The Power of Academic-Community and Academic-Clinical Partnerships: Towards an Inclusive Model of Care

Thursday, October 27, 2022 at 8:00a.m. - 11:15a.m.

This series of presentations will be delivered by investigators who partner closely with Bradley Hospital's community in their research. Speakers will present the findings from recent or ongoing studies focused on child and adolescent mental health conditions, including suicidal thoughts and behaviors, anxiety disorders, psychosis, autism spectrum disorder and disruptive behavior disorders. Presentations will highlight the power of academic-community partnerships as they create opportunities to develop breakthroughs in the field of childhood mental health, while directly improving patient care.


Jennifer Freeman, PhD, Director of Research and Training, Pediatric Anxiety Research Clinic, Bradley Hospital


Kristen Benito, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, associate professor of research at Brown University Medical School, and the research and quality improvement lead at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) of Bradley Hospital. Dr. Benito completed a PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Florida and a postdoctoral T32 fellowship at Brown University. Dr. Benito leads a program of research focused on understanding treatment processes and mechanism of change in exposure therapy for youth and using this knowledge to 1) augment and personalize treatment, 2) develop new treatments, and 3) improve treatment delivery in practice settings. Since joining the Brown faculty in 2012, she has received continuous funding from NIH (R21/R33 and R01 grants) as well as other federal and private organizations. As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Benito has provided exposure therapy for OCD and anxiety disorders for more than 15 years.

Justin Parent, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in the children’s partial hospital program at Bradley Hospital as well as assistant professor of research in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Parent received his PhD in clinical and developmental psychology at the University of Vermont and completed his clinical psychology internship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He is the author of over 60 articles, and his research is currently supported by grants from NIMHD and NICHD and has been recognized through several awards (e.g., NIH/OBSSR’s Early Stage Investigator Award, APS Rising Star).

Stefanie Sequeira, MS, is a predoctoral clinical psychology resident at Brown University. She is a predoctoral clinical psychology resident at Brown University. She is pursuing a PhD in Clinical and Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and recently completed a graduate training program in cognitive neuroscience from the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. Sequeira’s cross-disciplinary training supports her multi-method research program that aims to elucidate biological, cognitive, and social factors underlying the development of anxiety, depression, and suicidality during adolescence. Clinically, she has sought specialized training in psychological treatments for youth with anxiety disorders and OCD, as well as youth at high-risk for suicide. Her clinical training has had invaluable impacts on her research program, and she hopes her research will ultimately improve our ability to understand and treat internalizing disorders in adolescence.

Elizabeth Thompson, PhD, is a research scientist in the department of psychiatry within the division of child and family at Rhode Island Hospital. Dr. Thompson is also staff psychologist, in the department of psychiatry within the division of child and family at Rhode Island Hospital and Bradley Hospital as well as clinic co-developer and co-director at the Bradley Hospital Stride Clinic. She earned her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship (Child Mental Health T32) in Brown’s department of psychiatry and human behavior. She is also an assistant professor at Brown. Dr. Thompson's career goals are focused on improving understanding of emerging psychosis to inform effective early intervention, which has the potential to prevent illness progression and disability. Dr. Thompson is currently conducting two pilot trials exploring the development and feasibility of brief family-oriented interventions for psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents with psychosis-spectrum symptoms. She is committed to conducting clinically meaningful research that not only enriches and informs the scientific community, but also translates to clinical practice in order to improve early psychosis services.

Maria del Pilar Trelles Thorne, MD, is a psychiatrist at the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD) at Bradley Hospital. She is also assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Trelles has expertise in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDDs) and has received specialized training in the utility of genomic medicine to better understand these conditions.

Prior to joining Lifespan, she served as medical director of the Developmental Disability Clinic at Mount Sinai West Hospital, overseeing its transition to the Cohen’s Center for Comprehensive Pediatric Care at Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Trelles conducted research at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai, and held a faculty appointment as assistant professor of psychiatry and of global health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.

Dr. Trelles’ clinical and research work has been dedicated to improving access to care for under-resourced communities with NDDs. By establishing strong community partnerships with national and international stakeholders, she has developed initiatives that improve healthcare disparities and build capacities in the community to improve research participation of ethnic and racial minorities in ASD research. She has obtained significant grant support and has been the recipient of multiple awards for junior investigators. Dr. Trelles has published extensively in professional journals and has been invited frequently to present nationally and internationally.

Dr. Trelles is an active member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), where she serves on the women’s committee, and of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR).

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe the benefits of academic-community and academic-clinical partnerships
  2. Describe current projects that illustrate successful academic-community and academic-clinical partnerships 


  • Target audience: psychologists, physicians, social workers and other interested health care professionals
  • Instructional level: Intermediate
  • 3.0 CE hours/credits (see below) 


  • Program fee: $49.00
  • Online registration closes on Wednesday, October 26
  • For refund/cancellation information please email or call Nicole Rios at 401-432-1203.

Register online 

Credit Details

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Rhode Island Hospital and Bradley Hospital. Rhode Island Hospital is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education.

Rhode Island Hospital designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA category 1 credit(s).  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Rhode Island Hospital is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Rhode Island Hospital maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

CEUs for this event have been submitted, pending approval by the National Board for Social Work (NASW), designating this live activity for a maximum of 3.0 continuing education credits for certified counselors, marriage and family therapists.

Bradley Conference is designed to provide education for psychologists, social workers, physicians, nurses, certified counselors, speech/language and occupational therapists, teachers, milieu associates, and other professionals who work with children, adolescents or adults. Topics address different behavioral health populations and treatment modalities and are intended to provide practical, state-of-the-art information.

Bradley Hospital’s clinical expertise, internationally renowned research, and academic affiliation with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University make the hospital a unique resource in all areas of behavioral health care.  We have designed a wide range of learning experiences to provide the training that behavioral health care professionals need to stay at the forefront of their fields.

Location Information

All sessions in this series will be held virtually.