Kenneth Wells, MD, MPH
Community Mental Health
Kenneth Wells, M.D., M.P.H. is the David Weil Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Professor of Health Policy and Management in the Fielding School of Public Health, Affiliated Adjunct Staff at RAND, Director of the Center for Health Services and Society at the Semel Institute and Associate Director of the Southern California National Clinician Scholars Program. His research and teaching have a main focus on using Community Partnered Participatory Research to improve equity in services access, quality and outcomes for persons with behavioral health problems. Wells received the American Psychiatric Association’s Research Prize and the Junior and Distinguished Investigator Awards of AcademyHealth. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and for four years chaired its Neuroscience and Behavioral Health Board. He is Principal Investigator of Community Partners in Care (CPIC), a group-randomized trial of community engagement to improve outcomes for depressed clients in healthcare and community-based programs in under-resourced communities (NIMH, NIMHD, PCORI, RWJF). He co-led an American Red Cross post-Katrina mental health recovery effort in New Orleans. He is PI of the PCORnet Community and Patient Partnered Research Network across Los Angeles and New Orleans to develop partnered research to improve health equity for persons with behavioral health disorders, multiple social risk factors or disaster exposure. With team co-leader Loretta Jones, M.A., Th.D., he and more than 120 academic and community partners in Los Angeles and New Orleans received the 2014 Association of Clinical and Translational Science Team Science Award and 2015 Campus Community Partnerships for Health Annual Award. Active in the arts and health, Wells directs the Mansfield Chamber Singers and composed and produced two operas, “The First Lady,” concerning Eleanor Roosevelt and resilience in grief, and “The Center Cannot Hold: Part I, The Illness” based on the acclaimed memoire of co-librettist Elyn Saks, streaming through National Mental Health America and JAMA.
Eraka Bath, MD
Vice Chair for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Eraka Bath, M.D., is board certified in child and adolescent, adult and forensic psychiatry. She is an assistant professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute in the David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Bath specializes in diagnostic assessment and forensic consultation with adolescents, with an emphasis on high-risk youth, including those with histories of trauma, juvenile delinquency and foster care placement. Dr. Bath obtained her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, her medical degree at Howard University College of Medicine, and completed her child psychiatry and forensic training at NYU School of Medicine where she was on the faculty for prior to joining UCLA. Since joining the UCLA faculty in 2007, Dr. Bath has served as an Assistant Professor, the Director of Child Forensic Services and the psychiatrist appointed to the Los Angeles County Juvenile Mental Health Court (JMHC). Dr. Bath has also developed partnerships with the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court system and consults and provides training to the Juvenile Delinquency Court System and the Los Angeles County Department of Probation. Dr. Bath is also an attending psychiatrist to the Westside Regional Center, and provides psychiatric treatment and assessment to individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum and developmental disorders across the life span. Dr. Bath has a long-standing interest in health care disparities, minority and community mental health, with particular interest in addiction and trauma within the special populations of juvenile justice and foster care youth. Dr. Bath has dedicated her time to working with vulnerable populations and their families and consults regularly with the court system. Dr. Bath currently has NIH funding and is researching the efficacy of short-term family based interventions for youth involved in the delinquency system. Dr. Bath maintains a private practice focused on forensic consultation to attorneys and governmental agencies, on a variety of cases involving mental health and the law. These include but are not limited to the areas of, juvenile competency to stand trial, commercially sexually exploited youth, fitness and waiver to adult court, personal injury, PTSD, child maltreatment, education rights, risk management, termination of parental rights and child custody matters.
Jennifer Kruse, MD
Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship Director
Dr. Kruse is a consultation-liaison (C/L) psychiatrist with clinical expertise in mood disorders and the psychiatric care of medically ill patients. She completed medical school and C/L fellowship training at Mayo Clinic, and she completed her residency here at the Semel Institute. She has also completed post-doctoral research training at UCLA in psychoneuroimmunology, pharmacology, and translational science. Her clinical research focuses on links between immune system dysfunction, depression phenotypes, and treatment outcome, with long-term goals focused on improving depression treatment by translating findings into more targeted and personalized treatment approaches. Underlying this goal is the hypothesis that patients with varying levels of systemic inflammation may respond to one treatment approach but not another. With regard to clinical teaching and supervision, Dr. Kruse directs the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship at UCLA and supervises trainees on the Psychiatry Consultation Service at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, in the Mood Disorders Clinic at UCLA, and in the Primary Care-Mental Health Integration Clinic at the West Los Angeles VA. An Iowa native, Dr. Kruse has been converted to the sunny California lifestyle. She enjoys comfortably being outdoors year round (which Angelenos may take for granted!), and trips to the beach, zoo, and all things kid-related with her husband and little ones.