About Us

Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium Logo

Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium

We believe that it is essential to ensure the mental and emotional well-being of every child and adolescent in Southwest Texas.

The Division of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso is a proud partner of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium. The Consortium leverages the expertise and capacity of 13 health-related institutions of higher education, local and state government agencies, and local and state mental health organizations. Through this collective leadership, the Consortium supports four statewide behavioral health initiatives, including the Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN), the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) program, the workforce expansion programs, and research.

For more information on the Consortium, visit https://www.utsystem.edu/pophealth/tcmhcc/

MISSION

Advance mental health care quality and access for all Texas children and adolescents through inter-institutional collaboration, leveraging the expertise of the state’s health-related institutions of higher education, local and state government agencies, and local and state mental health organizations.

VISION

All Texas children and adolescents will have the best mental health outcomes possible.

OUR INITIATIVES

The Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine is a school-oriented mental health program servicing children and adolescents in need. A collaboration between the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium and various independent school districts (ISDs) links children in need of mental health services with mental health professionals (licensed professional counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists).

The Child Psychiatry Access Network is a psychiatrist-led consultation service available at no cost to primary care providers (PCPs) in Texas. This line offers pediatricians and other primary care providers access to psychiatric consultations, continuing medical education resources, and a network of available resources to refer to in the surrounding areas.

Under the guidance and support of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, TTUHSC El Paso is working to reshape the needs of the community through increased workforce opportunities available to medical residents and fellows.

RESEARCH

TTUHSC El Paso will focus their research efforts on two studies centered on depression and suicide, and trauma.

OUR PROFESSIONAL TEAM

Leadership Team

Peter Thompson, MD

  • Psychiatry Department Chair
  • Professor
  • Director, Southwest Brain Bank
  • Mood Disorders Division Chief
  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Peter Thompson, MD Portrait
Profile:

Peter M. Thompson, MD, MS is a professor and the Hunt Family Endowed Chair of Psychiatry. He serves as the Director of the Southwest Brain Bank and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at TTUHSC-El Paso. Dr. Thompson’s academic career is dedicated to developing improved treatments for moods disorders and educating the next generation of psychiatrists. He completed his psychiatry residency at Tufts University/New England Medical Center and Psychobiology Fellowship at the University of California at San Diego.

Dr. Thompson founded the Southwest Brain Bank in 2003 and has published his research findings on brain molecular changes in mood disorders, schizophrenia, and alcohol dependence. This work has been supported by both philanthropic organizations and the National Institute of Mental Health.

In his time as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at TTUHSC-El Paso, the department has greatly increased its collaborations with community partners. These partnerships focus on reducing barriers to care and educating medical students and residents how to treat mental illness while incorporating language and cultural values of the border population.

Sarah Martin, MD

  • Medical Director, TCMHCC at TTUHSC El Paso
  • Director, Psychiatry Residency Training
  • Assistant Professor
  • Child and Adolescent Division Chief
  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Sarah Martin, MD Portrait
Profile

Dr. Sarah Lynette Martin has been diligent in building a varied and fulfilling professional career. She began her journey at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she completed her bachelor’s degree. Soon after graduating, she served as a Community Services Specialist in the Peace Corps for two years. Upon her return from the Peace Corps, Dr. Martin was awarded a Health Professions Scholarship by the United States Army to attend Tulane School of Medicine and subsequently completed her residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Martin went on to complete a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry prior to transferring to Ft. Knox, where she served as the Chief of Behavioral Health for four years and successfully deployed to Camp Bucca, a detainee facility in Iraq. Dr. Martin completed her military service at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas but went on to serve for two years in a civilian role as the Chief of the Child and Family Behavioral Health Service.

Dr. Martin currently serves the community of El Paso through her involvement with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, both as an assistant professor and as the Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. More recently, Dr. Martin is developing the El Paso Hub of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium through her role as medical director. In her role, Dr. Martin is actively working to improve behavioral health access for children and adolescents, and is reshaping the availability of resources for our current and future primary care providers and child and adolescent psychiatrists through several initiatives spanning 16 counties in Southwest Texas.

Contact Information
Department of Psychiatry
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Email: Sarah.L.Martin@ttuhsc.edu
Phone: (915) 215-5855

Eden Hernandez Robles, PhD, MSW

  • Program Director, TCHATT
Eden Hernandez Robles, PhD, MSW Portrait
Profile

Dr. Eden Hernandez Robles serves as the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) Program Director at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. Dr. Robles has extensive experience in social work, with training on qualitative research methods, health services and service user evaluations, and qualitative data analysis. As a research associate on several university and NIH-funded grants, she has laid the groundwork for the proposed research grant by investigating the social, cultural, and other psychosocial factors relevant to Latinos on the US/Mexico Border. Dr. Robles currently serves as the co-convener for the Paso del Norte Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC) in El Paso. As co-convener, she has helped lead the strategic vision of the ROSC through professional guidance and mentorship. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Recovery Alliance, Inc. in El Paso.

Contact Information
Department of Psychiatry
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Email: Eden.Robles@ttuhsc.edu
Phone: (915) 215-4066

Adrianne Harrel, MS

  • Program Manager, Telemedicine
Adrianne Harrel Portrait
Profile

Ms. Adrianne Harrel currently serves as the Project Manager for Telemedicine Implementation at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. Originally from California, Ms. Harrel completed her Bachelor of Arts in Child Development, concentrating in Social and Community Settings at California State University Sacramento. Ms. Harrel developed a passion for working with children and adolescent programs while supervising a Rural Central California Grant for migrant children’s engagement and enrichment. In 2013 she relocated to Lubbock, Texas, where she subsequently completed her Master of Science degree in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Ms. Harrel is an integral member of the El Paso Hub for the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium (TCMHCC). She brings over seven years of experience overseeing and expanding state and federal grants and programs from her contributions to the Department of Rural and Community Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas. Ms. Harrel is excited to combine her interests in supporting the growth and development of children while incorporating technological advances in telemedicine in the Sun City.

Contact Information
Office of Clinical Informatics
Email: Adrianne.Harrel@ttuhsc.edu
Phone: (915) 215-6133

Our Professional Team

Cecilia De Vargas, MD

  • Program Psychiatrist, CPAN
Carla Alvarado, MD Portrait
Profile

Dr. Cecilia De Vargas is an associate professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Currently, Dr. De Vargas is the program director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship and dedicates most of her professional hours to supervision of fellows, residents, and medical students at the inpatient, outpatient, and community rotations. She also participates in the Child Psychiatric Access Network (CPAN), providing consultation to pediatricians and other primary care professionals on assessing, diagnosing, and treating children and adolescents with mental health comorbidities.

Dr. De Vargas received her medical education at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, followed by training in General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry when she moved to the USA. Dr. De Vargas has Board Certification in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has been with the department for over twenty years. Dr. de Vargas’ main professional interests include medical and mental health effects of childhood trauma experiences and resilience in pediatric psychiatric groups, mental health problems in unaccompanied minors who migrate to the US, innovative ways to treat children and adolescents with resistant depression and risk for suicide, and evidence- based interventions in children who have been traumatized, among other things. She is passionate about disseminating a trauma-informed care and practice to all trainees to promote a safe, stigma-free, compassionate and collaborative method of caring for the children, adolescents and their families.

Hanna Garza, MS, LPC, CAMF

  • Senior Mental Health Clinician, TCHATT
Hanna Garza, MS, LPC, CAMF Portrait
Profile

Hanna Garza is the Senior Mental Health Clinician at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso). She earned a Master's of Science in Mental Health Counseling, and a Master's of Science in Psychology from Walden University. Mrs. Garza is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Trauma Therapist, and a Certified Anger Management Facilitator. Prior to coming to work for TTUHSC El Paso, Mrs. Garza worked for the El Paso Psychiatric Center as a Mental Health Clinician.

Contact Information
Department of Psychiatry
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Email: Hanna.Garza@ttuhsc.edu
Phone: (915) 215-4114

Melissa Carrasco, LPC

  • Senior Mental Health Clinician, TCHATT
Melissa Carrasco, LPC Portrait
Profile:

Ms. Melissa Carrasco is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been a lifelong resident of El Paso, Texas. She has experience in working with the Geriatric Community, Adults, Children and Adolescents in many areas, including Autistic/Sensory Integration. She has worked in Private Practice, and both inpatient and outpatient environments at the El Paso Psychiatric Center and Atlantis Health Services, respectively. Ms. Carrasco is currently on her sixth year as a volunteer with Ysleta School District and most recently joined the Texas Tech Health Science Center at El Paso to work with Children and Adolescents as part of the TCHATT program.

Contact Information
Department of Psychiatry
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Email: Melissa.Carrasco-Herrera@ttuhsc.edu
Phone: (915) 215-4107

Joyce Gonzalez, LPC

  • Senior Mental Health Clinician, CPAN
Joyce Gonzalez, LPC Portrait
Profile

Ms. Gonzalez is a Senior Mental Health Clinician at Texas Tech University Health Science Center El Paso. She is a mental health employee with ten years relevant experience in a variety of environments and capacities (i.e. outpatient/inpatient/jail/courts). Ms. Gonzalez earned her Master’s degree from Webster University in Community Counseling, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from The University of Texas at El Paso.

Contact Information
Department of Psychiatry
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Email: JoycGonz@ttuhsc.edu
Phone: (915) 215-4129

Carlos Castañeda, LPCA

  • Senior Mental Health Clinician, TCHATT
Carlos Castañeda, LPCA Portrait
Profile

Senior Mental Health Clinician at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center of El Paso TCHATT program. Prior to his appointment, he practiced counseling at the El Paso State Supported Living Center and served individuals with Autism and/or Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He is also an advocate for the Autism community and provides presentations to current and graduate clinicians on empathizing and developing competence in treating individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Mr. Castaneda earned his Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Palo Alto University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin.

Contact Information
Department of Psychiatry
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Email: CarCasta@ttuhsc.edu
Phone: (915) 215-4085

Loretta Arredondo, BMS

  • Program Coordinator, TCMHCC
Loretta Arredondo, BMS Portrait
Profile:

Ms. Loretta Arredondo serves as one of the Program Coordinators for the TCHATT Program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. She organizes and provides referral information related to the TCHATT program participants in accordance with the findings of the staff and treatment team. Ms. Arredondo joined TTUHSC El Paso in 2016 after serving the City of El Paso – El Paso Police Department from 1991 – 2015, where she retired as a TCOLE Certified - Training Technician Instructor for the El Paso Police Academy. Ms. Arredondo graduated summa cum laude with a BMS from the University of Texas at El Paso, with core concentrations in Psychology, Social Science and Health Science.

Contact Information
Department of Psychiatry
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Email: Loretta.H.Arredondo@ttuhsc.edu
Phone: (915) 215-4642

Raul Gomez, MBA

  • Program Coordinator, TCMHCC
Raul Gomez, MBA Portrait
Profile:

Mr. Raul Gomez serves as one of the Program Coordinators for the TCHATT Program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. He assists with internal administrative and external support services, and coordinates the access to services provided by the TCHATT and Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN). Mr. Gomez joined TTUHSC El Paso soon after graduating with his Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. Mr. Gomez is excited to be involved in a program that is working toward improving the mental health care of children and adolescents throughout the state. He plans to use his learned experiences to one day contribute to his community as a physician or physician’s assistant.

Contact Information
Department of Psychiatry
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Email: RaulGome@ttuhsc.edu
Phone: (915) 215-4057