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UNC Residency Education Program, General Psychiatry Mental Health Equity Track

The UNC School of Medicine is committed to building a more diverse community that reflects our state and those we serve. The Office of Inclusive Excellence recruited Nate Thomas, PhD for his experience as a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. The Office of Inclusive Excellence fosters diversity, mentoring, and leadership initiatives and works closely with leaders and administrators to promote and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion for faculty, trainees, students, and staff.  The resident will be involve in developing strategies to address mental health inequities at the provider level.

Goal of Elective:

  • Identify systemic causes of disparities via participation in the Social Justice Task Force (inequities in learning environment) and the UNC Students in Training, Academia, Health, and Research (STAHR).  STAHR is a structured tiered mentoring program that creates community, promotes faculty collaboration, and supports trainees and students.  A key component of the mentoring program is its curriculum.  The curriculum is grounded in the research-based Thomas Principles: Identity Development, Psychological Support, Social Support, Academic/Professional Development, Sense of Belonging, and Leadership Development.
  • Develop effective strategies to promote mental health equity
  • As with other UNC psychiatry specialized tracks, this will be a non-clinical rotation, but could include data collection and analysis around the mentoring program and subsequent publications.



Tamara Baker, PhD
Associate Director of Research

Research contends that symptoms associated with many chronic illnesses impact the individual’s physical and psychological health, social existence, and emotional well-being.  However, factors associated with the experience and management of these health outcomes, particularly among diverse race populations, are poorly understood.



Christina Cruz, MD

Dr. Cruz is interested in improving the mental health of children and adolescents globally in resource-limited settings by meeting them where they are – every day in their schools. Her independent research program has focuses on the creation, piloting, testing, and scaling of a task-shifting model of mental health care for school-aged children in Darjeeling, in the Indian Eastern Himalayas, an environment reflective of poorly resourced environments worldwide.



Katie Sims, MD

She focuses on Latino mental health and works in partnership with El Futuro in Durham, NC to develop telepsychiatry programs to reach patients in rural areas.