Meet Dr.Teresa Chapa , 1992 CSPP Graduate

CSPP alumna Teresa Chapa, PhD, MPA (CSPP-Berkeley, Clinical PhD ’92), is a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. Dr. Chapa leads behavioral health and integrated care initiatives within the federal Office of Minority Health aimed at eliminating disparities in mental health and substance use among under-represented and underserved racial and ethnic minorities, and limited English-speaking minority populations.

As a member of the senior leadership team, Chapa works to ensure that behavioral health is part of the public health agenda. Key projects focus on building a diverse, multidisciplinary, and culturally and linguistically competent behavioral health workforce, leadership development, and the promotion of integrated health care. In her role, she promotes, develops and supports new initiatives, innovative solutions and demonstration projects that can inform policies and practices aimed at eliminating disparities and promoting quality of care. Chapa received the 2011 APHA Helen Trias-Rodriguez Social Justice Award, a Special recognition from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for her work in building a minority behavioral health focus within OMH, and a National Award of Excellence in Public Service from the National Hispanic Science Network. Other awards include a Congressional Award of Special Recognition for a community based suicide prevention project and a Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service for her role in developing the US Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity.

Prior to attending CSPP, Dr. Chapa worked as a nurse (Santa Rosa College) and mental health practitioner in San Francisco community mental health centers and earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from San Francisco State University.  Chapa was an A. Bush Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass where she earned a master’s degree in public administration in 2000.

Most recently, Dr. Chapa was nominated to serve as one of 15 leaders chosen to participate in the Leadership Diversity Summit hosted by the Leadership Diversity Interdivisional Committee of the American Psychological Association, held in Houston, TX in January of 2013.

When asked how CSPP helped to prepare her for her current career, Dr. Chapa answered, “CSPP prepared me to work as a clinical psychologist by providing me with a solid academic and clinical foundation, along with so many opportunities to express and incorporate into my work and passion for human rights and mental health equity. My clinical training experiences were superb and I was employed as a clinical practitioner even before graduation.  The mentorship I received through CSPP was second to none and I am proud to say that I maintain these relationships along with graduate school friendships until now. “