New to CPRC - Kate Lovero

This is a series to introduce CPRC members to a broader community.

January 11, 2022
Kate Lovero

Discipline/Training Background: Global Health Equity, Mental Health, and Implementation Science

Department: Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Started at Columbia: I started as a postdoctoral fellow in Global Mental Health at the Department of Psychiatry in 2017 and became faculty in 2019.

What research are you working on currently? 

My research employs multilevel stakeholder engagement and implementation science methods to improve the prevention and treatment of adolescent mental health problems in low-resource settings. Currently, I collaborate with the Mozambican Ministry of Health to develop adolescent mental health services integrated within the national primary care system and communities. I also serve as a faculty mentor on implementation research capacity building initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

What motivated you to research in your specialized subject matter?  

I was trained in neuroscience but shifted into implementation research for my postdoctoral work, with the goal of reducing healthcare inequities. I focus on mental health because it has historically been considered secondary to physical health, so inequities in access to care are greater, but 1) everyone deserves to be mentally well and 2) mental health problems also impact one’s physical health and social wellbeing. Working with adolescents provides an opportunity for early intervention and prevention of these negative impacts.

What are the policies or areas of policies to which your work is relevant?

Less than half of WHO Member States have any type of child and adolescent mental health policy. My research works to document prevalence of specific mental health problems as well as effective interventions and ways to implement them, which can inform government planning and programming. In Mozambique, I work directly with the Ministry of Health, so that my research is aligned with their needs and interests.

Main collaborators at Columbia? Elsewhere? 

I have collaborated with faculty in the Departments of Sociomedical Sciences, Psychiatry, Epidemiology, Population and Family Health, Pediatrics, and Clinical Psychology. Outside of Columbia, I collaborate with researchers from UW, UPenn, and WashU as well as members of the Ministry of Health in Mozambique and the Foundation for AIDS Research in Southeast Asia.

Don't be shy; what accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

My first Mozambican advisee just successfully defended his Master’s thesis. I’m grateful to be able to support the career growth of future global mental health researchers.   

If people want to learn more about your research, where should they start? 

My full bio and more info on my past and current research are available here.

Fun fact about you:

I’m right-handed but left-footed.