CoP Advisory Board & Steering Committee

The STARR Coalition, in partnership with FCD, is establishing a Community of Practice thought-leadership group to bring Community Mental Health Center leaders together with the goal of building a pathway to mental health care equity for underserved patient populations and address some of the challenges specific to CMHCs.

The STARR CoP Advisory Board is composed of administrators and practitioners from community behavioral and mental health centers throughout the US, with a steering committee to help coordinate and drive the activities and output.


Advisory Board:

Kendall Alexander, MSW, LCSW – CEO, Klamath Basin Behavioral Health, Oregon

Christina Arredondo, MD – Medical Director, Behavioral Health and MAT at El Rio Community Health, Arizona

David Boscia, Chief Clinical Officer, Director of Community Support Services, Newport Mental Health Center, Rhode Island

Rusti Holwick, LPE-1, LADAC, AADC – CEO, The Guidance Center, Arkansas

Carol Witham, Founder and CEO, Inspiration Day Treatment Center, Arkansas

TBD, Gateway Mental Health Center

TBD, National Council for Mental Wellbeing


Steering Committee:

Jeremy Whitty, Co-Founder and Director, Faculty of Capacity Development (FCD) and Director of Development, The Global Health Network, Oxford University

James J. Whalen, MD, Faculty, Faculty of Capacity Development (FCD) and Psychiatrist, Director EMG,

Erica Moore, Director of Operations, The STARR Coalition

Steering Committee Expertise:

Jeremy Whitty, Faculty of Capacity Development (FCD) — Founded in 2016 by faculty from Karolinska Institutet, the university that delivers the Nobel Prize for Medicine, FCD specializes in education, training, and capacity building in the health sciences. 

FCD’s team has decades of international experience providing high-quality education, training, capacity development and consultancy to help our partners make better decisions, understanding what works, how it works and for whom, anywhere in the world.

Clients and partners have included national regulatory agencies, leading international universities, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, TDR-WHO, The Global Health Network, CRO’s such as IQVIA and research driven pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Novartis, and Astra Zeneca with whom we have developed many successful Communities of Practice. 

FCD, in partnership with the STARR Coalition will deploy that expertise to build a vibrant, diverse, equitable and inclusive Community of Practice to enable research in CMHCs within the US.

James J. Whalen, MD, Faculty, Faculty of Capacity Development (FCD) and Psychiatrist, Director EMG,

As founder and Primary Investigator of Lincoln Research, located in Lincoln, Rhode Island, Dr. Whalen maintained the highest standard of effective, ethical, cutting-edge clinical conduct. He fostered positive relationships with many of the industry’s leading Sponsors and CROs, as well as with local primary-care physicians and the southern New England community.

Dr. Whalen now leads the EMG group at the

Erica Moore, Director of Operations, The STARR Coalition — Erica Moore is an advocate for individuals living with mental illnesses, working to connect research and mental healthcare settings for the benefit of patients across the US.  Erica leads The STARR Coalition’s mission to create meaningful change by increasing communication, partnerships among stakeholders in the areas of mental health clinical research, advocacy, and treatment with emphasis on community and advocacy engagement, stigma reduction, and ensuring that research is widely recognized as a trusted care option.

The STARR Coalition (Stakeholders in Treatment, Advocacy, Research and Recovery) was founded by clinical research leaders and mental health advocates to find new, progressive ways to truly place the patient volunteer at the heart of the research process. Coalition members work to support successful clinical trials while ensuring that the individuals participating in the trials receive the care and services they desire and ensuring research is a part of the continuum of options for everyone seeking help.

The STARR Coalition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, unbiased and neutral, supporting mental health research as the only way to find more effective treatments for those living with mental illnesses.  The STARR Coalition’s focus and expertise is mental health research and advocacy and works with a broad network of sites, sponsors, and advocates within the mental health industry to develop and draw on a set of best practices within their organizations to advance mental health clinical research by sharing best practices for patient care and engagement; cultivating community engagement; and strengthening communication between research site staff and patients, caregivers, and mental health advocacy groups.

A Community of Practice (CoP)
can help create a culture of learning and collaboration that supports ongoing professional development, innovation, and the provision of high-quality care to patients. In this case, the CoP would include outside researchers, so that members can learn from one another and stay up-to-date with the latest research and information on mental health treatments.

If you are interested in joining our CoP, please fill out the form below or contact us at

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