PTA Speakers Bureau
Partners Training Academy (PTA) includes a bureau of expert speakers in topics related to mental health, substance use disorder, and intellectual and developmental disabilities diagnosis, treatment, and managed care best practices. The PTA Speakers Bureau includes the professionals listed in alphabetical order here and many others.
Contact us to learn more about incorporating PTA speakers into your training events and educational conferences.
Carla Bradshaw, RN
Geriatric and Adult Specialty Team Registered Nurse
Training Specialties: Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Schizophrenia, Personality Disorders and Depressive Disorders, Dementia, Challenging Behaviors, Suicide Prevention, Accessing Services, Medications treating these diagnoses, and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)
Carla provides formal training, education, consultation, and technical assistance to long-term care facility staff that serve geriatric and adult residents with mental illness. She also provides education and training in the community on topics relating to caring for older citizens and adults living with mental illness.
Carla is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University. She has worked in nursing and human services for over 34 years, serving in skilled-long term care, emergency departments, quality management, and training.
Charity N. Bridges, MA, LPA, HSP-PA
Utilization Management Manager
Training Specialties: Mediation Proceedings, and Service Decision Appeals
Charity is a licensed and experienced behavioral health clinician who has worked in the behavioral health field for over twenty years. During her tenure, she has worked in all aspects of care, from working directly with individuals in services to managed care functions.
Charity has participated in countless mediation proceedings and State Fair Hearings pending in the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). She has worked as a behavioral health clinician, community mental health therapist, crisis clinician, and developmental clinician throughout her career. Charity continues to further her development and growth in all areas of behavioral health services.
Charity is a certified health services provider-psychological associate (HSP-PA) and Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA), with a master’s in clinical psychology from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Kent State University. She is responsible for consumer appeals and intellectual and developmental disabilities utilization management.
Chief Operating Officer
Pearl Burris-Floyd, MHA
Chief Governmental Affairs Officer
Jerry Campbell II
Integrated Care County Lead for Iredell County
Training Specialties: Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC), Collaborative Care, Social Determinants of Health, Collect Impact, and Timebanks
Jerry works to provide education and information about Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC), creating collaboration and linkage to the community.
Jerry received his Bachelor of Science degree from Appalachian State University. Jerry has 20 years of experience as a professional in the mental health/substance abuse/intellectual developmental disabilities field as a professional, directing programs and providing supports to persons and families in the community. Jerry is a Qualified Developmental Disability Professional (QDDP) and Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP).
Melissa C. Cline, MA, LCAS, LPC, CCS
Access to Care Director
Training Specialties: Crisis Services, Substance Abuse Treatment, Suicide Prevention, Family Therapy, and Eating Disorders
Melissa began her career working with adolescents struggling with addiction issues and as a women’s program specialist in Cleveland County. Melissa developed and operated a day treatment addiction program for adult males and females and reorganized the substance abuse program for Catawba County Mental Health. Melissa led the addictions team assisting with implementing an adolescent substance intensive outpatient program as well as making the team more clinically focused.
Melissa earned her Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Arts degree from Appalachian State University. She has been in the behavioral health field for 28 years. Melissa is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, and Certified Clinical Supervisor.
Training Specialties: Medicaid/State Benefit MCO Claims Processing
Rhonda is responsible for claims monitoring, reporting, analysis, auditing, internal controls, reconciliation and coordination of claim adjudication and claims payment process.
Rhonda has over 16 years of experience in claims processing. Rhonda is currently pursuing Certified Professional Coder certification through the American Academy of Professional Coders.
Tara Conrad, MSW, LCAS, LCSW
Lead Regional Director of Community Operations, Central Region
Training Specialties: Mindfulness EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
Tara interacts with key community stakeholders in Burke and Catawba counties to identify system barriers, develop solutions, and lead Partners’ efforts in the communities it serves.
Tara has over 24 years of experience in the mental health field and has served in various capacities including managerial, provider monitoring, utilization management, grant writing, and program development. She participates on numerous community boards and presents on issues related to behavioral health and policy change. Tara advocates for individuals struggling with mental health and substance use disorders, especially trauma, addiction, and the juvenile justice population. She is certified in Mindfulness EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and serves as a volunteer therapist for individuals suffering from trauma and addiction.
Tara earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
Jeffery Eads, MA, NCC, LPC
Regional Director of Community Operations, Northern Region
Training Specialties: Access to Care, LME-MCO Overview for Community Leaders, and Crisis Services Overview
Jeffery works with community and government agencies in Iredell, Surry, and Yadkin counties to identify partnerships and solutions to best serve citizens.
Jeffery has a master’s degree in counselor education and human development from Radford University. He is a National Certified Counselor and a North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor. Jeff also holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia Tech.
Niels T. Eskelsen, MBA
Chief Business Officer
Training Specialties: Managed Care System Design, Organizational Management, Provider Network Development and Monitoring, Performance Indicator Development and Reporting, Clinical Data Utilization in Service Management, and Incentive Compensation Programs
Niels has extensive knowledge of Medicaid waiver applications, and has worked with many managed care organizations overseeing behavioral health services. Prior to Partners, Niels served as a consultant for many of North Carolina’s LME-MCO’s. He has tremendous experience in developing business operations and processes from the ground up, and shares this knowledge in trainings throughout the state.
Niels received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Washington and a Master of Business Administration from Seattle University.
Michael Forrester, PhD, Licensed Psychologist
Chief Clinical Officer
Training Specialties: Disease Management & Managed Behavioral Healthcare, Profit and Loss Management, Change Management, Infrastructure Development, Entrepreneurial Orientation, Quality Improvement, Operational and Technology Leadership, Product Development and Implementation, Integration, and Clinical and Provider Network Leadership
Dr. Forrester is a clinical psychologist and a leader in managed health care and disease management organizations. He has a multitude of experience in both public and private sector behavioral health care. Some of his roles include overseeing day-to-day managed care operations, disease management services, and work in the areas of population health and recovery and resiliency programs. Dr. Forrester enjoys identifying and developing creative approaches to enhancing one’s health while reducing costs. He has worked in community mental health and was involved in the development of several alternative specialized delivery systems for the chronically mentally ill and severely developmentally disabled adults and children.
Dr. Forrester is a licensed psychologist in several states and is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. He holds lifetime membership to Disease Management Purchasing Consortium International, Inc. (DMPC)’s Honor Roll in Critical Outcomes Report Analysis. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from Kent State University.
Lachelle Freeman, MA, QP
SAMHSA Grant, Project Director
Training Specialties: Mental health and its effect on families, Empowering caretakers of individuals living with mental illness, Physical and sexual abuse and its effect on families, Integrating Systems of Care (SOC) and Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC), and Partners’ Appeals Process
Lachelle is a Qualified Professional with over 21 years of experience in the mental health field. She has worked as a provider delivering mental health services to individuals and families, assisted with research, and developed and managed Partners’ Appeals Unit for five years. Lachelle has also served as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and a Family to Family instructor for National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Lachelle has been charged with expanding Systems of Care (SOC) to four counties in West/Central NC, serving youth with Serious Emotional Disturbances/Serious Mental Illness or first episode psychosis and families by collaborating with community stakeholders through a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Grant.
Lachelle earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lincoln University, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Geneva College.
Stephanie Funderburk, BA
Child System of Care Liaison, Iredell, Yadkin, and Surry Counties
Training Specialties: Child and Family Team Training (Parts I and II), Darkness to Light, Youth Mental Health First Aid, Adult Mental Health First Aid, Question Persuade Refer (QPR), and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)
Stephanie is the Child System of Care Liaison serving Iredell, Yadkin, and Surry counties. She develops connections among families, human service agencies, providers, schools, and advocates for children living with behavioral health issues or a disability. Stephanie serves as the Project Director for the Reclaiming Futures initiative ensuring the continuity of services for juvenile justice involved youth. She is an advocate for families and children and believes that all children can learn and be productive in society when given the right tools.
Stephanie graduated from Mitchell Community College with an associate degree in Early Childhood Development. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Ashford University.
Doug Gallion, MS
Associate Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Clinical Services Director
Training Specialties: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Service Definitions, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Care Coordination, Clinical Supervision, Medicaid & State Services, Autism Spectrum Disorder/Traumatic Brain Injury Resources, NC Innovations/1915 (c) Waiver, ICF-IID Levels of Care, and Home and Community Based Service Standards
Doug has experience in the intellectual and developmental disabilities field and has worked in a variety of roles, such as direct services, case management, clinical supervision, and managed care. Doug helps develop new initiatives related to IDD services.
Doug has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a master’s degree in Strategic Leadership with a concentration in healthcare from Mountain State University.
Integrated Care County Lead for Gaston County
Training Specialties: Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC), Collaborative Care, Social Determinants of Health, Collective Impact, Integrated Care, and Time Banks
Kenneth serves as a community resource and interacts directly with local stakeholders and community leaders to influence positive, lasting, health changes for the people he serves.
Kenneth has over nine years of experience working in the behavioral health field working in case management, housing services, and leading community efforts to address social health.
Kenneth is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a concentration in Family Development. He holds a certification in housing and is a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP).
Tammy Gilmore, M.Ed.
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Clinical Director
Training Specialties: NC Innovations Waiver (service definitions, waiver overview, resource allocation), Person-Centered Thinking/Practices, Person-Centered Planning
Tammy Gilmore has over 28 years’ experience in intellectual and developmental disabilities program development and implementation. Tammy joined Partners in 2016 as its Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Clinical Director, and prior to this role, served at Cardinal Innovations in a variety of roles, including, vice president of community programs, director of developmental disabilities and mental health services, and director of consumer planning and support services.
Tammy received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Pfeiffer University and a Master of Special Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has a strong commitment to person-centered practices and continuous quality improvement, and strives to improve outcomes and provide excellent service for individuals, families, and communities in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Jennifer R. Greene, MA, LPC
Integrated Care Project Manager
Training Specialties: Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC), Collaborative Care, Social Determinants of Health, Collect Impact, and Timebanks
Jennifer oversees the operational implementation of Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC) throughout the Partners’ region. She has worked to build collaborative relationships for improved health care over the last several years. She provided oversight to the collaborative efforts of the four agencies that make up the Lincoln Wellness Center. Through those efforts, Jennifer served as part of the team that earned the NC Council of Community Programs’ Excellence Award in Crisis Response in 2015 and the NC Outstanding CIT Partnership Award for 2016.
Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with an Industrial Organizational emphasis from Davidson College, and holds a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling with a School Counseling concentration from Lenoir-Rhyne University. Jennifer is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
Lynne Grey, MA, LPC, LCAS, CSI
Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Utilization Management Manager
Training Specialties: ASAM, Service Definitions, Service Delivery Options, Opioid Addiction, and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Continuum
Lynne’s professional experience includes providing individual, group, and family therapy for adolescents and adults diagnosed with substance use disorders. Lynne is also involved with Partners’ opioid addiction initiative, providing knowledge and training about treatment options for those struggling with addiction.
Lynne received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Arts in community counseling from Appalachian State University. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling.
Barbara Hallisey, MSW, LCSW
Associate Clinical Services Director
Training Specialties: Recovery-Oriented Supports, Ethics for Clinical Staff in a Managed Care Environment, Involuntary Commitment Process, and Mental Health Disorders
Barbara is a licensed clinical social worker and has 25 years of experience in the behavioral health field with a primary clinical focus on crisis and dual disorders (substance use and mental health). She has worked in all aspects of the care continuum, including crisis, inpatient, and intensive services.
Barbara helped establish North Carolina’s statutory waiver that allows certain master level clinicians to be certified to complete involuntary commitment first evaluations. This waiver allows people under involuntary commitment orders to be evaluated in a community setting, rather than forced into hospital emergency rooms.
Barbara completed her undergraduate degree in psychology from Colby College and earned her Master of Social Work from Salem State University.
Sonji F. Harrington, MBA
Financial Analysis Manager
Training Specialties: Data Analysis and Tracking Through Dashboarding, Process Mapping/Process Improvement, and Microsoft Excel
Sonji leads the Financial Analysis Department which provides both financial and statistical analysis and reports on a routine and ad hoc basis for internal Partners’ departments
Sonji earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Barber-Scotia College and a Master of Business Administration from Montreat College. Her 22 years of experience include process mapping, data, and budget analysis work in the fields of early childhood intervention, school based child health, public health, and behavioral health.
Larry Holcombe, CCS, CSAC
Provider Network Manager
Training Specialties: Relative as Direct Support Provider, Provider Monitoring, Dispute Resolution, and Plan of Correction Process
Larry has over 30 years in the substance use field, including time spent in the U.S. Navy as a Drug and Alcohol Program Advisor, a Residential Substance Abuse and Addictions Senior Counselor, and facility director of two Outpatient Drug and Alcohol facilities. He has worked extensively with various types of addiction, including drugs and alcohol, food, sex, gambling, adult children of alcoholics, and co-dependency.
Larry earned his Bachelor of Science degree in workforce, education, development, and training from Southern Illinois University.
Yang Jiang, ME, MBA
Training Specialties: Data Analytics and Simulation, Information Visualization, and Statistical Modeling
Yang performs statistical data analysis using data-mining tools to support strategic planning and decision making for Partners’ internal departments.
Previously, Yang was the Director of Institutional Research at University of South Carolina Upstate. He provided leadership with data analysis and internal/external reporting obligations. Prior to joining USC Upstate, he worked at the National Institution of Health (NIH) as a senior application engineer leading research projects and developing statistical models
Yang received a Master of Engineering in Data and Information Processing in China, and holds a Master of Business Administration from Gardner-Webb University.
Martha Kaufman, M.Ed.
Integrated Care Director
Training Specialties: Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC), and System of Care (SOC)
Martha has focused on advances in behavioral health care throughout her career and is responsible for developing Partners’ Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC) initiative. The WPIC model expands integrated care beyond the health care sector to include the social determinants of health, or the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play. By tackling all the conditions that affect an individual’s overall health, one can improve population health, reduce health disparities, advance health equity, and optimize public and private resources.
Martha holds a Master of Education in counseling psychology from Auburn University, with undergraduate work at Auburn and the University of Idaho.
Danielle Kincaid, LPC
Integrated Care County Lead for Burke County
Training Specialties: Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC), Collaborative Care, Social Determinants of Health, Collect Impact, and Timebanks
Danielle works collaboratively with the Whole Person Integrated Care team (WPIC) and community partners to improve cohesiveness of the community and implement WPIC in Burke County. She educates providers, stakeholders, and community members of Burke County about WPIC.
Danielle has a Master’s Degree in Community and School Counseling from Lenior-Rhyne University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Danielle has over six years of experience in counseling adults diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness, completing comprehensive clinical assessments for children and adults, serving in a supervisory role, and facilitating growth and change.
Beth Lackey, MSW, LCSW
Provider Network Director
Training Specialties: Provider Monitoring, Relative as Direct Support Employee, and Documentation
Beth is responsible for the development, credentialing, monitoring, and advancement of the provider network and service options for Partners’ members. Beth has experience working with foster children and managing, reviewing, and training foster parents to deliver quality care to the children they served, along with managing crisis placement. She also has experience in quality management, call center services, and utilization management.
Beth has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Appalachian State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina.
Brandy Lineberger, RN, CDP
Geriatric and Adult Specialty Team Program Coordinator
Training Specialties: Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Schizophrenia, Personality Disorders, and Depressive Disorders, Dementia, Challenging Behaviors, Suicide Prevention, How to Access Services, Medications, and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)
Brandy is a Registered Nurse and Certified Dementia Practitioner. Brandy has worked in various areas as a nurse including Intensive Care, Home Health, Hospice, Long Term Care, and Behavioral Health. She is a member of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine Older Adults Task Force, the Council on Aging and the NC Home and Community Block Grant Advisory Committee. Brandy also serves on many geriatric-focused work groups dedicated to improving the lives of the geriatric population.
Brandy attended Gaston College School of Nursing and Western Governors University.
Selenna Moss, MHA, BS-HIM, RHIT, CHP
Chief Quality and Compliance Officer
Training Specialties: Quality Improvement, Change Management, Ethics, Regulatory Compliance, Leadership, HIPAA, Fiscal Management, Documentation Management, Fraud, Waste and Abuse, Quality Management, and Teambuilding
Selenna has a diverse background where she has served in various management roles throughout her more than 26 years in the health care industry, including Assistant Health Director, Human Resources Director, Health Information Management (HIM) Director, Business Services Administrator, HIPAA Privacy Officer, Operations Director, and Compliance Officer.
Selenna holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in health information management. She is a registered Health Information Technician, certified in Healthcare Privacy from the American Health Information Management Association, and credentialed through the Health Care Compliance Association as Certified in Healthcare Compliance.
Child System of Care Liaison for Gaston, Cleveland, and Lincoln Counties
Training Specialties: Child and Family Team Training (Part I), Adult Mental Health First Aid, Youth Mental Health First Aid, I.C. Hope, Trauma Informed Care, Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, Question Persuade Refer (QPR), and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)
Jeanne is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer and I.C. Hope trainer. I.C. Hope is a program designed to help reduce the stigma of mental illness by teaching children ages 4-18 about mental health. Jeanne has a special interest in domestic violence and services for homeless children and adults.
Jeanne has extensive experience in human services, working in the school system, social services, with non-profit groups, and with a service provider. She worked with a local provider delivering Intensive-In Home services and Targeted Case Management.
Jeanne graduated from Salem College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and French.
Adult System of Care Liaison for Iredell, Surry, and Yadkin Counties
Training Specialties: Child and Family Team Training, Crisis Intervention Training, Question Persuade Refer (QPR), and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)
Kathi represents Partners with the Project Lazarus task force, and is the facilitator for Adult Community Collaborative groups in her three-county area. She has extensive work experience in matters relating to legislation for both the adult and youth populations, having assisted with drafting and implementing legislation relating to matters defining conditional releases for adults and defining competency in the juvenile court system. She has served as a senior consultant on a statewide multi-agency task force on matters relating to access to mental health and behavioral health services.
Kathi holds a degree in behavioral and social sciences and mental health counseling from the University of Maryland. She maintains her licensure through the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners.
Jamie Piercy, BS, QP
Adult System of Care Liaison for Cleveland, Lincoln and Gaston Counties
Training Specialties: Adult Mental Health First Aid, Question Persuade Refer (QPR), Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)
Jamie serves as the Adult System of Care Liaison for Cleveland, Lincoln, and Gaston counties. Jamie is a certified Adult Mental Health First Aid trainer and QPR trainer. QPR (Question Persuade Refer) is a suicide prevention training designed to promote hope in those who need it most. She also facilitates CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) training to help law enforcement agencies understand the challenges faced by those living with mental health, substance use disorder, or intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Jamie has over 12 years of experience working in the behavioral health field with both children and adults with mental health, substance use disorder, and intellectual or developmental disabilities. She has worked in a variety of settings including inpatient hospitals, outpatient community based services, and the Department of Social Services
Jamie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreational Therapy from Western Carolina University and is a Qualified Professional. She is working on her Master of Business Administration degree at Gardner-Webb University.
Lead Family Contact
Training Specialties: I.C. Hope, Child and Family Team 1 and 2, Darkness to Light, Question Persuade Refer (QPR), and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)
Casey works in partnership with the project implementation team (PIT) and participates in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the System of Care (SOC). She provides support services for families receiving services through the cooperative agreement and advocates for families and the SOC principles. Casey coordinates recruitment and development of other family partners and provides training on SOC principles and applications of family-centered care. She works with Community Stakeholders and Partners’ Staff to promote youth and family, family dynamics, SOC principles when working with youth, families and the organizations serving them.
Casey graduated from Central Piedmont Community College with a degree in Applied Science Human Services with a specialty in Developmental Disabilities. Casey has held several positions in the human services field working with non-profit groups and service providers. Casey has previously served as a Behavior Tech in a day treatment setting and in a group home setting.
Kim Rhoads, LCAS
Child System of Care Liaison, Burke and Catawba Counties
Training Specialties: Youth Mental Health First Aid, Child & Family Team, Darkness to Light, and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)
Kim develops connections among families, human service agencies, providers, schools, and advocates for children living with behavioral health issues or a disability. Kim also serves as Project Director for the Reclaiming Futures initiative ensuring the continuity of services for juvenile justice involved youth.
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) with experience in the recovery community as a therapist, consultant, and program manager. She has extensive experience in Public Health, serving as a coordinator for Healthy Carolinians, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention, and childcare health consulting programs. Kim has served as a member of the Healthy Carolinians Governing Board, Western North Carolina Public Health Association, Burke Council on Alcoholism and Chemical Dependency Board, and the State Medical Assistance Team.
Kim has a Bachelor of Science degree in health promotion and a Master of Arts in community counseling from Appalachian State University.
Randall Ross, BA
IDD Program Support Supervisor
Training Specialties: IDD processes, and getting connected to services through B-3 services and Innovations Waiver
Randall oversees Performance Measure Reporting, Slot Management, Intake/Referral, and Olmstead Processes.
Randall received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Lenoir-Rhyne University. He has over 25 years of experience working in the Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD)/Mental Health (MH)/ Substance Use (SU) field.
Jamie Sales, MAEL
System of Care Manager
Training Specialties: Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), Child and Family Teams, System of Care, and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)
Jamie works to develop strategic initiatives to advance the system of care model for members within Partners’ catchment area.
Jamie has worked closely with the state’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training program, presenting at state and national CIT conferences, including the NC Chief of Police Conference, Jail Administrator Conference, and the Governor’s Crime Commission Conference on Safe Communities.
Jamie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in human services from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master’s degree in Executive Leadership from Liberty University.
Jeffrey Sanders, MSW, MPA, LCSW
Transition to Community Living Initiative Manager
Training Specialties: Consumer Rights, and Ethics for Clinical Staff in a Managed Care Environment
Jeffrey leads a program that helps people with severe and persistent mental illness move out of an institutional living facility to their own residence. Jeffrey has worked in the behavioral health field for over 18 years. He has experience in crisis intervention services, delivering substance use disorder, mental health, crisis emergency services, quality improvement/management reporting, and consumer rights.
Jeffery is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Social Work from Clark Atlanta University, and a Master of Public Administration from Troy State University.
Andrew Schrag, LPCS
Regional Director of Community Operations, Southern Region
Training Specialties: Community Engagement, and Integrated Health Care
Andrew engages with key community stakeholders, such as elected officials and government agencies, to identify system barriers, develop solutions, and lead Partners’ efforts in those communities. He has experience in the private sector providing treatment of mental health disorders to children, adolescents, and adults. In addition, Andrew has taught a variety of undergraduate psychology courses for multiple colleges over the past eight years.
Andrew has a master’s degree in counseling from Eastern Mennonite University and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Indiana University-Bloomington. He is currently in pursuit of his Master in Business Administration degree through the University of Mississippi. Andrew is both a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Professional Counseling Supervisor.
Michael Smith, QP
Adult System of Care Liaison, Burke and Catawba Counties
Training Specialties: Youth Mental Health First Aid, Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)
Michael has over 13 years of experience working in the behavioral health field, working in case management, educational, and service delivery settings. Michael serves as a resource to local law enforcement agencies to help officers understand the challenges faced by individuals living with a mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disabilities diagnoses. He facilitates area Adult Community Collaborative groups, which bring all agencies, advocates, and volunteers working with adults together to identify solutions and reduce barriers for those living with a behavioral health diagnosis.
Michael is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation management.
Veronica Somerville, MHA, MBA
Quality Management Analyst
Training Specialties: TOPPS 101, and Superuser Training
Veronica interacts with provider agencies within Partners’ catchment area to ensure they have all the resources they need to follow NC-TOPPS’ (North Carolina Treatment Outcomes Program Performance System) requirements.
Veronica earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management from Winston-Salem State University and holds Dual Master of Business degrees in Healthcare Administration and Business Administration degrees from Pfeiffer University.
Dr. Bess Stanton
Chief Medical Officer
Andrew Walsh, JD, MBA
Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel
Training Specialties: Mediation Proceedings, Service Decision Appeals, and Documentation
Andrew has helped design, implement, oversee, maintain, and advise various health care dispute processes. Andrew has been involved in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation and arbitration, and teaching ADR and negotiation at two law schools and numerous workshops and trainings in various states.
In addition to health care law, Andrew has practiced primarily in large, complex business litigation, including director and officer liability, audit malpractice, failed bank litigation, antitrust investigations, and securities litigation. As a council member of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Health Law Section and active member of the North Carolina Society of Health Care Attorneys, he has organized, presented, and written on North Carolina Medicaid transformation law. Andrew is an executive committee member of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s (ACC) Health Law Committee, and registered as a Dispute Resolver and author for the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA).
Andrew holds a Six Sigma greenbelt and licenses to practice law in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts in economics and history from Cornell University. His Juris Doctor and a Master of Business Administration degree were obtained from the University of Tennessee. Andrew has also taken non-degree graduate studies in econometrics, industrial organization, and regulatory economics at George Washington University.
Leah Williams, DrPH, MPH
Training Specialties: Public Health Approaches, and Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC)
Dr. Williams has built an extensive career focusing in quantitative and qualitative methods, program evaluation, and health disparities. She brings experience from academic institutions, research centers, state and local government agencies, and nonprofit public health. Dr. Williams’ research interests include behavioral health, health communication, and health education and promotion.
Dr. Williams received her Doctorate of Public Health from the University of South Carolina, Master of Public Health degree from the University of Kentucky, and Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.