University Seminar: OnTrackChile for First Episode Psychosis
Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH is the Edna L. Edison Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center where she directs the Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research and the Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Dixon is an internationally recognized health services researcher with over 25 years of continuous research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the VA and foundations. As CPI director, she oversees activities for the New York State Office of Mental Health in implementing evidenced based practices in behavioral health programs throughout the state. She leads the innovative program, OnTrackNY, a statewide initiative designed to improve outcomes and reduce disability for the population of individuals experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Dr. Dixon’s grants have focused on improving the quality of care for individuals with serious mental disorders with a particular emphasis on services that include families, reducing the negative impact of co-occurring addictions and medical problems, and improving treatment engagement and adherence. Dr. Dixon’s work has joined individuals engaged in self-help, outpatient psychiatric care, as well as clinicians and policy makers in collaborative research endeavors. Dr. Dixon assumed the role of editor in chief of the journal, Psychiatric Services in January, 2017. She has published more than 250 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has received numerous awards including the 2009 American Psychiatric Association Health Services Senior Scholar Award and the Wayne Fenton Award for Exceptional Clinical Care. In 2014, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Metro NYC recognized her with the Adele Anshien Volunteer of the Year Award, and NAMI national recognized her with its annual Scientific Research Award. In 2016, the Mental Health Section of the American Public Health Association recognized her work with the Carl A. Taube Award.
Ezra Susser, MD, DrPH, is Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is Director of the Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program at Columbia University. Much of Dr. Susser’s work has focused on neurodevelopmental disorders; some evident in childhood, such as autism spectrum disorders, and others evident later, such as schizophrenia. The purpose in broad terms has been to identify strategies for prevention and for enhancing the quality of life of affected individuals. This has led him to study the determinants of the onset and the course of such illnesses at many levels, encompassing for example sociocultural context, prenatal exposures, child adversities, genetics, and epigenetics. He has also been involved in developing and testing interventions, often focused on marginalized populations, such as Critical Time Intervention for homeless people with schizophrenia. Both his past and current work have had a major focus on global mental health, in regions including Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, India, and China. In Latin America, he founded and initially led (with NIMH funding) the “RedeAmericas” network. OnTrackChile is a recently initiated project which will adapt the OnTrackNY early intervention for first episode psychoses to the Chilean context and test its effectiveness there.