Kenneth Wells

Associate Program Director

David Weil Professor, Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior;

Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine and of Health Policy and Management, Fielding School of Public Health;

Affiliated Adjunct Staff, RAND Corporation;

Staff Psychiatrist, Greater Los Angeles VA Health System

Kenneth B. Wells, MD, MPH

Kenneth B. Wells, MD, MPH, is a David Weil Professor and Director of the Center for Health Services and Society at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Behavioral Health and Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and Health Policy and Management at the Fielding School of Public Health. He is Affiliated Adjunct Staff at the RAND Corporation and Staff Psychiatrist at Greater Los Angeles VA Health System.  He is Co-Director of the UCLA/VA Center of Excellence for Veteran Resilience and Recovery, on homelessness and behavioral health.  He received his M.D. from UCSF and his M.P.H. from the UCLA School of Public Health, and is a graduate of the UCLA-Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program. Dr. Wells led studies of how variations in health services systems and financing affect clinical care, as well as on use of Community-Partnered Participatory Research to address disparities in access to and outcomes of services for depression. Dr. Wells is the academic Principal Investigator (PI) with the late Loretta Joes as Community PI of Community Partners in Care (CPIC), which won the Association of Clinical and Translational Science 2014 Team Science Award and 2015 Campus-Community Partnerships for Health Annual Award.  Dr. Wells co-led the American Red Cross grant to support mental health recovery efforts in New Orleans post-Katrina, supported post-flood recovery in Baton Rouge, and co-directed the Los Angeles Community Disaster Resilience initiative. Dr. Wells is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. He was the first recipient of the Young Investigator Award and received the Distinguished Investigator Award of AcademyHealth. He received the Senior Health Services Research Award and Research Prize for lifetime achievement of the American Psychiatric Association; and the 2017 Carl Taube Award of the Mental Health Section of APHA, 2018 Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health of the National Academy of Medicine, and 2019 Psychiatric and Research Foundation Advocate Award, UCSF Innovator Award, and UCLA Psychiatry Lifetime Teaching Award. He co-directs the Semel Institute’s Healing and Education Through the Arts (HEArts) program to use arts to address mental health stigma.  He is choral director of the Mansfield Chamber Singers, and composes operas on mental health themes produced at UCLA, including “The First Lady” on complicated grief and “The Center Cannot Hold,” on recovery from schizophrenia in collaboration with Elyn Saks, streamed by Mental Health America.

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