The Web Portal will provide information about the MFP program, MFP Grantees, MFP Fellows, the MFP funding agency (the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), and other Federal funding sources.
This site will be your portal to especially useful information about opportunities for training, networking, collaborating, funding, employment, career development, research, and administration. The Portal will feature a calendar of events, news regarding current and past Fellows, and tips to take care of yourself while you are taking care of others. To ensure we have your current updated information, please contact the office where your Fellowship was conducted to update your status. In the meantime, stay tuned.
by Michael Hopps, DSG
Melba Vasquez, Ph.D., ABPP, has been elected the 2011 president of the American Psychological Association. A member of APA’s first Minority Fellowship Program in 1975, Vasquez is the first woman of color, the first Latina, and only the 13th woman of 120 APA presidents.
“I strongly encourage you to consider your identity as someone viable to be in the leadership pipeline,” Vasquez said in a statement to the MFP community. “We must encourage each other, and we must mentor each other when we take the risks to lead. I would never, ever have considered this role as an option for me were it not for the many individuals and groups that were so encouraging and helpful in lending a hand in more ways than I can count.”
She also outlined a host of initiatives she is considering introducing as APA president:
by Carrie Brock, CSWE
This past spring, two members of the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) family, current Fellow Dr. Theda Rose and MFP alum Dr. Jacqueline Dyer, successfully defended their dissertations at two major universities. Rose, who is working on postdoctoral studies at the University of Michigan, presented “Social Integration and Mental Health Promotion: A Study of Black Adolescents,” at Catholic University in Washington. Dr. Dyer’s dissertation, “Dyadic Religious and Spiritual Process in Christian Couples,” was presented at Boston University, and it will be used as a resource for community churches working with families dealing with such issues. Dyer is currently pursuing a full-time teaching position.
In January, MFP alum Dr. Rogério Pinto received the prestigious Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award at the annual Society for Social Work and Research Conference in San Francisco. The award is given to a researcher who has demonstrated excellence early in his or her career and has shown great promise and innovation in research. Pinto, who was recently promoted to Associate Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City, is the second MFP alum to receive this award in the past 2 years. After receiving his doctorate in social work from Columbia, Pinto joined a 3-year National Institute of Mental Health–funded postdoctoral fellowship at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Pinto’s research interests include HIV prevention with Latino males.
New MFP Director
Good-Bye to Dr. J
Loss of Two Fellows
by Janet Jackson, ANA
The 23rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Association of Black Nursing Faculty, Inc., brought together nursing faculty, health experts, researchers, and nursing students in Paris, June 9–14, to explore Nursing Education and Collaborations in an Indigenous Global Community. Attendees were able to reconnect with old friends, make new ones, and network with nursing faculty, health experts, and leaders from throughout the United States and the global community.
Get the Facts:
by Michelle Duhart–Tonge, MFP Coordinating Center Project Director, DSG
Minorities make up roughly 25 percent of the U.S. population, yet only about 10 percent of American mental health providers are ethnic minorities. In 1973 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), which has helped support doctoral-level training of almost a thousand ethnic minority psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, and social workers. These individuals often serve in key leadership positions in mental health and substance abuse training, administration, direct services, services supervision, and services research.
Development Services Group, Inc. (DSG), under the leadership of LCDR Antoine Smith, a public health adviser for SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services, operates the MFP Coordinating Center. The Coordinating Center is designed to help SAMHSA and the MFP grantees strengthen the MFP and the tracking of the MFP Fellows, assess the impacts of the MFP, enhance interdisciplinary efforts to increase quality of care and access to mental health and substance abuse services for underserved ethnic minority communities, and in general help the MFP solidify its gains and make further progress in reducing the disparities that currently weaken our Nation’s behavioral health workforce.
Through the MFP, SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services provides grants to encourage and facilitate the doctoral and postdoctoral development of minority nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. The grantee associations that support this are
by Marilyn King, American Psychiatric Assn.
William B. Lawson, M.D., Ph.D., Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, participated in the Minority Fellowship Program during 1980–82, while conducting his residency at the Stanford University Medical Center. He has fond and grateful memories of the MFP, recently saying, “It gave me the opportunity to link up with colleagues of similar interests and helped me to appreciate the potential for psychiatry to reduce health disparities.” Dr. Lawson credits the MFP for “helping me to become involved in the American Psychiatric Association and later to become president of the Washington Psychiatric Association, the largest District Branch.” He received his bachelor’s degree from Howard University, his master’s from the University of Virginia, and his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of New Hampshire. He received his M.D. from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Lawson is currently Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Howard University College of Medicine and Hospital, as well as the Director of Howard’s Mood Research Program. He is the immediate past-president of the Washington Psychiatric Society, where he made impacts in establishing a presidential dinner, arranging for support to the people of Haiti’s earthquake victims, and taking a stand against a plan by the District of Columbia to reduce public mental health services.
For the past 35 years, Dr. Lawson’s career has included an array of roles, fellowships, and contributions, principally in the area of depression and mood disorders among minorities. His extensive research as Principal Investigator on several National Institute of Mental Health grants and authorship of more than a hundred publications reflect his interest in genetics and culture and how they interact in mood disorders, evidence-based practice to multiethnic populations, delivery of mental health services in non–mental health settings, HIV, addictions, and community violence. Read through his presentation on “Depression and Mood Comorbidities: Culture and Biology—Implications for African Americans,” to the 2005 National Alliance of the Mentally Ill national symposia.
Among his vast contributions to medicine and teaching, Dr. Lawson stands out for his leadership in advancing diversity and multicultural understanding, evidenced by a Multicultural Workplace Award from the Veterans Administration. Additionally, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) named him a national mentor. Finally, Dr. Lawson serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of NAMI and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
To contact Dr. Lawson, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Janet Jackson, ANA
Hattie M. Bessent, Ed.D., MSN, RN, is an African American nursing scholar who has achieved national recognition for her exceptional leadership and pioneering work to increase the representation of minorities in nursing. By educating generations of nurses through fellowship and leadership development programs, Dr. Bessent is credited with helping reduce health disparities often responsible for disproportionately high rates of mortality and disability among people of color.
by Robert L. Hubbard, Ph.D., NDRI
One of the major challenges facing the substance abuse treatment field is how to continue developing and maintaining the workforce. To direct and support the development of the workforce for the future, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), in consultation with a panel of experts, began investigating with three main questions: 1) What are the basic demographics of the workforce? 2) What are the anticipated workforce development needs for 2010–15? And 3) what are the common strategies and methodologies to prepare, retain, and maintain the workforce?
An initial step was a review of existing knowledge about the workforce.
The substance abuse treatment workforce has been estimated to consist of 135,000 full-time employees, 45,000 part-time employees, and 22,000 contract employees. These individuals work in a host of settings: outpatient, residential, medical, detoxification, correctional, and a variety of specialty service and community settings. They represent myriad disciplines: health, criminal justice, substance abuse treatment, mental health, social services, and recovery support advocates. A review of these studies indicates that 60 percent to 80 percent of direct-service staff have at least a bachelor’s degree, and almost 50 percent have a master’s degree, but fewer than 10 percent of the workforce hold doctoral or medical degrees. Most substance abuse programs do not have full-time staff with medical or other advanced graduate degrees.
Workforce Older, Predominantly White and Female
by Larry Davidson, Ph.D., RTP Project Director, DSG
The Recovery to Practice (RTP) initiative is the most recent of the Federal Government’s efforts to promote recovery for all Americans affected by mental illness. It is designed to help mental health providers adopt and use recovery-oriented practices. It involves 1) creating a Recovery Resource Center, complete with Web-based and print materials, training, and technical assistance for mental health professionals, and 2) developing and disseminating curricula and training materials on recovery-oriented practice for each of the major mental health professions.
Five leading professional discipline organizations competed for, and were awarded, 5-year subcontracts to design and implement curricula. They are
Recovery from serious mental illness is not in itself a new concept. The recovery movement began nearly 35 years ago with the courageous efforts of persons who had experienced mental illness and fought to reclaim their citizenship within the broader community. What is relatively new, however, is taking what we have learned about the nature of recovery—particularly from people who have personal experience with it—and using this knowledge to transform mental health practice. By bringing together the major mental health professions with people in recovery, advocates, and other stakeholders (including experts in curriculum and workforce development), the RTP initiative begins to address how we can translate the vision, values, and principles of recovery into the concrete and everyday practice of mental health practitioners.
Minority Fellowship Program Coordinating Center