Community Advisory Board

UCSF Depression Center Community Advisory Board

About the Community Advisory Board

The Community Advisory Board was established in 2010. The Board will serve as an essential liaison to the Bay Area treatment community, participating in the development of an effective agenda for research, advocacy and leadership in depression treatment.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Community Advisory Board is to inform and advise the UCSF Depression Center on the needs of the Bay Area community regarding depression and related illnesses. Working in collaboration, as consumers and clinicians, educators and researchers, administrators and policy-makers, the goal will be to advance knowledge, improve care, eliminate stigma and promote recovery from depression and bipolar disorder.

Community Advisory Board

Kavoos Ghane Bassiri, LMFT, CGPis President & CEO of RAMS, Inc.  Founded in 1974, RAMS, Inc. is a private, non-profit mental health agency that is committed to advocating for and providing community based, culturally-competent, and consumer-guided services, with an emphasis on serving the Asian & Pacific Islander American and Russian-speaking populations. The agency offers comprehensive services that aim to meet the behavioral health, social, vocational, and educational needs of the diverse community of the San Francisco. Mr. Bassiri has over 20 years of clinical and administrative experience in the field of mental health.  Additionally, he is a member of the Community Council for UCSF’s University Community Partnerships and is an Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF Department of Psychiatry.

David Brunn is currently the President of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of San Francisco (DBSA-SF). The DBSA is a leading patient-directed national organization focusing on the most prevalent mental illnesses. The organization works to ensure that people living with mood disorders are treated equitably. DBSA was founded in 1985.

Tom Cicciarelli, PsyD, is currently the Director of Mental Health Programs, Institute on Aging (IOA). The IOA is a community-based, non-profit organization that touches the lives of thousands of seniors in San Francisco, Marin, and the Peninsula. IOA's service mission is to enhance the quality of life for our diverse community of adults as they age.

Charmian Cohen is currently a National Clinical Content Consulting Specialist with Kaiser Permanente IT.

Gordon Doughty was elected to the Board of Directors of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in 2009 and he currently serves as Chairman. The AFSP is a leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide. In 2010, Mr. Doughty retired from Pacific Gas and Electric where he was Manager of Tariff Interpretation.

Eleanor Valdes Dwyer is currently Unit Chief of Central Adult Outpatient Services in San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, a public behavioral health system of care within San Mateo County’s Health System, and co chair of the Latino Collaborative. Ms. Dwyer is also an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF/San Francisco General Medical Center. Her commitment to adapting traditional models of care to culturally diverse communities is demonstrated in her clinical work, teaching, research and contributions to the literature.

Dale Milfay, MS is the current Co-Chair of the NAMI SF Advocacy Committee, former Vice President of NAMI SF, and has been a member since 1996. From its inception in 1979, NAMI has been dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Ms. Milfay is currently retired from a long career at UCSF as a research associate studying signal transduction pathways and is now involved in full time volunteer advocacy on behalf of people suffering from mental illness.

Andrew Penn, RN, MS, NP, CNS is currently a nurse practitioner with the Permanente Medical Group, Redwood City Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry. Mr. Penn is also an Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Nursing.

Louise F. Rogers is currently the Deputy Chief of San Mateo County's Health System and oversees all public community health services including Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. Previously she was Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, a public behavioral health system of care within San Mateo County’s Health System. BHRS provides alcohol and other drug, mental health, and co-occurring services to 17,000 clients annually through a system of directly operated and contracted providers with a budget of $125 million. Ms. Rogers is also vice-chair of the California Mental Health Directors Association (CMHDA) Legislative Committee and chair of the CMHDA’s Medi-Cal Policy 1115 Waiver Work Group. Ms. Rogers is also a member of the board of the California Institute of Mental Health.

Mason Spain Turner, MD is currently the Chief of the Department of Psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco Medical Center and the Assistant Director (for Outpatient Services) for Regional Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Services for Kaiser Permanente, Northern California. Dr. Turner is board certified in Psychiatry and certified in Addiction Medicine through the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He specializes in addiction medicine and treatment of personality disorders. Dr. Turner also serves as Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School. In addition to his clinical, teaching and administrative responsibilities, Dr. Turner serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, an organization dedicated to advocacy of consumers with the most severe mental illnesses.