Dissemination & Implementation Research & Policy Core Personnel


Marc S. Atkins, PhD

Dr. Atkins is the Director of the Community Engaged Research Core of the CCTS. He is a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, and Director of the Institute for Juvenile Research where he also directs a research group focused on community-based mental health services for urban children . He has worked on policy-related projects both locally in Chicago and nationally, and has been funded by NIH grants consistently since 1990 including as PI of a center grant focused on developing innovative community-based mental health programs for children in poverty. 

Tara G. Mehta, PhD

Dr. Mehta is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Juvenile Research in the Psychiatry Department, College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Mehta has a longstanding collaboration with the Illinois Department of Mental Health as a member of the Evidence Based Practice Initiative and consults with the Illinois DMH on the implementation and dissemination of evidence based practices in community mental health settings.  She has also worked closely with the Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Park District examining new models of mental health service delivery for children and families living in urban, low-income neighborhoods. Her research includes the development of effective and efficient systems to support the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based practices in community-based mental health service settings and examining accessible, effective, and sustainable, community-based models of mental health service delivery for children and families living in underserved communities.

Dana Rusch, PhD

Dr. Rusch is a Visiting Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Juvenile Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Rusch has an overarching interest in addressing mental health disparities among ethnic minority youth and families living in urban poverty. Her program of research focuses on implementing relevant and sustainable models of mental health promotion for Latino immigrant families, guided by a Community-Based Participatory Research framework. This work aims to build upon community resources and workforce strengths through collaborative partnerships with non-specialty settings (e.g., schools, community-based organizations, after-school programs) and the non-traditional providers that play a critical role in family engagement and advocacy. Dr. Rusch has collaborated with the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, and various community-based organizations serving Latino/immigrant families throughout the city. 

Angela L. Walden, PhD

Angela Walden is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Institute for Juvenile Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on culturally responsive services created in collaboration with high-needs communities (e.g., children/adolescents living in high poverty communities, women who experience intimate partner violence, urban American Indians) and delivered in community settings (e.g., schools, community service organizations). Her research employs ecological and mixed methods approaches to examine the development, implementation, and dissemination of community-based treatments and practices into novel settings and community-based collaboration processes and outcomes. Dr. Walden has collaborated with community-organizations serving youth and children, both within the state of Illinois (e.g., short-term juvenile detention) and the city of Chicago (e.g., Chicago American Indian Center).