Elisa V. Borah, MSW, PhD is a research associate professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. Elisa conducts research around the development, testing and effective implementation of mental health treatments and social supports for adults and children. Elisa is also involved in research to identify effective programming and supports for military members, veterans, spouses and their families. She leads the Veteran Spouse Network, initially funded through an Engagement Award from the Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute, to engage veteran spouses in defining programmatic and research needs to better support veteran families. She studies how peer support can improve veterans’ and veteran spouses’ quality of life and improved mental health. She formerly served as lead evaluator of Texas veterans’ mental health services, specifically examining the Texas Military Veteran Peer Network.
Elisa chairs the annual Military Social Work conference at The University of Texas at Austin. She previously served as director of research at the Ft. Hood site of the STRONG STAR PTSD Research Consortium, a Department of Defense research consortium at UT Health San Antonio. Elisa’s research interests include developing and testing effective implementation strategies that improve individuals’ access to evidence-based behavioral health treatment in community mental health settings. Her research currently focuses on improving mental health treatment access for transition-age youth through better client engagement. With the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, she works to implement a state program to provide community-based health supports for adults with serious mental illness. Elisa earned a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology in 1995 and a Masters of Social Work in 1998 from Washington University in St. Louis. After working at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC and at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Elisa earned a PhD in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin in 2010.