The Priority Behavioral Health Internship Program at the College of Health Science and Technology (CHST) at Rochester Institute of Technology is a consortium internship training program in psychology. The training program represents a cooperative endeavor between RIT’s College of Health Science and Technology and clinical placement sites within Rochester Regional Health, Hillside Family of Agencies, and Coordinate Care Services Inc (CCSI). Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Health Science and Technology functions as one of the clinical sites as well as a hub for the internship faculty, didactic training, and administrative processes.
This internship year is first and foremost a supervised, intensive, experiential learning opportunity focused on the delivery of psychological services. The program embraces a scientist-practitioner model in which theory and evidence routinely inform professional practice and each intern has protected time to pursue a scholarly activity that can center on research, program evaluation, clinical care, or education. The training is competency-based. Each intern will have a year-long primary placement at one of the clinical sites. While in their primary clinical settings, interns provide supervised behavioral health intervention and assessment services to individuals from diverse backgrounds. Intervention may include individual, group, and/or family therapy, and may be provided for children, adolescents and/or adults, depending on the primary clinical placement. Psychological assessment is also provided at each placement site, and interns are expected to administer, interpret, and provide written synthesis of psychological test batteries. Therapy clients, number of assessments, consultation work, and research vary depending on the specific site. Interns across clinical sites have the opportunity to gain experience working with and consulting across a variety of disciplines as a major component of their training program, as each primary placement involves collaboration across various systems of care. Experiences may involve collaboration and consultation with various agencies and/or providers within multiple care disciplines and settings.
Our training and education program is dedicated to developing the next generation of leaders in the field using innovative and advanced technologies (e.g, Telehealth and Technology Assisted Interactive Tools for Clients), which is a core mission and trademark of RIT. All interns are provided with didactic and experiential training in the use of telehealth and interactive therapeutic technologies. Specifically, all interns are provided with the opportunity to engage in both in-person and telehealth treatment with homeless clients.
All interns are expected to conduct research at the internship sites through at least one ongoing scholar project, the focus of which is determined collaboratively between the primary supervisors and the intern. For more information on possible research areas please visit: Favtech | RIT
A priority is placed on professional development, including assistance to doctoral fellows in securing opportunities after internship such as post-doctoral fellowships and employment. Our clinical sites have an interest in hiring the next generation of leaders.
Priority Behavioral Health Internship Program competencies are as follows: Competency 1: Interns will achieve an intermediate to advanced level of competence in Evidence-Based Intervention Competency 2: Interns will achieve an intermediate to advanced level of competence in Evidence-Based Assessment Competency 3: Interns will achieve an intermediate to advanced level of competence in Ethical and Legal Standards Competency 4: Interns will achieve an intermediate to advanced level of competence in Cultural and Individual Diversity Competency 5: Interns will achieve an intermediate to advanced level of competence in Research Competency 6: Interns will achieve an intermediate to advanced level of competence in Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors Competency 7: Interns will achieve an intermediate to advanced level of competence in Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Consultation Competency 8: Interns will achieve an intermediate to advanced level of competence in Supervision Competency 9: Interns will achieve an intermediate to advanced level of competence in Communication and Interpersonal Skills Competency 10: Interns will achieve an intermediate to advanced level of competence in Telehealth and Interactive Therapeutic Technologies Competency 11: Interns will achieve an intermediate to advanced level of competence in Clinical Leadership and Career Development within Ambulatory Behavioral Health Settings
APPIC: Our program is a member of APPIC.
APA: Our program is APA accredited.
Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
The internship begins on July 1st and concludes on June 30th of each academic year, and provides 2000 hours of training. Interns in this program are referred to as "psychology interns." Interns will complete the internship program over 12 months on a full-time (40 hours/week) basis. Interns are matched to one of the following clinical tracks; Coordinated Care Services Inc (CCSI), Hillside Family of Agencies, RIT Priority Clinic, Rochester Regional Health (RRH) Outpatient Behavioral Health (Adult), Rochester Regional Health (RRH) Outpatient Behavioral Health (Child/Adolescent), or Rochester Regional Health Neuropsychology at the Neuroscience Institute.
Interns spend 4 days a week with their clinical track and 1 day a week at Rochester Institute of Technology’s main campus for additional supervision, didactics, clinical discussions, and scholar activities. Additionally, all interns regardless of their track, are involved in providing services to clients at House of Mercy homeless shelter.
The training curriculum has been designed in accordance with the internship program’s required competencies. Each competency is met through both experiential and didactic training. While in their primary clinical settings, interns provide supervised behavioral health intervention and/or assessment services to individuals from diverse backgrounds. Intervention may include individual, group, and/or family therapy, and may be provided for children, adolescents and/or adults, depending on the primary clinical placement. Psychological assessment also is provided at each placement site, and interns are expected to administer, interpret, and provide written synthesis of psychological test batteries. Therapy clients, number of assessments, consultation work, and research vary depending on the specific site.
Interns across clinical sites have the opportunity to gain experience working with and consulting across a variety of disciplines as a major component of their training program, as each track involves collaboration across various systems of care. Experiences may involve collaboration and consultation with various agencies and/or providers within multiple care disciplines and settings.
All interns are provided with didactic and experiential training in the use of telehealth and interactive therapeutic technologies, as these skills are critical for providers in highly underserved areas and are core to the mission of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Specifically, all interns are provided the opportunity to engage in both in-person and telehealth treatment with House of Mercy homeless clients.
Interns are provided with regular supervision, which focuses on clinical skills development as well as addressing such issues as ethics, diversity, and professionalism. Interns are also provided with training in the effective provision of supervision and are given opportunities to practice these skills through the provision of supervision to undergraduate students who provide support to the interns’ scholar projects. All training goal areas are additionally supported through the provision of relevant didactics provided by content experts.
All Interns are expected to conduct research at the internship sites through at least one ongoing “scholar project”, the focus of which is determined collaboratively between the primary supervisors and the intern.
Interns are matched to one of the following clinical tracks; Coordinated Care Services Inc (CCSI), Hillside Family of Agencies, RIT Priority Clinic, Rochester Regional Health (RRH) Outpatient Behavioral Health (Adult), Rochester Regional Health (RRH) Outpatient Behavioral Health (Child/Adolescent), or Rochester Regional Health Neuropsychology at the Neuroscience Institute.
CCSI, Coordinated Care Services, Incorporated provides a broad array of consulting services specifically tailored to meet the needs of behavioral and physical healthcare providers, social and human service departments, state agencies, school districts and community-based organization in Monroe County, across New York State, and beyond. CCSI’s Consulting Services includes strategic analytics, education, quality improvement, practice transformation (trauma-informed care, DEI), fiscal practice improvement and digital solutions and technology.
The CCSI Clinical Track would provide trainees with opportunities to develop skills in systems level intervention and transformation with the general goals of increasing access to quality healthcare services for underserved populations, improving lives, and strengthening communities. Potential areas of intervention include organizations in behavioral, mental, and physical health, community-based organizations, education (K-12 and higher education, faith-based organizations, and government agencies. Interns function as a member of the project team and activities include conducting literature reviews, observations and focus groups, identifying and measuring outcomes, supporting the transition to a new model of care, creating informative and action oriented reports for agencies and communities, and presenting information on topics of interest to organizations. Interns will obtain specific experience supporting trauma-informed care and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. This track will also allow interns to have access to a number of datasets at CCSI from which to develop a research project that is of interest to both CCSI and the intern (Medicaid claims data for NYS, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Youth Risk Behavior Survey, as well as impact of state dollars on system transformation efforts). Interns will also be providing assessments, psychological testing, and evidenced-based care to children/youth with behavioral health treatment needs at RIT’s Priority Clinic.
The Hillside Family of Agencies is a non-profit organization consisting of more than 100 coordinated programs in 41 locations across New York and Maryland which provide comprehensive health, education, and human services for children and families. Two Hillside facilities are utilized for internship training. Interns work in two sites, with interns placed at the Children’s Center’s Monroe Campus. Currently, the Hillside tracks provide training in two child track tracks. The placements are located at one of Hillside Family of Agencies' residential treatment center in and around Rochester, NY. Interns at this placement site work as part of a multidisciplinary team treating youth placed in residential care from across New York State. The intern is responsible for psychological evaluations, consultation with the treatment team including family and external funders, and delivery of evidence-based group and individual therapy. Interns placed with the Hillside Family of Agencies will work directly with youth and families who have experienced complex and intergenerational trauma. Evidence practices used include dialectical behavior therapy and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
Interns matched with RIT engage in clinical work with RIT’s Priority Behavioral Health outpatient clinic (located at RIT). RIT’s Priority Behavioral Health Clinic provides services to the community as well as RIT staff, faculty, and students. At RIT’s Priority Behavioral Health outpatient clinic, interns conduct evidence-based treatment and psychological assessment. Interns work with both children and adults. The psychiatric characteristics of clients treated includes the full diagnostic range of the DSM-5. Interns provide behavioral health screenings, consultations, psychological assessment, as well as evidence-based treatment (e.g., CBT, MET, mindfulness). Interns consult and collaborate with referring medical providers. Interns are trained in the use of digital therapies and tele-health as this clinical site emphasizes the use of tele-health services and incorporating advancements in technology within behavioral health and substance use treatment. Interns placed at the RIT site will have the opportunity to engage in research related to substance use and intimate partner violence and research utilizing avatar-assisted platforms for patient care. Interns are also exposed to forensic work through completion of forensic evaluations throughout their training with RIT’s Priority Clinic. Under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, interns complete both court-ordered competency to stand trial and mental health evaluations.
All interns, regardless of their position complete a 6-month rotation with House of Mercy Homeless Shelter. In this rotation, interns spend ½ a day each week providing clinical care to homeless individuals residing at House of Mercy. Interns conduct intakes as well as individual/group therapy (e.g., mindfulness, CBT) with homeless clients. Interns are trained in crisis management and harm reduction and interns are expected to consult and collaborate with House of Mercy staff and leadership in order to improve mental health and substance use care for homeless clients.
The RRH Adult track will provide trainees with opportunities at outpatient mental health clinics including RRH’s Evelyn Brandon Health Clinic, Greece Mental Health Clinic, and Genesee Mental Health Clinic. Four interns are placed within clinics treating adult (18+) clients. The psychiatric characteristics of clients treated includes the full diagnostic range of the DSM-5. Interns across clinics have the opportunity to conduct individual therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. Interns will also engage in psychological assessment in order to provide differential diagnoses and recommendations for ongoing treatment/referrals. Interns will learn efficient evaluation and report writing procedures. Interns at RRH work closely with a multi-disciplinary team of licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, substance abuse counselors, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychiatrists. Interns are assigned to teams of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and therapists for weekly case discussions and clinical presentations. This track allows interns opportunities to provide consultation on behavioral health leadership projects and complete inpatient consultations and evaluations on an as needed basis. Lastly, interns are provided with leadership opportunities including presentations at staff meetings, best-practice presentations, practicum student supervision, and participation in program development and behavioral health research projects.
The RRH Child/Adolescent track will provide trainees with experience and training providing behavioral health services to children, adolescents, and young adults. Interns are placed at Genesee Mental Health Child and Youth Clinic, an outpatient mental health clinic providing diagnostic and treatment services to individuals ages 5-18. The clinic includes a multidisciplinary team of licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychiatrists. Interns placed at this site are integrated into the multidisciplinary team and work with the team to address individual mental health needs and improve family functioning. Interns attend weekly team meetings and clinical rounds. Interns carry a caseload of individual clients and have the opportunity to conduct both individual therapy and family therapy. Interns are provided with training and opportunities to implement the following evidence-based treatments with children, adolescents, and their families; CBT, DBT, MI, ACT, and trauma-informed practices. The psychiatric characteristics of clients treated includes the full diagnostic range of the DSM-5 and clients presenting to the clinic represent a diverse patient population with respect to age, race, ethnicity, sex, and gender. In addition to therapy work, interns will also engage in psychological assessment in order to provide differential diagnoses and recommendations for ongoing treatment/referrals. Interns will learn efficient evaluation and report writing procedures. Additionally, if aligned with intern goals, interns are provided opportunities to provide consultation to school-based teams, chemical dependency teams, and adult mental health settings. Lastly, interns are provided with leadership opportunities including presentations at staff meetings, best-practice presentations, practicum student supervision, and participation in program development and behavioral health research projects.
Neuropsychology interns at the Rochester Regional Health Neurosciences Institute receive supervision from a team of postdoctorally trained neuropsychologists who are also licensed psychologists. The interns conduct evaluations with a wide variety of neurological populations, with etiologies including ischemic stroke, cerebral hemorrhage, the spectrum of traumatic brain injuries (mTBI/concussion to severe), anoxic brain injury, brain tumor, metabolic and other encephalopathies, neurodegenerative disease/dementias, autoimmune neurologic disorders (such as multiple sclerosis), psychiatric disorders presenting with primary cognitive disorders and others. The age of patients served ranges from infant to geriatric. Interns will gain experience within our comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation program and our various outpatient clinics. Substance or alcohol abuse or other psychiatric conditions can be complicating factors that can be the main reason for evaluation or a significant aspect of the patient’s history.
Within the comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation program, interns will assess and treat the widest diversity of ages, neurological conditions, including etiologies noted above as well as traumatic or nontraumatic spinal cord injuries. Interns will learn efficient evaluation and report writing procedures and hone psychotherapy skills within the inpatient setting. There will also be opportunities to assess emotional functioning and provide psychotherapy with patients with non-neurological etiologies, such as orthopedic injuries or limb loss. Interdisciplinary collaboration and presentations at staff conferences are regular components of the intern’s inpatient rehabilitation experience.
The outpatient clinics provide opportunity for more comprehensive neuropsychological assessment with a variety of patient populations. The memory clinic provides neuropsychological evaluation with adult and geriatric patients to assist with differential diagnostic clarification including dementia subtypes versus other neurological or psychiatric factors. At the memory clinic, interns will collaborate with our neurology partners, including the opportunity to learn about advanced neuroimagery. In addition, the concussion clinic exposes the intern to the complexities of post-concussion disorder that can often have premorbid and psychological factors that may prolong and exacerbate the symptoms. Furthermore, the general outpatient neuropsychological clinic provides a context for training in comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation and report writing with a wide range of neurological patient populations. Interns may also provide psychotherapy with neurological patients in the outpatient context, addressing emotional adjustment, coping, and existential concerns.
Interns rotate through the inpatient program and all major outpatient clinics. In addition, they participate in didactics reviewing neuroanatomy, clinical disorders, as well as neuroradiology rounds. There are also opportunities for intern involvement in stroke and dementia support groups, as well as opportunities to supervise practicum/extern students.
Interns will receive training in the following evidence-based practices: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing (MI) and motivational enhancement therapy (MET) for addiction, relapse prevention, and integrated substance abuse and domestic violence (SADV) therapy. Training occurs through site-specific clinical trainings that occur at the beginning of the internship year, ongoing supervision by clinical supervisors, and a resource library for use by all trainees and staff.
Interns attend a weekly seminar series/didactics with clinical experts within the community. Interns will be able to observe and/or listen to presentations on diverse topics pertaining to current research on evidence based psychotherapy, assessment, consultation, trauma-informed practice, addiction research, ethics, professionalism, multiculturalism and diversity, interactive technologies, and telehealth as well as additional topics.
Research and Scholarship
All Interns are expected to conduct research at the internship sites through at least one ongoing “scholar project”, the focus of which is determined collaboratively between the primary supervisors and the intern. Interns are encouraged to focus their scholar project on substance use research and/or interactive technology. Interns are expected to develop rationale for their projects (i.e., a literature or evidence base), prepare a protocol for their projects (including submission to RIT IRB, if necessary), complete analyses of data related to their projects. Each internship site will orient interns to the amount of hours allocated to their scholar project.
Interns present their scholar project to their cohort, faculty, and community leaders at the end of internship. Interns also present their scholarly work at RIT’s Graduate Education Week and Showcase. Scholar projects can be:
Independent projects unique to interns’ interests and career goals
Unique approaches to existing work and projects at RIT clinical sites
Reviews of intersections of digital and mechanical approaches to mental health
Scholar projects cannot be:
The same project as intern dissertations
In addition to presentations, interns are encouraged to attend and submit to presentations at internal, regional, national, and international conferences. Interns are also encouraged to submit their scholarly work to publication. Should interns choose to submit their work to conferences or publications, there is support available to assist with this process.
The RIT internship program includes multiple opportunities for scholarly support, which are incorporated into the curriculum. Interns will be assisted with their scholar projects by onsite supervisors and may attend research supervision meetings. Orientation to digital technology and mental health (e.g., eHealth) and supportive staff at RIT occurs throughout didactics, as seminars taught by specialists in engineering, computer science, and other disciplines who work in multidisciplinary digital mental health projects. Interns are supported in their interest to work or consult with any of these professionals. Additionally, the RIT Priority Behavioral Health Clinic internship site includes an optional, weekly personalized healthcare technology meeting to discuss digital technology and mental health projects with a team of game developers, medical illustrators, and psychologists.
2020 Winner in the Substance Abuse poster presentation category: Examining Perceptions of Therapeutic Alliance and Treatment Outcomes in a Sample of Substance Using Offenders of IPV https://vimeo.com/471535602
2020 Winner in the Psychology, Relationships, and Mental Health II poster presentation category: Psychosocial consequences of COVID-19 among college students https://vimeo.com/471097048
Interns may work with RIT faculty on substance use and violence research as well as research focusing on incorporating advancements in technology within clinical care. Intern may be involved in grant funded clinical research focused on the development of efficacious treatments for addiction, trauma, and violence including psychotherapy treatment trials. Interns have the opportunity to attend research seminars, meetings, and writing scholarly projects with faculty associated with addiction-focused NIH-funded or foundation funded research located within CHST’s School of Behavioral Health. Visit our website Forensic, Addiction and Violence Research with Interactive Technologies.
Local, National and International Research and Scholarship
All Interns receive at least 4 hours of supervision per week. Interns are provided two hours of individual supervision by a licensed psychologist who oversees the interns’ clinical work at their clinical sites. All interns participate in 1 hour of group supervision from RIT and 1 hour of additional group supervision during their House of Mercy rotation. The following is a breakdown of how each site provides at least 1 additional hour of supervision.
All interns at RIT and all interns assigned to the House of Mercy rotation participate in House of Mercy weekly clinic rounds for one hour each week. This group supervision consists of clinical case presentations of new intakes along with treatment planning and review of interns’ active cases.
Interns at CCSI and RIT all participate in 1 hour of group supervision in weekly clinic rounds at RIT Priority Clinic which focuses on clinical case presentations regarding interns’ clients.
Interns in the RRH Adult and Child/Adolescent tracks all receive one hour of individual supervision with a licensed mental health professional.
Interns at Hillside participate in an additional 1 hour of group supervision focusing on case presentations, treatment/discharge planning and coordination of care.
Interns at RRH Neuro participate in an additional 2 hours individual supervision from a licensed psychologist focusing on reviewing and interpreting assessment results.
Dr. Dehon is a licensed psychologist and internship supervisor working with Hillside Children’s Center. Dr. Dehon is the senior psychologist for Hillside Children's Center's residential program, where he has worked for the last 16 years. Dr Dehon works with children between the ages of 5 and 22 who have emotional and/or behavioral difficulties. He works closely with families in the treatment of their children.
Dr. Damann is a leader on the neuropsychology team. She diagnoses and treats the varied cognitive and psychological needs of patients with neurological conditions. She specializes in evaluating and treating patients with concussion, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to her general outpatient practice, Dr. Damann serves as a consultant to the Memory Center, the Concussion Clinic, and the inpatient brain injury unit at Golisano Restorative Neurology & Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Damann completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, where she also competed in intercollegiate basketball and was named an Academic All-American. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University at Albany, and completed a two year post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at Comprehensive Neuropsychological Services in Albany, NY. She is board certified in clinical neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). Dr. Damann is an active member in numerous local and national neuropsychology organizations. She regularly conducts professional presentations on a number of topics, including brain injury, memory disorders, and emotional adjustment to neurological conditions. Dr. Damann enjoys supervising psychology graduate students, and she holds an appointment as a clinical instructor for medical residents at the University of Rochester in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department.
Tanya R. Grace, PsyD
Tanya R. Grace, PhD
Dr. Grace's approach to patient care is comprehensive and individualized. She gained an extensive history from her patients to be able to design an individualized assessment to their unique concerns/difficulties which allows her to provide the most appropriate neuropsychological diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Dr. Grace attended college at SUNY Oswego and obtained her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology (with a specialization in neuropsychology) from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. Dr. Grace completed her neuropsychology internship at Emory University School of Medicine/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, prior to a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Florida Hospital/Walt Disney Pavilion in Orlando, FL. She returned to Rochester to bring her clinical skills and training to the Rochester area. She has extensive pediatric experience working in multiple neurodevelopmental, medical/neurological, and psychology settings with children as young as toddlers. Her love for working with older adults and the geriatric population stems from her many years of experience working at a state-funded memory center in Florida. She also provides clinical assessment and care to adults who are suffering from a range of neuropsychological concerns.
Melinda Ann Patterson, PsyD
Melinda Patterson, PsyD
Dr. Patterson is a Clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in clinical interviewing, clinical and forensic neuropsychological assessment, and development of treatment plans and intervention for a wide variety of brain-based disorders. Dr. Patterson works with individuals across the lifespan. She is an alumna of Georgetown University (2006) and earned her doctorate degree in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of La Verne (2014). Her training emphasized a systems approach and an emphasis on prevention, as well as intervention, and she carries these perspectives in all of her clinical and supervisory work. After completing all of her pre- and post-doctoral training in Southern California, she worked in private practice in the Los Angeles area. Dr. Patterson joined Rochester Regional Health’s Neuroscience Institute in 2020. That year, she also joined the supervision team for the RIT Priority Behavioral Health internship. Dr. Patterson’s clinical specialties include developmental disabilities, learning disorders, concussion, and diagnoses related to aging, including dementias and stroke. She is passionate about supervising, mentoring, and teaching budding psychologists. She is also an adjunct Faculty Instructor at the University of Rochester.
William Schneider, PhD
William Schneider, PhD
Dr. Schneider provides oversight and vision for our expanding neuropsychology services. From a clinical perspective, he specializes in pediatric and adult neuropsychological assessment and brain injury rehabilitation. He works to promote optimal cognitive outcomes after brain injuries, focusing on behavioral management in rehabilitation. He also acts as a liaison and consults with schools and educational programs. He has conducted collaborative research over the years with his medical and neuropsychological colleagues on the topics of pharmacotherapy for enhancing cognitive outcome and functioning in traumatic brain injury. His extensive list of research and presentations include topics in cognitive and behavioral disorders and rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury. Dr. Schneider earned his B.A. in Psychology from Wheaton College and his PhD in Clinical Psychology, APA Accredited Program from the Biola University, Rosemead School of Psychology in La Mirada, California. His APA-accredited doctoral internship was completed at Pine Rest Christian Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan; his post-doctoral Fellowship in Rehabilitation and Neuropsychology was completed at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. Dr. Schneider is actively involved in graduate psychology and medical education. He has maintained a clinical appointment at the University of Rochester Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for over 20 years, where he provides training, gives lectures and helps lead journal club for a group of medical residents in rehabilitation medicine. He has also been supervising graduate psychology students for over two decades as an agency supervisor for the State University of New York at Brockport Masters in Psychology Program.
Garry Spink, PhD
Garry Spink, PhD
Dr. Spink received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Syracuse University. He completed his doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship with Rochester Institute of Technology and Rochester Regional Health. He joined Rochester Regional Health as a psychologist in July 2020. At this time, he serves as the primary site supervisor for interns placed at Rochester Regional Health Adult Outpatient clinics. Dr. Spink’s clinical focus falls in the broad category of Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine; however, his overall focus is on assessment and treatment of people with chronic pain. Dr. Spink also has experience helping people with neurological conditions, fatigue, gastroenterological conditions, cardiovascular disease, sleep, and stress management. While Dr. Spink’s primary area of practice is in chronic pain and illness, he also consults and does work with personality disorders.
Elizabeth Meeker, PsyD
Garry Spink, PhD
Dr. Elizabeth Meeker, Senior Director, System and Practice Transformation at CCSI, leads a team of talented professionals who provide training, coaching, consultation and practical tools to make trauma-responsive practices a living, breathing part of systems, organizations and daily work. She is a seasoned consultant working with a broad range of healthcare and human service organizations to implement and integrate practice change initiatives to improve outcomes and sustain change. Dr. Meeker also serves on the CCSI Talent and Culture Team charged with developing strategies, resources, and professional development for all CCSI employees in the areas of talent management and learning; organizational wellness and trauma informed practices; corporate compliance and business ethics; diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racist practices. In addition, she is a Qualified Teacher of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with a particular focus on enhancing staff wellness. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and has a private clinical practice specializing in children, adolescents and young adults. Dr. Meeker completed her doctoral internship training at Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse, NY and received her PsyD in Clinical Psychology from Indiana State University, a MS in Psychology from Indiana State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wellesley College.
Additional Training Faculty
Brian Amos, PhD
Briannon O’Connor, PhD
Taylor Tuttle, PsyD
Didactic Seminar Series
Interns receive 2 hours of didactic training each week. Didactic training is incorporated to further support interns’ continued growth and development. Didactic training includes training provided by RIT faculty, consortium supervisors, and experts and professionals from the community. Didactic training focuses on the training program competencies and includes topics such as; multiculturalism and diversity; professionalism; evidence-based therapy; assessment and report writing; trauma-informed care; self-care and vicarious trauma; substance use prevention, intervention, recovery, and research; forensic psychology; consultation; program evaluation; ethics; interactive technology; additional special topics.
Stipends are provided in the amount of $28,352. A health insurance stipend will be provided for full health coverage under RIT’s student policy. Interns are eligible to enroll in student health coverage. Interns will be provided with office space, computers, and access to RIT’s IT and administrative support.
Application Process and Selection Criteria
Students interested in applying for the internship program should submit an online application through the APPIC website (www.appic.org). Interviews are preferred to occur in person, but other arrangements may be made (e.g., Zoom) depending on the circumstances.
Application due date: December 1st
A complete application consists of the following materials, which are all part of the online AAPI:
Completed Online AAPI
Current Curriculum Vitae
Three Standardized Reference Forms, two of which must be from persons who have directly supervised your clinical work. Please submit no more than three letters
Official transcripts of all graduate coursework
Supplementary materials: One full integrated assessment report (please redact appropriately) *All samples must be de-identified, removing all identifying client information. Breaches of confidentiality within submitted samples will disqualify your application for further consideration and your program’s Director of Clinical Training will be notified.
All application materials must be received by the APPIC deadline in order to be considered. Applicants who are invited to interview will be notified by email. Interviews will be scheduled in January/February and will occur either in person or via videoconference. Phone interviews will be provided in cases where videoconference is not an option.
The program bases its selection process on the entire application package noted above; however, applicants who have met the following qualifications prior to beginning internship are considered preferred:
Preferred. Minimum of 400 intervention hours (experience with CBT, MET, DBT, Trauma-Focused Interventions)
Preferred. Minimum of 200 assessment hours (experience administering cognitive, neuropsychological, personality measures with experience in integrative Report Writing)
Preferred. Dissertation proposal defended or data collected/ date set.
Interest in Telehealth and Interactive Technologies
Some experience or special interest in working with diverse populations
In addition to the above consortium-wide preferences, RIT will consider specific aspects of the applicant’s experience, interests, and training goals in determining an applicant’s potential “fit” with individual clinical training sites. Applicants are encouraged to carefully review the descriptions of the training sites and to highlight areas of perceived fit within their cover letters.
In general, the internship program prefers that interns have completed intervention hours that include experience with CBT, MET, DBT, and/or Trauma Focused interventions. In terms of assessment experience, the program looks for experience administering such measures as the WISC, WAIS, WMS, MMPI, and the PAI as well as experience with integrated report writing.
Each site also has its own preferences for practicum experiences which are as follows:
CCSI looks for applicants who have research experience and proficiency in conducting clinical research and consultation.
Hillside prefers applicants who have practicum experience with children and adolescents and youth exposed to trauma.
RIT Priority Clinic prefers applicants with outpatient practicum experiences.
Rochester Regional Health (RRH) Outpatient Behavioral Health (Adult) Track also prefers applicants with prior outpatient practicum experiences.
Rochester Regional Health (RRH) Outpatient Behavioral Health (Child/Adolescent) Track seeks applicants with outpatient and/or school-based therapy experience.
Rochester Regional Health (RRH) Neuropsychology at the Neuroscience Institute Track requires applicants have previous practicum experience in neuropsychology.
All interns who match must successfully pass a background check conducted by RIT, as well as obtain a TB test, before beginning employment. Clinical sites may require site specific clearances, background checks, and/or drug testing. All interns are required to abide by COVID-19 policies set by RIT and their specific training sites, which currently includes COVID-19 vaccination and compliance with required personal protective equipment. Applicants are advised that the internship requires regular travel between training sites, and thus Interns must have consistent access to reliable transportation.
This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant.
Questions regarding the selection process may be directed to the Internship Training Director, Dr. Caroline Easton, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information regarding the internship program, please see the internship handbook.
With regard to intern behavior and performance during the training year, the general expectations of RIT’s internship program are that the intern will:
Operate within the bounds of the laws and regulations of the New York state
Adhere to the policies and procedures of Rochester Institute of Technology
Adhere to the policies and procedures of intern’s assigned tracks
Formal evaluations are completed 3 times a year, during the year and serve as a review of progress on training goals and core competencies. To progress in the program and to successfully complete the program, Interns must demonstrate minimum levels of achievement across all required elements. Evaluations are conducted using a standard rating form, which includes comment spaces where supervisors include specific written feedback regarding the Interns’ performance and progress. Supervisors will review these evaluations with the Interns and provide an opportunity for discussion if the Intern has questions or concerns about the feedback. Copies of all evaluations are found in the internship handbook linked on this website.
A minimum level of achievement at the 1st and 2nd evaluation time points are defined as a rating of “3” (Intermediate Competence) for each element. The rating scale for each evaluation is a 5-point Likert scale. If an Intern receives a score less than 3 on any element, or if supervisors have reason to be concerned about the Intern’s performance or progress, the program’s Due Process procedures will be initiated. The Due Process guidelines can be found in the internship handbook. A minimum level of achievement at the 3rd evaluation time point (end of the training year) is defined as a rating of “4” (Proficient Competence) for each element. Meeting the minimum level of achievement at the end of the year includes having; 1) the ability to independently function in a broad range of clinical and professional activities; 2) the ability to generalize skills and knowledge to new situations; 3) the ability to self-assess when to seek additional training, supervision or consultation.
Additionally, Interns are expected to complete 2000 hours of training during the internship year. Meeting the hours requirement and obtaining minimum levels of achievement on evaluations demonstrates that the Intern has progressed satisfactorily through and completed the internship program. Evaluations will be maintained by the Training Director and will be accessible to the Intern for future review if requested. Feedback to the Interns’ home doctoral program is provided at the 2nd evaluation time point and at the culmination of the internship year. Doctoral programs are contacted within one month following the end of the internship year and informed that the Intern has successfully completed the program.
If successful completion of the program comes into question at any point during the internship year, or if an Intern enters into the formal review step of the due process procedures due to a grievance by a supervisor or an inadequate rating on an evaluation, the home doctoral program will also be contacted. This contact is intended to ensure that the home doctoral program is kept engaged in order to support an intern who may be having difficulties during the internship year. The home doctoral program is notified of any further action that may be taken by the internship program as a result of the due process procedures, up to and including termination from the Program. See the Due Process procedures outlined in the internship handbook for more information about the process of and conditions for termination.
HRSA Grant Funding
According to federal funding regulations, HRSA funded intern applicants are subject to additional eligibility criteria per Funding Opportunity Announcement (NOFO), HRSA19002. Intern applicants for the HRSA funded positions must be in an APA accredited program, a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national of the United States, or a foreign national who possesses a visa permitting permanent residence in the United States. Individuals on a temporary or student visa are not eligible for HRSA funded internship slots. Applicants will be required to verify their compliance with this citizen/visa status prior to award of any federal funding.
Training Clinical Psychology Interns to use Evidence-Based Care Models and Tele-Behavioral Health Technology to Treat OUD and SUD in Monroe County
The APA-accredited “Priority Behavioral Health Internship Program” at the College of Health Science and Technology (CHST) of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) proposes to increase the number of doctoral psychology interns trained to provide culturally-competent, interdisciplinary behavioral health and substance use services for the highly underserved communities of Monroe County in upstate New York. Monroe County is a rural area facing considerable behavioral health workforce challenges. The internship program is a key resource in the area both for providing behavioral healthcare to underserved citizens as well as providing high-quality interdisciplinary training.
The program aims to improve the doctoral psychology internship program’s capacity to train psychology interns in behavioral health and substance use prevention and treatment. Specifically, funding will be used to train 21 additional interns during the grant period, with 7 internship slots added in each grant year. Grant funding will allow for enhancement of the current interdisciplinary training in Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and other Substance Use Disorder (SUD), as well as the increased provision of training in tele-behavioral health. The specific, measurable objectives associated with the proposed project are as follows: 1) Between September 2019 and August 2022, add a total of 21 intern training positions with a focus on OUD/SUD services for underserved populations; 2) Between September 2019 and August 2022, the program’s existing integrated care training curriculum will be enhanced through the addition of new annual training activities and rotations; 3) By August 2022, the program will have improved its training of psychology interns in OUD/SUD through faculty development; 4) By August 2022, the local healthcare workforce will be expanded and enhanced through the retention of at least 60% of trainees. All project activities have been developed with an emphasis on training interns to provide culturally competent care for vulnerable, diverse, and underserved populations
This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under D40HP33360 and Graduate Psychology Education Programs as part of an award (Training Clinical Psychology Interns to use Evidence-Based Care Models and Tele-Behavioral Health Technology to Treat OUD and SUD in Monroe County) totaling $1,341,194 with 0% non-governmental sources. The information provided on this website is that of the internship program and director and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.
Expanding Evidence-Based Mental Health and Integration of Care Models among Children and Adolescents in Upstate New York via an Accredited Doctoral Psychology Internship Training Program
The APA-accredited “Priority Behavioral Health Internship Program” at the College of Health Science and Technology (CHST) of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) aims to increase training opportunities and the number of doctoral psychology interns trained to provide culturally-competent, interdisciplinary behavioral health services for children, adolescents, and transitional youth in highly underserved communities of Monroe County in upstate New York. Monroe County is facing considerable behavioral health workforce challenges. The internship program is a key resource in the area both for providing behavioral healthcare to underserved citizens as well as providing high-quality interdisciplinary training.
This project will improve the clinical psychology internship program’s capacity to train psychology interns in integrated behavioral health and primary care settings with a focus on the treatment of children, adolescents, and transitional age youth. Specifically, funding will be used to train32 additional interns during the grant period, with 6 internship slots in year 1, 6 internship slots in year 2, 10 internship slots in year 3, and 10 internship slots in year 4. Grant funding allows for enhancement of integrated care training as well as the increased provision of training in 1) utilizing advancements in technology within integrated treatment; 2) addressing co-occurring disorders (OUD/SUD and mental health) among youth, and 3) prevention and treatment related to violence exposure among youth. The specific, measurable objectives associated with the proposed project are as follows: 1) Between July 2021 and June 2025, add a total of 32 intern training positions with a focus on providing behavioral health services to children, adolescents, and transitional youth in integrated care settings; 2) Between July 2021 and June 2025, the program’s existing integrated care training curriculum will be enhanced through the addition of new annual training activities and rotations; 3) Between July 2021 and June 2025 the program will have improved its training of psychology interns in integrated care through faculty development; 4) By June 2025, the local healthcare workforce will be expanded and enhanced through the retention of at least 50% of trainees. All project activities have been developed with an emphasis on training interns to provide culturally competent care for vulnerable, diverse, and underserved children, adolescents, and transitional age youth.
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA-21-089) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,510,162 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The information provided on this website is that of the internship program and director and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.
Internship Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data
Date Program Tables updated: 08/01/2022
Does the program or institution require students, trainees, and/or staff (faculty) to comply with specific policies or practices related to the institution’s affiliation or purpose? Such policies or practices may include, but are not limited to, admissions, hiring, retention policies, and/or requirements for completion that express mission and values?
Internship Program Admissions
Briefly describe in narrative form important information to assist potential applicants in assessing their likely fit with your program. This description must be consistent with the program’s policies on intern selection and practicum and academic preparation requirements:
In general, the internship program prefers that interns have completed intervention hours that include experience with CBT, MET, DBT, and/or Trauma Focused interventions. In terms of assessment experience, the program looks for experience administering such measures as the WISC, WAIS, WMS, MMPI, and the PAI as well as experience with integrated report writing. Additionally, the internship program prefers individuals who 1) have their dissertation data collected or have defended their dissertation, 2) have an interest in telehealth and interactive technologies, and 3) have some experience or special interest in working with diverse populations.
Does the program require that applicants have received a minimum number of hours of the following at time of application? If Yes, indicate how many:
Total Direct Contact Intervention Hours
Amount: 200 hours
Total Direct Contact Assessment Hours
Amount: 400 hours
Financial and Other Benefit Support for Upcoming Training Year*
Annual Stipend/Salary for Full-time Interns
Annual Stipend/Salary for Half-time Interns
Program provides access to medical insurance for intern?
If access to medical insurance is provided:
Trainee contribution to cost required?
Coverage of family member(s) available?
Coverage of legally married partner available?
Coverage of domestic partner available?
Hours of Annual Paid Personal Time Off (PTO and/or Vacation)
Hours of Annual Paid Sick Leave
In the event of medical conditions and/or family needs that require extended leave, does the program allow reasonable unpaid leave to interns/residents in excess of personal time off and sick leave?
Other Benefits (please describe):
*Note: Programs are not required by the Commission on Accreditation to provide all benefits listed in this table.
Initial Post-Internship Positions
(Provide an Aggregated Tally for the Preceding 3 Cohorts)
Total # of interns who were in the 3 cohorts
Total # of interns who did not seek employment because they returned to their doctoral program/are completing doctoral degree
Community mental health center
University Counseling Center
Veterans Affairs Health Care System
Health maintenance organization
Independent practice setting
Note: “PD” = Post-doctoral residency position; “EP” = Employed Position. Each individual represented in this table should be counted only one time. For former trainees working in more than one setting, select the setting that represents their primary position.
Past Intern Cohorts
Top left to right: Taylor Dreste, Jacob Wadsworth, Jonathan ‘Tory’ Toole
Bottom left to right: Alesia Allen, Courtney Chappell, Anna Pignatiello, Rupa Kalahasthi
Top left to right: Melissa Morton, Kayla Kleinman, Alexis Liberto, Martha Golubski,
Alessandra Perez, Jenna Steinmiller, Kane Williams, Justin Gardner, John Mansoor
Bottom left to right: Stephanie Rovig, Mary Moussa Rogers, Celeste Sangiorgio
From Left to Right: Tim Baer, Eljada Gjoka, Dustin Haraden, Noora Abdulkerim,
Jaime Blackmon, Constance Rose, Thomas Chacko, Leah Ward, Siena Tugendrajch,
Johnathan Wright, Joanne Raptis, Kayci Hauser
From Left to Right: Mini Mathai, Kalpana Sundaram, Marielsy Pimentel, Kristy Kelley,
Deon Allen, Qian Li