Dr. Bassuk and her colleagues designed the Worcester Family Research Study, a comprehensive longitudinal study of sheltered homeless and low-income housed families and their children—the first of its kind in the nation. She has since conducted multiple studies and systematic reviews on the effects of homelessness on the mental health of children and youth and their parents. Her work has set the standard of care in this area.
Most recently, she has addressed best practices in the field of homelessness, particularly focusing on trauma-informed care in shelters and other programs for people experiencing homelessness. As part of this effort, she and her colleagues developed the first brief validated tool—the TICOMETER—to measure the level of trauma-informed care in human service organizations and identify gaps in implementation. She has also focused on adverse childhood experiences (ACES) in children who are homeless and strategies for identifying high-risk preschoolers who are homeless.
Dr. Bassuk has focused on co-occurring disorders, particularly mental health issues, in homeless individuals. She served in key leadership roles for the National Resource Center on Homelessness and Mental Illness, the Coordinating Center for Collaborative Program for Homeless Families, and the ChronicHomelessness Initiative.
Dr. Bassuk is a board-certified psychiatrist. She graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine and Brandeis University and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Northeastern University. She was an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for more than 35 years. She also served as Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. She has written more than 130 articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as many monographs and books.