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Dr. Jennifer Gershen: Shaping Minds, Empowering Families, and Pioneering Mental Health Training

Dr. Jennifer Gershen, Psy.D. is not just a clinical psychologist at Kaiser Permanente – Santa Rosa; she is a visionary leader and compassionate mentor. She has dedicated her career at Kaiser to transforming the landscape of mental health training. With her commitment to excellence and innovation, Dr. Gershen has made significant contributions to the Kaiser Mental Health Training Program.

Since joining Kaiser Permanente’s Child and Family Psychiatry Team in 2006, Dr. Gershen has played pivotal roles in the mental health department and the training program. She is the Doctoral Internship Training Director (since 2019), Postdoctoral Resident Training Director (since 2008), and the North Bay Consortium Director (since 2017) under the American Psychological Association (APA). She was instrumental in pioneering the Santa Rosa APA Doctoral Internship program along with Dr. Richard Von Feldt and Dr. David Hawkey, setting a high standard for comprehensive psychological training at KP.

Beyond her internal program growth successes, Dr. Gershen had a strong presence in the development of several Community Partnership programs in collaboration with the R.I.S.E. ambassador program, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and KP Launch. These community partnership programs help connect young adults in surrounding neighborhoods with paid internship opportunities in Northern California Kaiser locations. with the ultimate goal of building and sustaining a pathway of diverse talent that will become the future of health care in Northern California.

Dr. Gershen’s inspiration as a Training Director stems from her strong belief that mentorship and education are transformative factors in fostering resilience and excellence within the next generation of psychologists. Her involvement with the Training Program has not only shaped the careers of aspiring psychologists but also has profoundly impacted her own professional growth. Dr. Gershen takes pride in the evolution of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Mental Health Training Program that has grown from a small program focused primarily on the offering of postdoctoral positions to a comprehensive mental health training program that spans the master’s and doctoral levels and has achieved APA accreditation at multiple programs and sites.

Looking back, she reflected on the journey to actualize an organized and streamlined training trajectory with clear guidelines and expectations amongst all training sites within the North Bay Consortium. As a person of modesty, she humbly acknowledges that the work could not be done without the contributions of the amazing psychologists and leaders working alongside her.

Contributed by Emily Flato, Psychology Doctoral Intern – Santa Rosa, MHTP JEDI Trainee Liaison

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