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Mental Health Awareness Month Webinar Series: Presenters

In this series we will present inspiring professionals who live and teach mindfulness, awareness, and the attitude to overcome unexpected struggles and ways to reach out for help, thereby infusing hope in your life.

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Reverend Elizabeth Longo 

Rev. Elizabeth Longo is currently the Transitional Minister at Renaissance Unity in
Cleveland, Ohio and working with other churches in the country. Elizabeth recently
returned from India where she studied at the Oneness University and became a
Deekha, transference of divine energy, giver. She is a Certified ministry Consultant,
mentor in the Field Licensing Program and a member of the faculty at Unity
Worldwide Spiritual Institute. Rev.Longo is a motivational speaker, author, and life
coach. “Through my 35 years of experience, I’ve mastered the art of awakening to
the power of love and have become skilled in supporting individuals and holding them
accountable as they realize their dreams!




Maria Caridad Rodriguez, DNP, PMHNP-BC
Associate Professor Senior
MDC School of Nursing

Dr. Maria Rodriguez began her nursing career in 1986 when she became a Registered
Nurse from Jackson School of Nursing and Miami Dade College ADN. In addition,
she obtained a Masters in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing in 2002 APRN from Florida
International University with Board Certification and has maintained Board Certification
from ANCC in mental Health Nurse Practitioner since 2002. She completed her Doctor of
Nurse Practice Degree from Florida International University in 2015. “I am an MDC Alumni
and remember taking many pre nursing courses in the Medical Campus classrooms
where I now teach nursing. Throughout my 35 years of clinical experience, my passion has
always been to help the most vulnerable individuals including those with mental illness. I
love to help students see beyond the stigma that society has created and see the
transformation and potential of the individual human being regardless of disability or


Carlos Larrauri, APRN, FNP, PMHNP-BC

Carlos A. Larrauri, MSN serves on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance on
Mental Illness and NAMI Miami-Dade County. Diagnosed with schizophrenia at 23
years of age, access to affordable health care, community-based treatments, and
early intervention afforded him the best opportunity for recovery. Mr. Larrauri is board
certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse
Practitioner and formerly lectured at the University of Miami and Miami Dade College.
Mr. Larrauri is currently pursuing a concurrent law degree and master's in public policy
at The University of Michigan Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School as a
Zuckerman Fellow. He aspires to interface clinical practice, health policy, and research
to reduce health inequities for people living with mental illness.

To learn more about Carlos and his work, visit or
visit his LinkedIn or Twitter: @larrauri_carlos.


Heather Braithwaite, PhD, PMHNP-BC

Dr. Heather Brathwaite has been a Psychiatric Mental Health nurse in Florida since
1991 and is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She
received her BSN in 1991 from Florida International University, her MSN/APRN
from FIU in 1996, and her doctorate in nursing from Barry University in 2016.
As an APRN, she has the expertise and experience treating patients with psychiatric
disorders across the lifespan and across practice settings, from hospitals to outpatient
clinics. She brings a humanistic philosophy of holistic care for both mind and body, and
an abiding commitment to individualized, personalized, comprehensive care for patients.
Her clinical practice focuses on consultation, treatment selection and administration,
and care coordination for outpatients struggling with a wide range of psychiatric illnesses
and co-occurring disorders. In addition to her clinical skill, Dr. Brathwaite is a full time
Nursing faculty member at Miami Dade College where she serves as the lead faculty for
the psychiatric mental health course. She has been in academia for the last 24 years
teaching at Florida International University, NOVA University, and Barry University.
Heather is a member of the Barbadian Nurses Association, The National Black Nurses
Association, Sigma Theta Tau, and an academic adviser for Phi Beta Kappa. Heather’s
love for nursing takes her to the African Continent where she distributes nursing textbooks
and supplies to The University of Ghana, Accra, the University of Ghana, Cape Coast, and
The Pantang Nursing College.


Mr. Gabriel Lamas Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Citrus Health

Mr. Gabriel Lamas “Gabe” is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the therapist at MDC
Hialeah Campus providing students with counseling services. “I work hard to ensure that
students have a positive counseling experience in which they are listened to. I operate
from a solution-focused, strengths-based, perspective in my counseling sessions. I believe
every student has strengths and the potential to do great things. Please do not hesitate to
contact me if you believe one of your students may benefit from my services. I would love
to work together to ensure our students maximize their potential!”