Vickie Mays is a Professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Letters and Sciences, as well as a Professor in the Department of Health Services. Professor Mays is also the Director of the UCLA Center on Research, Education, Training and Strategic Communication on Minority Health Disparities (www.MinorityHealthDisparities.org). She teaches courses on health status and health behaviors of racial and ethnic minority groups, research ethics in biomedical and behavioral research in racial/ethnic minority populations, research methods in minority research, as well as courses on social determinants of mental disorders and psychopathology. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and an M.S.P.H. in Health Services, with postdoctoral training in psychiatric epidemiology, survey research as it applies to ethnic minorities (University of Michigan) and health policy (RAND).
Professor Mays' research primarily focuses on the mental and physical health disparities affecting racial and ethnic minority populations. She has a long history of research and policy development in the area of contextual factors that surrounding HIV/AIDS in racial and ethnic minorities. This work ranges from looking at barriers to education and services to understanding racial-based immunological differences that may contribute to health outcome disparities. Other areas of research include looking at the role of perceived and actual discrimination on mental and physical health outcomes, particularly as these factors impact downstream disease outcomes. Her mental health research examines availability, access and quality of mental health services for racial, ethnic and sexual minorities. She is the Co-PI of the California Quality of Life Survey, a population based study of over 2,200 Californians on the prevalence of mental health disorders and the contextual factors associated with those disorders.
Dr. Mays has provided testimony to a number of Congressional committees on her HIV, mental health and health disparities research findings. She recently completed a term as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Populations of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics. There she helped develop a report on the role of data collection in the reducing health disparities associated with race, ethnicity, and primary language. She has received a number of awards including one for her lifetime research on women and HIV from AMFAR, a Women and Leadership Award from the American Psychological Association and several Distinguished Contributions for Research awards.