourgeois headshot

Dr. Bourgeois is Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Baylor Scott & White, Central Texas Division and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College of Medicine. He is the author of over 190 peer-reviewed publications and author or editor of 40 books or book chapters. He has held previous academic appointments at University of California, Davis, University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, McMaster University, and University of California, San Francisco.

Danette Castle headshot

Danette Castle serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Council of Community Centers, which represents the thirty-nine Community Centers of Texas on public policy and legislative matters affecting the statewide public system of care for people with intellectual disabilities, serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Prior to assuming the position at the Texas Council in January 2008, she served as the CEO of a Community Center serving a five-county area in West Texas. She has served at the local, state and national level on countless boards, committees and workgroups—all dedicated to improving access to quality services for people who face the challenges of intellectual disabilities, serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Ms. Castle holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Master’s degree in Education from Texas Tech University.

Mark Chassay portrait

Dr. Chassay is the Senior Vice Provost for Clinical Affairs & Healthcare Partnerships at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Prior to his appointment, he served as Associate Dean for Alumni Relations & Continuing Medical Education and Assistant Dean for Admissions & Student Affairs at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He also founded the school’s primary care sports medicine fellowship and served as its Program Director. He served as the Deputy Executive Commissioner of the Office of Health Policy and Clinical Services at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission from 2012-2014. Dr. Chassay earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the McGovern Medical School, and a Healthcare Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Daniel Deslattes portrait

Daniel Deslatte is the Senior Vice President for Business Affairs and External Relations at The University of Texas Health Science Center Tyler. Mr. Deslatte is responsible for strategic planning, business development, public affairs, marketing and governmental relations. He is also responsible for managing the university's interest in the public-private partnership that created the UT Health East Texas Health System. Prior to joining UT Health Science Center in 2011, Mr. Deslatte spent nearly a decade in senior-level positions in the Texas Legislature, including chief of staff to a senior member of the House of Representatives and as the director of a joint House-Senate committee with oversight of Texas' health and human services system.

Michael Escamilla poertrait

Michael A. Escamilla, M.D., is a psychiatrist and scientist with more than 20 years of experience in genetic research and research training. EH completed his B.A. at Harvard University, his M.D. at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, and his post-doctorate work (in psychiatry and psychiatric genetics) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is currently chair of psychiatry at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine. Dr. Escamilla has been the principal investigator of several studies focusing on the genetics of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and has led multi-site collaborations of researchers from the United States, Mexico, Central and South America. His research findings have been published in Nature Genetics, the American Journal of Human Genetics, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and other journals.

Sonja Gaines portrait

Sonja Gaines is the Deputy Executive Commissioner for Intellectual and Developmental Disability and Behavioral Health Services. She came to Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in 2014 as the first Associate Commissioner for Mental Health Coordination. In 2016, she assumed leadership responsibility for the policy and delivery of community-based services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health conditions. During her tenure at HHSC, Commissioner Gaines spearheaded the development of the first Statewide Behavioral Health Strategic Plan as well as the first IDD Strategic Plan, eliminated the outpatient waitlist has been eliminated, and oversaw the more than $200 million of behavioral health services implemented through the Texas Opioid Response federal grant and mental health matching grant programs. She previously served as Chief of Mental Health Services with My Health My Resources of Tarrant County, the second largest community mental health center in Texas. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Texas Women’s University.

Wayne Goodman portrait

Wayne Goodman, MD, D.C and Irene Ellwood Professor and Chair of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, specializes in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for intractable psychiatric illnesses. He is the principal developer of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), the gold standard for assessing OCD, and co-founder of the International OCD Foundation, the major advocacy group for patients with OCD. Prior to joining Baylor, he held senior administrative positions at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, NIMH and the University of Florida. He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Electrical Engineering, received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and completed his internship, residency, and research fellowship at Yale School of Medicine where he remained on faculty for 7 years. He has received numerous awards, published over 300 peer-reviewed papers and has a longstanding record of extramural research funding and is currently Principal Investigator on three grants from NIH’s BRAIN initiative.

Dr. Harper is a board-certified psychiatrist specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry. He has expertise in attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), clinical depression and depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, insomnia and other sleep disorders, mood disorders and personality disorders. He completed medical school at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 1984. He is the former medical director at the University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center and the associate medical director for the Texas Children’s Health Plan. Currently, he is a clinical professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine and a child and adolescent physiatrist with the Texas A&M Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic.

Hicham Ibrahim portrait

Hicham Ibrahim, MD, is Associate Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Ambulatory Services at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He completed his medical education at American University of Beirut and his residency in psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical Center and UT Southwestern. He also completed a research fellowship in neuroscience at the University of Michigan and two clinical fellowships in addiction and geriatric psychiatry at UT Southwestern. Dr. Ibrahim has won numerous institutional and national teaching awards, including the American Psychiatric Association Irma Bland Award for teaching residents and Nancy C.A. Roeske Award for teaching medical students. He has published peer-reviewed articles in top journals and is a reviewer for several professional journals.

Portrait of Andy Keller

Dr. Keller is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, a Texas-based nonprofit that provides high quality, data-driven, nonpartisan policy and program research, development, and advice to state and local leaders with a single goal in mind: to improve mental health care in communities throughout Texas. Andy is a licensed psychologist with more than 20 years of experience in behavioral health policy, financing, and best practices. His work has centered on helping state and local health systems implement evidence-based and innovative care, as well as helping local and state governments develop the regulatory and financial frameworks to support them. Prior to moving full time into policy work, Andy was a managing partner for 15 years at a national behavioral health management consulting firm. Before that, he worked in Colorado at the health plan level with a leading Medicaid HMO and at the provider level with the Mental Health Center of Denver, where he directed and led a range of community-based and care management programs.

Portrait of David Lakey

David Lakey, M.D. serves as the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at The University of Texas System, and as Senior Advisor to the President and Professor of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center Tyler. Dr. Lakey was the Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services from 2007 to 2015. Prior to being appointed commissioner, Dr. Lakey served as the chief of the Division of Clinical Infectious Disease and medical director of the Center for Pulmonary and Infectious Disease Control at the University of Texas Health Center in Tyler. Dr. Lakey is a graduate from Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed his internal medicine, pediatrics, and infectious disease training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Portrait of Israel Liberzon

In 2018 Dr. Liberzon was recruited as founding Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center. Dr. Liberzon’s primary research interest centers on emotions, stress and stress related disorders like PTSD, particularly in the regulation and dysregulation of stress response systems. Prior to that he was an Endowed Professor in the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry and the founder of the PTSD program at the Ann Arbor VAMC, a program that has since grown and remained on the forefront of biological research of PTSD worldwide. He had published over 250 peer reviewed manuscripts, and has authored and edited several books and book chapters.

Portrait of Mike Maples

Mike Maples serves as the Deputy Executive Commissioner for the Health and Human Services Commission. He is responsible for the operations of the 13 State Supported Living Centers and the 10 Mental Health facilities. Prior to this Mr. Maples served as the Assistant Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Department of State Health Services, one of the state’s largest agencies, where he oversaw programs including the Office of Academic Affairs, the State Hospitals, the Center for Health Statistics, the Center for Health Policy and Performance, the Vital Statistics Unit and the Office of Border Services. Mr. Maples received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and his Master of Arts - Human Services in Psychology from St. Edwards University. He is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Portrait of Octavio Martinez

Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., F.A.P.A., is Executive Director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Martinez also holds an appointment of Senior Associate Vice-President within the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and as a Professor of Psychiatry at the UT Austin Dell Medical School. Dr. Martinez has a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University’s School of Public Health, a doctor’s degree in medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, and master’s in business administration from The University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for Preparedness and Response Board of Scientific Counselors and on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s, Health and Medicine Division’s Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity. Dr. Martinez is a member of the board of directors for Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), and a board member (and former chair) of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA).

Portrait of Jeffery Matthews

Jeffery Matthews, MD is founding Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHCT). Prior to joining UTHCT in 2013, Dr. Matthews practiced in a number of settings including in private practice, on faculty at UTMB, at Kerrville State Hospital, and in the Hill Country MHDD community psychiatric outpatient setting. He completed internship and residency in psychiatry at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas before completing a research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, MD. His research group studied cyclical conditions including Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder as well as Circadian Systems in a healthy population.

Portrait of Keino McWhinney

Keino McWhinney serves as Secretary of the Board of Regents and Executive Assistant to the Chancellor for the Texas Tech University System. McWhinney was named to his position on Dec. 1, 2019. McWhinney assists the Board of Regents members in their duties and acts as a liaison between the Board and Texas Tech University System personnel. He joined the TTU System in 2009 and spent seven years as a special assistant to the president at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Most recently, McWhinney rejoined the Texas Tech family when he was appointed director of the Texas Tech Mental Health Institute (TTMHI) in May 2018. During his time with TTMHI, he worked with stakeholders, both locally and across the state, to foster meaningful dialogue aimed at influencing policy and promoting open communication on mental health related efforts.

Portrait of Charles B Nemeroff

Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff, MD, PhD, is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Nemeroff served for nine years as chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida. He has also served as president of the American College of Psychiatrists (ACP) and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP). His research is focused on the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders with a focus on the role of child abuse and neglect as a major risk factor. He has also conducted research on the role of mood disorders as a risk factor for major medical disorders including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. (Neurobiology) degrees at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine.

Portrait of Elizabeth Newlin

Elizabeth Newlin, MD, is associate professor and vice chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the UTHealth Houston Faillace Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She oversees the inpatient child and adolescent service as the Chief of Child Psychiatry for UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center (HCPC). As the Associate Executive Director of the UTHealth Trauma and Resilience Center, Dr. Newlin provides for the psychiatric care of children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events as well as administrative oversight, trainee education, and research related to risk and resilience in youth. Dr. Newlin earned her degree in medicine and completed a general psychiatry residency as well as a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Prior to joining the department at UTHealth Science Center Houston, she spent six years as the Program and Medical Director of adolescent services at The Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas.

Portrait of Michael Patriarca

Mr. Michael Patriarca, MBA is the Sr. Associate Vice President, Division of Health Affairs and Executive Vice Dean, School of Medicine at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). At UTRGV, he leads the Finance and Administrative functions for the Division of Health Affairs and the School of Medicine. He is also the Executive Director for UT Health RGV, the clinical practice plan of the UTRGV School of Medicine. Prior to joining UTRGV, Mr. Patriarca spent time at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he served as the Director of Finance in the Office of the Dean for the School of Medicine & Provost. In this role, he was responsible for the funds flow, budget, and capital budget for the School of Medicine. Mr. Patriarca earned his undergraduate Finance degree from Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and holds an MBA from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. He is currently working towards a Master’s of Science in Business Analytics, scheduled to be completed in 2021.

Portrait of Steven Pliszka

Steven R. Pliszka, M.D. is Dielmann Distinguish Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. His research has focused on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related disorders. Dr. Pliszka is the author of “Neuroscience for the Mental Health Clinician, 2nd ed.” and “Treating ADHD and Comorbid Disorders (Guilford Press). He has been very active in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, authoring the academy’s practice parameters for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in 2007. Dr. Pliszka has an active clinical practice, caring for many children and adolescents with ADHD and other psychiatric disorders; he also serves as the attending psychiatrist for two residential facilities for children with severe behavioral and emotional disorders.

Portrait of Alan Podawiltz

Dr. Podawiltz is the Acclaim Service line Chief of Behavioral Health and Chair of Psychiatry for John Peter Smith Health Network and the University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC TCOM). In addition to the Chair role he has served in numerous roles including Residency Director at TTUHSC and John Peter Smith Hospital, Interim Dean UNTHSC TCOM, and serves on various committees as chair or active member from finance, education, clinical programming, patient quality and safety, to admissions. A graduate of the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, he completed his intern year at the Oregon Health Sciences Center in Portland, Oregon and finished his Psychiatry residency at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock (TTUHSC), where he served as the Chief Resident in Psychiatry and completed a Clinical Research Fellowship.

Portrait of Rhonda Robert

Dr. Rhonda Robert is clinical psychologist and Professor of Pediatrics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She works with patients in active treatment (anti-angiogenic and palliative) through age 25 and long-term survivors of pediatric cancer. Her previous appointment in an academic, pediatric hospital setting was as an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and Director of Psychological Care for burn patients at Shriners Hospital for Children. She has co-authored 38 peer-reviewed journal articles, 9 invited book chapters, 93 abstracts; and secured 19 grant awards. Her research has addressed the acute and long-term emotional adjustment of children to injury and illness.

Portrait of Stacey Silverman

Stacey Silverman is the Assistant Commissioner in the Division of Academic Quality and Workforce at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Dr. Silverman provides leadership on statewide policy initiatives related to undergraduate and graduate education with a focus on achieving the state’s goals for higher education. Dr. Silverman has authored several studies on issues related to higher education focused on undergraduate and graduate education. Dr. Silverman led the Coordinating Board’s effort in convening the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium and serves as the agency’s appointee. She also represents the agency on the Texas Statewide Health Coordinating Council and the Texas Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council. Prior to joining the staff of the Coordinating Board, Dr. Silverman was Director of Legislative Affairs for the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Silverman is a graduate of TCU, Midwestern State University, and received her PhD from The University of Texas at Austin.

Portrait of Jair Soares

Dr. Jair C. Soares is Professor and Chair of the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the Pat R. Rutherford, Jr. Chair in Psychiatry at the McGovern Medical School, as well as the Executive Director of UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center. A Board-certified psychiatrist, he also serves as Chief of Psychiatry Services at Memorial Hermann Hospital and LBJ Hospital. Dr. Soares directs the UTHealth Center of Excellence on Mood Disorders, which focuses on the search for the causes and the development of new treatments for mood disorders. Dr. Soares received his medical degree from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and completed a general psychiatry residency at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh. He obtained a PhD in medical sciences at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). Dr. Soares has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the psychiatric literature and has held editorial positions on a number of national and international medical journals.

Portrait of Steve Strakowski

Stephen M. Strakowski, MD, is Vice Dean of Research and Associate Vice President of Regional Mental Health at The University of Texas in Austin Dell Medical School. Prior to coming to UT, he spent 24 years at the University of Cincinnati/UC Health where he last served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Transformation in UC Health and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, Psychology and Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Strakowski graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a BSE in 1984 and alpha omega alpha from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine with an MD in 1988. He is an internationally recognized and trusted expert in the study and treatment of bipolar and other mood disorders. His research group has been a world leader studying the treatment, outcomes and neurobiology of these conditions.

Portrait of Carol Tamminga

Dr. Tamminga holds the Lou and Ellen McGinley Distinguished Chair and the McKenzie Chair in Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School; she is the Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and the Chief of the Translational Neuroscience Division in Schizophrenia at UTSW. She received her M.D. degree from Vanderbilt University and completed residency training in psychiatry at the University of Chicago. Dr Tamminga was elected to the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences in 1998 and has served on several NAM committees in that capacity. The goal of Dr. Tamminga’s research is to examine and understand the mechanisms underlying schizophrenia, especially its most prominent symptoms, psychosis and memory dysfunction, in order to build rational treatments for the illness.

Peter M. Thompson, M.D., M.S. is a professor and the Hunt Family Endowed Chair of Psychiatry. He serves as the Director of the Southwest Brain Bank and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at TTUHSC-El Paso.. He completed his psychiatry residency at Tufts University/New England Medical Center and Psychobiology Research Fellowship at the University of California at San Diego. Dr. Thompson founded the Southwest Brain Bank in 2003 and has published his research findings on brain molecular changes in mood disorders, schizophrenia, and alcohol dependence. In his time as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at TTUHSC-El Paso, the department has greatly increased its collaborations with community partners. These partnerships focus on reducing barriers to care and educating medical students and residents on how to treat mental illness, incorporating the language and cultural values of the border population.

Portrait of Alexander Vo

Dr. Alexander Vo currently serves as Vice President, Telemedicine and Health Innovations at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), where he leads the development of new telemedicine initiatives for both clinical and academic enterprises. Dr. Vo also leads the Department of Health Innovations, a division at UTMB that was founded to generate new health-related technologies cultivated from UTMB’s vast experience in clinical care delivery and biomedical research. Concurrently, Dr. Vo is the CEO of Medical Branch Innovations, a subsidiary of the University of Texas Medical Branch. Prior to his current role, Dr. Vo served in a senior executive position as Vice President of Electronically Mediated Services at Colorado Access, a health insurance plan in Colorado, where he was subsequently promoted to CEO of three of its subsidiary companies. Dr. Vo is considered a national expert in telemedicine, a patent holder, and is a former member on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Medicaid Telehealth Advisory Committee.

Portrait of Karen Wagner

Karen Dineen Wagner, M.D., Ph.D. is the Titus H. Harris Chair, Harry K Davis Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She is an internationally recognized expert in the pharmacological treatment of childhood mood disorders. Her work has led to the development of evidence-based treatments for children and adolescents with major depression and bipolar disorder. She is Deputy Editor of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Immediate Past President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and past President of the American Association of Directors of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryDr. Wagner received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her doctorate in clinical psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Portrait of Sarah Wakefield

Dr. Wakefield is a board-certified adult, child/adolescent, and forensic psychiatrist. She attended medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas and a general psychiatry residency at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport. Dr. Wakefield completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry and an additional fellowship in forensic psychiatry also at LSUHealth before joining the faculty at Texas Tech University School of Medicine in 2014. She has served as the Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services and the Medical Director of Medical Ethics since 2016. She is currently chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University School of Medicine and is active in providing psychiatric diagnostic and treatment evaluations for families, for adolescents in the juvenile justice system, and for pregnant or post-partum mothers.

Portrait of Daielle Wesley

Danielle is the Vice President, Network Service Delivery at Children’s Health. In her role she is responsible for the integrated delivery of services and programs to community partners and patients. She has been with Children’s for more than 15 years and joined the Network Development and Innovation team in August 2013, to lead the school-based health programs. Danielle has more than 20 years of experience in hospital and healthcare operations, program/project management, information technology and innovation, and consulting. She holds a master’s degree in Hospital and Healthcare Administration from The University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Public Administration from North Carolina Central University. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate in Public Health. She is a Project Management Institute Certified Professional and a Six Sigma Black Belt Certified Professional. She has served on many boards and advisory councils to impact health and wellness for children. Most recently, she was appointed to DHA (formerly, the Dallas Housing Authority) Foundation Board, which provides education-related programs and scholarships for DHA clients and residents. Her passion for children also extends into personal life, as she was elected as the 22nd South Central Regional Director, Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, an organization dedicated to nurturing future leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.

Portrait of Laurel Williams

Laurel L. Williams, DO is an Associate Professor and Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). She is currently serving as Interim Medical Director for the Baylor Psychiatry Clinic. Dr. Williams has expertise in working with youth who self-injure as well as have chronic suicidality in addition to working with adolescents who are pregnant or post-partum and suffering with a mental health disorder. Dr. Williams received her B.S. in Psychobiology along with a Minor in Fine Arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. She then completed her medical degree at University of North Texas, Texas School of Osteopathic Medicine in Ft. Worth Texas. Afterwards she completed both her adult and child and adolescent psychiatry training in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.