Center for Behavioral Health Integration Staff

Heather A. Flynn, Ph.D., Co-Director

Heather A. Flynn, Ph.D, Director

Dr. Flynn is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine at the College of Medicine. She is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in Mental Health. She has an international reputation in women’s mental health and evidenced-based mental health treatments.

 (850) 645-7367



Heather Venclauskas, M.P.A, Community Outreach Coordinator

Ms. Venclauskas is a Community Research Coordinator at the College of Medicine. She is committed to establishing relationships and building community partnerships that bring awareness to mental illness.

(850) 645-3457



Additional Contributing Faculty and Staff


Leslie M. Beitsch, M.D., J.D., 

Chair of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine

Florida State University, College of Medicine

Prior to joining the College of Medicine, Dr. Beitsch was Commissioner of Health for the State of Oklahoma, serving in that capacity from June 2001 till November 2003. Before that time, he held several positions withing the Florida Department of Health for 12 years, most recently Deputy Secretary.



George Rust, M.D., M.P.H.

 Professor, Florida State University, College of Medicine

Dr. Rust joined the faculty at FSU-COM in 2016, after completing 24 years of teaching, patient care, research, and program development at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). He was the founding director of the MSM Faculty Development Program, and founding director of the MSM National Center for Primary Care.

In Atlanta, Dr. Rust served as board chair of the Atlanta Community Access Coalition, and as co-chair of Georgia’s Minority Health Advisory Council, where he led development of the Georgia Health Disparities Report in 2008. In 2015-16, Dr. Rust also served as senior scientific advisor to the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Dr. Rust received his medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, and completed residency training in Family Medicine at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He is board-certified in both Family Practice and in Preventive Medicine. After completion of his training, Dr. Rust served six years as Medical Director for the West Orange Farmworkers Health Association in Central Florida. Dr. Rust is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and monographs, and is the recipient of numerous local, state, and national awards for teaching and service. His career as a family physician and scholar has consistently focused on primary health care and community health for those in greatest need, and on the elimination of health disparities and on charting a path to health equity.



Jeffrey Harman, Ph.D.

Professor, Florida State University, College of Medicine

Dr. Harman, a health economist, is a Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine at the Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, Florida. After working for several years as a mental health counselor, he received his Ph.D. in Health Services Research, Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota. His research explores utilization and expenditures of health services, with an emphasis on the impact of health policies on services for vulnerable populations, such as Medicaid beneficiaries and individuals suffering from mental illness. In the past five years, Harman’s research examining these issues have been funded by such agencies as the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, and private industry. Dr. Harman’s research has resulted in over 85 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He has been a grant reviewer for such organizations as the National Institutes for Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and serves as a reviewer for over 20 journals, having been designated an Exceptional Reviewer on multiple occasions.



Samantha Goldfarb, Dr.P.H.

 Research Faculty I, Florida State University, College of Medicine

 Dr. Goldfarb joined the FSU College of Medicine in 2015 as Research Faculty in the Department after graduating from University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health with a Doctorate of Public Health (DrPH) in the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy. Dr. Goldfarb’s degree holds a concentration in Maternal and Child Health Policy, and her research is focused on these issues, particularly as they relate to the life course perspective which holds that there are a complex set of risk (e.g., stress, perceived discrimination) and protective (e.g., education, mental health counseling) factors that impact individuals’ health throughout their life span which must be addressed for optimal prevention of poor health outcomes. She is particularly interested in understanding the impact of state health and drug policies on maternal and perinatal populations. She has assisted in teaching master’s level public health courses related to conducting research, community-based needs assessments, and program evaluations. She has also been involved in several state and federal contracts in both Florida and Alabama aimed at improving population health through surveillance and assessment.



Heidi Kinsell, Ph.D.

Research Faculty I, Florida State University, College of Medicine

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Tyra Dark, PhD

Research Faculty I, Florida State University, College of Medicine

Dr. Dark, a chronic disease epidemiologist, is Research Faculty in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine at the Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, Florida. Dr. Dark is specifically interested in the comorbidity of mental illness and cardiometabolic syndrome, identifying the unique health care needs of this population, and the role of race/ethnicity on delivery of care. Her current research focuses on identifying how care is delivered to this population to uncover potential contributors of racial/ethnic disparities that can inform future policy or other health care delivery interventions to improve outcomes and reduce observed disparities. She has conducted several studies focused on examining emergency department visits for anxiety disorders, including an epidemiologic assessment of the content of care during those visits. This research has resulted in the submission and publication of scientific articles highlighting these study findings. Additionally, she received the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections award allowing her to continue research in the area of cardiometabolic syndrome and comorbid anxiety disorder. Dr. Dark will apply this knowledge and insight to health services research to examine influences on the delivery of health care.