PTSD Consultation Program: Meet the Consultants - PTSD: National Center for PTSD
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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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PTSD Consultation Program: Meet the Consultants

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PTSD Consultation Program: Meet the Consultants

CONTACT US PTSDconsult@va.gov or (866) 948-7880

Our consultants are expert clinicians who are here to answer your PTSD-related questions. Our team includes psychologists, physicians, and pharmacists who have designed, implemented, and led PTSD treatment programs and consulted on thousands of PTSD cases. We are part of the Executive Division of the National Center for PTSD.

Sonya Norman, PhD, Director
Sonya Norman, director of the PTSD Consultation Program and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, is a clinical psychologist and a researcher in the treatment of PTSD and addictions, applications of Prolonged Exposure therapy, implementation of evidence based treatments for PTSD, and novel treatments to address the kinds of problems recently deployed Veterans report. She is based at the VA San Diego Healthcare System where she previously directed the PTSD treatment program for Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and served as a consultant for the VA Prolonged Exposure therapy rollout. She recently served as a member of the VA/DoD PTSD Clinical Practice Guideline workgroup. Dr. Norman has over 100 publications related to PTSD and associated problems. She received her PhD from Stanford University.

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Abigail Angkaw, PhD
Abigail Angkaw is a clinical psychologist and Section Chief overseeing a unit of community-based outpatient mental health clinics at the VA San Diego, PTSD Program Director at the VA San Diego, and an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Angkaw specializes in questions related to treatment, assessment, and clinic administration, including Prolonged Exposure (PE), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5), measurement-based care, motivation and engagement, and program improvement. Dr. Angkaw is a national PE consultant and a regional mentor in the VA PTSD Mentoring Program. Her primary research interests include PTSD and co-occurring conditions as well as improving the delivery of mental health treatment. As a VA provider and coming from a military family, Dr. Angkaw is personally invested in helping providers through complex clinical and administrative challenges to provide high quality care for Veterans with PTSD. Dr. Angkaw received her PhD from the University of Cincinnati. She completed her predoctoral internship in PTSD and comorbid substance use disorders and her postdoctoral fellowship in combat PTSD research at the University of California, San Diego/VA San Diego.

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Nancy Bernardy, PhD
Nancy Bernardy, Senior Psychologist, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, is a clinical psychologist and researches strategies to implement evidence-based PTSD treatments in VA. Her VA-funded research has focused on developing resources to improve the delivery of care to Veterans with PTSD in rural areas. As the Director of the PTSD Mentoring Program (2008-2018), Dr. Bernardy worked to help VA PTSD clinic directors implement strategies to redesign their clinics to allow for greater access to evidence-based practices. She was a co-champion of the 2017 VA/DoD PTSD Clinical Practice Guideline and has served as a member of the PTSD Special Committee for the past 5 years. She received her PhD in biological psychology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1995 and then re-specialized in clinical psychology at Yale University where she did a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical substance use research.

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Lisa-Ann Cuccurullo, PsyD
Lisa-Ann Cuccurullo is a clinical psychologist whose current work is focused on facilitating the use of empirically supported treatments by clinicians treating veterans in rural areas. Her clinical work has focused on cognitive behavioral treatments for PTSD and other post-trauma related symptoms. She is trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy and is a consultant in the VA's national rollout of Prolonged Exposure. Prior to her position at the National Center for PTSD, she was the Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator and Assistant Director of Psychology Clinical Training at the Southeast Louisiana Veteran's Health Care System, and a clinical instructor at Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Cuccurullo's current research interests focus on implementation of empirically supported treatments and posttraumatic symptom presentation. Dr. Cuccurullo received her doctorate in clinical psychology from La Salle University and completed her clinical internship and a PTSD focused fellowship at the Southeast Louisiana Veteran's Health Care System.

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Matthew J. Friedman, MD, PhD
Matthew Friedman is Senior Advisor (former Executive Director) to the National Center for PTSD and Professor and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He has 45 years of experience treating individuals with PTSD with specific expertise in pharmacological treatments. Dr. Friedman is founder and former Executive Director of the National Center for PTSD. As chair of the Trauma, Stress and Dissociative Disorders Sub-Work Group for DSM-5, Dr. Friedman played a critical role in revising the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. He served as a VA Co-Champion for the 2017 revision of the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD. His research has focused on stress and PTSD, biological psychiatry, psychopharmacology, and clinical outcome studies on depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and chemical dependency. He has over 300 publications, including 27 books and monographs.

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Brittany N. Hall-Clark, PhD
Brittany N. Hall-Clark is a Texas-licensed clinical psychologist in private practice and. an Assistant Professor within the Division of Behavioral Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Her clinical specialties include trauma, nightmares, insomnia, sleep, and anxiety. She has been certified as a Master Prolonged Exposure clinician and has extensive experience in working with active duty service members and veterans. She has also been trained in CBT for Insomnia and Nightmares as well as Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (CBCT) for PTSD. Dr. Hall-Clark's research interests include acculturative stress, cultural identity, and culturally sensitive treatment. For 8 years, she worked at the Ft. Hood site of STRONG STAR as a cognitive-behavioral research therapist for several randomized clinical trials focused on PTSD and related conditions in active duty military personnel and veterans. She obtained her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Hall-Clark completed a 2-year fellowship with STRONG STAR, a multidisciplinary PTSD research consortium.

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Jessica Hamblen, PhD
Jessica L. Hamblen, a clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, is Deputy Director for Education at the National Center for PTSD. In this capacity she oversees the Center's educational efforts to promote the implementation of evidence based care for Veterans and trauma survivors through provider training and support and increase awareness of PTSD and engagement in treatment. Dr. Hamblen's interests are in developing, disseminating, and evaluating cognitive behavioral treatments for PTSD and related conditions. She is a funded investigator who has conducted several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating these interventions. Currently she has an RCT focused to evaluate an online PTSD program to increase engagement and retention in PTSD treatment. She attended the State University of New York at Buffalo where she obtained her PhD in clinical psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Dartmouth and the National Center for PTSD.

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Paul Holtzheimer, MD
Paul Holtzheimer is the Deputy Director for Research at the National Center for PTSD, Executive Division. He is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Surgery at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and a staff psychiatrist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the White River Junction VA Medical Center. Dr. Holtzheimer's clinical and research interests include developing better interventions for PTSD and related disorders, especially for patients with treatment-resistant and comorbid illness. He has expertise in brain imaging and brain stimulation therapies (including transcranial magnetic stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, and deep brain stimulation). A primary aim of his research program is to better understand the neural circuitry of treatment-resistant PTSD, mood and anxiety disorders, and to use this information to develop and advance novel treatment approaches, with a particular emphasis on focal brain stimulation therapies. Dr. Holtzheimer obtained his MD at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and an MS in clinical research from Emory University.

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Sadie Larsen, PhD
Sadie Larsen is a clinical psychologist and researcher at the Milwaukee VA, and an Associate Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where she is Associate Training Director of a Health Psychology training residency and postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Larsen specializes in Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and is interested in helping clinicians provide evidence-based treatment while navigating the nuances of particular cases and the administrative and other challenges that come with systems change. Dr. Larsen is the Local Evidence Based Psychotherapy Coordinator and founder/lead of the Evidence Based Psychotherapy clinic at the Milwaukee VA. She supervises practicum students, interns and postdoctoral fellows in PTSD, general outpatient therapy, and addressing military sexual trauma. Her primary research interests involve better understanding variation in response to evidence-based treatments for PTSD, cognitive and emotional processes that maintain or alleviate PTSD symptoms, and the unique experiences of Veterans and of men and women who experience interpersonal and sexual trauma. Dr. Larsen received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed her predoctoral internship at University of Wisconsin and her postdoctoral fellowship in PTSD treatment at VA Boston.

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Kelly Phipps Maieritsch, PhD
Kelly Phipps Maieritsch, a clinical psychologist and Director of the PTSD Mentoring Program, specializes in questions related to assessment and treatment of PTSD including measurement-based care, trauma and dissociation, and outpatient PTSD program management. She is a national CPT trainer and consultant, has served as a regional mentor in the VA PTSD Mentoring Program, and is Program Manager for the PTSD outpatient specialty program at the Hines VA in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Maieritsch previously worked in a VA facility in Missouri where she served as Military Sexual Trauma Lead and site coordinator, as well as PTSD outpatient program manager. She has served as therapist, investigator, and adherence and competence rater for several clinical research trials involving CPT. She appreciates the nuances in balancing adherence with clinical flexibility and wants to provide guidance to providers that support their unique talents while working within these treatment protocols. Her research interests include psychotherapy outcomes, assessment, clinical video technologies and evidence-based psychotherapies, and program evaluation. Dr. Maieritsch received her PhD from Central Michigan University and completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Missouri St. Louis, in the Center for Trauma Recovery.

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Elissa McCarthy, PhD
Elissa McCarthy is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of PTSD and insomnia. She is a psychotherapist in the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, where she previously worked as a member of the PTSD Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program treatment team and was the New England regional leader of the VA local evidence-based psychotherapy coordinators. She is a master trainer for VA's Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia national rollout. Dr. McCarthy's current research interests are focused on studying the effectiveness and implementation of evidence-based psychotherapies for PTSD and insomnia. Dr. McCarthy received her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and completed a VA postdoctoral fellowship at the VISN 1 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers (MIRECC) site.

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Todd McKee, MDiv, Program Manager
Todd McKee, manager of the PTSD Consultation Program, serves as a consultant on questions related to educational and clinical resources. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations of the program, he answers questions and helps providers find tools, information, courses, patient education materials, and other available resources on the National Center for PTSD's website. Mr. McKee worked for many years as a case manager and administrator in a community mental health center and also has experience working as a chaplain in healthcare and correctional facility settings. He understands many of the challenges that providers face in a busy and sometimes stressful work environment and is eager to help clinicians get the information and support they need in an efficient and timely manner. He received his MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary.

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Macgregor Montaño, PharmD, BCPP, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
Macgregor Montaño is a clinical pharmacist at the National Center for PTSD. In addition to providing consultation on questions related to pharmacologic treatment of PTSD, she does outreach across New England, providing clinical education and training to promote evidence-based care for Veterans with PTSD in the VA and in the community. Before joining the Center, she worked in VA Primary Care and Geriatrics clinics in Michigan and Vermont. She is board certified in psychiatric pharmacy and completed the VA Geriatric Scholar Program, a workforce development program to improve care of older adults. Her interests are the biological underpinnings of PTSD and memory, geriatrics, polypharmacy and medication safety. She understands first-hand the demands on front-line health care providers and wants to help providers sort through the pharmacopeia and patient factors to make wise prescribing choices. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan.

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Marianne Silva, LCSW
Marianne Silva is a clinical social worker at VA Connecticut (VACT) where she has extensive experience delivering Prolonged Exposure (PE), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in both residential and outpatient settings. Ms. Silva is certified in EMDR and is a consultant-in-training through the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA). She served many years in VA Connecticut's PTSD Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program before transitioning to a senior role in the outpatient PTSD and Anxiety Firm, where she continues to be involved in the education, supervision, and delivery of evidence-based psychotherapies for PTSD. Ms. Silva facilitates a peer-mentoring group for EMDR-trained clinicians at VACT. She is a clinical supervisor for post-graduate social workers and often delivers trainings and lectures throughout the VA and local community. Ms. Silva also works in private practice serving clients in both Connecticut and New York. Her current interests include expanding the availability of evidence-based psychotherapies through program development in the implementation of massed EBP protocols as a specialized treatment track for Veterans with PTSD. Ms. Silva is an avid believer in shared decision making and educating Veterans and families on treatments that are founded in research and clinical expertise. Ms. Silva received her MSW from Columbia University.

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Patricia Watson, PhD
Dr. Patricia Watson, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and is a Senior Educational Specialist for the National Center for PTSD. Prior to joining the National Center for PTSD in 1998, Dr. Watson was an active-duty Navy psychologist for eight years, working with adults for four years, and children and families for four years. Dr. Watson has specialized in disaster response work since 1999. As part of those efforts she is a co-author of the Psychological First Aid (PFA) Field Guide and the Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR) Manual, designed to intervene in the immediate and intermediate phases after disasters and terrorism. She has co-edited three books on disaster behavioral health interventions, as well as numerous articles, guidance documents, courses, and chapters on disaster mental health. She has also specialized in combat and operational stress, military culture, early intervention, and resilience. She is a co-author of the Combat Operational Stress First Aid (COSFA) peer support intervention, and Stress First Aid for Firefighters and Emergency Services Personnel and Curbside Manner (a public facing version of Stress First Aid), as well as creating versions of Stress First Aid for law enforcement professionals, forest firefighters, nurses, and rail workers. She is a co-author of toolkits and courses related to burnout and secondary traumatic stress, provider resilience, disaster mental health, police, chaplains, assessment of PTSD, military culture, anger management, and sleep management courses. Her education includes a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Catholic University, and a postgraduate fellowship in pediatric psychology at Harvard Medical School.

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Cindy Yamokoski, PhD
Cindy Yamokoski is a clinical psychologist, the Associate Director of the PTSD Mentoring Program, and Senior Clinical Instructor at the Case Western Reserve University. Her research and clinical interests include clinic flow/design, treatment of co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders, combat-guilt, implementation of clinical innovations, and strategies to increase the delivery of EBPs with complex populations. Dr. Yamokoski and her colleagues in Cleveland, where she formerly served as Section Chief for Specialty Mental Health at VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System, have developed and implemented an intensive two- and four-week PTSD program utilizing massed delivery of evidenced-based psychotherapy for PTSD, and she is facilitating the implementation of this model in additional PTSD programs within the VA system. Dr. Yamokoski earned her doctorate from the University of Akron.

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