About us

The DMH-UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence (COE) represents a unique partnership between Los Angeles County’s Department of Mental Health (DMH) and UCLA’s Division of Population Behavioral Health. In an unprecedented collaboration, these two public institutions have joined forces around a shared mission to improve the wellbeing of Los Angeles County residents.

Working as a team, the COE capitalizes on DMH’s service delivery experience and footprint and UCLA’s interdisciplinary expertise in mental health prevention training, education, and implementation to advance prevention practice and promote wellbeing in the workplace. 

The COE’s goal is to optimize and sustain trauma and resilience informed systems that leverage community platforms to deliver high quality services.


Dr. Jonathan Sherin developed the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Prevention Division (PD) to change how Los Angeles County (LAC) engages mental health. Under his direction, DMH has shifted the paradigm of mental health care delivery to include innovative behavioral health promotion, prevention, and screening initiatives. 


Norweeta Milburn, Ph.D.


Norweeta G. Milburn, Ph.D. is a Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute. Her research interests include homelessness, substance abuse, family interventions and mental health. She has lead studies that have examined paths into and out of homelessness, as well as the risk for HIV among homeless youth in the U.S. and Australia. She is currently adapting and testing a behavioral intervention for youth exiting the juvenile justice system and their families.

Catherine Mogil, Psy.D.


Dr. Mogil is an Associate Clinical Professor at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA in the David Geffen School of Medicine. Working with children of all developmental stages, Dr. Mogil has been involved in several intervention development and translational research projects examining the efficacy of parent-assisted interventions for infants and toddlers in foster care, school-aged children with developmental disabilities, and adolescents with Autism Spectrum and other disorders.

Eraka Bath, M.D.

Associate Professor

Eraka Bath, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute in the David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Bath specializes in diagnostic assessment and forensic consultation with adolescents, with an emphasis on high-risk youth, including those with histories of trauma, juvenile delinquency and foster care placement. Dr. Bath has developed partnerships with the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court system and consults and provides training to the Juvenile Delinquency Court System and the Los Angeles County Department of Probation.

Todd Franke, MSW, Ph.D.


Dr. Franke is Professor in the Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare.  Dr. Franke has 27 years of experience in conducting cross-sectional and longitudinal research in a variety of interconnected fields including child welfare, education, juvenile justice, mental health and adolescent violence. His is experience includes data analysis (multivariate, predictive analytics, machine learning), data visualization, and linking large existing datasets together for the social good.   

Tyrone C. Howard, Ph.D.


Tyrone C. Howard is professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ at UCLA.  Dr. Howard is also the inaugural director of the new UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families, which is a campus wide consortium examining academic, mental health, and social emotional experiences and challenges for the California’s most vulnerable youth populations. He is the former Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at UCLA. Professor Howard’s research examines equity, culture, race, teaching and learning. Dr. Howard is considered one of the premiere experts on educational equity and access in the country.

Roya Ijadi-Maghsoodi, M.D., M.S.

Assistant Professor-in-Residence

Dr. Roya Ijadi-Maghsoodi is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and an Investigator at the Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy within the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. Dr. Ijadi-Maghsoodi’s research concentrates on improving care for vulnerable populations in the community, including homeless families and high-risk youth with trauma.

Jessica Jeffrey, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H.

Assistant Clinical Professor

Dr. Jeffrey is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Dr. Jeffrey is the Associate Director of the Division of Population Behavioral Health at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. She is also the Lead Child Psychiatrist at UCLA Behavioral Health Associates. Dr. Jeffrey is interested in systems of health care delivery, quality improvement and family resilience research. She also has a strong interest in advocacy for improved child and adolescent behavioral health.

Sheryl Kataoka, M.D., MSHS


Dr. Sheryl Kataoka is Professor-in-Residence in the UCLA Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where she serves as the Training Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship. She is an investigator with the UCLA Center for Health Services and Society and the site PI for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Treatment and Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope and Wellness in Schools. Her current projects include the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program. A school-based, group and individual intervention designed to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and behavioral problems, and to improve functioning, grades and attendance, peer and parent support, and coping skills.

Alex Kelman, Ph.D.

Director of Training

Dr. Kelman is the Director of Training of the Prevention Center of Excellence in the Division of Population Behavioral Health and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychology. Dr. Kelman completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Southern California, UCEDD/Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where he provided behavioral health consultation and therapy as well as conducted research into behavioral health within primary care and novel methods of reducing burnout and compassion fatigue among providers. During that time, he was also a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities fellow, a federally funded program to train leaders in interdisciplinary clinical service, advocacy, and research. He has research interests in compassion, diverse population inclusion in research, meditation, and novel methods of service delivery.

Audra Langley, Ph.D.


Dr. Audra Langley is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. Dr. Langley is also the Director of Training for the Center for Resiliency, Hope, and Wellness in Schools and serves as Chair of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network School Committee. Dr. Langley is a clinician and researcher who specializes in cognitive behavioral treatment for children and adolescents with PTSD, anxiety, and related disorders, and her work seeks to increase school-based access to evidence-based interventions for underserved populations of children.

Patricia Lester, MD


Dr. Lester is the Jane and Marc Nathanson Family Professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine, where she directs the Division of Population Behavioral Health within the Department of Psychiatry. She also serves as the Director of the Nathanson Family Resilience Center, Medical Director of the Family Stress, Trauma and Resilience Service (STAR), Co-Director of the Center for Child Anxiety Resilience Education and Support, and the founding leadership team for the Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families. Dr. Lester has sustained a career-long focus on developing and disseminating preventive interventions, practices, and policies that to support child and family resilience in the context of trauma and adversity. Her research and leadership has focused on the study of translational and implementation processes needed to bring evidence based prevention to scale within systems of care and community settings.

Sung-Jae Lee, PhD


Sung-Jae Lee, PhD is a Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He is the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Nathanson Family Resilience Center, Division of Population Behavioral Health.  Dr. Lee’s research, training, and community engagement work have been strongly shaped by his pursuit of addressing health disparities affecting HIV prevention and care among vulnerable communities impacted by HIV/AIDS. He serves as an advisor to many masters and doctoral students in the Department of Epidemiology. He co-directs the UCLA Fogarty AIDS Training Programs in Thailand and Myanmar, and is a Key Faculty for UCLA Fogarty Training Programs in Vietnam and Cambodia, and enjoys mentoring scholars from Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Rachel Linonis, M.S.

Director of Digital Solutions

Rachel Linonis serves as the Director of Digital Solutions and Innovative Technology for the Division of Population Behavioral Health. In this role, Rachel leverages her background in tech and applies it to healthcare, including: leading teams to develop and operationalize Telehealth (video and remote patient monitoring) innovations, as well as developing and integrating web-based behavioral health tools into various UCLA Health clinical service lines and online learning systems.

Blair Paley, Ph.D.

Clinical Professor

Dr. Paley is a clinical professor in the Division of Population Behavioral Health at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. Her research and clinical work focuses on prevention and early intervention research, providing direct clinical services, and conducting training for community providers and the next generation of early childhood mental health professionals, all with the goal of supporting healthy development and wellbeing in young children and their families.  Dr. Paley leads the DMH-UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence early childhood programming and oversees the DMH-UCLA Early Childhood Fellowship.

Natalie Ramos MD, MPH

Assistant Clinical Professor

Dr. Ramos is an assistant clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine and a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist at UCLA Health. Dr. Ramos sees pediatric and adult patients through Behavioral Health Associates (BHA), the Stress, Trauma, and Resilience (STAR) Clinic, and the Faculty Practice Group. She directs the EMPWR program for LGBTQ+ youth and is the principal investigator for a new study on resilience classes for LGBTQ+ adolescents with depression and anxiety. Dr. Ramos contributes to DMH-UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence training efforts for professionals working with children and teens.

Ana Amador


De’Nisha Beasley


Jae Canas

Sr. Administrative Analyst

Helen Chen


Megan Cox, MA


Sophie de Figueiredo, Psy.D.

Senior Clinical Training Manager

Petros Ghazaryan

Program Assistant

Daisy Gomez, Ed.D.

Lead Trainer

Clare Gorospe

Clinical Training Manager

Domenique Harrison, MA, MPH

Curriculum Developer

Yoon Jung

Business Manager

Pip Keogh, MSocSc (YCW)


Ruben Martinez, Jr. MS, LMFT

Clinical Trainer

Brian McInerney, MPH

Curriculum Developer

Laura McMullin, Ph.D.

Clinical Curriculum Developer

Rebecca Morgan, MSW


Adriana Rodriguez, Ph.D. 

Senior Clinical Training Manager

Shanna Rosenberg

Training Coordinator

Tiffany Santana

Program Assistant

Valerie Sommer

Communications Specialist

Lee Spriggs, M.S.

E-Learning Specialist

Eugenia Hsu Tsao, Ph.D.

DCFS Project Lead

Jill Waterman, Ph.D.

Faculty Adviser for Child Welfare

Carlos Zacarias

Program Assistant