Rebecca Ford-Paz, Ph.D.
Ph.D. and M.A. in Clinical Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
M.A. in Applied Psychology, Columbia University, Teachers College, New York, NY
Rebecca Ford-Paz, PhD is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Coordinating Psychologist of the Mood & Anxiety Program at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She has been conducting research with Latinos for more than 15 years. Her work has focused on the study of acculturation and psychological symptom expression, adapting evidence-based treatment for Latino youth, increasing depression literacy in the Latino community, decreasing stigma about help-seeking, and increasing early intervention for mildly depressed youth. She has experience with quantitative and qualitative methodologies in the study of culture and its intersection with mental health. In her role as the Coordinating Psychologist of the Mood & Anxiety Program at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, she specializes in treating children and adolescents with depression and suicidal behavior and the provision of evidence-based treatments in real-world clinical settings for diverse urban populations. Dr. Ford-Paz is a member of the steering committee for the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities, a body within the clinical and translational sciences institute at Northwestern that promotes community-based participatory research (CBPR). Dr. Ford-Paz’s CBPR efforts have focused on community-based prevention of depression and suicide in Latino youth. She has received multiple seed grants to develop sustainable community partnerships, develop a community-informed research agenda, collaborate on the development of an intervention, and pilot test an intervention. Dr. Ford-Paz was a recipient of a Child Intervention and Prevention Research Fellowship and continues to actively collaborate with other researchers on projects focused on Latino mental health.
Dr. Ford-Paz’s long-standing commitment to clinical and translational research benefiting Latino youth stems from personal interests in Latino cultures and experiences living and working in Spain and urban Latino communities in the US. Dr. Ford-Paz was brought up speaking Spanish by parents whose experience living in Colombia and working for the Peace Corps colored her social interactions and nurtured her interest in social justice. Studying psychology in Spanish at Universidad Complutense de Madrid as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in 1996-1997 whet her appetite for using her bilingual skills clinically. Her first professional experiences as a prevention educator at a Latino community center in Boston and a bilingual clinical interviewer in the Harvard Quality of Care Study at McLean Hospital revealed to her that Latinos experience marked health disparities, are underincluded in research, and experience a subsequent lack of resources devoted to their needs This area of need prompted her to return to graduate school.