Mary McKernan McKay Named the McSilver Professor of Poverty Studies and Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research

NYU Silver School of Social Work announces that Mary M. McKay has been named inaugural director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. McKay is an internationally acclaimed expert in the areas of urban child mental health and prevention services research. Along with her appointment as McSilver Institute director, McKay has been named McSilver Professor of Poverty Studies at the Silver School.

Prior to joining New York University, McKay was professor of psychiatry and preventative medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She also served as head of the Division of Mental Health Services Research in the Department of Psychiatry. She has held professorships at Columbia University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

McKay has received substantial funding from the National Institute of Health for a program of research focused on the mental health and health prevention needs of inner-city youth and families. She has developed a significant body of research findings around engagement practices to improve involvement in family-based HIV prevention programs and mental health services by children, youth, and families living in poverty-impacted urban areas.

McKay has expertise in community-based participatory, services, and implementation research methods. She currently directs a National Institute of Mental Health funded Developing Center, the Center for Collaborative Child Mental Health Services Research (CCCR).

“Mary McKay is an international leader in creating engagement and intervention programs that are attractive to families and youth facing the challenges of poverty, and that produce positive outcomes for youth at risk,” said Lynn Videka. “She is creating effective intervention approaches that address health disparities and bring services to families facing serious social disadvantage. She is an important leader for the future of the Silver School of Social Work and for the profession.”

Said McKay, “I am grateful for the opportunity to join McSilver and continue to work on issues that impact impoverished communities. Growing up with insufficient resources and surrounded by the many of the stressors associated with urban poverty can have serious negative consequences for children and families. The McSilver Institute will work diligently create knowledge that translates directly into policies and practices that assist those living in poverty.”

The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research oversees numerous applied research studies aimed at addressing the root causes of poverty, as well as examining approaches to reduce its effects. McSilver’s studies are defined by research partnerships with policy makers, service organizations, and community stakeholders. An understanding of the links between individuals, families, and communities to their external environments, as well as the interrelatedness of race and poverty guide McSilver’s research efforts. The McSilver Institute was founded in 2009 through the generosity of Constance and Martin Silver.