Who We Are

Center for the Promotion of Mental Health in Juvenile Justice

Who We Are

Katherine Elkington, Ph.D.

Katherine Elkington, PhD

Center Director of Clinical Research
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry)

Dr. Elkington, center co-director, received her PhD in clinical psychology from Northwestern University and completed her postdoctorate education at Columbia University, studying sexual risk and HIV prevention. Her research has focused on examining multi-systemic correlates and prevalence of HIV risk behavior, psychiatric and substance use disorders, and understanding service access and developing HIV/STI prevention interventions for high-risk adolescents, including youth involved in the juvenile justice system. She has collaborated with other key stakeholders in the development and testing of interventions to reduce sexual risk, promote health, and increase access to psychiatric and substance use services. In addition to her work with the Center for the Promotion of Mental Health in Juvenile Justice, Dr. Elkington holds several positions at Columbia University Medical Center. She is a research scientist and training director for the T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, within the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health. She is also an investigator with the HIV Center's Intervention Science Core. Dr. Elkington has received numerous honors and awards, including the New York State Office of Mental Health Policy Scholars Award, the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies Publication Award, and the Pisetsky Young Investigator Award, and has co-authored over 30 publications. She is currently PI of several research studies through NIMH and NIDA. 

See a complete list of  Dr. Elkington’s publications here.

Gail Wasserman
Center Co-Director

Dr. Wasserman has been investigating the psychopathology of child and adolescent conduct problems for over 30 years. Since 1998, she has served as the Director for Columbia University’s Center for the Promotion of Mental Health in Juvenile Justice. The center’s collaborations with juvenile justice and other state and county agencies have systematically documented the range, severity and correlates of substance use and mental health problems in youths in contact with the juvenile justice system. Under her direction, our team developed and piloted a systems-level SAMHSA-supported multilayered intervention (Project Connect) aimed at enhancing identification of suicide risk and correlated mental health and substance use concerns in probation settings, and increasing probation officer linkage practices to more effectively connect juvenile probationers to community providers. She was most recently PI for a NIDA-funded collaborative (JJ-TRIALS) investigating the impact of a cross-system intervention on service utilization for juvenile probationers with substance use and co-occurring disorders, and examining the roles and factors that enhance or impede program uptake and service use.

See a complete list of Dr. Wasserman’s publications here.

Larkin McReynolds, Ph.D.
Center Research Director
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Assistant Professor, Epidemiology & Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research

Dr. McReynolds received her MPH from the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston (Health Promotion/Health Education) and her PhD from Columba University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She has extensive experience in intervention evaluation methods, and collecting and working with service utilization data. Dr. McReynolds has carried out investigations examining the relation between psychiatric disorder and juvenile recidivism, gender differences in psychiatric risk factors for delinquency, non-suicidal self-injury, and the development of audio computer assisted self-interview assessments. She has co-authored over 30 publications on the epidemiology of mental health in juvenile justice settings, coordinated data collection efforts from over 88 sites, and conducted analyses relying on advanced level modeling of youth outcomes, including mental health service use. Her experience managing data collected from multisite studies and supervising a team responsible for training and technical assistance has contributed to the center’s accumulation of a rich data archive of close to 10,000 justice-involved youths’ diagnostic, demographic, and offense information.

See a complete list of Dr. McReynold’s publications here

Margaret Ryan, MPH

Project Manager

Maggie Ryan received her MPH from the University at Albany School of Public Health, with a special focus on epidemiology and mental health. She now joins NYSPI after serving as a fellow with CDC-NIOSH, where she worked on research related to occupational health and safety. Maggie is the current Project Manager for e-Connect and JCOIN.