National Academies and CDC Convene Expert Panel Chaired by PAU Professor Ricardo F. Muñoz, Ph.D.

September 16, 2020

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has named Ricardo F. Muñoz, Ph.D., distinguished professor of clinical psychology at Palo Alto University, chair of an expert panel to assist the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the development and dissemination of interactive web-based tools to meet the behavioral health needs of parents, children, and adolescents during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Building on prior National Academies’ work by its Board on Children, Youth, and Families (BCYF), the experts will distill the research evidence on cognitive behavioral skills for reducing stress and anxiety so they can be used during the coronavirus pandemic and future stressful situations.  The experts will guide a developer in the creation of a suite of web-based tools to ensure scientific rigor. The website will be available free of charge in Spanish and English to anyone in the world. The tools will be hosted on the National Academies’ website.
“Dr. Maureen O’Connor, President of Palo Alto University, began encouraging our faculty to contribute our psychological expertise to the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as it hit our shores.  Many have been sharing their knowledge widely at the local and national level. The NASEM/CDC invitation was an opportunity to join an effort with the potential to reach Spanish- and English-speaking families across the nation and beyond.  The project fits well with the mission of Palo Alto University’s Institute for International Internet Interventions for Health.”  
Ricardo F. Muñoz, Ph.D. (Chair) is distinguished professor of clinical psychology at Palo Alto University and professor of psychology emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, based at San Francisco General Hospital’s department of psychiatry since 1977. He is also adjunct clinical professor at the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University. He is the founding director of Palo Alto University’s Institute for International Internet Interventions for Health (i4Health), which has as its mission to develop, evaluate, and disseminate digital health interventions worldwide at no charge for all who want to use them. He specializes in the prevention and treatment of depression and in smoking cessation. He has served on three previous National Academies consensus committees on the prevention of mental disorders. He was inducted as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science “for distinguished contributions towards the prevention of major depression and the development of Internet interventions to improve mental health worldwide.” He earned his B.A. in psychology at Stanford University and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon.
Expert Panel:
  • Ricardo F. Muñoz (Chair), Palo Alto University
  • Angela Chiu, Weill Cornell Medicine/New York Presbyterian Hospital
  • Rosalie Corona, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Noni Gaylord-Harden, Texas A&M University
  • Kimberly E. Hoagwood, New York University
  • Bernadette M. Melnyk, The Ohio State University
  • David Mohr, Northwestern University
  • Victoria O’Keefe, Johns Hopkins University
  • Russell Toomey, University of Arizona
  • Erlanger “Earl” Turner, Pepperdine University
Palo Alto University (PAU), a private, non-profit university located in the heart of Northern California’s Silicon Valley, is dedicated to addressing pressing and emerging issues in the fields of psychology and counseling that meet the needs of today’s diverse society. PAU offers undergraduate and graduate programs that are led by faculty who make significant contributions to in their field. Online, hybrid and residential program options are available . PAU was founded in 1975 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology and re-incorporated as Palo Alto University in August 2009. PAU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).  PAU’s doctoral programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and its master’s in counseling programs by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).