The University of Texas System

Meet the Teams

Name

Title

Program(s)

Katherine Bahcall

Katherine graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and master’s degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Katherine is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has experience counseling children, adolescents, and families in a variety of settings. Prior to joining Children’s Health, she worked with specialization in counseling at-risk teens and worked with students with disabilities. Katherine provides evidence-based counseling and case management for addressing concerns, developing tools to overcome challenges, and fostering healthy relationships. Katherine is passionate about child and adolescent mental health and enjoys helping youth and families.

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.

Sabrina Browne

Dr. Browne received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Boston University before earning her medical degree from the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston. She completed both her residency in General Psychiatry and fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She received additional psychotherapy training from the Dallas Psychoanalytic Center and uses the different facets of her training to come to a better understanding of her patients and the challenges they face. She enjoys working with children and adolescents and believes in working collaboratively with families.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Name

Title

Program(s)

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.

Anna J. Blum, Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) completed her education at The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Anna previously served as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Social Work Intern providing brief trauma and grief focused support to families and caregivers. Anna is trained in Unified Protocol for Children and Adolescents and utilizes techniques from Motivational Interviewing, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Compassion-Focused Therapy in her clinical practice. Anna takes a holistic and person-centered approach to mental health care by collaboratively engaging with individuals and their families to create lifestyle choices that support both their mind and body.

Tracey Blumrosen

Tracey has a B.A in Psychology and received her Master’s 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.

Victoria Bryant

Victoria Bryant is a mental health social worker on the CPAN and TCHATT teams where she works with children and families to process and develop skills to handle life’s stressors. She has worked with a number of populations including chronically homeless, medically complex, incarcerated, children and families. Victoria has held leadership positions within the private and public sectors of social work including non-profit organizations, hospitals, and large state agencies. She has used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, psychotherapy, crisis intervention and a values-based approach in individual and group formats to address a wide variety of mental health concerns. Victoria has co-authored a journal article published in The Journal of Public Health. She looks for opportunities to contribute to the field of social work through volunteer activities. Victoria holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work. She is married with three children.

Karissa is an experienced Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has nearly 15 years of experience working with individuals, children, and families across various social service settings. Karissa has worked with child and family agencies, family and school advocacy programs, youth corrections, community mental health rehabilitation, mental health crisis intervention and pediatric social support for both inpatient and outpatient specialty care. She has extensive knowledge and skills in using various treatment modalities including but not limited to cognitive behavior therapy, solution focused, motivational interviewing, psychoeducation, behavior modification and mindfulness. She specializes in treating individuals with anxiety, depression, grief/loss (including terminal illness in children 0-18), family issues, stress management, life/school transitions and more.

Dr. Goetz is an Assistant Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Florida State University and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She completed her pre-doctoral psychology internship at Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine followed by post-doctoral fellowships at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center. Dr. Goetz has a passion for helping children, adolescents, and their families improve their day-to-day functioning and overall quality of life, and she has a special interest in improving access to behavioral health services.

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Andrew G Guzick, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow and incoming Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Florida in 2020 with a focus on Clinical Child/Pediatric Psychology.

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.

Christina Jack

Christina completed her education at the University of Texas at San Antonio and is a Licensed Professional Counseling Intern. In addition to counseling, she has held positions as a case manager and behavior technician. She has experience working with various populations including children with disabilities, individuals with severe mental illness, and families. Christina is trained in many therapeutic methods including SFT (solution focused therapy), CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) and seeks to employ principles of integrative behavioral healthcare in her practice.

Katy Dimple Manning

Katy earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has experience providing therapy in the behavioral healthcare hospital, nonprofit, and private practice settings. She has a strong background providing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and trauma-informed therapy and has received significant training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. In addition to her professional experience, Katy has familial, peer, and personal experience with mental health disorders, and is committed to fighting the stigma surrounding mental health and raising mental health awareness.

Cindy received her Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California. She has 7 years of case management experience in the social work field. She has worked with adults and adolescents in inpatient group therapy as well as individualized therapy via private practice. Cindy’s therapeutic modalities include Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Unified Protocol Adolescents. She is always open to learning something new that will enhance her clinical skills to provide better care for her clients/patients.

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.

Rachel Norrell-Layne

Rachel received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Texas at Austin in 2014 and her Master of Education in Counseling from University of Houston in 2018. She has provided individual and group therapy to university students on a wide range of presenting concerns, as well as with survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Rachel practices from a humanistic and feminist standpoint and utilizes techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy when needed to assist clients in recognizing and utilizing their strengths and accomplishing their goals.

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.

Victoria Reyes Calderon

Victoria has a passion to help others live their best life possible. She doesn’t believe in using a set modality of therapy, but rather catering to the individual needs of each person. She draws from a variety of modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help challenge unhelpful thought patterns that impact the way that we feel and behave. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a number of years of experience in the mental health field. Victoria received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Houston - Main Campus. She has an extensive background working with both children and adults in areas of trauma/abuse, grief, domestic violence, chronic/illness, and end of life.

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.

Name

Title

Program(s)

Cynthia Garza

Dr. Cynthia Garza is an assistant professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry at UTRGV. She is a clinical psychologist and serves as a behavioral health consultant for the UTHealth Laguna Vista primary care clinic, Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine program and as a research co-principle investigator for the UTRGV Texas Child Health Care Consortium research projects on child trauma, depression and suicide. Dr. Garza trained at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and received her master’s in Experimental Psychology at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Throughout her clinical training, she saw patients of all ages in primary care, community mental health, college counseling, emergency response and inpatient settings. She did her clinical internship at Norton Sound Health Corporation, where she also completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Primary Care Behavioral Health.

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.

Melissa Mendoza

Melissa Mendoza is board certified in Professional Counseling by the Texas State Board of Professional Counseling. She graduated with a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley in 2017. Melissa has been providing counseling services to children, adolescents, and adults since 2019. Currently she is a behavioral health consultant under The Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium (TCMHCC) at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine’s psychiatry department. She provides behavioral health consultant services for Child Psychiatric Access Network (CPAN).

Sason Tavakoli-Sabour

Dr. Sason Tavakoli-Sabour is board eligible in general psychiatry. He graduated from The University of North Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM). Dr. Tavakoli-Sabour completed 4 years of general psychiatry residency training at The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston. He also has experience working in private inpatient settings as well as with the local mental health authority in the Galveston county region prior to arriving at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians. Dr. Tavakoli-Sabour joins UTRGV as an assistance professor in the UTRGV School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry.

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Title

Program(s)

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

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.

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Tina graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1990. While raising two daughters she obtained her BA in Psychology in 2010, followed by receiving both her MA in Counseling for Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in 2018 from Le Tourneau University in Longview, Texas. She currently works as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Certified Anger Resolution Therapist. Her experience includes working with adults and adolescents focusing on substance use and managing co-occurring disorders. While in college she was a member of PsyChi the National Honor Society for Psychology Students. In 2019 she presented at the Texas Association of Addictions Professionals yearly conference. Tina is a member of many other professional organizations. Tina is working with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler on the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine program. Tina brings creativity, entertainment, engagement, and fun to her sessions.

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.

Wylie Martin

Wylie Martin was born in Dallas but considers himself a native of East Texas after moving here at age nine. Wylie attended Texas A&M University Commerce for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He has been in the mental health field for over 20 years and has held professional licensure for the past 12 years as an LPC-S. His areas of interest include working with children, couples, and families with a wide range of difficulties. Wylie has served as the Director of Crisis Services for a local mental health authority in East Texas during the crisis redesign in Texas between 2008-2010, worked in private practice for several years and has been a team lead for a counseling center in Sulphur Springs. He has prior work in residential treatment centers that served girls ages 5-14 and counseling for a women’s shelter in Northeast Texas.

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Janet is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 15 years of experience in behavioral health. Besides her work with adults, her experience includes working with children and adolescents in a variety of settings at varying levels of care within behavioral health. Janet’s primary theoretical approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) supported by a Person-Centered orientation. Janet enjoys working with youth in providing support with the changes and obstacles they may experience as they grow. Her experiences include supporting children with concerns such as depression, anxiety, trauma, truancy, bullying, attention/concentration concerns and life transitions.

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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.

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.

Neftali Cervantes, LCSW, LCDC graduated with her Master’s Degree from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She is bilingual (English/Spanish) and specializes in providing behavioral health and substance abuse counseling to children, adults and families. She has worked in various mental health, and substance abuse agencies in the Houston area and spent over six years conducting adoption and child custody evaluations. Expertise include assessments, parent management training, case management, individual and group counseling. She is passionate about helping children achieve their full potential and helping families cope with challenges in relationships and mental health.

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.

Elizabeth Newlin

Elizabeth Newlin, MD, is associate professor and vice chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She provides both inpatient and outpatient services, serving as Chief of Child and Adolescent Services at UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center (HCPC) and leading the UT Physicians Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic. Newlin earned her degree in medicine and completed an adult psychiatry residency as well as a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at The Medical University of South Carolina. She is trained in evidence-based therapeutic interventions, including mentalization based treatment (MBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and experienced in developing and directing therapeutic programs. Prior to joining the department in 2016, she spent six years with Baylor College of Medicine, where she served as Program and Medical Director of the Adolescent Treatment Program (ATP) at The Menninger Clinic.

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.

Segundo Robert-Ibarra

Segundo Robert-Ibarra, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He provides outpatient services to children and adolescents at the Trauma and Resilience Clinic and at the UT Physicians Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic in the Texas Medical Center. Robert-Ibarra has expertise in the comprehensive assessment and treatment of severe mental health conditions, including personality disorders, psychotic disorder, mood disorders, and trauma. He has particular interests in how developmental science can help us understand and communicate therapeutically with children, adolescents, and their families, who are struggling with severe mental health disorders. He is board certified in both adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Robert-Ibarra received his medical degree from the Universidad Nacional de Asuncion, Facultad de Ciencias Medicas in Paraguay and completed his adult psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine.

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.

Jennifer Yen, M.D., F.A.A.C.A.P. is a board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist practicing in Houston, Texas. She graduated medical school from University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and went on to complete her general psychiatry residency there. She then attended Baylor College of Medicine for her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship. Since then, Dr. Yen has been active in private practice, community psychiatry, and academic medicine. She is on the editorial board for Clinical Psychiatry News, and has authored multiple academic publications and presented at both the local and national level.

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Program(s)

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 holds a Master of Arts in Counseling focusing on Mental Health Counseling from Harding School of Theology. Lonn is a Licensed Professional Counselor through the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. He has worked in the mental health field for the past 8 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 desire to work with people living with mental health issues in underserved, rural West Texas communities and is excited about how CATR: Supported by TCHATT is working to meet those needs.

Anthony Brister

Anthony has been providing mental health services for over 6 years in a variety of settings; hospital, criminal justice, private practice, university and non-profit. Currently, he divides his time between serving as president of the High Plains Counselor’s Association (HPCA), working with Texas Tech University Health Science Center (TTUHSC), and Private Practice. Working with TTUHSC has afforded him the opportunity to serve rural community schools by conducting psychological evaluations and collaborating with TTUHSC Psychiatry Department in helping students and their families acquire psychiatric care. In his clinical practice, he delivers cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based treatments to adult and adolescent clients with a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and adjustment problems, such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems.

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 a relational approach along with cognitive-behavioral perspectives as well as eclectic interventions based on what will best help achieve someone's goals. Fun fact: If I wasn’t a counselor, my occupation would become full-time craft maker and dessert baker.

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.

Racheal Eckert

Racheal is a member of the CPAN team and offices on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Abilene campus. She earned her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Abilene Christian University in 2019. Prior to CPAN, she worked at the Neuropsychology Clinic for 2 years where she administered psychoneurological assessments and helped clients with psychotherapeutic interventions. Her passion to see an increase in mental health healing drives her to pursue a career in the mental health field. When she is not working for CPAN, Racheal sees clients at Abilene Family Therapy, exercises and most likely is out trying something new. Whether she is testing out an unfamiliar restaurant, or an altogether new experience, she is always trying to challenge herself in new ways to keep in mind the novelty of the things she asks her clients to do to benefit their mental health journey.

Margarita Gamboa

Margarita Gamboa is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate 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 CATR: Supported by TCHATT, she is able to use her calling by collaborating with her peers to provide the best possible care for her clients.

O.G. is an LPC Associate with an extensive background in intensive outpatient counseling services. As a United States Air Force Veteran, she applies her global experiences to celebrate and honor cultural differences within the therapeutic relationship. Her evidenced base, clinical training, and strengths, stem from illness, management, and recovery, co-occurring psychiatric and substance use, Trust-Based Relational Interventions utilizing proprioceptive and vestibular systems strategies, Wrap-around services to provide an ecological approach to therapy, and currently pursuing her Registered Play therapy credentials. O.G. is passionate about working with children, teens, and their families. She understands the importance of family values and cultural strengths. As she continues to pursue her RPT, she cultivates and expands on the healing power of a strong therapeutic connection. One that thrives on safety, trustworthiness, and offers support through collaboration. She is dedicated to empowering her clients as they learn to cultivate skills towards healing, and learn how to advocate for themselves.

Corynn Hazard

Corynn is an LPC Associate for 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.

Demi Lorey

Demi Lorey is an LPC Associate who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Lubbock Christian University and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Abilene Christian University. Demi has worked with children and adolescents in various environments as a mental health professional as well as in a ministry setting. In her free time, Demi enjoys traveling with her fiancé and going to CrossFit classes.

Amy McWhorter

Amy holds a Master of Education in Educational Psychology focusing on Community Counseling from Texas Tech University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor through the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors and has worked in the mental health field for the past 23 years. She is passionate about working with children in rural West Texas. Amy has spent many years working with local mental health authorities and schools.

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.

Sommer O'Brien

Sommer is a member of the CATR: Supported by TCHATT team at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She graduated with her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lubbock Christian University in 2018. Sommer has always valued mental health and hopes to see a continued increase in accessibility to and use of mental health care. She enjoys providing access to mental health care to students across rural West Texas. Outside of the office, you will find her gardening, baking, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.

JoAnn Rey

JoAnn is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 17 years of experience working in the mental health field. She earned a Master of Arts in Counseling degree from Wayland Baptist University in 2007. She taught General Psychology and Lifespan Development as an adjunct instructor for South Plains College for 12 years and she is a member of the Board of Trustees for Plainview ISD. She has been married to Rigo Rey for 19 years and they live in Plainview where Rigo works as an Art teacher. Before joining the CPAN team at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, she worked full time at her private counseling practice, which she still does part time. She strives to never stop learning and enjoys new experiences which foster growth both personally and professionally. She enjoys traveling, gardening and spending time with family and friends.

Christy Salgado

Christy holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas Tech University and a Master of Science in Counseling from Lubbock Christian University. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor through the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. She has worked in the mental health field for four years in a variety of settings from correctional facilities to schools. Christy is passionate about serving the underserved and is excited for the ways CATR: Supported by TCHATT is doing just that.

Karina Valle

Karina Valle has over 15 years of experience in the field of behavioral health services working with diverse populations and with individuals of all ages. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has worked in private practice for the past nine years. She has worked with community health clinics, school settings and youth and family programs. Karina specializes in treatment of trauma and has been trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), sand tray and play therapy. She has experience working with individuals with moderate to severe mental health conditions and complex traumas. She has worked with children from ages three and above and has clinical experience with treating depression, anxiety, grief and loss, adjustment issues, mood disorders and trauma disorders. She uses a Generalist clinical approach. She completed her Masters in Clinical Social Work from California State University of Bakersfield in 2005 and obtained her undergraduate studies in Education and Social Work from Lubbock Christian University.

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.

Link Blevins

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 the past ten years helping university students with mental health needs. For the past nine years Link has been an active member of the Lubbock Police Department’s Victim Services Crisis Team, assisting victims and their families and helping connect them to needed resources. 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 CATR project.

Name

Title

Program(s)

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.

Terry Edwards, Jr.

Terry Edwards, Jr., LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. He is also a part of UT Health Austin’s Integrated Behavioral Health team. He specializes in enhancing the well-being and function of children and family through engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation. Additionally, Terry Edwards is a pediatric licensed counselor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Terry Edwards earned both his master’s in clinical social work with a clinical concentration in children and families and his bachelor’s in criminology and psychology with an emphasis on emotional and motivational factors in maladaptive behavior from The Ohio State University. He has training in non-violent crisis intervention as well as various therapeutic modalities, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and solution-focused brief therapy.

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.

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.

Roshni Koli

Roshni Koli, MD, is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s and serves as the Medical Director for Pediatric Mental Health Services for Dell Children’s Medical Center. She specializes in primary care collaboration, treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, neuropsychiatry, and reproductive psychiatry. Additionally, Dr. Koli is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Koli earned her medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. She completed both an internship and residency in general psychiatry at The University of Illinois at Chicago. She completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Lurie Children’s Hospital/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a second fellowship in psychoanalysis at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute. Dr. Koli previously served as the Medical Director and Section Chief for Kapiolani Behavioral Health Services at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and as an assistant professor in the John A. Burns School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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.

Sarah Schoffstall

Sarah Schoffstall, PhD, is a licensed child and adolescent psychologist in UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. She specializes in working with patients who are deaf and head of hearing. Additionally, Dr. Schoffstall is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Schoffstall earned her doctorate in school psychology and her master’s in educational psychology, both focusing on child clinical psychology and serving deaf and hard of hearing communities, from The University of Texas at Austin as well as her bachelor ’s in psychology from Duke University. She completed an internship in psychology at Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living/Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where she received intensive training in acute psychiatric and pediatric mental health services through rotations in the child/adolescent inpatient unit, on-campus therapeutic school, and the pediatric consultation liaison service, and a fellowship in psychology at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, where she received specialized training in comprehensive evaluation and consultation services for deaf patients.

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.

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.

Hani Talebi

Hani Talebi, Ph.D., LSSP, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a courtesy assistant professor in The University of Texas at Austin Department of Educational Psychology. Talebi is also the director of pediatric psychology, a licensed pediatric psychologist and licensed specialist in school psychology at UT Health Austin Pediatric Psychiatry at Dell Children’s. With more than 20 years of experience, Talebi specializes in consultation-liaison psychology, parent management training and brief evidence-based interventions for children who are medically fragile. Talebi earned his combined doctorate in clinical, counseling and school psychology with a specialization in clinical child and adolescent psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his bachelor’s in cognitive science with a focus on infant cognition and evidence-based treatment of externalizing behavior disorders from the University of California, Irvine.

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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Aaron is an LPC-Associate and has been counseling individuals, couples, and families since 2017. He likes to say that “I work with patients as young as 3 years old all the way to 103 years old!” Aaron specializes in trauma focused care, substance use and addictive disorders, personality disorders, and self-esteem/self-confidence issues. He does so by using a combination of narrative and DBT therapy. And for the younger patients, he utilizes play therapy modalities! Aaron works with his patients as team to set goals and tackle each issue that is brought to the session.

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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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Christina has been licensed in the State of Texas as a Professional Counselor for 10 years and has been a board approved Supervisor since 2015. She has experience providing mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings to include non-profit and state organizations. Her therapeutic techniques include Person-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy informed, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and Expressive Therapies.

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Elizabeth has been an LPC since 1999. She has over twenty years of experience working with clients from a variety of backgrounds, including experience with victims of domestic violence, parenting issues, self-harm, unhealthy coping skills and other mental health disorders. Her goal is to create a safe, confidential and empathic environment for healing. Elizabeth utilizes an integrated approach, using a variety of theories and techniques to establish a realistic goal for effective change.

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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.

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Jasmine has been an LPC since 2019. She has worked with children, adolescents and young adults in non-profit, education and private practice settings. Jasmine practices from a Solution-Focused Brief Therapy approach and incorporate overall wellness.

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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. 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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Kasa graduated from Vanderbilt School of Nursing in 2020. She has experience in treating individuals across the lifespan with a wide variety of psychiatric and substance use conditions. Kasa is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

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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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Merrik graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Master’s degree specializing in clinical mental health counselling and child development. She is an LPC-A and has experience working with children and adolescents along with their families by providing support and therapeutic intervention for ADHD, behavior disorders, trauma, tic/OCD-related disorders, anxiety, and depression.

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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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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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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.

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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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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.

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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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.

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Dr. Allison is a board certified general psychiatrist and fellowship trained in child and adolescent psychiatry. 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.

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Tisha Calhoun is the TCHATT 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. Laura is from Cali, Colombia and is Bilingual. Laura graduated from UT Arlington with her Bachelors and Masters in Social Work. Laura is a Licensed Master Social Worker, Working to complete her supervision hours for her LCSW. Laura Began working in Inpatient and outpatient behavioral health in 2017. Laura has a passion and experience working with Children and Adolescents in behavioral health setting and as a case manager working with pregnant teenagers. Laura’s specialty is CBT Therapy and Motivational therapy. Laura is passionate and empathetic in her role and loves to help those in need.

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Kalli is a TCHATT Therapist 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. Kalli is a Licensed Master Social Worker and is currently working on her LCSW license. 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 is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and currently in supervision to obtain her Licensed Clinical Social Worker status (LCSW). Annette has been a practicing social worker for the past 6 years. Annette began working in international adoption at a local adoption center and continued her career as a school social worker for at-risk adolescents and families. For the past 3 years she worked with adolescents and adults at a behavioral health hospital providing inpatient group therapy, assessments and crisis calls. Annette empowers youth and families to achieve success and self-efficacy by utilizing CBT, TBRI and person-centered approaches. She is passionate about her role and enjoys helping people understand their strengths and potential.

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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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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 a TCHATT Therapist 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. Makenzie 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. Makenzie has specialized in working with adolescents and has experience with child play therapy. Makenzie utilizes CBT skills and emphasizes a person-centered approach to help young people grow in coping and self.

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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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Lisa is a Child Psychiatry Resource Specialist for the CPAN program. Lisa graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2018 with her Master in Social Work; with a concentration in mental health and substance use. Lisa has over 10 years of experience utilizing the Patient- Centered Care Model. Her career began in 2013; in which she fostered an eclectic approach in serving pediatrics, adolescents, individuals and families. Her specializations are crisis intervention, individualized therapeutic, psychosocial support, and resource management.

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Jill Pollard is a Child Psychiatric Resource Specialist for the CPAN program. 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.

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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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Suisan is Child Psychiatric Recourse Specialist for the CPAN (Child Psychiatry Access Network) program. Suisan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Texas Tech University and her Master of Social Work from Texas A&M Commerce. She is Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Texas. Suisan started her career with Child Protective Services for over 5 years before moving to Behavioral Health in 2013. Suisan has worked inpatient and outpatient Behavioral Health at JPS. For two years Suisan worked at Mesa Springs as the supervisor in the intake department. Suisan has been in private practice for 2 years working with adolescents and young adults. She has worked with a multidisciplinary team throughout her career servicing children and adolescents in the community. She is trained in trauma focused CBT, EMDR trained and has provided cross cultural trauma informed care trainings.

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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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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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Amanda Kapchinski is a Licensed Professional Counselor for Telebehavioral Care and a counselor for the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) program. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2012 from Texas A&M University and a Masters of Arts in Professional Counseling from Texas State University in 2015. Amanda believes adverse experience and chronic symptoms can over time create coping strategies that perhaps worked when originally formed but have become stuck and unhelpful in the present. Amanda works with clients to form trust and mutual respect—a foundation on which these old ways of being can be discarded and new, more adaptive, ways can be safely practiced and integrated. Amanda uses a trauma informed framework in her work with clients, balancing evidence-based strategies with a warm and caring approach. Amanda has experience with an array of client concern across multiple settings, including long-term residential treatment, private practice, and school based services; Amanda is excited to bring her years of experience in providing counseling to children and adolescents to the TCHATT program.

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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 provides psychological services to youth and families with histories of trauma exposure and loss, and contributes to research on cutting-edge services developed specifically for this population. He has a particular interest in identifying basic processes and practices that improve outcomes associated with psychological assessment and treatment. His most recent research has examined how different types of assessment data can be used to improve the accuracy of clinical judgments made during the psychological assessment process.

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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. Gushanas is a licensed psychologist, clinical researcher, and educator specializing in clinical child, pediatric, and integrated health psychology. She received her PhD from the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, School Psychology with a Pediatric/Child Clinical Specialization. Previously, Dr. Gushanas was a licensed professional counselor with an MA in Clinical Psychology. She has an extensive background utilizing mindfulness- and evidence-based treatments for adult anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and suicidality.

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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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Dr. Shotwell joined the psychiatry faculty at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in 2018. 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 at the Shriner's Hospital for Children in Galveston where he provides psychiatric services to children who have suffered burn injuries. Dr. Shotwell provides school based psychiatric services at the Teen Clinic located in Ball High School in Galveston. In addition, Dr. Shotwell also provides school based psychiatric services via telepsychiatry to underserved areas of Texas. Dr. Shotwell is active in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) as well as the Texas Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (TSCAP). Dr. Shotwell served as an alternate delegate to the AACAP on behalf of TSCAP in 2018. Dr. Shotwell is interested in the use of animal-assisted interventions for the treatment of childhood psychiatric disorders. Dr. Shotwell enjoys participating in medical student education.

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Dr. Angeline Trinh is a graduate of Ross University School of Medicine. She has advanced training from the Psychiatry General Residency at Louisiana State Health Science Center in Shreveport, LA followed by the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at UTMB. Her clinical interests include Psychiatry.