OUR TEAM

CENTER DIRECTOR

Victoria Ngo, PhD, MS

Victoria Ngo is an Associate Professor of Community Health and Social Sciences at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), Director of the Center for Innovation in Mental Health (CIMH) at CUNY SPH, Director for Global Mental Health in the Center for Immigrant, Refugee, and Global Health, and an adjunct behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. 

Also a clinical psychologist, she has expertise in developing, evaluating, and implementing evidence-based treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, for depression, anxiety, and trauma in diverse communities in the United States and abroad. Her research pays particular attention to understanding and promoting implementation strategies that can increase access and quality of evidence-based mental health services for ethnic minorities and underserved populations worldwide. Ngo specializes in implementation strategies, such as use of community partnerships, task-shifting evidence-based practices, and integration of mental health care into more accessible service settings, including primary care, maternal health, and HIV services. 

Ngo earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Vanderbilt University. Her passion and commitment to working in ethnic minority and other underserved communities comes from her own experience as a Vietnamese refugee.

DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Jose Florez-Arango, MD, MS, PhD

Jose Florez-Arango is a Medical Doctor (MD) trained in Medellin Colombia, with a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, and a PhD on Health Informatics. He was a Fulbright scholar and has experience in emergency medicine, prehospital care and emergency management, tropical diseases, global health, and telemedicine. As an Informatician, his previous experience includes clinical decision support systems, development of health information systems based-on international standards, mHealth, human-computer interaction, human factors, interoperability, and controlled vocabularies. His work  in mHealth has focused in supporting community health workers in integral management of childhood illnesses, maternal-fetal health and mental health.

CENTER MANAGER

Catherine Dinh-Le, MPH

Catherine Dinh-Le is the Center Manager at CIMH. She has a background in health policy, sociomedical sciences, and digital health with specific interests in addressing health disparities in immigrant communities and LMICs. Catherine received her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts from Macaulay Honors College at Lehman College and her Masters of Public Health from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. She currently supports the development of CIMH along with several of its local and global mental health interventions. 

Prior to CIMH, Catherine was a project lead at a digital innovation lab at NYU Langone Health and was a Margaret E. Mahoney Fellow at the New York Academy of Medicine, where she assessed health literacy and technology use among immigrant communities in Chinatown and Flushing, New York. She also supported the development, implementation, and evaluation of several mobile health apps launched at the City University of New York.

STAFF

Quan Vu, LMSW

Project Manager

Quan Anh Vu is a Project Manager at CIMH. He has a background in school social work, psycho-oncology, and mental health. Prior to CIMH, Quan was a behavioral health clinician for the Mental Health Service Corps and was placed at Transitional Services of New York PROS program, where he provided individual and group counseling, psycho-education, and care coordination to people with severe and persistent mental illness in Jamaica, New York.

Quan received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Brandeis University and his Masters of Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at CUNY Hunter College. He is excited to support building the capacity of depression care in Vietnam.

Weanne Myrrh Estrada, MPH

Project Manager

Weanne Myrrh Estrada is a Project Manager at CIMH. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) and her Masters of Public Health from Loma Linda University.

Weanne was a Humanitarian Action Fellow for the Duke Global Policy Program in Geneva, interning at the World Health Organization where she was involved with the development of a risk assessment tool for 13 countries in Africa. Prior to moving to New York, Weanne worked as a faculty member and research consultant for the Public Health Department at AUP. She has done community engagement work and research in the United States, Malawi, and the Philippines. She is currently a PhD Community Health and Health Policy student at the City University of New York.

Samantha Weckesser, MPH

Project Manager

Samantha Weckesser is a Project Manager at CIMH. She has a background in health policy, advocacy, and neuroscience.

Samantha received her Bachelor of Arts in Neurosciences from Drew University, Master of Public Health from the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University, and is a current doctoral student in Community Health and Health Policy at CUNY School of Public Health. In addition to her work at CIMH, Samantha also works as an advocate for consumers who live with mental health and substance use disorders as well as those who require long term care services in New York State.

Andrea Isabel López, MPH

Project Manager

Andrea Isabel López is a Project Manager at the Center for Innovation in Mental Health at the CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy. She received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Latin American Studies from Syracuse University. She also received her MPH in Community Health from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.
Prior to joining the Center for Innovation in Mental Health, Andrea completed the Margaret E. Mahoney Fellowship with the New York Academy of Medicine where she explored barriers to care in the Latino community and the role of community health workers. Andrea has also worked as a Research Project Coordinator and Associate Researcher for multiple NIH-funded projects based at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. 

Andrea was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is committed to advancing health equity for the Latino community and improving representation in the research field.

Thinh Vu, MSC

Data Manager

Thinh Vu held an MSc in Epidemiology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2020. His main research focuses on understanding the determinants of community health across vulnerable populations and assessing how different interventions promote health behavior changes.

Thinh has a strong background in quantitative research and is keen on implementing patient-centered design approaches in the development of community-based interventions. He published 17 peer-reviewed papers globally and also his book on “Data Management and Analysis of Health Data Using SAS” is currently available at the Medical Publishing House in Vietnam since October 2020.

Vivian Le

Graduate Assistant

Vivian Le is a Graduate Assistant at CIMH and a masters student at CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy studying Community Health. Prior to her acceptance into the program, Vivian spent the last semester of her undergraduate career completing a fieldwork internship at CIMH where she was able to discover her passions in mental health research, determined to play a role in expanding mental health care to low-income countries and communities where it is needed most. 

Vivian obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Health Promotion and Behavior from the University of Georgia in Spring 2020.

ALUMNI

Jonathan Block, MPH

Zhongyue Deng

Catherine Farquharson, MPH

Shaili Ghandi

Chase Holiman

Hanish Kodali, MD, MPH

Olga Kucherina

Gary Kwok, MPH

Kelly Laurent, MPH

Mina Nguyen, MSW

Claire Ogburn

Kristina Phan, MPH

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