Military and Veterans’ Families

Presenter Bio - Kathleen West, MPH, DrPH

Dr. West’s educational background includes degrees in biology and anthropology from Kalamazoo College, and masters and doctoral degrees from the UCLA School of Public Health. Dr. West’s extensive professional experience includes key roles in establishing innovative programs in multiple cultural contexts for high risk families and consulting work that includes prevention, secondary intervention, and treatment programming, evaluation and data design, policy development and implementation, research, advocacy, training, and technical assistance. She has authored a number of articles, policy briefs, and chapters, including WHO monographs.

In the U.S., Kathleen has worked with substance abuse and mental health issues in the context of the judicial system for thirty years. Kathleen co-founded a treatment program for women and children in LA, helped craft the first national Family Drug Treatment Court curriculum, and led development of multidisciplinary teams to conduct therapeutic arrests in home-based methamphetamine labs nationally. Following a UNHCR contract in Kuwait in 2004-05 in the OIF setting Dr West’s interests turned to work with military and veteran family and children issues with public health and court-related systems to better address PTSD sequelae in the US and internationally. She currently teaches classes on disaster and conflict in the global context at the USC School of Preventive Medicine, military families at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and works with maternal and child health issues and PTSD in Africa through the First Ladies Initiative, focusing on Sierra Leone where she has worked for more than three decades.