Assistant Professor, Research Division, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Dr. van den Berk-Clark has over 15 years of community and human service experience in urban centers including St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. Her work in these communities focused on improving the quality of life, well-being and health outcomes of low-income African American residents. While receiving her doctorate at UCLA, she conducted a 4-year ethnographic study of homeless living on skid row. She also was employed as a health science administrator at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration (VA) where she worked with the National Director of Justice Programs on a range of different implementation studies of VA programs for homeless and incarcerated veterans. She later moved back to St. Louis to embark on additional post-doctoral training in psychiatric epidemiology at Washington University's School of Medicine (Department of Psychiatry). There she received extensive training in psychiatric epidemiology, behavioral economics and addictions research. Since arriving at Saint Louis University, Carissa's research has focused on access to and utilization of health services by vulnerable groups. She uses approaches focused on system level barriers as well as individual barriers such as factors affecting "rational choice" like poverty, stigma, trauma exposure and substance use.
In addition, Dr. van den Berk-Clark serves as a Research Scientist at the Community Academic Partnership for Addictions, Washington University Brown School of Social Work.
Dr. van den Berk-Clark enjoys sewing, the local arts community and fiction writing as well as spending time with her husband Ben, their daughter Ramona and dog Gorilla.