Staff

Management Team

Lucy Gillespie

  • Management Team
Director of Operations
2014
lgillespie@mhankyswoh.org
513-721-2910
Southwest Ohio Office
Lucy joined MHA as the Regional Mental Health First Aid Director in October of 2014. In November 2015, after receiving a SAMHSA Grant and transitioning the Tristate HUB for Mental Health First Aid to Interact for Health, Lucy accepted the role as Director of Operations and is managing both the Youth Mental Health First Aid SAMHSA AWARE-C and Supported Employment grants. Lucy enjoys walking, reading Harry Potter, hanging out and laughing with family and friends.
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Elizabeth Atwell, LSW

  • Management Team
Executive Director
1998
eatwell@mhankyswoh.org
513-562-2583
Southwest Ohio Office

Liz has twenty years of experience working in the social service field, holding various positions related to mental health and substance abuse.   She has developed particular experience in the areas of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention, as well as in criminal justice/law enforcement education.  She was formerly a Director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, serving Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.  Liz currently serves as a board member for the Leadership Council of Human Services Executives and the Partnership for Mental Health, is a member of the Eastern Area Action Council for the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the CIT Coordinator for Hamilton County.

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Jill King

  • Management Team
Associate Executive Director
October 1996
jking@mhankyswoh.org
859-431-1077 x 103
Northern Kentucky

Jill King is the Associate Director for Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky.  She is the KY Outreach Partner for the National Institute of Mental Health.  She oversees staff and agency programs. “I’ve dedicated myself to increasing the public’s access to science-based mental health/ illness and substance use disorder information, services and treatment options.”  Jill leads a Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky awareness marketing initiative, which includes development of advertising, PR, the production of a monthly public access cable show, education and screening initiatives. Since 1996 Jill has been responsible for administering over 14,500 screenings and educating over 15,500 individuals. She is recognized for her signature “Manage Your Mood” education program. She has over 600 hours of formal training in mental disorders, behaviors and treatments. Previous accomplishments and affiliations include: starting Project Safe Place for Northern Kentucky, working on the ground floor development of the BBB Automotive Arbitration Program, proprietor of the Auburn Suite Bed and Breakfast, active leadership roles in her neighborhood associations, nominated for the Healthcare Heroes award, and coordinator of the first ever reunion for the orphanage residents of the Children’s Home of NKY. “Thanks to everyone that has and will inspire me to make a difference in people's lives. Thanks to those of you that mentor me and those of you that share your courage, strength and secrets to recovery.”

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MHA Staff

Candace Moore

  • MHA Staff
Peer Recovery Supporter
2017
cmoore@mhankyswoh.org
Warren & Clinton Counties; Ohio
Candace began working as Peer Recovery Supporter in the fall of 2017. She shares, "As a survivor of childhood traumas, I had a long road to recovery.  Through struggles with PTSD, generalized anxieties, and Postpartum Depression I gained a lot of compassion for those individuals coping with other mental health issues and addictions. While my road to recovery was long, wide, and winding, that is not the status quo for everyone in recovery. I utilized therapy, psychiatrics, and a long list of self care to cope with my triggers. Today, in recovery, I have found a beauty that I could not see before. One that I hope to pass down to my young daughter in place of those anxieties and triggers. My goals in this position are many, but the first of those is to treat every human being with respect and compassion. The second is to do my absolute best to support them in their goals as the positive support network I built does for me."
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Debra West

  • MHA Staff
Peer Recovery Supporter
2017
dwest@mhankyswoh.org
957-532-0661
Warren & Clinton Counties; Ohio
Over a span of 22 years, I went from occasionally drinking and drugging to being a homeless, hopeless, broken, beaten prostitute, criminal and addict. It wasn’t until I got sick and tired of being left for dead and of being dead inside that I chose a path of recovery. Today, with over 6 years in recovery from addition and mental health episodes, I choose to live and to be an example of hope and perseverance to others. As a peer supporter, I can do what others have done for me, and so much more. If I can do it, so can you. There is Hope! Just today, I will not bring destruction and chaos, instead I choose to live a life that builds up others and myself, a life of peace, love, resiliency – of Recovery!
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Lori Grant

  • MHA Staff
Clinical Coordinator Warren & Clinton Counties
2016
lgrant@mhankyswoh.org
513-562-2583
Warren & Clinton Counties; Ohio
Lori came to Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio to work with the peer expansion project in Clinton and Warren Counties, as the Peer Recovery Supporter Clinical Coordinator in October 2016. She has both a Bachelor and Master of Social Work degree(s), from the University of Cincinnati. Lori states, “I believe in person centered care, which means, I believe clients are experts in their own lives, and we, as helpers, must value their autonomy above all else. I believe everyone has a tendency to self-actualize, and will pursue what is best for themselves, especially if they are supported in that endeavor. I am married, and have four adult sons, and next to family, I love reading, hiking, gardening, studying history, watching HGTV, and a good football game as well
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Pennie Tackett

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
2017
pennie.tackett@northkey.org
859-431-4770
Northern Kentucky
Pennie began working as a Peer Support Specialist in the fall of 2017. She shares, “When I was growing up, Alcohol was a normal part of my family’s life. Many of my family members drank and suffered substance abuse disorders. We were allowed to have one drink with alcohol when it was a special occasion. I didn't know that all families did not drink. My parents divorced when we were still very young and we experienced separation anxiety. My youngest brother had a learning disability and some undiagnosed mental issues while my oldest brother was busy experimenting with drugs and alcohol. I attended IEP meetings with my mom and I attended many schools, trying to find the right school for my brother. I attended 11 schools before graduation. As an adult I attended Alanon meetings thinking I could learn how to fix both my brothers, but no, that's not how it works. I had some abusive relationships in my adult life and I suffered from anxiety, depression, and PTSD. My oldest brother served in the army and had 4 sons. He became an alcoholic and started abusing pain pills. He graduated to heroin in his 40s and lost his life in 2008. Not long after, my oldest son was stabbed in a fight that could have taken his life. He was prescribed opiates and eventually turned to heroin. To say, “I hate heroin” is an understatement. Around the same time, I took guardian ship of two grandchildren and am still raising one of them. One of my grandchildren is in foster care right now. I started advocating for people with substance use disorders and took a job at Droege House in the detox. I started seeing a therapist to learn how to take care of my self first. I had to learn that I could not fix anyone but myself. I started support groups for people with substance use disorders and for their families. I learned to set boundaries and support my son in a healthy way. I got involved with organizations like Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children (KPFC), Northern Kentucky Heroin Impact Response Team and People Advocating Recovery.  KPFC is where I received my Family Peer Support Certification. I'm excited to get involved here at MHA and to start helping families in our community.
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Stacy Litz

  • MHA Staff
Peer Recovery Supporter
2017
slitz@mhankyswoh.org
513-849-6383
Warren & Clinton Counties; Ohio
Stacy A. Litz is a Certified Peer Support Specialist in the State of Ohio, where she has devoted her life to helping others to learn to live their lives free from the grips of Substance Abuse and co-occurring Mental Health Disorders.  She has extensive experience in significant life-altering changes and trauma, which she has learned to overcome through her years in recovery.  Her sobriety path began on August 21st, 2008. Stacy is an active alumni member of Tapestry. Tapestry, established in 1991, is a Therapeutic Community (TC) located inside the walls of the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio.  This gives her a very strong support system of well over 500 members. Stacy has the compassion and skills that drive her to help others to succeed as she continues in her own success. Stacy is a member of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support and education.  As a member of NAADAC, she receives numerous benefits designed to help her grow and prosper as an addiction professional, including: Education, Advocacy, Professional Identity, and Professional Services. She currently resides in Middletown, Ohio where in her free time she enjoys being creative and exploring new experiences with her 3 children. Living her life free of the chaos that once consumed her, and having gratitude in watching others learn a new way to live.
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Stephanie Rice

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
2016
stephanie.rice@northkey.org
859-431-4770 ext 5788
Northern Kentucky
Following a call to action, this native New Englander packed the car, grabbed the cat, and drove west to Cincinnati. Seeking new professional opportunities while pursuing personal change, the time was now for a career move. Following my interest in our health care system led me to the discovery of the Peer Support Specialist.  After reading what a Peer Support Specialist does I thought to myself, “Wow, it’s like a job was created and tailored just for me.” I was excited that such a role existed, one which allowed me to share, rather than hide, my history with mental health issues. As a child I knew that I was different from others and didn’t “fit in”. Not knowing what was “wrong” with me and wanting to “belong” I expended a lot of energy trying to be “normal”. It was an exhausting process that didn’t work. My peers thought I was weird and ostracized me for not understanding the unspoken social rules. I became an anxious and an extremely self-conscious child and the anxiety followed me into adulthood. As a discouraged adult lacking self awareness coupled with no sense of belonging, life was mediocre at best.  I couldn’t figure out how to be “like everyone else” and I lamented my quality of life. Convinced I would always be on the outside looking in I become my own worst enemy. After years of personal struggle and tired of my status quo I sought help. Receiving a mental health diagnosis was a surprise, but I was relieved that there was an actual medical reason behind my thoughts and behavior. I always used to ask myself “what is wrong with me, why am I like this?” Armed with an answer, I channeled my years of frustration into becoming my own best advocate. Enabled by my medicated clear head I acquired the needed tools and learned how to manage myself. Repossessing my dignity and self-respect created a newfound sense of control and now I was no longer on the outside looking in. Well into recovery and enjoying my now de-cluttered mind, I spend my time: researching random topics, looking for the proverbial smoking gun, and cursing industrial designers for making product packaging so difficult to get into. I also start multiple projects that I never finish, read case law, and use my hyper-focus to find the best online shopping deals.
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Matt Muir

  • MHA Staff
Community Support Program Manager
2006
mmuir@mhankyswoh.org
859-431-1077 x 112
Northern Kentucky

I started volunteering at MHA in 1998 through the Exodus Jail listening ministry program. In  2006 I started facilitating and coordinating support groups, program administration of the DUI program, and helping with the management of the Exodus program.  I also get to work with community members who need help with monthly budgeting through MHA’s payee program. My degree is in Education which allows me to teach the Prime For Life alcohol/drug risk reduction program. I enjoy music, travel and scrabble.
 

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Laura Romito

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
2017
laura.romito@northkey.org
859-431-4770
Northern Kentucky

Laura began working as a Peer Support Specialist in June 2017 at MHA. She shares, “I recently graduated from NKU with an associate’s degree in Integrative Studies with a focus in Psychology. I was trained in March to become a KY Certified Peer Support Specialist. I heard about the training from my sister Kasey Eten, who is MHA’s Youth Mental Health First Aid Co- Instructor and Grant Coordinator. I became interested in Peer Support before I even knew it was “real”. I’ve had three spinal fusions. Since I was 13, I have dealt with daily chronic pain. I have lost years of school and years in my life due to debilitating pain. My first surgery was supposed to be a one and done deal. Things definitely don’t always turn out the way they should. You can’t tell by looking at me but I have a 29 “scar running down my back. I also don’t have a sticker on my head stating my diagnoses as Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD. Mental illnesses can be invisible illnesses. I find it important to be able to discuss our stories with others because there is a good chance they could be affected too. This is where peer support comes in. I know that I have a wealth of knowledge and it would be a shame not to share. I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine. I feel that I am in a great spot in my life to start helping others. I look forward to helping clients but I also look forward to learning from them.”

 

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Katherine McCormick

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
2016
k.mccormick@northkey.org
859-431-4770
Northern Kentucky

My name is Katherine or Kat for short. I'm a Cincinnati native and I have such a passion for working in the Human Services field. I can't wait to see where my personal/professional experiences take me in working through MHA as a Peer Support Specialist! I'm beyond excited to work for MHA and NorthKey to see what I can accomplish within these great agencies!

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Lisa Monast, MA, MA

  • MHA Staff
CIT Coordinator
May 27, 2014
lmonast@mhankyswoh.org
513-721-2910
Southwest Ohio Office

Lisa joined the MHA family in May, 2014 as the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Coordinator.  She holds the Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Cincinnati and the Master of Arts in Theology from Xavier University. In addition to her work in mental health, Lisa also serves as Adjunct Faculty in the Theology Department at Xavier University. Endeavoring to uphold a strong and uncompromising ethic of compassion, Lisa embraces fully the goals and ideals of social justice and values education as a means of liberating people so that they can better lead lives of integrity and peace, both within themselves and within their world.

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Kara Atwell

  • MHA Staff
Administrative Assistant
2016
katwell@mhankyswoh.org
513-721-2910
Southwest Ohio Office

Kara Atwell first became involved with MHA in early 2015 with the Mental Health First Aid program. While obtaining her undergraduate degree in Business Management, she struggled greatly with mental illness and substance use. Despite many setbacks, Kara graduated and began working at Finding Hope Consulting, LLC, a small company that trains clinicians how to help clients recover through trauma informed practices. She states, "Through this work, I am inspired by the work of those around me with regards to the impact of trauma and the intricate workings of the brain." With the immense support of her family and friends, she is returning to school at the University of Cincinnati to study Pre-Health Sciences in hopes of one day becoming a Psychiatrist. As a certified Kentucky Peer Support Specialist, Kara will continue with MHA as the Education Administrative Assistant, working with peer support, crisis intervention training, and other continuing education programs.

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Bill Feighery

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
1-6-14
b.feighery@twc.com
859-957-0432
Northern Kentucky
I was in the same line of work for 30 years in my family's automotive dealership. I started my involvement with Mental Health America on 6/2/2011 volunteering for the Exodus Jail Visitation Program. I began helping coordinate the jail visits for over 40 volunteers for a couple years as well. On 6/21/2012 I became a KY Adult Certified Peer Support Specialist. On 1/6/2014 I became employed by MHA as a Peer Support Specialist on NorthKey Community Care ACT Team. And, on 7/6/2015 I started helping out people with mental and substance use disorders through MHA's SA Wrap Around Program in conjunction with Transitions Droege House Treatment Program. I enjoy helping people achieve recovery. I also love spending time with my family -- grandchildren, dog, and wife. Gardening is what I do to destress.
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Deann Braden

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
9-29-14
deebraden10@outlook.com
Northern Kentucky
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Brett Duncan

  • MHA Staff
Peer Recovery Supporter
2017
Warren & Clinton Counties; Ohio

Brett began working as  Peer Recovery Support at MHA in the fall of 2017. He has struggled with depression and anxiety since his early teens.  He was hospitalized for the first time at 17 and diagnosed with severe depression.  After being hospitalized, he continued outpatient care until he started college.  He successfully completed his bachelor’s degree in Communication and remained stable for over a decade.  With the pressures of work and marriage, he began to struggle with anxiety and depression which lead to him seeking professional help in his early thirties.  Through the help of professionals and medication he was again able to stabilize his mental health until 2015/2016.  A series of health issues, deaths and other losses lead to two hospitalizations and three ER visits in January/February 2017.  IOP and DBT programs further assisted his recovery.  As a result of these experiences, Brett has a strong desire to help others with both mental health and substance abuse concerns.  Running, prayer/meditation and creative outlets such as, writing and artwork are major components of his ongoing recovery.  

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Sheldon “Tico” Greene

  • MHA Staff
Peer Recovery Supporter
2017
sheldon.greene@yahoo.com
513-721-2910
Northern Kentucky

Sheldon, AKA "Tico" was born in Miami Florida where he states, "I enjoyed a wonderful childhood there." He left in 1974 to attend college at Kentucky State University where he played 4 years of football, traveled and experienced life. After college, he went into Corrections as a Officer at 3 different institutions here in Ohio. As a Corrections Office, he also worked in the food service industry where MEET THE TEAM

New Employee Orientation Manual Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky & Southwest Ohio 27 | P a g e

he started as a dish washer. He retired as a Corrections Officer but still works in food services as the Kitchen Manager at SmoQ Restaurant in Springdale, Ohio putting out some exciting Southern BBQ. Tico states, "I am recently married with 5 adult children and 7 grand children. I'm ready to hang up my spatula and give back to those in need of Love, Support and Care.

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Meg Harmon

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
10-16-2017
meg.harmon@northkey.org
859-431-4770 ext 5769
Northern Kentucky
Meg began working at MHA as a Peer Specialist in October 2017. She shares, “I worked for a marketing research company for more than 30 years until the end of 2016 when I got laid off resulting from a reduction in force at my company.  I have been volunteering at the Hamilton County Justice Center for 15 or more years bringing volunteers in to spread experience, strength and hope.  During that time, I felt like this was really something I would love to spend more time with in my life.  I met someone who suggested I take a Kentucky Peer Specialist training course and get certified, so I did in July, 2017.  I am excited to start my new career helping people with substance use and mental health disorders.  I feel like I would love to give back what was given to me.  In my spare time, I love golfing, bowling and taking lots of walks outside on beautiful days, as well as spending time with family and friends.
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Bridget Hensley

  • MHA Staff
Peer Support Specialist
2016
bhensley@mhankyswoh.org
859-547-6539
Northern Kentucky
Hi all my name is Bridget Hensley, I am a KY Peer Specialist working as the Coordinator at the PIER. I live in Ft. Thomas, KY with my mom and two WONDERFUL kids, Madalin  and Oliver. My dad passed away when I was in the 3rd grade of an accidental OD. I am recently divorced after 7 years of marriage and I have to say that for the first time in almost 8 years I am no longer battling my own demons on a minute to minute basis. I found recovery 20 months ago and have not looked back! My mental health started at 3 years of age in the form of obsession and compulsion around the time my mom and dad got a divorce. I was extremely close to him and having him leave triggered me to think the person closest to me was going to leave me, disown me, stop loving, etc. At this time OCD was not really talked about in the mental health field. I would constantly worry my mom would now leave me, that she loved my brother more, or if I stepped on her foot would she stop loving me. This went on all day and I constantly had to ask for her assurance that she still loved me. For years, I lived with this anxiety and the depression it caused trying to be normal. Then in the 2nd grade, I remember being miserable - my mom was so scared – I had a therapist and psychiatrist but nothing helped. She found an article for a study at UC Hospital and I went. In the study, some got a placebo and some got the medicine for OCD. My mom new right away I had the medicine because my symptoms seemed to disappear. I was a whole new person and it was a MIRACLE!!!! This medicine worked wonderfully. I continued on it without any problems and saw a psychiatrist monthly. In high school, I became really depressed again and was sleeping all the time. The doctors raised me to the max dose but saw no difference in my mood, so they switched medications. Although, it was a rough rode for awhile, we go the dosage correct and it worked out. I met my husband, John when I was 21 and I got pregnant at age 24. I got off my medication for the pregnancy and was really depressed. More than the OCD, this time I was extremely depressed. I was in nursing school through pregnancy and took a 6 month leave of absence when I had my daughter, Madalin. Right after I had her, I got back on my medicine and within a few weeks I was back to my old self. After the time off, I started back to school and remember the first time taking a pain pill for fun. It was in pharmacology class with a good friend – I had taken pain pills in the past for surgery and giving birth, but did not experience the euphoria as I did the day in pharmacology. I graduated in 2008 and started working at University Hospital as an RN. I loved work so much it was meant for me to work with and help people. One day, I saw a PCA take a pill from her locker and said give me one – half a Percocet. She gave me a few here and there and I really started to love them. John and I got married June 27th, 2009 and I remember getting some pills for our wedding and our honeymoon. I got pregnant on our honeymoon and the whole pregnancy, I could think of nothing but how they would give me pills after I delivered the baby. I delivered Oliver and all I got was extra strength Motrin!!! I had a rough delivery so by day two at home I had my husband call the doctor for pain medicine, not because I needed it because I wanted it. Once that script was gone I had to have more. So I called my PCA friend and started buying them from her. I went back to work addicted. I bought pills from another friend so I always had enough not to be sick. Money was going fast. One day at work, I was sick because I no pills and there was a machine full of them. Needless to say I took one and no alarm went off, SO I started taking them as secretive as I could. I was arrested 2 weeks later. It took multiple tries, thousands of dollars, 3 IOP, 2 trips to the Lindner Center inpatient Sibcy House, but now I am SOBER!!!! My nursing license was suspended but I am back helping people as a Certified Peer Support Specialist and it is what makes me thrive. I love helping others help themselves – without it I would not be where I am today.
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Stephanie Rice

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
2016
stephanie.rice@northkey.org
859-431-4770 ext 506
Northern Kentucky

Following a call to action, this native New Englander packed the car, grabbed the cat, and drove west to Cincinnati. Seeking new professional opportunities while pursuing personal change; the time was now for a career move.

Following my interest in our health care system led me to the discovery of the Peer Support Specialist.  After reading what a Peer Support Specialist does I thought to myself, “Wow, it’s like a job was created and tailored just for me.” I was excited that such a role existed, one which allowed me to share, rather than hide, my history with mental health issues.

As a child I knew that I was different from others and didn’t “fit in”. Not knowing what was “wrong” with me and wanting to “belong” I expended a lot of energy trying to be “normal”. It was an exhausting process that didn’t work. My peers thought I was weird and ostracized me for not understanding the unspoken social rules. I became an anxious and an extremely self-conscious child and the anxiety followed me into adulthood. 

As a discouraged adult lacking self awareness coupled with no sense of belonging, life was mediocre at best.  I couldn’t figure out how to be “like everyone else” and I lamented my quality of life. Convinced I would always be on the outside looking in I become my own worst enemy.

After years of personal struggle and tired of my status quo I sought help. Receiving a mental health diagnosis was a surprise, but I was relieved that there was an actual medical reason behind my thoughts and behavior. I always used to ask myself “what is wrong with me, why am I like this?” Armed with an answer, I channeled my years of frustration into becoming my own best advocate. Enabled by my medicated clear head I acquired the needed tools and learned how to manage myself. Repossessing my dignity and self-respect created a newfound sense of control and now I was no longer on the outside looking in.

Well into recovery and enjoying my now de-cluttered mind, I spend my time: researching random topics, looking for the proverbial smoking gun, and cursing industrial designers for making product packaging so difficult to get into. I also start multiple projects that I never finish, read case law, and use my hyper-focus to find the best online shopping deals.
 

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Robert "Chip" Drews

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
2016
robert.drews@northkey.org
859-578-3200
Northern Kentucky

Robert “Chip” Drews comes to Mental Health America with a wealth of experience. He retired five years ago from 46 ½ years at Leyman Lift Gates where he was the Vice President of Sales. He shares, “I have been sober in AA for over 21 1/2 years, an active member of Al-Anon for 27 years and I was also an Alateen sponsor for over 11 years.” Before being a Peer Support Specialist, he worked a lot with homeless individuals and sponsored many people with addictions. Chip states, “I'm working with clients who have addictions, many whom are in recovery from alcoholism and I really enjoy helping them and their families.”

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Bill Shamblin

  • MHA Staff
Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor
2016
bshamblin@mhankyswoh.org
859-431-1077
Northern Kentucky

Bill began working at Mental Health America in early 2016 were he works as a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor and provides outreach support for the agency’s SAMHSA Aware Grant. Bill’s background includes stints as a price economist, marketing research/advertising director, public school communications director, as well as time spent as a comedy writer, and technology analyst. Bill’s interest in advocating for youth mental health was a direct result of his work in the area of public education. Bill holds a B.A in economics from the University of Maryland and a M.B.A. from the Georgia Institute of Technology. In his off time Bill dotes on his daughters, plays baseball, and wields a guitar in any band that will tolerate him.

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Kasey Eten

  • MHA Staff
Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor
2016
kromito@mhankyswoh.org
859-431-1077
Northern Kentucky

Kasey Eten joined MHA as a Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor in January of 2016. She earned a BS in Psychology at Northern Kentucky University, and underwent training to be certified as a YMHFA Instructor. Though her education has served as a solid foundation for the Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor position, her personal experience with mental illness has had the most profound impact on her ability to effectively teach such a necessary course. Kasey enjoys volunteering for a program that offers equine and canine assisted activities/therapy, and embraces the opportunity to learn and grow through interactions with others.

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Jenna Florence

  • MHA Staff
Peer Recovery Support Program Coordinator
2017
jflorence@mhankyswoh.org
513-721-2910
Warren & Clinton Counties; Ohio
I am very excited to be apart of MHA and believe strongly in the principles of peer support and how it can have lasting impacts on the lives of individuals. I graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor's Degree in International Trade. However, after graduation, I felt unfulfilled with my degree, so I decided to pursue my Master's Degree in London, England at King's College London where I studied Conflict, Security and Development. While in England, I met my husband (who is English) and I traveled throughout Europe. My passion, beside helping others, is the joy of traveling and experiencing other cultures as well as horse riding. I especially enjoy when I can combine the two. As a huge animal lover, I have two cats and two horses I adore.
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Alex Klein

  • MHA Staff
Supported Employment Specialist
3/14/2016
aklein@mhankyswoh.org
859-431-1077 ext 107
Northern Kentucky

Alex comes to us from NorthKey where he has been a Direct Support Professional.  Alex is a northern Kentucky resident who has assisted many individuals find and maintain meaningful employment through his previous work at The Point. Alex received a CESP(Certified Employment Support Professional) designation from APSE (Association of People Supporting Employment First) in 2014. He also attended Lincoln College located in northern Kentucky where he gained knowledge of mental health. Alex enjoys working with people and creating partnerships with local companies in northern Kentucky and southwest Ohio.

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Nicole Schnur

  • MHA Staff
Peer Support Specialist
3/14/2016
nschnur@mhankyswoh.org
859-431-4770
Northern Kentucky
I am a wife, mother of 7, which 4 of them are dogs and grandmother of 1 beautiful granddaughter.
The experience I bring, is my personal life experiences. I believe that you truly know where someone is coming from when you have already been there yourself. I never could believe in that old saying, “things happened for a reason” until I started working with MHA and Northkey. What I’ve experienced in my life, our family’s hardships and the hard rough road we went down, happened for a reason, for me to help others through their hardships. My life has lead me to volunteer and give back to those who helped my family and I. Hard work, compassion, and goal setting can take you farther than you can imagine. Never giving up is the key to success. 
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Nichole Preisler

  • MHA Staff
Administrative Assistant
4/11/2016
npreisler@mhankyswoh.org
859-431-1077 ext 104
Northern Kentucky
Nichole Preisler joined us as the Executive Assistant. She is a seasoned Executive Assistant with over 20 years of experience in the field.  She has extensive experience with all administrative tasks, including calendar and meeting coordination as well as travel and event planning.  In her free time, she enjoys baking and spending time with her 2 granddaughters.
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Carrie Ammerman

  • MHA Staff
Receptionist/Office Manager
4/11/2016
cammerman@mhankyswoh.org
859-431-1077 ext 101
Northern Kentucky
Carrie Ammerman joined MHA as the Receptionist and Office Manager. She comes to MHA after retiring from an agency that provided mental health/substance abuse services to individuals in the Northern Kentucky area.  She has 27 years of office support experience and enjoys being part of a team that provides people in need with assistance and support.  She states, “I look forward to being able to work as part of MHA’s team doing what has become my passion, helping others.”  In Carrie’s “down time” she loves spending time with my family, doing yard work and vacations to the beach.
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Robert Race

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
2017
robert.race@northkey.org
859-431-4770
Northern Kentucky

Bob Race’s background includes a career in aspects of Human Resources including recruiting, outplacement, conflict resolution, organizational development and training. His career also includes retail and wholesale management and purchasing with national organizations.

Past employers and contract assignments have included companies such as Chiquita, Anheuser-Busch, Merrill Lynch, GE Aircraft Engines as well as the Departments of Defense and Energy.

Bob and his wife currently reside in the Greater Cincinnati area.

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James "Scott" Orcena

  • MHA Staff
Peer Support Specialist
2017
james.orcena@northkey.org
859-957-0432
Northern Kentucky

 

 

Hello my name is Scott Orcena. I grew up in Mt. Gilead and Edison, Ohio, very small towns north of Columbus Ohio. I attended Ohio State University for 2 years. I am now enrolled at Gateway Community and Technical college, with pathway to NKU. My major is human services. I have lived and worked many places, I love Northern Kentucky. I worked in the printing field for over 30 years. I have always enjoyed working with people. I enjoy coaching sports of all kinds football, baseball, Special Olympics the last 12 years. I love to spend time with my family, Fishing, camping and traveling back to Ohio to see my family there.

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John Riesenberg

  • MHA Staff
Manager of the Supported Employment Program
2005
jriesenberg@mhankyswoh.org
859-431-1077 x 106
Northern Kentucky

I was born and raised in Northern Kentucky and still reside in the area to this day. After College I began my own floor refinishing business and worked in all aspects of the company until I sold it in 2005. It was then that I joined the staff here at Mental Health America as a Supported Employment Specialist. I enjoy coaching competitive AAU basketball and have been involved in doing so for over 15 years.

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Mark Pierce

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
July 2000
mpierce@mhankyswoh.org
859-431-1077 x 113
Northern Kentucky

I started as a volunteer while living homeless in the streets of Covington/Cincinnati area. With the help of the Homeless Services Project, a program that MHA & RNNK is a part of now, I made my way off the streets and have been with the company through 3 different office locations and assisting thousands of people. I have been a certified Peer Support Specialist for 5 years and just became a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant.

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Michelle Rolf

  • MHA Staff
Compeer Director
March 2000
mrolf@mhankyswoh.org
513-562-2581
Warren & Clinton Counties; Ohio

My name is Michelle Rolf.  I first came to MHA to start Compeer in Clinton County and now direct the program in Warren County as well.  I received my BA in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati (Go Bearcats!)  My previous experience includes being an investigative and ongoing case worker and a children’s case manager.  I am happily married to my husband Scott and we have three wonderful children together.  In my free time (well….my time when I am not working at least), I love supporting my husband with his coaching, cheering on  my children in their sports and school activities, being involved in my  church and even a little painting and gardening here and there.  I enjoy helping others and my position with MHA gives me that opportunity.

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Melinda A. Sponseller PCC-S LPCC

  • MHA Staff
Pro Bono Counseling Program Coordinator
February 2013
msponseller@mhankyswoh.org
513-562-2582
Southwest Ohio Office

I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the states of Ohio and Kentucky with 18 years experience in the mental health field. I am also in private practice in Ohio and own my own adoption agency, Adoption Services of KY, in Covington doing adoption home studies for private and domestic adoptions. I enjoy music, sporting events, and hanging out with my family and friends.

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Douglas Witt

  • MHA Staff
Certified Peer Support Specialist
2017
doug.witt@northkey.org
859-431-4770
Northern Kentucky
My name is Doug Witt and I began working at MHA as a Peer Specialist in September 2017.  A little about myself I grew up in Cincinnati, I joined the US Army when I was 18 and got out in 1983.  I starting working for the US Postal Service and retired from there after 30 years. I am married and have a 23 year old son and 3 step-children all grown.  I am a recovering addict I am very involved with the recovery community in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati area.  I view my recovery as the most important thing I do and I sponsor several men and work with them on the 12 steps.  I am the Northern Kentucky narcotics anonymous chairperson and I am involved with many outreach activities to spread NA into our counties to the south of us. I have been involved in bringing meetings in county detention centers and SAP programs.  I try to live by spiritual principals and I see being a peer recovery specialist as being a true blessing and being a way to help others and in return help strengthen my own recovery.  I look forward to serving my community by helping others not only with my lived experience but also my experience working and living a program of recovery.
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Linnette Graesser

  • MHA Staff
Peer Recovery Supporter
2015
lgraesser@mhankyswoh.org
937-728-3922
Warren & Clinton Counties; Ohio

Linnette began working with Mental Health America's Compeer Program in 2014.  She was diagnosed with Bipolar Type 1 in 2002 at the age of 22.  Despite this diagnosis, she completed the Bachelor's of Science in Accounting in 2009.  She worked as an accountant for 10 years until deciding to pursue a career in social services.  For the past three years Linnette has been providing peer support to the Warren and Clinton County Ohio Compeer participants.

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Kathy Herdman

  • MHA Staff
Peer Recovery Supporter
2017
kherdman@mhankyswoh.org
513-260-4121
Warren & Clinton Counties; Ohio

Kathie Herdman has been working for Mental Health America in the Compeer program and in April 2017 began working as a Peer Recovery Supporter at New Housing Ohio. Kathie shares, “I was born in Dayton and lived in Xenia all my life. I have two sisters and one brother. Everyone believed that we were the great family, but behind close doors things were so wrong. My Dad and Mom were drinkers and my dad was mean when he was drinking. I had to hide my mom and he would hurt us kids too when he would get mad. I lived like that until I left right after high school. I went to Texas to marry my high school sweetheart. We were married in 1977, had one son in 1978 and the other in 1979. We were married for 30 years and he was my whole life – I had never even dated anyone else. In 2007, he died from cancer and I experienced depression from the loss of him. I am a mother of two sons, grandmother to a granddaughter and now a great-grandmother to my great-grandson. I am a widow of over nine years. In 2010, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy because of all the stress from my childhood including a brain injury when I was three years old and from the depression. This was a hard thing to understand, but it made me stronger than ever. I started going to Solutions right after my husband died. Now I understand more about depression and my disease and how it has to do with the transmitters in my brain. The physical and mental aspects of illness and wellness go hand in hand. Knowing that I can help another person through depression and help them understand that they are not alone, keeps me going everyday.”

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Board of Directors

Sharron DiMario

  • Board of Directors
Vice President
2012

Sharron M. DiMario, MHA
Center Director
Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati
231 Albert Sabin Way, MSB G262
PO Box 670555
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0555
Tel: (513) 558-7372
Fax: (513) 558-3512
Email: sharron.dimario@uc.edu

 

Connect with us on LinkedIn

 

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Board Members

Jan Hatcher

  • Board Members
Board Member
2016
jan.hatcher@dinsmore.com
513-977-8168
Northern Kentucky

Jan Hatcher is a member of the Dinsmore & Shohl LLP Legal Counsel Litigation Department. Jan's practice involves business and commercial litigation, including corporate representation in bankruptcy adversary proceedings.
Education: University of Cincinnati College of Law  (J.D., 1986); University of Cincinnati Law Review, Student Articles Editor; Bowling Green State University  (M.S., 1976)?Rehabilitation Counseling; awarded stipend

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Kristina Keidel

  • Board Members
Board Member
2017
Keidel_k1@denison.edu
513-473-7145
Northern Kentucky
Kristina is a recent graduate from Denison University with a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Communication. She is currently a Clinical Research Coordinator at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in the Asthma Research Department and works closely with participants in the Schubert Research Clinic.
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Susan Moser

  • Board Members
Board Member
2017
semmoser@gmail.com
Northern Kentucky
Susan Moser is a senior account executive focusing on population health with pharmaceutical Company, Abbvie. She received her RN from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and her career has included stints at Abbott, Texas Health Resources, CM Healthcare Resources and Children’s Memorial in Chicago. She lives in Loveland and is a mother of three and grandmother of one.
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Don Brewer, Ph.D.

  • Board Members
Board Member
2004

Dr. Don Brewer is a licensed counseling psychologist. For MHA, he is the consultant for the continuing education programs and the driver's intervention program.   He has an independent practice and is the mental health consultant for the Cincinnati Job Corps.

 

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Nelson F. Rodriguez, MD, FAPA

  • Board Members
Board Member
2005

Lindner Center of HOPE, Staff Psychiatrist
Dr. Rodriguez serves as Medical Director of the Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Service.  He is a member of the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC) Electroconvulsive Therapy Task Group.  He is also a member of the International Society for ECT and Neuromodulation, Inc. (ISEN).  He finished his ECT training at Duke University Medical Center.

Prior to joining Lindner Center of HOPE, Dr. Rodriguez worked as Medical Director of the Mental Health Unit and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry for St. Luke Hospitals in Florence, Kentucky. He serves as Board Member for the Mental Health Association of Northern Kentucky.  He also served as President of the Tau Mu Sigma Phi USA Foundation, Inc and Board of Director of the University of Santo Tomas Medical Alumni in America and Foundation. He is the current Vice-President of the Association of Philippine Physicians in Greater Cincinnati, Inc.

In 2010, he finished his Certification in Mastery in Global Mental Health:  Trauma and Recovery, traveling to Orvieto, Italy for 2 weeks for the didactic portion of the study given by the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma and Massachusetts General Hospital with CME credits from Harvard Medical School, in collaboration with the Instituto de Sanita, Italy. Post training, Dr. Rodriguez presented a CME lecture on “Healing Invisible Wounds” during the USTMAAA Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL in May 2010. He continues to provide educational activities on Disasters.  Dr. Rodriguez now serves as a member of the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association (OPPA) Public Mental Health Committee – Subcommittee on Disasters.

His academic appointments include Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

Dr. Rodriguez is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including a Presidential Award from Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky, provider nominee for the 2005 and 2006 Cincinnati Business Courier’s Health Care Heroes Awards, and listed among America’s Top Psychiatrists as ranked by the Consumer Research Council of America 2007, 2004 to 2005 and 2002 to 2003.

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