Our Team

ACCESS for Mental Health

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Tara G. Mehta PhD

  • Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology
  • Director of Psychology Training
Dr. Mehta is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of Psychology Training in the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  The central theme of Dr. Mehta’s work is to reduce the persistent disparities in access to mental health services for ethnic minority children and families. Dr. Mehta's work is based in an ecological public health model and she conducts community-based collaborative research focused on (1) developing culturally responsive, alternative models of mental health services for children and youth and (2) workforce development to enhance the capacity of community organizations to sustain accessible, effective services that enhance children’s and youth's well-being and promote mental health. Dr. Mehta is part of a team that has developed new mental health service models that promote children’s mental health and increase the accessibility, effectiveness, and sustainability of children’s mental health services.  Her specific interests include leveraging natural resources (teachers, staff) in settings critical to children’s development and mental health (school, after-school), activating paraprofessionals to promote and enhance services, and enhancing organizational factors that are crucial to maintain and sustain effective practices. Dr. Mehta has collaborated with multiple partners in Chicago, including the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, community mental health centers, and non-profit organizations.

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Jacqueline Moses PhD

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Jacqueline (Jackie) Moses, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Institute for Juvenile Research and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Moses earned her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles and completed her doctoral training in clinical psychology at Florida International University. She completed her predoctoral internship at the University of California, San Francisco.

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Leo Perez MS

  • Research Specialist- Social Sciences
Leo Perez is the project manager working on the Patient Navigators for Children’s Community Mental Health Services in High Poverty Urban Communities Project alongside Dr. Mehta and Dr. Atkins. Before arriving at UIC, Leo worked as a marriage and family therapist and engaged in research relevant to increasing mental health access for minority populations.

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Viviana Uribe BA

  • Research Associate
Viviana Uribe is a Research Associate in the ACCESS for Mental Health Lab where she assists on data collection for the research on Patient Navigators for Children’s Community Mental Health Services in High Poverty Urban Communities. Prior to joining the ACCESS for Mental Health team, Viviana worked as a Post- baccalaureate in the Psychology department at UIC as a Teaching Assistant for undergraduate psychology courses and a research assistant in the CHAT Lab. She also volunteered in the ART Lab. She received a BA from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she majored in Psychology and minored in Latin American and Latino Studies and Gender and Women Studies.

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Grace Cua MSW

  • Senior Research Specialist
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC
Grace Cua is a Senior Research Specialist in the Department of Psychiatry and Graduate Student in the Educational Psychology program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on service use, sustainability, and cost effectiveness of alternative models for mental health services, specifically for undeserved children and families. She also is an Adjunct Lecturer at Jane Addams College of Social Work at UIC.

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Melanie Tran BA

  • Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student
Melanie Tran is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Broadly, her research aims to reduce disparities in access to mental health services for marginalized communities and to utilize a community-based, public health approach to promote youth mental health and resilience. Her specific research interests include enhancing youth mental health and positive development in settings natural and accessible to children and families, such as schools, recreational programs, and community organizations; building capacity in youth-serving organizations and workforces to sustainably deliver effective services; and promoting mental health in ethnic minority and immigrant communities through culturally responsive practices.

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Vanessa Diaz BS, BA

  • PhD Student, Clinical Psychology Program
  • Graduate Student Affiliate, ACCESS to Mental Health Lab
  • UIC Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student
Vanessa Diaz is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at University of Illinois at Chicago. She moved to Chicago, IL from San Diego, CA, where she received her B.S. and B.A. degree from UC San Diego. She looks forward to further developing her research interest in mental health disparities among underrepresented populations, barriers to mental health access, perception of mental health. Vanessa looks forward to working and building relationships with the community through her work.

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Jessica Arias

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant
Jessica Arias is a current undergraduate student majoring in Psychology. She is also a current Research Assistant at ACCESS at UIC Department of Psychiatry; access and development to mental health services in vulnerable communities. Is a part of the Erie Neighborhood House community as a mentor for (Tutoring to Educate for Aims and Motivation) TEAM to a middle schooler. She is also a Psychology Undergraduate Research Readiness (PURR) member where she develops professional relationships with peers and graduate student mentors; she attends informational sessions to understand the different fields of research.

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Gabriela Torres

  • Volunteer Research Assistant
Gabriela Torres is a Psychology student at the University of Illinois with a minor in Anthropology. She is a research assistant at Access for Mental Health Labs. Gabriela wants to specialize in child psychology and has long term goals of having her own private practice. Gabriela is interested in history with a focus in Mesoamerican societies.

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Abena Owusu BS

  • Volunteer Research Assistant

Abena Owusu graduated with her B.S. in Psychology and Neuroscience from North Central College and has joined the ACCESS lab as a research assistant. Her interests in the field include, widening access to mental health resources and serving underrepresented and underserved populations/communities. She plans to pursue a doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

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Sungha Kang MS

  • Predoctoral Psychology Intern
Sungha Kang is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Psychology Intern at UIC Department of Psychiatry. Sungha’s scholarly interests involve attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related externalizing behavior problems, and how they are identified, diagnosed, and treated in racial/ethnic minority children. She is particularly interested in broader contextual factors that influence the assessment and treatment of childhood externalizing behaviors for children of color, such as family, schools, and policy.

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Violeta J. Rodriguez MS, MSEd

  • Predoctoral Psychology Intern
Violeta J. Rodriguez

Marc S. Atkins PhD

  • Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Atkins is a licensed clinical psychologist and Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology and past Director of the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He developed and led the internship in clinical psychology for the Department of Psychiatry for two decades and has mentored numerous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows on career development awards and postdoctoral fellowships. He currently directs the Community Engagement and Collaboration core for UIC’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science. He is the recipient of numerous grants from the NIMH and private foundations examining new models for mental health practice in urban communities to address long-standing disparities in mental health care for children and families living in high poverty urban communities. He currently is Co-PI with Dr. Tara Mehta on a grant from the NIMH studying community health worker navigation into mental health services for urban children and families. He is active in public policy, including as a consultant to the Chicago Public Schools, the Illinois Division of Mental Health, and the Illinois State Board of Education on guidelines for school and community based mental health programs and practices, and to Chief Judge Timothy Evans of the Cook County Circuit Court on behavioral health programming for Restorative Justice Courts.

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Dana Rusch PhD

  • Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychiatry
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Institute for Juvenile Research, Department of Psychiatry
  • Director, Immigrant Family Mental Health Advocacy Program
Dr. Rusch is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of the Immigrant Family Mental Health Advocacy Program at the Institute for Juvenile Research. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed her pre-doctoral clinical training at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago and post-doctoral training at the Institute for Juvenile Research at UIC. She founded the Immigrant Family Mental Health Advocacy Program to focus on research-practice-policy partnerships that address the mental health needs of immigrant and refugee children and families through: (a) direct clinical services for immigrant children and families, UIC students coping with immigration-related stressors, and unaccompanied youth and asylum seekers; (b) undergraduate teaching and clinical education for trainees in child psychology, psychiatry, and social work; (c) community-engaged research that supports the work and mission of community-based organizations, and (d) active involvement in local and national advocacy and policy work. Her work is guided by an ecological public health framework to develop models of mental health promotion that elevate the unique contributions of non-specialty service settings and the critical role of non-traditional providers. Dr. Rusch actively participates in local advocacy efforts via several committee appointments and collaborative coalition work in support of immigrant communities. She is also a member of the Community Engagement and Collaboration Core for UIC’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

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Brittany N. Rudd PhD

  • Instructor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Institute for Juvenile Research, Department of Psychiatry
  • Director, Implementation Science and System-Involved Youth Research and Policy Program
Dr. Brittany Rudd is a child psychologist as well as an Instructor of Psychiatry and Assistant Professor of Psychology and Law at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is the director of CAPACITY Lab—an interdisciplinary team of scientists who build Community Academic Partnerships to Accelerate Community Implementation of Treatments for Youth. The lab’s mission is to promote mental health equity through community-partnered research and implementation science. Key foci include the development and implementation of scalable mental health interventions (e.g., digital mental health services and brief interventions) and harnessing partnerships with community organizations (e.g., juvenile justice, family courts, schools, mental health agencies) to understand their service context and needs and support their ability to implement mental health interventions. In addition to leading CAPACITY Lab, Dr. Rudd directs the Child and Family Behavior Clinic in the UIC Psychiatry Department. There, she assesses and treats youth with externalizing disorders, as well as supervises externs, interns, and fellows.

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Eduardo Esteban Bustamante PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Nutrition
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
Eduardo Esteban Bustamante, PhD, FACSM, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (2006) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Rehabilitation from the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) (2013). Dr. Bustamante completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Prevention Institute (2015). Dr. Bustamante’s expertise lies in Exercise Psychology with an emphasis on ADHD and community-engaged intervention research. His research focuses on generating evidence-based lifestyle interventions that promote physical and mental health among children and families in underserved communities. 

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Anne Elizabeth Glassgow PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
  • Department of Pediatrics
  • University of Illinois College of Medicine
Dr. Anne Elizabeth Glassgow is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Executive Director of CHECK. CHECK was the largest national pediatric payment and comprehensive delivery system model funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center, and now also operates as an Illinois Integrated Health Home. In her role as Executive Director, Dr. Glassgow is responsible for the operational leadership and oversight, research, compliance, and financial management of CHECK. Dr. Glassgow has more than 20 years of clinical experience, is a Principal- and Co-Investigator on several research projects, and has served in a variety of health care administration and high-level management positions.

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Stacy Frazier PhD

  • Associate Professor, Florida International University
Stacy Frazier, PhD, (she/her/hers) is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Florida International University. She directs a program of community-partnered and inter-agency children's mental health services research focused on strengthening supports to schools and after-school programs serving youth in neighborhoods characterized by resource poverty, gun violence, and food and housing insecurity. Extending the task-shifting literature to after-school time, Dr. Frazier's current studies are designed to support after-school recreation staff to leverage teachable moments for youth to practice life and leadership skills related to communication, emotion regulation, and problem-solving.

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Shawn Nelson Cole MSW, MBA

  • Director, Office of Medicaid Innovation
  • University of Illinois Health

Shawn Nelson Cole is the Director of the Office of Medicaid Innovation at University of Illinois Health.

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Kimberly E. Hoagwood PhD

  • Cathy and Stephen Graham Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Dr. Kimberly Hoagwood is a Cathy and Stephen Graham Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

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