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Telva E. Olivares, M.D.

(Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 279-4999

Fax: (585) 473-5152

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentNot Accepting New Patients

Faculty Appointments

Patient Care Setting



Professional Background

Telva E. Olivares, MD
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Clinical Medicine
University of Rochester Medical Center

Dr. Olivares is an internist–psychiatrist at the University of Rochester who serves as the Assistant Chair of Diversity, Inclusion, Culture and Equity, the Director of the Medicine in Psychiatry Services and Director of Lazos Fuertes; mental health program for Latinos all within the Department of Psychiatry.

Since graduating in 1999 from the combined Medicine-Psychiatry residency program at the University of Rochester, Dr.Olivares has overseen the delivery of comprehensive medical care to complex patients in both the inpatient Med-Psych unit (IMIPS), which she founded in 2007, and its sister outpatient primary care practice, MIPS. Since 2000 she is Medical Director of Lazos Fuertes, the only Spanish language program of its kind, providing mental healthcare to Rochester's Latinx population through a team of bicultural/bilingual professionals. She has extensive clinical and administrative experience in all aspects of psychiatric acute services having served as Medical Director of Acute Psychiatry Services, Medical Director of Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program and more recently as Medical Directory of Interventional Psychiatry Program, where she established the very popular Interventional Psychiatry Certificate Course for psychiatric residents..

Dr. Olivares was born in Panama but raised in Rochester where she graduated from Pittsford High School and the University of Rochester with a BS in Biology and Geology. She married and moved to Mexico City where she attended the Universidad Anahuac's Medical School graduating with Honors. She began postgraduate training in Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven, transferring to the University of Rochester to pursue combined training in Medicine and Psychiatry. Upon graduation in 1999, she joined the faculty at the University of Rochester.

Dr. Olivares has remained committed and passionate about the delivery of care for underserved complex populations, with a specific focus on the severely and persistent mentally ill (SPMI), developing services that seek to improve the healthcare disparities these patient populations experience. Her mission remains to impact the functional lifespan of SPMI populations through evidence based patient centered preventive care practices.


A. Personal Statement
The primary focus of my work for the past 21 years has been to deliver integrated medical and psychiatric care to vulnerable populations with a special emphasis in those with severe and persistent mental illnesses (SPMI) and Latinx populations. I was trained in internal medicine and psychiatry and developed an innate drive to improve the lives of this patient population utilizing my skill sets and passion for the work.
I have made a career of developing innovative services that meet the healthcare needs of these underserved populations while respecting their autonomy and the vulnerability they exhibit for chronic illnesses and shorten lifespan as a consequence of their higher risk for cardiovascular diseases.
With this in mind, at the University of Rochester we developed a NCQA/PCMH primary care clinic for patients with SPMI in 1995, named the Medicine in Psychiatry Services or MIPS. The clinic is staffed with two dually trained physicians in medicine/family medicine and psychiatry, two nurse practitioners and a group of like-minded nurses and support staff. We deliver true integrated care to a cohort of this patient population through their lifespan from age 18 and onward.
In 2007, I was given the task of creating a 10 bed medicine and psychiatry unit (MPU). The first such unit in the region and one of only a handful in the country. The unit was run initially by a dually trained physician and was designed to meet the acute medical needs of the SPMI population. There was a built in preference for all MIPS patients to be admitted exclusively to the unit in order to safeguard critical continuity and transitions of care. Three years later in 2010, the unit’s success in meeting the needs of SPMI and other patients with mental illnesses led to the expansion of the unit to 20 beds, with same admission criteria; acute inpatient medical needs and concurrent, although not always active, mental illness. The unit, now called IMIPS, remains functional and quite successful especially as a unique multidisciplinary training sites for residents, psychology interns and fellows.
Concurrently, in 1999, I established Lazos Fuertes, the first Spanish language mental health clinic in Rochester. Twenty years later the clinic has grown and it is now a training site for Spanish language psychiatry residents and psychology trainees. The clinic has a unique collaboration with the Latino community of Rochester. Some Lazos Fuertes patients with SPMI/SMI receive primary care at our MIPS office in cultural/language sensitive manner by bilingual provider.
My twenty –one-year experience in the field of integrated care of SPMI creating innovative models of care for this population, places me in a unique position to be part of this project, particularly with respect to determination of key data outcomes and implementation of assessments in the MPUs that will have an impact beyond the hospital stay.




    Post-doctoral Training & Residency

    07/01/1994 - 06/30/1999
    Residency in Psychiatry at University of Rochester Medical Center

    07/01/1993 - 06/30/1994
    Residency in Psychiatry at Connecticut Valley Hospital

    11/01/1992 - 06/30/1993
    Internship in Internal Medicine at Hospital of St. Raphael Oral/Maxillofacial

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    2022 - Present
    AOA Alumna Inductee for 2022
    Location: Rochester NY

    Rochester Business Burereau Heroes in Healthcare Award
    Location: Rochester NY

    East House's 2021 Parners in Hope Award
    Sponsor: East House Inc
    Location: Rochester NY

    Latinas Unidas 2021 Inspirational Leadership Award
    Sponsor: Latinas Unidas
    Location: Rochester NY

    Innovative Model of Integrated Care for Complex Patients
    Sponsor: Association of Medicine and Psychiatry
    Location: Chicago, Illinois

    2014 - 2015
    MCIC URMC Patient Safety Award
    Sponsor: University of Rochester Medical Center
    Location: Rochester, NY

    Nancy C.A. Roeske, MD Certificate of Excellence in Medical Student Education.
    Location: APA Meeting

    Excellence in Clinical Care
    Sponsor: University of Rochester, Department of Psychiatry
    Location: University of Rochester Medical Center

    Richard Carl Albert Jaenike Award
    Sponsor: Genesee Valley Psychiatric Association & the Univ. of Rochester

    Nanavati Award
    Sponsor: University of Rochester, Department of Psychiatry
    Location: University of Rochester Medical Center

    1997 - 1999
    John Romano Award
    Sponsor: University of Rochester, Department of Psychiatry
    Location: University of Rochester Medical Center

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    Journal Articles

    Wittink MN, Cross W, Goodman J, Jackson H, Lee HB, Olivares T, Maeng DD, Caine ED. "Taking the Long View in an Inpatient Medical Unit: A Person-Centered, Integrated Team Approach for Patients With Severe Mental Illnesses." Psychiatric services : a journal of the American Psychiatric Association.. 2020 May 4; :appips201900385. Epub 2020 May 04.

    Augenstein,TM; Pigeon,WR; DiGiovanni,SK; Brazill, KP; Olivares,TE; Farley-Toombs, C; Lee, HB; Wittink, MN. ""Creating a Novel Inpatient Psychiatric Unit with Integrated Medical Support for Patients with Covid-19."" . NEJM Catalyst. 2020; : 8.

    Peña JB, Wyman PA, Brown CH, Matthieu MM, Olivares TE, Hartel D, Zayas LH. "Immigration generation status and its association with suicide attempts, substance use, and depressive symptoms among latino adolescents in the USA." Prevention science : the official journal of the Society for Prevention Research.. 2008 Dec; 9(4):299-310. Epub 2008 Oct 15.