Project Staff

Hilo, Hawaii Site Staff


Honolulu, Hawaii Site Staff

Charmaine Higa-McMillan, Ph.D.
    Director, BEST for Keiki Program
Site Principal Investigator, University of Hawaii

Dr. Charmaine Higa-McMillan is an Associate Professor of Psychology and an Affiliate Faculty Member in the Center for Rural Health Sciences at UH-Hilo. Dr. Higa-McMillan is the Director of the BEST (Bridging Evidence and Services Together) for Keiki Program, which examines ways to build better bridges between science and practice in youth mental health. Her research examines the nature of stress, anxiety, and depression in children and adolescents as well as mental health services for children and adolescents in public mental health systems including the dissemination and implementation of treatment programs with empirical support into community and school-based settings. Dr. Higa-McMillan was born and raised on the Big Island and as such, she is dedicated to enhancing the mental health services that local children and adolescents receive.

Amelia Kotte, Ph.D.
Honolulu Project Coordinator/Postdoctoral Fellow

Amelia Kotte, Ph.D. joined the University of Hawaii in 2013 as the Honolulu Project Coordinator/Postdoctoral Fellow for the Ohana Heroes Project. Dr. Kotte received her Ph.D. in 2011 from the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and completed her internship at the Medical University of South Carolina/Charleston Consortium. She completed a research post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Her academic, research, and clinical interests focus on the biological and psychosocial correlates of stress as manifested in anxiety and mood disorders in child and adult populations. Dr. Kotte is also interested in treatment outcome and development, evidence-based treatments, and military psychology.


Katrina Ramsey, B.A.
Hilo Project Coordinator

Katrina Ramsey graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2015 with a BA in Psychology. She worked on the Ohana Heroes Project as a research assistant from 2013 until she filled the position of project coordinator in 2015. Her clinical and research interests include childhood anxiety and mood disorders, parenting problems, parent-child relational difficulties, and the influence of parenting styles and behavior, as well as parent psychopathology, on children’s health and psychosocial functioning. Katrina plans to pursue her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology to further support her career goals.