Colleen Heinkel, PhD

Colleen Heinkel, PhD

Assistant Professor

(414) 384-2000

Dr. Heinkel serves as psychology preceptor for the MCW/VA Advanced Fellowship in Women’s Health, dedicated to mentoring integrated teams in collaborative care and women’s health. (For more information about the fellowship: Advanced Fellowship in Women's Health). As a former scientist at the UW-Madison’s Center for Health Enhancement Support Systems (CHESS), her work has focused on translational research combining evidence-based clinical practices and technology to improve the lives of persons facing chronic, serious and/or terminal illness, and their families who care for them. Areas of interest include psychological trauma and loss, behavioral medicine and integrative approaches to wellness, and the clinical science of resiliency.

Dr. Heinkel also serves at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center as a licensed clinical psychologist, smoking cessation lead clinician, and as a member of their Health Promotion Disease Prevention Committee. She is the primary staff psychologist at the V.A.’s Women’s Resource Center and Women’s Health Clinic, focusing on women’s health and behavioral medicine, evidence-based approaches for the treatment of PTSD, military sexual trauma and loss, technology outreach, and resilience-based wellness models to help patients manage mood dysregulation, and improve chronic disease self-management. She is a certified trauma and disaster psychologist for the American Red Cross. She has served as adjunct faculty for Marquette University, and also enjoys an active mentoring program at the VAMC.

Selected Research:

Integrated Health Team Development of (1) a Multimodal Smoking Cessation Treatment for women//OIF/OEF/OND Veterans and (2) Protocols for Abbreviated Treatment to Reduce Barriers to Smoking Cessation Treatment in Zablocki VA Mental Health, Substance Use and Chronic Health Care Self-management Clinics (2015.) VHA Office of Public Health Tobacco and Health grant.

Integrating Collaborative Care and VA Patient-centric Technologies to Improve Delivery of Care and Disease Self-management for Women Veterans with Diabetes Mellitus. (2014) National VA Women’s Health Services Specialty Care grant.

Improving Integrated Mental Health Care & Effective Medical Homes in Rural VA Clinical Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) served by Telemental Health (2010 – 2012)  VA Systems Redesign Veterans Engineering Resource Centers (VERC) Mid-West Mountain VERC.  Process improvement consultant.

Active Aging: Supporting Individual & Enhancing Community-based Care through Health Information Technology (2011 - 2012) AHRQ: P50 HS 10-016  A Wisconsin-centric multi-R01 center program & consortium of state, academic & community based organizations to develop, test, & disseminate a low-cost, integrated clinical information and communication system to help rural elders “age in place” by addressing depression & isolation, falls prevention, driving challenges, and unreliable home services.   Role: R01 Project Lead/Co-I, Center Steering Committee & clinical consultation regarding patients and family caregiver. Center manager.  NIH LRP Recipient for Clinical Health Disparities for research on elders in rural Wisconsin.

HSCT-CHESS to Enhance Hematopoietic Transplant Recovery (2006-2008). NIH-sponsored multicenter national study conducted in collaboration with Tufts New England Medical Center. 


Selected Work:

Heinkel, C & Dubenske, L. (2012).  Where does technology fit in clinical practice?  Where do you fit in emerging technology? 2012 American Psychological Association Conference, Orlando, Florida, August 8, 2012.

Heinkel, C. & Sheikh, A.A. (2006).  Opening to Loss: Connecting with Life through the Meditations of Stephen Levine. In A.A. Sheikh and K. Sheikh (Eds.) Healing with Death Imagery (pp 27-45). Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing.

Heinkel, C., Rosenfeld, M., & Sheikh, A.A. (2002). Imagery in Smoking Cessation and Weight Management.  In A.A. Sheikh, (Ed.) Healing images: The role of imagination in health (pp.223-254).  Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing.