The University of Texas System

Meet the Teams

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Emine Rabia Ayvaci is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW). She currently works as a child & adolescent psychiatrist at the Children's hospital Psychiatry Clinic. She also works as a research faculty at the Center for Depression Research at the UTSW. She obtained her medical degree from the Hacettepe University Medical School in Ankara, Turkey. She completed a psychiatry research track residency and child psychiatry fellowship at the UTSW Medical School. During her training, she worked on projects that explored health care access for underserved populations. She continues her clinical and research efforts with a focus on pediatric populations suffering from depressive disorders.

James Baker

James Baker, M.D., M.B.A., is a pediatric psychiatrist with over 25 years of academic and public-sector administrative experience in behavioral health, including service as Systems Chief Medical Officer of the community mental health center in Austin, Texas, Chief Executive Officer of the community center for Dallas County, and Medical Director for Behavioral Health with the Texas Department of State Health Services. He also served as Associate Chair in the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. Dr. Baker is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a recipient of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Exemplary Psychiatrist Award, as well as of the Mental Health America of Greater Dallas Pamela Blumenthal Memorial Award for long-term commitment to quality of care and delivery of services to people with mental illnesses.

Esmirna Corona

Esmirna earned her Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and her Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Texas at El Paso. Esmirna is a bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been a social worker since 2015. She has extensive training in the pediatric integrated behavioral health model and trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and family interventions. Esmirna provides culturally competent services to help children, teens, and families reach their optimal well-being level. Esmirna aims at empowering those around her to obtain the overall success of the community.

Ambar Fuentes

Ambar earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and master’s degree in Family Psychology from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX. Ambar is a bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor with over 12 years in the field. She has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families. Ambar is trained it trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and systems. Prior to coming to Children’s Health, she worked in trauma-informed care for youth, substance abuse treatment, and court-ordered treatment. Ambar is passionate about being able to be a part of the betterment of the individual through client-centered approaches.

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Dr. Ghai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Ghai earned her medical degree at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She completed a residency in general psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she also received advanced training through a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry, during which time she served as Chief Resident of the section. Certified in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, she joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2021. Dr. Ghai has a special interest in in anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, resilience, community mental health, cultural issues in medicine, and medical education.

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Kirstin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas for over 13 years. The majority of this time has been spent working with patients and families in the Solid Organ Transplant Department, before eventually transitioning to the CPAN team in October 2022. Kirstin received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Asbury University in Kentucky (2005) and later obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Texas at Arlington (2007). Prior to joining Children’s, Kirstin spent time working internationally as a social worker in both Surrey, England and Lusaka, Zambia. She also worked for a number of years supporting Hurricane Katrina evacuees through a FEMA-funded program with The Salvation Army. Kirstin has experience working with individuals coping with chronic illness, grief and loss, mental health needs, family conflict and trauma. She is passionate about serving and supporting children and adolescents, as well as their family members, by providing compassionate care and intervention.

Jason D. Isham

Jason is an accomplished human services leader with over 20 years of experience in Behavioral Health and a proven record of success at both non-profit and publicly-traded companies. He is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Texas and is a Certified Case Manager. Additionally, he earned a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from California Baptist University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Jason has clinical expertise in family, child and adolescent treatment and specifically, child maltreatment. He received formal training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy through Duke University’s Evidence-Based Practice Implementation Center. He is also a state level trainer and conference speaker on effective practices for multidisciplinary teams.

Jennifer Estrada

Jennifer earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Texas A&M University-Commerce and has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2012. Prior to joining Children’s Health, she worked with children and adolescents in public schools, and adults in a local crisis center providing crisis intervention counseling and assessments to at-risk clients. Jennifer has a specialized focus in crisis resolution and the care of LGBTQ+ and Gender Diverse clients. Jennifer believes in advocating for access to mental health care for all children and families, as well as teaching other health care professionals about mental health and wellness.

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Dr. Karni is a Professor of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Medical Director of the Outpatient Clinic at Children’s Health, Children’s Medical Center Dallas. She obtained her medical degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and completed her training in psychiatry at New York Medical College and Westchester Medical Center in New York. Dr. Karni then completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Hospital, also in New York. Her clinical and research interests focus on Early Childhood Mental Health conditions, including Autism, Developmental Disabilities and Trauma, with related emotional and behavioral problems, anxiety disorders, ADHD and learning disorders. Dr. Karni is certified in the specialties of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the recipient of the David A. Waller, M.D. Outstanding Child and Adolescent Teacher of the Year Award several times, and a Former President of the Texas Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Mili Khandheria

Dr. Khandheria earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Texas Tech. She went on to complete her medical degree and Master’s in Business Administration at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She completed her residency in adult psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and her fellowship in child psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Khandheria is the Medical Director for the Child Psychiatry Access Network and Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) programs at UT Southwestern. She has experience in a variety of settings including community mental health, integrated behavioral health, and telepsychiatry. She enjoys working with children and teens, believes that care collaboration helps to provide the best outcomes, and that early intervention is the key to success. Dr. Khandheria looks forward to working with families regarding diagnosis and medication management.

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Dr. Muruga Loganathan, currently serves as Assistant Professor, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX. He obtained his medical degree from Stanley Medical College, India. He completed his psychiatry residency and child fellowship in Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh. He started his career as an outpatient child psychiatrist and served as a medical director in partial hospitalization program serving rural Pennsylvania for 5 years. Later, he was a faculty at West Virginia University, Morgantown for 3 years as Assistant professor of psychiatry; he managed consultation liaison psychiatry, and served as medical director of inpatient psychiatry. He received WVU BMED Chairman Teaching Award in 2021. Recently he moved to Dallas, joined UT Southwestern Medical center as faculty. He is now playing an integral role in managing Child psychiatry workforce expansion program and Child psychiatry access network, part of Texas Child Mental Health Consortium. He is passionate about helping children, teaching students, residents, and child fellow physicians. He is interested in childhood depression, suicide, and impulse control disorders. He is actively involved in clinical research and wrote many clinical review papers. He is a member of both American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. He likes to travel, and is interested in soccer and badminton.

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Marisol Lucio holds a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Texas at Dallas and is a bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor Associate. As a recent graduate, she completed a 1-year internship at the Center for Integrative Counseling and Psychology where she gained comprehensive knowledge and specialized training in addressing the complex needs of individuals to help them overcome challenges related to anxiety, depression, and trauma. Continuing her professional journey, Marisol remains steadfast in her commitment to specifically work with children and adolescents, and aims to positively impact their lives, fostering hope, and empowering them to develop resilience and lead fulfilling lives.

Kelly Merendon

Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, and her master’s degree from The University of North Texas. She has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2016. Kelly has experience in working in the mental health field in inpatient and outpatient facilities and has worked for Children’s Health for 9 years. Kelly has been specifically trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma informed care, and has experience in treating adolescents struggling with eating disorders. She loves working with children and adolescents and their families. Kelly believes in creating a safe, supportive, and compassionate environment to help students and their families work through life challenges and transitions.

Brittany Mumford

Brittany earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Texas Wesleyan University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 6 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with multicultural backgrounds in a variety of settings. Prior to joining Children’s Health, she worked with children and their families who experienced human rights abuses, domestic violence, and human trafficking. Brittany’s experience also includes crisis intervention, complex trauma, behavioral interventions, parenting support and care coordination. Brittany enjoys working in multidisciplinary teams and taking a holistic approach to achieve the best outcomes for patients.

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Heather earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from University of Missouri-Columbia and has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1998. She has over 25 years of experience working with children, youth and families in a variety of settings, including public health clinics, pediatric hospitals, and college campuses. Heather’s expertise includes affirmative care for LGBTQ+ and gender diverse youth, as well as those with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and other life experiences. Heather uses a collaborative, strengths-based approach, focusing on mindfulness, family systems theory, and cognitive behavioral therapy to support clients in all stages of life.

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Maria Ramirez is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. Maria began her career by working for The Family Place, a local domestic violence shelter, for four years serving as the Hotline Counselor and then Children’s Case Manager. Maria then joined the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center where she served for two years as a Family Advocate and then as a Bilingual Therapist for an additional two years. At DCAC she worked with children who experienced abuse and their non-offending caregivers. From there, Maria joined the Dallas Independent School District as a Behavioral Health Clinician providing brief therapy to students in Special Services. Maria is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy) and PSB-CBT (Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and is certified in TF-CBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). During her free time Maria enjoys baking and spending time with her family and their Dalmatian dog.

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Suzanne Stephens is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her master’s degree in social work from University of Texas at Arlington. Suzanne has been a master’s level social worker since 1999. She spent 25 years working at Children’s Health with the majority of that time working as a medical social worker with the Trauma Service. She also worked as a therapist at Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center helping children and families through traumatic experiences such as physical and sexual abuse and those who have witnessed violent crime. Suzanne enjoys teaching master’s level students at University of Texas at Arlington as an adjunct professor and sharing her enthusiasm for the profession with students. Suzanne is trained in several evidence-based treatments including Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Suzanne enjoys cycling, traveling and time with her golden retrievers, Bailey and Lincoln.

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Jamie Ward is a licensed professional counselor with over a decade of experience in the counseling field. She graduated from North Greenville University in Greenville, SC with her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and graduated from Walden University with her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. Prior to joining Children’s Health, Jamie worked with children and adolescents in the community mental health setting and juvenile justice system. Jamie is trained in several brain/body techniques including: Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), BrainSpotting, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Her clinical focuses are emotionally abusive relationships, narcissistic parents, child abuse and trauma, and post-partum mood disorders.

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Trinity Ward is a licensed professional counselor-supervisor. She received her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, from the University of West Alabama and an Educational Specialist in Counselor Education, with an emphasis in School Counseling from Mississippi State University. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of University of Southern Mississippi where she majored in Psychology. Trinity has over nineteen years of experience in community mental health, inpatient psychiatric, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs. Trinity has also worked in public education as a special education teacher and national certified school counselor. She is passionate about removing barriers that prevent mental health services for all children.

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Liz Widtfeldt is a licensed professional counselor and received her master’s degree in counseling psychology, with a focus in child and family therapy, from Arcadia University. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware where she majored in sociology. From 2013-2016, she was trained in and practiced Functional Family Therapy, an evidence-based family therapy model designed for youth exhibiting externalizing and disruptive behaviors putting them at risk for legal involvement. Liz has experience providing therapy services in a runaway and homeless shelter for youth as well as in a school setting. She moved to Dallas at the end of 2016 and joined Children’s Health. She leads the TCHATT team. She is passionate about making mental health services more accessible to children and their families.

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Sophia Banu

Sophia Banu, M.D., is a board-certified Adult and Child and Adolescent psychiatrist, Associate Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She completed her medical education in New Delhi, India, Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University, New York and during her Psychosomatic fellowship at the Bellevue / NYU Hospital, she worked primarily with refugees and survivors of torture at the Bellevue/NYU program for Survivors of Torture. She served as the Deputy Chief of Psychiatry, Director of the Adult Outpatient psychiatry clinic, Director of the Child and Adolescent clinic, Psychiatry Director of the Intensive outpatient program for Adolescents at Ben Taub Hospital Center.

Tracey Blumrosen

Tracey has a B.A in Psychology and received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work. She has experience working with high acuity adolescents and adult patients in a psychiatric hospital as well as experience as a therapist working alongside psychiatrists in an outpatient clinic. Tracey’s therapeutic modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Unified Protocol for Children and Adolescents, Trauma-Focused CBT, and Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents. Tracey prefers to use a strength-based approach with her clients and is always looking for new ways to improve patient/client outcomes.

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Dr. Nicole Cirino is a psychiatrist who has worked in the field of Reproductive Psychiatry (also known as Women’s Mental Health or Perinatal Psychiatry) for the past 20 years. She specializes in Reproductive Psychiatry clinical care, education and research for women with perinatal, perimenstrual and perimenopausal psychiatric conditions, as well as disorders of female sexual dysfunction. This includes postpartum depression, perinatal loss, sexual -trauma related conditions, postpartum psychosis, perinatal OCD, PMDD and other mental health conditions that occur during the reproductive life span. She holds a senior faculty appointment at Baylor college of Medicine where she also serves as the Director of the Division of Reproductive Psychiatry in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She teaches clinical aspects of Reproductive Psychiatry to more than 800 medical clinicians a year and serves in leadership roles on many national committees, including Postpartum Support International (PSI), American Psychiatric Association (APA), International Society of Reproductive Psychiatrists (ISRP) and International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH). She is grew up in Portland, Oregon, earned her Bachelor’s in creative writing at Santa Clara University, her medical degree at Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine and finished residency and fellowship at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. She recently relocated to Houston, Texas to lead the Reproductive Psychiatry program at Baylor College of Medicine, within Texas Children’s Hospital Pavilion for Women.

Rachel Flinn is a licensed master social worker. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography from The University of Texas at Austin and is a proud UT alumna (Hook ‘em Horns!). Rachel went on to earn her Master of Social Work in 2012 from The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and has been practicing social work since 2013. She has experience working with clients from across the age spectrum as well as various practice settings; including hospitals, schools, hospice, and private practice. Rachel specializes in the treatment of trauma, especially in first responders, veterans, and older adults. She is trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE) and has reached provider status in both CPT and PE.

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Andrew is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. His research and clinical interests are in the assessment and treatment of children and adults with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, mood, and related disorders. Within TCHATT, Andrew directs a sub-project, the TCHATT-Stepped Care Program, which provides training to TCHATT therapists in an evidence-based treatment approach for youth with mood and anxiety disorders, and facilitates the implementation of this therapy in a structured, personalized manner across several Texas health research institutes. He also provides therapy and supervises trainees in the BCM OCD and Mood Disorders Programs in Baylor Psychiatry Clinic.

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Karissa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of psychotherapy and clinical experience. Karissa is a Louisiana native with an extensive history of working with children, youth and families in various settings. Such settings include: in-home, schools, respite care, juvenile court & corrections, mobile crisis and pediatric oncology. She has a genuine passion for helping others reach their best potential by helping them learn healthier ways of navigating life's stressors and managing emotions.

Lauren Havel

Lauren Havel is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Texas Children’s Hospital. She serves as the medical director of Baylor’s CPAN Hub. In addition to her clinical work, she supervises junior and senior psychiatry trainees in medication management and psychotherapy. Lauren is a native Houstonian and graduate of Yale University and Baylor College of Medicine. She completed her psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Her academic and clinical interests include medical education, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and the treatment of anxiety disorders.

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Karen Horst is a reproductive psychiatrist at Texas Children's Hospital, Pavilion for Women. She serves as the medical director for Baylor's PeriPAN hub. She is also medical director of The Women's Place and The Menopause Center at the Pavilion for Women. Karen is a native Houstonian and graduate of Yale University and Baylor College of Medicine. She completed two years of residency in obstetrics & gynecology prior to joining the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry residency program. She completed training in psychoanalysis and had a private reproductive psychiatry practice in Colorado prior to returning to Houston and Baylor in 2019.

Asna Matin

Dr. Matin completed her general psychiatry residency at Mount Sinai in New York, and her Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. She has been a presenter at numerous seminars on the topics of health in the community, the juvenile justice system, and among refugee populations. She is passionate about serving the marginalized, impoverished, and needy members of our society by service and advocacy.

Edore Onigu-Otite

Dr. Otite is currently an Associate Professor at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. She received her medical degree from the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1991. She completed residency in General Psychiatry with a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UTMB, Galveston, TX. Further to this, she completed a fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Otite was on faculty at Kennedy Krieger Institute where she was Medical Director of the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. In 2014, she joined faculty at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Otite is triple boarded in child and adolescent, adult, and addiction psychiatry.

Dr. Ramirez offers expertise in the care and treatment of depression and anxiety during infertility treatment, pregnancy, and the postpartum period. She believes her role as a psychologist is to help women identify how their thoughts, behaviors, and relationships impact their emotional wellbeing. She prioritizes providing individualized and empathetic care for each of her patients, using evidence based therapy techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

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Jessica earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work in 2000. She worked as non-profit administrator and school social worker in under-resourced communities in the Houston-area for 10 years prior to joining the team at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) Meyer Center for Developmental Pediatrics & Autism and receiving an Instructor appointment in Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. She also served as the primary social worker for TCH Department of Psychiatry through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jessica’s research, interests and specializations are neurodiversity, autism, ADHD and increasing mental health, education and employment accessibility for disabled individuals. Her passion is parent coaching and working with patients and clients from a strengths-based and neurodiversity-affirming framework.

Thao Vu-Sowers

Dr. Thao Vu-Sowers completed her medical education at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and general psychiatry residency and Child and Adolescent fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. She has been involved in efforts to provide mental health awareness and education in the community. She has an interest in understanding and promoting resiliency in family systems.

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Lubnaa Abdullah

Dr. Abdullah is a board-certified clinical psychologist, credentialed health service psychologist, and assistant professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Abdullah trained in clinical psychology and neuropsychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the APA accredited program, Wasatch Mental Health in Provo, UT and received post-doctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at ARCC Neuropsychology in Chicago, IL.. Increasing access to neuropsychological services to Black and Latinx populations is an important area of work to Dr. Abdullah, who strives to engage in culturally sensitive applications of assessment and intervention. In the Rio Grande Valley, an area of health disparity, Dr. Abdullah is recognized as a pioneering professional to bring neuropsychological assessment services to the school of medicine. She has research and fellowship education in diversity studies and has co-authored a book chapter in the Handbook of multicultural counseling (2017) with Dr. Patricia Arredondo. She continues to work in DEI and provides a guest lectures and CE/CME in diversity topics. Dr. Abdullah is involved in local and national committees in psychology as a member of the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers (APAHC) Diversity and Disparities committee, American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), UTRGV school of medicine Diversity committee, UTRGV Optimal Learning Environment Committee (OLEC) and UTRGV school of medicine faculty assembly executive committee (FAEC). In her free time, Dr. Abdullah enjoys running, mountaineering, and visiting national parks.

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Dr. Alcides Amador is a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the UTRGV School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. He is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist in both Adult and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Amador is also the Medical Director of the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) under the Texas Child Mental Health Consortium at UTRGV where he provides telemedicine-based behavioral health services.

Alma Castaneda

Alma Castaneda is board certified in Professional Counseling by the Texas State Board of Professional Counseling. In addition, she is also a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor for the state of Texas. Alma earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Tx in 1994. She graduated with a Master of Science degree in psychology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in Kingsville, TX in 1997 and completed an internship in professional counseling in the Rio Grande Valley in 1999. Alma Castaneda graduated with a doctorate in psychology from Northcentral University in San Diego, CA in 2022. Alma Castaneda has been counseling adults, families, couples, children & adolescents since 1998 throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Currently she is a behavioral health consultant at the UTRGV School of Medicine in the Texas Child Mental Health Consortium (TCHATT)program.

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Ms. Dernay Coley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has over 20 years of clinical, supervisory, teaching, and management experience. She received her master’s in social work from the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University in New York City, and is licensed in New York, Missouri, and Texas. Her areas of clinical expertise include medical and behavioral health. She has extensive experience working with patients with acute and chronic medical and behavioral health conditions to increase their treatment adherence, engage in behavioral changes that support their health and wellbeing, and access psychosocial and concrete supports. She has conducted individual, couples, and group therapy in a variety of settings, from medical settings and substance abuse programs to schools and Employee Assistance Programs. Currently Ms. Coley is at the UTRGV SOM Psychiatry department. She is an instructor of psychiatry, and she sees patients for individual, couples, family, and group therapy in their Harlingen clinic.

Cynthia Garza

Dr. Cynthia Garza, PsyD, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist at the UT Health RGV. With advanced training and experience, Dr. Garza uses evidenced-based care, the latest techniques and advancements in clinical psychology to provide patients with the highest level of care. Dr. Garza graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Texas San Antonio in 2008 and received her Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2018. She completed her clinical internship at Norton Sound Health Corporation Behavioral Health Services in 2018. Additionally, she completed her fellowship in Primary Care/Health Psychology at the Norton Sound Health Corporation Behavioral Health Services in 2019. As a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Garza has served patients of all ages in primary care, community mental health, college counseling, emergency response and inpatient settings. Dr. Garza has experience providing trauma-informed care, cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral reinforcement and modification planning, suicide prevention and counseling, motivational interviewing, substance abuse counseling, grief counseling, couples, family therapy and psychological evaluations for developmental disabilities and learning disorders. Additionally, Dr. Garza is a member of several notable organizations such as the American Psychological Association and National Latinx Psychological Association. Dr. Garza currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the UTRGV School of Medicine, educating and training the next generation of physicians. In her clinic work, Dr. Garza serves as a Behavioral Health Consultant for the Texas Child Healthcare Access Through Telemedicine program with the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium.

Delisa Guadarrama

Dr. Delisa Guadarrama is board certified in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. She graduated from medical school at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and completed three years of general psychiatry residency at UTHSCSA, and then continued training for an additional two years of child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at UTHSCSA. She also recently became a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Dr. Guadarrama has been treating children & adolescents in outpatient community-based practice throughout Hidalgo County since 2016. Dr. Guadarrama, a native of the Rio Grande Valley, joins the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley as the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Director and as an assistant professor in the UTRGV School of Medicine Psychiatry Department.

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Johanna Nardini, MD is a double board-certified psychiatrist in child & adolescent psychiatry and general adult psychiatry. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University College of Medicine receiving her medical degree, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame receiving a Bachelor of Science degree and a graduate of University of North Texas Health Science Center receiving a Master of Science degree. She completed her psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt psychiatry residency and fellowship program where she also served as Executive Chief Administrative Fellow in Baltimore, MD. She is a native South Texan and currently serves as community faculty for the Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN), Community Psychiatry Workforce Expansion (CPWE), and Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) at UTRGV-School of Medicine for the Texas Child Mental Healthcare Consortium (TCMHCC). In addition to her clinical work, she supervises UTRGV-SOM psychiatry residents in medication management focusing on child and adolescent psychiatry. Her professional interests include medical education, community psychiatry, school based mental health, and treatment of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents.

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Dr. Reséndiz Rodriguez is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Reséndiz Rodriguez trained in clinical psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology – Argosy University in Chicago, completing a pre-doctoral APPIC approved internship at MacNeal Hospital Family Medicine Residency program in Berwyn, IL. Increasing access to mental health services for the Latinx community and underserved populations has guided Dr. Reséndiz Rodriguez’s career as she has served individuals of all ages, in both inpatient and outpatient settings, including patients of a family medicine practice, incarcerated teen girls and women, women experiencing post-partum depression, and individuals experiencing substance abuse. Dr. Reséndiz Rodriguez has sought specialized training in Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) from the University of Massachusetts as well as certifications in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) as she consistently strives to enhance her clinical skills. Since joining UTRGV, Dr. Reséndiz Rodriguez is engaging in her own research on health disparities among Latinas of the RGV, participates with a colleague to provide DEI lectures and CE/CME in diversity topics, and participates as a member of the UTRGV school of medicine Admission Committee and lead of the UTRGV school of medicine Psychiatry department Wellness Committee. In her free time, Dr. Reséndiz Rodriguez enjoys spending time with her family and friends, visiting new places, and seeking out small adventures.

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Jamon Blood

Jamon Blood, DO, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at UT Health East Texas Behavioral Health at North Campus Tyler. Dr. Blood believes family has a great influence on a child’s mental health and outcomes. Therefore, he works with the whole family when treating a child. “I believe you treat the whole family and not just the child. Working within the family system allows me to address all the challenges my patients are facing.” Inspired by a mission trip to Brazil, Dr. Blood’s desire is to help his patients make positive changes in their lives. “I want to be able to help change a child’s trajectory through their life,” he said. “I love working with very young children to young adults. I’m also interested in working with those who have special needs.” When not working with patients, Dr. Blood enjoys woodworking, gardening, serving in his church, riding dirt bikes and all kinds of sports, especially basketball.

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Kourtney is Licensed Professional Counselor that has obtained supervisor status through the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council. She is a graduate of Nacogdoches High School and Gardner-Webb University. She has worked in the mental health/counseling field for over 16 years with experience in local independent school districts, inpatient treatment, the prison system, crisis centers, and outpatient community mental health. Her therapeutic knowledge includes areas of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, body image and gender issues, psychosis, personality disorders, trauma, substance abuse, behavioral disorders, autism spectrum and other sensory disorders, attention deficient disorders, intellectual and

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As of 2023, Leslie Dahl is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate who is working towards completing her 3,000-hour internship to gain her full licensure. She graduated from Texas Tech University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. In 2021 Leslie graduated from the University of Texas at Tyler with a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Throughout her schooling and career experience, Leslie has worked with outpatient treatment, community health, and school settings.

Elisabeth Hooker

Elisabeth is a native of Louisiana, having completed her undergraduate and graduate education in counseling at Louisiana Tech University (Go Bulldogs!) in Ruston, Louisiana, moving to Texas in 2018. While working in Louisiana, she spent time working with clients in the drug court system. Since her arrival in Texas, she has worked as a crisis counselor, providing therapy services for child and adult survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. While attending Louisiana Tech, she earned a graduate certification in Dynamics of Domestic and Family Violence. She is recognized as a nationally certified counselor by the National Board for Certified Counselors and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Elisabeth joined The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler as a Behavioral Health Specialist in September 2020.

Tiya Johnson

Tiya Johnson, MD, is a board- certified child and adolescent psychiatrist at UT Health East Texas Behavioral Health at North Campus Tyler. “I believe that patients deserve individualized care where all factors affecting their lives are considered as contributors to their mental health. I believe in treating the entire patient and not just the mental illness for which they are seeking treatment,” said Dr. Johnson. “I’ve always loved helping people and I felt that being a physician was the ultimate career that would allow me to help those who are suffering.” Her special areas of interest include child and adolescent psychiatry and forensic psychiatry. Dr. Johnson provides comprehensive treatment to children, adolescents and young adults. This includes, but is not limited to, the treatment of the following disorders: depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHA), schizophrenia/psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Her hobbies include mentoring, community service and dancing.

Katherine Kerr

Katherine Kerr, MD is a pediatrician and child psychiatrist at UT Health East Texas Physicians North Campus Tyler. Dr. Kerr believes in caring for the whole person, both physically and mentally. “I firmly believe that physical and mental health are closely linked and both must be considered in any treatment plan. I also believe that taking care of patients is a team effort, and the provider, patient and family all have important roles. “I have always known that I wanted to work with children in some capacity, but it wasn’t until college that I discovered the unique challenge of science and medicine. Healthcare seemed like the perfect combination of both my passion and the opportunity to continue to learn and grow through my career.” Dr. Kerr’s special areas of interest include treating attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), early childhood mental health, mental health treatment in primary care and college mental health.

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Jenifer is Licensed Professional Counselor that has obtained supervisor status through the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council. Throughout her 16 years of working in the mental health/counseling field she has experienced work within inpatient treatment, private practice, and outpatient community mental health.

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Throughout her career, Jennifer Peoples has worked with numerous organizations geared towards improving mental health and quality of life in adults, adolescents, and children. In 2009 she became an employee with The University of Texas Health Science Center in Tyler and has worked on multiple grant-funded research programs such as COPD SMART and Behavioral Health Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment. Her counseling experiences include encouraging individuals to self-manage both their physical and mental health by becoming more educated about their illness(s), receiving information on how to become an advocate for their health, and working towards increasing their quality of life. After earning a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Walden University she became a Licensed Professional Counselor and counseled patients at four different clinics associated with UTHSCT. She worked to provide a more integrated approach to the medical setting by incorporating mental health into a patient’s care. Currently she is a program manager for the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine Program that provides mental health services to students across 25 counties within Northeast Texas and assists in coordination of continued care. As of 2020, she obtained her Licensed Professional Counselors Supervision status.

Laura Young

Laura obtained her bachelor’s degree from Winona State University in Minnesota and Public Health Certification from the State of Minnesota. Since becoming a nurse, Laura has spent time in bedside geriatric nursing, as adjunct faculty for a Junior College, and caring for pregnant women in maternal-child public health; however, she found over the last 15 years that nursing leadership and operations were her forte. She joined The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT) in September 2016 to develop a new program at the institution for pregnant, low-income, first-time moms. Within one year this program was considered one of the ‘go-to’ sites in Texas and, by the fourth year, it had doubled in the number of new moms and babies it could serve. In June of 2020, Laura accepted the position as the Sr. Program Manager for the UTHSCT Child Psychiatry Access Network.

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Torey Andrews

Torey Andrews LMSW is originally from Indianapolis, IN and received her Master of Social Work from New York University. Before joining the TCHATT team, Torey worked in oncology as a Stem-Cell Social Worker. She has over five years of social work experience working with children, adults, families, child welfare, mental illness, crisis intervention, grief & loss and chronic illnesses.

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Taiwo Babatope, MD , MPH, MBA serves as associate program director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program and Director of the Autism Spectrum disorders and Neurodevelopmental specialty clinic. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a telemedicine-based provider with the UTHealth Houston Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN). Babatope has a special interest in early childhood disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities. She has extensive training and experience working with this special population and continuously explores innovative approaches to provide the best possible care to her patients. Babatope also has strong interests in Ethics, Professionalism and in promoting evidence-based clinical care with measurable outcomes. She enjoys opportunities to inspire, educate, and mentor her trainees.

Dr. Bartek is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) with over ten years of nursing experience. She received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Creighton University in 2020. Before joining the TCHATT team, Dr. Bartek specialized in child and adolescent psychiatry, focusing on sleep quality, eating disorders, and healthy eating. Collaboration with patients and families is a cornerstone of Dr. Bartek’s practice, and she believes that shared understanding and clear communication are critical first steps in recovery from mental illness.

Erin Cochran

Erin Cochran received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from The University of Texas at Austin in 2013. As a Registered Nurse, she worked in a Neurological Intensive Care Unit in Houston’s Medical Center for over three years. She went on to complete her nursing education at The University of Texas Health Science Center and earned her Master of Science in Nursing in 2017. Erin is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) with eight years of nursing experience and over three years of experience as a PMHNP. Before joining the TCHATT team, Erin worked in a thriving outpatient psychiatric clinic serving children, adolescents, and adults. Erin has a passion for the pediatric population and is dedicated to improving mental health access to children and adolescents.

Danita Gallegos, LCSW-S received her Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University and her Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Houston. Danita began her social work career at Texas Children’s Hospital where she covered the pediatric cardiovascular intensive care unit, the emergency room child physical and sexual abuse cases and the pediatric cancer center. Danita then continued her professional journey as a School Social Worker in Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District for 6 years. Before joining the TCHATT Program, she served as a Psychotherapist with Clearhope Counseling and Wellness Center in Pasadena, Texas where she performed office and school-based therapy. For over 8 years, she has worked with the Behavioral Health Connection’s Mobile Assessment Team where she completes psychiatric assessments. She has a strong passion for diversity and serves as a Trainer and Consultant with the National Hispanic and Latino Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network.

Meaghan Warner, LCSW-S has many years’ experience working with a wide array of at risk populations. Her specialty areas include treating substance use disorders and complex trauma. She has various training in her background, including EMDR, DBT, PE, CPT and is TF-CBT Certified. She has provided individual, family, and group therapy sessions and crisis interventions.

Dipti Patel, LCSW, graduated with her Master’s Degree from Boston University School of Social Work. She specializes in behavioral medicine and behavioral health as well as working with children, youth, and families. She is a licensed clinical social worker with many years of experience working with vulnerable populations. She has worked as a social worker, an inpatient psychiatric clinician, an outpatient therapist, a neighborhood client services coordinator, and a program director. She has worked in schools, hospitals, non-profit organizations, and for profit organizations. In all of her work settings, she remains passionate about social justice, racial justice, and helping those that are low income and underinsured. She has experience providing individual, family and group therapy and speaks conversational Gujarati.

Qianesha Vallot LCSW, originally from Chicago IL, has more than 19 years of experience working with children, adults, couples and families in the areas of maternal/child health, school-based interventions, child welfare, mental illness, domestic/intimate partner violence, parental skill development, trauma, grief & loss and substance abuse. She also provides training to staff, clients and communities specializing in mental health, child maltreatment, crisis intervention and domestic violence/intimate partner violence.

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Manish Aligeti

Dr. Aligeti is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. He is board certified in Adult, as well as Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. His completed his medical school from University of Mumbai (India), General Psychiatry residency at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas. Additionally, he has a Masters in Health Administration (MHA) degree. He has been instrumental in providing mental health services in the state of Texas via collaborative care (with pediatricians and primary care physicians) and telepsychiatry since 2008. He helped develop a hospital based telepsychiatry service at Baylor Scott and White Health; the biggest healthcare system in Texas. He is an active consulting psychiatrist for 24 different Baylor Scott and White Health hospitals via telepsychiatry. His background includes working at various organizations at the federal level (Veterans Affairs), state institutions (Terrell State Hospital), local community clinics, and correctional facility (Montford, Texas Department of Criminal Justice).

Kevin Lonn Baker

Lonn Baker is a Mental Health Clinician Supervisor for TCHATT. Lonn holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from Harding School of Theology. Lonn is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and is trained in EMDR. Lonn has worked in the mental health field for the past 10 years. Lonn has worked with Starcare in assessment and case management roles, in correctional settings and community mental health, and has worked in private practice with children, families and adults since 2014. Lonn has a passion for working with people living with mental health issues in underserved, rural West Texas communities and is excited about how TCHATT is working to meet those needs.

Jane Bajaj is a member of the TCHATT team at TTUHSC located in San Angelo. She is dedicated to the enhancement and growth of human development, and to the provision of a safe and caring counseling environment, which supports each individual’s worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness. She is focused on assessing and working with children with various mental health issues and behaviors, connecting children and their families with other mental health professionals such as Psychiatrists and Psychologists, and developing important skills for the student in the treatment of their mental health issues and behaviors. Jane earned her Licensed Professional Counselor license in 2005 and her Licensed Sex Offender Treatment Provider in 2008. She received her Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Amberton University. Jane has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the counseling field.

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Link Blevins holds a Master in Science Degree in Counseling, a Master in Science Degree in Bible and Ministry, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Youth and Family Ministry from Lubbock Christian University. Link has extensive work with adolescents, having worked for ten years in a youth ministry context and ten years working as a therapist and helping university students with mental health needs. Link has been a licensed professional counselor since 2015, and is also a fully-trained EMDR therapist, and he serves as a Mental Health Clinician on the TCHATT project.

Richard is a Mental Health Clinician for the TCHATT program and offices on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Abilene campus. He received his degrees respectively from Hardin Simmons University, which include his Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Masters in Clinical Counseling and Mental Health. Richard is trained in a number of therapeutic approaches and often utilizes a mixture of Cognitive behavioral Therapy and Choice Theory when working with youth. He is passionate about what he does and is looking forward to continuing to serve the children of West Texas.

Rachel Buckalew

Rachel Buckalew is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Wayland Baptist University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University. Since 2017, I have worked with clients navigating family conflict including parent-teen interactions and couples’ relationship, domestic violence, depression, anxiety and poor coping skills. My therapeutic style is a relational approach along with cognitive-behavioral perspectives as well as eclectic interventions based on what will best help achieve someone's goals.

Bonnie Cantu

Bonnie Cantu holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Lubbock Christian University and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Wayland Baptist University. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience working with Children and Families in unfortunate circumstances since 2005. She is a former Texas Peace Officer and worked in Law Enforcement for 16 years where she was a member of the Crisis Intervention Team for Law Enforcement Officers. Bonnie has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2014 with a primary focus in children and adolescents with behavioral issues that are affecting their life at home, at school, and in the community. As a member of the School Board where she lives, she recognizes the need for better resources in schools to combat the growing mental health concerns in adolescents. Bonnie joined the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2018.

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Jeff Carr, Ph.D. is the Associate Managing Director for TCHATT, CPAN, and PeriPAN in the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He completed his Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychological Studies with a concentration in Trauma and Crisis Counseling and holds a Masters in Counseling. He has worked in the fields of adult, child, and adolescent behavioral health for the last 20 years, including the areas of counseling, education, juvenile and adult corrections, Project ECHO, and community health worker certification.

My name is Rebecca Casares. I recently graduated from UTA with Masters in Social Work. I am currently at Social Worker at TTUHSC-CPAN. I was born and raised in Lubbock. My desire is to create meaningful change within my community by highlighting the importance of one’s mental health and self-worth. My other passion in life is my family. I enjoy spending time with my husband of 26 years and our 9 year twin boys. My hobbies include worshipping and serving at my church.

Paige Cox was awarded a Master’s of Arts degree in Dance Movement Therapy and Counseling from Drexel University. She is currently employed at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center as a mental health clinician and is working towards being fully licensed as a Board-Certified Dance Movement Therapist. Paige Cox has experience working at residential treatment centers, outpatient partial hospitalization programs, safe housing programs through the salvation army and other mental health facilities both remote and in-person. She has past experience working with children, teenagers and adolescents, with most of her experience being in trauma care. Populations most frequently worked with are survivors of human trafficking, trauma and mental and intellectual disabilities.

Marcia Crabtree holds a Master of Science Degree in Counseling from Lubbock Christian University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English from Texas Tech University. Marcia has worked with both children and adults to support their mental health. Prior to her work as a Mental Health Clinician with TCHATT, she was a counselor in a university counseling center. Marcia is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is a fully trained in EMDR.

David Devereaux earned both his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Masters of Science degree in counseling psychology from Angelo State University. He received his license in 2021. His diverse array of life experiences and career pursuits from custom home building to sustainable agriculture have equipped him with a wide scope with which to confront many of the challenges faced that have devitalized families. While working at an inpatient facility for high risk adolescents, he gleaned an orientation from which to work with young people and their families. His therapeutic focus lies on finding a balance between acceptance/ change, freedom/ responsibility, and work/ play. David joined the Texas Tech University Health Science Center team in 2022.

Sabina Farmer holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Counseling from West Texas A&M University. She holds licensure through The Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors since 2023. Sabina has a history of working within the community by providing local resources to ensure overall wellbeing as well as providing mental health services. Sabina joined Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2023.

Margarita Gamboa

Margarita Gamboa is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master’s degree in Counselor Education for Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Texas Tech University. She has experience working with children, teens, individuals, and families experiencing difficulties with anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma, relational, grief and loss, anger, and self-esteem. Margarita’s therapeutic approach is integrated with several modalities with an emphasis Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). She has also been trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Her calling is to help those most in need by providing a safe and healing place to work through these issues. As a current team member for TCHATT, she able to use her calling by collaborating with her peers to provide the best possible care for her clients.

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Addie Goodson received her Bachelors in Psychology and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston state University. From there, she worked with multiple different population groups ranging from families who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault, college students, and advocacy/resource shelters for those without homes. Post receiving licensure, she began to work at River Crest Hospital in San Angelo, Texas working with people from every walk of life experiencing a crisis situation requiring inpatient care and provided intensive outpatient therapy for members of Goodfellow Air Force Base as well as other community members both adult and adolescent under the supervision of Dr. Berkshire, LP. Now as an independent practitioner, Addie hopes to continue to advocate for people experiencing mental illness with early interventions via the CATR TCHATT Program to help make a positive impact in the lives of the children and communities we serve.

Corynn Hazard

Corynn is a Mental Health Clinician Supervisor for the CATR: Supported by TCHATT program and offices on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Abilene campus. She received both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Counseling Psychology degrees from Abilene Christian University and is currently working toward full LPC licensure. Corynn is trained in a variety of therapeutic orientations and regularly utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with a warm, non-judgmental approach. She was raised in Sweetwater, TX, which fuels her passion for serving the youth of the Big Country. In her free time, Corynn enjoys watching movies with her husband, snuggling her cats, and exploring downtown Abilene.

Shailesh “Bobby” Jain

Dr. Jain serves as Professor and regional chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) at the Permian Basin. He is board certified by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Psychosomatic Medicine. He is also certified by the American Board of Disability Analysts. He completed medical school at the Medical College Calcutta, University of Calcutta (India), residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He has also completed a two-year T-32 National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Additionally, he holds a master’s in public health from the University of North Texas. He has specialty in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Raja-Jawad-Kiani.

Dr. Raja Jawad Kiani is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at TTUHSC in the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Centre (TTUHSC). He graduated from the Aga Khan University Medical College in Pakistan. He then completed a combined triple board program at Tulane University. He has completed residencies in Pediatrics and Psychiatry and fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He will be providing psychiatric services for children, adolescents and families in West Texas through outpatient services at TTUHSC Amarillo, the Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN) and through the Campus Alliance for Telehealth Resources (CATR) and the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) programs. Dr. Kiani’s clinical interests include chronic disease and its associated mental health burden, LGBTQ+ mental health, minority mental health, cultural psychiatry and infant mental health. Dr. Kiani also has an interest in mentorship and academia. He continues to be involved with mentoring medical students and residents through his affiliation with various national organizations including AACAP and PsychSIGN. His academic interests include developing a progressive medical education curriculum for medical students, residents and fellows which includes formalized training in the essential components of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Dr. Kristi Kincheloe, DMSc, is a doctoral-level trained PA who has attained a Certificate of Added Qualification in Psychiatry. Along with serving TCHATT with a wide variety of mental health experience, she is also a published children’s book author, with her first book published when she was an undergraduate student at Hardin-Simmons University. She previously completed a Master of Science in School Psychology from Abilene Christian University. She worked as a school psychologist for approximately 10 years before deciding to complete PA school as a second career. Dr. Kincheloe graduated from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center with a Master of Physician Assistant Studies. She most recently obtained her Doctor of Medical Sciences (DMSc) with an emphasis in PA education from Lynchburg University. She has worked in various roles as a physician assistant in psychiatry and mental health in outpatient and inpatient settings. She is an Adjunct faculty for Texas Tech University PA Program. She has also been instrumental in mentoring numerous PA, NP, and medical students in mental health as a Preceptor and was a previous Adjunct professor with Hardin-Simmons University PA Program, helping with the ARC-PA accreditation. Prior to joining TCHATT, Dr. Kincheloe most recently joined TTUHSC Psychiatry outpatient clinic in 2019 and saw her patients via telepsychiatry. Her specialty is working with children and adolescents with ADHD, depression, and anxiety. She implements therapy dogs into her practice and often interacts with her patients with the assistance of one of her five dogs, ranging from dachshunds to doodles.

Ashley Konermann is a Mental Health Clinician with the TCHATT program. She has over two decades of experience in the school setting as an educator, school counselor, and district counselor. Ashley’s professional goals include gaining more experience in the clinical setting, expanding her knowledge in play therapy, and strengthening her counseling skills in grief, loss, and chronic pain.

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Lori Lara is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She graduated in May 2011 with a Master of Arts in Family Psychology from Hardin-Simmons University, and has been serving the Big Country Community since 2010. She has extensive work with clients suffering from chronic and acute mental health traumas and various forms of addiction through internships and employment at the following locations: Hardin-Simmons Family Psychology Center, Serenity House, Acadia, Abilene Behavioral Health, and Oceans Behavioral Health. As a Licensed Professional Counselor Lori maintained a private practice from May 2016 to January 2023 when she transitioned to the CATR-TCHATT program. She believes everyone deserves love and a sense of wholeness, and works actively with clients to resolve core issues that may be holding them back from a healthier and happier life. Lori believes wellness is about finding contentment and healthy alternatives to current harmful thinking and behaviors. Perfection will never be an option--we are human after all--but improvement comes through community and healthier choices. Her degree in Family Psychology has helped her to better understand developmental and circumstantial difficulties faced by various ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic status groups. She is currently serving as a Mental Health Clinician for the CATR: Supported by TCHATT program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Abilene campus.

Robert recently joined the TCHATT team at TTUHSC in San Angelo. Even as a newcomer, he is deeply passionate about enhancing mental health care access for students throughout rural West Texas. In 2021, he earned his Master's in Social Work from Angelo State University and simultaneously secured his LMSW license. Robert has consistently prioritized mental well-being and eagerly anticipates a future with even greater accessibility and utilization of mental health services.

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Amy McWhorter holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Education in Community Counseling from Texas Tech University. As a Licensed Professional Counselor Amy has been employed with local mental health authorities, Early Childhood Intervention and Head Start. Amy has a history of working within the community in order to strengthen families by helping them access local mental health services and resources. Amy joined Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2019.

Tarrah Mitchell

Dr. Tarrah Mitchell is an Assistant Professor and Licensed Psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology at the University of Kansas and her pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training at the University of Florida. Dr. Mitchell joined the faculty at the TTUHSC in August 2020. Dr. Mitchell currently provides mental health services for children, adolescents, and families in West Texas through outpatient services at TTUHSC and through the Campus Alliance for Telehealth Resources (CATR: Supported by TCHATT) program. Dr. Mitchell has published 19 journal articles and two book chapters focused on youth’s physical, psychological, and social functioning.

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Kathryn Nault is a Mental health clinician for the TCHATT program and offices on the Abilene Campus. She received her bachelors of psychology from Hardin-Simmons University and her masters in counseling psychology from Abilene Christian University. She is trained in a variety of therapeutic orientations including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Her passion to help children and families began at a young age as she established relationships and close bonds with her many foster siblings. Working with TTUHSC and the TCHATT program has given her the opportunity to continue her passion of helping others.

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Ashley Newman is a Mental Health Clinician with TCHATT. Ashley holds a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University. She has been practicing clinically with children and families since 2015 and completed full licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in 2020. Ashley has extensive experience working with young people and their families in the juvenile justice system, having provided individual, group, and family therapy to juveniles in residential treatment, along with providing home therapy to children placed on probation, as well as their families. She additionally served and supervised for a child advocacy and community holistic wellness program which connects the local community to students in need in partnership with the local school district, which she continues to volunteer for weekly. Ashley is specialized in working with clients struggling with eating disorders, trauma, and family/relational issues and has a passion for advocating for eating disorder informed, trauma informed, neurodivergent and LGBTQIA+ affirming care.

Sommer O'Brien

Sommer is a member of the TCHATT team at TTUHSC Lubbock. She has been a member of the team since 2020, and she enjoys providing access to mental health care to students across rural west Texas. She graduated with her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lubbock Christian University. Sommer has always valued mental health and hopes to see a continued increase in accessibility to and use of mental health care.

Jill Reynolds received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communication and her Masters of Education in School Counseling from West Texas A&M University. Jill worked as a school counselor for 24 years primarily in the high school setting. Jill joined the TCHATT team in 2023 to focus more on serving people with mental health needs in underserved, rural areas which TCHATT is helping meet those needs. Jill’s therapeutic style is an eclectic application of solution focused therapy along with cognitive-behavioral perspectives. Jill is passionate about helping people reach their full potential while focusing on their emotional wellbeing.

Betty is a Mental Health Clinician for the TCHATT program and offices on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Abilene campus. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Maryland University College and Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Abilene Christian University. She is currently working toward full LPC licensure. Betty is trained and provides a variety of evidence-based therapies with a focus on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). She has been working throughout West Texas supporting the mental health needs of students within public education for over 7 years. Betty joined the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in 202, which allows her to continue her passion in working with students.

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Dr. Jennifer Rojas-McWhinney is the Managing Director within the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center where she oversees the school-based and primary care provider mental health programs focusing on clinical services and education for children and adolescence. The programs span across an 85-county catchment area covering West Texas, Panhandle Plains, and extending slightly into the Big Bend, Hill Country, and Prairies and Lakes regions. Dr. Rojas-McWhinney earned her doctoral degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University and taught at the collegiate level for ten years before transitioning to administration. As a Certified Family Life Educator she has facilitated trainings with families, schools, community organizations, medical professionals, and university personnel. She has a passion for educating families and communities and believes knowledge coupled with prevention is a powerful tool to address mental health needs.

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Michelle is a member of the TCHATT team at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Amarillo Campus. She holds a Master’s degree in Counseling from West Texas A&M University. Her experience includes working with children and adolescents in a variety of settings at varying levels of care from working in education for 12 years as a Bilingual Educator/School Counselor and now as a Mental Health Clinician. Michelle has experience working with families that have experienced trauma, grief, and loss. She is trained in EMDR, PCIT, DBT, and Psychological First Aide.

Christy Salgado

Christy Salgado is an LPC holding a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas Tech University and a Master’s of Science in Counseling from Lubbock Christian University. She has been working with TTUHSC for over 8 years, and with TCHATT for 3 years. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and is currently working towards certification in Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Christy has many years of experience working in both group and individual therapy settings as well as both in-patient and out-patient settings.

Dr. Natalie Scanlon is a Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor with the Department of Psychiatry within the School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Having been born and raised in the Midwest, she attended Marquette University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and Spanish. Dr. Scanlon then completed her Master of Arts and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Texas Tech University. Her Midwestern roots contributed to her return to Wisconsin where she worked as a Clinical Supervisor in residential and inpatient settings before returning to Texas to work in a private practice setting in Austin. Having returned to the TTUHSC community, Dr. Scanlon now works directly with child, adolescent and adult patients and enjoys various teaching and clinical supervision responsibilities.

Maria Silva earned her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health from Midwestern State University. Her experience ranges from working in an inpatient and outpatient mental health hospital to working with students in grades Pre-K through college. She has a passion for helping students and utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Person-Centered therapeutic modalities. Maria joined the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center TCHATT team in 2022.

Kami is a Mental Health Clinician for the TTUHSC TCHATT program and offices on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Abilene campus. She received both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Counseling Psychology degrees from Abilene Christian University. Kami is passionate about providing mental health care to all populations and therefore enjoys the opportunity to make it available to underserved rural communities through her position at TCHATT.

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Jessica Sosa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who holds a Bachelors from Knox College and a Master of Science in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin. She has provided mental health services in multiple settings: intensive outpatient, school based, juvenile justice, and private practice. Her professional interests include suicide prevention, LGBTQ+ youth, DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), systems-based intervention, and evidence-based trauma treatment. She is passionate about expanding quality mental health access for youth and their families.

Amy Stark, M.D. is board certified in both general and addiction psychiatry. Upon earning her medical degree from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Dr. Stark completed residency in general psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Following residency, Dr. Stark completed fellowship training in addiction psychiatry at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. She is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the TTUHSC School of Medicine in Amarillo, where she is also the interim regional department chair and the psychiatry clerkship director. Dr. Stark’s areas of expertise and professional interests include substance use disorders and psychiatry for specialty populations, including perinatal women, professionals with substance use disorders and the LGBTQIA community. When not teaching or caring for patients, she enjoys spending quiet time at home with her husband and their three amazing cats.

Amber Tarver is the Sr. Program Director for CPAN-PeriPAN at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Prior to her work at TTUHSC she dedicated 18 years working in community behavioral healthcare at a Local Mental Health Authority (LMHA). During her time at the LMHA she worked as a project director, manager and trainer. She worked to help the LMHA become a Certified Community Behavioral Healthcare Clinic and worked to create and implement many policies, procedures and programs that meant to increase access to mental health and substance use disorder services in rural West Texas.

Sarah Mallard 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 LSU Health 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 since 2016 and the Medical Director of Medical Ethics until 2020. 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.

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Casey Winslow is a dual board-certified Family-Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with over 12 years of clinical nursing experience. She completed her graduate studies at West Texas A&M University and received a Master’s Degree in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2015 and a Post-Master’s Degree as a Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2018. She is actively pursuing her Doctor of Nurse Practitioner from Abilene Christian University. Casey practices in the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) providing outpatient mental health care services to children, adolescents, and families within the Child and Adolescent Department as well as through the Campus Alliance for Telehealth Resources (CATR: Supported by TCHATT) program. She has a passion for working with children, adolescents and their families.

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Janie Black

Janie Black, PhD is a licensed child and adolescent psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in providing family-based therapeutic intervention for eating disorders and works with children and adolescents who are struggling with gender dysphoria by providing cognitive behavioral interventions and consulting with their physicians to support them through the diagnostic and transitioning process. Additionally, Dr. Black is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Black earned both her doctorate and master’s in clinical psychology from Fielding Graduate University, the first APA-accredited distributed learning program in the United States. She completed both an internship and fellowship in child psychology and pediatric behavioral medicine at the Texas Child Study Center at Dell Children’s Medical Center, where she was instrumental in creating the Inpatient Consultation and Liaison Service and Emergency Department training rotation for predoctoral psychology interns.

Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. He specializes in developmental disorders, consultation-liaison psychiatry, and acute psychiatry needs. Additionally, Dr. Brown is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Brown earned his medical degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and his bachelor’s in history from Southwestern University. He completed a residency in general psychiatry at the University of North Carolina Medical Center and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Dell Medical School. Dr. Brown’s research interests include developmental disorders and access to mental health care in the communities where he lives and works.

Mariel Cannady

Mariel Cannady, PsyD, is a licensed child and adolescent psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in treating children with anxiety, neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorders), and challenging behaviors (e.g., mild aggression, tantrums, and non-compliance. Additionally, Dr. Cannady is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Cannady earned both her Doctor of Psychology degree with a focus on clinical and school psychology and her educational specialist degree with a focus on school psychology from James Madison University. She completed an internship in child clinical/pediatric psychology at the Texas Child Study Center. Dr. Cannady has interdisciplinary training in neurodevelopmental disorders through the LEND program at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She is a graduate of the International OCD Foundation’s Intensive Pediatric Behavior Therapy Training Institute and has specialized training in behavior therapy, applied behavior analysis, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and parent-child interaction therapy.

Dave Curtis

Dr. Curtis is a licensed psychologist who specializes in working with children and their families across primary care, outpatient, and school settings. Dr. Curtis is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Dell Medical School, and the director of the psychology training program at the Texas Child Study Center. He completed his undergraduate training in psychology at Baylor University, his masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at St. Mary’s University, and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Houston. Dr. Curtis is a former J. William Fulbright Scholar to New Zealand and a former postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School/Children’s Hospital, Boston. Before arriving at the Texas Child Study Center, Dr. Curtis directed the pediatric primary care psychology and ADHD behavior therapy programs at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Levi DeFilipp

Levi DeFilipp, PsyD, is a licensed pediatric psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. Additionally, Dr. DeFilipp is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. DeFilipp earned his Doctor of Psychology degree with a focus in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University, during which he pursued specialized pediatric mental health training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as part of his doctoral program, and his bachelor’s in integrated neuroscience from Binghamton University. He completed a residency in health services psychology at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where he received intensive training in the provision of mental health services in both inpatient and outpatient pediatric settings, and a fellowship in pediatric psychology at Norton Children’s Hospital/University of Louisville School of Medicine. As a post-doctoral fellow, he pursued specialized training in the provision of inpatient consultation-liaison services within a tertiary care children’s hospital and academic medical center.

Ana F. El-Behadli

Ana F. El-Behadli, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Dell Medical School and a pediatric psychologist at Dell Children’s Medical Center serving patients and families through the nephrology and rheumatology specialty clinics. She also provides outpatient services through the Texas Child Study Center, as well as team-based telehealth consultation services through the Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN) and the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) program. Prior to joining Dell Medical School, El-Behadli completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at Stanford University School of Medicine. She obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology from UT Southwestern Medical Center, where she also completed her predoctoral internship. El-Behadli also holds a master’s in child study and human development from Tufts University. In addition to her clinical work, El-Behadli is interested in studying diversity issues in pediatric psychology, particularly cultural adaptations and dissemination of evidence-based treatments to Spanish-speaking children and families.

Lindsey Elliott

Lindsey Elliott, PhD, is a licensed pediatric psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in treating children and adolescents with somatic symptom and related disorders, such as functional neurological symptom disorder (FNSD). Additionally, Dr. Elliot is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Elliot earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from The University of Alabama at Birmingham and her bachelor’s in psychology from College of William & Mary. She completed an internship in pediatric psychology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a fellowship in pediatric psychology with a specialty in consultation/liaison at the Texas Child Study Center and Dell Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Elliott’s research interests involve somatic symptom and related disorders, and she has published articles examining etiological factors related to these disorders. Additionally, she continues to be engaged in multi-site research projects aimed at providing effective treatment to individuals with FNSD. She is an active member of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Pediatric Psychology.

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Lauren Fooshee is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 12 years of experience in providing clinical counseling and support to individuals, mental health professionals, families, and communities during times of crisis, trauma, and other adversities. She earned her Master's degree in Professional Counseling from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She has worked extensively to serve her community through the school systems, non-profit organizations, and juvenile detention centers. Lauren is deeply committed to helping health professionals, educators, children, and families by equipping them with the necessary resources and tools critical for cultivating resilience and enhancing overall health and well-being. As a Provider Behavioral Health Consultant, Lauren provides psychiatric consultation, behavior management plans, guidance in assessments, resources and referral assistance to pediatricians, family medicine physicians, OB/GYN physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and or midwives needing assistance. Her hope is to increase mental health services for all patients involved. Lauren enjoys collaborating and consulting with healthcare providers to enhance patient experiences and promote overall well-being.

Gabriel Garza

Gabriel Garza, MD, is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. He specializes in outpatient psychiatric care for the pediatric population. Additionally, Dr. Garza is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and serves as the Associate Program Director for the Dell Medical School Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program. Dr. Garza earned his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he was recognized for demonstrating excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service. He completed a residency in psychiatry as well as a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. During his time at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, he was an active participant in medical student teaching, served as Chief Fellow, and received numerous awards for service excellence and dedication to patient care.

Sara Gill

Sara Gill, PhD, is a licensed child and adolescent psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in person-centered care for children, adolescents, and their families. Additionally, Dr. Gill is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Gill earned her doctorate in counseling psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and her master’s in child development from Tufts University. She completed an internship in clinical psychology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and a fellowship in clinical psychology at the Clarity Child Guidance Center, where she worked with children, adolescents, and their families in an outpatient and inpatient setting, engaging in individual, family, and group therapy as well as providing psychological assessments. Dr. Gill is a past member of the San Antonio Society for Psychoanalytic Studies, where she was also a member-at-large for the executive committee.

David Heckler

David Heckler, Ph.D., ABPP, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Heckler is a licensed psychologist and board certified in clinical child and adolescent psychology. He specializes in providing evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents with anxiety, depression and chronic pain. Heckler provides behavioral health services within the Collaborative Abdominal Pain Program within gastroenterology and the Headache Interdisciplinary Program within the neurology department at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. Heckler actively participates in applied clinical research related to improving children’s and adolescents’ management of pain, somatic symptoms and internalizing disorders. Additionally, Heckler provides training and supervision to varying levels of psychology trainees.

Meredith Holley

Meredith Holley, PhD, is a licensed pediatric psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with a wide range of developmental, behavioral, emotional, and academic concerns, including autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, anxiety, and mood disorders. Additionally, Dr. Holley is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Holley earned both her doctorate and master’s in education psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and her bachelor’s in psychological and brain sciences with a focus on early childhood cognitive development from The Johns Hopkins University. She completed an internship in clinical psychology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine/Mailman Center for Child Development and a fellowship in clinical psychology at the Austin Psychology & Assessment Center. She also has specialized training in neuropsychological/neurodevelopmental assessment, cognitive behavioral therapy, parent-mediated behavioral therapy, and interdisciplinary assessment approaches.

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Rachel obtained her Bachelor's degree in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin. She primarily occupied roles in the field of senior care, whilst simultaneously contributing to the education sector in underserved schools. Rachel made the proactive decision to pursue a Master's degree at Texas State University with the aim of advancing her career in clinical-oriented roles. Rachel is committed to fostering genuine connections with clients by delivering empathetic, compassionate, and supportive care. She firmly believes that every individual should have access to high-quality mental health treatment, irrespective of any financial or environmental obstacles.

Sean Kerrigan

Dr. Kerrigan served as the medical director for an adolescent residential treatment center and an attending psychiatrist for The Outlook, an inpatient eating disorders program at Weill Cornell and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He is also a published author, has led multiple community-focused educational initiatives around the early recognition and prevention of eating disorders, and is a frequent contributor to both local and international medical conferences.

Ankita Krishnan

Ankita Krishnan, PhD, is a licensed pediatric psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in the treatment and assessment of children and adolescents with a range of concerns, including developmental, behavioral, emotional, and learning concerns (e.g., anxiety, depression, trauma, autism spectrum disorder, disruptive behaviors); behavior management training with parents and families; group therapy with children and adolescents; neurodevelopmental assessments; and evidence-based and culturally informed approaches in treatment with families. Additionally, Dr. Krishnan is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Krishnan earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Purdue University and her bachelor’s in psychology and French from Southern Methodist University. She completed an internship in clinical psychology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical child psychology at Austin Child Guidance Center.

J. Michele LaGrone

J. Michele LaGrone, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in treating psychiatric issues, such as anxiety, attention, behavioral, and major depressive disorders, in children and adolescents. Additionally, Dr. LaGrone is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. LaGrone earned her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, her master’s in business administration at Rice University, and her bachelor’s in Plan II Honors at The University of Texas at Austin. She completed both an internship and residency in general psychiatry as well as a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. LaGrone is a member of Texas Medical Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is a preceptor for the Integrated Behavioral Health Scholars program and is active in mentoring advanced nurse practitioner students.

Alexandra Lamari-Fisher,

Alexandra Lamari-Fisher, PhD, is a licensed pediatric psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s and serves as the psychosocial team lead for the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, a clinical partnership between UT Health Austin and Dell Children’s Medical Center. She specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and families affected by pediatric and congenital heart disease. Additionally, Dr. Lamari-Fisher is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Lamari-Fisher earned her doctorate in psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. She completed an internship in pediatric clinical psychology at the Texas Child Study Center, a fellowship in integrated behavioral healthcare at The University of Texas at Austin, and a second fellowship in clinical psychology and research at Dell Children’s Medical Center. She is also certified in parent-child interaction therapy.

Nithya Mani

Nithya Mani, MD, is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in integrated care. Additionally, Dr. Mani is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Mani earned her medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and her bachelor’s in anthropology & human biology from Emory University. She completed a residency in psychiatry at Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program, where she served as the administrative chief resident. She also completed a fellowship in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and a second fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry, with an emphasis on collaborative care, at Stanford University. Dr. Mani is the Associate Director of the Child Psychiatry Telemedicine Program at Dell Children’s Medical Center. Her clinical interests involve providing comprehensive compassionate care for children and their families through outpatient work and collaborative care models.

Lynn Monnat

Lynn Monnat, PhD, is a licensed psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in providing evidence-based therapies for traumatized youth and young children and their caregivers who are struggling with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and disruptive behaviors; and in early identification and intervention for youth at risk for the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally, Dr. Monnat is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Monnat earned both her doctorate and master’s in school psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. She completed an internship in clinical child and adolescent psychology at UC Davis Children’s Hospital and a fellowship in cognitive behavioral therapy and parent-child interaction therapy at the Texas Child Study Center, both of which focused on trauma assessment and intervention and the provision of parent-child interaction therapy.

Delana Parker

Delana Parker, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Dell Medical School. She is also a licensed pediatric pain psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. Parker’s clinical work focuses on empowering children, adolescents and their caregivers to manage pediatric headache, chronic pain and other forms of chronic illness. Her clinical approach to care is rooted in clinical science and evidence-based practice, and she is experienced in providing cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness based stress reduction and often integrates biofeedback and clinical hypnosis into treatment for pain. She is passionate about adapting treatment strategies to draw upon children’s strengths to enhance resilience and improve function. Parker earned her bachelor’s in psychology and her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Puja G. Patel

Puja Patel, PhD is a licensed pediatric psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in providing cognitive behavioral therapy for youth with internalizing disorders and has expertise in coping with chronic illness, targeting pain management, and improving adherence to ongoing medical regimes. Additionally, Dr. Patel is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Patel earned her doctorate in school psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and her master’s in rehabilitation counseling from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She completed an internship in pediatric and child psychology at Children’s Hospital Boston and a fellowship in pediatric and child psychology at the Texas Child Study Center. Dr. Patel served as the Director of Psychological Services for the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center at Dell Children’s Medical Center for six years.

Diana Prieto

Diana Prieto, MD, is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in the treatment of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, depression, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Additionally, Dr. Prieto is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Prieto earned her medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He completed a residency in general psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at UConn Health. Dr. Prieto is an active member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Psychiatric Association. She recently published a case report on the use of suvorexant to treat a sleep disorder in an adolescent with bipolar disorder.

Jane Ripperger-Suhler

Dr. R-S is an Austin native and has two grown children. She is an avid Longhorn fan, having inherited that trait from her parents. In fact, she likes most sports, especially futbol. She can be seen about town running or riding her bicycle.

Claire Randall Selinger

Claire R. Selinger, M.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Dell Medical School. Selinger is passionate about caring for underserved children and their families. She came back home after training in California to deliver comprehensive and compassionate mental health care to children and adolescents of her native Texas. She works at Integral Care, a nonprofit Local Mental Health Authority, on behalf of the medical school. There, she provides evidence-based treatment to children and adolescents in Travis County and works to expand care via school-based integrated services. She also participates in SB 11 initiatives CPAN and TCHATT to provide clinical care to children and adolescents regardless of their proximity to the medical school through telemedicine services. She also supports pediatric providers in managing mental health issues in their clinics across the greater Austin region.

Jeffrey Shahidullah

Jeffrey Shahidullah, PhD, is a licensed pediatric psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. He specializes in behavioral interventions for managing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and disruptive behavior disorders. Additionally, Dr. Shahidullah is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, an adjunct assistant professor in The University of Texas at Austin Department of Educational Psychology, and a faculty affiliate in The University of Texas at Austin Center for Health Interprofessional Practice and Education. Dr. Shahidullah earned his doctorate in school psychology from Michigan State University and his bachelor’s in psychology from Baylor University, where he also completed an educational specialist degree. He completed an internship in pediatric psychology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a fellowship in pediatric psychology at Geisinger Health System. While at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Shahidullah was a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) fellow.

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Tiffany earned her Bachelor's in Social Work from Anderson University and completed her Master's in Social Work with a focus on families and children at the University of Southern California. Her experiences include working with Child Protective Services, providing mental health services for inner-city children, and adolescents, and case management and grief support for the children and families of fallen military service members. For the past 7 years, Tiffany served as a Social Worker at Dell Children's as an Emergency Department Social Worker, eventually moving into her current position with TCHATT.

Eric Shute

Eric Schute, MD, is a licensed child and adolescent psychiatrist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. He specializes in behavioral health disorders in children with medical complexities, specifically on the Dell Children’s Medical Center pediatric consult-liaison service and Children’s Blood and Cancer Center, and he provides specialized care for LGBT patients and their families through the Adolescent Clinic at Dell Children’s. Additionally, Dr. Schute is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and serves as the Course Director for Medical Student Elective Rotations in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Dell Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Shute earned his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and his bachelor’s in biochemistry at the University of North Texas. He completed both an internship and residency in pediatrics at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Kari Whatley

Kari Whatley, MD, is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. Additionally, Dr. Whatley is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Whatley earned her medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and her bachelor’s in biology, with a minor in chemistry, from Baylor University. She completed a residency in psychiatry at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Dell Medical School. Dr. Whatley is currently involved in a committee at Dell Children’s Medical Center, working on establishing a foundation of trauma-focused care hospital-wide. She is also involved in quality improvement projects, including improving evaluations within the Dell Medical School fellowship program and improving patient knowledge and access to resources in the community.

Oscar Widales-Benitez

Oscar Widales-Benitez, PhD, is a licensed pediatric psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. He specializes in culturally responsive, evidence-based, and bilingual (Spanish & English) services for traumatized and bereaved youth as well as in the identification and intervention for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and non-suicidal self-injury. Additionally, Dr. Widales-Benitez is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Widales-Benitez earned his doctorate in school psychology from Texas A&M University, his master’s in education with a focus on school psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his bachelor’s in mathematics and communication from Texas A&M International University. He completed an internship in trauma psychology (Project Heal) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles/University of Southern California and a fellowship in psychology at Children’s Medical Center/UT Southwestern Medical Center, where he received specialized training in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT).

Amanda Youngblood

Amanda Youngblood, M.A., LPC, is a pediatric licensed counselor with the TCHATT program and a health professional specialist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She specializes in working as a generalist providing person-centered care to at-risk individuals living with depression, anxiety and adjustment and self-esteem concerns. Youngblood received her Bachelor of Science in psychology from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts in counseling from St. Edward’s University. She completed a graduate internship with Communities in Schools, where she provided individual and group counseling services to at-risk high school students. Youngblood previously worked in community-based treatment programs with Integral Care, where she had the opportunity to assist diverse populations in improving their overall well-being. During her time at Integral Care, she specialized in completing psychological assessments, providing crisis interventions, helping clients in accessing community resources, collaborating with community partners and working with multidisciplinary colleagues to better address individual needs.

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Torgeir has been a licensed professional counselor since 2019. He has experience working with abused and neglected youth as CPS case worker. Torgeir works with complex family dynamics and develops family plans to produce effective change.

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Stacy is a graduate of Our Lady of the Lake University earning both her bachelor’s degree (2011) and master’s degree (2013) in Social Work. Stacy has been a Licensed Master Social Worker in the State of Texas since 2015 and is currently pursuing her License in Clinical Social Work (LCSW) under the supervision of Dr. Carissma Hughes Valentine, LCSW, MS #62119.. Stacy’s career has been primarily focused on children and family services. Over the last 12 years of her career, she has held positions in areas such as social services, community outreach, case management, care coordination, crisis intervention and mental health treatment. In Stacy’s current role she provides mental health and case management services. She is also certified as a YAM (Youth Aware of Mental Health) facilitator. Stacy is client centered and takes an integrated approach when providing treatment to meet individual’s needs and treatment goals.

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Dr. Blader holds the Meadows Foundation and Semp Russ Professorship in Child Psychiatry at UT Health SA. He has held clinical and academic positions at the Northwell Health system in New York, the NYU Child Study Center, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He's had research and service grants from the National Institutes of Health and other private and government organizations and has published extensively in medical journals and textbooks. Area of specialty has been young people who experience emotional dysregulation leading to social and behavioral problems, including aggression.

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Cassandra was born and raised in Ohio. She attended Ohio University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration. She then worked in practice management before returning to school to earn her BSN. Cassandra soon direct commissioned into the Army Nurse Corps as an ICU nurse, serving active-duty Army for 10-years. She worked as an ICU nurse at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center during the height of the Iraq/Afghan wars, deployed to Iraq for OIF/OEF/OND, and worked at BAMC on the Rapid Response Team and Medical ICU. She finished her career in the Army at the U.S. Institute of Surgical Research in the Burn ICU and on the Burn Flight Team. All these experiences reinforced to her the importance of mental health for patients and their families. Cassandra thus pursued further education in Psychiatric Mental Health with UT School of Nursing, where she felt she could make more of an impact in healthcare. Cassandra and her family enjoy being outdoors at the State and National Parks, as well as biking around the city of San Antonio. Usually to great new restaurants and parks!

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Martha Chichil-Zepeda, M.S., LPC-S completed her graduate work at Our Lady of the Lake University and has worked with children and adolescents for half of her professional career and most recently worked with college-aged students at UTSA in the Counseling and Mental Health Services department. Her areas of interest are trauma-work, multicultural issues, LGBTQ+ DACA/Dreamer concerns, anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, and PTSD, to list a few. Martha is trained in TF-CBT, CPT, EMDR, SFT, CBT, and EMDR. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and has worked with families and children offering family counseling in both languages. In her free time, she enjoys reading, Zumba, lifting weights, gardening, and spending time with her family.

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Shanon has been licensed professional counselor since 2013. Her experience is in working with youth and families in community counseling settings. She has 5 years of experience providing case management for children and adults throughout Texas.

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Christina Del Rio, MA, LPC-S is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Council-approved supervisor. She completed her Master’s in Community Counseling at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2009. She has experience providing mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings to include Non-profit and State organizations. Christina utilizes Evidence-based Interventions when providing therapeutic services to include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Christina will tailor treatment to address an individual’s unique need.

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Dr. Ferruzzi has 25 years of experience as child and adolescent psychiatrist. He is board certified in child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. He specializes in mood, anxiety and ADHD conditions in the inpatient and outpatient setting.

Anna Gilmore, LPC-Associate, supervised by Valerie Hernandez, LPC-S #72728, graduated from the University of Texas San Antonio with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. With over 6 years of experience working in educational settings, Anna is dedicated to helping students and individuals achieve a greater sense of well-being and academic success. In her role as an LPC-Associate, Anna’s therapeutic approach is rooted in evidence-based practices, empathy, and creating a safe non-judgmental space. In addition to her individualized work with students, Anna collaborates closely with families to create a holistic approach and is dedicated to helping young people gain insight, develop coping strategies, and work toward positive change in their lives.

Caitlin earned her Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University. She has had the privilege of working with all age groups from children to geriatrics, but her work with children and families has always been her main focus. Throughout her career, she worked with children in the school system, foster care system, juvenile justice system, inpatient psychiatric, medical hospital setting, and most recently private practice setting. Caitlin has experience in treating persons with anxiety, anger, mood disorders, ADHD, crisis, and various behavioral disorders. She utilizes many different treatment modalities, more holistic in nature which fit the unique needs of every child and family including CBT, DBT, solution focused, art therapy, play therapy, and cognitive processing therapy for teens. She prefers to use methods of self-discovery to find your inner strength and motivation for change.

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Valerie has been a licensed professional counselor since 2014. She has over 16 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in outpatient and residential settings. Valerie has success in helping clients who face challenges in the areas of trauma, depression, anxiety, ADHD, behavioral issues, substance use, grief/loss, and others. She specializes in solution-focused brief therapy and works to construct solutions for client’s difficulties based on client’s strengths and their unique life experiences. Valerie uses additional tools such as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing.

Catherine is a Licensed Professional Counselor (2013) and approved Supervisor (2020). She is also a National Board-Certified Counselor (NCC, 2013). She completed her graduate work at UT- San Antonio with a strong interest in community counseling. While facilitating community-based, outpatient care, Catherine served as a Skills Trainer, helping youth, ages 5-17 to learn and use prosocial skills to increase their self-regulation and interpersonal success. She has worked within outpatient, partial hospitalization, residential treatment, and higher education settings. She has extensive experience providing collaborative treatment to students with concerns such as clinical depression, anxiety, traumatic stress, and relationship difficulties. Catherine is trained in a variety of evidence-based treatments including WET, EMDR, PE, and CAMS. Likewise, she has received additional education on topics including Racial Trauma and Clinical Treatment, Mindful Self-Compassion, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). “At the core of my counseling philosophy is the belief that we are striving to be the best versions of ourselves while creating a meaningful life.” She enjoys writing, watching basketball, and solving puzzles.

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Kaitlyn completed her graduate work at UT- San Antonio and has much experience with children in the school system. Having been a paraprofessional, teacher and counselor in grades to K-12 respectively, she’s had opportunity to aid students in many unique academic and social challenges. Her most recent work has been in Jail Diversion programs, where she gained much experience in judicial systems and effects of trauma in the prison population. Currently, Kaitlyn has interests in continuing her trauma centered training by completing the Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy certification. She has eight years of experience counseling adults and children with anxiety, depression, trauma, and family conflict. In her free time, Kaitlyn enjoys going to the movies, working in the yard and spending time with family.

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Kristina is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate with experience working with couples, children, families, individuals, and military personnel from diverse backgrounds, with concerns that include depression, anxiety, ADHD, relational conflict, trauma, and life transitions. Her clinical interest is in trauma/PTSD. She is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Kristina has eight years of experience working in adult and child psychiatry setting.

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Dr. Matthews has been in practice since 2002. He is board certified in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry and specializes in treatment of ADHD, anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. Dr. Matthews works in outpatient, inpatient, and partial hospitalization settings. He works in college mental health at St. Mary’s University. Dr. Matthews currently serves as the Division Chief of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at UTHSCSA. He also serves as the Medical Director of Outpatient Psychiatric Services at Clarity Child Guidance Center. Previously he had served as the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training Director or Associate Residency Training Director.

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Kristen is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor with experience in a variety of settings including Community Mental Health, Crisis Assessment, Substance Use Disorder Treatment, Collegiate Recovery, and Managed Care. She has worked with children, adolescents and adults using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. In her current role, she is focused on working with Adolescents experiencing substance use concerns while also addressing underlying factors such as depression, anxiety and other social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties.

Jennifer O’Hare M.Ed., LPC, licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. She graduated with a bachelor's in political science and criminal justice from Our Lady of the Lake University and has a Master's in Education in Counseling from Sul Ross State University. Jennifer uses evidence-based approaches with an emphasis on working with children and adolescents. She is trained in the following modalities; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Child-Centered Play Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Sand-Tray Therapy, and is a Certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. She joined UTHSCSA in 2022 and has extensive experience working with children and families in Partial hospitalization, Private Practice, Local Mental Health Authority, Non-Profit Organizations, and School settings. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

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Reena has been a certified PA since 2013, and has practiced in Child, Adolescent, Adult, and Geriatric Psychiatry since 2015. She is also a Professional Life Coach and a Registered Yoga Teacher. Her patient care is rooted in all-round wellness.

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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. He has been a faculty member at UT Health San Antonio since 1986, joining the Department of Psychiatry after completing his general and child adolescent psychiatry residencies at UTHSCSA. Throughout his career he has been involved in a wide range of administrative, research, clinical and educational activities. Prior to being Chair he served as Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from 1995-2015. His research has focused on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related disorders. He has been involved with clinical trials of the most medications used for ADHD. He currently uses functional magnetic imaging to try to understand the mechanisms of action of treatments for ADHD. He has been involved in several projects to integrate mental health services into pediatric primary care. 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.

Larissa Ramos, LPC-Associate, supervised by Valerie Hernandez, LPC-S #72728 is a graduate from The University of Texas at San Antonio where she earned a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling. Larissa has 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and parents in educational settings and currently in the clinical setting. Larissa’s emphasis is working with individuals struggling with behavioral issues, anxiety, depression, substance use, life stressors, and trauma among other challenges. Larissa provides services in English and Spanish and strives to be a catalyst for change by establishing a safe and open environment for emotional expression and exploration. Larissa takes a person-centered approach and is dedicated to fostering growth by believing and modeling we are adaptable, capable of change, and resilient through our uniqueness and discovery process

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Ámbar is a native of San Antonio and has many years of experience working in community-based organizations, school districts, and outpatient clinical settings. Ámbar received her Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy and a certification in Psychological Services for Spanish Speaking Populations. She has been a Licensed Professional Counselor for four years working primarily with youth and young adults ages 10-24. Ámbar has a wide variety of experience working with clients with anxiety, depression, self-harm/suicidal ideation, and clients who identify as LGBTQ+. She currently provides mental health therapy through UT Health San Antonio’s TCHATT Program. Ámbar is authentic, genuine, and likes to use humor in the therapy process, which clients have said they appreciate.

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Dr. Robles-Ramamurthy has been in practice since 2012. She is board certified in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. Her areas of expertise include: anxiety, depression, trauma related disorders, and family mental health. Dr. Robles-Ramamurthy’s interest and expertise is in working with diverse populations including Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, immigrant and deaf and hard of hearing children and their families. She has expertise in collaborative care to optimize mental health care with the use of psychosocial interventions. Dr. Robles-Ramamurthy treats children and adolescents at Bexar County Juvenile Detention Center.

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Dr. Sandoval has 10 years of experience in child and adolescent psychiatry. She is board certified in child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. Dr. Sandoval has experience working in the community with underserved/underrepresented populations. Her clinical interests are in trauma/PTSD.

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Dr. Schillerstrom has been in practice since 2006. She is board certified in child, adolescent and adult psychiatry and specializes in treatment of ADHD, anxiety, depression and mood disorders in the outpatient setting. Dr. Schillerstrom also serves as the supervising psychiatrist at UTSA and specializes in college mental health.

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Frances “Bailey” Wong, MA, LPC is recognized as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Texas State University and a Master’s in Counseling from St. Edward’s University. Bailey has over 5 years of experience working with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings to include the school system, juvenile probation and an immigration setting. Bailey’s emphasis is in working with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, life stressors, relationships, grief, communication and social challenges. Bailey utilizes a person-centered and strengths-based approach in working with clients strongly emphasizing client autonomy and collaboration in addition to incorporating cognitive behavioral therapy. In addition to her role as a therapist, Bailey enjoys spending time with family, drinking coffee and being by the water.

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Jose Yakin is a bilingual (Spanish speaking) first generation Mexican American and a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. He completed his graduate studies at UTHSCSA in August 2022, receiving his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with high honors. Directly afterwards, Jose became board certified as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) in September 2022. Prior to this provider role, Jose's work experience includes practicing as a Registered Nurse (RN) for over 8 years. His last 6 years as a RN, he worked at a local pediatric and adult emergency department. Jose's time in the emergency setting has given him a clear understanding of the importance of mental health and that of early life behavioral interventions.

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Everett Allen is a board-certified physician associate (PA-C) with years of experience practicing psychiatry in the correctional, hospital (inpatient and consultation-liaison service), and outpatient settings working with children, adolescents, and adults. He attended PA school at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, NC where he earned his Master of Health Sciences degree. Prior to attending Duke, PA Allen earned his Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in biostatistics from Georgia State University School of Public Health in Atlanta, GA. He also earned his Doctor of Medical Science degree from the University of Lynchburg in Lynchburg, VA. PA Allen takes great pride in helping patients feel better and reach their highest potential physically, mentally, and emotionally. He employs an integrative approach to emotional well-being, and strongly believes there is no health without mental health. As a psychiatric PA, he uses his medical training to also support his philosophy of safe, efficient, and empowering mental health care. Patients are heard, valued, and empowered after every visit he has with them. PA Allen strives to support individuals and their families in any way that he can.

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Dr. Allison is a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist with the JPS Health Network since 2021. She completed her medical degree at the University of North Texas Health Science Center an Fort Worth-Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, psychiatry fellowship at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, TX and child fellowship at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. During her 2nd year of fellowship, Dr. Allison was able to receive additional instruction while on the public psychiatry fellowship track. She worked with MetroCare Behavioral Health in Dallas and was able to treat children in foster care, children at risk for losing school/daycare placements, adolescents in the juvenile offenders program and youth with developmental disabilities.

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Amanda is a TCHATT Therapist with over 16 years of experience working with youth with behavioral health issues, ages 3 to 17. She graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology from University of North Texas, and after working in the field for a few years, she furthered her education and obtained a Bachelors and Masters in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. Amanda is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with many years of experience in working in inpatient hospital, outpatient clinics and working with children in foster care with Family Protective Services. She has a certification in crisis incident stress management (CISM). Amanda has worked with youth, providing skills training, facilitating group therapy as well as completing biopsychosocial and suicide risk assessments. Amanda is passionate about working with youth that are dealing with mental illness and psychological effects of bullying. She is committed to helping children and adolescents on their journey to their recovery. Amanda continues to advocate for mental health resources for children and adolescents in the community.

Zurisadai “Zuri” Benitez is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She graduated with her undergraduate in psychology at Southwestern Adventist University and with her masters in clinical mental health counseling at Andrews University. She has worked for behavioral health hospitals, substance abuse residential treatment centers and managed a behavioral health and resource clinic through a school district as well as being an adjunct for Southwestern Adventist University. Zuri has a passion in working with children, adolescents and parents. Her heart remains in working with the community doing outreach and advocating for immigrant and refugee populations.

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Tisha Calhoun is the CPAN Supervisor. She is a proud graduate of both the University of Texas at Arlington and the Worden School at Our Lady of the Lake University. She has over 15 years of experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and shared previously for 10 years as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Texas at Arlington. Tisha has a lot to offer clients and professionals with whom she works. She has experience as an early childhood teacher for both public and private school settings and has been certified as a professional development specialist for the Child Development Association to assist childcare staff in working effectively with children. She has compassionately served a variety of populations in both outpatient and inpatient behavioral health settings. She utilizes CBT and Solution Focused approaches to working with clients who struggle with suicidal ideations, anxiety, depression, thought disorders or PTSD. Tisha is a person-centered, strengths-based practitioner who shares in collaboration with individuals, their families and other professionals to empower people for successful living.

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Laura is a TCHATT Therapist, originally from Cali, Colombia and is Bilingual (Spanish/English). A graduate of UT Arlington’s Bachelors and Masters Programs in Social Work, Laura is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Laura has six years’ experience working in inpatient and outpatient behavioral health settings as a case manager and a therapist. Her passion and experience is in working with Children and Adolescents in behavioral health settings, and working with pregnant teenagers. Laura’s preferred treatment modalities are CBT and Solution Focus Therapy. Laura is passionate and empathetic in her role and loves to help those in need.

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Kalli is an LCSW and TCHATT Therapist who hails from Oklahoma. She graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor’s in psychology and received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. While working through her Master's degree she specialized in childhood trauma and family dynamics. With several years of experience working with children and families in settings such as psychiatric hospitals, schools, and case management agencies, Kalli utilizes CBT to help children and adolescents build coping skills to navigate trauma and self-growth. A compassion for young people has driven Kalli into a career in behavioral health and nothing brings her more joy than seeing children and families thrive.

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Annette is a bilingual TCHATT Therapist from Fort Worth, TX. Annette graduated from University of Texas at Arlington with her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work. Her graduate study focus was in clinical social work with emphasis in working with children and families and a certification in administration. Annette has been a practicing social worker since 2015. She is also has a current Certification in Critical Incident Stress Management (CCISM) and is a Certified Telemental Health Provider-Associate. Annette has worked in international adoptions, school-based social work and as a therapist providing services in inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. With training in trauma and other evidence-based practices, Annette enjoys empowering youth and families to achieve success.

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Rochelle is a TCHATT Therapist located in Fort Worth, Texas, but originally from the state of Arkansas. She graduated with a B.S. in psychology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and completed her Master’s is Counseling at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Following graduation, Rochelle went on to receive a Licensed of Professional Counseling, or LPC. Throughout her career, Rochelle has worked in a myriad of different mental health settings, such as inpatient hospitals, private practice, outpatient clinics, community centers, group therapy, and non-profit organizations. She is skilled in trauma support and crisis intervention. Rochelle is especially enthusiastic about working with children and adolescents who may be struggling in areas such as adjustment, peer pressure, life skills, relationship discord, and parent conflict. She is empathetic and uses an interpersonal approach to reassure clients that they are ultimately the masters of their own destinies and that therapy is just a tool to help them reach their desired destination.

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Alex Demba is the Project Coordinator for TCHATT. Alex was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. After graduating high school in Freeport IL, he enlisted into the US. Army where he served as a Health Care Specialist and a clinic manager in several medical centers. After retiring out of Fort Hood Texas in 2013, he was offered the opportunity to join the JPS team. While serving as an Emergency Medical Technician, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Management, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

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Sheri is a Child Psychiatric Resource Specialist with the CPAN program. Sheri was born and raised in a very small town in East Texas; where, in her family, generation after generation were born, raised, and lived out their lives in this same small town. Sheri became the first person in her family to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor’s in Child Development and Family Studies. She then went on to receive her Master’s degree in Social Work from The University of Texas at Arlington and is now a Licensed Master Social Worker. Sheri understands the difficulty and the importance of breaking generational cycles; for this reason, she is passionate about encouraging, educating, and empowering all to do the same. Sheri worked within the foster care system for 9+ years, taught in Early Childhood Education, and most recently has been an Inpatient Case Manager on the medical floor at JPS.

Lacreshia is a TCHATT Therapist. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s in Sociology (2010) and received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington (2019). Her graduate study focus was Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Lacreshia is a Licensed Master Social Worker with aspirations to obtain her LCSW license. She has social work experience in hospital systems, foster care, and behavioral health. Lacreshia values the benefits of CBT and teaching evidence-based skills to clients, enriching them along the way in their therapeutic journey. Lacreshia cares about people and is honored to be in a position to serve youth and their families.

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Erin Heldt is a Child Psych Resource Specialist for the CPAN program. She has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Erin has experience working with children in foster care through Child Protective Services along with working to help train foster/adoptive parents through another foster care agency. Erin also previously worked at The WARM Place in Fort Worth helping to provide grief support for children and families along with working several years as a Victim Services Counselor with the Arlington Police Department.

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Sandra Hyams is a psychiatric nurse practitioner with expertise in child adolescent psychiatry. Sandra received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at University of Pennsylvania. Following nursing school, she worked at Cook Children’s for several years, attending and graduating from the pediatric nurse residency program and subsequently working on a short stay unit for all ages of children. She then graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2016 after obtaining her Masters of Science as a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practioner. Sandra’s first position as a provider was working with adolescents with subtance use and mental health in an intensive outpatient program at University of Minnesota, Fairview hospital in Minneapolis-St. Paul. She went on the work at the Mayo Clinic, working with a widespread population of adults, geriatrics, and pediatrics on the inpatient, emergency, and consult liaison service.

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Makenzie is the TCHATT Supervisor from Fort Worth, Texas. Makenzie graduated from University of Arkansas with a Bachelor’s in psychology then University of North Texas with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in psychiatric and non-profit settings. Makenzie has additional training in trauma with a certification in basic Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy. She has specialized in working with adolescents and has experience with child play therapy. Makenzie utilizes Solution-Focused Brief Therapy approach to help young people grow in their identity, as well as coping with life’s stressors.

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Gunit Kahlon, MD is a board certified Child & Adolescent psychiatrist, at JPS Health Network since January 2020, committed to helping children and families navigate mental health challenges through medication management and therapeutic interventions. She specializes in depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism, trauma, behavioral difficulties, and mood disorders. Dr. Kahlon completed her residency and fellowship child and adolescent training at Virginia Commonwealth University from 2010-2015, and then transitioned to an outpatient community child psychiatry practice in Delaware working in a rural setting. She closely worked and collaborated frequently with community providers regarding management of mental health in pediatric population.

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Teneisha Kennard is the Executive Director of Behavioral Health – Ambulatory Services as JPS Health Network. With over a decade of experience in mental and behavioral health, Teneisha's current role is a continuation of her life's passion of service. In her current role as executive director, she is responsible for the operation and development of a full continuum of accessible outpatient behavioral health services. Born and raised in Fort Worth, Teneisha completed her undergraduate degree at Texas Christian University and graduate studies at The University of Texas at Arlington. Teneisha is a licensed Social Worker with a wealth of knowledge as a practitioner, educator and administrator. Her heart for service has led her to work with some of our most vulnerable populations including people experiencing homelessness, justice system involved individuals and those facing socioeconomic challenges. Her path has resulted in progressive leadership positions and provided Teneisha the opportunity to build innovative programming, secure funding through grant writing and participate in informative research resulting in publication.

Johnirenea, “Jay”, is a TCHATT Case Manager, originally from Abilene, TX. She is a graduate of UT Arlington’s Bachelors and Masters Programs in Social Work, with a specialization in Children and Families. Jay is a Licensed Master Social Worker. Her prior experience was gained working with adolescents at a youth emergency shelter as a Youth Care Specialist. Johnirenea has experience working youth and families in foster care setting and most recently in school social work as a case manager. Her passion and experience is in working with at-risk children and adolescents

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Julia is a Certified Case Manager for the TCHATT program. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Texas at Arlington. Julia began her career as a school social worker for at-risk adolescents. She has additional experience working with adoptive families at a Fort Worth adoption center and a Child Placing Agency in Dallas as a case manager for children in foster care. Julia is passionate about her role in connecting children and families to valuable resources in their communities.

Claudine is a multilingual (English/French/Swahili/Kinyarwanda) LMSW that is originally from Rwanda. She received her Master of Social Work from Texas Christian University. Before joining the TCHATT team, Claudine worked at Refugee Services of Texas as an Intensive Case Manager for refugees. She has over 3 years of social work/Case Management experience working children, teenagers, & adults in Refugees Resettlement agencies, mental health facility, high school, and working with individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

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Jill Pollard is an LCSW that joined our team as a Child Psychiatric Resource Specialist for the CPAN program, before joining our TCHATT team as therapist. She has an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Texas, as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. As a social worker she educated and trained potential foster care and adoption caretakers, and helped child and adolescent victims of domestic violence and human trafficking during her work as an Embedded Behavioral Health Specialist. Her experience on both our TCHATT and CPAN team gives her unique insight into our hubs workings.

Patricia is a TCHATT Therapist. Patricia is originally from Copperas Cove, Texas but has traveled throughout the United States. Patricia graduated from Tarleton State University with her Bachelors in Social Work and UT Arlington with her Masters in Social Work specializing in childhood trauma. Patricia is a Licensed Master Social Worker, working to complete her supervision hours for her LCSW. Patricia began working in behavioral health in 2001. Patricia has a vast amount of experience working with children and adolescents in many different settings, such as community mental health, foster care, protective services, and inpatient and outpatient behavioral health centers. Patricia’s specialty is CBT Therapy and Solutions Based Therapy.

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Dr. Siegel serves as the Manager of TCHATT & CPAN Programs through a collaboration with the University of North Texas Health Science Center and JPS Health Network. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Work Supervisor (LCSW-S) who holds a Doctorate in Social Work, international certification as a trauma therapist, and multiple other certifications and certificates in a variety of treatment modalities. In addition to her years of direct therapy experience, Dr. Siegel is an adjunct professor, has authored journal publications on program assessment and implementation as well as international children’s education, presented her trauma related research at a variety of conferences both regionally and nationally, and has over 35 years in leadership roles. Dr. Siegel currently and previously has served as a Board Member for variety of non-profits, and committees with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Texas branch, and worked as professional diversity, equity, and inclusion trainer.

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Janet is the CPAN Project Coordinator and holds a Master in Healthcare Administration. She has worked in Behavioral Health since 2019 but has been a healthcare professional for over 7 years. She supported clinicians in providing compassionate care for patients with behavioral health disorders and drug addiction. Prior to joining JPS Health Network, Janet was an Area Manager for a home health agency. She educated the community regarding the availability of home health services while working with local providers to obtain patient referrals. Janet implemented programs and protocols to help improve the delivery of home health services and patient outcomes.

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Angela “Christi” Weaver is an LCSW and an LCDC who has been a supervisor and clinician in the field of mental health and substance use since 2008, serving primarily in the non-profit setting. She graduated with both her undergraduate and graduate degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a mom to two boys, ages 21 and 12 years old, and a wife of 29 years. Christi is EMDR trained and has a passion for connecting trauma, mental health, and substance misuse for complete wellness and recovery. She has experience working with both adults and adolescents in direct practice, but her passion lies in collaborative behavioral health management and program development. Christi is also an adjunct professor at Texas Christian University’s Social Work program, as well as with Tarrant County College in their Mental Health Counseling program

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Heather is a TCHATT Therapist and Licensed Master Social Worker. She graduated from University of Texas at Arlington in 2017 with her Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in direct practice with children and families. She gained experience in both adolescent and adult behavioral health settings by working at the local mental health authority and the area night shelters. Heather began her time with TCHATT as a Case Manager but has now transitioned to the role of TCHATT Therapist. Heather is proud to play a role in helping children and families reach their highest potential.

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Megan is a second-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at Texas A&M University. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2013 and her Education Specialist degree in School Psychology in 2016 from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She has previous experience working as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) in the Houston area. In this role, she focused on psychological assessment and counseling as a related service. She has experience working with children and adolescents presenting with a wide range of emotional and behavioral concerns in schools.

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Cynthia is a fifth-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at Texas A&M University. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2016 and a Masters in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University in 2017. Cynthia incorporates evidence-based cognitive behavioral interventions and a systemic approach in her work with clients. She has experience serving children, adolescents, and young adults in school, community and medical settings. Cynthia has seen clients with a wide variety of presenting behavioral and emotional concerns, including depression, anxiety, adjustment concerns, grief and loss, self-harm, suicidality, oppositional/defiant difficulties, and executive functioning difficulties. Cynthia’s research and clinical interests include anxiety in adolescents and the psychosocial effects of chronic medical diagnoses.

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Daira is a second-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at Texas A&M University. She currently serves as a Counselor for the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) program and a Practicum Counselor for the Texas A&M Counseling and Assessment Clinic (CAC). Daira received her MA in School Psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2017, along with a certification in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Language Acquisition and Bilingual Psycho-educational Assessment. She is currently licensed as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) and holds certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). Furthermore, Daira is presently working towards becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Before moving to Texas, Daira spent her early childhood in Mexico. She is bilingual and has a passion for working with bilingual children and families. She was previously employed as an LSSP, providing psychological services to elementary-aged children. The scope of her practice and experience include autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, and more. She has also provided behavior therapy to children with developmental disabilities in home and clinical settings.

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Liabette Rodriguez-Escamilla is a first-year counseling psychology doctoral student at Texas A&M University. She obtained her masters in 2020 from Texas A&M International University in counseling psychology. Liabette gained her clinical experience at Texas A&M International’s student counseling services office where she worked with primarily Latinx, college-aged students who were experiencing anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. Liabette takes a humanistic approach to counseling and uses techniques from solution-focused, positive psychology, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. She strives to create a safe space for her clients to realize their potential and establish healthy coping skills. Liabette’s research is focused on multicultural counseling, religion and therapy, and cultural self-awareness. Liabette is currently working as a counselor in the TCHATT program.

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Mary Ellen received her undergraduate degree from Our Lady of The Lake, San Antonio in management, a master’s in human resources management from Houston Baptist University, a masters in School Counseling and LPC certification from Lamar University. She currently serves as a clinician in the TCHATT program and prior to that she served as the Counseling and Development Specialist in the Academic Support Office at the School of Medicine, Texas A&M. Her heart is serving in the Trauma and Grief section of TCHATT. Mary Ellen has given various presentations in the areas of personal, behavioral and academic resiliency. She and her husband, Rick are proud of their two grown daughters and her third child, ‘Buddy’ their Old English Sheepdog.

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Dr. Kelly Sopchak is a psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and manager of the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) program. Dr. Sopchak has worked with Dr. McCord to build the Texas A&M University TCHATT program and oversees the provision of mental health services to K-12 students throughout Brazos Valley. She engages and collaborates with schools to develop multidisciplinary care teams, focused on increasing mental wellness, academic engagement and achievement, and mental health awareness. Dr. Sopchak has extensive experience working with children and adolescents in schools and juvenile facilities. Prior to joining the TBC team, Dr. Sopchak led the crisis response team for one of the largest school districts in the United States. She has expertise in risk assessments and crisis intervention, as well as working with youth experiencing significant psychological distress. Dr. Sopchak is passionate about serving children and adolescents and improving their mental health care system. Dr. Sopchak received her bachelor of arts in psychology from University of Houston-Clear Lake, master of arts in clinical psychology from University of Houston-Clear Lake, and doctorate in counseling psychology from University of Houston.

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Mariah is a fourth-year counseling psychology doctoral student at Texas A&M University. She obtained her bachelor's degree from East Tennessee State University in 2017 and her master's degree from Texas A&M University in 2018. Mariah has experience working with clients experiencing depression, anxiety, and behavioral concerns as well as trauma-related disorders, self-harm, and suicidality. Mariah’s approach to therapy is trauma-informed and collaborative. She focuses on empowering her clients to identify and utilize existing strengths as well as build new coping skills to aid in managing distress. She works from a Cognitive Behavioral framework and utilizes techniques from a wide range of evidence-based treatments to provide her clients with the best possible care. Mariah’s research is focused on the medical resident education and recognition of trauma disorders in primary care settings.

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Aileen Terrazas is a first year PhD student in the Counseling Psychology program at Texas A&M University. Aileen works as a graduate assistant as part of the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine program where she provides Telehealth counseling services in English and Spanish to children and adolescents in schools. Growing up in a border town and having worked with immigration shelters, Aileen's interests include working with underserved communities, researching issues affecting immigrant children, adolescents and their families, as well as issues concerning the LGBT+ population within the latino/hispanic community. Aileen enjoys working with individuals from various cultural backgrounds and strives to provide a multicultural and bilingual approach to counseling.

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Ms. Melissa Carrasco is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been a lifelong resident of El Paso, Texas. She has experience in working with the Geriatric Community, Adults, Children and Adolescents in many areas, including Autistic/Sensory Integration. She has worked in Private Practice, and both inpatient and outpatient environments at the El Paso Psychiatric Center and Atlantis Health Services, respectively. Ms. Carrasco is currently on her sixth year as a volunteer with Ysleta School District and most recently joined the Texas Tech Health Science Center at El Paso to work with Children and Adolescents as part of the TCHATT program.

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Dr. Cecilia De Vargas is an associate professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Currently, Dr. De Vargas is the program director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship and dedicates most of her professional hours to supervision of fellows, residents, and medical students at the inpatient, outpatient, and community rotations. She also participates in the Child Psychiatric Access Network (CPAN), providing consultation to pediatricians and other primary care professionals on assessing, diagnosing, and treating children and adolescents with mental health comorbidities. Dr. De Vargas received her medical education at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, followed by training in General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry when she moved to the USA. Dr. De Vargas has Board Certification in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has been with the department for over twenty years. Dr. de Vargas’ main professional interests include medical and mental health effects of childhood trauma experiences and resilience in pediatric psychiatric groups, mental health problems in unaccompanied minors who migrate to the US, innovative ways to treat children and adolescents with resistant depression and risk for suicide, and evidence- based interventions in children who have been traumatized, among other things. She is passionate about disseminating a trauma-informed care and practice to all trainees to promote a safe, stigma-free, compassionate and collaborative method of caring for the children, adolescents and their families.

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Hanna Garza is the Senior Mental Health Clinician at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso). She earned a Master's of Science in Mental Health Counseling, and a Master's of Science in Psychology from Walden University. Mrs. Garza is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Trauma Therapist, and a Certified Anger Management Facilitator. Prior to coming to work for TTUHSC El Paso, Mrs. Garza worked for the El Paso Psychiatric Center as a Mental Health Clinician.

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Dr. Sarah Lynette Martin has been diligent in building a varied and fulfilling professional career. She began her journey at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she completed her bachelor’s degree. Soon after graduating, she served as a Community Services Specialist in the Peace Corps for two years. Upon her return from the Peace Corps, Dr. Martin was awarded a Health Professions Scholarship by the United States Army to attend Tulane School of Medicine and subsequently completed her residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Martin went on to complete a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry prior to transferring to Ft. Knox, where she served as the Chief of Behavioral Health for four years and successfully deployed to Camp Bucca, a detainee facility in Iraq. Dr. Martin completed her military service at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas but went on to serve for two years in a civilian role as the Chief of the Child and Family Behavioral Health Service. Dr. Martin currently serves the community of El Paso through her involvement with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, both as an assistant professor and as the Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. More recently, Dr. Martin is developing the El Paso Hub of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium through her role as medical director. In her role, Dr. Martin is actively working to improve behavioral health access for children and adolescents, and is reshaping the availability of resources for our current and future primary care providers and child and adolescent psychiatrists through several initiatives spanning 16 counties in Southwest Texas.

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Dr. Eden Hernandez Robles serves as the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) Program Director at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. Dr. Robles has extensive experience in social work, with training on qualitative research methods, health services and service user evaluations, and qualitative data analysis. As a research associate on several university and NIH-funded grants, she has laid the groundwork for the proposed research grant by investigating the social, cultural, and other psychosocial factors relevant to Latinos on the US/Mexico Border. Dr. Robles currently serves as the co-convener for the Paso del Norte Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC) in El Paso. As co-convener, she has helped lead the strategic vision of the ROSC through professional guidance and mentorship. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Recovery Alliance, Inc. in El Paso.

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Dr. Baughn joined UTMB psychiatry faculty as an Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2022. She earned her medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and she completed both general psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at UTMB. Dr. Baughn previously practiced inpatient adult psychiatry and telepsychiatry serving both children and adults. Dr. Baughn educates both medical students, psychiatry residents and child psychiatry fellows.

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Dr. Danielle Busby is a clinical psychologist who joined UTMB Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 2022. She completed her predoctoral with a specialization in child trauma at Duke’s Medical Center, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Michigan Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry. She is passionate about decreasing barriers to mental health services use for underserved patient populations and is committed to continuously bridging the gap between research and clinical practice.

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Dr. Melissa DeFilippis was born and raised in Abilene, Texas and completed her undergraduate training at Hardin-Simmons University, with a B.S. in Biology and Biochemistry. She completed all her medical training in the UT System, first in Houston for medical school, then at UTMB in Galveston for her general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry training. She developed her love of teaching during her years in residency and fellowship training and enthusiastically accepted a faculty position in UTMB's Department of Psychiatry, in the Child and Adolescent division. During her time as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, she has been very involved in providing care to underserved children and adolescents both in North Texas and in Corpus Christi via telepsychiatry community mental health clinics. She provided supervision of telepsychiatry services to youth in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department system. She provides supervision of child and adolescent psychiatry fellows in their outpatient psychiatry clinics along with providing outpatient care to her own private patients. She directs and supervises the Developmental Disorders clinic, assessing and treating patients with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders. She is currently serving as the Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division.

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Dr. Dodd is a child clinical psychologist who joined the UTMB Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 2020. He completed a predoctoral internship at the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health and a postdoctoral fellowship in childhood traumatic stress and grief at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital. He is excited to participate in the TCHATT program and looks forward to serving youth and families across the state.

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Dr. Lisa Falls is a native of Houston, Texas. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Texas in Austin. She is a graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where she received her medical degree. After deciding on a career path in psychiatry, she completed her general psychiatry residency at Alton Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans, LA. The final step in her formal training included a Child Psychiatry Fellowship at UTMB Galveston, where she also served as Chief Resident during the last year of her training. Dr. Falls has long had a passion to serve the underserved. So after residency, she worked for Burke Center MHMR of East Texas for the next 8 years. She saw both children and adults with a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Her time in East Texas was followed by another clinical position at Waco Family Health Center. Again, there was a great need in the Waco area. She has been active in both the East Texas and Waco communities by giving lectures to the community to educate about and decrease the stigma of mental health.

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Dr. E’leyna Garcia is a Licensed Psychologist and Assistant Professor who joined the UTMB Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 2022. Dr. Garcia received her doctorate in clinical child psychology from Howard University in Washington, DC. She completed her pre-doctoral internship, with a child trauma specialization, at the University of California. She is dedicated to improving access to mental health care for underserved youth and families.

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Dr. Gushanas is a clinical health psychologist who joined the UTMB Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 2020. She completed her predoctoral internship in Pediatric Integrated Behavioral Health at Dell Children’s Medical Center and a Postdoctoral fellowship in childhood traumatic stress and grief at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital. She is excited to participate in the TCHATT program and looks forward to supporting youth, families, and providers across the state.

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Dr. Kirk is a child clinical psychologist who joined the UTMB Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 2021. She completed a predoctoral internship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, and a postdoctoral fellowship in childhood traumatic stress and grief at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital. She is dedicated to increasing access to high quality mental health care for children and families across the state of Texas and is looking forward to providing services through the TCHATT program.

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Dr. Lobel specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry, with a particular focus on development. She completed her medical degree at New York University School of Medicine and her general psychiatry residency at North Shore LIJ Zucker Hillside Hospital. She also completed a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. She is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Lobel takes a collaborative approach and strives to help patients and families make decisions on treatment.

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Mr. Sheffield joined the UTMB psychiatry department as a Licensed Professional Counselor in 2021. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the Texas State University in 2010 and went on to achieve a Master of Science in Counseling for the University of Houston- Clear Lake in 2013. He has experience delivering an electric application of Cognitive Behavior and Solution- Focused Therapies.

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Dr. Shotwell joined the UTMB psychiatry faculty in 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He received his medical degree from UTMB and completed both his general psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship training at UTMB. Dr. Shotwell provides care to children in a variety of clinical settings including UTMB outpatient clinics, schoolbased clinics, and hospital consultations. His primary role at UTMB is leading the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) program delivering telemedicine services to Texas youth in the school setting. He is excited to provide mental health services to Texas youth.

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Ms. Teschendorf obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wichita State University in 2012 and went on to achieve a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 2022. Through UHCL, she gained experience in career and crisis counseling through graduate internships. She is a member of the Texas Counselors Association and American Counseling Association. She acquired certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in 2022 and is a certified Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) facilitator, a school-based program where students learn and explore the topic of Mental Health. Ms. Teschendorf is supervised by Mr. Steven Sheffield M.S., LPC-S.

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Dr. Trinh competed her general psychiatry residency training at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport and her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at UTMB. She joined the UTMB psychiatry department as an assistant professor in 2019. She is dedicated to children’s mental health and is excited for the opportunity to help students through TCHATT!