The UCLA Hispanic Neuropsychiatric Center of Excellence (HNCE) provides leadership and a cutting-edge learning environment dedicated to best practices for optimally serving the unique mental health needs of the Hispanic/Latino community. Housed within the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, the HNCE brings together a multidisciplinary team to develop models of clinical service, training, and research focused on culturally and linguistically proficient care aimed at reducing disparities in treatment outcome. Very importantly, the HNCE’s mission addresses issues of mental health equity and expands the cadre of highly-trained mental health professionals equipped to provide excellent services to culturally diverse, Spanish-speaking and bilingual/English-speaking persons and their families. As such, the HNCE offers integrative training for psychiatric residents, psychology and neuropsychology interns and post-doctoral fellows, and social work interns.
The UCLA HNCE includes clinical programs, such as the Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic (SSPC), the Cultural Neuropsychology Program (CNP), and the newly form Bilingual and Spanish Interdisciplinary Clinical Training Program (BASIC-T) to provide a broad spectrum of integrated clinical services, including psychiatric evaluation, psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and neuropsychological assessment for individuals with a variety of medical, neuropsychiatric, and developmental conditions that impact cognition and daily functioning across the lifespan (pediatric, adult, & geriatric).
Bilingual and Spanish Interdisciplinary Clinical Training Program (BASIC-T)
UCLA’s Hispanic Neuropsychiatric Center of Excellence (HNCE) has partnered with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) to create BASIC-T, both a Pipeline Program and Continuing Education Program that directly addresses the assessment needs of the people of Los Angeles, and concomitantly addresses the goals of the Cultural Competency Committee (CCC). Specifically, this two-pronged approach aims to build a new pipeline of culturally and linguistically proficient providers, and to immediately deploy education and training for current staff to meet the needs of the increasingly diverse population of LACDMH.
While LACDMH includes a diverse Latina/o population, there is a significant lack of appropriately trained bilingual and bicultural professionals who can meet the specific mental health needs of this community. This often means that many Latina/os do not receive the same standard of care with regard to neuropsychological assessment that is available to other community members. The end result is that interventions geared toward delaying further neurocognitive decline is significantly delayed. BASIC-T creates a meaningful solution to this problem both imminently and into the future.
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The UCLA HNCE offers both inpatient and outpatient services through the SSPC and CNP. Currently, all HNCE clinical services are focused on monolingual and bilingual Spanish speaking individuals, as well as, all people who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino, regardless of language preference or dominance, and in line with the most current empirically-based best practice guidelines for culturally diverse populations.
If you would like to make a referral or if you have any questions about HNCE, please contact our HNCE program coordinator, Lina Alvarez, directly at 310-206-9326 or 310-206-1109 (fax). You may also contact us by email at HNCEreferrals@mednet.ucla.edu.
Cynthia A. Telles, PhD Director of the UCLA Hispanic Neuropsychiatric Center of Excellence Director of the Spanish Speaking Psychosocial Clinic Clinical Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences
Dr. Cynthia Telles serves as the founding director of the UCLA Hispanic Neuropsychiatric Center of Excellence. Dr. Telles is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and Director of the Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She is joined by other distinguished faculty members, who have received national recognition for their commitment to serving the mental health needs of diverse populations and for developing innovative bilingual training models.
Xavier E. Cagigas, PhD Associate Director of the UCLA Hispanic Neuropsychiatric Center of Excellence Co-Director of the UCLA Cultural Neuropsychology Program Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences Immediate-Past President of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society
Dr. Xavier Cagigas serves as Associate Director of the HNCE and Co-director of the Cultural Neuropsychology Program. Dr. Cagigas is the Founding Director of the UCLA Cultural Neuropsychology Initiative, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, the former Director of Clinical Services & Training of the UCLA Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC), and Immediate-Past President of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society.
Paola A. Suarez, PhD Co-Director of the UCLA Cultural Neuropsychology Program Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences Current Chair of the National Academy of Neuropsychology Culture & Diversity Committee
Dr. Paola Suarez, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, serves as an important member of the HNCE in her role as Co-director of the Cultural Neuropsychology Program. For the past two years, Dr. Suarez has served as a faculty member in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and as Associate Director of the Cultural Neuropsychology Initiative. She was recently elected Chair of the Culture and Diversity Committee of the National Academy of Neuropsychology.
Alberto Miranda, PsyD Cultural Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellow
Los Angeles Board of County Supervisors presents Dr. Cynthia A. Telles with an honorable citation as the new Director of the UCLA Hispanic Neuropsychiatric Center of Excellence. (Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in Downtown Los Angeles, October 16, 2018)
Left to right: Supervisor Janice Hahn, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Dr. Xavier E. Cagigas, Dr. Cynthia A. Telles, Dr. Alberto Miranda, Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, & Supervisor Karthryn Barger.
The UCLA HNCE Team with MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz at the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund 50th Anniversary Los Angeles Awards Gala. (JW Marriot in Downtown Los Angeles, November 8, 2018)
Left to right: Enrique Gracian, Mayra G. Torres, Dr. Xavier E. Cagigas, Thomas A. Saenz, Dr. Cynthia A. Telles, Dr. Mirella Diaz-Santos, Elizabeth Trejo, & Dr. Alberto Miranda.
HNCE-CNP Educational Programs
UCLA Post-doctoral Fellowship Program in Neuropsychology HNCE-CNP Bilingual Track
UCLA Doctoral Internship Program in Clinical Psychology HNCE-CNP Cultural & Bilingual Neuropsychology Lifespan Track
UCLA Psychology Doctoral Practicum (Pre-Internship) Program HNCE-CNP Bilingual Practicum Program Track
UCLA Health Affiliates
UCLA CORE Kidney Program
UCLA Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC)
Hispanic Neuropsychological Society (HNS)
National Academy of Neuropsychology - Culture & Diversity Committee