Executive Director’s Bio

TRI  Executive Director/Co-Founder


Elaine Miller-Karas, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

Elaine Miller-Karas is the executive director and co-founder of the Trauma Resource Institute.  Ms. Miller-Karas has 30 years experience in health education, teaching, social work and advocacy.  She has co-created the Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) and the Community Resiliency Model (CRM) and its adaptations for active duty military and veterans. She was TRI’s Project Manager for a State of California Innovations Grant in San Bernardino County, training community members in CRM skills.  She has shepherded a symposium on CRM’s Implementation.  Elaine, because of her entrepreneurship, was invited to the International Skoll Conference in Oxford, England in 2015 and 2016.  Elaine has presented at major conferences including the Annual Conference on Global Affairs at the University of Colorado, ISTSS and the Psychotherapy Networker.  She authored a chapter in the book, “To the Rescue: Stories of Healthcare Workers at the Scenes of Disaster” and her book “Building Trauma Resilience, the Trauma and Community Resiliency Models”, was published by Routledge in March of 2015.  It is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Ms. Miller-Karas has traveled internationally and trained mental health, health professionals and community leaders in social service agencies, hospitals and community organizations.  Her work has taken her to Thailand after the tsunami of 2004, to Louisiana after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, to San Bernardino County after the 2008 Fires, to China after the Sichuan earthquake, to Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake and to Kenya, Africa after the post-election violence. In 2014 and 2015,  Elaine led CRM Global Trainers to Guatemala, Nepal, Tanzania, Rwanda, Turkey and the Philippines to continue to expand the mission and vision of TRI, bringing biological-based skills to the world community.

Elaine’s father served in the US Navy and she has a strong commitment to our military to destigmatize the impact of combat zone trauma and other traumas that can occur while serving.  She has presented TRM and CRM Skills to Edwards Air Force Base, Fort Drum and the Marine Base in Barstow, California. Elaine is working on projects to bring CRM skills to other military installations.  She presented CRM at the Wounded Warrior Chronic Pain Conference in San Diego with her colleague Lois Clinton, LCSW, of Walter Reed Military Medical Center in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.   She will return to the Walter Reed Conference in September of 2016.

She was the Associate Director of Behavioral Sciences at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center’s Family Practice Residency Program from 1994 until she resigned in 2006 to start TRI.   Earlier in her career, she did her graduate internship at Stanford University’s Perinatal Outreach Program and worked there as clinician and lecturer. She was the founder of Helping after Neonatal Death in Santa Clara County, California and directed it for six years.  She is also an adjunct professor at Loma Linda’s School of Social Work and Social Ecology. She now lives in Claremont, California with her husband, Jim and father-in-law, Kenny.  She has two grown children, Erik and Jessica.

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