Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention - Research Core Staff - MIRECC / CoE
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Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention - Research Core Staff

Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention
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Our Mission & Vision

 

The mission of the Rocky Mountain MIRECC is to study suicide with the goal of reducing suicidal ideation and behaviors in the Veteran population. Towards this end, the work of the Rocky Mountain MIRECC is focused on promising clinical interventions, as well as the cognitive and neurobiological underpinnings of suicidal thoughts and behaviors that may lead to innovative prevention strategies.

The vision of the Rocky Mountain MIRECC is to increase information and treatment options available to Veterans, their families and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) so that care decisions and care provided are aimed at decreasing suicide risk.


Contact Us

 

If you have questions or comments, please reach out to us via email: RockyMountainMIRECC@va.gov
For email and GovDelivery updates about our work, subscribe to our mailing list.


Staff

Research Core


Research Director

Lisa Brenner

Lisa A. Brenner, PhD (she/her/hers)
Clinical Research Psychologist & Director, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-6488
Email: Lisa.Brenner@va.gov

Publications: PUBMED | Google Scholar

Lisa A. Brenner, Ph.D., is a Board-Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist, a Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), Psychiatry, and Neurology at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, and the Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). She is also Vice Chair of Research for the Department of PM&R. She has over 20 years of experience working with Veterans and has championed numerous national efforts to prevent suicide among Veterans. Her primary area of research interest is traumatic brain injury, co-morbid psychiatric disorders, and negative psychiatric outcomes including suicide.


Principal Investigators

Sean Barnes

Sean Barnes, PhD
Clinical Research Psychologist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-6560
Email: Sean.Barnes2@va.gov


Lauren Borges

Lauren Borges, PhD
Clinical Research Psychologist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-4865
Email: Lauren.Borges2@va.gov


Diana Brostow, PhD, MPH, RDN

Diana Brostow, PhD, MPH, RDN (she/her/hers)
Clinical Research Nutritionist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Diana.Brostow@va.gov


Publications: PUBMEDGoogle Scholar


Claire Hoffmire, PhD

Claire Hoffmire, PhD
Epidemiologist & Research Psychologist
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 585-301-1442
Email: Claire.Hoffmire@va.gov


Ryan Holliday PhD

Ryan Holliday, PhD
Clinical Research Psychologist
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-6573
Email: Ryan.Holliday@va.gov

Publications: PUBMED | Google Scholar


Adam Kinney

Adam Kinney, PhD, OTR/L
Post-Doctoral Fellow - Polytrauma/TBI, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-4862
Email: Adam.Kinney@va.gov

Publications: PUBMED | Google Scholar


Douglas Kondo MD

Douglas Kondo, MD
Attending Physician, Salt Lake City VAMC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City VAMC
Salt Lake City, UT

Phone: 801-582-1565 x2821
Email: Douglas.Kondo@va.gov

Publications: PUBMED | Google Scholar

In addition to his work with the Rocky Mountain MIRECC, Dr. Kondo is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Utah School of Medicine, a member of the University of Utah Brain Institute and a USTAR (Utah Science Technology and Research initiative) investigator. His research works to integrate magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (MRI/MRS) neuroimaging into investigations of the causes of, and novel treatment for, Veterans who suffer from mood disorders, suicidal behavior, substance use disorders and traumatic brain injury.


Margaret Legarreta

Margaret Legarreta, PhD
Research Psychologist, Salt Lake City VAMC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City VAMC
Salt Lake City, UT

Phone: 801-582-1565 x2763
Email: Margaret.Legarreta@va.gov


Meredith Mealer PhD

Meredith Mealer, PhD
Investigator/Regulatory Liaison, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-4864
Email: Meredith.Mealer@ucdenver.edu


Mohatt PhD

Nate Mohatt, PhD
Research Psychologist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-4864
Email: Nathaniel.Mohatt@va.gov | Nathaniel.Mohatt@ucdenver.edu


Lindsey Monteith

Lindsey Monteith, PhD
Clinical Psychologist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-4866
Email: Lindsey.Monteith@va.gov

Publications:PUBMED | Google Scholar


Teo Postolache

Dr. Teodor T. Postolache
Visiting Clinical Research Psychiatrist
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: TPostola@psych.umaryland.edu


Joseph A Simonetti

Joseph Simonetti, MD, MPH (he/him/his)
Clinician Investigator, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-6491
Email: Joseph.Simonetti@va.gov

Publications: PUBMED | Google Scholar

Dr. Simonetti is a hospital medicine physician at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center and investigator with the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention. His research focuses on developing patient-centered firearm safety interventions for individuals at risk of suicide. As an educator, he works locally and nationally to support VA and community-based clinicians in delivering evidence-based and culturally competent lethal means safety counseling to at-risk Veterans.


Bryann R. DeBeer, PhD
Clinical Research Psychologist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Bryann.Debeer@va.gov


Pete Gutierrez, PhD (he/him/his)
Clinical/Research Psychologist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Peter.Gutierrez@va.gov


Arthur Ryan, PhD
Clinical Research Psychiatrist
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-6492
Email: Arthur.Ryan@va.gov


Talia Spark, MS, PhD (she/her/hers)
Research Epidemiologist, Rocky Moutain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Talia.Spark@va.gov

Publications: PUBMED


Post-Doctoral Fellows

Meghan Donovan

Meghan Donovan, PhD (she/her/hers)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-857-5088
Email: Meghan.Donovan@va.gov

Publications: PUBMEDGoogle Scholar

Dr. Donovan completed her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Florida State University, and she joined the Rocky Mountain MIRECC as a Postdoctoral Fellow in September 2020. Dr. Donovan's doctoral work focused on effects of social isolation and probiotic intake on the gut-immune-brain axis and behaviors in socially monogamous prairie voles. Dr. Donovan is particularly interested in examining how environmental, psychosocial and lifestyle factors can shape mental health outcomes.


Teresa Morales, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Teresa.Morales2@va.gov


Daniel Reis, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Daniel.Reis2@va.gov


Research Clinicians, Staff and Other Investigators

Evelyn Casiano

Eve Casiano (she/her/hers)
Research Assistant, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-3522
Email: Evelyn.Casiano@va.gov

I am a Marine Corps Veteran with more than 20 years of medical research experience. I am honored to be working for the VA Rocky Mountain MIRECC and to serve my fellow Veterans through supporting research aiming to improve evidence-based practices to serve those who have served us first. I am very fortunate to be working with a passionate team that is committed to developing innovative strategies to meet the unique healthcare needs of our Veterans.


Kelly Stearns-Yoder, MS

Kelly A. Stearns-Yoder, MS (she/her/hers)
Laboratory & Research Program Director, Rocky Mountain MIRECC 
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-415-1717
Email: Kelly.Stearns@va.gov

Publications: PUBMED

Ms. Kelly Stearns-Yoder is the Laboratory and Research Program Director for the Brenner Lab (Lisa A. Brenner, PI) at the Rocky Mountain MIRECC and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Research Psychology. Specific areas of research include programmatic outcomes and evaluation at the patient and organizational levels.


Suzanne Thomas

Suzanne Thomas, MA
Project Coordinator, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-6555
Email: Suzanne.Thomas4@va.gov


Leah Wendleton

Leah Wendleton
Research Assistant, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO


Tabitha Alverio, MA (she/her/hers) 
Professional Research Assistant, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-298-5022
Email: Tabitha.Alverio@va.gov


Javier Ballester
Salt Lake City VAMC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City VAMC
Salt Lake City, UT

Email: Javier.Ballester@hsc.utah.edu 


Meghan Barnhart, MS
Health Science Specialist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-6476
Email: Meghan.Barnhart@va.gov


Elliott Bueler
Salt Lake City VAMC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City VAMC
Salt Lake City, UT

Email: e.bueler@utah.edu 


Kirsten Cline, BS (she/her/hers)
Clinical Project Manager, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City Health Care System,
Salt Lake City, UT

Email: Kirsten.Cline@hsc.utah.edu


Riley Grassmeyer
Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Riley.Grassmeyer@va.gov | Riley.Grassmeyer@cuanschutz.edu


Jetta Hanson
Research Administrator, Military Suicide Research Consortium (MSRC)
Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Jessica.Hanson2@va.gov


Erin Higgins
Program Specialist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Erin.Higgins@va.gov


Matthew Hodgkinson, BSN, RN
Clinical Research Nurse, Salt Lake City VAMC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City VAMC
Salt Lake City, UT

Email: Matthew.Hodgkinson@va.gov


Jacob Johnson
Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Jacob.Johnson4@va.gov


Rachel Johnson, PhD, MSW, LCSW (she/her/hers)
Research Social Worker & Qualitative Methodologist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Rachel.Johnson13@va.gov


Tapan Khan
Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Tapan.Khan@va.gov


Carlee Kreisel, BS (she/her/hers)
Senior Professional Research Assistant, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Carlee.Kreisel@va.gov

Publications: PUBMED


Joseph Mignogna
Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Joseph.Mignogna@va.gov


Morgan Nance, MA (she/her/hers)
Senior Professional Research Assistant, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-4868
Email: Morgan.Nance@va.gov


Raymond Oliva, BA
Research Assistant, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-4869
Email: Raymond.Oliva@va.gov | Raymond.Oliva@cuanschutz.edu


Taylor Phillips
Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Taylor.Phillips2@va.gov


Chandni Sheth
Salt Lake City VAMC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City VAMC
Salt Lake City, UT

Email: Chandni.Sheth@utah.edu


Debbie Sorensen
Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Debra.Sorensen@va.gov


Christopher Stamper, PhD (he/him/his)
Health Science Specialist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 720-723-6552
Email: Christopher.Stamper@va.gov

Publications: PUBMEDGoogle Scholar

Dr. Stamper is interested in the link between mental and physical health and the bacteria that live in and around us. Under Dr. Lisa Brenner, Dr. Stamper is engaged in the US Veteran Microbiome Project (US-VMP) which uses cutting edge technology and computational analysis to elucidate the links between mental and physical health and the microbiome and metagenome. Dr. Stamper is involved in Randomized Clinical Trials run by Dr. Lisa Brenner to investigate novel therapeutics targeting the gut brain axis for treatment of PTSD.


Jane Stanton, LCSW (she/her/hers)
Clinical Social Worker, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Jane.Stanton@va.gov


Andrew Stephens, MSW (he/him/his)
Program Specialist, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Email: Andrew.Stephens1@va.gov

Andrew grew up in central Texas and earned his BSW and MSW at Baylor University. He moved to Denver in August 2020 and worked to find housing for veterans in rural Colorado before joining Together With Veterans. Andrew enjoys collecting fountain pens and taking care of his two fish.


Punitha Subramaniam
Salt Lake City VAMC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City VAMC
Salt Lake City, UT

Email: Punitha.Subramaniam@utah.edu


Samantha Synett, LCSW (she/her/hers)
Clinician Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Rocky Mountain MIRECC
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC
Aurora, CO

Phone: 254-421-1815
Email: Samantha.Synett@va.gov 

Samantha is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an expert in providing evidence-based treatments for suicide prevention and posttraumatic stress disorder. Samantha is a certified Prolonged Exposure Therapy provider and consultant and has supported federally funded clinical trials evaluating evidence-based treatment for Veterans. Samantha currently serves as the leader of the VA Patient Safety Center - Suicide Prevention Collaborative, which brings together over a dozen community organizations and assists them with implementing Veteran suicide prevention best practices inside their agency.


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Last Updated 02 September 2021