Paula Zeanah, Ph.D., Research Director
M.S. Nursing (1979)
B.S. Nursing (1975)
Diploma, Nursing (1973)
Responsible to Executive Director to ensure that all Picard Center research and evaluation activities are aligned with the Center’s mission, primary goals, and areas of expertise, and ensure that activities are completed on-time and with high quality; work with Center staff and project directors to ensure adequate support for proposals, work plans, completion of contract and grant deliverables, and budget requirements; review all technical and evaluation reports and manuscripts produced by the Center to ensure rigor, quality, and appropriate targeting to the expected audience; develop relationships and contracts with new and existing Center clients and partners in order to obtain additional funding for research and evaluation projects consistent with the Center’s mission and goals; serve as the interface between the Picard Center and the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions (CONAHP); serve as liaison between the Picard Center, CONAHP, and other constituents within and external to the university to support collaborative research and evaluation activities.
Ongoing development of grant and other funding opportunities for research, evaluation, and professional development activities of the Picard Center and CONAHP; consultation and technical assistance to the LA Office of Public Health, Bureau of Family Health’s Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visitation (MIECHV) Infant Mental Health integration and evaluation activities including training in infant mental health to MIECHV and other early childhood professionals; statewide Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) educator and participant in the statewide ACE initiative; Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Project of Acadiana region; Impact of ACEs on health and sexual self-esteem in a college population.
Throughout her career as a pediatric nurse and clinical psychologist, Dr. Zeanah has worked with children and their families with significant medical and psychiatric issues as well as healthy children and families. Prior to becoming a psychologist, Dr. Zeanah worked in a variety of primary care and tertiary health care settings as a pediatric nurse, educator, and administrator. She served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the LSU Health Sciences Center from 1993-1998, and as Associate and Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University School of Medicine from 1998-2015. At Tulane, she was the Chief of the Psychology Division in the Department of Psychiatry, was actively involved in teaching, and supervised psychology interns, adult psychiatry residents, child psychiatry fellows, and medical students on the pediatric-psychiatry consultation-liaison service at Tulane Hospital. Since 1997, she has worked closely with the LA Office of Public Health, Bureau of Family Health’s maternal and early childhood health and home visiting programs in program development, administration, and supervision, technical assistance, and education for professional staff. In 2015, she was appointed the Director of Research for the Picard Center and the Lafayette General Medical Center/Our Lady of the Lake Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Dr. Zeanah’s clinical and research interests center at the interface of physical and mental health, including mental health in non-mental health settings; perinatal, infant, and early childhood mental health; adolescent and early adulthood sexuality; and chronic illness in children and adolescents. She has obtained external funding for projects including initiation of a university-based outpatient program for children with autism and development of an infant mental health service within a primary care public health setting. She has over 30 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.