team pic for site

Working to spread the adoption of system of care throughout Texas is a team effort. In addition to the team members listed below, Texas System of Care is grateful for the knowledge, contributions and sheer hard work provided by numerous partner organizations and individuals.

Molly Lopez, Ph.D., Co-Investigator

 A Research Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Austin and  the director of the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health, Molly  provides project management and staff oversight at the University of  Texas at Austin. Molly also serves as the lead evaluator on the Texas  System of Care initiative and provides leadership for expansion  strategies aimed at increasing the use of data to make informed  decisions. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with experience in  conducting services research and large-scale implementation of innovations in mental health. Formerly a Children’s Mental Health Lead at DSHS, Dr. Lopez provided policy and programmatic oversight to children’s mental health services and guided several initiatives to implement evidence-based and promising practices within the state mental health system. Contact Molly at mlopez@austin.utexas.edu.

 

Erin Espinosa, Ph.D., Implementation and Technical Assistance Lead

ERIN PHOTO Erin serves as the Implementation and Technical Assistance Lead for    Texas System of Care. Currently, as a research associate at the Texas    Institute for Excellence in Mental Health, Erin’s primary implementation  and training  assistance efforts have focused on the development of the  state’s capacity to implement and sustain high fidelity wraparound. In  addition to conducting various trainings around mental health and  system of care, Erin has extensive experience in curriculum  development and coaching models for implementation support. Erin is working with local jurisdictions around the various stages of system of care and wraparound implementation to support a comprehensive service array for families of youth with mental health challenges, as well as to develop a skilled workforce capable of partnering with families to maintain their youth in their homes and communities. Prior to joining the Institute, Erin served as the Co-Lead of Texas’ Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Action Network (MHJJAN). In that capacity, Erin provided oversight and technical assistance to policy and programming related to mental health services for youth involved with the juvenile justice system and developed extensive experience collaborating with national, state and local child-serving agencies. Contact Erin at erin.espinosa@austin.utexas.edu.

 

Tracy Levins, Ph.D, State Development Specialist

Tracy Levins is the State Development Specialist for the Texas System of  Care. In this role, she coordinates with state agencies, local communities  and community members to shape the policies that will help sustain and  support the system of care framework across Texas. Previously, Tracy  managed the prevention and early intervention services for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.  With over 25 years of experience in the juvenile justice and mental health systems, Tracy has worked with communities, organizations, policymakers, and professionals throughout Texas to help youth access the services and resources they need to become productive, literate, lawful, and responsible citizens.  She was a 2010 nominee for Outstanding Woman in Texas Government for her work in family engagement in juvenile justice and has served as one of a select group of collaborators for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change, a project of the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research Associates.  Contact Tracy at t.levins@austin.utexas.edu

 

Deborah Cohen, Ph.D., M.S.W, Evaluation Lead

 Debbie serves as the Evaluation Lead on the Texas System of Care  Implementation cooperative agreement. She coordinates participation  in the cross-site evaluation, documentation of federal evaluation  requirements, and provides leadership and oversight to the state  evaluation efforts. Debbie is an experienced mental health services  researcher whose primary focus is on community mental health,  integrated healthcare, and healthcare information technology.  Previously she was the Director of Evaluation at a mid-size mental health center, where she served as the internal evaluator for the One Community One Family System of Care in Southeastern Indiana. Contact Deborah at dacohen@austin.utexas.edu.

 

Robert Shaw, M.P.H, Community Development Specialist

Robert serves as the Community Development Specialist for the Texas System  of Care. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating support for local  implementation of the system of care framework. He provides strategic  consultation and coaching to communities at different stages of system of care  readiness. Previously, Robert was Executive Director of a rural, community-  based organization that offers a variety of free, social services. At his previous  job, he implemented a tele-health program where local community members  were able to receive free mental health and substance abuse counseling. Robert received his Master’s in Public Health in Social and Behavioral Health from Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. During his free time, Robert enjoys long walks on the beach. Contact Robert at Robert.Shaw@austin.utexas.edu.

 

Barbara Granger, Family Involvement Specialist

Barbara Granger

Barbara serves as the Family Involvement Specialist on the Texas  System of Care Initiative. She also serves as the Family Coordinator with  Via Hope, the Texas Mental Health Resource Center, where she is lead  trainer for all family partner certification endeavors. Barbara has been in  SOC work for more than 10 years. She joined the ASSET steering  committee 2 years ago as a family representative, while serving as a  family partner with Coastal Plains Community Center in south Texas. As  a family partner, she walked alongside other families who have children with intensive mental health needs. Before moving back to Texas in 2009, Barbara was employed with the Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health as a Family Advocate and a Supervisor of family partners in Southern Maryland. She has served on various local, regional and state advisory committees to bring the family voice. Barbara brings her passion to ensure family voice is heard throughout the state of Texas as she serves with and on behalf of families who face similar challenges as herself. Contact Barbara at Barbara.Granger@viahope.org.

 

Glenn Dembowski, Project Services Coordinator

Glenn Photo CroppedGlenn specializes in solutions.  An alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin, he has worked for UT since 1996.  He currently serves as the Project Services Coordinator for the TX System of Care, operating largely behind the scenes to support the team as they work to ensure that Texas children have access to excellent mental health care.  Drawing on his experience in academic, service, and research departments at the University,Glenn facilitates purchasing, travel, event coordination, contracts, web-conferencing, data compilation, and occasionally rescues small animals in distress.  He is a writer, musician, and poet, his preferred color is green, and his favorite video game is MS Excel.  Glenn welcomes your queries at gdembowski@austin.utexas.edu.