Leopoldo J. Cabassa

Assistant Professor, Columbia University School of Social Work


Dr. Cabassa is a social worker and a mental health services researcher. He is Assistant Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work, and Assistant Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He received his M.S.W and Ph. D. from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia University, Dr. Cabassa was an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work and at the USC Keck School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Cabassa’s primary research has been on understanding the causes of racial and ethnic disparities in health and mental health care and in developing and implementing culturally-tailored interventions aimed at reducing these inequities in care. His scholarship and publications have focused on racial and ethnic minorities’ access to mental health services, acculturation theory and measures, integration of depression and diabetes care in the Latino community, depression treatments in primary care, suicidal behavior among Latina teens, development of a culturally informed intervention (i.e., depression fotonovela) to reduce stigma toward mental illness in the Latino community, the epidemiology of health disparities among people with common psychiatric conditions, recovery from serious mental illness, and implementation science. His work has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the New York State Office of Mental Health.

His current work focuses on improving the physical health of people with serious mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder). He was recently awarded an NIMH Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) to examine the implementation of health care interventions for Hispanics with serious mental illness. In this project, he is developing a collaborative planning approach for intervention research that blends principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR) and intervention mapping to modify and assess the feasibility an acceptability of an existing health care manger intervention for outpatient public mental health clinics. His long-term career goal is to establish an independent program of research that integrates physical and mental health services to improve the physical health and wellness of historically underserved racial and ethnic minorities with serious mental illness.
Cabassa.jpg Leopoldo J. Cabassa
1255 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, New York, 10027