Terika McCall, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., recently joined the Yale School of Public Health as an assistant professor in the Department of Biostatistics, Health Informatics. McCall focuses on reducing disparities in mental health services through technology. Specifically, she examines the using telehealth to deliver mental health services and resources to underserved communities. Outside of public health, she is a fan of music and movies and plays the drums and the bass guitar. She took some time out of her busy schedule to tell a little about herself.
Describe in general terms your area of expertise and what you are currently working on.
TM: My research focuses on reducing disparities in mental health service utilization through use of technology. Specifically, I examine the acceptability of using telehealth modalities to deliver mental health services and resources to traditionally underserved communities. I employ a user-centered design approach, including usability testing, to develop culturally informed digital health tools. Currently, I am developing a mobile app to support self-management of anxiety and depression in Black women. I also collaborate on a R01-funded research study, led by Dr. Karen Wang, to develop the personal health library mobile app for formerly incarcerated individuals.
What are your longer-term goals in public health?
TM: The work that I do is interdisciplinary and focuses on issues related to the acceptance, development and use of mHealth applications. My long-term career goal is to develop and implement technology-based tools to increase access to culturally informed mental health services and resources for underserved communities. To ensure digital health equity, we must develop and provide tools that address the specific needs of the most vulnerable in the community and reject a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
How did you first become interested in this field?
TM: I became interested in the digital mental health field after realizing the great need for mental health care within my community in Miami, Florida, and learning how technology can be leveraged to increase access to affordable care and culturally appropriate resources.
How do you feel about joining the Yale School of Public Health?
TM: I am excited to join the YSPH family. YSPH’s mission is to “catalyze health for all through innovative and collaborative science, learning and action.” I believe the most innovative and effective interventions and inventions are created in inclusive and collaborative environments, and that is what we strive for at YSPH.
What is one word that describes you, and why?
TM: Tenacious. When I am passionate about something, I work with focused determination, especially when it involves helping people to access health services and resources.
What are some of your interests and activities beyond academia?
TM: I love music, movies and traveling. I play the drums and bass guitar. Pre-pandemic, I went to a lot of concerts, and the movie theater twice a week. I also love learning about different cultures and traveling to new places. I will find the best ice cream anywhere I go.