Olga Acosta Price, Ph.D. is director of the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, and is associate professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health at the University. She is a clinical psychologist with postdoctoral training in school mental health. Dr. Acosta Price has a strong interest in prevention and early intervention programs that address the mental health needs of children and their families, and has developed, implemented and evaluated programs promoting mental health and resilience conducted in school and community settings. She began her professional career as associate director of the Center for School Mental Health Assistance, a national technical assistance center, and assistant professor at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. Upon her departure from Baltimore, she accepted a position as the director of the School Mental Health Program (SMHP) at the Department of Mental Health in Washington, DC. As founding director, Dr. Acosta Price launched comprehensive school-based mental health programs in more than 30 public charter and DC public schools over six years. She managed all aspects of program development, implementation, evaluation, quality improvement, and staff training and supervision on this model of service delivery, while overseeing an annual budget of over four million dollars.
Currently Dr. Acosta Price is director of the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools. In this position she provides leadership and direction to the Center in an effort to impact the development and quality of school health services across the U.S. The position requires that she advise government officials as well as leaders in education systems and health care institutions on how to provide integrated, cost-effective and high quality health programs in schools, train professionals in best practices in school health, and inform policymakers and the public on alternative approaches in school-based health care. She also teaches graduate students in public health on ways to advance and sustain effective school health and mental health strategies to support population-level outcomes.
Dr. Acosta Price has advocated for the expansion of school-connected and community-based prevention and intervention approaches across the US, with a focus on strengthening systems to ensure education and health equity for vulnerable populations. She is currently the chair of the board of directors for the Coalition of School Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), a steering committee member of the national Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and co-chair of the DC Task Force on School Mental Health, among other advisory roles. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on children’s mental health and school-based services and has presented at national conferences and meetings on children’s health. Dr. Acosta Price has won numerous awards and recognitions throughout her career including the Department of Mental Health 2003 Employee of the Year Award and the 2009 DC Mental Health Association Champions Award. Olga Acosta Price received her Masters and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and her undergraduate degree in psychology from Vassar College.