Alice M. Forrester, Phd

New Haven, CT

Alice M. Forrester, PhD, is chief executive officer at Clifford Beers Clinic (New Haven, CT). That agency is featured in the documentary Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope (2016) produced by KPJR Films and directed by James Redford. Under Dr. Forrester’s leadership, the agency provides integrated services to address mental health, physical health and social determinants of health. Because family is so important in recovery, care is “whole”-istic in terms of the whole person and whole family. 

Forrester is widely viewed as a thought leader in her field. She has served on multiple local, state and national councils including the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Steering Committee, the State of Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council, the Tow Youth Justice Institute Advisory Council, the Sandy Hook (CT) Commission, and the City of New Haven Substance Abuse Council. She is sought by government officials to inform policy and implement change, e.g., Forrester was appointed by Gov. Dannel Malloy to the Sandy Hook Commission following the 12/14/12 mass shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School (Newtown, CT). She was specifically asked to investigate and recommend changes to child mental health delivery systems via early intervention and prevention. 

Her commitment to innovation led Clifford Beers to winning a $9.7 million Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Healthcare Innovation grant designed to prove the impact of integrated care combined with in-home intensive care coordination for families living under chronic stress and with complex biopsychosocial issues (currently in progress). 

Forrester has traveled the nation addressing vast and varied audiences – from New York City public school physicians to religious leaders in Lake Forest, California – on topics such as trauma, resiliency, the framework for school-based/trauma-informed change, quality management, and integrated care. She has designed and is overseeing a team at the Clinic dedicated to helping schools implement a trauma-informed framework for change at the district-wide level. 

Leadership posts in the private sector include board membership at The Alliance (a Connecticut nonprofit action group), and board chair for both the National Association for Drama Therapy and the National Coalition for Creative Arts Therapies Associations. 

Dr. Forrester holds an MA from New York University (drama therapy) and a PhD from Fielding University (clinical psychology). She resides in New Haven with her partner and their three adopted children, Elizabeth, Daniel and Camille.