John Greden, MD
Executive Director, University of Michigan Depression Center
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.
Michelle Kees, PhD
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 a Clinical Without Compensation (WOC) appointment 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 women and families, including female veterans and military spouses; peer programs supporting veterans in the community and on college campuses; and large-scale implementation and evaluation of evidence-based programs. She is the Principal Investigator for HomeFront Strong, a Department of Defense funded resiliency intervention for military and veteran spouses and their children. Together with colleagues, Dr. Kees leads a resiliency program for women veterans, After Her Service, that focuses on the intersection of mental health and professional success. She also oversees the program evaluation of Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE), a national peer mentorship program for student veterans returning to college on the Post 9-11 GI Bill, and Buddy-to-Buddy, a statewide peer support program for service members and veterans throughout Michigan. Dr. Kees received her PhD in Clinical Psychology at SUNY Stony Brook, completed a clinical internship at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL, and completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Center on Child Abuse & Neglect at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She has been at the University of Michigan for 16 years, and was a founding member of M-SPAN in 2008. She is also the spouse of a former National Guard soldier.
Adrienne Lapidos, PhD
Dr. Adrienne Lapidos is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She directs the Certificate in Integrated Behavioral Health and Primary Care. Her clinical practice background includes community-based primary care and recovery-oriented psychosocial rehabilitation through the Veterans Health Administration. Her clinical and research interests include integrated primary care, recovery-oriented systems of care, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She has expertise in peer programs, program design for underserved populations and program evaluation.
Kate Rosenblum, PhD
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.
Marcia Valenstein, MD, MS
Dr. Valenstein is a Professor Emeritus 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.
Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE) Team
Kali Lake, MSW
Kali Lake is a Program Manager for Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE), a peer support program for student veterans offered through Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN) at the University of Michigan. Ms. Lake oversees the implementation of the PAVE program, including supporting partner campuses, building partnerships, and managing program grants. She was involved in the initial design and development of PAVE as a Program Coordinator when the program formed in 2012 and rejoined the M-SPAN team in 2020. Ms. Lake completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work at the University of North Dakota. She also has experience as Director of Operations for the North Dakota Air National Guard where she was responsible for day-to-day leadership and management of 60 targeting analysts, and provided oversight for developing long-term training, intelligence, and readiness plans. Ms. Lake has over 18 years combined experience between her time in the Army and Air Force. She joined the ND Army National Guard as a Combat Medic in 2001. She later transferred to the ND Air National Guard and was a firefighter from 2004-2013. During that time, she deployed to Iraq and worked there with Iraqi firefighters on developing training. In 2013, she received her commission as an intelligence officer.
Brittany Risk, LMSW
Brittany Risk is a Program Manager for Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE), a peer support program for student veterans offered through the Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN) at the University of Michigan. Ms. Risk oversees the grants management of the PAVE Program, and has held a lead role in the program’s expansion and development of the curriculum and hybrid technology training model. As an appointee of the Governor, she served on the Michigan Board of Social Work from 2016 through 2019. Additionally, she has been Field Instructor for the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Ms. Risk 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. Ms. Risk also has experience as a Project Coordinator at the Department of Veterans Affairs implementing programmatic research in the areas of veteran mental health, inpatient psychiatry, and substance abuse. She is interested in reducing stigma and barriers to care through innovative approaches for service members, veterans, and their families.
Strong Military Families Team
Karen Smith, LMSW
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.
Stephanie Thompson, LLMSW
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.
HomeFront Strong Team
Holli Herr, MA, LPC/A
Holli Herr is the Program Therapist for HomeFront Strong. She is responsible for co-leading HomeFront Strong group sessions with community providers as well as training community providers in the program model. Ms. Herr holds a Master of Arts in Psychology: Clinical Counseling from The Citadel Graduate College in Charleston, SC. Prior to joining HomeFront Strong, Ms. Herr completed training at a Child Advocacy Center and served as a therapist at a college counseling center in South Carolina. A combination of her education, training, and personal experiences have cultivated a strong interest in working with military families.
Jennifer Lamb, LMSW, MS
Jennifer Lamb is a Clinical Social Worker and Program Manager for HomeFront Strong. Ms. Lamb oversees the HomeFront Strong program, including building and maintaining state-wide partnerships, training community clinicians in the HomeFront Strong model, supervising delivery of the HomeFront Strong intervention, and overseeing participant recruitment and program evaluation metrics. For two years, she worked in partnership with community clinicians and facilitated the HomeFront Strong program with military and veteran spouses. She also serves as a Trainer for M-SPAN's After Her Service program. Prior to her position with HomeFront Strong, Ms. Lamb served as a clinical social worker at the University of Michigan providing clinical services to adults and children. Ms. Lamb earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.She holds a Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and a Master’s in Child Development from the Erikson Institute. Ms. Lamb hails from a multigenerational family of military service. She served in the Marine Corps both as an enlisted Marine and as a commissioned officer, and is also married to a Marine.
Ali Thompson, BA
Ali Thompson is the Outreach Coordinator for HomeFront Strong. She is responsible for coordinating and conducting HomeFront Strong’s outreach and engagement activities with military and veteran spouses. Ms. Thompson also collaborates closely with Michigan’s Active, Reserve, and National Guard military components; the Veteran’s Administration; and military and veteran service organizations across the state. She received a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Toledo and served three years in the Army as a logistician in the Transportation Corps. Ms. Thompson has spent the past 17 years providing support, community outreach and engagement to military spouses and commands at military installations in the U.S. and abroad. As both a veteran and spouse of a veteran, she holds a unique understanding of the value of programs designed for military and veteran families.
After Her Service Team
Jennifer Lamb, LMSW, MS
Jennifer Lamb is a Trainer for After Her Service. She is part of the planning team, and also co-lead sessions in the After Her Service curriculum during the program's weekend retreats. Her primary role at M-SPAN is as the Program Manager for the HomeFront Strong program. Ms. Lamb 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. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. She holds a Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and a Master’s 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 a commissioned officer.
Brittany Risk, LMSW
Brittany Risk is the Program Manager for After Her Service (AHS), a resiliency skills and career coaching program for Post-9/11 female veterans offered through Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN) at the University of Michigan. Ms. Risk oversees all aspects of the program, including participant recruitment and grants management. In addition to serving as a Program Manager for AHS, Ms. Risk also serves as a Program Manager for M-SPAN’s Peer Advisors for Veteran Education program. As an appointee of the Governor, she served on the Michigan Board of Social Work from 2016 through 2019. Additionally, she has been Field Instructor for the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Ms. Risk 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. Ms. Risk also has experience as a Project Coordinator at the Department of Veterans Affairs implementing programmatic research in the areas of veteran mental health, inpatient psychiatry, and substance abuse. She is interested in reducing stigma and barriers to care through innovative approaches for service members, veterans, and their families.
M-SPAN Programs Team
Bill Bryan, BA
Bill Bryan is the Program Manager for M-SPAN’s substance use disorder veteran peer-to-peer initiative. Prior to this project, he was the Program Manager for the Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program at M-SPAN. In that role, he oversaw all aspects of the program, including building and maintaining relationships with National Guard and military leadership, working with community and private sector partners, and supporting the volunteer corps. Mr. Bryan has served in the U.S Coast Guard Reserve since 2013. He brings a wealth of project management and volunteer coordination experience. He has previously worked as a Disaster Program Specialist for the American Red Cross where he served as the Assistant Director of Information and Planning for the Flint Water Crisis, and as the Manager of Visitor Services at the Detroit Historical Society. Prior to coming to M-SPAN, Mr. Bryan worked at the Michigan Medicine Office of Development on the Cancer Programs team. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wayne State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration from Eastern Michigan University.
Emma Czajka is a Research Assistant for the HomeFront Strong and After Her Service programs. She is a senior at the University of Michigan pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in Biology. Prior to joining the M-SPAN staff, Ms. Czajka volunteered on the child team for HomeFront Strong and assisted with After Her Service research. Her educational pursuits, volunteer work with M-SPAN, and experience as part of a military family have all fostered her desire to help improve the mental health and well-being of service members, veterans, and their families.
Iris Hadziegric, BA
Research Assistant and Child Team Leader
Iris Hadziegric is a Research Assistant for the HomeFront Strong and After Her Service Programs, and the Child Team Leader for HomeFront Strong. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and continues to pursue a focus on understanding the adverse experiences that individuals face, as well as ways to positively influence the outcomes that may follow. Prior to joining the M-SPAN staff, Ms. Hadziegric volunteered on the child team for HomeFront Strong. Her educational studies, past research experiences, and volunteer work with at-risk individuals and unique populations have all led her to M-SPAN, where she has become interested in working to reduce mental health stigma for service members, veterans, and their families.
Margy Howes, MA
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 manages logistic details for M-SPAN's statewide and national special events. Ms. Howes earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Social Welfare from The College of Wooster and a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Bowling Green State University. She is the daughter and niece of World War II and Korean War veterans and is proud that her work at M-SPAN serves to improve the lives of today's veterans. Ms. Howes has been in this position since 2010 and is one of M-SPAN's longest serving staff.
Chrysta Meadowbrooke, MA, MSI
Senior Research Specialist
Chrysta Meadowbrooke is the Senior 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, MA
Communications and Marketing Manager
Alyssa Wealty is the Communications and Marketing Manager 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 former military base employee, Ms. Wealty has a firsthand appreciation of 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.