The REACH Institute is dedicated to ensuring that the most effective, scientifically proven mental health care reaches all children and families.

Currently 1 in 5 children experience mental health issues. Only 20% of those get the help they need.

  • Families’ health insurance provides limited or no coverage for mental health treatment.
  • There aren’t nearly enough pediatric psychiatrists and psychologists, especially in low-income and rural areas.
  • Schools don’t know how to identify or address mental health issues.
  • Parents are often overwhelmed by the mental health system.

The problem is even worse in underprivileged communities. Mental health issues are rampant, but access to mental health care is even more limited.

That’s where The REACH Institute comes in. We have been working to improve children’s mental health since 2006. We train primary care providers, therapists, and other professionals to diagnose and treat mental health issues.

More trained providers means better access to mental health care for hundreds of thousands of suffering children and teens.

Training: How REACH Helps Children

Our response to the child mental health crisis is training–intensive, sustained, and effective training for pediatricians, family practitioners, nurse practitioners, child psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, school personnel, and parents.

All REACH training programs begin with interactive group learning. Then, to solidify learning and support behavior change, learners participate in ongoing coaching and case-based training.

Our flagship program, Patient-Centered Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care, equips pediatric PCPs with the latest evidence-based therapies to diagnose and treat mental health disorders. Led by national leaders in child psychiatry, psychology, and pediatrics, the course teaches the most effective therapies, from psychotherapy to pharmacology.

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About Our Founder

“Imagine if a life-threatening children’s disease existed—for which we had a cure. But the treatment to address that disease was 15 to 18 years away from reaching the children who need it. That is what is happening with children’s mental health issues today.”

REACH Institute founder Peter S. Jensen, MD, saw the problem with access to mental health care for children—and he saw a solution. He founded The REACH Institute in 2006 to implement that solution.

While serving as the Associate Director of Child and Adolescent Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Dr. Jensen saw a widening gap between scientific knowledge about mental health and the application of that knowledge to help children and teens.

Science has made remarkable advances in understanding mental health problems and how to treat them. But healthcare professionals were not consistently or effectively using this knowledge to diagnose and treat common disorders.

After leaving NIMH, Dr. Jensen went to Columbia University to serve as the founding director of the Center for the Advancement of Children’s Mental Health. While there, he developed the core methods REACH uses today.

The goal was to close the gap between science and practice. The central strategy was to bring together leading scientists, mental health experts and agencies, primary care providers, parents, and schools to identify the best scientific findings available to help children. Then Dr. Jensen led REACH to implement, disseminate, and evaluate these methods. He describes the process as “putting science to work.”

The result was The REACH Institute’s first and most popular course, Patient-Centered Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care. This course has trained more than 5,000 primary care providers to help children and teens with mental health issues.

Seeing that medical care is only part of the support children and teens need for mental health, Dr. Jensen led REACH in instituting programs for mental health professionals, adult primary care providers, and others.

Dr. Jensen continues to lead The REACH Institute as chair of the board of directors. He also is an active member of the faculty, leading several courses each year.

Board of Directors

Alan Axelson, MD

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Andrew Sagat is a Managing Director in the Tactical Opportunities fund at Blackstone, where he focuses on driving strategic and operational value across the investment portfolio. Prior to Blackstone, Andrew worked in the Corporate Turnaround and Restructuring practice at Alvarez & Marsal, where he served as both an advisor and in interim management roles for stressed and distressed businesses. Prior to A&M, he worked at Bear Stearns in the loan portfolio management group.  During his career, Andrew has also advised multiple non-profits on financial management and operational matters. Andrew received a BA from Washington University. He lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and three daughters.

Anika Warren Wood

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Dr. Anika Warren Wood is Operating Partner and Chief Organizational Effectiveness Officer at Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, responsible for driving organizational effectiveness to maximize mission-impact and optimize team performance, culture, productivity, and scale. Anika developed and currently sustains programs focused on board sourcing, executive coaching, leadership evaluations, organizational assessments, and more.

Before joining DRK, Anika was Founding President/CEO of the Warren Group LLC, providing strategic consulting, executive coaching, career counseling, and psychological services to corporations, universities, nonprofits, and individuals. She served as graduate-level faculty at Teachers College, Columbia University, Senior Associate Vice President of Foundation and Corporate Relations at Drexel University, and Senior Director of Global Member Services and Research at Catalyst Inc.

Anika has a B.B.A. in Finance from Howard University, an M.A. and an M.Ed. in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College.  She has published book chapters, articles, and clinical training videos. Anika currently serves on the board of DRK grantees REACH Institute, FreeFrom, Labhya Foundation, Lessonbee, Worth Rises, and Represent Justice and is a member of Kokoro. She previously served on the boards of Compton Dance Theatre Foundation, Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School, The Common Market, and Teaching Lab.
Anysa currently serves as the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Easterseals New Jersey, though has been in the marketing and communications realm for over 15 years.
Anysa has been recognized as one of New Jersey’s Top 40 under 40 in Marketing and has received a variety of  awards including NJ Ad Club’s Jersey’s Best Award for her campaign work.  She has previously served on the board of multiple organizations including INROADS, Inc. and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Marketing Association. In addition to the REACH Institute, she is also currently on the Board of Directors for Artistic Noise, a nonprofit that brings the power of art and entrepreneurship to youth who are system-involved.
A proud bi-lingual daughter of a Panamanian immigrant and Southern Virginia native, Anysa credits her many humbling travel experiences with broadening her perspective, informing her work, and enhancing her social good ambitions. She is an active mental health advocate and a mentor with several organizations following her commitment to providing wisdom, guidance, and access to others at the start of their own journeys.

Bob Marshall

Bob spent his career as an attorney in Los Angeles and Chicago, principally handling all types of aviation-related cases. He became involved with REACH due to a personal connection and believes that every child should have the hope of a normal life that can only be gained through proper mental health care for all. Bob is now retired and serves on the Board of the History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff, is a car aficionado and avid golfer.

Danielle Lewis Levy

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Danielle Lewis Levy is a communications consultant bringing her 25 years of corporate, product and social responsibility communications experience to clients in the healthcare industry and social impact space.

Following 20 years with public relations agencies, Danielle spent four years at Purdue Pharma launching a new medication for ADHD and overseeing the company’s Office of Corporate Social Responsibility. In this role, she built relationships with nonprofit organizations across the country and learned how capacity building can drive social change.

A stepmother to three daughters, Danielle has seen the effect the convergence of hormones, social media, politics, and world events have on young people. She believes everyone, especially children, should have access to behavioral health support and services when they need them.

Danielle holds a BA in English and Women’s Studies from Syracuse University and a certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Deborah Buccino, MD

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Deborah Buccino, MD is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Medical School. Since completing a residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital in 1996, she has practiced general pediatrics at MACONY Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Dr. Buccino is an Instructor of Pediatrics at Boston University Medical School. Dr. Buccino is a school physician at Berkshire School and previously at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Her special interests include emotional development of children and families, adolescent medicine and gynecology, international medicine, post-concussion care, and healthcare technology. She serves on the boards of the REACH Institute and 18 Degrees Family Services for Western Massachusetts. Dr. Buccino was one of the founders of the Southern Berkshire Collaborative Care Team, a unique version of care coordination in the way it uses a care coordinator to link pediatricians and families with school systems, mental health and other community resources. The system promotes shared decision making, while enhancing family self-management and development of their strengths as they get help navigating our complex medical system. Children and families who were not previously accessing services are now strengthened through aligned, thoughtful, and truly supportive services, driven by personal relationships with their pediatrician and Care Coordinator.

Elizabeth Reagan

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Elizabeth Reagan recently retired from Neuberger Berman where she served as founder and client portfolio manager of the real estate investment trust team. During her 15-year tenure at Neuberger Berman she successfully launched open and closed end funds, initiated product development, led business expansion, and coordinated awareness campaigns for and distribution of fund vehicles. Elizabeth is a native New Yorker and the mother of two wonderful young adults. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Social Work at New York University.

Erica Rubach is a Co-Founder of EMME Solutions, a marketing consulting & branded content firm. She has over 25 years of experience in the media industry with an exclusive focus on developing campaigns and programming that support cause related initiatives. With both corporate and entrepreneurial experience, she held senior leadership positions at NBC Universal, both locally and nationally, and founded 3 small businesses.

Her work has always been driven by her passion for helping others, including the development of multi-media campaigns to combat child hunger in the US, public educator recognition and school supply drives, adoption for kids with special needs, military veterans issues, and providing free legal services for abused and neglected children, among many others. She specializes in connecting non-profit organizations with corporate sponsors to provide campaign funding and support, establishing media partnerships and producing award winning creative to deliver the message when and where it will drive change.

Erica serves on the board of The Reach Institute, a non-profit that trains pediatricians in children’s mental healthcare for several years. She was named Top 100 Marketer of the Year in 2020 by MadCon. She lives with her two daughters in Wilmington, Delaware.

Jami Schwartz is a Senior Marketing Leader at Airbnb, leading partnership programs including the Olympics and Paralympics and also supports Airbnb.org, Airbnb’s non-profit providing free housing for those in need.  Jami has over 15 years of B2B marketing and partnership experience.

Jami holds a BA in finance from the University of Pittsburgh and a MBA in marketing from Boston University.  She’s also a member of CHIEF, a women’s executive development network and consults for early-stage startups.  In her spare time she enjoys traveling and being in or by the water.

Jami has always loved coaching, teaching and volunteering with young kids.  Her early childhood was impacted by loved ones struggling with mental health issues and is driven to support families developing coping skills together. 

Matthew Raimondi

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Matthew Raimondi is a private equity investor at Cobepa North America, a $3.5b evergreen investment firm. As part of his role at Cobepa, Matt partners with leading companies across the healthcare and business services industries. Prior to joining Cobepa, Matt worked at Audax Private Equity, and before Audax, at The Parthenon Group. In addition to his work with REACH, Matt also serves as a board member for the Kennedy Children’s Center (school for young children with developmental delays and mental health disorders) and the Friends of Sherwood Island (a state park located in Westport, CT). Matt received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Paula Davis is Chief Communications Officer of Colgate-Palmolive, with responsibility for global external and internal communications, community relations and volunteerism.  Paula has more than 25 years of experience in Corporate Communications, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility

From being a “tenured” camp counselor and studying child psychology to teaching religious school and now serving as a Girls Scouts troop leader, Paula has always loved teaching, coaching and inspiring young people to learn, play, create and dream big. After experiencing the most tragic consequences of mental illness in her family and among her circle of friends, she became more invested in trying to prevent teen suicide and support organizations that address the mental health crisis. She was drawn to REACH’s mission to train carers and healthcare providers and to the organization’s leadership and vision for growth.

Paula holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is a member of the CARE Corporate Council and Ad Council Corporate Board, and serves as a mentor for American Corporate Partners (ACP) which pairs corporate professionals with service men and women and their spouses.

Peter S. Jensen, MD

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Dr. Peter Jensen established the REACH Institute in May 2006, following service as Founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Children’s Mental Health at Columbia University. Before joining Columbia as its Ruane Professor of Child Psychiatry (2000-2007), he was Associate Director of Child and Adolescent Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). While at NIMH (1989-2000), Dr. Jensen was the lead NIMH investigator on the landmark study of Multimodal Treatment of ADHD (“The MTA Study”), as well as investigator on other national multi-site studies.

A world-renowned child psychiatrist, Dr. Jensen is a passionate advocate for children with emotional and behavioral disorders and their families. His major work and research interests include identifying, disseminating, and implementing evidence-based mental health treatments.

Dr. Jensen serves on many editorial and scientific advisory boards, authored more than 270 scientific articles and book chapters, and written or co-edited 20 books on children’s mental health. His many awards include the Norbert Reiger Award (1990-1996) and Irving Philips Prevention Award (2011) from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Agnes Purcell McGavin Award (1996) and the Blanche Ittleson Award (1998) from the American Psychiatric Association. He has also been honored by the American Psychological Association, the Association for Child Psychiatric Nursing, the National Alliance for the Mental Ill, and CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).

Dr. Jensen received his bachelor’s degree with high honors from Brigham Young University (l974), medical degree from George Washington University Medical School (l978) (Alpha Omega Alpha), and completed his post-graduate training in psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and Letterman Army Medical Center.

In 2009 Dr. Jensen joined the Mayo Clinic to serve as the Co-Director of the Division of Child Psychiatry & Psychology and in July 2011, he assumed a new role in Mayo’s Department of Psychiatry and Psychology as the Vice-Chair for Research. He retired from Mayo in July 2013.

Réka Shinkle is a biopharmaceutical strategy leader with over 20 years of experience in a range of commercial roles, including in the neuroscience therapeutic area. She currently heads commercial strategy and new product planning for Emergent BioSolutions’ Therapeutics Business Unit. Prior to this, she served for 5 years as VP, Commercial and Portfolio Planning, at REGENXBIO and for 15 years in a variety of commercial and strategy roles with increasing responsibility at MedImmune, AstraZeneca, and Lilly. Ms. Shinkle garnered her MBA cum laude from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and her BS in Biochemistry from Yale.

Robin Hulshizer, Esq.

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Robin M. Hulshizer, is a partner, Latham & Watkins, in their Chicago offices. The focus of her legal practice has been on environmental and general business areas. She has served as counsel in numerous complex, multiparty cases, as well as class actions in various matters around the country, including California, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin, and often teaches in seminars at various law schools, as well as at national meetings.

In additional to her extensive professional advocacy work and her service on the REACH Board, Ms. Hulshizer volunteers extensive time and effort on behalf of urgent community problems. She serves as the Chicago Chair of “Do The Write Thing,” an initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence.

Seth J. Finkel, JD, LL.M.

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Seth J. Finkel is Managing Director at Neuberger Berman. He is a Wealth Advisor who works with high net worth individuals, closely held businesses, fiduciaries, and not-for-profit organizations to coordinate the development and implementation of individualized investment programs. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Neuberger Berman Trust Company. Seth also serves as a member of the Advisory Board for Lehigh University’s Center for Financial Services. Prior to joining Neuberger Berman, Seth spent six years providing personal tax and financial counseling, first, as a financial consultant with The Ayco Corporation and then, with Coopers & Lybrand as a Manager in their Personal Financial Services group. Seth received a B.S. from Lehigh University, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and an LL.M. in Tax from New York University School of Law. He is active with several philanthropic youth initiatives which focus on financial literacy, mental health and providing financial grants for sports programs in underserved communities. Seth has been rated among the top financial advisors by various financial media: in 2021, he was ranked 24th in the United States and 5th in New York State by Barron’s.

Wynford Dore’s eldest daughter struggled throughout school and attempted to take her life. Ever since, he’s been devoted to understanding the neurological root cause of issues with learning and mental health.

Collaborating with scientists, Wynford develops programs to enhance brain performance by creating tools to measure, find and unlock potential.  Studies show his methods significantly impact limitations in reading, comprehension, concentration, working memory (anxiety, behavior and mental resilience) and motor coordination.

His life purpose is to prove that the lives of all who suffer can and should be vastly improved – and then to make available the tools to achieve that.