Thomas Gazda, MD
Thoms Gazda, MD joined the WYGC staff in October with a focus on serving patients in the Windhaven Psychiatric Hospital. Dr. Gazda’s Doctor of Medicine degree is from the University of Illinois. His residency experience was earned at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Medical Center Hospital Vermont. He is an experienced psychopharmacologist with expertise in treating anxiety, affective and psychotic disorders. Dr. Gazda double boarded in family practice and psychiatry at the University of Vermont and finished psychoanalysis training at the Institut Canadienne de Psychoanalyse in Montreal. He has been involved with all the major pharmaceutical companies in clinical trials as a Principal Investigator specializing in Bipolar disorder. In addition to his service at WYGC, Dr. Gazda continues to help patients at clinics and hospitals in Payson and Scottsdale.
Stacey Gregory, PMHNP-BC
Stacey Gregory, PMHNP-BC earned her Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York, Binghamton, her Masters in Nursing at University of Phoenix and her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner credentials from Sage Graduate School in Troy, NY. Before joining West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, she worked in New York and Pennsylvania and after moving to Arizona with Jewish Family and Children’s Services in Glendale AZ, and Partners in Recovery in Peoria, AZ. She has teaching experience in the field as well, serving as clinical instructor for undergraduate nursing/psychiatric rotations at colleges in New York and Pennsylvania.
Gayle Gregory, MD
Gayle Gregory, MD is returning to practice outpatient psychiatry at West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, where she was on staff between 2002 and 2012. During the past two years, Dr. Gregory has been serving as staff psychiatrist for Prescott Valley-based Mingus Mountain Academy, a residential treatment facility for adolescent girls. She earned both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Illinois. Dr. Gregory is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry/Neurology and completed an additional fellowship in Child/Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine
Judy Johnson, FNP-C, MHNP-C, PMHS-C
Judy Johnson, FNP-C, MHNP-C, PMHS-C provides her expertise and insight to adults seeking services at WYGC. Her education was received primarily in Iowa, from a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Buena Vista College in Fort Dodge to two Master’s degrees from Drake University. She subsequently earned the qualification of Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from the University of Missouri Columbia, Sinclair School of Nursing. Ms. Johnson brought her expertise to Arizona where her professional positions have included work with the Phoenix Indian Medical Center, Arizona Department of Corrections, Marc Center Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic, Southwest Behavioral Health Services and FasPsych.
Cherie Wilcher, FNP, PNP
Cherie Wilcher, FNP, PNP, is WYGC’s inpatient Associate Medical Director. Ms. Wilcher earned her bachelor’s and first master’s degree at the University of Colorado., while her second master’s degree was completed at New Mexico State University. She is dual degreed in advanced nursing and has been a nurse since 1981. Ms. Wilcher is a member and past president of the nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau- Xi Phi Chapter. While Ms. Wilcher’s most recent position was with Banner Health in the Valley, she has also worked in community mental health settings in Kentucky and Indiana.
Valerie Guernsey, DO
Valerie Guernsey, DO returned to the provision of psychiatric services in Arizona, after working for a period in Riverside County, CA. Prior to this, Dr. Guernsey worked for The Guidance Center in Flagstaff, AZ, in outpatient as well as inpatient settings. She is board certified and has been a practicing psychiatrist since 1990, with a private practice in Michigan for more than 15 years. Dr. Guernsey earned her degree in Osteopathic Medicine from Michigan State University.
Barry J. Coe, MD
Barry J. Coe, MD joined the WYGC staff in April 2016. He relocated to the Prescott area from Wheat Ridge, Colorado, where he was working with the Jefferson Center for Mental Health. However, Dr. Coe is not new to Arizona, since his previous experience includes positions with La Frontera and Kino Community Hospital of Tucson, and Southeastern Arizona Behavior Health Center in Nogales. He completed his psychiatric residency at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, after earning his MD through the University of Michigan Medical School.
Nader Ganim, MD
Nader Ganim, MD provides psychiatric evaluations and ongoing care exclusively over secure telepsychiatry equipment, from his office in New York. Dr. Ganim earned his bachelor’s in Chemistry at the University of North Carolina, followed by a medical degree from Spartan Health Sciences University School of Medicine. Subsequently he completed a general psychiatry residency at Bronx Lebanon Hospital as well as a fellowship in psychosomatic medicine from Albert Einstein Medical Program. Dr. Ganim is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Prior to joining the WYGC medical staff, he was Chief Attending Physician at an inpatient unit specializing in geriatric issues, he was consulting medical director for a nonprofit organization offering shelter and supportive housing for persons with severe mental illness throughout New York, and he was providing psychiatric consultations at various hospitals.
Pamela Powers, MD
Pamela Powers, MD provides outpatient psychiatric services for adult clients at WYGC. And she also shares her expertise with Canyonlands Community Health Care in Page, providing psychiatric services via telemedicine. Dr. Powers completed medical school at the University of Arizona and subsequently completed her residency at the University of Colorado, Denver. She has broad experience in community mental health in outpatient, inpatient and emergency settings.
Susan Frost, DNP, MC, MS, FPMHNP-BC
Susan Front, DNP, MC, FPMHNP-BC has been working in the psychiatric field for 38 years, as a psychiatric nurse, therapist, teaching psychiatric nursing, and as a board-certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Wilkes University, after obtaining Master’s degrees in Counseling and Nursing from Arizona State University, and Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Nursing from Grand Canyon University. Dr. Frost is a contributing editor for the textbook “Essentials of Psychiatric Nursing,” and belongs to several professional organizations. She is passionate about helping those with mental illnesses using a holistic approach.
Jennifer Foran, MD
Jennifer Foran, MD provides psychiatric evaluations and ongoing care exclusively over secure telepsychiatry equipment, from her office in California. Dr. Foran earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Chicago and stayed in that area for medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has served clients through her work as staff psychiatrist with the Forensic Clinical Services of Circuit Court of Cook County, then with Value Options of Phoenix as well as Arizona State University and its Campus Health Center. Dr. Foran is licensed to practice in the States of California and Arizona. She has published research on Migration and Mental Illness in Homeless Hispanic Women, as well as publishing an article “Depression in the Workplace.”
Racquel Balderas, MD
Raquel Balderas, MD has returned to West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, after working for a period with Southwest Behavioral Health Services as Medical Director for Northern. At WYGC, Dr. Balderas specializes in the direct psychiatric care of children and adolescents. Dr. Balderas earned her Bachelor’s and Medical Degrees from the University of Arizona. She completed her residencies with Tucson Hospitals in Tucson, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, MN, and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Balderas is a fluent Spanish speaker.
Kevin Crisham, MD
Kevin Crisham, MD joined the staff in September to focus on the care of WYGC’s adult clients. His work experience within the State of Arizona is extensive, to include positions with Terros, Southwest Behavioral Health Services, Community Bridges, the Arizona State Hospital, and Arizona Correctional Services. Dr. Crisham’s experience also a focus on substance use disorders, particularly through his work at the Meadows of Wickenburg, AZ. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Marquette University, and his Medical Degree from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico.
Primary Care Providers
Ferenc “Frank” Nagy, MD
Ferenc “Frank” Nagy, MD, WYGC’s Primary Care Medical Director, is a familiar name to many in the Prescott area, having practiced primary care medicine in several other local locations. His extensive education and training includes graduation from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, followed by training at Montreal General Hospital, McGill University and St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Canada.
Amy Thein, MSN, FNP-C, CDE, PMHNP-BC
Amy Thein, MSN, FNP-C, CDE, PMHNP-BC is WYGC’s Director of Integrated Primary/Behavioral Health Care. Ms. Thein is Board Certified with the State of Arizona as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She recently worked with Veterans through the Northern Arizona Veterans Healthcare System, and she served both adult and pediatric patients through Prescott Valley Family Medicine. Ms. Thein earned her Family Nurse Practitioner credential through the University of Arizona. She has the unique qualifications to also serve the psychiatric needs of WYGC patients, having earned her Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner also at the U of A. Ms. Thein is eager to implement a total, holistic approach of medical care for her patients, and will begin providing psychiatric services for adults at WYGC some time later in Summer 2016.
Larry Green, Chief Executive Officer
Larry D. Green, Jr., M.S. joined West Yavapai Guidance Clinic as CEO in July 2005. Prior to this, he was Executive Director of Child and Adult Behavioral Health Services for the EXCEL Group in Yuma. Larry’s career in behavioral health spans nearly 30 years. Larry is a Past President of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Council of Human Service Providers. He is a native of Omaha, Nebraska who earned his Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Shawn Hatch, Chief Clinical Officer
Shawn Hatch has more than 30 years of experience in the behavioral health field and has been with WYGC as Chief Clinical Officer since 2015. She was with Spectrum Healthcare in Arizona before joining WYGC. And prior to that Hatch had a 27-year career with UP Health System in Marquette, Michigan. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Northern Michigan University. She has held addiction credentials since 1990 and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Dr. Shane Russell-Jenkins, Chief Medical Director
“Dr. Shane” is WYGC’s Inpatient Chief Medical Officer. Previously he was associated with the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Yuma. Before that, he worked throughout New Mexico, serving patients in long-term care facilities, inpatient psychiatric units, and outpatient clinics. He completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine, while his MD was earned through the University of New Mexico. Prior to entering medical school and subsequently the specialty of psychiatry, Dr. Russell-Jenkins worked in the fields of electronics, physics and nuclear power.
Kent Mattern, Deputy Chief Clinical Officer
Kent Mattern has 28 years of experience in the behavioral health field and has been with WYGC for over 20. He started at WYGC as a therapist on the kids’ team and then became a supervisor, manager and ultimately director of that department until his current position as deputy chief clinical officer. Prior to coming to WYGC, Kent worked at the Child and Adolescent service Center in Canton Ohio as a Child and Family therapist. Kent earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark School of Professional Studies and a Post- Graduate Certificate in Home–Based Therapy from the University of Akron. In addition, he holds Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and in Economics from the University of Colorado. Kent is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Arizona.
Pamela Pierce, Deputy CEO
Pamela Pierce, SPHR, CHC moved from Phoenix and joined WYGC as Director of Human Resources in January 2007. In 2008, she became Chief HR Officer, COO and is now the Deputy Chief Executive Officer as of 2014. Pam earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management/Organizational Development from Ottawa University, KS. Her career in acute hospital care and behavioral health services has spanned over 20 years. Pam is national certified as a SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources), SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional), and CHP (Certified in Healthcare Compliance).
Elizabeth Caspian, Outpatient Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Elizabeth Caspian is the Chief Medical Officer for Outpatient Clinical Services at WYGC. Dr. Caspian has worked in Northern Arizona Behavioral Health clinics since 2000, she came to WYGC in 2004. Dr. Caspian completed her general psychiatry training at the University of Kentucky June of 2000 (after 4 years of college in her home state of NC, 4 years of medical education in NC, one year of residency in NM, 3 years of residency in KY). She has completed additional training in Yoga/Mindfulness for improved coping capacity and stress reduction; she has trained as a life coach and has a part time coaching practice. Dr. Caspian teaches emotional intelligence skills for improved mental health and well being, she volunteers her emotional intelligence educational services in a middle school classroom. She is also passionate about the health benefits of pets, and spends her non-work time rehabilitating wounded/abused dogs; this is a passion she shares with her husband, a middle school teacher. Dr. Caspian enjoys hiking around Arizona in beautiful natural landscapes with her husband (a Kentucky native whom she married in 1987)and their rescued dog friends.
Steven Calabrese, Chief Financial Officer
Steve joined WYGC as Chief Financial Officer in August 2016. He has been in healthcare finance for more than 30 years. Along with this wealth of experience, Steve holds both a CPA and an MBA.
Laura Norman, Chief Communication & Development Officer
Laura Norman has been on staff at the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic since 1996, and was appointed as Executive Director of the WYGC Foundation in January 2014. Laura holds a degree from University of Alabama in Communications, and previously served as the Managing Editor for two nationally distributed magazines, ConventionSouth and Crossties. She initially became interested in working with the Clinic because of her strong belief that everyone in the community should have access to quality mental health services. Laura has two dogs, likes to eat, and follows Alabama football religiously – ROLL TIDE!
Kara D. Langley MAcc, CHC, CHPC
Kara D. Langley MAcc, CHC, CHPC joined West Yavapai Guidance Clinic as Senior Accountant in August 2008. In 2013 she was promoted to CAO. Prior to this, she was Finance Director of Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley for a year and Senior Accountant/Systems Administrator for Gila County Finance Department for 5 years. Kara’s career in health care spans nearly 20 years. Kara was previously a Certified Professional Coder with the AAPC and employed as a Medical Office Manager for 6 years. She is a native of Arizona who earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from American Intercontinental University.
Board Of Directors
Brandon Bonney, Member
Mr. Bonney earned a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and a Master’s in Counseling and Human Relations from Northern Arizona University. A retired Lieutenant with the Prescott Valley Police Department, he has worked in the field services division, as a detective in criminal investigations, as a school resource, and as a bike and patrol officer. He is a member of the International Association of Hostage Negotiators and the National Tactical Officers Association, and he is certified as an advanced forensic interviewer.
Danny Brown, President
Mr. Brown earned a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Ball State University and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He has 22 years of experience as an educator in the K-12 public school system and currently is the Superintendent of Clarkdale-Jerome Elementary School District. He also has worked with the Humboldt Unified School District as Director of Federal Programs and School Improvement. During his many years in the field, he has dealt with many behavioral health issues and has seen the implications of these issues on his students.
John Coomer, Vice President
Mr. Coomer is Administrator for Prescott Outpatient Surgical Center (POSC). Prior to his work in the medical practice management field, he was a nonprofit and educational marketing consultant. Mr. Coomer has also served as the Director of Advancement for the Yavapai County Community College District, Executive Director of Special Olympics Arizona, and Franchise Operations Regional Manager for AlphaGraphics. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from the University of Arizona, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University.
Diana Dalsass, Secretary
Ms. Dalsass earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Chicago, and a Master’s in Psychobiology from the University of Connecticut. Prior to retiring to Prescott, she was a director of a national public relations agency based in Manhattan. In addition to her volunteerism with West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, she serves as Board Chair for the WYGC Foundation, and she is a former Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Yavapai County.
Louie Gomez, Member
Mr. Gomez has been in the automotive business since 1984. He worked for Firestone in 1998, started working at Ponderosa Tire Pros in January 2002, and opened his own business in 2013 called Prescott Tire Pros and Automotive Service. He is proud to share that he has been clean from meth since 2002. Mr. Gomez is an advocate for substance abuse services and a believer in the power of recovery.
Ed Lutz, Treasurer
Mr. Lutz earned his Bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University. His long career in financial services began in Tucson with the Arizona Bank. Subsequent to his retirement from banking, he was deputy director of the Phoenix Zoo for 18 months. His many nonprofit leadership commitments have included United Way in Tucson, the Arizona Zoological Society in Phoenix, as well as the Central Arizona Shelter Services in Phoenix. Since relocating to Prescott in 2011, Mr. Lutz has continued his volunteerism with agencies that include Child Haven, Mountain Artists Guild, Prescott Creeks, and the Prescott Mayor’s Open Space Acquisition Committee.
Kathy McCormick, Member
Ms. McCormick earned her Associate’s degree in Legal Science from American Institute in Phoenix, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona. Ms. McCormick is the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program manager for the Arizona Superior Court in Prescott. She has worked in juvenile justice, and held the position of Conflict Resolution Supervisor for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix. She is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and a Member of the Conciliation Court Round Table.
Lora Lee Nye, Member
Ms. Nye was sworn in as a Prescott Valley Council member in 2003, and she continues serving the community in this capacity. Her additional community leadership roles include serving on the Northern Arizona Council on Governments Regional Council, the Head Start Steering Committee, and MATForce Steering Committee. Her professional experience includes 20 years in administrative and office management in the behavioral health field. Ms. Nye counts as one of her favorite accomplishments her graduation from the nation’s first FBI Citizens Academy.
Bonnie Waterer, Member
Ms. Waterer earned a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics Education from The Ohio State University and a Master’s in Family Relations and Child Development from San Jose State University. She also holds an administrative services credential from San Jose State. She worked for East Side Union High School District in San Jose, CA for 30 years, serving as a teacher and as district coordinator for the home economics program and the career centers. Since moving to Prescott in 2000, she has served on the board of several organizations including AAUW, YRMC Family Resource Center, and Yavapai County affiliate of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).