School of Nursing
Dr. Patty Ferssizidis is Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Ferssizidis’ research and practice interests focus on psychosocial aspects of health promotion primarily in the areas of substance use, trauma, and anxiety. She is also interested in identifying optimal training approaches to prepare the current and future workforce to support integrated behavioral health as well as adaptation of evidence-based programming to special populations to increase their effectiveness with different groups.
Ferssizidis has expertise in the areas of areas of behavioral health integration, Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), Motivational Interviewing for behavior change, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. She utilizes these skill sets to work across the healthcare system to promote and support behavioral health program implementation and evaluation. In her work, Dr. Ferssizidis collaborates with a variety of healthcare organizations and community-service boards across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Social Work Training Instructor
Dr. Carol Cleaveland is an Associate Professor of Social Work at George Mason University. She has been researching Latino immigration since 2004, when she began working with Mexican day laborers in Freehold, N.J., to understand how they negotiated police harassment and anti-immigrant ordinances. Since 2013, her work has focused on Latinas from Central America and immigration-related trauma, including experiences in human smuggling. A recent study of a clinic-based sample (n=61) found that Latina immigrants had a rate of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 10 times higher than would be found among an American sample in a typical year. Dr. Cleaveland also provides pro bono psychosocial assessments for Central American immigrants in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area for USCIS court hearings. She teaches SOCW 674 Psychopathology, SOCW 645 Community Clinical Practice and SOCW 653 Immigration Policy. Dr. Cleaveland also serves as a training coordinator for Mason’s VA SBIRT grant.
Health Administration and Policy
Sanja Avramovic is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy at George Mason University. Her research focus is on big data sets available through electronic health records; health informatics; and developing an efficient and scalable algorithm for variable selection and predictions. She is interested in examining the association of antibiotics and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) with mortality; and the risks to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among veterans. She worked on developing an index for mortality calculation based on Naïve Bayesian Networks. Also, using a Veteran Administration data set she conducted a retrospective cohort study to describe clinical characteristics and outcomes associated with Clostridium difficile infection. She analyzed data provided by National Cancer Institute, mapped codes into Unified Medical Language System identifiers and ran a machine learning method on the prepared dataset.