VITAL Meet the faculty Demo

May 03, 2012

Xavier Amador, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and an internationally sought-after speaker. Dr. Amador has over 25 years of experience working with adults, families, and couples. In addition to continuing to his private practice in New York City, Dr. Amador is the Founder and Director of the LEAP Institute. LEAP is for therapists, family members, law enforcement officers, and anyone seeking to break through an impasse with someone who is convinced they are right and you are wrong. He and the faculty at LEAP conduct regional seminars for couples and other groups.

This distinguished faculty are paid consultants of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Xavier Amador, PhD                  Rakesh K. Bansil, MD                        Jason C. Bermak, MD, PhD                        Michael O. Measom, MD    

Rebecca Roma, MD                   Georgia L. Stevens, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS, BC                        Dawn I. Velligan, PhD                       Peter J. Weiden, MD

Xavier Amador, PhD
Clinical Psychologist,
Founder and Director
LEAP Institute
Adjunct Professor
Columbia University,
Teachers College
New York, New York

Xavier Amador, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and an internationally sought-after speaker. Dr. Amador has over 25 years of experience working with adults, families, and couples. In addition to continuing to his private practice in New York City, Dr. Amador is the Founder and Director of the LEAP Institute. LEAP is for therapists, family members, law enforcement officers, and anyone seeking to break through an impasse with someone who is convinced they are right and you are wrong. He and the faculty at LEAP conduct regional seminars for couples and other groups.

He is the author of 8 books, among which are Insight in Psychosis and national best seller I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help. In addition to his books, Dr. Amador has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and many other publications that have been translated into more than 20 languages.

His expertise has made him a regular contributor to the Today show and a featured guest on Good Morning America, Prime Time Live, CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, 60 Minutes, CNN, Dateline NBC, ABC’s World News Tonight, and Fox News, and he has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and many others. Dr. Amador has been a consultant to numerous companies and government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health.

Previously, Dr. Amador was a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons; on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI); Director of Research at NAMI; and Director of Psychology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He was also Co-chair of the last text revision of the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders section of the DSM IV-TR.

Rakesh K. Bansil, MD
Medical Director
Bridgeway PACT Services
Clinical Associate Professor
New Jersey Medical School
Livingston, New Jersey

Rakesh K. Bansil, MD, is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the New Jersey Medical School. As well, he is the Medical Director of Bridgeway Progressive Assertive Community Treatment Services, a community-based outpatient psychiatric service for seriously persistent mentally ill patients. He also serves as Attending Psychiatrist at East Orange Behavior Health’s outpatient department and is a Consultant Psychiatrist for several nursing and rehabilitation centers in northern New Jersey.

Dr. Bansil’s clinical interests primarily involve affective disorders, psychosomatic disorders, and mentally ill children and adults. On average, he gives 75 to 100 presentations a year on various topics related to Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Specifically, he spoke on Addressing the Challenges of Partial Adherence in Schizophrenia: Long-Acting Injectable Therapy at the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists’ Senior Care Pharmacy Meeting in 2007.

Dr. Bansil earned his medical degree at the University of Delhi University College of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India, where he then completed an internship at Safderjng Hospital. After a Senior Residency at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia, Dr. Bansil completed his training with a Psychiatric Residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark. He is Board Certified in Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, and Geriatric Psychiatry.

Jason C. Bermak, MD, PhD
Psychiatrist and Medical
Director SF-CARE, Inc.
San Francisco, California

Jason C. Bermak, MD, PhD is Medical Director of SF-CARE, Inc., a clinical research organization based in San Francisco, where he cares for and conducts clinical research studies involving seriously mentally ill patients.  As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Bermak also sees patients privately in San Francisco, at the California Medical Facility (Vacaville State Prison), and as an attending psychiatrist at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital. 

In addition to his work as a clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Bermak is also Chief Medical Officer to Anvyl LLC, an early stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of non-sedating anxiolytic as well as cognitive enhancing medications.  He holds a PhD in pharmacology with an emphasis in neuropharmacology and over a dozen publications in high- impact journals.  In his scientific roles, Dr. Bermak consults frequently for biopharmaceutical companies with a focus on clinical trial design in the transition from preclinical to clinical stages of drug development.

As an educator who thrives on engaging and lecturing to his colleagues, Dr. Bermak is the chairman of an annual San Francisco-based psychopharmacology conference, hosted by the Northern California branch of the American Psychiatric Association.  He obtained his medical degree and PhD in pharmacology from the University of California, Irvine and his residency training in general and adult psychiatry from the University of California, San Francisco.

Michael O. Measom, MD
Medical Director of Alcohol
and Drug Services
Valley Mental Health
Salt Lake City, Utah

Michael O. Measom, MD, is Medical Director of the Adult Alcohol and Drug Unit at Valley Mental Health in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also serves as Medical Director at A/D Psychotherapy and Clinical in Sandy and as Consultation Psychiatrist and Advisory Board member at the Edward G. Callister Foundation in Salt Lake City. Previously, he was Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Dr. Measom was named to the America’s Top Psychiatrists list from 2006 through 2008. He is a member of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the American Psychiatric Association. He has given over 30 presentations and co-authored over a dozen articles and abstracts on various topics in the area of psychiatry.

Dr. Measom received his MD from the University of Utah School of Medicine. He went on to complete a Residency in Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison. Following that, he went to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where he completed a Residency in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, as well as a Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry. He is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry.

Rebecca Roma, MD
Psychiatrist and Medical
Director of Community
Treatment Team
Mercy Behavioral Health
Pittsburgh, PA

Rebecca Roma, MD, is a psychiatrist who serves as Medical Director of the Community Treatment Team at Mercy Behavioral Health in Pittsburgh. Additionally, she is an inpatient psychiatrist with the Behavioral Health Unit at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy Hospital, a general psychiatric unit for the treatment of adults. She also treats patients at several Pittsburgh-area homeless shelters.

Prior to her clinical work, Dr. Roma undertook several research endeavors, including work in Molecular Biology, Genetics, Endocrinology, and Psychiatry. She has given presentations on psychotropic medications and addressing challenging behaviors and was the recipient of the APA/Janssen Resident Scholarship in 2003 and the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004. 

After earning an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and a Doctorate in Economics and Market Research from Indiana University, Dr. Roma received her MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She continued on to Residency Training at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh. She is Board Certified in Adult Psychiatry.

Georgia L. Stevens, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS, BC
Consultant, P.A.L. Associates
Partners in Aging &
Long-Term Caregiving
Washington, DC

Georgia L. Stevens, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS, BC, is a Nurse Psychotherapist and Consultant. Presently, she is Aftercare Coordinator at the Maryland State Mental Hygiene Administration and Baltimore Mental Health Systems in Baltimore. There, she is responsible for staff training as well as the ongoing evaluation of adult and geriatric patients with SPMD transinstitutionalized from state hospitals to less restrictive environments. Additionally, she works as Medication Management, Psychotherapist and Consultant at P.A.L. Associates: Partners in Aging and Long-Term Caregiving in Washington, DC. Previously, she was Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Catholic University of America School of Nursing in Washington, DC.

Throughout her career, Dr. Stevens has been very active in the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA). With that organization she is Chair of the Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute Planning Committee and is also a member of the Scholarly Review Committee and the Geropsychiatric Council. Previously with the APNA, she was Chair of the Dementia Best Practice Awards Subcommittee and member of the Awards Committee.

Dr. Stevens received a BSN from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She then went on to The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where she completed an MSN in Psychiatric Nursing. After a Fellowship at the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, she earned her PhD in Nursing from the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

Dawn I. Velligan, PhD
Director, Division of
Schizophrenia and Related
Disorders Professor,
Department of Psychiatry
University of Texas Health
Science Center
San Antonio, Texas

Dawn I. Velligan, PhD, is Professor and Director of Schizophrenia and Related Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Previously, she was a Research Specialist at the San Antonio State Hospital.

Active in publications, Dr. Velligan has co-authored over 35 articles in peer-reviewed journals since 2004. She has also been active in clinical research trials. Dr. Velligan has received federal NIMH grants as well as private grants as Principal Investigator or Co-investigator on several trials for the treatment of schizophrenia. In the past, she was a Staff Research Assistant in Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Neuropsychiatric Institute.

Dr. Velligan earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from UCLA, where she had previously received an MA and BA in Psychology. She received additional training with Internships in Clinical Psychology from UCLA, Tri-city Community Mental Health Center (CMHC), and Didi Hirsch CMHC. As well, she was an NIMH Postdoctoral Scholar in Psychiatry with MHCRC for Schizophrenia and a Teaching Fellow in Psychiatry at the University of California.

Peter J. Weiden, MD
Director, Psychotic Disorders
Program, Center for Cognitive
Medicine, University of Illinois
at Chicago Medical Center
Professor of Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry
University of Illinois
Chicago, Illinois

Peter J. Weiden, MD, is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Psychotic Disorders Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Previously, he was Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Schizophrenia Research Service at The State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Dr. Weiden’s career has focused on improving clinical outcomes for patients with schizophrenia. He is known for his work on patient and family education addressing treatment of psychosis.

Dr. Weiden has received several awards from family and patient advocacy groups and was named an Exemplary Psychiatrist on three separate occasions by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). Dr. Weiden’s book Breakthroughs in Antipsychotic Medications: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Clinicians received the Ken Johnson Memorial Book Award in 2000 as one of the most outstanding books in mental health.

Dr. Weiden’s research career has focused on bridging psychopharmacology and public health issues in the treatment of schizophrenia. He has published extensively on the problem of medication nonadherence (noncompliance) with antipsychotic medications among persons with schizophrenia. Currently, his focus is on developing new pharmacologic and psychosocial interventions to help address medication adherence problems for patients with schizophrenia.

Dr. Weiden has worked with leading cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) researchers from the United Kingdom to develop and evaluate CBT interventions in the United States and has an active research and training program in CBT.


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