Speakers: Wendy Marie Ingram, PhD,
Wendy Marie Ingram, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Dragonfly Mental Health
Wendy Marie Ingram, PhD, is the Chief Executive Officer of Dragonfly Mental Health, a global nonprofit dedicated to cultivating excellent mental health among academics worldwide. In only two years, Dragonfly has developed and deployed evidence-based programming reaching more than 20,000 academics in 15 countries through delivery of more than 150 discrete programs and has designed and launched an innovative comprehensive program which aims to sustainably revolutionize the mental health culture and climate for academics at all career levels. She serves as the second Chair of the American Medical Informatics Association’s (AMIA) Mental Health Informatics Working Group and helped spearhead the launch of AMIA’s flagship Podcast, “For Your Informatics”, serving as both producer and host. She received dual degrees at the University of Arizona in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics & Psychology, received her PhD from the University of California Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, and completed a National Institutes of Mental Health T32 funded postdoctoral fellowship in Psychiatric Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Mental Health. Her mental health informatics research has advanced the understanding of electroconvulsive therapy and treatment resistant depression by using Electronic Health Records (EHRs), genetic data, and other alternative datasets. She has nearly 10 years of experience consulting for digital mental health companies that aim to improve access and accuracy of mental health services. Her unique career path allows her to seamlessly blend her expertise and knowledge from research, industry, and nonprofit sectors in ground-breaking ways to improve mental health literacy, culture, intervention, and implementation.
Mental Health and Informatics: Promises, Challenges, and the Surprising Power of Unusual Career Paths
Mental Health Informatics is an emerging and greatly needed discipline. The mental illness epidemic has most recently been highlighted and prioritized by the US Surgeon General in an official Advisory Statement and by the President of the United States in the State of the Union Address as an undeniable pervansive issue which requires immediate and effective action. Tragically, mental health lags far behind other specializations of health informatics. While mental illnesses, just like physical illnesses, are due to both biological and environmental factors, they stand apart due to a variety of complexities that complicate the access and applicability of standard informatics approaches that have propelled forward the concept of learning healthcare systems, the development of deep biological and systematic insights, and the acceleration of innovation in clinical care, which the treatment of many other illnesses have benefited from in recent years. These complexities stem from limited understanding of neurobiological mechanisms of disease, entrenched clinical practices, lack of biological diagnostic testing, subjectivity of the meaning of recovery, privacy and ethical issues, and most dramatically, societal stigma and discrimination. Dr. Ingram will discuss these issues and more in her keynote address, presenting her own informatics research investigating electroconvulsive therapy and treatment resistant depression, as well as highlighting others’ excellent work in the field. Insights gained throughout her nearly two decades of research experience ranging from molecules to populations, and involving research, industry consulting, and social entrepreneurship will be shared throughout.