Vickie M. Mays, PhD, MSPH
Distinguished Professor of Psychology and of Health Policy and Management
UCLA Departments of Psychology and Fielding School of Public Health
Director, UCLA BRITE Center for Science, Research & Policy
Los Angeles, CA
Professor Mays, a clinical psychologist by training, is a Distinguished Professor and the Director of the UCLA Center on Bridging Research Innovation, Training, and Education for Minority Health Disparities Solutions. She teaches courses on health status and health behaviors of racial and ethnic minority groups, research ethics in biomedical and behavioral research in racial/ethnic minority populations, research methods in minority research, as well as courses on social determinants of mental disorders and psychopathology. She holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology and an MSPH in Health Services and Health Policy, with postdoctoral training in psychiatric epidemiology and survey research as it applies to ethnic minorities (University of Michigan) and health policy (RAND). While at UCLA Professor Mays has held a number of management positions. In addition to being a 14-year Center Director, she served as the Chair for the Faculty Senate, as an Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research where she created a Research in Diversity and Equity (RIDE) small grants programs to examine campus climate with over a quarter of a million-dollar portfolio, served as a Vice Chair of the IRB and has served as a Chair of a number of boards and committees.
Professor Mays’ research primarily focuses on the mental and physical health disparities affecting racial and ethnic minority populations. She is particularly known for her research on the impact of race-based discrimination in mental and physical health outcomes. She has a long history of funding not just for her disparity Center but for her research in mental health services, mental health policy and mental health in integrated care. Her latest funding at NIMH is focused on the development of algorithms in the integrated care setting for suicide prevention using machine learning approaches. In addition to her Co-PI status on a statewide psychiatric epidemiology three wave study of examining availability, access and quality of mental health services for racial, ethnic and sexual minorities she has also written about the mental health system of China As the designer of apps for smoking cessation and a trainer for mhealth she is interested in the use of technology in health care interventions. She has expertise in disaster response, recovery and resiliency. She is a certified emergency response team member with the Los Angeles Fire Department, worked five years funded by the Kellogg Foundation to help rebuild and respond to the mental health needs after Katrina in New Orleans, help to create and evaluate a mental health telethon in partnership with the local PBS station after the Los Angeles Civil Disturbance following the Rodney King event.
Dr. Mays is a Fellow in the American College of Epidemiology and the American Psychological Sciences. She has served on boards and committees also in the American Psychological Association, the American Public Health Association and on boards and committees of the National Academy of Medicine. She has served HHS in a number of capacities including serving on and as the Chair of the Panel of Minority Women Health Experts. She has provided testimony to several Congressional Committees on her research findings related to HIV, mental health and health disparities, and her research on discrimination has been cited in Supreme Court briefs. She has received numerous awards including one for her lifetime research on women and HIV from AMFAR, a Women and Leadership Award, Distinguished Contribution for Research in Public Policy and Distinguished Contributions for Research from the American Psychological Association, and many honors and awards for her distinguished contributions to scientific research. She recently received UCLA’s Award for Lifetime Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in her teaching, research and service.
Dr. Mays was appointed to the Committee by the Department in 2000 and served as chair of the Subcommittee on Populations during her four-year tenure. In 2010 she was appointed by Congress (House) for an additional four-year term, and chaired the NCVHS Ad Hoc Workgroup on Data Access and Use. She was reappointed in 2014 and 2019. Dr. Mays serves on the Executive Subcommittee, Subcommittee on Population Health, Subcommittee on Privacy, Confidentiality and Security, and the Ad Hoc Review of ACA for the Standards Subcommittee.