Our Team

Joyce Dorado, Ph.D. (she/her)

Joyce Dorado is the Co-Founder and Director of Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools (HEARTS). Dr. Dorado is a nationally recognized expert in partnering with schools and other youth-serving systems to create trauma-informed, equitable, and healing organizations. She has served as an appointed member of the California State Supreme Court Justice’s statewide steering committee for the Keeping Kids in School and Out of Courts initiative. She was also the Lead Curriculum Developer, a Master Trainer, and a member of the founding workgroup for the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) Trauma-Informed Systems Initiative, and provides training and consultation across the Bay Area and nationally in collaboration with Trauma Transformed: Bay Area Regional Trauma-Informed Systems Center, a center that advances trauma-informed, healing-centered, and anti-racist system change through community- and cross-system collaboration. She was the Executive Director and Principal Investigator of a SAMHSA-funded National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Community Treatment and Services Center (HEARTS-Extended), and provides consultation to other NCTSN organizations around creating trauma-informed schools and integrating racial justice and equity into trauma-informed systems work. She has served as an appointed member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Student and Families RISE (Recovery and Inclusive Successful Enrichment) Working Group, which aims to support San Francisco Unified School District's pandemic recovery efforts and the expansion of enrichment opportunities at school sites. Additionally, she was a lead consultant in CLEAR California, a partnership between the Washington State University CLEAR program and UCSF HEARTS.

Dr. Dorado is an Assistant Teaching Professor and the Associate Dean of Research-Practice Partnerships in the School of Social Welfare at University of California, Berkeley (UCB). Prior to her position at UCB, she served for 22 years in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at University of California, San Francisco - Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital as Clinical Professor, educator, clinical supervisor, and clinician. She is a 2nd generation Filipina-American who has worked with trauma-impacted children, youth, and families for over 30 years, has presented at numerous regional, national, and international conferences and events, and is a published author.

Martha Merchant, Psy.D. (she/her)

Martha Merchant is a licensed clinical psychologist, and currently the Project Director for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) HEARTS-Extended grant. She has been working with HEARTS since 2012. doc Martha is a biracial, Korean and white, cisgender woman, and activist, working to empower others and change the systems of oppression that impact us all. She has presented at numerous local and national conferences and events and is a published author. She began working with HEARTS in 2012, and has worked specifically to broaden and augment the HEARTS principle of Cultural Humility and Equity since 2014. Her dedication to speaking truth and amplifying the voices of Black people in the field and in school settings is evident in her practice. She engages educators nationally with presentations about how sociocultural trauma, especially racism, shows up in schools and feeds the school to prison pipeline.

Dr. Merchant started in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) as the UCSF HEARTS clinician embedded at El Dorado Elementary School for two years, which is where she became known as doc Martha. There she provided direct services, training and consultation to parents, teachers, staff and administration around trauma-sensitive practices, lending a trauma informed lens to their expertise as educators. Following this project, she was the main consultant under the Department of Education Project Prevent grant for three years in SFUSD, providing training and consultation in seven schools in the Bayview area. In that role she provided trainings to school social workers, wellness coordinators, administrators, physical education instructors and a number of other schools.

doc Martha has worked with children, youth, and families who have experienced trauma for the past 14 years. She has a passion for working with people typically viewed as being on the down-side of power, including children, under-resourced families, poly families as well as LGBTQ folk. She is also committed to working with interns/postdocs. doc Martha earned her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy and her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology.

[email protected]  www.docmartha.org


Rani Lacsa Marcos, AMFT (siya/niya, they/them)

Rani is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and a consultant with UCSF HEARTS (Healthy Environment and Responses to Trauma in Schools) for San Francisco Unified School District in Ramaytush Ohlone land. They are currently providing trauma-informed, healing-centered, and culturally affirming support and services to students, staff, and families of Bessie Carmichael Schools/Filipino Education Center. Rani has previously provided harm reduction counseling and expressive arts therapy among gay/bi/trans men and men who have sex with men at Stonewall Project: AIDS Foundation, counseling and training at Richmond Area Multi-Services Inc. to children, youth, and families, and liberatory theater arts pedagogy and practices with Pilipinx families at Sama Sama Cooperative: Third World Organizing.

They received their Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Drama Therapy at California Institute of Integral Studies and they currently serve as a core member of Filipino Mental Health Initiative - San Francisco. Rani is a 1.5 generation immigrant from the peoples of Iluko, Ibalong/Bicol, and Pampanga, valuing the indigenous wisdom of kapwa and bakla to heal and transform in relation and through the integration of our whole selves.