Rachel Chiu graduated from Northwestern University in 2023 with a B.A. in Psychology and minors in Data Science and Communication Sciences & Disorders. In joining CPR, she ties together her research interests of looking at factors that may influence the efficacy and mechanisms behind evidence-based therapies and interventions delivered in community settings. In the future, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology studying factors reducing risk and promoting resilience in at-risk and/or disadvantaged populations and to translate this research into systemic, evidence-based therapies that improve psychological well-being.
Kristin joined the Perelman School of Medicine in 2013 and has been working on the PACE/PACENET Projects: SUSTAIN and CREST for the past 10 years. As the Program Coordinator, she oversees two large-scale measurement-based collaborative care programs which aim to improve the outcomes for seniors across the state of Pennsylvania and caregivers of individuals with cognitive impairment and ADRD. Kristin is a graduate of James Madison University with her B.S. in Health Studies. She is a passionate advocate for innovate care models to support the retooling of the mental health workforce and the growing needs of the aging population and their caregivers.
Elizabeth arrived at Penn after completing an MSS at Bryn Mawr College, with a background in developmental and geriatric mental health. She comes to the Center for Psychotherapy Research with a decade of clinical research experience and is the Clinical Lead on the PACE-UPenn Initiative, which works to provide evidence-based behavioral health support to low-income seniors throughout Pennsylvania. Elizabeth is experienced in providing clinical trainings to a range of professionals, and serves as a committee chairperson for the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work. She is a practicing social worker and psychotherapist in the Philadelphia area, specializing in grief and relationship challenges. Current research interests are the delivery of evidence-based therapies to disenfranchised and rural populations, and the overall expansion of integrated mental health care.
Brena is a licensed clinical social worker providing behavioral health services to community-dwelling older adults across Pennsylvania. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Societies, and later graduated from Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice with her Master’s in Social Work. Brena has experience in crisis work with victims and survivors of domestic violence, as well as internship experience as a medical social worker in an intensive care unit. She currently works as a behavioral health provider on the PACE Team. Brena specializes in grief and loss, relational challenges, and the Whole Health Model, with a particular interest in working with caregivers of those with dementia and providing evidence-based short-term therapeutic interventions.
Paula is a licensed social worker in Pennsylvania and holds a master’s degree in clinical social work with a specialization in healthcare from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice. She is a behavioral health provider on the PACE team. She comes to the Center for Psychotherapy Research with expertise in geriatrics and integrative behavioral healthcare. Paula has prior internship experience at the Behavioral Health Lab at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA using the integrative healthcare model with veterans and caregivers. She has experience teaching mindfulness at the Penn Memory Center as a volunteer for their Memory Café program for adults with dementia and their caregivers. She holds a bachelors in Music Education from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts and has over 10 years of experience working with students of all ages. Paula’s areas of interest include the creation of inclusive and anti-oppressive psychotherapies, mindfulness interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, and creative arts therapies.
Patria Alvelo, PsyD (she/her/hers)
Dr. Alvelo is a licensed psychologist who holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master's degree in Women's History from Sarah Lawrence College, and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Widener University. In addition to training and supervising diagnosticians in the Clinical Assessment Core, Dr. Alvelo works as a full-time clinician specialized in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), trauma, attachment, and issues related to gender and sexuality.
Atley Fortney graduated from Seton Hall University in 2021 with a BA in Psychology and minor in Social Work. At present, she is in her third year of pursuing her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at La Salle University. Atley’s current research is focused on promoting equitable Autism diagnosis for women and gender-expansive groups which complements her clinical passion for providing person-centered neuropsychological assessment to diverse populations. In working with the Center for Psychotherapy Research, she is excited to use her interest in assessment to assist research that translates factors of therapeutic efficacy to direct work with diverse populations.
Tina has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in Gerontology from West Chester University. Tina Recently completed nursing school and is a licensed RN. She is in the process of applying for an RN to BSN program to start in the fall. Tina has worked in Geriatric Psychiatry for over 20 years. Tina is the lead behavioral health technician on the PACE Team. She especially enjoys helping support caregivers of older adults with ADRD.
Ashleigh graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Many of her classes and research labs focused on developmental psychology and cognition. Realizing that most of those psychology courses only focused on infants and children, she became interested in learning more about adults and aging. Ashleigh currently works as a behavioral health technician on the PACE Team. Her professional interests include family studies and geriatric research, specifically in vulnerable populations. In the future, she hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.
Isabella is a third-year undergraduate at Penn’s College of Arts and Sciences studying Psychology and English. Her past research experience includes working at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the Center for Autism Research, focusing on using technology to identify potential behavioral markers of ASD in children, as well as helping families better understand and better support their children, whether they have Autism, mental illness, or they be typically developing. After graduating from Penn, Isabella hopes to attend a Clinical Psychology PhD program
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