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Deaf Wellness Center Faculty and Staff

Donna L. Guardino, Ph.D.

Donna Guardino

Donna L. Guardino, Ph.D., is a psychologist, a Senior Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry. She received her Ph.D. degree in 2018 from Gallaudet University and completed her pre-doctoral internship under Deaf Wellness Center at University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Guardino is currently conducting individual and group psychotherapy primarily for adults at Deaf Wellness Center. In addition to her outpatient work, Dr. Guardino is a member of the Diversity and Cultural Awareness Leadership Team (DCALT). She also is a co-chair for the Cultural and Training subcommittee at National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) focusing on providing cultural training to support the organization’s mission in creating more accessible services to the Rochester Deaf community.

Dr. Guardino’s research interests are: 1) on Certified Deaf Interpreters’ experiences working with language deprivation Deaf individuals in medical settings, and 2) Deaf population health and language deprivation.

Amanda M. O'Hearn, Ph.D.

Amanda O'Hearn Image

Amanda O'Hearn, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine since September, 2001. She is a graduate of Gallaudet University's Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Prior to being recruited to the DWC to direct clinical services and launch her academic research career, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Miami's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Outpatient Program.

Dr. O'Hearn has greatly expanded the clinical services available at the DWC, launching DBT and other forms of group psychotherapy for a range of deaf adults. She has attended numerous DBT training programs, including the two-week intensive program as well as other advanced practice DBT seminars. She lectures frequently on modifications we have developed to make DBT more accessible to Deaf individuals. In addition to her own clinical practice, Dr. O'Hearn supervises all clinical services and clinical staff and interns at the Deaf Wellness Center. In addition to her role at the DWC, Dr. O'Hearn conducts research in association with the National Center for Deaf Health Research, also at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

For a listing of Dr. O'Hearn's publications, see Deaf Wellness Center publications.

Robert Q. Pollard, Jr., Ph.D.

Robert Q Pollard Jr ImageRobert Q Pollard, Jr., Ph.D. is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and founder and former director of the Deaf Wellness Center (DWC). Dr. Pollard and the DWC have received numerous national awards for excellence in clinical service, research, and teaching. Awards have been conferred by American Psychological Association and several of its subdivisions, the American Psychiatric Association, the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, and the Healthcare Trustees of New York State.

Dr. Pollard writes and lectures widely on variety of mental health and health care topics affecting deaf consumers and professionals. He has been principal investigator on over 50 federal, foundation, regional, and local grants, totaling over $5M, and has published over 90 articles and book chapters. Dr. Pollard's scholarship interests include psychopathology, psychological testing, sign language interpreting, and health issues in the deaf population. He is active in several national organizations, especially the APA, where he founded a Special Interest Section on Deafness, has served on several boards and committees, and was honored with an award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest. He currently works as a Professor and Associate Dean of Research at National Technical Institute of the Deaf.

For a listing of Dr. Pollard's publications, see Deaf Wellness Center publications.

LeeAnne Valentine

Leanne ValentineStaff Clinician specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy at Deaf Wellness Center

LeeAnne Valentine is currently a Staff Clinician specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy at Deaf Wellness Center. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from University of Phoenix in 2014, and her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Capella University in 2018. She completed her externship at Deaf Wellness Center from January 2018 to December 2018. LeeAnne joined the team officially in April of 2019. LeeAnne is currently conducting individual, couples, and family therapy for adults as well as group psychotherapy. In addition to her outpatient work, she was trained and certified formally by IGNITE and Planned Parenthood to work with deaf clients who have gone through various traumas and need therapeutic assistance.

LeeAnne also received the ​Humanitarian Award by National Action Network led by Reverend Al Sharpton in February 2020.