Victor Armstrong, M.S.W., joined the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as the director of the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services in March 2020, with responsibility and oversight of the public community-based mental health, intellectual and other developmental disabilities, substance use, and traumatic brain injury system in North Carolina. Prior to accepting this role, Armstrong spent 6 years as the vice president of behavioral health with Atrium Health. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Armstrong had responsibility for operations of Atrium’s largest behavioral health hospital, Behavioral Health Charlotte (BHC). The BHC campus contains the Southeast’s only psychiatric emergency department, staffed 24/7 with board-certified psychiatrists, as well as 66 inpatient beds, and 10 outpatient programs. Armstrong has more than 30 years of experience in human services, primarily dedicated to building and strengthening community resources to serve individuals living with mental illness. He currently serves on the board of directors for the American Association of Suicidology, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention of North Carolina, and United Suicide Survivors International. He is also former the board chair of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) North Carolina and a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Armstrong is a former member of the board of directors of the National Council for Behavioral Health, i2i Center for Integrative Health, and RI International. His awards and recognitions include Mental Health America’s 2021 H. Keith Brunnemer, Jr., Award for “Outstanding Mental Health Leadership,” 2019 Black Mental Health Symposium—Mental Health Advocate of the Year, 2019 Atrium Health
Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award, 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the East Carolina University School of Social Work, Pride Magazine 2018 “Best of the Best,” i2i Center for Integrative Health 2018 Innovation Award for “Whole Person Care,” and 2012 NAMI North Carolina Mental Health Professional of the Year. Armstrong graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s degree in business management and received an M.S.W. from East Carolina University.
Erin Bagalman, M.S.W., joined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) in 2018. She serves as the director of the Division of Behavioral Health Policy in ASPE’s Office of Behavioral Health, Disability, and Aging Policy. In that role, she manages an interdisciplinary team focused on policies addressing mental health, substance use, and related topics such as suicide. Previously, Bagalman served as the lead analyst for behavioral health policy at the Congressional Research Service, providing non-partisan analysis of behavioral health services, financing, and research. Before that, she worked in the private sector conducting health outcomes research. Bagalman began her career as a psychiatric social worker. She holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an M.S.W. from Tulane University.
Jennifer Battle, M.S.W., is the director of access at The Harris Center for Mental Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (IDD) in Houston, Texas. Battle oversees the Harris Center Access Hub, which includes the Access Line and the Crisis Line that serves as the crisis line for 39 Texas counties as well as a regional provider of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, soon to be 9-8-8. She also oversees the Southeast Texas Regional Suicide Care Support Center and the Harris Center Community Outreach Department. In collaboration with the Houston Police Department, Houston Fire Department, and Houston Emergency Communications Center, she leads the 9-1-1 Crisis Call Diversion Program, the first program of its kind in the United States. Battle also leads the implementation team for the agency’s Zero Suicide initiative and serves as an advisory council member on the Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Veteran Suicide. In addition to her work at the Harris Center, Battle serves on the board of the National Association of Crisis Organization Directors. She is the co-chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Steering Committee, serves on the Clinical Advisory Council for Crisis Text Line and as a Crisis Text Line volunteer, and is a Crisis Center site examiner for the American Association of Suicidology.
Crystal Barksdale, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the acting deputy director and the chief of the Minority Mental Health Research Program at the National Institute
of Mental Health’s (NIMH’s) Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity. She provides guidance and expertise related to research on minority mental health and mental health disparities. Prior to joining NIMH, Barksdale worked at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, where she provided program evaluation leadership and subject-matter expertise on children’s mental health projects. Barksdale has also worked on projects focused on disparities in child-serving systems and culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions for at-risk youth and their families. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who maintains a client caseload in private practice.
Jeffrey A. Bridge, Ph.D., is an epidemiologist and the director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research in the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital; the Nationwide Foundation Endowed Chair of Innovation in Behavioral Health Research; and a professor of pediatrics, psychiatry, and behavioral health at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. His research focuses on the epidemiology of suicide and suicidal behavior in young people, neurocognitive vulnerability to suicidal behavior, screening for suicide risk in medical and school settings, and improving the quality of care and outcomes for suicidal youth.
Lisa A. Brenner, Ph.D., is a board-certified rehabilitation psychologist, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), psychiatry, and neurology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and the director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). She is also the vice chair of research for the Department of PM&R. Brenner is the past president of Division 22 (Rehabilitation Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA) and an APA Fellow. She serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Her primary area of research interest is traumatic brain injury, comorbid psychiatric disorders, and negative psychiatric outcomes including suicide. Brenner has numerous peer-reviewed publications, participates on national advisory boards, and recently co-authored the book Suicide Prevention After Neurodisability: An Evidence-Informed Approach.
Sam Brinton is the vice president of advocacy and government affairs for The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth. They are the founder of Trevor’s 50 Bill 50 States campaign to end the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, first in the United States and then around the globe. As a survivor of conversion therapy, Brinton has spoken before the United Nations and Congress and testified on legislation from coast to coast to protect LGBTQ youth mental health. Brinton also led the federal legislative campaign leading
to the passage of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, the nation’s first unanimously supported LGBTQ-inclusive legislation. They have been featured in numerous media including multiple The New York Times op-eds and The Washington Post, Playboy Magazine, and TIME Magazine. Sam uses they, them, or their pronouns as a gender-fluid person.
Thomas Anthony Chávez is an assistant professor and research faculty at the University of New Mexico (UNM). Upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in counseling psychology, he provided clinical service and taught counselor education to diverse communities. His scholarly work explores social determinants of Latinx health, healing, and wellness through community-engaged approaches. He has received National Institutes of Health grant funding through the UNM Transdisciplinary Research on Equity and Engagement Center to explore the experiences of undocumented Latinx individuals and families.
David W. Covington, LPC, M.B.A., is the chief executive officer and president of Recovery Innovations, Inc. (RI International). He is a behavioral health innovator, entrepreneur and storyteller. He is also a partner in Behavioral Health Link and the founder of the international innovations “Moving America’s Soul on Suicide,” “Zero Suicide,” “Crisis Now,” “Crisis Talk” and “Hope Inc. Stories.” A licensed professional counselor, Covington received an M.B.A. from Kennesaw State and an M.S. from the University of Memphis. He previously served as the vice president at Magellan Health, where he was responsible for the executive and clinical operations of the $750 million Arizona contract. He is a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee, which was established in 2017 in accordance with the 21st Century Cures Act to report to Congress on advances in behavioral health. Covington is a two-time national winner of the Council of State Governments Innovations Award (2008 and 2012). He also competed as a finalist in Harvard’s Innovations in American Government in 2009 for the Georgia Crisis and Access Line, and the program was featured in BusinessWeek magazine. Covington has served on the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Executive Committee since 2010. He was also the vice chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Steering Committee from 2005 until 2020 and served as a former president of the American Association of Suicidology. He has served on numerous committees and task forces on clinical care and crisis services, including the National Council for Behavioral Health Board of Directors.
Pamela End of Horn, M.S.W., LICSW, is responsible for the development and oversight of the Suicide Prevention and Care Program at the Indian
Health Service. Her work focuses on program policy development, program implementation, and evaluation. End of Horn has an M.S.W. and currently holds advanced practice licenses in North Dakota and Minnesota. End of Horn is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Pine Ridge, South Dakota. She is currently completing a doctorate in social work at the University of Pennsylvania.
Anita Smith Everett, M.D., DFAPA, currently serves as the director of the Center for Mental Health Services in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). There she oversees the administration of grants that aim to increase mental health literacy and build responsive mental health services for crises management, ongoing treatment, and recovery support for children and adults. Everett comes to SAMHSA with extensive experience in the delivery and leadership of psychiatric services for persons with schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions in health underserved areas. Previously she was faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a past president of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association of Community Psychiatrists, and has received commendation for her work in national health care reform and advocacy.
Madelyn Gould, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the Irving Philips Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center in the United States and a research scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, where she directs the Community Suicide Prevention Research Group. For nearly four decades, she has attained international recognition as an expert in the area of suicide prevention, conducting numerous federally funded grants from the National Institute of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), as well as collaborating on research studies with international investigators, and publishing several seminal articles on youth suicide risk and preventive interventions. Gould has a strong commitment to applying her research to program and policy development. Her current projects focus on the evaluation of suicide crisis interventions via telephone, chat, and text. This research has been used by SAMHSA and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to support the passage of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020. Her research—most notably in the areas of suicide contagion/clusters; screening and assessment of suicide risk; and crisis interventions—has laid the groundwork for state, national, and international suicide prevention programs. Her research contributions have been recognized by numerous awards, including the Shneidman Award for Research from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), the New York State (NYS) Office of Mental Health Research
Award, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Research Award, the NYS Suicide Prevention Center’s Excellence in Suicide Prevention Award, and the Dublin Award from AAS, which is a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contributions to the field of suicide prevention.
Michael Hogan, Ph.D., served as the New York State (NYS) commissioner of mental health from 2007 to 2012, and now operates a consulting practice in health and behavioral health care. The NYS Office of Mental Health operated 23 accredited psychiatric hospitals and oversaw New York’s $5 billion public mental health system serving 650,000 individuals annually. Previously Hogan served as the director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health (1991–2007) and as the commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services from 1987 to 1991. He chaired the president’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in 2002–2003. He served as the first behavioral health representative on the board of The Joint Commission (2007–2015) and chaired its Standards and Survey Procedures Committee. He has served as a member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention since it was created in 2010, co-chairing task forces on clinical care, interventions, and crisis care. Previously, he served on the National Institute of Mental Health Council (1994–1998 and 2014–2018), as the president of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (2003–2005) and as the board president of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Director’s Research Institute (1989–2000). His awards for national leadership include recognition by the National Governors Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Campaign for Mental Health Reform, the American College of Mental Health Administration, and the American Psychiatric Association. He is a graduate of Cornell University (B.S., 1960), and earned an M.S. from the State University College in Brockport, New York (1972), and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University (1977).
Sharon A. Hoover, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and a professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the co-director of the National Center for School Mental Health (www.schoolmentalhealth.org). She currently leads national efforts to support states, districts, and schools in the adoption of national performance standards of comprehensive school mental health systems (www.theSHAPEsystem.com). Hoover has led and collaborated on multiple federal and state grants, with a commitment to the study and implementation of quality children’s mental health services. Creating safe, supportive, and resilient schools has been a major emphasis of Hoover’s research, education, and clinical work. She has worked with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) to train school district and school leaders, educators, and
support staff in multi-tiered systems of support for psychological trauma. She has trained school and community behavioral health staff and educators in districts across the United States and internationally. In 2020, Hoover was awarded a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant to develop the NCTSN Center for Safe Supportive Schools (www.ncs3.org), aimed at integrating trauma-informed policies and practices in school mental health systems, with a specific focus on social justice and supporting youth of color, newcomer youth, and other marginalized students and families. Since the onset of COVID-19, Hoover has worked with education and mental health leaders across the United States as they support educators, students, and their families with social, emotional, and academic needs amid the global pandemic.
Brandon J. Johnson, M.H.S., MCHES, is a tireless advocate for positive mental health and suicide prevention services for youth and adults across the country. Johnson earned a B.S. from Morgan State University in 2008 and an M.H.S. from Johns Hopkins University in 2012. Currently, he serves as a public health advisor at the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration in the Suicide Prevention Branch at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Johnson serves as a government project officer (GPO) for various suicide prevention grant programs that respectively target youth, adults, and health care systems. Johnson is the program lead of the Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Suicide Prevention Program, which provides grants for states, tribes, and territories to reduce suicides among 10- to 24-year-olds. He is also the GPO for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, which provides suicide-specific materials, webinars, and training to organizations and communities all over the country working to prevent suicides. Another highlight of Johnson’s career is his current role as the co-lead of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Faith Communities Task Force. The group works with faith communities all over the nation to equip them with tools and resources to combat the often stigmatized issue of suicide. He serves as the subject-matter expert in suicide among Black people and has lead numerous projects to develop resources and materials to specifically prevent suicide among African American youth. Previously, Johnson served as the director of suicide and violence prevention for the State of Maryland, where he worked in communities throughout the state to help develop strategies to end violence in various forms, such as community violence and human trafficking.
Lisa K. Kearney, Ph.D., ABPP, provides oversight to the development and implementation of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention, combining both community-based prevention and clinically based intervention strategies. She is responsible
for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Suicide Prevention Program and the Veterans Crisis Line, which provides 24/7 crisis line support to veterans and service members through calls, chat, and text services. Kearney recently served as the deputy director of suicide prevention and the associate director of education at the VA Center for Integrated Healthcare. Previously, she worked nationally as part of the executive team in the VA Office of Mental Health Operations as the senior consultant for technical assistance, overseeing mental health policy implementation through quality improvement site visits across the VA system. At the local level, Kearney served as the chief of psychology, assistant chief, director of training, and director of primary care mental health integration at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. Kearney is also a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She is the associate editor for Psychological Services and an editor for Psychology of Men and Masculinity. She currently serves as the past president of the American Academy of Clinical Health Psychology. She has received the following national awards: American Psychological Association (APA) Excellence in Clinical Health Psychology Award (2020), Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers Outstanding Mid-Career Professional Contributions Award (2019), Russell B. Lemle Leadership Award (2018), APA Presidential Citation (2016), APA Peter J. N. Linnerooth National Service Award (2015), and Association of VA Psychologist Leaders Special Contribution Award (2010). She is a fellow in APA Division 18, APA Division 38, the American Academy of Clinical Health Psychology, and the Bexar County Psychological Association. She is an active member of the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Clinical Health Psychology, and the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders, and has more than 40 publications in the areas of integrated primary care, suicide prevention, mental health business operations, and training of mental health providers.
Barbara Limandri, Ph.D., PMHNP, BC, is a retired psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and a professor emerita at Linfield University in Portland, Oregon. She earned her baccalaureate degree in nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University, her master’s degree in psychiatric-mental health nursing at The Catholic University of America, and her doctorate in psychiatric nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) where she co-chaired the task force to develop clinical competencies for psychiatric nurses for suicide prevention and management. As a follow-up on those competencies, Limandri co-chaired the committee to develop a curriculum to prepare nurses to meet those competences and has taught more than 20 workshops throughout the United States in suicide prevention and management. Additionally, Limandri helped develop the training course for facilitators of the Suicide Prevention
Training workshop and has taught the course for 5 years for APNA. Limandri has authored several articles related to suicide prevention and two textbook chapters. In addition, Limandri has expertise in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that was originally developed to assist those struggling with chronic suicidal thinking and behavior associated with borderline personality disorder. Treatment strategies used in DBT includes individual psychotherapy, skill development in groups, and pharmacotherapy.
Michael A. Lindsey, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.P.H., is a noted scholar in the fields of child and adolescent mental health and a leader in the search for knowledge and solutions to generational poverty and inequality. He is the executive director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University (NYU), the Constance and Martin Silver Professor of Poverty Studies at the NYU Silver School of Social Work, and an Aspen Health Innovators Fellow. He also leads a university-wide Strategies to Reduce Inequality initiative from the NYU McSilver Institute. At the McSilver Institute, Lindsey leads a team of researchers, clinicians, social workers, and other professionals who are committed to creating new knowledge about the root causes of poverty, developing evidence-based interventions to address its consequences, and rapidly translating their findings into action through policy and best practices. Additionally, he leads the working group of experts supporting the Congressional Black Caucus Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health, which created the report Ring the Alarm: The Crisis of Black Youth Suicide in America. Lindsey is a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice in Social Work, and serves on the editorial boards of Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Psychiatric Services, School Mental Health, and Prevention Science. He holds a Ph.D. in social work, an M.P.H. from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.S.W. from Howard University, and a B.A. in sociology from Morehouse College.
Richard McKeon, Ph.D., M.P.H., received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona, and an M.P.H. in health administration from Columbia University. He has spent most of his career working in community mental health, including 11 years as the director of a psychiatric emergency service and 4 years as the associate administrator/clinical director of a hospital-based community mental health center in Newton, New Jersey. In 2001, he was awarded an American Psychological Association Congressional Fellowship and worked in the U.S. Senate, covering health and mental health policy issues. He spent 5 years on the Board of the American Association of Suicidology as the clinical division director and has also served on the Board of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association.
He is currently the chief for the Suicide Prevention Branch in the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, where he oversees all branch suicide prevention activities, including the Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention, and Campus Suicide Prevention grant programs, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and the Native Connections program. In 2008, he was appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to the Secretary’s Blue Ribbon Work Group on Suicide Prevention. In 2009, he was appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense to its Task Force on Suicide Prevention in the Military. He served on the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Task Force that revised the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and participated in the development of the World Health Organization’s World Suicide Prevention Report. He is also the co-chair of the Federal Working Group on Suicide Prevention.
Mary Ann Nihart, M.A., APRN, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC, currently serves as the associate director for patient care services and the nurse executive at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System. Despite her primarily administrative role, Nihart continues to practice as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She established the first PMHNP residency program at the San Francisco VA in conjunction with the University of California, San Francisco, where she is an associate clinical professor in the School of Nursing. She is a nationally and internationally known speaker as an early integrator of biology in psychiatric mental health nursing and has spent much of her career developing and working with community agencies on crisis management. Nihart also served as the mayor of the City of Pacifica. She was also the president-elect of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) and one of the most recent award winners of the APNA Psychiatric Nurse of the Year.
Sue Ann O’Brien, LPC, M.B.A., is the president and the chief executive officer (CEO) at Behavioral Health Link (BHL) and the executive vice president at RI International. Together, these two teams deliver a full continuum of best practice crisis services, powered by customized software and technology solutions and real-time access to mental health and substance use services, diverting thousands from hospital emergency departments and justice systems to care in communities throughout the United States. They were both leading contributors to the development of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Crisis Now exceptional practice standards in crisis care. As the CEO of BHL, O’Brien leads a team of visionary crisis innovators whose breakthrough technology and crisis services have been featured worldwide. Recognized for innovation by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Council of State Governments, Harvard University, and others, BHL oper-
ates Georgia’s statewide Crisis and Access Line, offering the nation’s broadest application of advanced crisis call center technology through its Care Traffic Control system. BHL also delivers and/or deploys 24/7 community-based mobile crisis in all 159 Georgia counties. O’Brien was formerly the chief operating officer at RI International and was previously responsible for Crisis Facility services spanning five states. RI, which founded the “living room” model in 2002, deliver no-wrong-door, facility-based crisis services in seven states with rapid growth targeted. RI’s Campus of Connection model includes a strong peer workforce and surrounds the individual with support on their journey toward recovery. With 25 years of senior leadership experience in behavioral health, O’Brien aims to foster and create crisis care equivalents to the nation’s rapid response system for individuals with medical emergencies by making care available to anyone, anywhere, and anytime. Together, these two strategic partners employ nearly 1,800 staff and have offices in Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana (2020), New Zealand, North Carolina, Virginia (2020), and Washington State, and their impact is growing through consulting, training, and crisis immersion experiences.
Jane Pearson, Ph.D., is a widely recognized authority on suicide and suicide prevention with expertise in clinical psychology and public health strategies. She serves as the special advisor to the director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) on suicide research. She leads the NIMH Suicide Research Team and serves on the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Research Task Force. She assisted in the development of the first Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Suicide and the first U.S. National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Pearson is also an adjunct associate professor at Johns Hopkins University and a fellow of the American Psychological Association. She has practiced as a licensed clinical psychologist and has authored papers on the ethical and methodological challenges of suicide research.
Mary Roary, Ph.D., is a public health epidemiologist who focuses on infectious and chronic diseases. Roary is currently the director of the Office of Behavioral Health Equity at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She is also an adjunct professor at The Catholic University of America. She has worked across government, academia, and the private industry. Roary has worked in two components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2013 as a program director and an officer. At NIH, Roary was responsible for health promotion, disease prevention, environmental influences, health disparities, low resources in the “IDeA States,” and child health portfolio. Roary has developed national funding opportunities, overseen complex budgets, mentored investigators in developing project grants, and disseminated research findings to stakeholders. Roary previously served as the
data lead for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health Committees on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Healthy People 2020, and environmental justice. She was the principal investigator and co-principal investigator for multiple community-based participatory research grants at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Arizona. Roary earned her Ph.D. in epidemiology and was an epidemiology and biostatistician Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fellow at the University of Arizona. She holds several master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University. Her ultimate goal is to become an influential champion of eliminating health disparities by identifying and implementing data-driven best practices that promote health equity and wellness.
Tracie Schneider, Ed.D., CRC, has worked in the intersection of disability, employment, and education for more than 10 years. She currently serves as Arkansas’ Department of Human Services deaf mental health coordinator. Her background is in accessibility, policy development, service coordination, and vocational rehabilitation counseling. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in Texarkana, Texas; her master’s degree from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and her doctorate from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Her primary areas of interest are deaf mental health, communication equity, and transition services for youth with disabilities.
Joseph Simonetti, M.D., M.P.H., earned his M.D. from The Ohio State University and completed his training in internal medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He then completed an National Research Service Award health services research fellowship, worked as a senior research fellow at the Harbor-view Injury Prevention & Research Center at the University of Washington and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) Patient-Aligned Care Team National Demonstration Lab, and he earned and M.P.H. from the University of Washington School of Public Health. Currently, he is an internal medicine physician practicing within the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System. He has research appointments within the VA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center for Suicide Prevention and the Denver-Seattle Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care. Simonetti’s research focuses on reducing the burden of intentional and unintentional firearm injuries nationally. His current focus is on creating infrastructure for stakeholder engagement in firearm-related research, and developing veteran-centered approaches to facilitating lethal means safety as a suicide prevention strategy.
Matthew Tierney, M.S., APRN, is a clinical professor at the UCSF School of Nursing and is clinical director of substance use treatment and educa-
tion for the Office of Population Health at UCSF Health. He is currently the president of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) and represents APNA on the National Academies’ Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. An educator and a clinician for more than two decades, his work focuses on increasing access to essential mental health and substance use treatment by developing and implementing innovative clinical treatment programs and by educating the existing and rising health care workforce. As an active nurse practitioner certified in adult primary care, addictions nursing, and psychiatric-mental health care, his clinical work focuses on providing evidence-based care to vulnerable and highly stigmatized populations. He is an active participant in numerous professional organizations including the Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance use and Addiction; the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), where he serves on the national Planning Committee for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Course Program; and ASAM’s California Chapter (CSAM) where he serves as the only nurse on the Committee on Opioids and as an educator and a mentor in CSAM’s Medical Education and Research Foundation. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing where he actively serves on the Expert Panel on Psychiatric-Mental Health and Substance Use.
Ursula Whiteside, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist, the chief executive officer of NowMattersNow.org, and clinical faculty at the University of Washington. As a researcher, she has been awarded grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Clinically, she began her training with Dr. Marsha Linehan in 1999 and later served as a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)-adherent research therapist on an NIMH-funded clinical trial led by Dr. Linehan. Whiteside is a group- and individual-certified DBT clinician. Now, she treats high-risk suicidal clients in her small private practice in Seattle using DBT and caring contacts. Whiteside is national faculty for the Zero Suicide initiative, a practical approach to suicide prevention in health care and behavioral health care systems. This program was described by NPR on a segment titled “What Happens If You Try to Prevent Every Single Suicide?” She is also the vice president of United Suicide Survivors International. As a person with lived experience, she strives to decrease the gap between “us and them” and to ensure that the voices of those who have been there are included in all relevant conversations: nothing about us without us.
Holly Wilcox, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with joint appointments in the Department of Health Policy and Management and the Johns
Hopkins University Schools of Medicine and Education. Much of her work involves population-based research on suicide, intergenerational studies of suicide, the evaluation of the impact of community-based universal prevention programs, and data linkage strategies to inform suicide prevention. Wilcox leads a multidisciplinary, interdepartmental suicide prevention work group at Johns Hopkins University. She has a diverse publication history that demonstrates her experience in biological, psychological, and social factors in suicide. Wilcox was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to the Maryland School Board. She also co-chairs the Maryland Commission on Suicide Prevention. She has twice received the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Excellence in Advising, Mentoring, Teaching and Research Advising award.
Cathleen Willging, Ph.D., is a medical anthropologist and a senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation with experience in mixed-method research, intervention development and evaluation, and implementation science. Her research focuses on public mental health and substance use treatment in the United States, health care reform, evidence-based practice implementation and sustainment in complex systems, and the advancement of culturally and contextually relevant programs to support marginalized groups affected by inequities. Her current work entails the application of implementation science theory and methods to support innovative programming to reduce health and health care disparities for minoritized populations in diverse service delivery settings, such as primary care practices, hospital emergency departments, and educational institutions. She is especially interested in using participatory methods to promote community engagement in the dissemination, uptake, and sustainment of effective interventions at the individual, organization, and systems levels.
May Yeh, Ph.D., is an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University (SDSU), a research scientist at the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center; an associate adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego; and a member of the faculty in the SDSU/University of California, San Diego, joint doctoral program in clinical psychology. Her work focuses on cultural issues, cultural competence, and personalization of evidence-based treatment in mental health services for children.
Xinzhi Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., FACE, is the chief of health inequities and the Global Health Branch at the Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Zhang has broad research interests that include clinical epidemiology, health services research, data science,
health informatics, and their applications to promote health equity nationally and globally. He is a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, an elite group of public health leaders who respond to national health crises.
Before joining NHLBI, Zhang was a program director in the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences’ Division of Clinical Innovation, where he managed a portfolio of Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), including overseeing the CTSA National Center for Data to Health (CD2H). During the COVID-19 pandemic, CD2H initiated the National COVID Cohort Collaborative, the first ever nationally centralized electronic medical record data openly accessible for the clinical and research community to use for studying COVID-19 and for identifying potential treatments. Zhang was the NCATS lead on rural health and health equity and currently co-chairs the NIH Rural Health Interest Group. He was also the lead for the diversity and reentry research supplements program. Zhang joined NIH in 2012 as a program director in the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities’ Division of Extramural Scientific Programs, where he provided leadership for scientific program development and project management on minority health and health disparities research. He spearheaded the development of research initiatives including multi-level chronic disease prevention, simulation modeling and system science, enhancing diversity in biomedical data science, and social determinants of health collection using the PhenX Toolkit. Prior to that, Zhang had joined the National Center for Infectious Diseases’ Office of Surveillance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2003 as a Steven M. Teutsch Prevention Effectiveness Fellow. His pandemic preparedness tool, FluSurge, is widely recommended (e.g., by the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, Johns Hopkins University) and used (e.g., by STAT, countries like Spain) to estimate surges in demand for hospital-based services during the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2005 to 2012, he was an epidemiologist in CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Division of Diabetes Translation and was instrumental in establishing the vision and eye health program at CDC.
Zhang has authored 4 papers for inclusion in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 3 book chapters, and 68 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Journal of Public Health, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. He is one of the editors of the 2021 textbook The Science of Health Disparities Research. Currently, he also serves as an associate editor of Health Equity. Throughout his career, Zhang has received many honors and awards from NIH, CDC, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the American Public Health Association, and the Commissioned Corps of the
U.S. Public Health Service, including two Presidential Unit Citations and two Outstanding Service Medals. Zhang received his M.D. from Peking Union Medical College in 1998 and his Ph.D. in health services administration from The University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2003.