“My role is to coordinate our evaluation efforts and work with the Institute’s policy team to ensure that the projects we are working on are consistent with the Institute’s vision. Part of that vision is to ensure our key principles and our areas of interest – children, veterans and smart justice – are represented in the projects we take on, that we provide good information and data to improve programs and that those projects really serve the people of Texas,” says Dr. Guzmán.
The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute seeks to affect change by partnering with local communities and providing resources, including evaluation or policy development, to support them in their efforts to develop and implement what is wanted and needed to improve mental health care for their community members and culture.
Dr. Guzmán was selected to lead policy evaluation at the Institute for her expertise in key aspects of the mental health system issues facing Texas. Previously, she was Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation at the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, which is part of The University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. In addition to leading and coordinating the Hogg Foundation’s evaluation efforts, Michele developed and managed grant programs related to mental health provider workforce issues and mental health research.
“Workforce issues are something that the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute is interested in — how we attract bright, high-qualified students to emerge as professionals practicing in our state to really grow the behavioral health workforce in Texas. Another challenge for Texas is that we have integrated behavioral health care programs going on in the state, but not implemented statewide in a systematic way. We need to get to a point where good integrated behavioral health care is just good health care. We’re not there yet. There’s a lot of work to do,” says Dr. Guzmán.
Dr. Guzmán received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University at Albany, State University of New York, and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Vassar College.
To hear more from Dr. Guzmán on the Texas State of Mind Initiative: