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.

Carlos Zarate, M.D., 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:

Bernardo Ng, M.D., President Elect
Dr. Ng is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego.  He is co-founder of the Sun Valley Model integrating clinical, teaching, and research activities with collaboration of private and community clinics, industry, and academic centers. He works in one of the poorest counties in California, covering a rural and underserved area of predominantly Hispanic population in the Mexican border.  His research focus includes rural issues, antipsychotic use in the elderly, and behavioral disorders in dementia.  Email:

Ruby Castilla-Puentes, M.D. DrPH, MBA, Secretary
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:

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.



Alvaro Camacho, M.D.
Álvaro Camacho graduated from Xavier University (Universidad Javeriana) School of Medicine in Bogotá, Colombia. He finished his training in Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego where he obtained the Lewis Judd Award for excellence in research. In addition, he obtained a developmental grant during his training from the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center at UCSD.

In order to continue with his interest working with Hispanic/Latinos in underserved communities, Dr. Camacho pursued a MPH in Community Health Sciences from the UCLA School of Public Health and a T-32 Post-doctoral Fellowship in Epidemiology and Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Family & Public Health at UCSD.

Dr. Camacho is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD. His areas of research are studying the association of anxious-depression with neurocognition, chronic inflammation and metabolic risk factors as well as Health Disparities among Hispanic/Latinos living in rural underserved communities.  Dr. Camacho is the past Medical Director of Imperial County Behavioral Health and currently he is the Medical Director for Behavioral Health Services at a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves Imperial and Riverside counties, Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo where he pioneered the Integrated Care Program to reduce mental health disparities.


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.


Fructuoso Irigoyen, M.D., DFAPA – Board Member
Dr. Irigoyen is the Medical Director of The Center Comprehensive Mental Health, IMG Rep to APA Assembly, and ABPN-certified Psychiatrist in private practice.  He has published extensively about his work as a physician with the Tarahumara Indians in the Chihuahuan Sierra Madre (e.g., (“Cerocahui, una comunidad en la Tarahumara”) and is author of “Alzheimer’s disease, a primer for caregivers.”


Roberto lewis-fernandez, M.D.
Dr. Lewis-Fernández is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and Director of the NYS Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program at New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is also Lecturer on Social Medicine at Harvard University. His research focuses on developing clinical interventions and novel service-delivery approaches to help overcome disparities in the care of underserved US cultural groups.


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.


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

  • 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