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Leadership Team

Our Staff

We are proud to offer a Harvard Medical School child psychiatry faculty, a skilled team of nurses, social workers, teachers, and therapists, and unique linguistic and cultural resources. This allows us to provide the finest care to children from across Massachusetts.

Theodore Murray, MD

Theodore Murray, MD is the Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Intensive Services at Cambridge Health Alliance and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He previously worked at McLean Hospital’s Adolescent Diagnostic and Family Treatment Unit.

Dr. Murray completed his training in Adult Psychiatry as well as his Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at CHA. He is trained in Motivational Interviewing and Mentalization Based Therapy.

Christopher Pagano, Ph.D.Christopher Pagano, Ph.D.

Christopher Pagano, Ph.D., is the Director of Inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychology and Group Programming. Since 2000, Dr. Pagano has served as the training director for the psychology practicum and post-doctoral fellows training on the Child and Adolescent Inpatient Units. He also runs the psychological testing on the units. Dr. Pagano has an expertise in treating children and adolescents with histories of trauma and neglect, and he plays an integral role in teaching and supporting the nursing and milieu staff in utilizing trauma-sensitive models of care. His interests include understanding therapeutic factors in individual, group and family treatment, and he has published and gives presentations on this area of interest. He takes a creative, integrative and flexible approach to treatment, combining psychodynamic, family, attachment, trauma-sensitive and DBT/CBT approaches. Over the past three years, Dr. Pagano has lead the effort to integrate an innovative, intervention-based approach to psychological testing on the units known as “Therapeutic Assessment” , with considerable success and praise from families and outpatient providers.

Teresa Forestell, RN

Teresa has over 30 years of psychiatric nursing experience working with children and adolescents. She has been with CHA for the past 20 years. Teresa is also a member of Somerville Mayor’s task force for suicide prevention and substance abuse.

Dianna Lesanto, LICSW

Dianna is the Manager of Social Work for inpatient psychiatry CHA’s Cambridge Hospital Campus. She graduated from Bentley College with a BS Degree in Accountancy and Administration, and from Simmons College with a Masters in Social Work. She has worked in public and community mental health settings for more than 17 years, has provided direct care and management for both adult and child/adolescent populations, and for both inpatient and outpatient services. Former positions included Riverside Community Care - Assistant Director - Newton/ Dedham Outpatient Clinics, and Vinfen Corporation – DBT Specialist / Liaison to North Shore Services which included program development for DBT Specialty Residences, as well as establishment of two outpatient clinics in Haverhill and Lawrence, MA. She also completed an Advanced Clinical Fellowship at the Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston, MA (a Harvard Medical School affiliate) where she provided individual, family, and group focused treatment and evaluation for children and families.

Dianna’s clinical background is diverse, and includes such modalities as trauma focused treatment, CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). She sits on the Cambridge Health Alliance Social Work Leadership Council, and participates in teaching and supervising in both the Social Work Internship and Child Psychiatry Fellowship training programs at the hospital. Dianna is dedicated to providing excellence in care and services that improve the health of our patients and our communities.


Refer Your Child

CHA Inpatient Psychiatry Central Intake: 617-665-1372

Contact the Unit

Child Assessment Unit (CAU)
Phone: 617-665-1674
Fax: 617-665-2255

Adolescent Assessment Unit (AAU)
Phone: 617-575-5805
Fax: 617-575-5870


Nursing staff was extremely helpful, well informed, and so kind to my child.

I am so impressed by the support my son and I received from the social worker, milieu counselors, and occupational therapist. The absolute BEST level of care I could expect my son to receive. I am so grateful!