Wilma Alvarado-Little, M.A., M.S.W., joined the New York State Department of Health as associate commissioner and the director of the department’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention in July 2017. Prior to assuming this role, as the principal and founder of Alvarado-Little Consulting, LLC, she addressed health equity issues from a linguistic and cultural perspective. In addition to her interests in public policy, research, health literacy, and health disparities prevention, she has been instrumental in the development and implementation of hospital- and clinic-based programs. Ms. Alvarado-Little is a health care interpreter and trainer with more than 30 years of experience in the health care field. She is the former co-chair of the board of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, serves as a member of the National Project Advisory Committee for the Review of the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Standards, and is the immediate past chair of the New York State Office of Mental Health Multicultural Advisory Committee. She also serves on boards at the state and local levels that address multicultural and language access issues. Ms. Alvarado-Little holds an M.A. in Spanish literature and an M.S.W., and she currently dedicates her time to issues involving the provision of linguistically and culturally appropriate health services nationwide.
May-Lynn Andresen, D.N.P., RN, is the executive vice president of the QHC Advisory Group, LLC, which provides strategic consultative services across the broad community of health care. Her career has spanned critical care; quality improvement; clinical research; advocacy for the underserved;
patient, professional, and community education and outreach; project development; and strategic planning with clinical emphasis in cardiology, behavioral health, developmental disabilities, and autism. Dr. Andresen has held leadership roles within Northwell Health’s hospital and ambulatory settings as well as in nonprofit organizations. She founded innovative programs for the purpose of improving lives and bridging gaps in care and services. She is a co-founder and the former director of the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (interdisciplinary autism center of excellence) and Westbrook Preparatory School (first New York State residential secondary school for students with high functioning autism/Asperger syndrome).
Dr. Andresen’s doctoral training at the University of Minnesota was in health innovation, focused on human-centered design and partnership. Her passion lies in full inclusion, engagement, and activation of patients, individuals, and care partners, particularly the disadvantaged and unheard. She served on the National Quality Forum’s Readmission Task Force and is currently a member of the Brigham and Women’s/Harvard Workgroup on Health Literacy Resources for Clinical Research, and the Community Council of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s AASET (Autistic Adults and other Stakeholders Engage Together) project, which is focused on raising the voice of the autistic community in guiding the future direction of autism research. She has co-authored several publications on improving care and addressing the quadruple aim through innovation and partnership, including the award-winning Charter on Professionalism for Health Care Organizations.
Zarita Araújo-Lane, M.S.W., LICSW, has more than 30 years of experience and is recognized as one of the leading presenters on cross-cultural communication tools for small and large institutions servicing an array of professionals working in educational and health care fields. She has been invited to present and conduct national and international training programs on cross-cultural topics to large and small groups using creative tools, such as case scenarios and storytelling, and she has vast experience working with cross-cultural populations in medical and mental health organizations. Ms. Araújo-Lane founded Cross Cultural Communication Systems, Inc.™ (CCCS) in 1996. A woman- and minority-owned small business with 250 interpreters and translators, CCCS provides qualified cultural-linguistic services to health care, educational, legal, and business clients. CCCS services create a seamless environment of teamwork and collaboration between customers, freelancers, and staff members while delivering innovative, respectful, and reliable quality interpretation, translation, and training services to a diverse population with regional, organizational, and individual needs. Ms. Araújo-Lane was the director of a mental health cross-cultural team for
more than 10 years at Health and Education Services in the North Shore area. She has published articles on cross-cultural management, including chapters written in 1996 and 2005 on Portuguese families for the second and third editions of Ethnicity and Family Therapy.
Jessica Black, M.P.H., M.S.W., is the director for collaborative care within the Office of Population Health at NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public safety-net hospital system in the country. In this role, she oversees the implementation, spread, and scale of collaborative care, an evidence-based model that brings behavioral health treatment to thousands of patients across 23 NYC Health + Hospitals primary care practices. In 2017, NYC Health + Hospitals’ collaborative care program was awarded a Gage Award from America’s Essential Hospitals for Quality.
Ms. Black has worked in programs that provide behavioral health services to pediatric and adult populations across diverse settings, including schools, child welfare, and primary care. Before joining NYC Health + Hospitals, she worked at Fostering Change for Children, where she oversaw training, support, and professional development for more than 100 child welfare workers working in agencies throughout New York City. Ms. Black holds an M.P.H. and an M.S.W. from Columbia University.
Wilson M. Compton, M.D., M.P.E., is the deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction related to preventing drug abuse, treating addiction, and addressing the serious health consequences of drug abuse, including those related to HIV/AIDS and other conditions. Dr. Compton received his undergraduate education at Amherst College and his medical education at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Compton has achieved multiple scientific accomplishments. He is the author of more than 150 articles, including widely cited papers on the opioid crisis; an invited speaker at multiple high-impact venues; and a leader or collaborator on multiple high-impact projects. Of note, he was a member of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) revision task force and a member of the DSM-5 substance-related disorder work-group. Dr. Compton led the development of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study, a large-scale longitudinal population study with 45,971 study subjects ages 12 and older that assesses the impact of tobacco regulations in the United States. During his career, Dr. Compton has received multiple awards, including the American Psychiatric Association’s Senior Scholar Health Services Research Award in 2008; the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Awards for Meritorious Service and for Distinguished Service in 2013 and 2014, respectively; a U.S. Food and
Drug Administration Cross-Cutting Award in 2017; and the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers’ James W. West, M.D., Quality Improvement Award in 2018.
Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., is the associate dean for research at the College of Public Health and Health Professions (CPHHP) and the Dean’s Professor and founding chair of the Department of Epidemiology in both the CPHHP and the College of Medicine at the University of Florida (UF). Before moving to UF in 2011, Dr. Cottler was at Washington University for 30 years, including working on the landmark Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program, earning her Ph.D., and developing a research program that has had 28 years of continuous funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and other institutes. This research includes the development of widely used interviews for substance use and other psychiatric disorders, peer-delivered interventions to reduce high-risk behaviors, and community health needs assessments. Dr. Cottler’s community focus includes her HealthStreet model, a hub for linking community residents to social and medical referrals, health messages, and research opportunities. HealthStreet operates in 46 Florida counties and has assessed more than 10,250 community members.
Dr. Cottler’s research has focused on giving a voice to underrepresented populations and reducing health disparities, and her projects have spanned the globe, including studies in Afghanistan, Haiti, India, Kenya, and Taiwan. She has served in many capacities, including as a principal investigator on the NIDA-funded UF Substance Abuse Training Center in Public Health as well as on several other training programs. She has directly mentored more than 90 pre- and postdoctoral fellows, who are now making important contributions to research themselves, and she has received numerous awards for mentoring and excellence in research.
Kathryn (Kate) Farinholt, J.D., is the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Maryland. More than 35 years ago, NAMI members helped Ms. Farinholt’s parents advocate for her sister who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. In 1997, she was recruited to be a local and state NAMI board member, later became the local affiliate executive director, and in 2011, she was named the executive director of NAMI Maryland. Her affiliate was chosen in 2004 as the Outstanding Local NAMI Affiliate from more than 1,500 local affiliates, citing her leadership. In 2008, she received the national NAMI Executive Director Peer Excellence Award. Ms. Farinholt has developed ways to engage, support, and empower individuals with mental illness and their families to become peer leaders and advocates. She has helped develop numerous nationally recognized peer-led NAMI signature and emerging programs, including NAMI’s support group model and facilitator training; NAMI Peer to Peer Relapse
Prevention and Recovery Course; and Smarts for Advocacy. NAMI’s In Our Own Voice: Living with Mental Illness program, which she co-developed, and her Ambassadors program for family members include intensive training to effectively share personal stories and deliver her many workshops to various audiences to “make it real,” break down myths, and offer practical tips for effective communication and engagement.
Ms. Farinholt works on a wide range of policy issues and has been nationally recognized for her work on crisis services, criminal justice, consumer and family peer programming, and the empowerment and engagement of individuals and relatives in treatment, program design and implementation, and research.
Lisa Morgan, M.Ed., an autistic adult, is the author of Living Through Suicide Loss with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): An Insider Guide for Individuals, Family, Friends, and Professional Responders. She is a feature writer for the Spectrum Women Magazine online magazine, a magazine for autistic women. She is also a community council member of AASET (Autistic Adults and other Stakeholders Engaged Together), and is passionate about advocating for crisis supports specific to the unique needs of the autism community, improving communication between autistic clients and providers of mental health care, and teaching advocacy skills in the autism community. Ms. Morgan has an M.A. in teaching special education and is a board-certified autism specialist.
Joanne Nicholson, Ph.D., is a professor in the Institute for Behavioral Health at Brandeis University. She has an active program of research on parents with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders and their children. She and her collaborators have developed rehabilitation, education, and training programs and materials for parents, integrating multidisciplinary knowledge on parents with mental illnesses and evaluating interventions for families, including the Family Options intervention and the Let’s Talk Parents initiative in Massachusetts for clinicians and parent peer specialists. Dr. Nicholson and her colleagues published the first guide for parents living with mental illness written by parents, Parenting Well When You’re Depressed, and a guide written with professionals, Creating Options for Family Recovery: A Provider’s Guide to Promoting Parental Mental Health. Dr. Nicholson is developing and testing technology-based resources such as the WorkingWell smartphone app to support individuals with mental illnesses in the workplace. She and her team are funded by the National Library of Medicine for the Bridges to eMental Health project to create an online portal to connect people with mental illnesses to information about physical health.
Dr. Nicholson recently received funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to engage mothers with mental illness and
co-occurring opioid use in the research4moms.com online community. She has published more than 100 papers and original articles in professional journals and edited volumes and has provided interviews for newspapers, magazines, and radio in the United States and internationally. Dr. Nicholson has received more than 50 grants and contracts from federal and state funders, private foundations, and industry.
Catina O’Leary, Ph.D., M.S.W., serves as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Health Literacy Media (HLM). Under her direction, HLM’s service network has expanded to include some of the largest employers in Missouri, including pharmaceutical companies, hospital systems, business coalitions, and community-based organizations. In 2013 she was chosen by St. Louis Business Journal as one of its “40 Under 40” leaders for professional excellence and dedication to the community. She was recently selected to join FOCUS St. Louis’s 39th Leadership St. Louis class. Before her appointment as CEO of HLM, Dr. O’Leary was a faculty member at Washington University School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and the Program on Occupational Therapy. At Washington University, her research centered on methods to engage underserved populations in health and social service programs, specifically on women’s health.
Dr. O’Leary is the past president of and currently serves on the board of The Bridge, a drop-in shelter that offers daily meals and social services to homeless and at-risk St. Louisans. She also serves as vice president for Magdalene Saint Louis, a nonprofit organization that helps women who have survived lives of abuse, prostitution, trafficking, or addiction by providing a community where they can recover and rebuild their lives. Dr. O’Leary earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Mississippi and her M.S.W. and Ph.D. in social work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University.
Helen Osborne, M.Ed., OTR/L, helps professionals communicate health information in ways that patients and the public can understand. Ms. Osborne is president of Health Literacy Consulting, the founder of Health Literacy Month, and the producer and host of the podcast series Health Literacy Out Loud (HLOL). She also is a member of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s Advisory Panel on Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science.
Ms. Osborne brings clinical experience, educational training, and patient perspective to all of her work. She speaks about health literacy at conferences worldwide and serves as a plain language writer and editor on a wide range of health-related materials. She is the author of several books, including the award-winning Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message. In 2017 she was honored to receive
the esteemed Walter C. Alvarez Award for excellence in health communication from the American Medical Writers Association.
Michael Paasche-Orlow, M.D., M.A., M.P.H., is a professor of medicine at Boston University’s School of Medicine. He is a general internist and a nationally recognized expert in the field of health literacy. Dr. Paasche-Orlow is currently a co-investigator with five funded grants that examine health literacy, including two intervention studies evaluating simplified information technologies for behavior change among minority patients with a range of health literacy levels. Dr. Paasche-Orlow’s work has brought attention to the role that health literacy plays in racial and ethnic disparities, self-care for patients with chronic diseases, end-of life decision making, and the ethics of research with human subjects.
Dr. Paasche-Orlow is the associate program director for the Boston University School of Medicine General Internal Medicine Academic PostDoctoral Fellowship Program and the associate section chief for research for the Section of General Internal Medicine in the Boston University School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine.
Albert Park, Ph.D., is a National Institutes of Health–National Library of Medicine postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah. Dr. Park’s research focuses on addressing a variety of public and personal health problems via informatics. He applies computational methods (e.g., natural language processing, machine learning) to large datasets, such as social media data, to study a wide variety of health issues, ranging from physical illnesses to mental health conditions. Applications of his research include understanding the effects of social media in individuals’ health and discovering public health–related issues. He holds a B.S. and an M.S. in computer science from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. in biomedical informatics and medical education from the University of Washington. He has accepted an assistant professor position in the Department of Software and Information Systems within the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Brandon Pate, NRP, CCP-C, is a mobile health and critical care paramedic with MedStar Mobile Healthcare in Fort Worth, Texas. He entered the emergency medical services (EMS) field as an emergency medical technician (EMT) in 2004 in the small community of Alpine, Texas, and became a paramedic in 2006.
As a mobile health paramedic, Mr. Pate is responsible for managing high EMS system users and patients at risk for preventable 9-1-1 calls, hospital emergency department visits, and in-patient admissions. He was a contributing author of the Community Paramedicine textbook and is a member of the NAEMT Community Paramedicine Curriculum Committee, the Critical Care Paramedic Advisory Committee for the International Board of Specialty Certifications, and the Adult Protective Services of Tar-rant County Community Board. He has presented at national EMS conferences, including EMS Today and EMS World. Mr. Pate recently graduated from the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s Geriatric Practice Leadership Institute, where he developed a new screening, assessment, and intervention process for fall-risk patients. Mr. Pate holds a B.S. in emergency health sciences from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where he is currently pursuing an M.P.H.
Steven Rush, M.A., LP, is a licensed psychologist and the director of the UnitedHealth Group Health Literacy Innovations Program. He provides leadership and subject-matter expertise consultation to the UnitedHealth Group, UnitedHealthcare, and Optum. Prior to joining the UnitedHealth Group, he practiced as a rehabilitation and counseling psychologist in physical rehabilitation, chronic pain, chemical dependency, eating disorders, and chemical dependency programs. At the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), he staffed the Practice Committee, the Patient Safety and Practice Improvement Subcommittees, and the Stroke Systems Task Force, and he helped found the AAN’s health literacy program.
Mr. Rush joined the UnitedHealth Group in 2006 as the director of physician engagement. In 2009, he began to develop the UnitedHealth Group’s Health Literacy Innovation Program (HLIP). HLIP has led or contributed to the incorporation of health literacy and plain language best practice into UnitedHealth Group programs and services. HLIP also led the creation and distribution of health literacy awareness and skills training programs (computer-based training webinars and workshops) as well as the development and dissemination of the UnitedHealth Group Just Plain Clear® Glossary. This glossary (available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese) recently won an Aster Award for an outstanding Web-based, patient education site. Mr. Rush recently won a Sages of Clinical Services Award for Interprofessional Clinical Leadership and Collaboration on a health literacy and medication adherence project.
David Steffens, M.D., M.H.S., is a professor and the chair of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut (UConn) Health Center. He received his undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and Spanish at Rice University and his medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center
at Houston. He completed his psychiatry residency and M.S. in clinical research at Duke University Medical Center.
Dr. Steffens was a member of the Duke Department of Psychiatry faculty for 20 years, mainly as a National Institute of Mental Health–funded researcher focusing on late-life depression and its relationship to cognitive impairment. In addition, he served as the director of the geriatric psychiatry training program, the division chief for geriatric psychiatry, and the vice-chair of education for the department. He moved to the UConn in 2012 as the chair of the Department of Psychiatry. At UConn he has expanded clinical services for older adults and has developed a multidisciplinary research program in depression and cognitive impairment. Dr. Steffens has a strong clinical and research interest in geriatric affective and cognitive disorders. He has been grant-funded for more than 25 years and has served as a member and a chair of several National Institutes of Health study sections. He has been the recipient of several awards, including the American College of Psychiatrists Award for Research in Geriatric Psychiatry, and he is a past president of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. He is the author of more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and is the lead editor for a prominent textbook on geriatric psychiatry. Dr. Steffens sees patients at UConn Psychiatry Clinic, where he specializes in care for patients with mood disorders.
Teresa Wagner, Dr.P.H., M.S., CPH, RD/LD, graduated with a doctorate in public health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, where she is an assistant professor. She is a registered and licensed dietitian and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her doctoral residency focused on health literacy at the University of Texas (UT) Center for Health Communication and Literacy Coalition of Central Texas (LCCT). She received the UT School of Nursing TCRSS Community and Academic Collaborative Research Award and was hired by the LCCT as the director of health literacy. As director, she uses a multi-level, multi-domain approach building capacity of health care to engage multiple partners, which collaborated with LCCT to deliver understandable health information and built community members’ capacity to lead healthier lives.
Michael S. Wolf, Ph.D., M.A., M.P.H., is the associate vice chair for research in the Department of Medicine and a professor of medicine and medical social sciences in general internal medicine and geriatrics in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. As a health services researcher and cognitive-behavioral scientist, Dr. Wolf has extensively studied the cognitive, psychosocial, and health system determinants of health, specifically in the areas of health literacy and health communica-
tions research. His work has primarily focused on understanding health care complexity. Dr. Wolf has led several large-scale, pragmatic trials to evaluate multi-faceted interventions to promote patient engagement in health, targeting chronic disease self-management, medication safety, and adherence.