Heather Zelle, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Research with the UVa Department of Public Health Sciences and the Associate Director of Mental Health Policy Research at the UVa Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. She holds a juris doctorate from Villanova University School of Law, and a doctorate in clinical psychology with a forensic concentration from Drexel University. She is licensed as an attorney in Pennsylvania (voluntary inactive status) and as a clinical psychologist in Virginia. Dr. Zelle’s current policy and research work focus on the public mental health system and mental health policy in Virginia. She serves on state work groups studying topics such as involuntary civil commitment procedures and behavioral health dockets in Virginia courts. Previously, Dr. Zelle coordinated the research and implementation efforts regarding the integration of Advance Directives with Instructions for Mental Health Care into routine care in Virginia. Dr. Zelle’s policy and research experience include work with Dr. Patty Griffin for the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities Services, including CIT training for Philadelphia law enforcement, assessment of specialty courts, and Cross Systems Mapping activities. She has co-authored several publications, including chapters in University and Public Behavioral Health Organization Collaboration in Justice Contexts; Routledge Encyclopedia of Psychology in the Real World: Psychology and Law; Forensic Assessment in Criminal and Civil Law: A Handbook for Lawyers; Advances in Psychology and Law; and Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics.
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