Dr. Katie Casanova, DBH

About Vice President Dr. Katie Casanova, DBH

Dr. Katie Casanova is the VP of the American Association of Doctors of Behavioral Health. She works closely with the executive board to come up with new ways to raise awareness about DBHs. Additionally, she works to expand programs, and network across the broad university landscape to bring together DBHs across the United States.

Dr. Casanova began attending University of Arizona at age 16. She received a Bachelor of Science in Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts. She then experienced a ten year career as a Sign Language Interpreter for K-12 school settings. Subsequently, she had a desire to do more for the community. With that, Dr. Casanova returned to school. She began attending Arizona State University, where she studied for a Master’s in Social Work.

Her preceptorship took place at the Southern Arizona Veteran Association Health Care System. At the VA, she worked as a care manager for Veterans with in the mental health sector. She later spoke the commencement ceremony for her Master’s graduation. Dr. Casanova immediately continued on for her Doctorate of Behavioral Health. Dr. Casanova attended ASU for her DBH. Her educational career culminated with a project included studying the link between depression, obesity, and the impact of diet and weight loss. After graduating with her DBH, she went on to become Director of Clinical Services at Sonora Inpatient in Tucson, Arizona.

Clinical Care

After gaining administrative experience, Dr. Casanova decided to enhance her clinical skills by transitioning to Sonora Outpatient to run both the Partial Hospitalization (PHP), and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) programs. She was able to utilize her past experience as a social worker, combined with her Doctorate in Behavioral Health, to address both negative thinking and maladaptive behaviors with clients who experienced substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Shortly after, Dr. Casanova was offered a position at the Pima County Adult Detention Center where she was able to run the “suicide watch pod,” assisting incarcerated individuals in crisis.

Dr. Casanova later accepted a position as Director of Clinical Services for the Tohono O’odham Nation, leading a team of professionals in providing services for an underserved population in Southern Arizona. Her team currently works to improve mental and behavioral health, offering psychoeducation and therapy to Nation members in programs that include Tribal Opioid Response, Intensive Outpatient, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and programming for incarcerated individuals. She works closely with additional tribal divisions such as the Health O’odham Promotion Program (HOPP), Adult Protective Services (APS) and Child Protective Services (CPS) to collaborate mental, medical, and behavioral healthcare across the Nation.

In her freetime, Dr. Casanova enjoys regular neighborhood walks, cooking, and playing card and board games with her two children. She is active in her childrens’ education and regularly discusses social justice and behavioral health in her household while organizing kits of food and hygiene supplies she and her daughters distribute to the homeless on the streets of Tucson, AZ.

AADBH VIce President of the Board

Dr. Casanova plays a critical role in shaping and supporting the association’s mission and vision. A key figure in strategic leadership, she works closely with the President and other board members to determine the association’s strategic direction. This ensures that AADBH remains at the forefront of advancements and best practices in behavioral health. In addition to providing governance, Dr. Casanova is instrumental in operational oversight, assisting in the formulation of policies, procedures, and guidelines that uphold the association’s standards and integrity.

Furthermore, she may lead or be involved in various committees. Here, she facilitates collaboration and ensures that initiatives align with the organization’s goals. She engages with the membership and represents the association at events. Dr. Casanova acts as a bridge between the board and the broader community of behavioral health professionals. Her leadership ensures that AADBH remains responsive to the needs of its members while driving the field of behavioral health forward.