Sapana R. Patel, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry)
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Dr. Patel is an Associate Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Director of Strategic Planning at the Center for Practice Innovations at Columbia Psychiatry, Research Associate of the New York State Office of Mental Health Center for Excellence in Cultural Competence (CECC) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is a bilingual (Spanish) clinical health psychologist and mental health services and implementation researcher focused on implementation of evidence-based practices to ensure equitable access to mental health care.  Her research uses community-based participatory research (CBPR) approachesto develop and test patient-centered interventions to empower the underserved to participate in their care. She conducts research to obtain and amplify the voices of community partners and stakeholders and develop strategies to adapt interventions and developstrategies for implementing behavioral health evidence-based practices for New Yorkers.Dr. Patel is an alumnus fellow of the NIH/VA- funded R25 Implementation Research Institute (IRI) at Washington University in St. Louis. Using this training, she uses implementation science methods to inform the creation of workforce development programs in New York State.  In her role at the Center for Practice Innovations, a large state-funded intermediary organization that delivers online scalable training and implementation support for the New York State Office of Mental Health workforce, she oversees initiatives to enhance stakeholder engagement for young adults with early psychosis, to improve evidence-based treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder and NYS-OMH Medicaid Redesign. 

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry)

Administrative Titles

  • Director of Strategic Planning and Curriculum Development, Center for Practice Innovations
  • Co-lead of Implementation Science Initiative, Irving Institute CTSA at Columbia University
  • Chair, Practitioner Network of Expertise, Society for Implementation Research Collaboration


  • Spanish


  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 1998 Boston University
  • PhD, 2003 Yeshiva University
  • Internship: 2004 Rutgers University
  • Fellowship: Columbia University
  • Fellowship: Washington University at St. Louis


Research Interests

  • Dissemination and Implementation Research
  • Integrated Care
  • Mental Health Disparities
  • Mental Health Services
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)


National Institute of Mental Health

Dates: 07/01/2008-08/22/2014

Patient Centered Care in the Treatment of Depressed Minorities in Primary Care (K23MH082118-01A1)

The objective of this Mentored Patient Oriented Research Development Award (K23) is to prepare the candidate to become an independent investigator in mental health services research to address the disparities in mental health care faced by minorities in diverse healthcare settings. The research plan uses a blend of a decision science and community based participatory research framework to develop and test a decision aid for depressed African Americans and Hispanics at the Institute for Family Health.

Role: Principal Investigator

New York State Office of Mental Health

Uniform Clinical Network Provider Training

Dates: 11/1/17-10/31/20

The Uniform Clinical Network Provider training is a unified state‐of‐the art web‐based training for Medicaid

managed care network providers in clinical core competencies and evidence‐based practices for mental health

and substance use disorder services. The New York State Health Plan Association (HPA) is collaborating with the Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) at Columbia Psychiatry/NYS Psychiatric Institute and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse to offer this uniform training to the behavioral health workforce statewide.

Role: Principal Investigator

New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation

Dates: 4/1/18-3/31/20

NYC Health and Hospital Corporation Care Restructuring Enhancement Piot Program: Behavioral Health

The Center for Practice Innovations was awarded a two-year contract to deliver training and implementation support in rehabilitation and recovery-oriented practices for Behavioral Health-Home and Community Based Service providers and supervisors under the Care Restructuring Enhancement Pilot Program (CREP). The CREP-BH-HCBS focuses on improving the ability of the public hospitals’ workforce to work with people who are eligible based in the hospital or community setting as well as during their transitions of care.

Role: Principal Investigator

New York State Office of Mental Health

Training Front-line Providers in New York State to Detect, Diagnose, and Refer Individuals with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Dates: 6/1/2018-5/31/2020

This project is a two-year workforce development program to develop an effective online training program for front-line providers in the licensed or state-operated programs serving children and adults with OCD in the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYS-OMH). This proposal will leverage the training and implementation capacity of the Center for Practice Innovations and the clinical expertise of the Center for OCD and Related Disorders at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Role: Principal Investigator

Selected Publications


  1. Patel, S.R., Patel SR, Gorritz, M., Olfson, M., Bell, M.A., Jackson, E., Sanchez-Lacay, J.A., Alfonso, C., Leeman, E., Lewis-Fernandez, R. (2016) Training community-based primary care physicians in the screening and management of mental health disorders among Latino primary care patients. General Hospital Psychiatry, 38:71-8. PubMed PMID: 26598287
  2. Patel SR, Margolies PJ, Covell NH, Lipscomb C, Dixon LB. (2018) Using instructional design, Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate (ADDIE), to develop e-Learning modules to disseminate Supported Employment for community behavioral health treatment programs in New York State. Frontiers in Public Health, 6:113.
  3. Patel, S. R., Bello, I., Cabassa, L. J., Nossel, I. R., Wall, M. M., Montague, E., Rahim, R., Mathai, C. M., & Dixon, L. B. (2021). Adapting coordinated specialty care in the post-COVID-19 era: study protocol for an integrative mixed-methods study. Implementation Science Communications2(1), 72.
  4. Patel, S. R., Gershkovich, M., Hinds, M., Jankowski, S. E., Dixon, L. B., Myers, R. W., & Simpson, H. B. (2021). Statewide Workforce Development Program to Improve Care for Individuals With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), appips202100083. Advance online publication.
  5. Patel S.R., Wheaton M.G., Andersson E., Ruck C., Schmidt A.B., La Lima C.N., Galfavy H., Pascucci O., Myers R.W., Dixon L.B., Simpson H.B. Acceptability, Feasibility, and Effectiveness of Internet-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in New York.(2018)  Behavior Therapy, 49(4):631-641. PubMed PMID: 29937263.
  6. Patel SR, Cole A, Little V, Skritskaya NA, Lever E, Dixon LB, Shear MK. Acceptability, feasibility and outcome of a screening programme for complicated grief in integrated primary and behavioural health care clinics. (2018) Family Practice. PubMed PMID: 29860527

For a complete list of publications, please visit: