Meet the Officers

The American Society for Hispanic Psychiatry fosters multidisciplinary collaborations in mental health treatment with a particular focus on Latino Populations. Members are practicing psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health workers.

It is essential to our growth and success that we maintain a broad based membership and it is essential to have the support of the academic research community to continue to provide opportunities for continuing education for psychiatrists all over the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bernardo Ng, M.D., President
Dr. Ng is founder and Medical Director of the Sun Valley Behavioral Medical and Research Centers and works in one of the poorest counties in California, covering a rural and underserved area of predominantly Hispanic population in the US-México border. Ng is also the founder of Nuevo Atardecer Geriatric Ctr in Mexicali, México. He is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California in San Diego. His research focus includes rural issues, behavioral disorder in dementia, and cultural issues. Email:

Ruby Castilla-Puentes, M.D. DrPH, MBA, President-Elect
Dr. Castilla-Puentes is Medical Safety Officer, for Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices, as well Adjunct Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology and Epidemiology at Temple and Drexel Universities of Philadelphia. She serves in Multiple Medical Advisory Committees, and has trained countless practitioners and investigators. Her research uses observational research techniques, outcomes and Big Data in healthcare to evaluate the natural course of psychiatric conditions as well as the benefit risk profile of CNS drugs and medical devices. Email:

Juan Gallego, M.D.
Dr. Gallego is currently an Assistant Professor at the Weill Cornell Medical College In New York and the Service Chief for the Psychotic Disorders Program at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Westchester Division. Dr. Gallego received his medical degree from Universidad CES in Medellín, Colombia, completed his residency training in psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and completed a research fellowship at The Zucker Hillside Hospital, the psychiatric hospital for the North Shore LIJ Health System in Glen Oaks, NY under the guidance of Anil K Malhotra, MD, Delbert Robinson, MD and John M. Kane, MD. Additionally, he completed a master’s degree in clinical research methods at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. His current work focuses on studying microRNAs and other biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid and peripheral blood of patients with schizophrenia. For this work, he received funding from the National institute of Mental Health (K23 award) and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. Dr. Gallego was recently recruited to lead the Psychotic Disorders Program at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and his goal is to increase the research portfolio of the institution. Email:

Oscar Solomon-Jimenez, Ph.D., Treasurer
Research Coordinator (Officer of Research), Columbia University Department of Psychiatry. Mr. Jiménez-Solomon received a Bachelor of Sociology at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and a Master of Public Health at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He joined the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry in 2013 with expertise in competency-based training initiatives, program evaluation, and service-based and applied research methods. He has received grants and subcontracts from the New York State Office of Mental Health (Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene), Syracuse University Burton Blatt Institute, United Nations Population Fund, Great Britain Department for International Development, Peruvian Ministry of Health and United States Agency for International Development, and the Ford Foundation. Mr. Jiménez-Solomon’s past roles include Director of Community and Economic Development at the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (Albany, NY), Research Staff Associate at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, International Consultant at the United Nations Population Fund (New York City), and Research Associate at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú). He is a member of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry and the American Public Health Association. Email:


Nancy Catherine Colimon-Ardila, M.D.
Nancy Catherine Colimon-Ardila, MD was born in Bogota, Dr. Colimon-Ardila completed her Medical Degree and her post graduate training in Psychiatry at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She also completed a fellowship in Neuropsychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a former voluntary faculty member at Universidad Pontificia Javeriana and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She is a past president for the Colombian Society of Biological Psychiatry. She is currently the Medical Director for Renovarse Geriatric Center in Colombia, and Innovation and Operations Director for Nuevo Atardecer Geriatric Center in Mexico. She is also founder and director of Unir Pais a non-profit organization that promotes mental health prevention in rural areas of Colombia.

Hector Colon-Rivera, M.D.
Dr. Colon-Rivera grew up between San Juan and Vieques, Puerto Rico. His mother, a special education teacher often took him to work with her, where he was exposed to families dealing with mental illness. This early exposure instilled in him a deep understanding of social factors, such as poverty, lack of education, poor accessibility to health care, as well as poor social and family support contributing to mental illness. Following medical school in Puerto Rico and his psychiatric residency training at Boston University, he completed an addiction psychiatry fellowship at Yale University where he focused on working with adults and adolescents with substance use disorders. He is a current faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center where he specializes in the acute care of patients with a wide variety of mental health and substance use disorders. He is an attending physician at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center (UPMC) working on an emerging community program to increase rural access to Medical Assisted Treatments for patients with substance use disorder.

Roberto Lewis-Fernández, M.D.
Roberto Lewis-Fernández MD is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University, Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program, and Co-Director of the Anxiety Disorder Clinic, at New York State Psychiatric Institute. His research focuses on developing culturally valid interventions and instruments to enhance patient engagement, reduce misdiagnosis, and help overcome disparities in the care of underserved cultural groups. He also studies how culture affects individuals’ experience of mental disorder and their help-seeking expectations, including how to explore this cultural variation during the psychiatric evaluation. He led the development of the DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview, a standardized method for cultural assessment for use in mental health practice, and was the Principal Investigator of its international field trial. He is Chair of the Cultural Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, President-Elect of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry, and Immediate Past President of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture. He was a member of the NIMH National Advisory Council and Chair of the DSM-5 Cross-Cultural Issues Subgroup. He chairs the DSM Review Committee for Internalizing Disorders and co-chairs the ICD-11 Working Group on Culture-Related Issues. Email:

Pamela Montano, M.D.
Pamela Montano Arteaga, MD is Clinical Assistant Professor at NYU. She works as a psychiatrist and Director of Latino Bicultural Clinic at Gouvernuer Health. She completed her Psychiatry Residency at Northwell Hofstra School of Medicine at Zucker Hillside Hospital and a fellowship in Public Psychiatry at Columbia University. She was born and raised in Colombia. Dr. Montano completed her medical school training at Universidad del Valle in Cali (CO). As an APA Minority Fellow (2014-2016), she participated in the Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities. She is currently the co-Chair of the APA workgroup trying to develop a toolkit to guide providers treating undocumented immigrant population. She is one of the recipients of the 2018 Young Physicians of the Year Awards given by the National Hispanic Medical Association due to her contribution to Hispanic Health through her work at NHMA and different advocacy organizations. She also recently started working on program of Integrated Care with the Obgyn Department at her work site and she also will be a provider for the Empower Program that works victims of Human Trafficking.
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Maria de las Mercedes Perez-Rodriguez, M.D.
Dr. Perez-Rodriguez is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. She is the Medical Director of the Psychosis Research Integrating Science and Medicine (PRISM) Program and Assistant Training Director for Research. Her research, funded by the NIH and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD), aims to elucidate the biological underpinnings of mood and personality disorders and test novel treatments through cutting-edge clinical trials. She is a Faculty Scholar at the Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs, and a founding member of the Women’s Career Development Program in Psychiatry at Mount Sinai. Email:

Gerardo Villarreal, M.D.
Dr. Villarreal is staff psychiatrist at the New Mexico VA Healthcare System and Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. He is also director of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training at the UNM psychiatry residency program. Dr. Villarreal interests include the neurobiology and treatment of PTSD, medical informatics and data mining. He has published studies on neuroimaging and psychopharmacology of PTSD. Email:

Frances Bell – Secretariat
Central Office
PO Box 570218
Dallas, TX 75357-0218
Office: 972-613-0985
FAX: 972-613-5532

Maria Sciancalapore, MPA  – Fund Raising Chair

Past Presidents

Carlos Zarate, M.D., Immediate Past President
Dr. Zarate is Chief, Section on the Neurobiology and Treatment of Mood Disorders and Chief of Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch (ETPB) at the National Institute of Mental Health, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, at The George Washington University. Dr. Zarate’s current research focus is on developing novel medications for treatment-resistant depression. Email:

  • Moises Gaviria 1982-1984
  • Eduardo Val 1984-1986
  • Evaristo Gomez 1986-1988
  • Jose Arana (elected & deceased)
  • Bruno Lima (elected & deceased)
  • Jaime Trujillo 1990-1992
  • Walter Pedemonte 1992-1994
  • Renato Alarcon 1994-1996
  • Juan Mezzich 1996-1998
  • Jose Canive 1998-2000
  • Pedro Delgado 2000-2002
  • Javier Escobar 2002-2004
  • Manuel Trujillo 2004-2006
  • Alex Kopelpwicz 2006-2008
  • Maria Oquendo 2008-2010
  • Margarita Alegria 2010-2012
  • Roberto Lewis Fernandez 2012-2014
  • Mauricio Tohen 2014-2016
  • Carlos Zarate, M.D. 2016-2018
  • Bernardo Ng 2018-