Our Team

Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy

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Judith A. Cook PhD

  • Professor of Psychiatry
  • Director, Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy
Dr. Cook is an internationally recognized authority on mental health services research, specifically the study of clinical and rehabilitation outcomes of children and adults receiving community-based care. She directs a federally funded research center along with numerous grants focused on intervention science and psychiatric epidemiology. She designs and implements innovative programs to enhance health and behavioral health of vulnerable populations.

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Lisa A. Razzano PhD, CPRP

  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UIC Department of Psychiatry
  • Deputy Director, Center on Mental Health Services Research & Policy
  • Director of Graduate Studies, UIC College of Medicine
  • Director of Research, Thresholds
Lisa A. Razzano, PhD, CPRP is a tenured Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Deputy Director of the Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and Director for the James Scholar Program at the UIC College of Medicine. Dr. Razzano is recognized internationally for her funded research and workforce development programs focusing on mental health recovery, physical health co-morbidities, mental health aspects of HIV/AIDS, and community intervention and services research.

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Jessica A. Jonikas MA

  • Associate Director, Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy
Ms. Jonikas is co-investigator or program director on multiple projects to promote self-determination, recovery, and wellness among adults living with mental illnesses. For over two decades, she has been influential in preparing and mentoring the behavioral health workforce, with a special focus on research translation in public mental health settings.

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Frances Aranda PhD, MPH, MS

  • Senior Research Specialist
  • College of Medicine; Department of Psychiatry
Frances Aranda, PhD, MPH, MS, completed her PhD in Public Health (Community Health Sciences) in 2010. She has two master’s degrees (in Human Service Administration and in Public Health [gerontology concentration]) and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in 2013, which was funded through a Diversity Supplement by NIH-National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the University of Illinois, College of Nursing. She has a broad range of research experience gained over 23 years of working in a university and healthcare setting.

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Kelsey Arnold

  • Student Volunteer Researcher

Kelsey Arnold is currently a UIC graduate student in the social work and public health joint degree program. She is specializing in epidemiology and organization and community practice. She has previously done research in the relationship between incarceration and food insecurity as well as disability inclusion in health education programming.

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Runa Bhaumik PhD

  • Research Assistant Professor
Dr. Bhaumik is a research assistant professor at Biostatistical Research Center, in the Department of Psychiatry. Her research focuses on Longitudinal Data Analysis, Multivariate Statistical analysis, Graph Theory and applications of Machine Learning Algorithms to Neuroscience and other fields. Before joining UIC, she was an active research member at Data Mining and Predictive Analytics (DaMPA) Center in the Department of Computer Science at DePaul University. She had several years of teaching experience in Computer Science and Data Analysis at DePaul and several other universities.

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Katherine Boss

  • Research Associate II

Katherine Boss is an epidemiologist who earned her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has worked on a number of studies for the Center involving populations with serious mental illness in Chicago. She has previously experience in rural health disparities, global health, and data analysis.

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Jane Burke-Miller PhD

  • Biostatistician / Research Analyst
Dr. Burke-Miller received her degree in Public Health Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has extensive experience in all phases of the research process including study design and statistical analysis of complex longitudinal, multisite data.

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Claudia Cortez BA

  • Research Associate

Claudia Cortez received her BA in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She currently works as a Research Associate at the Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy. She has previously assisted in research at the UIC Exercise Psychology Laboratory and the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health.

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Marie M. Hamilton LCSW, MPH

  • Hourly Research Specialist
Marie Hamilton is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and Public Health. She has 25 years’ experience working in the field of mental health services. For over 15 years, she worked as a Project Manager at the University of Illinois conducting research on peer delivered mental health services, HIV and mental health issues, cultural competency, and co-occurring disabilities. Marie is currently working as a part-time research specialist.

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Sean Johnson MA, CRSS-E

  • Research Specialist / Project Coordinator
Sean is a research specialist and program coordinator for a federally-funded project bringing wellness self-management education to individuals aged 60 and older across Illinois. He previously served as an Employment Recovery Specialist with Thresholds’ SAMHSA IPS Employment Services Program, where he contributed to program development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based models delivered toward the enhancement of mental health recovery and physical wellness outcomes. He also serves as a member of the IL DHS/DMH Brand New Day CRSS Statewide Steering Committee.

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Kimberly Skinner BS

  • Business Manager, Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy
Kimberly Skinner is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day business operations of the Center, which includes the management of federal/state grants, contracts, and financial reporting. She also coordinates dissemination, training, and educational events for the Center. Ms. Skinner has over 25 years of experience working in higher education administration and research centers.

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Pamela J. Steigman MA

  • Research Specialist / Project Manager
  • Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy
Pamela Steigman has a Master’s Degree in Applied Sociology. She has worked as a Project Manager at the Center for the past 20 years. She oversees the daily conduct of the Center’s federally-funded RCTs and evaluations involving supported employment, health and wellness, and recovery among people with mental health conditions.

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Marisol Vega BS

  • Research Associate I - Social Sciences
Marisol Vega graduated with a Bachelors of Biology from Western Illinois University in May of 2016. She is currently working on finishing her Masters of Public Health with emphasis on Epidemiology. She has two years of experience working with underrepresented populations on the Southside of Chicago as well as working on NIH funded studies. 

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Emma Villarreal

  • Community Health Worker
Emma Villarreal is a Community Health Worker enrolled in the UIC School of Public Health Undergrad Program. She has over 20 years of experience working in the field of disability and diabetes. She has completed two Community Health Worker Certificate programs at Malcolm X City College and South Suburban College. For 5 years, she worked as a Community Health Worker at Mile Square Health Center and University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System Emergency Room to promote to promote access to care, increase the use of primary care, and reduce hospital readmissions. She also contributed to workforce development, cultural competency, and quality of services for patients.

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