Our Team

Michael R. Galarneau, M.S., N.R.E.M.T.

Michael R. Galarneau, M.S., N.R.E.M.T.

I am Mike Galarneau, Director of Operational Readiness at Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) and the senior principal investigator for the Wounded Warrior Recovery Project (WWRP).

I am a U.S. federal employee and have worked as an NHRC researcher since 1995. My background includes statistics and experimental design, with a Master of Science in Industrial Organizational Psychology. I am also a nationally-, state-, and county-registered emergency medical technician. As the senior principal investigator for WWRP, I oversee the scientific and administrative aspects of the project. Since 9/11, more than 52,000 U.S. service members have been injured during deployment, many with severe, life-altering conditions. WWRP was established to see just how well our wounded service members are doing over the long haul, with the objective being to identify those therapies, rehabilitation programs, services, and support systems that actually make the biggest impact on ultimate quality of life.

I have received two patents for my work at Naval Health Research Center (U.S. Patent No. 5,995,077, 1999 and U.S. Patent No. 7,707,042, 2010) and am the recipient of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

Jessica R. Watrous, Ph.D.

Jessica R. Watrous, Ph.D.

I am a clinical health psychologist, division head of the VALOR Program, and the co-principal investigator for the Wounded Warrior Recovery Project (WWRP).

I received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Memphis, and completed my clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and University of California, San Diego. My research and clinical work has primarily focused on assessing and helping people change health behaviors like substance use, physical activity, and healthful eating to improve quality of life as well as mental and physical health.

Much of my career has been dedicated to working with military personnel and veterans with the aim of understanding their unique circumstances and supporting them in living their best lives. In addition to a deep sense of responsibility to our nation's military and veterans, many of my family members and close friends have served, making my work of personal interest as well.

Cameron T. McCabe, PhD

Cameron T. McCabe, PhD

I am a research psychologist, and I've been a member of the team since early 2016. Before joining the VALOR Program, I received my Ph.D. in applied psychology from Portland State University.

My research broadly focuses on health, well-being, and interpersonal relationships, and how understanding these issues can help improve our service members' lives and experience. As a researcher, I'm a firm believer that the work we do should be applicable to, and benefit, those who volunteer to take part in this process. As we continue to work together, we hope to improve policies and practices that directly impact you, the warfighter.

Judith Harbertson, PhD

Judith Harbertson, PhD

I am a Research Epidemiologist with the VALOR Division since May 2020 and also serve as an Adjunct Associate Professor at San Diego State University. I received my BS in Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine and subsequently conducted basic research in immunology at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego from 1997-2003. I then returned to graduate school at San Diego State University to earn my MPH in Epidemiology and eventually my PhD through the Joint Doctoral Program at San Diego State University and University of California San Diego in 2010. During graduate school, I transitioned to HIV/AIDS prevention and other infectious disease public health research that included field research in San Diego, Mexico and Jamaica.

From 2010 until May 2020, my efforts transitioned to HIV/STI prevention research among U.S. Navy and Marine Corps service members with the launch of a longitudinal study that tracked service members across 11 ship platforms assigned to the Third Fleet (pacific) area of responsibility through their entire deployment cycle (timepoints before, during and after deployment). My current research efforts focus on the impact of mental health on long term physical, psychological and quality of life outcomes among injured service members.

Sarah M. Jurick, PhD

Sarah M. Jurick, PhD

I am a clinical neuropsychologist and co-investigator with the VALOR Program. I received my Ph.D. from the San Diego State University/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology. I completed my clinical internship at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and my postdoctoral research and clinical fellowship at the VA San Diego Healthcare System/UC San Diego.

My research has broadly focused on improving long-term mental and physical health outcomes of service members and veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am specifically interested in the impact of traumatic brain injury and conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, sleep disorders, and chronic pain on cognitive functioning, as well as improving treatment and rehabilitation techniques. I am fortunate to have spent the majority of my career providing clinical care for Veterans and conducting research with military populations, with the ultimate goal of improving quality of life at the individual level and within the broader military community.

Kristen Braganza

Kristen Braganza

I’m a Research Administration Assistant and I joined the WWRP team in early 2019.

I’m a veteran of the Navy; I served on the USS Nimitz CVN68 and also at the Naval Legal Service Office Southwest. After the service, I went on to get my degree in Healthcare Administration and went to work at the VA Hospital in San Diego. I enjoyed my time that I spent in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit and the Research Department at the VA as a Program Support Assistant. Helping veterans navigating the VA Healthcare System and receiving the care that they need was an integral part of my work.

It is my goal to bring my experience as a veteran, working with and serving veterans to help the success of this team.

Gretchen M. Jones

Gretchen M. Jones

I’m a project manager and clinical research associate, and I joined the team in 2018.

I studied psychology and biology at California State University, Northridge. Much of the work I have done has been in research with people following a traumatic injury. Prior to joining the VALOR Program team, I was working at Naval Medical Center San Diego researching outcomes following mild traumatic brain injuries, as well as recovery following amputation. Previously, while working at the University of California San Diego, I did research involving children with prenatal alcohol exposure.

I enjoy doing work that can directly help others, whether it be immediately or further down the road. I keep day-to-day operations running successfully, so that our team can focus on research aimed at helping wounded service members.

Alexandra V. Spruth

Alexandra V. Spruth

I'm a research administrator and I joined the team in late 2016. I specialize in business administration and customer service.

Prior to joining the team, I worked as a tutor at Grossmont Community College District to assist students and promote their educational success. I enjoy helping others and have made it my goal to provide the best customer service that I can. As part of my job, I appreciate getting the chance to hear from participants—whether over the phone or via email—as it gives me a chance to hear feedback and get to know some of our participants and potential volunteers.