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Teresa Chapa, Ph.D., MPA

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Rockville, MD

Teresa Chapa, Ph.D., MPA

Dr. Teresa Chapa is the Senior Mental Health Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Minority Health. Her current areas of focus and development include the integration of mental health into overall healthcare, building a minority mental health pipeline and the state of Hispanic mental healthcare.

From 2007 until recently, she was awarded an Intergovernmental Personnel Assignment (IPA) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Mental Health America, where her principal focus was behavioral health disparities for racial and ethnic minority and other underserved populations.

Dr. Chapa served as Director of Policy and Data for the Office of Minority Health where she led the way for making Minority Mental Health a part of the overall health and health disparities agenda. She authored a policy brief titled: Mental Health Services in Primary Care Settings for Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and brought key issues and recommendations to the attention of the HHS Office of the Secretary. She worked as a Federal coordinator and facilitator for the Surgeon General’s Workshop on Women’s Mental Health, and continues to represent the Office of Minority Health as the Federal Partner for the Mental Health Transformation and other targeted committees.

Prior to joining the Office of Minority Health, Dr. Chapa held several leadership positions within HHS including serving as the first Chief of the Office of Extramural Research for the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities the National Institutes of Health, and as Special Expert to the Center for Mental Health Services at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in areas of cultural and linguistic competency (CLC) and mental health disparities for minority and underrepresented populations. She created the first Center-wide advisory committee on CLC initiated, guided numerous minority mental health projects and grants, and assisted in the development of the Supplemental report of the Surgeon General, Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity.

Chapa has been the recipient of several awards, including the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Services for contributions made to the supplementary report of the Surgeon General, Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity, and a Congressional Certificate of Recognition for her role in establishing a Latina Mental Health Demonstration Project on Suicide Prevention in California’s 38th District for representative Grace Napolitano.

Dr. Chapa began her career in mental health over 30 years ago as a nurse working in California community mental heath settings, later attaining a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, from the California School of Professional Psychology in Berkeley, CA and a Master Degree in Public Administration from The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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