Meet the Team

The TCTTAC initiative is a project of the DOHMH Bureau of Mental Health, operated in partnership with Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) at Columbia Psychiatry and the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc., at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and with Dr. Jill Williams from Rutgers University. Meet TCTTAC’s key staff below.


Medical Director

Dr. Williams is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Robert Wood
Johnson Medical School and Director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry in New Jersey. Dr. Williams is an expert in tobacco addiction and treatments and has conducted several biobehavioral, translational, and clinical trials regarding smoking in individuals with serious mental illness. She has extensive experience leading training sessions on tobacco treatment and
designing organizational change models to promote smoking cessation at behavioral health agencies.


Program Director

Dr. Covell is also the Project Director for the Focus on Integrated
Treatment (FIT) Initiative
and the Associate Director for
Implementation Support Systems for the Center for Practice
and Associate Professor of Clinical Medical
Psychology (in Psychiatry) Department of Psychiatry, Columbia
Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with more than 20 years of experience supporting behavioral healthcare programs as they implement integrated treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use, including tobacco.


Senior Implementation Specialist

Mr. Foster is also the Senior Implementation Specialist for the
Focus on Integrated Treatment (FIT) Initiative at the Center for
Practice Innovations.
In addition to co-facilitating the Addressing
Tobacco Learning Collaborative with NYS-operated agencies, Mr.
Foster is a highly sought-after Motivational Interviewing trainer.
Mr. Foster has also provided training and implementation
support around integrated treatment to behavioral health
programs and State Mental Health Authorities in Connecticut,
Vermont, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Minnesota, Oregon, New York,
New Jersey and Virginia.


Implementation Specialist

Mr. Lipton is also an Implementation Specialist for the Focus on Integrated Treatment (FIT) Initiative and the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Institute at the Center for Practice Innovations. Mr. Lipton is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who, prior to joining CPI’s staff, worked in a NYC-based PROS program as a senior Social Worker and was coordinator for Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment. In those roles, he provided training and coaching to staff around skills such as motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy. He currently co-facilitates the tobacco use disorder learning collaborative within NYS-operated agencies and the Wellness Self-Management Plus (WSM+) Learning Collaborative for PROS programs.