Early Psychosis Intervention Plus (EPI Plus) Advisory Committee

About the Committee

Assembly Bill 1315, signed in 2017, established the Early Psychosis Intervention (EPI) Plus Program. The program is intended to help improve the lives of Californians with mental health needs before those needs escalate and become severe or disabling. The EPI Plus Advisory Committee works to expand the provision of high-quality, evidence-based early psychosis and mood disorder detection and intervention services by providing additional funding through the EPI Plus Program.

Click here to learn more about the EPI Plus Program.

This bill prescribes the membership of the Advisory Committee, including the Chair of the Commission, or his or her designee. Other members of the Advisory Committee include:

Positions Already Filled:

  • The director of a county behavioral health department that administers an early psychosis and mood disorder detection and intervention-type program
  • A representative from a nonprofit community mental health organization that focuses on service delivery to transition-aged youth and young adults
  • A psychiatrist or psychologist
  • A representative from the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence at the University of California, Davis, or a representative from a similar entity with expertise within the University of California system
  • A representative from a health plan participating in the Medi-Cal managed care program and the employer-based health care market
  • A representative from the medical technologies industry who is knowledgeable of advances in technology related to the use of innovative social media and mental health information feedback
  • A representative knowledgeable of evidence-based practices as they pertain to the operations of an early psychosis and mood disorder detection and intervention-type programs, including knowledge of experiences outside of California.
  • A representative who is a parent or guardian caring for a young child with mental illness
  • An at-large representative
  • A representative who is a person with lived experience of a mental illness

The Committee provides advice and guidance on approaches to early psychosis and mood disorder detection and intervention programs. The Committee will also administer a competitive selection process to provide funding for these programs and recommend a core set of standardized clinical and outcome measures.

We are no longer accepting applications.

Membership and Bios

 

The Advisory Committee consists of 13 members as follows:

 

  • The Chair of the Commission or his or her designee.
  • The president of the County Behavioral Health Director’s Association, or his or her designee.
  • The director of a county behavioral health department that administers an early psychosis and mood disorder detection and intervention-type program in his or her county.
  • A representative from a non-profit community mental health organization.
  • A psychiatrist or psychologist
  • A representative from the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence at the University of California (UC), Davis, or a representative from a similar entity with expertise from within the UC system.
  • A representative from a health plan participating in the Medi-Cal managed care program.
  • A representative from the medical technologies industry.
  • A representative knowledgeable in evidence-based practices as they pertain to the operation of an EPI Plus-type program.
  • A representative who is a parent or guardian caring for a young child with mental illness.
  • An at-large representative identified by the chair.
  • A representative who is a person with lived experience of a mental illness.
  • A primary care provider from a licensed primary care clinic that provides integrated primary and behavioral health care.

 

Advisory Committee Member Biographies

 

Khatera Tamplen

Khatera Tamplen has been the consumer empowerment manager at Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services since 2012. She was executive director at Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services from 2007-2012 and served in multiple positions at the Telecare Corporation Villa Fairmont Mental Health Rehabilitation Center from 2002-2007, including director of rehabilitation. Tamplen is a member of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services National Advisory Council and a founding member of the California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations. Chair Tamplen represents clients and consumers.


 

Gladys Mitchell

Gladys Mitchell served as a staff services manager at the California Department of Health Care Services from 2013-2014 and at the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs from 2010-2013 and from 2007-2009. She was a health program specialist at California Correctional Health Care Services from 2009-2010 and a staff mental health specialist at the California Department of Mental Health from 2006-2007. She was interim executive officer at the California Board of Occupational Therapy in 2005 and an enforcement coordinator at the California Board of Registered Nursing from 1996-1998 and at the Board of Behavioral Science Examiners from 1989-1993. She is a member of the St. Hope Public School Board of Directors. Mitchell earned a Master of Social Work degree from California State University, Sacramento. Commissioner Mitchell fills the seat of a family member of a child who has or has had a severe mental illness.


 

Itai Danovitch, MD, MBA

Itai Danovitch has been chair of the Psychiatry Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center since 2012, where he has held several positions since 2008, including director of addiction psychiatry clinical services and associate director of the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship. He is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Psychiatric Association and past president of the California Society of Addiction Medicine. Danovitch earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Management. Commissioner Danovitch fills the seat of a physician specializing in alcohol and drug treatment.


 

L.E. Becker, JD

Lauren E. Becker is a young attorney. She has worked in corporate defense, intellectual property, and family law. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC San Diego in 2010 where she was a Cognitive Development Research Intern. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Western State University in 2015. During law school, she volunteered for a non-profit organization helping clients receive disability benefits. Ms. Becker has Bipolar Disorder type 1 and fills the seat of A Person with Lived Experience of Mental Illness.


 

Stuart Buttlaire, PhD, MBA

Dr. Buttlaire has over 30 years of clinical and management experience providing leadership and direction in health care delivery in both the public and private sectors. Currently, at Kaiser Permanente he designs and oversees a broad continuum of services and programs for both inpatient, ambulatory, and emergency settings for mental health and addiction medicine. He is the lead Mental Health Representative within Kaiser Permanente’s State Program Initiatives including Medicaid and Medicare and is the designated Regional Director of Resource Management for Behavioral Health. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Buttlaire was Program Manager of Acute Services, for Marin County Mental Health in Marin County, California. Dr. Buttlaire currently serves as a board member of the California Hospital Association Behavioral Health Board and serves on the American Hospital Associations Regional Policy Board for the Western Section. Dr. Buttlaire is a regional leader in the development of Best Practices at Kaiser Permanente. He has developed and led major program redesigns including Integrated Urgent Services for adults and youths with mental health and substance use disorders, Kaiser Permanente Post-Acute Center (SNF) Behavioral Health Program, mental health/emergency room consultation and suicide prevention, multi-family groups for adults and teens in the treatment of severe psychiatric conditions, and intensive outpatient treatment programs for adults and youths. He recently led the development of a new Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital and Crisis Stabilization Unit at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center. Dr. Buttlaire fills the seat of Representative from a Health Plan in the Medi-Cal Managed Care Program.


 

Gilmore Chung, MD

Dr. Chung received his MD from the University of Kentucky, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine – Pediatrics at Los Angeles County – University of Southern California Medical Center. He stayed at LAC-USC as an attending, and then spent a year at the Dimock Center in Roxbury, MA, doing outpatient medicine, started working in addiction medicine, as well as working in their inpatient detox facility. He has been at Venice Family Clinic since 2015, where he is the primary Medication Assisted Treatment physician, serves as the site director for the Rose Avenue clinic, which has a large population of patients that deal with homelessness, psychiatric illness, and substance use disorders. He works with Clare/Matrix as an expert facilitator in the Hub/Spoke system. He plans to sit the boards for the American Society of Addiction Medicine this fall. He also volunteers at Homeboy Industries, the UCLA chapter of Flying Samaritans, Physicians for Human Rights, and works for the LAPD jail dispensary clinics.


 

Adriana Furuzawa, MA, LMFT, CPRP

Ms. Furuzawa is the Early Psychosis Division Director at Felton Institute in San Francisco, CA, and provides executive oversight of operations and development of Felton Early Psychosis (formerly PREP – Prevention and Recovery in Early Psychosis), BEAM, and BEAM UP programs in six counties in northern and central California. She joined the Felton Institute in 2013, bringing 20 years of experience providing services to individuals struggling with persistent mental health distress in community mental health settings in California and in her native Brazil. Adriana has over 10 years of leadership experience in not-for-profit community-based organizations, providing clinical services, implementing evidence-based practices with fidelity to respective models, and promoting integration of recovery-oriented practices, and has been directly engaged in early psychosis program implementation and service delivery since 2013. Some key accomplishments include the sustainable implementation of coordinated specialty care services in urban and predominantly rural counties, and she has presented in numerous national, state, and local conferences on evidence-based practices for early psychosis care. She is a Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist by the California Board of the Behavioral Sciences and a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner by the US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association. Ms. Furuzawa fills the seat of a Representative from a Non-Profit Community Mental Health Organization.


 

Kate Hardy, ClinPsychD

Dr. Hardy is a Clinical Associate Professor at Stanford University and California Licensed Psychologist who has specialized in working with individuals with psychosis for over 15 years in research, service development and clinical settings. Dr. Hardy received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at UCSF. She is the Co-Director of the Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences INSPIRE Early Psychosis clinic and co-leads the national Psychosis-Risk and Early Psychosis Program Network (PEPPNET). She provides psychosocial interventions for individuals with psychosis, and their families, and is a nationally renowned trainer in CBT for psychosis and early psychosis models of care. Dr. Hardy fills the seat of a Psychiatrist or Psychologist.


 

Thomas R. lnsel, MD

Dr. Insel is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, is a co-founder and President of Mindstrong Health. From 2002-2015, Dr. Insel served as Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) committed to research on mental disorders. Prior to serving as NIMH Director, Dr. Insel was Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University where he was founding director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience in Atlanta. Most recently (2015 – 2017), he led the Mental Health Team at Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) in South San Francisco, CA. Dr. Insel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has received numerous national and international awards including honorary degrees in the U.S. and Europe. Dr. Insel fills the seat of a Representative from The Medical Technologies Industry.


 

Yana Jacobs, LMFT

Ms. Jacobs is the Program Officer at the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care since 2014, www.mentalhealthexcellence.org a Non-Profit community foundation with a mission to bring transformative recovery based research and programs into the mainstream public and private sectors. She began her work at Soteria House as a staff member in the mid-70s, mentored by Loren Mosher, MD. Soteria House became her experience that informed her work as she moved into other areas of employment within the mental health world. Yana spent over 30 years working both in private practice as a family therapist and in the public sector at Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health. She has worked with their crisis team and later became the Chief of Adult Outpatient/Recovery services. As an ally to people with lived experience she implemented the first Peer-Run Respite House in California, funded by a federally funded SAMHSA Transformation grant. Yana believes we must work both as an activist on the outside and with our allies on the inside if we are going to bring about real change. She teaches about “Being with” people who are in extreme states, based on her work and life experience at Soteria House. Ms. Jacobs fills the seat of a Representative Knowledgeable of Evidence Based Practices as they pertain to the operation of an EPI Plus-type Program.


 

Karen Larsen, LMFT

Ms. Larsen is the Director of Yolo County’s Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) and has been serving the underserved of Yolo County and surrounding areas for more than two decades. As a woman in recovery herself, she strives to provide a voice for those we serve in all she does. She spent over 15 years working for community clinics as a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and began her career providing care for those struggling with substance use disorders. Her passion for integrating care was one of the driving forces that brought Karen to Yolo County. She joined the County as the Mental Health Director and Alcohol & Drug Administrator in March 2014, just as the Agency was beginning to integrate the Departments of Public Health, Employment and Social Services, and Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health. As an integrated agency, Yolo County HHSA has the privilege of providing whole-person and whole-community care through branches that aim to ensure health, safety, and economic stability. With the objective of improving outcomes for the most vulnerable populations, Karen is active in local and statewide groups engaging in cross-system collaboration to address all determinants of health. She serves on the Board of Directors for the California Welfare Directors Association and California Behavioral Health Directors Association, co-chairing Children’s and Criminal Justice Committees. Ms. Larsen fills the seat of CBHDA President of Designee.


 

Maggie Merritt

Executive Director Maggie Merritt has worked in the public policy arena since 1989. She brings a rich blend of nonprofit, public policy and political campaign experience to her role as leader of the Steinberg Institute. Before helping launch the Steinberg Institute in January 2015, Maggie worked for years as a leader and advocate for nonprofit organizations focused on women’s and children’s health, violence prevention, and social justice issues. From 2005-2010, she served as executive director of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District IX (CA), working to advance public policies to benefit the health and well-being of women and their children. In 2004, Maggie worked alongside then-Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg on the successful Yes on Proposition 63 campaign that enacted the Mental Health Services Act, a 1 percent tax on personal income over $1 million to bolster funding for mental health services across California. Maggie serves as a powerful voice for brain health issues in her advisory capacity to a number of key statewide commissions. She sits on two committees helping inform the California Future Health Workforce Commission, is a member of the statewide and Sacramento’s “No Place Like Home” committees overseeing the rollout of $2 billion for permanent supportive housing for homeless people living with a serious mental illness. From 1989 to 2001, Maggie served as a legislative staffer in the California Senate and Assembly, focusing primarily on education and health policy. She holds a degree in sociology, law & society from the University of California, Davis, and is an ICF Professional Certified Coach. She has two married sons and four adorable grandsons and can be found on her yoga mat or frolicking in nature whenever she gets a chance. Ms. Merritt fills the seat as an At-Large Representative Identified By The Chair.


 


 

Paula Wadell, MD

Paula Wadell, MD is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at UC Davis where she serves as the medical director for the UC Davis early psychosis programs and is an executive committee member for the UC Davis Behavioral Health Center of Excellence. She is board certified in general and child and adolescent psychiatry. Her interests include medical education, early intervention treatment and improving systems of care through quality improvement and advocacy. Dr. Wadell fills the seat of a Representative from the Behavioral Health Centers of Excellence, Davis, or Similar Entity.

What is Psychosis

Psychosis describes a scenario in which a person experiences a break from reality and hears, sees or believes things that are not real. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 3 in 100 people will experience an episode of psychosis during their lives. Young adults are at an increased risk for psychotic episodes due to changes in brain development. A psychotic episode can result from a mental or physical illness, substance abuse, trauma or extreme stress.

Approximately 100,000 adolescents and young adults experience first episode psychosis each year in the United States.1 Half of all mental illnesses begin by age 14, and 75 percent by age 24. On average, it takes 18.5 months from initial symptoms of psychosis for someone to receive a diagnosis and treatment.2 Delays in accessing care leads to poor clinical outcomes.

The goals of the EPI Plus Program include establishing a framework and strategy to shift emphasis in California’s mental health system away from stage four crisis care and response, to stage one early detection and intervention, just as we approach other serious illnesses. Research demonstrates that proactive treatment and intervention improve life outcomes for individuals. 

1National Institute on Mental Health
Kane et al., 2015

Meetings and Events

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AB 1315 Advisory Committee Meeting – April 8, 2021

Apr 8, 2021 – 1:00 pm

Presentation – Early Psychosis Care in California: Current Landscape & Future Directions Presentation – Presentation – Early Intervention and Prevention […]

AB 1315 Advisory Committee Meeting Teleconference – November 9, 2020

Nov 9, 2020 – 1:00 pm

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/94606664497 Meeting ID: 946 0666 4497 Passcode: 234954 Dial in number: 669-900-6833 AB 1315 Advisory Committee Meeting Agenda – November […]

AB 1315 Advisory Committee Meeting Teleconference – October 5, 2020

Oct 5, 2020 – 1:00 pm

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/4768490882?pwd=MS9SY1dZRXZ6WHprakFuZVlsUWplQT09 Meeting ID: 476 849 0882 Passcode: 111520 Dial in number: 1 (408) 638-0968 PowerPoint Presentation – October […]

AB 1315 Advisory Committee Meeting – January 21, 2020

Jan 21, 2020 – 10:00 am

Find more information on the Early Psychosis Intervention Plus Program by clicking this link: http://mhsoac.ca.gov/about-us/committees/early-psychosis-intervention-plus-epi-plus-program Agenda – AB 1315 Advisory […]

AB 1315 Advisory Committee Meeting – August 29, 2019

Aug 29, 2019 – 10:00 am

Find more information on the Early Psychosis Intervention Plus Program by clicking this link: http://mhsoac.ca.gov/about-us/committees/early-psychosis-intervention-plus-epi-plus-program Presentation: Early Intervention of Psychosis […]

AB 1315 Advisory Committee Meeting – June 14, 2019

Jun 14, 2019 – 10:00 am

This important first-ever meeting of the EPI Plus Advisory Committee will be an opportunity to share your experience and knowledge […]

For more information about MHSOAC News & Events