Teresa Combs earned a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America in 2012. Prior to this, she earned a Post-Master’s Certification as a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from The University of Maryland, an MSN in mental health from the Southern Connecticut State University a BSN, from Michigan State University, and a BS degree in Urban Community Health from Michigan State University. After 5 years as a Neuro/ICU nurse, she started her profession in mental health at the Yale University Department of Psychiatry, Substance Abuse Treatment Unit (SATU). She was responsible for randomized controlled multi-site investigations associated with pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic treatment with participants living with a chronic mental illness and a substance use disorder. Recognizing the profound impact these disorders had on families her work evolved into focusing on the emotional health of children adolescents and families.
As a faculty member at Howard University Division of Nursing, she continued her research activities within the Division of Nursing as well as interdisciplinary investigations. She was an invited member of the team of nurse investigators from Howard University who participated in a five-year grant from the Agency on Toxic Substances & Drug Regulations (ATSDR). Five disciplines from 5 historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s) investigated the effects of environmental toxins on communities in the Mississippi Delta Region, (MDR). She provided mental health expertise in this investigation. The findings from this investigation resulted in a policy change in multiple community health clinics in the MDR and a published workbook that has been used for Community Health Nursing in nursing programs around the country.
A major highlight during her tenure as an American Nurses Association SAMHSA Minority Fellow, was her participating as a member of the working group at the Carter Center for Mental Health, in Atlanta Georgia. This group provided a mark-up for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health portion of the Affordable Care Act.
Teresa Combs is the founder of Living and Growing, LLC a mental health wellness center in Silver Spring MD. She founded this wellness center in 2018 after her retirement from the Uniformed Services University for the Health Services in Bethesda Md. This clinic was born of the belief that there are multiple paths to emotional health: that as we live, we move towards emotionally growing up, down, or marching in place.