Scholars from the USF Institute for Translational Research in Adolescent Behavioral Health (Institute) celebrated successes and new opportunities at the 27th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research and Policy Conference. The Institute’s inaugural cohort of scholars presented their service-learning research projects alongside academic mentors and community agency partners on March 2-5 in Tampa.
Over the past year, Institute scholars assisted community agency partners with evaluating fidelity of evidence-based practices (EBPs), identifying mechanisms to increase parental engagement, enlightening ways to improve reunification of families in the child welfare system, examining implementation of EBPs, and developing an Evidence-based Intervention Toolkit (eBIT) for school social workers.
“We not only learned translational research, but we also had the chance to work collaboratively and practice it in a real-world setting,” said Humberto López Castillo, a second year doctoral student in the Department of Community and Family Health and an inaugural Institute scholar. “We are very happy with the final outcomes of the translational process and that these products are useful to our community partners.”
In their last semester of the Translational Research in Adolescent Behavioral Health graduate certificateprogram, the inaugural cohort of Institute scholars were honored at a reception attended by USF professors Julianne Serovich, PhD, dean of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, and Wilbur Milhous, PhD, associate dean of research in the College of Public Health (COPH).
Members of the first and second cohort of Institute scholars met with each other, as well as networked with academic mentors, community agency partners, and national mentors. A highlight of the conference was an intimate conversation with Dr. David Satcher, director of The Satcher Health Leadership Institute and former surgeon general of the United States, and Dr. Thomas H. Bornemann, director of The Carter Center. They discussed challenges and opportunities in adolescent behavioral health.
Humberto López Castillo, Catherine Randall, and Tommi Rivers are members of the Institute scholar team working with the Hillsborough County Schools Social Work Office. In addition to their presentation at the March conference, they presented at the 24th Annual USF Health Research Day. For their efforts, the team received one of seven poster awards from the College of Public Health. In the future, scholars will share results of their work at additional conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.
“Being a part of the Institute has provided me wonderful opportunities to expand my research skills,” López Castillo said. “It has been rewarding to work directly with Institute scholars and mentors from different academic fields and with community-based providers.”
The Institute for Translational Research in Adolescent Behavioral Health is a collaborative effort between the USF College of Public Healthand the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. Its mission is to “develop, cultivate, and disseminate an innovative model of research education that addresses best practices for translational research in the field of adolescent behavioral health, as it relates to substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.”
Established in 1984 as the first school of public health in the State of Florida, the USF College of Public Health is a recognized leader in community health, online education, maternal and child health, social marketing, and global infectious disease research. Fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, the college offers 25 concentrations that lead to MHA, MPH, MSPH, DrPH, and PhD degrees, as well as a BSPH, several dual degrees, graduate certificates, and online programs. To learn more about the college committed to passionately solve problems and create conditions that allow every person the universal right to health and well-being, visit www.publichealth.usf.edu.
Written by Heather J. Williamson, USF College of Public Health
Tags: adolescent health, behavioral health, Department of Community and Family Health, Humberto López Castillo, Institute for Translational Research in Adolescent Behavioral Health, USF College of Public Health