Ukamaka Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

Ukamaka Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

Community & Health Systems
Associate Professor and Director of Global Programs

Contact Information

Phone: 317-278-0748
Nursing W411, Indianapolis


PhD, Indiana University
MSN, Indiana University
BSN, Indiana University


Dr. Ukamaka Oruche is an Associate Professor at the Indiana University School of Nursing. A nationally recognized expert in psychiatric nursing, Dr. Oruche has made sustained and exemplary contributions to our understanding of the challenges experienced by families of adolescents with Disruptive Behavior Disorders. Her cutting-edge research ensures that the mental health needs of family caregivers are given full clinical consideration. Her work has been particularly significant as it reveals for the first time the stress that this population experiences from interactions with multiple child service systems. Dr. Oruche has developed a family-based group intervention to assist caregivers in their interactions with these systems. Dr. Oruche facilitated an interdisciplinary team in the development of the state of Indiana’s largest integrated primary and behavioral health program. This program has both increased access to mental health services for underserved populations and has become a model for integrating primary and behavioral health care in Indiana. Dr. Oruche’s work with underserved populations has had an international impact. She is the founder of Providence Community Health Initiative, which has conducted weekly clinics for diabetes, hypertension, and malaria in southern Nigeria since 2004. Her contributions to clinical practice and research have resulted in expanded scope and reach through leadership on boards that influence mental health policy in Indiana, US, and globally. Her service portfolio includes appointments to: Indiana Mental and Behavioral Health Taskforce of the Governor Pence Healthcare Workforce Council; Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid - CMS - Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC); and Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission - by Governor Eric Halcomb.

Dr. Oruche's contributions to the health care of diverse and vulnerable populations have been recognized with several awards and honors: Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award for Excellence in Public Health Research from the Indiana Public Health Association; Diversity-Equity Award for Outstanding Leadership in Promoting Culturally Sensitive Mental Health Services from the International Society of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses; and featured speaker at the 2014 TEDxIndianapolis. Dr. Oruche is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing; and Chair of the academy's Psychiatric, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Expert Panel.

External Funding

NIMHD R21 award ($433,125) Modification and evaluation of the DECIDE intervention to improve parent-provider interactions in low-income parents of adolescents with disruptive impulse control, and conduct disorders. --R21MD015150

Selected Publications

Obichi, C., Newton, A., & Oruche, U. M. (2020). Interprofessionality: A pathway to a more sustainable national healthcare system. In R. S. Selladurai (Ed.), Evaluating Challenges and Opportunities for Healthcare Reform (pp. 144-166). IGI Global Disseminator of Knowledge.

Stafford, A., Aalsma, M., Bigatti, S. M., Oruche, U. M., & Draucker, B. C. (2019). Getting a grip of my depression: How Latina adolescents experience, self-manage, and seek treatment for depressive symptoms. Qualitative Health Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1049732319831043.

Oruche, U. M., Robb, S., Draucker, C. B., Aalsma, M., Pescosolido, B., Chacko, A., Ofner, S., & Bakoyannis, G., & Brown-Pordgoski, B. (2018). Pilot randomized trial of a family management efficacy intervention for caregivers of African American adolescents with disruptive behaviors. Child & Youth Forum, 47(6), 803-827.

Media Features

Governor’s Press Conference. (2020, May 27). Advise for caregivers and parents watching over kids during the COVID 19 pandemic now and as we head into the summer [Video].

Be Well Indiana. (2020, April 27). Parenting children with behavioral challenges [Video].

Oruche, U. M. (2020, April 27). Impact of COVID 19 on mental health and substance use [Interview]. RadioNow100.9. 

Indiana State Nurses Association. (2020, April 18). Welcome to ISNA NurseChat LIVE: Focus on mental health of nurses during COVID 19 Pandemic [Video]. Facebook.

Oruche, U. M. (2020, March 30). Speak honestly to your child about COVID-19 [Interview]. Indiana University Research Impact.

IU School of Nursing. (n.d.). Meet Dr. Ukamaka Oruche [Video].

Newhouse, R. P. (n.d.). Episode #1: IU School of Nursing Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners [Audio podcast].

Oruche, U. M. (n.d.).  Kentucky Nurses Association [Video].

Oruche, U. M. (n.d.). Next generation: The key to sustainable healthcare [Video]. TEDx Indianapolis 2014.

Providence Care Community Health Initiative. (n.d.).