Dr. John F. Greden is the Rachel Upjohn Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences in the Department of Psychiatry, Founder and Executive Director of the University of Michigan Depression Center, Founding Chair, National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC), and Research Professor in the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute. He joined the faculty at the University of Michigan Medical School in 1974 and served as Chair of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry from 1985 to 2007 when he stepped down to focus on directing the Depression Center and developing the NNDC. He currently is President of the Board of Directors of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Dr. Greden is the Principal Investigator for the M-SPAN programs.
Jane Spinner is Project Officer for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Michigan Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry. In this position, she oversees the design, development, and implementation of major projects and initiatives that address the mental health needs of special populations, and helps translate clinical research advances in mental health to those in need in Michigan and nationally. Ms. Spinner has over thirty years of experience in the health care field, with a background as a clinician, health care business executive, and an entrepreneur. She has specific expertise in strategic marketing planning and center of excellence development for health care systems, physician groups, and corporations. She is Project Director for the M-SPAN programs and services.
Gregory W. Dalack serves as the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at University of Michigan, where he is an Associate Professor. He has served as Chief of the Mental Health Clinic at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) and as Chief of the Psychiatry Service at VAAAHS. He is also currently Associate Chair for Education and Academic Affairs for the department. From 2006-2007, he was Vice Chair of the department until assuming the role of Interim Chair in 2007. Dr. Dalack has research interests in the treatment of chronic and persistent mental illnesses, particularly focusing on schizophrenia. He has conducted studies examining nicotine addiction and smoking cessation interventions in schizophrenia, health behaviors in schizophrenia, and metabolic effects of second-generation antipsychotic medications in schizophrenia. He serves as an advisor to the M-SPAN Project Team.
Dr. Valenstein is a Professor at the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry and a senior research scientist at the VA Health Services Research and Development service and the Serious Mental Illness Treatment Research and Evaluation Center (SMITREC). She has extensive clinical experience treating veterans in the VA health system. She is a national expert on peer-to-peer programs and was a key member in the collaborative Michigan Army National Guard and University development team that conceptualized and implemented the Buddy-to-Buddy program in the Michigan National Guard. Her areas of research focus are medication adherence, depression management strategies, quality of depression care and suicide.
Dr. Kate Rosenblum is a clinical and developmental psychologist at the University of Michigan where she holds dual appointments as both Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry as well as Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Human Growth & Development. Her research and clinical work focus on parenting, infant and early childhood mental health, and the development of preventive interventions to promote resilience in families, with a special interest in military and veteran families with young children. Many of the families she works with have experienced significant disruptions, including separations, trauma, and/or loss, and in these contexts her work focuses on strengthening protective factors to enhance family resilience. Dr. Rosenblum is a nationally recognized expert in the area of early childhood mental health and military families. She is a member of the Academy of Fellows with the national organization Zero to Three, and serves on the Research Advisory Board for Team Red White and Blue. Within the Department of Psychiatry she directs the Women and Infants Mental Health Program and co-directs the Infant and Early Childhood Clinic, the specialty multidisciplinary training clinic that provides assessment and intervention services for children birth to 6 years old and their families within the Department of Psychiatry. Within M-SPAN, Dr. Rosenblum leads the Strong Military Families initiative, delivering an effective preventive intervention designed to serve military families with young children during and following deployment.
Dr. Michelle Kees is a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. She holds dual Clinical and Research Without Compensation (WOC) appointments at the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VA), and an Adjunct Appointment in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Kees’ expertise centers on risk and resilience in female veterans, military spouses, caregivers, and families; peer programs supporting veterans in the community and on college campuses; and large-scale dissemination of evidence-based programs. She is the Principal Investigator for HomeFront Strong, a group-based resiliency intervention for military and veteran spouses/partners that is being disseminated statewide via community clinicians. She is the Principal Investigator for PAVE (Peer Advisors for Veteran Education), a national peer mentorship program for student veterans returning to college on the Post 9-11 GI Bill, and the Principal Investigator for the program evaluation of Buddy-to-Buddy, a peer support program for veterans throughout the state of Michigan. Lastly, Dr. Kees is working with colleagues at M-SPAN to develop a new program, After Her Service, that focuses on the intersection of mental health and professional growth in female veterans. She is also the spouse of a former National Guard soldier.
Dr. Nelson serves as the Program Psychologist for M-SPAN’s Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program. He facilitates weekly volunteer support calls and provides guidance on mental health issues and emergencies that may occur. He currently holds positions as the Local Recovery Coordinator at the Ann Arbor Veterans Administration Medical Center and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving from 1993 through 1997, and participating in Operation Southern Watch. He received a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and completed his clinical internship at the Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Nelson has advanced clinical training in psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery approaches to care for individuals with serious mental health diagnoses, and has expertise in peer-led initiatives and services.
Stephanie Zarb is the Program Manager for the Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program. She is a native of Redford, Michigan and joined the United States Air Force in 2006. Ms. Zarb has deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and for Counter-Narcotics Missions in South America. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Oklahoma with a focus in Human Relations. Ms. Zarb’s interests include: veteran outreach, volunteer training and development, improving veterans’ awareness and access to resources, and community outreach. As Program Manager, Ms. Zarb oversees all aspects of the Buddy-to-Buddy Program, including conducting volunteer trainings, recruiting new volunteers, communicating with National Guard leadership, working with community partners, and supporting the corps of Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veterans who donate their time and expertise to support fellow veterans.
Brittany Risk is the Program Manager for the Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE) Program. In this position, Ms. Risk coordinates and oversees all aspects of the implementation of the PAVE Program. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Michigan State University, and earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Michigan. Prior to coming to PAVE, Ms. Risk worked as a Project Coordinator at the Department of Veterans Affairs on grants that focused on veteran mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention. She has experience with program development and implementation, team management, and clinical care. She is specifically interested in reducing stigma and barriers to care and creating supportive networks and programs for service members and veterans. Ms. Risk’s personal connections to the military inspire her work in advocacy and development of military programs, especially those related to successful transition to civilian life.
Stephanie Thompson is a Project Coordinator for M-SPAN’s STRoNG Military Families Program. In this position, Mrs. Thompson organizes the program’s evaluation and research, assists with student training and supervision, and manages data – collection, entry, and analysis. She also assists with participant recruitment, home visitation, and special event coordination. Originally from Austin, Texas, Mrs. Thompson earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work form Texas State University. She moved to Michigan seven years ago to earn her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Michigan. Mrs. Thompson has extensive experience working the mental health field both as a direct practice case manager and as a researcher. She is also the Program Coordinator for the Women and Infants Mental Health Program at the Depression Center.
Lauren Rosenberg is a Research Coordinator for M-SPAN’s Strong Military Families Program. She is a native of Pennsylvania, but has lived in Ann Arbor for 17 years. As Research Coordinator, she establishes and maintains relationships with community partners, recruits families for Strong Military Families groups, and coordinates data collection. She also works with distal sites running the Strong Military Families Program, providing technical assistance to disseminate the program to other areas of the country. Ms. Rosenberg earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from Teacher’s College at Columbia University.
Karen Smith has worked at the University of Michigan since 2004 and has served as a clinical social worker in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Parent Child Relational Clinic since 2009. In this capacity, she provides evaluation and treatment services to young children and their families using a variety of clinical interventions. She is endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Specialist. Ms. Smith has worked with the M-SPAN project since 2008, and facilitates the Strong Families group, a psycho-education group for military service members and their families. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She also provides supervision and training for social work interns.
Jodi Goodman is the Project Coordinator for M-SPAN’s HomeFront Strong Program. In this position, Ms. Goodman assists with participant recruitment, participant assessments, coordinating community outreach, and training of community providers. Additionally, she facilitates the HomeFront Strong resiliency group for military spouses or partners experiencing distress associated with deployment. She is a native of Michigan and has lived in Ann Arbor for 10 years. Ms. Goodman is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Social Work and School of Public Health. She has worked in a variety of settings serving adults and youth with both health and mental health needs, including hospital-based mental health services, community health counseling, and research interventions.
Timothy Nellett is the Program Coordinator for the PAVE program (Peer Advisors for Veteran Education). In this position, Mr. Nellett coordinates the implementation of the PAVE Program on current campuses. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Infantry in 2005 and served in 1st Battalion 6th Marine Regiment out of Camp Lejeune, NC. He deployed to Ramadi, Iraq in 2006-2007 and in 2008 he was deployed to Kandahar and Garmsir, Afghanistan. Recognitions from his service include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a Combat “V”. Mr. Nellett graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. During his time there, he served as Secretary of the UM chapter of Student Veterans of America (SVA), worked as a Team Leader for PAVE and as a Veteran/Military Student Contact Coordinator within the UM Office of New Student Programs. Mr. Nellett is interested in helping veterans successfully transition from military to civilian life with an emphasis on transitions related to education and employment.
Renee Stewart is the Project Coordinator for the After Her Service Program. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Wheeling Jesuit University and a Master of Science in Public Health Science from Penn State College of Medicine. She previously coordinated the research component of multiple projects at Penn State University. Ms. Stewart coordinates participant recruitment, tracks pre and post program data, and assists with program implementation and research for After Her Service.
Jennifer Lamb is the Clinical Social Worker for HomeFront Strong. Ms. Lamb is responsible for assessing participants for the program and co-leading HomeFront Strong with community providers at various sites across Michigan. She has worked as a clinical social worker providing services to critically ill children and their families as well as direct therapy services to both adults and children. Ms. Lamb earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. She holds two Master’s Degrees: a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and a Master’s Degree in Child Development from the Erikson Institute. She comes from a long family history of military service and served in the Marine Corps both as an enlisted Marine and as a commissioned officer.
Rebecca Couch is the Outreach Coordinator for the HomeFront Strong program. Her role includes participant recruitment, coordinating community outreach, and establishing relationships with community partners. Ms. Couch has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Michigan and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Community Health Education from Eastern Michigan University. She is the spouse of an Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn Army veteran.
Nathan Cross is the Outreach Coordinator for the Buddy-to-Buddy Program. Mr. Cross served in the U.S. Army Infantry as a Rifleman, Machine Gunner, Grenadier, and Team Leader in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning the Combat Infantryman Badge and two Army Commendation Medals for Leadership. He served five years active duty and then another two years in the Army Reserves. Prior to joining the Buddy-to-Buddy staff, Mr. Cross worked for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency’s Veterans Resource Service Center and then as a VA work-study program Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in business from Siena Heights University. Mr. Cross was formerly a Buddy-to-Buddy volunteer and trained into the program in September 2016. In this position, he is responsible for implementing a volunteer recruitment plan, identifying and staffing veteran-related events, and reaching out to volunteers to ensure they have the support they need.
Cassandra Parks is the Administrative Assistant for the Buddy-to-Buddy Program. She served ten years in the United States Air Force working in Information Management/Administration. Ms. Parks holds an Associate’s Degree in Humanities and Social Sciences and has extensive administrative and research experience from her time serving and her sixteen years working for the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She is responsible for answering the program’s 1-800 call-in line and working with other staff to coordinate the referrals to volunteers.
Chrysta Meadowbrooke is the Research Specialist for M-SPAN, working on research and evaluation for multiple projects, including Peer Advisors for Veteran Education and HomeFront Strong. She earned her MS in Information at University of Michigan and her MA in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University. Through several years of experience with community-based health and clinical research projects, Ms. Meadowbrooke has developed skills in both qualitative and quantitative research, such as study design and management, data collection through surveys and interviews, and data analysis. Her professional and personal experiences with veterans and military families help strengthen her person-centered approach to research and her commitment to helping people improve their quality of life.
Alyssa Wealty is the Communications Specialist for M-SPAN and coordinates the various marketing communications activities for M-SPAN and all of its programs. As a native of Military City, USA (San Antonio, Texas), veteran spouse, and someone who worked on a military base overseas, Ms. Wealty has a deep appreciation of and connection to service members, their families, and the sacrifices they make for our country. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Communications from St. Mary’s University and a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Marist College and has diverse experience working in communications, particularly for non-profit organizations. She focuses on using strategic, targeted communications to increase M-SPAN’s reach and connection to the people it serves.
Margy Howes is the M-SPAN Administrative Specialist. Ms. Howes supports all programs within M-SPAN and serves as the office manager. She manages many financials, including program feature reports, budget analysis, travel activity, expense tracking, and procurement. She leads logistic details for both state-wide and national special events. She has been in this position since December 2010.