Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Chief of Psychology
Scott Wetzler, PhD, is Vice Chairman and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He also serves as Chief Operating Officer of University Behavioral Associates, and Executive Director of several substance abuse case management programs, a marriage education program, a family treatment and rehabilitation program, and a home health aide employment and training program.
Dr. Wetzler has published more than 100 articles and book chapters, and is the author of five books. His areas of research have focused on aggression dysregulation, anxiety and mood disorders, personality disorders, substance abuse, and the economics of behavioral care.
In addition to his scholarly activities, Dr. Wetzler has written two books for the general public on relationship topics: Living With the Passive-Aggressive Man (1992), published by Simon & Schuster and translated into German, Russian, Czech, Greek, Chinese and Japanese, and Is It You or Is It Me? How We Turn Our Feelings Inside Out and Blame Each Other (1998), with Diane Cole, published by HarperCollins and, translated into Norwegian.
Dr. Wetzler has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, including 20/20 and a recurring role on The View. He recently testified at Congress on the topic of substance abuse.
Director of Psychology Training
Simon A. Rego, PsyD, ABPP, ACT, is a Supervising Psychologist in the Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Department at Montefiore Medical Center and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He also serves as Director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Training Program at Montefiore Medical Center, and is a consultant to both the Institutional Review Board of the Biomedical Research Alliance of New York and the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore.
Dr. Rego has over 15 years of experience in using CBT and other evidence-based psychological treatments for anxiety, stress, and mood disorders, as well as insomnia and body focused repetitive behaviors. He completed his first two postdoctoral years at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, directed by Dr. Edna Foa, an internationally renowned expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders and creator of Prolonged Exposure therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and exposure and ritual prevention therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder and is Board Certified in Cognitive Behavioral Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology, Certified in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy by the Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies, and Certified as a Cognitive Therapy Trainer/Consultant by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He is also a Fellow of both the American Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology and the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.
Dr. Rego is a member of the Board of Directors of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, a Founding Member of the New York City Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Association, and President of the Cognitive Therapy Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. He is also Editor of Advances in Cognitive Therapy and Trauma Psychology News, a former section editor for The Clinical Psychologist, and a former Editorial Advisory Board member of Moodletter.com. He is also an ad hoc reviewer for several journals, including the American Journal of Psychotherapy, Assessment, CNS Spectrums, Cognitive & Behavioral Practice, Current Psychiatry, Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, Journal of Trauma Practice, and The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Dr. Rego has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters and given dozens of presentations and workshops on topics including panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarding, insomnia, depression, trichotillomania, stress management, and the use of evidence-based psychotherapies in training and practice. He is also currently completing a book on the treatment of OCD and a book on the treatment of Panic Disorder.
Dr. Rego also works with the media to educate the public about the latest mental health news using a simple, non-sensationalized approach and has been featured as an expert in many national outlets, including television (e.g. MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Show, CNN's American Morning, ABC's Good Morning America, CBS's Eye on New York, ABC's Eyewitness News, Fox News, Animal Planet's Confessions: Animal Hoarding, etc.), radio (e.g., NPR, 1010 WINS, WCBS, Radio France Internationale, etc.), print (e.g., The New York Times, USA Today , Newsday, Toronto Star, BBC News, USA WEEKEND, etc.), and on the web (e.g., WebMD, HealthDay, MSN, Financial Times of London, Reader's Digest, etc.).
Associate Director of Psychology Training
Sandra Pimentel, PhD is incoming Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychology, Associate Director of Psychology Training, and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
From 2007 through 2015, Dr. Pimentel held the position of Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center, where she served as Senior Psychologist and Associate Director of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders. At CUCARD, Dr. Pimentel coordinated the externship and postdoctoral fellowship training programs, focused on the clinic's program development, and managed day-to-day operations of this specialty clinic for anxiety. Previously, she was a T32 Postdoctoral Training Fellow at New York State Psychiatric Institute (2004-2007) where she focused her research efforts on dissemination of evidence-based treatments.
Dr. Pimentel specializes in cognitive behavioral treatments (CBT) for children, adolescents, and young adults with anxiety, mood, and behavioral difficulties. She provides comprehensive assessments and consultations and individual, group and family therapy.
Advanced training and mentorship is at the core of Dr. Pimentel's professional interests. Her research interests have focused on the dissemination of evidenced-based interventions for child and adolescent disorders and the evaluation of the most effective strategies for training and transporting treatments to school and community settings. Throughout each year, she delivers multiple professional training workshops on CBT for anxiety, depression, and disruptive behavior disorders in youth, as well as workshops for parents and community organizations. Dr. Pimentel served as a CBT consultant for community- and school-based clinicians throughout New York State and for the New York State Office of Mental Health's statewide clinician training initiative. She was named a New York State Office of Mental Health Policy Scholar.
Dr. Pimentel is actively involved in professional organizations, including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies where she has served as the Coordinator of Convention and Education Issues, Chair of the Continuing Education Committee, Chair of the Public Education and Media Dissemination Committee, and most recently having been elected to the Board as Representative-at-Large. She also volunteers for community-based programs.
Associate Director of Psychology Training
Tracy L. Gard, PhD is the Director of Clinical and Business Affairs in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences on the Wakefield Campus. She has nearly ten years of experience in hospital administration. In her current role she provides administrative oversight of 1 inpatient and 3 outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.
Dr. Gard is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She has been a clinical supervisor to psychology interns in both the substance abuse treatment program and the adult outpatient psychiatry clinic. She has also facilitated the psychology interns’ weekly process group. Her clinical experiences are in the areas of addictions and health psychology, with an emphasis on people with HIV.
Research interests have predominantly been in the area of HIV. Recent publications focused on biopsychosocial factors affecting the health-related quality of life or health behaviors of Rwandan women genocide survivors, the majority of whom were HIV infected. Research has also focused on translating evidence based treatment protocols into community-based clinical settings.