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2012 Fellows

Rinad Beidas, Ph.D. 
Dr. Beidas is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in the department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Colgate University and a doctorate of philosophy in psychology from Temple University. Dr. Beidas’s research centers on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for youth in community settings. Dr. Beidas is particularly interested in understanding how to most effectively support therapists and organizations in the implementation of EBPs. Additionally, Dr. Beidas is interested in investigating how contextual variables such as individual (i.e., therapist attitudes), organizational (i.e., culture, climate), and systems-level (i.e., policy changes) facilitate implementation. Previous work includes an NIMH funded (F31 MH 083333) randomized controlled trial investigating the efficacy of three training modalities on therapist adherence and skill in cognitive-behavioral therapy for youth anxiety. Current work involves the development of implementation interventions to support community settings interested in implementing evidence-based practices.

Ian Bennett, MD, Ph.D. 
Dr. Bennett is a family physician and health services researcher interested in maternal child health. He focuses on perinatal depression services for vulnerable populations. He is particularly interested in enhancing depression services in primary care settings that serve low income women and their children. He plans to focus in IRI on developing an implementation study focusing on aspects of multidisciplinary team based care for depression in pregnancy and postpartum in Federally Qualified Health Care Centers that serve as the primary care medical home for low income families. Clinically, he provides prenatal and obstetric care as well as pediatric and adult well women care in FQHCs.

Gail Daumit, MD 
Dr. Gail Daumit is a practicing general internist, epidemiologist and clinical researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutions.  She is an Associate Professor with a primary appointment in the Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and joint appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and in Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, and Mental Health in the School of Public Health. She is a core faculty member in the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research and faculty in the Center for Mental Health Initiatives.
Dr. Daumit’s research program uses clinical epidemiology and health services research methods to focus on improving physical health and wellness and decreasing premature mortality in persons with serious mental illnesses.  Her research initially focused on performing NIH-funded descriptive analyses to determine and convey the burden of physical health problems in this vulnerable population.  She is now leading multidisciplinary teams to develop and evaluate promising behavioral lifestyle interventions to decrease cardiovascular risk factors in SMI.  As an IRI fellow, Dr. Daumit plans to study factors facilitating implementation and sustainability of interventions to improve physical health for persons with serious mental illness.

A. Rani Elwy, Ph.D. 
A. Rani Elwy, PhD, is a health psychologist and research scientist at the Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research at the Bedford VA Medical Center who conducts health services and implementation research in primary care and outpatient settings. Rani is also co-Implementation Research Coordinator for the VA HIV/Hepatitis QUERI (Quality Enhancement Research Initiative). She has lead several VA HSR&D funded studies exploring how patients make decisions about mental health treatment, and how these decisions are influenced by their perceptions of their illness, their relationships and their communication with their providers. In this work, Rani applies health psychology constructs and principles to real-world health care settings to answer complex questions about how patients access, and receive, high quality care. Rani’s research as part of the IRI Fellowship will explore how provider social networks in HIV and mental health settings influence the uptake of integrative therapies for the treatment of depression and PTSD among Veteran patients with HIV.

Erin P. Finley, MPH, Ph.D. 
Erin P. Finley has a PhD in medical anthropology and an MPH in behavioral science from Emory University. She is an Investigator with the Veterans Evidence-based Research Dissemination and Implementation Center (VERDICT) at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  She has previously worked in public health and preventive medicine research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Boston University Medical Center.  Her past research has examined links between trauma and physical and mental health in a variety of settings, including Guatemala and Northern Ireland, and across a variety of populations, including refugees, Veterans, and methadone and detoxification clinic patients.  Author of Fields of Combat: Understanding PTSD among Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan (Cornell University Press, 2011), her primary research interests include PTSD, the implementation of evidence-based mental health treatments for Veterans, and interventions promoting resilience for individuals and families.

Geetha Gopalan, Ph.D. 
Dr. Gopalan received her doctoral training at the Columbia University School of Social Work in 2009. Through the doctoral program, Dr. Gopalan focused on mental health service program development, implementation,and dissemination for inner-city, minority youth, and their families. Since graduation from Columbia in 2009, she has participated in two NIMH-funded intervention research training institutes, the NIH Loan Repayment Program, and has been awarded a three-year, NIMH- funded National Research Science Award Individual Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Dr. Gopalan’s interests focus on family-level interventions to improve youth mental health and reduce youth risk behavior, particularly for families with intensive service involvement and extreme psychosocial needs (such as those involved in the child welfare system).

Rochelle F. Hanson, Ph.D.   
Rochelle F. Hanson, Ph.D. is a Professor at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. Her area of research focuses on the dissemination and implementation of trauma-focused, evidence-based interventions. She is particularly interested in examining the process, effectiveness, and sustainability of implementation strategies that integrate multi-stakeholder participation as a vehicle for taking trauma-focused evidence based interventions to scale. She is also interested in examining feasible, efficient and cost effective ways to assess provider fidelity to evidence-based interventions, particularly as these relate to sustainability of implementation efforts in child welfare settings.  She has served as PI/Co-I on several related research and services grants funded by NIMH, Office for Victims of Crime, and the Duke Endowment and is currently serving as Co-Director for Project BEST, a statewide initiative with a primary aim to disseminate and implement trauma-focused, evidence based interventions for youth and their families. She served as PI for an NIMH R34 designed to examine different methods of training community-based providers in the delivery of TF-CBT with high fidelity. Throughout her career, Dr. Hanson has been extensively involved in training and mentoring activities and has continuously served as a research preceptor and clinical supervisor for predoctoral psychology interns, postdoctoral fellows and psychiatry residents.

Aaron Lyon, Ph.D. 

Aaron Lyon, Ph.D., is an Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He received his doctorate in child clinical psychology from DePaul University in Chicago and completed a NIMH-funded, individual National Research Service Award (F32) postdoctoral fellowship in mental health services research and education-sector mental health at the University of Washington. His research focuses on increasing the accessibility and effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for children, adolescents, and families, delivered within community contexts that routinely provide care to chronically-underserved populations (e.g., low-socioeconomic status [SES] and ethnic minority youth). Dr. Lyon’s recent projects have focused specifically on promoting mental health practitioner behavior change and the uptake of evidence-based practices by clinicians working in schools and community mental health clinics. He is particularly interested in (1) the identification and implementation of low-cost, high-yield practices – such as the use of standardized assessment tools for outcome monitoring – to reduce the gap between typical and optimal practice in low-resource service contexts; and (2) the development and adaptation of health-information technologies for use by school-based mental health practitioners. Dr. Lyon is currently an Investigator on a federally-funded grant to develop a brief, modular psychosocial intervention for youth experiencing a range of mental health problems in schools and Principal Investigator on a NIMH-funded Career Development Award focused on the adaptation and implementation of a computerized measurement feedback system for clinical progress monitoring in schools.

Laura Murray, Ph.D.
Dr. Murray is a clinical psychologist and an Assistant Scientist at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of International Health.  She works in the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response and focuses on global mental health. Dr. Murray is part of the Applied Mental Health Research Group that uses a validated methodology (both qualitative and quantitative) on the Design, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation of programs. This group strives to infuse evidence-based assessments, treatments and evaluations into existing programs by international aid organizations.  Dr. Murray has a specialty in evidence-based interventions for children, adolescents and families, particularly in the area of trauma and traumatic grief.  She has also developed a version of Components-Based Intervention for use in low-and middle- income countries (LMIC), specifically training lay persons.  Dr. Murray’s specific area of interest is researching the implementation processes of mental health work in low-resource countries. Some of Dr. Murray’s funded projects include: a) examining the implementation and feasibility of a trauma-focused evidence-based treatment in Zambia (NIMH K23), b) a randomized clinical trial of TF-CBT and psychosocial counseling in Zambia (NICHD, RO1), c) researching the dissemination and implementation process of mental health treatments in low-resource countries (USAID), c) implementing a components-based intervention for adult survivors of torture in both Southern Iraq and the Thailand/Burma border – both of which include a RCT (USAID), d) developing a manual for the inter-correlation of Mental Health and HIV in low-resource countries (USAID), and e) co-leading two RCTs with children in Thailand and Ethiopia (IRC). She works closely with local organizations and populations to train on treatment models, appropriately adapt them for the culture and setting, and examine training and supervision models needed for implementation and sustainability in LMIC .

Aubyn Stahmer, Ph.D. 
Aubyn Stahmer, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego and at the University of California, San Diego, and the Research Director of the Autism Discovery Institute at Rady Children’s Hospital. Her research focuses on inclusion and early intervention services in the area of autism and the translation of evidence-based practices for this population to community settings. She leads two grants examining collaborative adaptation and implementation of interventions for children with autism into community programs. This includes a four-year project funded by the Institute for Education Sciences conducting a trial of an adapted evidence-based intervention to school settings. Next steps in her research include replication of a community-based participatory research model for implementation of evidence-based intervention for young children with autism in the community and examination of factors associated with effective implementation and sustainability of quality intervention.