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Leopoldo J. Cabassa, Ph. D, is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatric Social Work in Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and Research Scientist V and the Assistant Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
Dr. Cabassa received his M.S.W and Ph.D. from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. He completed in 2004 an NIMH pre-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Mental Health Services Research at Washington University and in 2006 a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Southern California’s (USC) School of Social Work. Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia, Dr. Cabassa was an Assistant Professor at the USC School of Social Work and at the USC Keck School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
His research focuses on understanding the causes of racial and ethnic disparities in health and mental health care and in developing and implementing culturally tailored interventions aimed at reducing these disparities. His scholarship and publications have focused on racial and ethnic minorities’ access to mental health services, acculturation theory and measures, integration of depression and diabetes care in the Latino community, depression treatments in primary care, suicidal behavior among Latina teens, the effects of language and ethnicity in the psychiatric diagnostic process, and the quality of care in social and medical services. His work has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Cabassa has taught graduate level courses in research and evaluation methods, mental health policy, and social work with Latino populations. He is a member of the Society for Social Work and Research, the American Public Health Association, and the Academy of Health.
Implementing Health Care Interventions for Hispanics with Serious Mental Illness (K01 MH091118-01A1)
The objective of this Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) is to prepare the candidate to become an independent investigator in implementation research to address the disparities in physical health care faced by underserved minorities with SMI. A mentoring team, led by Drs. Lewis-Fernández and Druss, will guide the candidate’s training. The research plan uses a collaborative intervention planning framework that blends principles of community-based participatory research and intervention mapping to modify and assess the feasibility and acceptability of an existing care manager intervention for outpatient public mental health clinics. Role: Principal Investigator
Peer-led Health Lifestyle Intervention for Minorities with Serious Mental Illness in Supportive Housing Agencies: A Pilot Feasibility Study
The goal of this study is to pilot test the feasibility and acceptability of an established healthy lifestyle intervention, the Group Lifestyle Balance (GLB) Program, in a supportive housing agency serving African American and Latino adults with serious mental illness (SMI, e.g., schizophrenia) and at risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Role: Principal Investigator
University of Southern California Neighborhood Outreach Grant 07/01/2007 ~ 06/30/2008 Depression Fotonovela: A health education tool for low literacy, low income Latino population (PI: Baron) This project seeks to develop an effective health communication tool to increase knowledge of depression among low income, low literacy Latino families in the neighborhoods surrounding the University Park Campus and the Health Sciences Campus of USC. Role: Consultant
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