What the Minority Fellowship Program Has Meant to Recent Fellows P6
SAMHSA Is Always Looking for Peer Reviewers
SAMHSA is recruiting peer (grant) reviewers for behavioral health funding initiatives. SAMHSA’s Office of Financial Resources, Division of Grant Review (DGR), is responsible for coordinating the peer-review process for nonformula discretionary grant applications submitted for funding. Peer reviewers are an invaluable and critical component of the nonformula discretionary grant review process. The primary role of a SAMHSA peer reviewer is to conduct a thorough, equitable, and objective assessment of a grant application in relation to the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) evaluation criteria. To ensure a fair and objective review, DGR selects reviewers based on their knowledge, skills, and expertise related to the grant program under review.
If you are interested in learning more about the SAMHSA peer review process, or if you would like to sign up to become a SAMHSA peer reviewer, please send your résumé to Reviewer@samhsa.hhs.gov.
George Ramos Is August’s Fellow of the Month
George J. Ramos Jr., the August MFP Fellow, is a Ph.D. candidate in counselor education and supervision in his third year of the doctoral program at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky. He is a National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) MFP Fellow who has been a practicing counselor for more than a decade. He entered the MFP at the beginning of his doctoral work and says it has made a huge difference in his growth as a scholar and practitioner. “The financial support is fine,” he said, “But what makes the difference is the mentorship relationships and the colleagues you get to know in the program.”
He believes his doctoral training will enhance his ability to expand his practice, which offers home-based services. (Yes, a counselor who does home visits!) Much of his work is with immigrants—some with difficulty accessing counseling services or those who would benefit from receiving treatment in the home. Some have transportation difficulties. “I work with undocumented immigrants and their families by providing mental health evaluations to support their petitions to stay in the United States,” he said. In July 2018, he conducted a webinar on Immigration Hardship Evaluations for NBCC. The title of his dissertation is “The Impact Of Counselor Self-Efficacy on One’s Ability to Provide In-Home Mental Health Services.”
Ramos decided to become a counselor after seeing the effects of poverty while growing up on the lower East Side of Manhattan. The social ills were many—drug addiction, violence, lack of social services, and people with emotional and mental health problems. He said there were insufficient service providers, and few were professionals of color. He decided to pursue a career in the helping professions and has been providing services to his community for years. He is able to continue his practice while taking online doctoral courses.
In addition to his studies and practice, Ramos is a Mental Health Consultant for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and a professional trainer for the Action for Child Protection Network, where he trains child welfare workers regarding safety and risk and interviewing techniques. An adjunct professor of Counseling at Mercy College and Nyack College, he is currently conducting research on Latino substance abuse and interventions with the research group, Best Practice Trainer Inc., of which he is the president.
Ramos considers himself a fortunate man. He is married to his high school sweetheart Anandy Germosen, who is pursuing a career in law, and Ramos says she is an invaluable partner in his practice. They are doing research on evidence-based practice in the Latino community and plan to submit a manuscript for publication this fall.
Micah McCreary Is July’s Fellow of the Month
As the Rev. Dr. Micah L. McCreary enters his second year as president of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, he draws on his deep spiritual foundation and his scholarly understanding of psychology to provide leadership for the next generation of seminarians. Like many MFP Fellows, Dr. McCreary credits the Minority Fellowship Program with giving him access to the networks and mentors who helped his development.
He says his experience was “powerful” and life changing after growing up in inner-city Detroit, Mich. As a pastor’s son and the oldest of seven children, he was deeply involved in the church, which helped him escape the pitfalls of urban life. He received his bachelor’s degree in engineering at the University of Michigan and later earned a master of divinity (M.Div.) degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.
Dr. McCreary entered the MFP program while studying psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. His teaching career at VCU as a tenured associate professor of psychology spanned 21 years. During that time, he held other positions at VCU, including as assistant vice provost for diversity, quality enhancement plan coordinator, and co-director of the Counseling Psychology Program.
Despite his wonderful career, the one great sorrow of his life has been the incarceration of a brother since the 1970s. That brother is finally scheduled to be released from prison soon. Dr. McCreary saysHe says that, but for the grace of God, he could have made an error in judgment and done something that would have delivered him to the same fate. Fortunately, Dr. McCreary stayed on the right path, and he is looking forward to reuniting with his brother.
While in the MFP program, Dr. McCreary was able to meet and work with many giants in the field of psychology through the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), including Dr. Na’im Akbar and Dr. Wade Nobles. Understanding the “racist personality disorder” is fundamental to Dr. McCreary’ s vision as a proponent of justice across multicultural, economic, and gender differences, and led to his current position as president of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, the oldest Protestant seminary in the United States. The seminary took a public stand against racism and in 2007 formed an Anti-Racism Transformation Team.
Dr. McCreary will be leading a seminary that looks much different from what it did in past years. Today, New Brunswick Theological Seminary has evolved from a predominantly white male institution to a body that has more women than men. Seventy percent of the students are of color, and 20 percent are foreign born. His vision is to lead a “seminary with heart for God’s cities, for spiritual outreach, and community transformation.”
News and Views
September is National Recovery Month National Recovery Month began in 1989 as Treatment Works! Month, which honored the work of substance use treatment professionals in the field. The observance evolved into National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in 1998, when it expanded to include celebrating the accomplishment of individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. The observance evolved once again in 2011 to National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) to include all aspects of behavioral health.
Now in its 29th year, National Recovery Month highlights the achievements of individuals who have reclaimed their lives in long-term recovery and honors the treatment and recovery service providers who make recovery possible. Recovery Month also promotes the message that recovery in all of its forms is possible and encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need.
The theme for Recovery Month 2018 is Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community. The 2018 theme explores how integrated care, a strong community, sense of purpose, and leadership contributes to effective treatments that sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders. For more information, see Recovery Month.
Spanish Version of Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit Is Now Available From SAMHSA SAMHSA’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit is now available in Spanish. Download the toolkit now to learn about strategies for developing practices and policies to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths.