CECC Affiliates


These scientific professionals serve as consultants to our center across multiple projects and initiatives.

Ivan Balán, PhD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons

Please click here to read Dr. Balán’s CV.
Dr. Ivan Balán focuses his research on HIV prevention, Latino mental health, LGBT mental health, and motivational interviewing techniques.

Dr. Balán is a graduate of Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the California School of Professional Psychology (graduate). His research has been published in over 30 professional journals and he has contributed to several intervention manuals including Substance Use Comorbidity Care: Evidence-Based Stepped Care Strategies for Depression, Module for the involvement of significant others in the treatment of pathological gamblers, and Motivational enhancement therapy for psychiatric referral: Treatment Manual.

Prior to his work at Columbia University, Dr. Balán held teaching and research positions in New York City and New Jersey. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) organization. He also serves as Chair of the MINT International Advisory Committee.

Enrico Castillo, MD

PGY-4, Psychiatry Resident in Adult Psychiatry, NYSPI at Columbia University

Enrico Castillo, MD is recipient of the AMA Foundation Leadership Award in recognition of exemplary leadership skills in medicine and community service, receiving the award for his activities in minority health.

Dr. Castillo’s professional interests include mental health services research, cultural psychiatry, and public psychiatry with an emphasis on outreach-based care (e.g., Assertive Community Treatment, homeless outreach and mobile crisis teams) for diverse, disadvantaged populations.

In 2012, he was awarded the 2012-2014 APA/SAMHSA Minority Fellowship to develop an online resource library on Asian-American mental health in collaboration with CECC. This library includes a collection of filmed interviews of prominent Asian-American psychiatrists and a select bibliography of Asian-American mental health literature.

Dr. Castillo earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in 2005 and his MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine with a concentration in underserved populations in 2010. He is a member of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture and the American Psychiatric Association.

Doris Chang, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychology, New School for Social Research
Co-Investigator, New York State Psychiatric Institute’s Center for Excellence in Cultural Competence

Please click here to read Dr. Chang’s CV.

At the New School, Dr. Doris Chang teaches didactic and practicum courses on race, ethnicity, culture and mental health. She is also a licensed psychologist who maintains a private practice in New York City. In 2006, she received the Early Career Award from the Asian American Psychological Association. Dr. Chang received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles and completed a National Institutes of Mental Health postdoctoral fellowship in clinically-relevant medical anthropology at the Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Chang’s research seeks to address disparities in the quality of mental health services for racial and ethnic minorities by:

  • Describing the role of race, ethnicity, and culture in mental health and service delivery
  • Identifying strategies for improving intercultural interactions, specifically those occurring between racially, ethnically, and culturally-different providers and patients
  • Developing empirically and culturally-grounded therapeutic interventions

At present, Dr. Chang is collaborating with colleagues at the New School on a study of ethnic mismatching and therapy process and outcome. A second local project, being conducted with the Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence, aims at training interpreters to act as cultural brokers to facilitate cultural understanding and communication between providers and Latino and Chinese patients with limited English proficiency. Previous research has also focused on Asian Americans, including diagnostic and assessment issues, acculturation, and treatment considerations.

Dr. Chang has also maintained an active research program in China since 1997, where she has conducted qualitative and quantitative studies of neurasthenia (a culture-bound syndrome), changes in cultural value frameworks, domestic violence, and psychotherapy. She is currently collaborating with Zhang Yalin and Cao Yuping to manualize and test an indigenous treatment, Taoist Cognitive Therapy, with Chinese American immigrant patients diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Ravi DeSilva, MD

Instructor in Psychiatry, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute

Ravi DeSilva, MD, MA is an inpatient attending psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center additionally working in group therapy, medical education, and cultural and visual anthropology.

He received his MD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and his MA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Kansas. He completed two years of general surgery training before joining and completing his Psychiatry residency at Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Dr. DeSilva is certified by ABPN in psychiatry and his research has received grant funding from the Research Foundation for Mental Health, the Levy Foundation, and the New York State Office of Mental Health, where he received an OMH Policy Scholar Award grant to further the development of a web based teaching module for cultural psychiatry.

He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, American Group Psychotherapy Association, Eastern Group Psychotherapy Association, and the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture. His research has been published in Ethnicity & Health, Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, and the Journal of Medical Humanities. Dr. DeSilva is also a contributor to the fifth edition (2013) of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Dr. DeSilva continues to be involved in visual media and ethnographic film. Most recently his photographic work appeared as part of a group exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, Rising Waters 2.0: More Photographs of Sandy.

Jennifer L. Humensky, PhD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Health Policy & Management in Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University

Please click here to read Dr. Humensky’s CV.

Jennifer L. Humensky’s research focuses on mental health policy, translating research into policy, first episode psychosis, and education and employment for persons with psychiatric disorders. Her professional interests include investigating racial and ethnic disparities in access to mental health care and cultural competence in health care reform.

Dr. Humensky has received funding from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the New York State Office of Mental Health. Her publications include research on estimating costs of first episode psychosis, race and ethnicity issues in chronic medical conditions, veteran employment and substance abuse issues, and adolescent depression.

She received her BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh, her MPP from Georgetown University, and her PhD in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. In 2009, Dr. Humensky was awarded a Post-doctoral fellowship in Health Services Research, VA Health Services Research and Development, Hines, IL.

Dr. Humensky is a member of the Academy Health and American Society of Health Economists and previously held a position as a research analyst for Mathematica Policy Research in Washington DC.

Pablo Méndez-Bustos, PhD,

Teaching Faculty, Academic Department of Psychology, Universidad Católica del Maule (Chile)

Dr. Mendez Bustos’ research focuses on suicidal behavior and suicide prevention research, community interventions, and health psychology.

Please click here to read Dr. Mendez-Bustos’ CV.

Dr. Mendez-Bustos obtained a PhD in Clinical Psychology and Health at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain). He obtained a Licenciatura in Psychology at the Universidad de Concepción (Chile). He also holds a Master in Social Research and Development, and a Master in Research Design and Applied Psychology and Health from the Universidad Concepción. Additionally, Dr. Méndez-Bustos was trained as family psychotherapist at the Family Psychotherapy Institute of Santiago (Chile).

Dr. Mendez-Bustos joined as a Psychology Research Advisor for the Center in the spring of 2014. Currently, Dr. Méndez-Bustos is a co-investigator of a mixed-methods study to develop and pilot test an economic empowerment intervention for individuals with mental health conditions.


Are you interested in learning more about the research we perform here at the CECC? Please see the CECC Research Initiatives page to learn more.