Our Team

Staff

Carole Warshaw, MD

Director

Carole Warshaw, MD (she, her) is a nationally recognized expert on the intersection of domestic violence, trauma, substance use, and mental health. For over 40 years, she has led the development of innovative models for providing accessible, culturally responsive, trauma-, and DV-informed services; building cross-sector collaboration; and improving system capacities to address the health, mental health, substance use, and advocacy concerns of DV survivors and their families. She has been instrumental in the formulation of a trauma-informed social justice approach. Dr. Warshaw speaks and publishes extensively on these topics and has served as an advisor to numerous health, mental health, substance use, and DV advocacy organizations, as well as federal agencies.

Dr. Warshaw founded the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health in 2005 and its precursor, the Chicago-based Domestic Violence and Mental Health Policy Initiative in 1999. Previously, Dr. Warshaw spent over 30 years at John H. Stroger Jr. (formerly Cook County) Hospital as an internist, emergency room physician, and Director of Behavioral Science for the Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency. There, she co-founded the Hospital Crisis Intervention Project, which trains healthcare providers on domestic violence and provides on-site advocacy for survivors and their families.

Dr. Warshaw has maintained a part-time private practice in psychiatry since 1989 and is currently a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois. She is board certified in psychiatry and internal medicine.

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Karla Alegria, MSc

Project Manager

Karla Alegria, MSc (she, her) is the Project Manager for the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health. She is responsible for overall management of project activities and deliverables, contracts and training requests, and daily operations.

She holds a Master of Science in International Relations and Politics from the University of London and has more than 10 years of experience in program work within various nonprofits. Karla has worked heavily with outreach and community organizations supporting vulnerable people impacted by HIV/AIDS, pelvic health issues, and domestic violence. She is a certified domestic violence advocate and has worked as an intake volunteer for a Chicago-based law firm providing pro bono services in underserved communities.

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Sarah Lee, BSW

Administrative Assistant

Sarah Lee, BSW (she, her) is an Administrative Assistant with the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health. She works closely with the Project Manager to aid in daily operations. Sarah also provides support to the entire NCDVTMH staff, consultants, and external partners with communication, technical, and scheduling needs.

Sarah received her Bachelor of Social Work from Northeastern Illinois University. She has experience in peer support and leadership with an emphasis on mental health and wellness. Sarah is a Chicago native and has worked with many mutual aid groups to provide support to the greater Chicago community. Prior to her studies in social work, Sarah focused on gender studies and holds intersectionality and cultural humility at the forefront of her ethos and practice. Sarah plans to begin her Master of Social Work with advanced standing at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the fall of 2024.

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Amanda Lyon, MSW

Training and Technical Assistance Specialist

Amanda Lyon, MSW (she, her) is a Training and Technical Assistance Specialist at the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health. As part of the Survivor Health Connections Consortium project, Amanda develops training and technical resources for behavioral health providers, domestic violence and/or sexual assault programs, hotlines, and coalitions to increase resource accessibility and effectiveness for survivors and their families.

Amanda completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. She was previously employed with the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as a Rural Grant Specialist, supporting the development of integrated services targeted towards Alaska Native survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault who experience behavioral health challenges. She also has over 20 years experience as a certified yoga instructor, incorporating trauma-informed principles, mindfulness, and compassion-based practices. Amanda has 17 years of experience as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist. Amanda has been the Ayurvedic Director for programs in California, Wisconsin, and Alaska, where she developed curriculum, trained practitioners, and supervised interns.

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Ember Maselli, MSW

Research Project Manager

Ember Maselli, MSW (she, they) serves as Research Project Manager at the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health (NCDVTMH), where she shapes NCDVTMH’s research and evaluation portfolio. She brings a broad range of experience in the domestic and sexual violence field; her particular interests include traumatic brain injury and addressing domestic violence in medical settings. Ember is a graduate of Florida State University, where she studied psychology and humanities as an undergraduate, then received a Master of Social Work with a focus on social policy. As a graduate assistant, Ember worked as a project coordinator at the Institute for Family Violence Studies and as a victim advocate at Florida State University. After completing her MSW, Ember began working as an advocacy coordinator in Kansas City, providing direct service to survivors as well as offering training and support and creating policies for hospital systems on responding to domestic violence.

Ember has held roles as a researcher at the University of Kansas, training director at The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence, and as a data analyst at Chicago Public Schools. She is excited to return to research and the domestic violence field in her role at NCDVTMH. Ember lives on Chicago’s northwest side with her partner Shawn, daughter Ara, and her dog Odie. In her spare time, Ember loves exploring Chicago, spending time outside, and making low quality arts and crafts.

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Hadley Mowe, MPH

Project Specialist

Hadley Mowe, MPH (she, her) is a Project Specialist with the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health, where she works collaboratively with the research, operations, and training and technical assistance teams. She provides support for grant partners, monitors project activities, compiles data for grant reporting, and tracks project deliverables.

Hadley has a Master of Public Health from the University of Washington, specializing in Maternal and Child Health and Health Services. She also has over 10 years of experience working in nonprofit spaces that prioritize health equity. Prior to her position with NCDVTMH, Hadley worked as a Substance Misuse Program Coordinator where she worked with rural communities across Alaska to implement integrated services for substance use treatment, behavioral health, domestic violence, and sexual assault at the local level.

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Heather Phillips, MA

Research Director

Heather Phillips, MA (she, her) serves as Research Director at the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health. At NCDVTMH, she researches mental health and substance use coercion, develops measures of trauma-informed domestic violence practice, conducts national needs assessments, and oversees work on identifying promising practices and model domestic violence programs.

Prior to joining NCDVTMH in 2012, Heather managed research on the relationship between stress and substance use at the University of Chicago and peer- and recovery-focused mental health policy research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Heather has also served as a rape crisis advocate.

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Mikaela Williams

Communications Manager

Mikaela Williams (she/her) is the Communications Manager at the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health. She collaborates across all departments to streamline, develop, and disseminate communications.

With a passion for effective storytelling and a background in strategic branding, Mikaela brings creativity and innovation to our mission. Her career began in the tech sector, primarily in print design, before transitioning into healthcare marketing and public relations.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communications and Business Economics and is pursuing a Master of Education in Learning Design and Educational Technology.

Mikaela is dedicated to advancing our organization’s mission, using impactful communication to reach and support survivors and communities in need.

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Jami Wilson, TCADC

Training and Technical Assistance Specialist

Jami Wilson (she, her) is a Training and Technical Assistance Specialist at the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health. She develops training and technical assistance focusing on the intersections of domestic violence, substance use, and substance use coercion. Jami’s diverse background includes working with foster youth, adults in medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, and human trafficking survivors.

Prior to joining NCDVTMH, Jami provided Office on Trafficking in Persons-funded training and technical assistance to programs serving US and Indigenous survivors of human trafficking. She also worked as a Substance Use Counselor in medication-assisted treatment programs for people with opioid use disorders. In 2018, Jami graduated from the Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, a fellowship led by the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center. As part of the program’s second cohort, Jami worked with her colleagues to address the intersection of human trafficking and substance use disorders; they later presented their findings and recommendations to federal stakeholders. Jami received a BA from the University of Louisville, where she studied Biology and Spanish.

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Victoria “Tori” Wynecoop-Abrahamson, MA, LSW

Training and Technical Assistance Manager

Tori Wynecoop-Abrahamson, MA, LSW (she, her) is a citizen of the Spokane Tribe located in eastern Washington State and the Training and Technical Assistance Manager at the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health (NCDVTMH). She began her advocacy journey during her undergraduate career at Illinois College by establishing a sexual assault support group in response to the #MeToo movement.

After graduation, she returned home to the Spokane Indian Reservation and worked as a domestic violence advocate providing assistance to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, teen dating violence, stalking, and elder abuse. Assistance for survivors often included accessing resources for civil and criminal court cases, mental health support, and substance use services. This position encouraged Tori to pursue and complete a Master of Arts in Social Work at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and complete her social work licensure.

Prior to joining NCDVTMH, Tori provided SAMHSA-funded training and technical assistance to tribal communities and nations with a focus on building program capacity and sustainability in the areas of suicide prevention, substance use, and mental health.

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Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW, CADC

Associate Director

Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW, CADC (they, them) is the Associate Director of the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health, as well as faculty at the University of Chicago, where they direct the Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor Training Program within the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. Gabriela brings over 15 years of experience supporting people impacted by structural and interpersonal violence through evidence-based clinical, housing, resource advocacy, and HIV integrated care programs.

Currently, Gabriela authors best practices, leads national capacity-building efforts, and provides trauma-informed policy consultation to advance health equity and social justice. Gabriela served for two years as Director of Policy and Practice on Domestic Violence and Substance Use at NCDVTMH, before becoming Associate Director in 2021.

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Core Consultants

Cathy Cave

Senior Training Consultant

Cathy Cave (she, her) has more than 30 years’ experience as an administrator, facilitator, and consultant specializing in cultural inclusion and disparities elimination, trauma informed services and supports, organizational development, supervisory practice, and leadership coaching within child welfare, juvenile justice, disaster response, health care, mental health, and substance use services. She is one of New York State’s early trauma champions, coordinating county collaboratives and clinical training trauma conferences.

Currently, Cathy provides technical assistance through the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health, other national training and technical assistance centers, governmental bodies, and community-based organizations. She is the former Director for Cultural Competence for New York State Office of Mental Health. As Senior Training Consultant, she utilizes her survivor, family, community, and administrative perspectives to facilitate organizational change in order to improve service quality at local, state, and national levels.

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Orapan “Ora” Kaewken, RN

Research Assistant

Orapan Kaewken (she, her) is a registered nurse who brings clinical direct practice and expertise in managing complex data projects to her role as Research Assistant at the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health. Her research portfolio includes creating literature reviews, managing and analyzing quantitative data sets, and generating data reports for domestic violence programs and coalitions. With the research team, Ora consolidates, cleans, and reviews data and has co-authored several NCDVTMH reports.

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Eleanor Lyon, PhD

Senior Research Advisor

Eleanor Lyon, PhD (she, her) consults with the research department at the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health, where she collaborates with advocates and survivors from diverse communities to develop research and evaluation tools for coercion scales, needs assessments, and trauma-informed practice and outcomes for survivors.

Dr. Lyon served as Director of the Institute for Violence Prevention and Reduction at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, before retiring in 2011. During a career of over 35 years, Dr. Lyon directed a women’s shelter for survivors of domestic violence and conducted national, state, and local research and evaluation. She is the co-author of Domestic Violence Advocacy, among many other publications.

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Sally Schaeffer, MPA

Policy Consultant

Sally Schaeffer (she, her) is the Principal Consultant of Uncorked Advocates and has worked as a federal policy consultant for NCDVTMH for nearly three years. Her role is to identify opportunities to enhance NCDVTMH’s work at the intersection of domestic violence, trauma, mental health, and substance use and to provide insights and updates.

Sally has over two decades of experience as a bipartisan federal government relations representative with a specialization in appropriations, nonprofit tax, and women’s issues, particularly gender-based violence. Prior to starting Uncorked Advocates after the 2016 Presidential election, Sally represented more than 500 nonprofits, foundations, and charitable giving programs as the Government Relations Director at Independent Sector. She has served as the Washington advocate for Girl Scouts of the USA and Futures Without Violence. Sally started her career on Capitol Hill working for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, as her Legislative Director and Chief of Staff. Sally earned her BA from Hood College and her MPA from University of Pennsylvania. In her personal time, she is an avid golfer and past president of the Women’s Congressional Golf Association.

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Advisory Board

Cheri Brant

Cheri Brant works at the Beacon Center in Daytona Beach, FL. She has completed core advocacy certification and is on her way to becoming a Certified Peer Support Specialist. She is a mother to four boys and a survivor who received services herself from Beacon Center; she now wants to provide the same life changing care as Beacon advocates did for her.

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Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown holds an MA in Humanities from CA State University-Dominguez Hills and is pursuing an EdD in Organizational Leadership at CA Coast University. She served 22 years in the IL Department of Corrections as an incarcerated survivor. Despite challenges to accessing higher education in prison, Brown became the first incarcerated woman in IL to earn an MA and the first accepted into a doctoral program. As a Senior Advisor at the Women’s Justice Institute, she helps empower justice-impacted women and end criminalized survival.

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Amanda Cochrane

Amanda Cochrane is Executive Director of Umbrella, a VT non-profit aimed at cultivating a community where all people thrive free from abuse and oppression. She brings over 20 years of experience in domestic and sexual violence advocacy and prevention, child welfare, and environmental justice. Amanda holds a BA from Colby College and an MBA from the Heller School of Social Policy at Brandeis University.

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Stephanie S. Covington, PhD, LCSW

Stephanie S. Covington, PhD, LCSW, is the co-director of the Institute for Relational Development and the Center for Gender & Justice in La Jolla, CA. She pioneered work on gender-responsive and trauma-informed treatment services and has authored numerous books and treatment curricula. Dr. Covington has provided training and consultation to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime; the Ministries of Justice in England, Scotland, and Switzerland; the Correctional Service of Canada; and the US Federal Bureau of Prisons and National Institute of Corrections.

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Sera Davidow

Sera Davidow is a filmmaker, activist, advocate, author, and mother of two very busy kids. A survivor who has faced many challenges throughout her own healing process, she is now Director of the Wildflower Alliance (formerly Western Mass Recovery Learning Community), which includes Afiya Peer Respite, recognized by the World Health Organization as an exemplary rights-based program. She serves on the boards of MA Disability Law Center and Hearing Voices USA.

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Gina Fedock, PhD, MSW

Gina Fedock, Ph.D., MSW, is an Associate Professor at the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the experiences, conditions, and dynamics that impact the wellbeing of women involved in the criminal legal system, including understudied forms of interpersonal and state violence victimization. Her goal is to work in solidarity to improve the lives of survivors and their communities.   

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Yvette G. Flores, PhD

Yvette G. Flores, PhD, is a Professor of Chicana/o Studies at UC Davis; past President, Section 3 Interests of Hispanics and Latinas, Division 35 (Women in Psychology) of the American Psychological Association; as well as President Elect, Division 27 Society for Community Research and Action of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Flores’ research has focused on family and community health, health psychology, substance use disorder treatment, and intimate partner violence, in both the US and Latin America.

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Louisa Gilbert, PhD

Dr. Louisa Gilbert is a professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and Co-Director of the Columbia Center on Healing Opioid Use and other Substance Use Disorders. She is a licensed social worker with over 25 years of experience developing, implementing, evaluating, and disseminating multilevel interventions to address gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, substance misuse, and trauma globally. These interventions include WINGS, a GBV screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment model for women who use drugs that is currently being implemented across the US, India, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, and Ukraine.

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Tiffany Jiron

Tiffany Jiron comes from Sheh-Wheef-Tui (Pueblo of Isleta) and is a proud Pueblo woman, mother, auntie, and first-generation cycle breaker of violence. She is the Advocate Coordinator for the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, where she serves 23 Tribal Nations in the Southwest. Tiffany is also a student at the Facundo Valdez School of Social Work at the New Mexico Highlands University, focused on violence against Native women, men, children, and LGBTQ2S relatives.

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Stephanie Love-Patterson

Stephanie Love-Patterson is the Executive Director of Connections for Abused Women and their Children (CAWC), where she oversees program services and provides training and technical assistance to various organizations and healthcare professionals throughout the community to help create a coordinated response to domestic violence. Stephanie served as President of the Board of Directors for the IL Coalition Against Domestic Violence and a past member of the Board of Directors for The Network (formerly Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network).

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Toshira Monroe

Toshira Monroe is the Deputy Director of My Sister’s Place. Toshira has a BA and MA in education from the University of Florida, where she began her journey into the victim services field as an HIV Outreach Worker and Volunteer Coordinator. She also developed Business Response to AIDS, a program created to extend the reach of the service providers through collaboration with community businesses. Toshira previously worked with the National Center for Victims of Crime as the DC Victim Hotline Supervisor.

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Jeannette Pai-Espinosa

Jeannette Pai-Espinosa has led National Crittenton as President since 2007. Her commitment to advocating for issues of importance to cis and trans girls, young women and gender expansive young people began as a young activist in the mid 70’s. This is where her firm belief in the “nothing about us without us” practice and a dedication to following the leadership of those most impacted by all forms of oppression was born. Her experience includes being a partner in a social change consulting agency; working in human and civil rights at the city, county, and state levels; serving as senior policy advisor to OR Governor Barbara Roberts; and founding a nonprofit education program for middle and high school students. Jeannette holds a MEd in student development theory, counseling, and administration.

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Laurie Thompsen, MSW

Laurie Thompsen, MSW is the Health and Behavioral Health Coordinator for the WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WVCADV), where she facilitates the Health Partnership and Behavioral Health and Domestic Violence Initiative. She is on the WV DHHR Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, the WV ACES Coalition, the Futures Without Violence Health Workgroup, the WV AWARE (Asking Women About Relationship Experiences) Project Lead Team, and other committees and initiatives that focus on the health and behavioral health issues of DV for adults and children.

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Vanessa Timmons

Vanessa Timmons is the Executive Director of the OR Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (OCADSV) and has been a writer, activist, and women’s health advocate for over 25 years. She attended Marylhurst University’s Multidisciplinary Studies Program in Portland, OR, and has served as Director of Programs at Raphael House in Portland, as a northwest regional field organizer for the National Organization for Women, and as Program Coordinator for the Multnomah County Domestic Violence Coordination Office, in addition to serving OCADSV as the women of color coordinator and board chair.

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Gwen Wright

Gwen Wright served as Executive Director of the NY State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence for six years and spent more than 20 years with the Office as a trainer and manager, culminating in her role as the head of the agency. She has supervised training and policy programs in the areas of child welfare, social services and public benefits, substance use and mental health, health care, and criminal justice. Ms. Wright is the former Executive Director of the NY State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Additionally, she has worked in local domestic violence programs in Ulster and Westchester counties, where she led programs to support abused women and their children and to provide legal advocacy.

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