Fountain House: Improving the Health of People with Serious Mental Illness: The Case for Community
Speakers: Ralph Aquila, MD • Medical Director, Fountain House
James Knickman, PhD • Derzon Clinical Professor, NYU Robert F Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
As a community psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Aquila has helped thousands of indigent New Yorkers living with some of the most serious forms of mental illness, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He pioneered the concept of a “health home” long before it gained popularity in the rest of the country. At the Sidney R. Baer Jr. Health Center, where Dr. Aquila is Director, Fountain House members receive comprehensive medical and behavioral health services at one state-of-the-art centralized location. Dr. Aquila is largely responsible for establishing and growing Fountain House’s wellness program, which addresses disturbing statistics that demonstrate people with mental illness live on average 25 years less than the general population. Studies also confirm they have higher smoking and substance abuse rates, poor diets, greater exposure to infectious diseases, are less physically active, lack education about healthy alternatives, and suffer from endocrine, neurologic, cardiovascular side effects and weight gain from antipsychotic medications. The wellness program’s goals are to create a health-conscious culture at Fountain House and to introduce a broad array of wellness practices into the life of the community, offering education and resources so members can make healthy life-choices.
James Knickman is the Derzon Clinical Professor at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Dr. Knickman will serve as Director of the Health Evaluation and Analytics Program (HEAP), a joint initiative of the Wagner Health Policy and Management Program and the NYU School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health. Jim will also have faculty appointment at the NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Knickman was previously the president and CEO of the New York State Health Foundation, a position he held since May, 2006. The Foundation focuses on high impact interventions to bring about measurable improvements in New York’s health system. Prior to that appointment, Dr. Knickman was Vice President for Research and Evaluation at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). At RWJF, Dr. Knickman served on the executive group that set strategy and made decisions related to a $400 million annual grant-making agenda, with specific duties focused on management of grant-making in the research and evaluation areas comprising approximately 25% of the foundation’s activities. Prior to RWJF, Jim was Professor of Health Policy and Health Administration at NYU Wagner. Dr. Knickman serves as a board member of the National Council on Aging in Washington, D.C., and of Philanthropy New York. He is a member of Fordham College’s Board of Visitors, the national advisory committee of the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services, and the external advisory committee of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. He has published extensive research on issues related to the financing of health care and long-term care and improving services for frail elders, homeless families, and individuals with HIV. Dr. Knickman is the co-author of a widely used textbook on health policy and management. Dr. Knickman received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Psychology from Fordham University and his Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Pennsylvania.
Understanding the Perspectives of Survivors of Human Trafficking on their Experiences in Shelter care in Cambodia
Speaker: Laura Cordisco Tsai, PhD, MSSW • Assistant Professor in Social Work, Columbia University
Dr. Laura Cordisco Tsai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work. Dr. Tsai’s research interests lie in the areas of human trafficking and gender-based violence, with a particular interest in economic empowerment interventions for people at risk for trafficking and those who have been trafficked. As a mixed methods researcher, she integrates quantitative, qualitative, and participatory approaches in her research. Dr. Tsai recently completed a financial diaries study with women who were trafficked into sex work in the Philippines. She also recently finished collaborating with colleagues at Columbia University on a randomized trial evaluating the impact of a microsavings intervention on the sexual risk behavior and economic situation of women working in sex work in Mongolia. Dr. Tsai has over 10 years of social work practice and research experience pertaining to human trafficking, gender-based violence, and economic empowerment interventions, primarily in the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Mongolia. She holds a BA from Brown University (magna cum laude) and MSSW and PhD from Columbia University.
University Seminar: Dan Stein
Speaker: Dan Joseph Stein, BSc (Med), MB ChB, FRCPC, FRSSAf, PhD, DPhil • University of Capetown Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Visiting Professor of Pyschiatry at Mt. Sinai Medical School
Dan J Stein is Professor and Chair of the Departmentt of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town, Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit on Anxiety Disorders, and Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Medical School in New York. He is interested in the psychobiology and management of the anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and related, and traumatic and stress disorders. He has also mentored work in other areas that are of particular relevance to South Africa and Africa, including neuroHIV/AIDS and substance use disorders.
Dan did his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Cape Town, and his doctorate (in the area of clinical neuroscience) at the University of Stellenbosch. He trained in psychiatry, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship (in the area of psychopharmacology) at Columbia University in New York. His training also includes a doctorate in philosophy. He is inspired by the way in which psychiatry integrates science and humanism, and contributes to addressing some of the big questions posed by life.
Dan’s work ranges from basic neuroscience, through clinical investigations and trials, and on to epidemiological and cross-cultural studies. He is enthusiastic about the possibility of clinical practice and scientific research that integrates theoretical concepts and empirical data across these different levels. Having worked for many years in South Africa, he is also enthusiastic about establishing integrative approaches to services, training, and research in the context of a low and-middle-income country.
Dan has authored or edited over 30 volumes, including Cognitive-Affective Neuroscience of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, and The Philosophy of Psychopharmacology: Smart Pills, Happy Pills, Pep Pills. Dan’s work has been continuously funded by extramural grants for more than 20 years. He is a recipient of CINP’s Max Hamilton Memorial Award for his contribution to psychopharmacology, and of CINP’s Ethics and Psychopharmacology Award for his contribution to the philosophy of psychopharmacology.
Behavioral Science and the Psychology of Healthcare Decision Making
Speaker: Sara E. Gorman, MPH, PhD • Co-founder & CEO of Critica LLC
Sara Gorman, PhD, MPH is a public health and behavioral science expert and author based in New York. She has written extensively about global health, psychology, behavioral science, and mental health, among other topics. Her work has appeared or been reviewed in TIME, The New Yorker, Science, Scientific American, PLoS Medicine, Psychology Today, The Atlantic, New York Magazine,Daily Kos, and NPR, among others. Sara’s first book, Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us, was published by Oxford University Press in September 2016. The book examines the psychology of healthcare decision making and theorizes about public perception of risk. It includes tips for the general public about how to discriminate between valid and invalid science and pointers for public health professionals and doctors on how to communicate with people who don’t believe what science has taught us about health. A Chinese translation of the book will be released in June 2018.
University Seminar: Cady Carlson
Speaker: Cady Carlson, PhD • T32 Fellow Columbia Global Mental Health Program
Dr. Cady Carlson is an Assistant Professor in Social Work at the University of Alabama. Her research focuses on violence and mental health in low- and middle-income countries. Her current research to implement depression treatment for adolescents in Ugandan schools is funded by an Early Career Development Award (K01) from NIMH. She has previously conducted research on the intersection of violence against women and violence against children in Uganda and an effectiveness trial to reduce sexual risk and violence against women engaged in sex work in Mongolia. She has worked as a program manager and consultant for gender-based violence and child protection programs in humanitarian and development settings in Asia and Africa. Dr. Carlson is a former T32 Fellow in the Columbia Global Mental Health Program and earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University School of Social Work.
University Seminar: Silvia Martins
Speaker: Silvia Martins, MD, PhD • Co-Director, Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program
Dr. Silvia S. Martins is a faculty member of the Psych-Neuro cluster of the Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is the co-director of the NIDA T32 Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program in the department and the Course Director of Principles of Epidemiology (P6400). She is also the Department of Epidemiology Co-Investigator of the IMSD program at Columbia. She has co-authored more than 130 peer reviewed epidemiological and substance abuse journal articles, served as PI or MPI of multiple NIH funded grants. Notable recent findings have focused on recent trends in marijuana use, the relationship of perceived availability of marijuana with medical marijuana laws, traffic fatalities and medical marijuana laws and increasing trends in heroin use and heroin use disorder in the general U.S. adult population. She has received several awards for her research and mentoring, including, in 2011, the Award for pioneering efforts in gambling research, in 2013, the Columbia President’s Global Innovation Fund and more recently, in 2017, the Columbia University Mailman’s School of Public Health Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring. Her current research focuses on consequences of medical marijuana laws in the U.S, recreational marijuana laws in Uruguay, prescription drug monitoring programs, social media and marijuana, and gambling and impulsive behaviors among minority adolescents in the U.S. She has been continuously funded by NIH since 2006 as a Principal Investigator.
The Soldier Must be Buried: Experiences of Appetitive Aggression, Avoidance, and Ways of Belonging among Former Forcibly Recruited Children and Youth
Speaker: Helle Harnisch • PhD Researcher, Danish Center for Prevention of Radicalization – The Danish Police
Helle Harnisch has a BA from Frederiksberg teacher training college in Denmark, and has in her years as a practitioner worked with at risk children and youth. After her masters in Educational Psychology, Helle became a PhD Fellow at Aarhus University, department of Education and Danish Institute Against Torture. Through qualitative, ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, surveys and video in the Acholi region of northern Uganda, her PhD explored resilience, mobilization and reintegration processes among children and youth associated with armed forces or groups. Today Helle still focuses on themes of radicalization, perpetration, survival, aggression, urge to kill, demobilization and in-and exclusion processes as a researcher at the Centre of Prevention of Radicalization with the Danish police.
Expanding Youth Mental Health Care Access in LMICs: Lessons from a School-Based Study in Haiti
Speaker: Anne Becker, MD, PhD • Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Global Health and Social Science
Anne E. Becker, MD, PhD, SM is the Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). An anthropologist and psychiatrist, Dr. Becker has been lead investigator on a series of studies demonstrating the relationship between media exposure and eating pathology in the small-scale indigenous population of Fiji. In addition, Dr. Becker’s NIMH-funded research has investigated the impact of rapid economic and social transition on eating pathology, suicide, and other youth health risk behaviors in Fiji. She and her co-PI, Pere Eddy Eustache, have recently completed a school-based youth mental health pilot intervention in central Haiti with NIMH funding. Dr. Becker is founding and past Director of the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, former associate editor of the International Journal of Eating Disorders, past president of the Academy for Eating Disorders, and served as a member of the American Psychiatry Association’s DSM-5 Eating Disorders Work Group as well as vice chairperson of their Council on International Psychiatry. She received the 2013 Price Family Award for Research Excellence from the National Eating Disorders Association and in 2014 received the Mentorship Award in recognition of “Exceptional Mentorship of Women Faculty” at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Becker served as vice chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine from 2009-2016 and is also past director of the HMS MD-PhD Social Sciences program; she presently serves on the Leadership Council of the Harvard/MIT M.D.-Ph.D. Program.