|Title||Director of the QC Psychological Center|
Dr. Yvette Caro is a licensed clinical psychologist who earned her doctoral degree at the Gorden F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, at Adelphi University where she was awarded the Farber Prize for Dissertation Excellence. She completed an APA approved clinical psychology internship program and fellowship training at New York University- Bellevue Hospital Center. Dr. Caro has an impressive record of leadership in public psychology spanning 23 years in public service at Bellevue Hospital Center, the flagship of the public hospitals owned and operated by the Health & Hospitals Corporation of New York City. From 1987 to 1992 she served as the psychological director for New York City’s Homeless Mentally Ill Initiative, a program for homeless individuals who were identified as “gravely disabled” as a result of mental illness, in need of psychiatric assistance, and hospitalized involuntarily if necessary by broadly interpreting existing mental hygiene law. In 1992 Dr. Caro was integrally involved in the founding, development and implementation of the Bilingual Treatment Program (BTP). BTP is a specialized outpatient mental health clinic within the Division of Ambulatory and Community Psychiatry at Bellevue, created to improve access and quality of psychiatric care for the Hispanic community. Dr. Caro served as the Director for 14 years (to 2010). In 2005 Dr. Caro became founding Director of the Center for the Asian Family developing this program under the BTP umbrella, targeting psychiatric services to the Asian community and serving as its director until 2010. BTP has served the Hispanic and Asian communities, providing evidenced based, culturally and linguistically competent psychiatric care to patients diagnosed with mental illness, many of whom also had comorbid medical problems, histories of trauma, and multiple psychosocial stressors. In support of the mission, under Dr. Caro’s leadership, the clinic provided training to bilingual/bicultural mental health graduate trainees (psychology externs, interns, fellows, social work students and psychiatry residents) through its well-regarded training program.
In addition to Dr. Caro’s track record of excellent oversight of multi-disciplinary behavioral health programs and her tireless devotion to responding to the community’s needs (awarded the Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals Public Service Award and recognized by Health and Hospitals Corporation for her commitment and the excellent quality of care provided to the community.) she is passionate about the education and training of students in the mental health professions, especially psychology. Through her career she has been deeply involved in helping hundreds of students navigate the gates of the profession through creating training opportunities at the externship, internship and fellowship levels. For over twelve years she directed the BTP Psychology Externship Program and served on the New York University- Bellevue Internship Training Committee. Additionally she has been involved in directly supervising, mentoring and teaching psychology trainees in various capacities, from providing the support, encouragement, and education required for the fledging clinician to acquire the most basic clinical skill sets, through to supervision in clinical interviewing, differential diagnosis, the utilization of empirically supported treatments, risk assessment, crisis intervention skills and the management and treatment of very complex high risk cases) and participation in students’ doctoral dissertation committees. She has also supported pre-professional trainees at the undergraduate and high school level by providing mentorship and internship opportunities at her programs, and preceptorship through the New York University School of Medicine High School Fellows Summer Program. Dr. Caro has also been actively involved in the mentoring and training of diverse student populations- Hispanic, Asian, first generation and foreign graduate students. Among her many professional interests, she enjoys sharing with her trainees her knowledge of and passion for public psychiatry, immigrant mental health, multicultural concerns, mental health disparities, health psychology (adjustment to chronic and life threatening illness), geriatrics, palliative and end of life psychological care, severe and persistent mental illness, utilization of empirically validated treatments, and the professional education and training of psychologists.
In September 2010, Dr. Caro transitioned to a new position as Director of Queens College Psychological Center. This position provided a unique opportunity to contribute to a departmental and institutional mission that was familiar and dear to her: Creating professional practicum experiences that develop clinical competency and ethical practice, informed by the scholarship and research integral to their education, and benefiting the community through access to evidenced based, compassionate, and affordable psychological care. In this role Dr. Caro has advanced the training clinic experience, as a vital part of graduate education at the CUNY Clinical Psychology with emphasis in Neuropsychology doctoral program, which is based at Queens College and consistent with the Queens College Strategic Plan to “build a culture of community,” introduces the newest generation of psychologists to a service mission- that of providing quality mental health care to underserved communities. She has also developed opportunities for undergraduates interested in psychology/mental health professions to participate in service learning in public psychology involving community psychoeducation and outreach, resource building and the destigmatization of mental illness. In addition, Dr. Caro serves as Co-Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals and on the Diversity Workgroup of the Association of Psychology Training Clinics.