Our Leadership

Board of Directors

Angela Babaev, D.N.P., C.N.S., M.S.N.

Queens, NY

Currently serving as the Assistant Vice President for Education and Nursing Recruitment at SBH Bronx Health System, Dr. Babaev is dedicated to promoting excellence in patient care through the development of nursing staff, evidence-based nursing practices, and an environment that continually redefines quality patient care. In her 30+ years of experience, Dr. Babaev has overseen the educational, managerial, and financial operations for a nursing staff of 1,500, created an innovative nurse recruitment and retention program, led workshops locally and internationally, served as a Lecturer of Program for International Nurses, and served as an advocate and board member for NAMI-QN. Today, she serves as 2021 president-elect of the Greater New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders.

Linda L. Mimms, M.A.

Vice Chair
San Diego, CA

For more than ten years, Linda has served as an advocate for reform in public policy, law, insurance, and treatment protocols for serious neurodevelopmental brain disorders. She began her career working for the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Senate. As the creator and manager of the Public Relations and Employee Communications Department for Quill Corporation, Linda has authored and edited multiple informational books, manuals, and articles on business productivity published nationally in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and catalogs. She currently serves on Lawrence University’s President’s Advisory Council, and in 2020, she established the Fund for Serious Mental Illness Advocacy Internships to give students the opportunity to learn about serious brain diseases, their criminalization, and how to build solutions for better access to medical treatment. She is a member of the California Advocates for Treatment, the Hope Street Coalition, the National Shattering Silence Coalition, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She earned an M.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and a B.A. in Anthropology from Lawrence University.

Kurt A. Talbot, M.B.A.

Boerne, TX

Kurt is an experienced investor with deep expertise in problem-solving and investment prioritization for companies and private energy projects globally. He is the co-founder of EIG Global Energy Partners and served as the Chief Investment Officer and Chair of the Environmental Social Governance Committee. While at Goldman Sachs, he founded its oil and gas direct investment team in Houston. He has a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana State University and holds an M.B.A. from Texas A&M University.

Holly Krasa, M.S.

Washington, DC

Holly is the Managing Director and Principal of Blue Persimmon Group with over 25 years of experience conducting and leading medical and health system research.  She has worked across industries leading groups responsible for disease area and product-specific evidence development to support regulatory filings, public policy, and product reimbursement. She previously served as the Head of the Health Outcomes department at Otsuka leading a team of researchers across therapeutic and product categories, including products for serious mental illness such as Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Rexulti, and Abilify MyCite.  She was a scientific advisor to multiple non-profit advocacy organizations, most recently including UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and the Healthy Brains Global Initiative. She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan and her M.S. in Neurobiology and Physiology from Northwestern University. 

Anthony Brown, B.S.N., P.H.N., R.N.

Board Member
Anaheim, CA

Anthony is the founder and director of Coordinating & Assisting Recovery Environments located in Anaheim, CA. Since 1999, Anthony’s passion has been focused on providing specialized treatment for individuals who suffer with a mental illness combined with a substance use disorder. After graduation in 2004, Anthony launched his career in Southern California where he began to specialize in co-occurring disorders. This eventually led him into a four-year partnership with a prominent treatment center where he developed and directed a long-term residential treatment model for this specialized population. In 2013, Anthony introduced Coordinating & Assisting Recovery Environments (C.A.R.E.) as a community-based recovery program. He is the author of the life changing book “From Park Bench to Park Avenue.” Anthony is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, where he received his B.S. in Nursing. Anthony has received numerous awards and certificates in the field of Addiction Counseling, Anger Management, and Dual Diagnoses.

Marina Dorotheo, M.S.

Board Member
Arlington, VA

Marina has extensive experience in bringing novel digital solutions to the market, specific to brain health and cardiometabolic conditions. Marina currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer at Welldoc, a digital health company, focused on integrating AI driven digital chronic care into health care models.   Previously Marina served in commercial leadership roles at Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Inc., where she ran several innovation programs focused on schizophrenia and other brain disorders.  There, she led the commercialization of the first digital medicine approved by the FDA, as well as a digital health care coordination program in collaboration with IBM Watson, Judge Steve Leifman, and the Miami-Dade County Behavioral Health ecosystem.   She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University.

Theresa Frangiosa, M.B.A.

Board Member
Royersford, PA

Terry held executive positions in the pharmaceutical industry over a 25-year career before establishing Frangiosa and Associates, LLC in 2013, where she serves as Principal and Chief Executive Officer. In this role, she provides guidance on a broad range of strategic decisions, integrating expertise into product and disease strategies, medical and scientific communications, and patient and caregiver advocacy efforts. She currently serves as Board Secretary for Cohen Veterans Bioscience. She obtained her Bachelor of Administration, Accounting Concentration from Ursinus College and her Master of Business Administration, Pharmaceutical Marketing from St. Joseph’s University.

Mindy Greiling, M.Ed.

Board Member
Roseville, MN

Mindy is a former Minnesota politician and a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives who represented part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area where she served 10 terms. She is an advocate of education, environmental issues, and mental health issues. She served as the K-12 Education Finance Committee Chair. Mindy founded and chaired the Mental Health Caucus, a bipartisan committee formed from the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate. She wrote about her experiences dealing with the mental health system as the mother of a son with schizophrenia. The book “Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Lawmaker’s Fight for Her Son” was published in 2020. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College and obtained her Master of Education from the University of Minnesota.

Matcheri Keshavan, M.D.

Board Member
Boston, MA

Dr. Keshavan is the Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School where he is the Vice Chair of Public Psychiatry. He joined the faculty of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in 2008. His work focuses on neurobiological models of schizophrenia and on the development and implementation of early interventions with biopsychosocial treatment strategies. He is the editor of Schizophrenia Research, the official journal of the Schizophrenia International Research Society.

Joel White, B.S.

Board Member
McLean, VA

Joel founded Horizon Government Affairs in 2007 and is a veteran of Capitol Hill who served as staff director for the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. He also is the president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage and its campaigns on transparency and medication adherence (Clear Choices and Prescriptions for a Healthy America) as well as a service organization called Arlington Bridge Builders. In addition, Joel is the executive director of the Health Innovation Alliance, an effort to expand adoption and use of health IT to improve outcomes and lower costs. He is on the board of directors of the Samaritan Inns. Joel spent twelve years on Capitol Hill as professional staff, where he helped enact nine laws, including the 2002 Trade Act, the 2003 law that established the Medicare prescription drug benefit and Health Savings Accounts, the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act, and the 2006 Tax Reform and Health Care Act. Joel is the coauthor of the book “Facts and Figures on Government Finance” and holds a B.S. in Economics from the American University.

Robert Laitman, M.D.

Board Member
Bedford, NY

Dr. Laitman is a private practice physician in Bronx, New York. He specializes in internal medicine, nephrology, geriatrics, and the optimal management of clozapine. He loves being a physician and involves himself in the total care of his patients. When his son was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2006, Robert expanded his practice and became an expert on the treatment of psychosis spectrum disorders and began to specialize in the optimal management of clozapine.

Tim Murphy, Ph.D.

Board Member
Mt. Lebanon, PA

Dr. Murphy’s professional work includes over 40 years in healthcare, government service, military, education, and media. He was the only mental health professional in the U.S. House of Representatives with this unique background. Recognized as the national leader in mental health reform, his multi-year investigation into federal problems with mental health policy culminated with a comprehensive bill, Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, praised as the most substantial mental health reform in over half a century. The bill passed the House of Representatives 422-2 and was amended into the 21st Century Cures Act signed into law by President Obama in December 2016.

Mary Palafox, R.N.

Board Member
Orange County, CA

Mary is a registered nurse of 35 years with experience in nursing administration, supervision, and patient care coordination for inpatient and ambulatory care services. She’s known for her innovative and creative abilities in developing systems of practice that are easily managed by a wide variety of medical personnel. Her journey into the mental health system began when her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Since then, Mary has remained a devoted advocate on the local, state, and national levels for healthcare integration, crisis intervention, and the classification of schizophrenia as a neurological brain disorder.

Michael Wolfe, B.B.A.

Board Member
Doylestown, PA

Mike spent nearly 37 years at Johnson & Johnson in executive management positions with a strong focus on patient advocacy leadership responsibilities across brain health and neuroscience.  He held leadership roles in sales, sales management, marketing, payer, policy and advocacy (advocacy group types: patient, professional and trade organizations), and built and led several innovative and successful internal and external coalitions.  He also held commercial, Medicaid and state mental healthcare system responsibilities across New York and New England. Mike obtained his BBA in Marketing from East Tennessee State University.


Gordon Lavigne, M.Ed.

Alexandria, VA

Gordon joined Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance as CEO in November 2020. He previously served as Executive Vice President of Operations since September 2018.

Before joining the organization, Gordon held executive management positions with leading nonprofits including the Alzheimer’s Association, the ALS Association, and Autism Society of America coordinating and executing strategies to accelerate organizational growth. 

Gordon earned a B.S. in Psychology from Lewis & Clark College and a Master of Education degree from the University of Vermont.

Director of Operations

Marissa Shepherd

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Marissa joined the Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance in March 2023. Previously, she was the founding Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Medical University Health Care clinic and Center for Integrated Primary and Mental Health Care. She has a LEAN/Six-Sigma Green Belt and more than a decade of experience in management, operations, finance and grant accountancy for nonprofit organizations. Her career and interests are focused on reducing healthcare disparities and advancement of marginalized individuals and groups.

Marissa is a Certified Public Accountant, and earned a Master’s degree in Professional Accountancy and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.   

Director of Research and Scientific Affairs

Arundati (Arun) Nagendra, Ph.D.

Boston, MA

Arun joined the Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance in May 2023. She is spearheading the development and execution of a scientific strategic plan that will leverage research projects and science communication to educate about, advocate for and better serve the needs of those with schizophrenia or experiencing psychosis and their family members.

Arun brings more than 10 years of schizophrenia- and psychosis-related clinical and research experience to her role. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, followed by her clinical internship at the Yale School of Medicine and a postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Science Advisor

Eva Velthorst, Ph.D.

New York City, NY

As our organization’s Science Advisor, Dr. Velthorst leads efforts to accelerate our scientific agenda by managing initiatives, including our participation in the Accelerating Medicines Partnership in Schizophrenia Steering Committee. Launched by the National Institute of Health, this committee unites researchers and clinicians with leaders of industry, regulatory agencies, and government entities on topics related to biomarker testing, potential new investigational treatments, and use of innovative approaches for studying schizophrenia and psychosis spectrum disorders.

Dr. Velthorst is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Training Faculty of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2011.

Before receiving the NARSAD Young Investigator award, Eva completed two grants awarded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research that allowed her to examine a potential intervention for as well as determinants of social disengagement in schizophrenia. In 2019, she became an Associate Member of American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Director of Community Engagement

Sandy Dimiterchik

Lafayette, LA

Sandy engages with and supports the schizophrenia community on S&PAA’s behalf on a number of fronts, including coordinating support group resources and helping with training leaders and coleaders of the Schizophrenia Alliance: Psychosis Support & Acceptance groups and Families for Care groups. She has worked for S&PAA since 2017, starting as the Schizophrenia Alliance Staff Supporter in 2017. Sandy also is a certified career coach and peer support specialist. Awarded SARDAA Volunteer of the Year in 2015, she also volunteers as a group leader for the free support groups for people with schizophrenia or related disorders.

Sandy earned her Bachelor of Science at Louisiana State University and a Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising from Kansas State University.

Schizophrenics Anonymous Founder and Inaugural Board Member

Joanne Verbanic

Farmington, MI

Joanne retired from the Ford Motor Credit Union. In her own words, “I committed to devote the rest of my life to helping other people with mental illness and believe this is God’s plan for my life. I receive so much support from the members of SA and have met the most caring, compassionate people. It was my goal to make SA a national group, and I will continue the endeavor as long as I live.” Joanne fulfilled her life’s commitment until the day she died on May 7, 2015.

Medical Advisory Committee

Matcheri Keshavan, MD

Committee Chair
Boston, MA

As part of a major research initiative, Dr. Keshavan joined the faculty of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Psychiatry in 2008. His work focuses on neurobiological models of Schizophrenia and on the development and implementation of early interventions with biopsychosocial treatment strategies. He also serves as the Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry and Harvard Medical School’s Vice Chair of Public Psychiatry.