What We Do
Offering training opportunities to sustain systems of care that are both trauma and resilience informed.
Through guided learning and collaboration (both online and in-person), the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence (COE) engages the Los Angeles County workforce in creating stigma-free environments, enhancing employee skill sets, and promoting wellbeing of peer and professional providers. It serves providers across Los Angeles County who support the wellbeing of children, families, and adults. The COE prioritizes interconnection among County agencies and training across systems of care. By elevating the trauma informed capacity of systems of care, the COE hopes to help LA County create more healing environments.
Engaging Mental Health
Created in 2018, the COE provides workforce development, through evidence-based trainings, consultation, and coaching, designed to improve community mental health and wellbeing. It harnesses extensive expertise from the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, as well as other campus-wide partnerships.
Meet Our Trainers
Ana Amador is an associate clinical social worker who specializes in providing bilingual, evidenced-based outpatient mental health services to children and families. Ana takes a present-centered and person-centered approach, utilizing techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. She utilizes evidence-based treatments for trauma, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation. Ana has many years of experience working in community mental health and has worked in close collaboration with outside agencies to meet the multiple needs of vulnerable children and families from the child welfare system. Ana is passionate about supporting healing and wellbeing on an individual and collective level and is a strong believer that recovery is possible. Ana serves as a Trainer for the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence, providing weekly trainings with a joint vision to help educate the Los Angeles County workforce on trauma and resilience informed care.
Natalie Arbid, PhD
Dr. Natalie Arbid worked as a clinician and supervisor at Harbor UCLA Medical Center where she offered trauma informed, evidence-based care to clients and taught this approach to students. Dr. Arbid also worked on the system level dissemination and implementation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to clinicians in county clinics. She is passionate about making trauma informed, evidence-based practices more accessible for underserved populations in LA county.
Dr. Arbid is a training manager at the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence overseeing the implementation of trauma and resilience informed training programs to Los Angeles County employees working in Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Programs (STRTP). STRTPs are intended to serve children/youth/nonminor dependents who need a level of care and supervision that cannot be met in a family-like setting and who are not in need of inpatient services, such as a psychiatric hospital or Community Treatment Facility.
De’Nisha Beasley has 13+ years of experience serving in the health, social work, counseling, and education arenas and has 9+ years of experience working as a discharge planner, medical social worker, case manager, and rehabilitation specialist. She also provided therapy to children at Children’s Hospital of MI and worked as a school counselor and dance coach for LAUSD. She worked as a restorative practitioner in inner-city communities and was the executive director for a non-profit organization focused on saving children from child sexual exploitation. She is trained in the niche of restorative practices and collaborative problem solving and has extensive experience providing trauma-informed clinical care to survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and child sexual exploitation. Her main areas of research interest are in restorative justice, child welfare, domestic violence, human trafficking, and stigma/shame resulting from trauma. De’Nisha is a curriculum developer and trainer at the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence.
Helen Chen earned their Master of Social Work degree from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in 2018. Helen’s past experience includes working with individuals experiencing homelessness, severe and persistent mental illness, substance use addiction, chronic health problems, the LGBTQ community, transitional aged youth (TAY) population, older adults, and immigrant populations. Helen is an avid member of the A Slice of New York family in the Bay Area as they’ve been slinging pizza pies since 2011. Helen wouldn’t consider themselves an expert in any one particular subject. However, if there was any sort of “choose your own” educational research project to be done, they would do it and have done it on the LGBTQ community, worker wellness, and/or the intersection of having multiple marginalized identities. In addition to designing attractive PowerPoints, Helen hopes to continue to be part of systemic change at UCLA through being themselves and creating more accessible mental health learning and training materials for the larger Los Angeles County community, from the ivory tower to across the land. Helen is a Curriculum Developer at the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence and a social worker by trade.
Megan Cox, MA
Megan Cox received her BA in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz and her MA in Applied Psychology from New York University. Before joining the COE team, Megan directed a college access and success program with The Posse Foundation supporting college-bound youth through graduation, facilitating conversations at campuses to be more inclusive and accessible, and engaging community stakeholders in conversations centered on mental health and cross-cultural awareness. Prior to that, she helped manage a program aimed at supporting teenagers and young adults with obtaining educational and professional opportunities.
Megan’s past research interests include exploring immigration experiences of youth who relocated to South Africa from Zimbabwe and the experiences of Holocaust survivors from a Positive Psychology lens. More recently, she has focused on finding ways to support professionals with their wellbeing and the ways community care can build resilience and hope for both the community and the individual. Megan is a trainer at the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence.
Casey Estorque, EdM, MA
Casey Estorque received a BA in Psychology from the University of Texas and an EdM & MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is deeply committed to delivering culturally responsive and trauma-informed education that supports community wellbeing. In particular, Casey is passionate about leveraging education to elevate social justice and support the mental health of youth in marginalized populations.
Before joining the COE team as a curriculum developer, Casey developed and facilitated family and community programming for low-income families at a mental health nonprofit organization, counseled at-risk youth in Harlem, NY, created social-emotional interventions for school-based digital learning programs, and conducted research in a variety of labs. She is excited to expand trauma and resilience informed practices through her as role at UCLA’s Prevention Center of Excellence.
Sophie de Figueiredo, PsyD
Senior Clinical Training Manager
Dr. Sophie de Figueiredo oversees systems-level implementation of a variety of trauma and resilience informed training programs for employees of LA County across various sectors, including those from the Office of Education, Department of Mental Health, Home Visitation, and LA County Disaster Service Workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. de Figueiredo is also a practicing licensed bilingual/bicultural clinical psychologist who, prior to joining UCLA, supervised staff psychologists for many years in a DMH-contracted behavioral health clinic within the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles primarily providing direct clinical services, including several evidence-based practices, to a range of culturally diverse, underserved teens, young adults and families. Her primary areas of clinical emphasis include youth exposed to complex trauma, pregnant/parenting teens, youth diagnosed with neurodevelopmental differences and/or chronic medical illnesses, and issues related to immigration and acculturation. She is especially passionate about supporting young women from BIPOC communities in navigating their unique challenges in order to enhance opportunities for achievement, health and wellbeing. Dr. de Figueiredo has extensive experience providing trauma-informed clinical supervision to interdisciplinary teams and front-line staff and psychology trainees and has developed and facilitated diversity seminars for post-doctoral psychology fellows to enhance clinical sensitivity and humility in provision of care. Her research focuses on risk and protective factors related to compassion fatigue and burnout among interdisciplinary groups of trauma providers. Dr. Sophie de Figueiredo is a Senior Clinical Training Manager at the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence.
Daisy Gomez, EdD
Dr. Daisy Gomez is a Los Angeles native who received an MS in Forensic Psychology and EdD in Counseling Psychology. Dr. Gomez specializes in restorative practices, working with high-risk populations and adults and families affected by trauma, gang-involvement, the criminal justice system, the foster care system, substance abuse, racial injustice, and those affected by incarceration. She has collaborated with community-based organizations, national organizations, and law enforcement agencies in creating and implementing reformative initiatives to increase education and access to mental health within underserved populations. Dr. Daisy Gomez is the lead trainer for the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence.
Pip Keogh, MSocSc (YCW)
Pip Keogh is a professionally accredited Youth & Community Worker with a BA in Social Science from NUI Maynooth and an MA in Youth Work with Community Arts & Health Education from University College Cork. His areas of expertise include youth mental health, community partnered participatory research, reflective and critical praxis, and working with and for disenfranchised and system impacted youth. Pip actively advocates for youth and community-led participation and partnership to empower and ensure their voices are heard, listened to, and influence systemic change. Prior to joining UCLA, Pip worked with Jigsaw, The National Center for Youth Mental Health in Ireland, delivering training in youth mental health and community engagement. He also founded Positive Consent, a youth sexual health and consent education non-profit. As an immigrant, Pip shares his experience from around the world – from Cork, Ireland to Öland, Sweden – and a wide range of settings, including schools, colleges, youth centers, probation, residential care, street outreach, health services, research, and helpline/digital supports. Pip is passionate about all things creative – from music to street art – and leverages these skills to develop accessible, innovative, and engaging training content in-person and online. Pip also plays the banjolele. Pip is a Trainer and Curriculum Developer with the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence.
Lauren Marlotte, PsyD, ABPP
Director of Learning and Development
Dr. Marlotte is a board certified and licensed clinical psychologist who received her doctorate from the University of La Verne, where she studied clinical and community psychology. Dr. Marlotte completed a predoctoral clinical internship working primarily with underserved populations at an outpatient community mental health center and juvenile hall. Dr. Marlotte’s postdoctoral fellowship was at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she specialized in working with adolescents and their families. During her fellowship, Dr. Marlotte provided education on trauma-informed care, multicultural competency, somatic-based treatment modalities, psychological testing, crisis assessment and intervention, and nonsuicidal self-injurious behaviors. She earned her bachelor’s degrees from Occidental College in cognitive science and kinesiology and her master’s degree from the University of La Verne in clinical psychology. Dr. Marlotte is the Director of Learning and Development at the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence.
Claudia Avalos-Garcia, LMFT
Claudia Avalos-Garcia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in providing evidenced-based outpatient mental health services in both English and Spanish to high school and college students, young adults launching into adulthood (Transitional Aged Youth-TAY), and adults established in life. Her theoretical approach is eclectic: focusing on Cognitive Behavioral and Cognitive Processing Therapies, Narrative, Solution-Focused, and Post-Modern modalities. Claudia has over a decade of experience working in community-based mental health services including employment support, case management, and therapy in a variety of settings, such as outpatient, field-based, in-home, and school-based services servicing communities in need. Claudia is very passionate about destigmatizing mental health in all communities and works to empower and motivate individuals to strengthen their confidence in self-discovery. Claudia serves as Clinical Trainer at the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence where she provides professional development to professionals in health care, mental health, and various other settings. She does this through evidence-based trainings designed to improve community mental health and wellbeing from a trauma and resilience informed lens, understanding the impact of toxic stress, recognizing and strengthening protective factors, and resiliency.
Ruben Martinez, Jr., MS, LMFT
Ruben Martinez is a former community college transfer student who also attended Alabama A&M and California State University (CSU), Fullerton. Ruben received their MS in Clinical Counseling from CSU Fullerton in 2012. Trained as a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Ruben has over 10 years of direct clinical service experience working with children, families, and adults in community settings. Ruben also has experience in crisis intervention, evidence-based practices, and clinical supervision. They are a bilingual Spanish speaker dedicated to culturally and linguistically-informed practices and has research experience that focused on the impact of the "public voice" (Proposition 8) on LGBTQ+ communities and the psychological impact of hyper-masculine settings on LGBTQ+ high competition athletes. Ruben is a Clinical Trainer at the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence and provides training, technical assistance, and reflective practice consultation. Ruben is also a lead facilitator with the DMH + UCLA Early Childhood Fellowship and is a certified SEEDS Facilitator.
Laura McMullin, PhD
Clinical Curriculum Developer
Laura McMullin has extensive experience in education with expertise in mindfulness and social-emotional wellbeing. Over the past 20 years, Laura has been dedicated to transformative education working within a social justice framework. Through her research, Laura developed a model for integrative education rooted in wellbeing. She is passionate about supporting healing and wellbeing on an individual and collective level and is deeply inspired by the resilience of the human spirit and the power of community in nourishing the potential for personal and systemic transformation. She has fulfilled a variety of roles, including a K-12 public school teacher in both Los Angeles and New York City; university researcher and lecturer; teacher educator; professional development facilitator; curriculum developer and program evaluator.
Laura is a Clinical Curriculum Developer for the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence. Laura has a BA in Sociology from UC Berkeley, a Masters in Social Justice Education from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Education from NYU where she focused on mindfulness and social emotional wellbeing for teachers.
Rebecca Morgan, MSW
Meet Our Faculty
Hilary Aralis, PhD
Dr. Hilary Aralis provides statistical expertise to the Nathanson Family Resilience Center (NFRC) and other Centers within the UCLA Department of Psychiatry Division of Population and Behavioral Health. As a member of the Division’s Research and Evaluation Team, Dr. Aralis contributes to research design and oversees statistical analyses for a wide range of projects and programs designed to promote behavioral health at the population level. Dr. Aralis is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Biostatistics within the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
Eraka Bath, MD
Dr. Eraka 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. Dr. Bath is an Associate Professor at UCLA.
Zhe Fei, PhD
Dr. Zhe Fei’s research focuses on developing novel statistical methods for big data, meaning extremely large data sets with complex structures and high dimensional n, p, or both. The applications include, but are not limited to, genetics, epigenetics, metabolomics, Electronic Health Records, etc. High dimensional inference refers to the uncertainty measures of the statistical models, including asymptotic convergence, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, which possesses unique challenges that have been drawing substantial research attention in recent years. Dr. Zhe Fei is an Assistant Professor-In-Residence in the Department of Biostatistics at UCLA. He also has a wide range of interests and collaborations in machine learning, cancer research, survival analysis, drug abuse, among others.
Todd Franke, MSW, PhD
Dr. Todd 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 expertise includes data analysis (multivariate, predictive analytics, machine learning), data visualization, and linking large existing datasets together for the social good. Dr. Franke is a Professor at UCLA.
Tyrone C. Howard, PhD
Dr. Tyrone C. Howard is considered one of the premiere experts on educational equity and access in the United States. As the inaugural director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families, a campus wide consortium examining academic, mental health, and social emotional experiences and challenges for the California’s most vulnerable youth populations, Dr. Howard relies upon his research examining equity, culture, race, teaching and learning. Dr. Howard is a professor and the former Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at UCLA.
Roya Ijadi-Maghsoodi, MD, MS
Dr. Roya Ijadi-Maghsoodi’s research concentrates on improving care for under-resourced populations in the community through a community-partnered approach, including individuals and families experiencing homelessness, youth at risk for trauma, and the delivery of mental health services through schools. She serves as an Investigator at the Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy within the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. Dr. Ijadi-Maghsoodi is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence at UCLA.
Jessica Jeffrey, MD, MBA, MPH
Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Jeffrey is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. She is the Associate Director of Ambulatory Services within the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and serves as the Associate Director of the Division of Population Behavioral Health. She is the Lead Psychiatrist at UCLA Behavioral Health Associates and the Director of the UCLA/Los Angeles Department of Mental Health Telehub Progam, where she oversees the delivery of pediatric integrated behavioral health services within the Antelope Valley and through STAND, a program of the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge, at East Los Angeles College.
Dr. Jeffrey is an advocate for improved access to mental health services. Her research and clinical interests include systems of health care delivery and psychedelic assisted psychotherapies. She has published articles in the fields of health services delivery and mental health, spanning topics including integrated behavioral healthcare, measurement-based care practices, professional quality of life in Head Start communities, and quality of life in mental illness.
Dr. Jeffrey is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She teaches within the UCLA Stress, Trauma, and Resilience (STAR) Clinic and serves on the Psychoharmacologic Drug Advisory Committee for the FDA.
Sheryl Kataoka, MD, MSHS
Dr. Sheryl Kataoka is a child psychiatrist and health services researcher who has focused her research on improving the access to and quality of mental health care for youth and families living in under-resourced communities. She has engaged in community-partnered research primarily in school settings and has evaluated trauma- and resilience-informed school services. She is a Professor Emeritus with the UCLA Semel Institute’s Divisions of Population Behavioral Health and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where she serves as the Associate Program Director for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship.
Audra Langley, PhD
Dr. Audra Langley’s body of research seeks to increase equity in access to quality mental health and wellbeing interventions for under-resourced populations of children, including those in schools and involved with the child welfare system. Dr. Langley is the Director of UCLA TIES for Families, an innovative interdisciplinary program for children in foster care, kinship care, or adopted through foster care (ages birth to 25) and their families in Los Angeles County, working in close partnership with the Los Angeles County Departments of Children and Family Services and Mental Health. She is also Co-Director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families, Director of Training for the NCTSN-funded Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope and Wellness in Schools. Dr. Langley is a Professor at UCLA.
Sung-Jae Lee, PhD
Dr. Sung-Jae 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. He serves as an advisor to many masters and doctoral students in the UCLA 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. He currently serves as the UCLA PI for the University of California Global Health Institute (UCGHI) GloCal Fellowship Program. Dr. Lee is a Professor-in-Residence at UCLA and is the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Nathanson Family Resilience Center, Division of Population Behavioral Health.
Patricia Lester, MD
Director, DMH + UCLA Public Partnership for Wellbeing
Dr. Patricia has sustained a career-long focus on developing and disseminating preventive interventions, practices, and policies that support child and family resilience in the context of trauma and adversity. Her research and leadership have focused on the study of translational and implementation processes needed to bring evidence-based prevention to scale within systems of care and community settings. Dr. Lester is the director of the UCLA Public Partnership for Wellbeing. She is the Jane and Marc Nathanson Family Professor of Psychiatry and directs the UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health within the Department of Psychiatry. She also serves as the Director of the Nathanson Family Resilience Center, Co-Director of the Center for Child Anxiety Resilience Education and Support (CARES), and the leadership team for the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families.
Blair Paley, PhD
Dr. Blair Paley’s work focuses on developing early interventions for parents and caregivers with young children impacted by trauma, prenatal alcohol exposure, and other early adversities, as well as designing professional development opportunities for community providers who work in early childhood settings. Dr. Paley is a Clinical Professor at UCLA. She directs the DMH + UCLA Early Childhood Fellowship, a professional development program for early childhood professionals working with young children and families impacted by trauma. Dr. Paley also developed and directs the SEEDS Family School Readiness Program, which collaborates with the LAUSD Trauma and Resilience Informed Early Enrichment Program to support early childhood educators and preschool families.
Natalie Ramos MD, MPH
Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Natalie Ramos is the Medical Director for the EMPWR program for LGBTQ youth and is the Principal Investigator for a new study on resiliency classes for LGBTQ adolescents with depression and anxiety. She sees both pediatric and adult patients through Behavioral Health Associates (BHA), the Stress, Trauma, and Resilience (STAR) Clinic, and the Faculty Practice Group. Dr. Ramos is an Assistant Clinical Professor and a Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist at UCLA.
Meet Our Directors
Norweeta Milburn, PhD
Professor-in-Residence | Co-Director
Dr. Norweeta Milburn research interests include homelessness, substance use/abuse, mental health, family interventions, and health equity for under-resourced and underserved populations. She has led studies examining the paths of youth into and out of homelessness, and the development and testing of behavioral family interventions for youth experiencing homelessness and youth exiting the juvenile justice system. Dr. Milburn is a Professor-in-Residence at UCLA and is a co-director of the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence.
Catherine Mogil, PsyD
Associate Clinical Professor | Co-Director
Dr. Catherine Mogil works with children of all developmental stages and 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. Dr. Mogil consulted for the National Military Family Association and was invited to co-chair NATO’s Human Factors Panel Research and Technology Task Group on the impact of military life on children in military families. Dr. Mogil is an Associate Clinical Professor at UCLA and the co-director of the UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence.
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