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Leading Adolescent Psychiatrists Join Evolve Treatment Centers


Evolve Treatment Centers is excited to announce the addition of Shikha Verma, MD, as Medical Director, Northern California, Melissa E. Vallas, MD, as Medical Director, Southern California, and the launch of our Clinical Advisory Board, which will be led by Bradley Peterson, MD.

Dr. Verma is a board-certified General and Child and Adolescent psychiatrist. She has extensive clinical experience in the management of a wide variety of mental health disorders, including attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), other anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, trauma, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual disabilities.

Dr. Verma received her early medical training (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MBBS) at Lady Hardinge Medical College at the University of Delhi in Delhi, India. She completed her residency in Psychiatry at Hennepin-Regions Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. She was recognized with a Faculty/Teaching award for 2018-2019 by the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

At Evolve Treatment Centers, Dr. Verma will work exclusively with clients at our Northern California facilities in Danville, Gilroy, Lafayette, San Jose, Walnut Creek, and the virtual programs.

Dr. Vallas is a board certified General and Child & Adolescent psychiatrist. She has extensive clinical experience in the management of a wide variety of mental health disorders, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and psychosis. She’s skilled at working with patients who have experienced trauma and supporting families with complex needs.

Dr. Vallas holds a medical degree (with honors) from Meharry Medical College, in Nashville, Tennessee. She completed her residency at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, California, and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent psychiatry at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University.  She’s a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and the Northern California Psychiatric Society.

At Evolve Treatment Centers, Dr. Vallas will work exclusively with clients at our Southern California facilities in Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Ojai, San Diego, Woodland Hills, and Tarzana.

Evolve’s Clinical Advisory Board includes leading behavioral health care professionals with expertise in treating adolescents and their families. The Clinical Advisory Board will work collaboratively with executive clinical leadership to identify, advise, and implement evidence-based practices to ensure safe, patient-centered care and achieve high-quality outcomes.

This group of world-class clinical leaders brings comprehensive behavioral health expertise and will provide guidance to support and shape the excellent clinical programming offered at Evolve.

In his role as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brad Peterson will lead the Clinical Advisory Board.

Dr. Peterson is the President of Evolve Psychiatry PC, the Director of the Institute for the Developing Mind at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Vice Chair for Research and Director of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, and a professor at Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

Dr. Peterson received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Tulane University and earned his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He trained in General Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, in Child Psychiatry at the Child Study Center of Yale University, and in psychoanalysis at the Western New England Institute of Psychoanalysis. He was a faculty member at the Yale Child Study Center and at Columbia University, where he was the founding Director of MRI Research and the Director of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. He has authored more than 320 peer-reviewed publications.

In his role as President of Evolve Psychiatry PC, Dr. Peterson will provide clinical oversight, expert guidance, and seasoned leadership to the Evolve Treatment Centers psychiatric team.

Evolve Psychiatry is a group of world-class adolescent psychiatrists who support Evolve teens and families exclusively,” says Judy Sylvia, Chief Development Officer of Evolve Treatment. “This team of expert physicians dedicated to treating our clients – and our clients only – makes Evolve Treatment Centers unique in the field of adolescent mental health care. This all-star team is committed to the health, safety, and growth of our teens and families. We’re excited to lead the way in adolescent mental health treatment in California and set an example of clinical excellence and compassionate care for the whole country.”

The addition of Drs. Verma, Vallas, and Peterson will continue to support and elevate the mission of Evolve – to provide excellent and ethical clinical care to adolescents and their families.

Evolve Treatment Centers, accredited by CARF and The Joint Commission, offer the highest caliber of care for teens, 12 to 17 years old, struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues. To learn more about our full continuum of Outpatient (OP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP), Partial Hospitalization (PHP), and Residential Treatment Programs (RTC), visit or call 1-800-665-GROW.

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