Henry Tomes Award Recipient– Dr. Martha Hernández

Associate Director, Family Support Services - Martha Hernández, Ph.D.

Photo by Ross McIntire | Associate Director, Family Support Services, Dr. Martha Hernández

RMHC Bay Area’s Dr. Martha Hernández Receives Prestigious American Psychological Association Award

We are thrilled to share that Dr. Martha Hernández, director of Latinx training and associate director of Family Support Services (FSS) at RMHC Bay Area, recently received the prestigious Henry Tomes Award for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Psychology. The Council of National Psychology Associations for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Interests (CNPAAEMI), part of the American Psychological Association (APA), created the Henry Tomes Awards to honor U.S. public health system visionary, Henry Tomes.

Family Support Services team (FSS)

Dr. Martha Hernandez (far left) and some of our team of Family Support Services graduate students who provide free psychosocial support to Ronald McDonald House families.

“As a Latinx first generation professional, Dr. Hernández passionately works to reduce mental health disparities,” said Susan Regas, founder and director of FSS. “She has been a strong advocate in the interests and psychological wellbeing of Latinx Americans. Even as an early career psychologist, Dr. Hernández has taken on significant leadership positions to advance ethnic minority interests.”

In her role as associate director of FSS at RMHC Bay Area, Dr. Hernández is responsible for training and supervising graduate student practicum trainees as they provide psychosocial support to families of sick children. Under her direction, FSS training integrates a social justice lens to successfully advocate for the families served at RMHC sites in the Bay Area and Southern California. As director of FSS’ Spanish Track, which provides highly sought-after training for graduate students in delivering mental health services in Spanish, Dr. Hernández says, she is realizing a lifelong goal to provide her students with culturally responsive and linguistically appropriate training to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking families – which is especially important to the 50 percent of families across the four RMH sites she serves who are monolingual Spanish speakers.

“This recognition only furthers my commitment to eliminating barriers to access mental health care and serving those who need it most.”

— Dr. Martha Hernández

“The importance of Dr. Hernández’s work cannot be overstated,” said Laura Keegan Boudreau, CEO of RMHC Bay Area. “We are so proud she is being recognized for her tireless dedication to supporting families as they cope with the trauma of having a child who is sick. Her impact as a trainer and clinician is especially important for families who speak only Spanish and face additional barriers to accessing medical care here in the Bay Area .”

Dr. Hernández recently started her term as president-elect of the Society for Couple and Family Psychology, Division 43 of the APA. In this capacity, she will continue pursuing her passion for utilizing skills obtained in her multiple professional positions to focus on social justice, strengthen interdivisional collaboration, and engage early career psychologists and students.

“It is a true honor to receive the Henry Tomes Award for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Psychology,” said Dr. Hernández. “This recognition only furthers my commitment to eliminating barriers to access mental health care and serving those who need it most.”

More about Dr. Hernández:

Dr. Hernández’s extensive clinical and research experience working with underserved and Latinx populations at RMHC Bay Area and in a variety of settings, including community mental health clinics, schools, universities, and hospitals, earned her this esteemed recognition. She is trained in various modalities and evidence-based practices. Dr. Hernández’s clinical specialties include immigration evaluation; grief and loss; trauma and abuse; substance abuse and addiction; mood and anxiety disorders; disruptive, impulse control and conduct disorders; crisis intervention and stabilization; and parenting. In addition to direct client care, she has spent many years supervising and training clinicians, as well as providing consultation to organizations. In collaboration with the FSS director and coordinators, Dr. Hernández also supports three additional Ronald McDonald House (RMH) sites in Southern California: Los Angeles, Pasadena, and the Inland Empire.

More about Henry Tomes:

Throughout a 42-year career, Tomes dedicated himself to the psychological well-being of marginalized and underrepresented communities throughout the country. To commemorate his impact, the Henry Tomes Award for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Psychology is given to an emerging psychologist who has made many significant contributions toward the empowerment of ethnic minority individuals and communities.