Our Staff

Catie Hneich, PA-C

Beverly Ales, PMHNP

Beverly Ales, PMHNP, has joined AltaPointe Health as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of South Alabama, and her master’s in nursing with a specialization in psychiatric mental health from Walden University. While at Walden University, she was a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Ales is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and is an active member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings with patients of all ages from child to geriatric.

Megan Traffanstedt, LPT

Megan Traffanstedt, L.P.T., joined AltaPointe as a licensed psychological technician in September 2020 and works at BayView Professional Associates. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Auburn University and a master’s degree in psychology from Auburn University at Montgomery(AUM). Traffanstedt received specialty training in autism assessment at the Vanderbilt Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her special interests include the psychological assessment of children, adolescents, and adults.

 

Ingrid Hartman

Ingrid Hartman, LPC, serves as director of quality. She has been with AltaPointe since 2008 serving as the assistant director of CarePointe, coordinator of children’s outpatient services, and assistant coordinator for children’s outpatient case management and in-home services. She received a bachelor’s in communication studies, and a master’s in human development counseling from Vanderbilt University. She is also an Alabama licensed professional counselor.

 

Taiye Ajayi, PMHNP, FNP-C

Taiye Ajayi is a dual certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner. She attended and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Coastal Community College, Brewton, Alabama. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from University of Louisiana, Lafayette, where she was a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Ajayi graduated from the University of Alabama with a master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner.  Currently, she is completing her Doctor of Nursing practice degree at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

She joined AltaPointe Health as a PRN registered nurse at EastPointe Hospital after working as a registered nurse in an emergency department of a regional hospital for several years. Ajayi has over five years of nursing experience in inpatient and psychiatric emergency services for psychiatric patients.  She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from University of Ilorin, Nigeria. She is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C). Ajayi is an active member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.​​

Chandler Denson, CRNP

Chandler Denson, CRNP has joined AltaPointe Health in its primary care division, Accordia Health. He received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. He worked as a critical care nurse at Mobile Infirmary Medical Center while earning his master’s degree in nursing from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. Denson is board certified as a family nurse practitioner through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. He is currently a member of AANP and American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Brian Gavan, M.D.

Brian Gavan, M.D. is originally from Phoenix, AZ.  He attended Arizona State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. Dr. Gavan obtained his medical degree at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences on St. Kitts and Nevis.  He moved to Mobile for his Pediatric residency at the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital.  During residency, he fell in love with Mobile and spent an extra year at the University of South Alabama as Chief Medical Resident.  Following his Chief year, he signed on as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at University Hospital.

Rajesh Gujjula, MD

Rajesh Gujjula, M.D. has joined AltaPointe’s primary care division, Accordia Health in Bayou La Batre. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Vikas Junior College in Guntur, India, and a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from Kakatiya Medical College in Warangal, India. Dr. Gujjula completed his residency in Family Medicine at Louisiana State University Health Science Center – Shreveport in Monroe, Louisiana.  He has more than six years of experience in primary care and wound care. He has also worked in both the urgent care and inpatient settings.  He is board-certified in Family Medicine.

 

 

Kathy Hintz, MHS, PA-C

Kathy Hintz, MHS, PA-C, is a nationally certified family practice physician assistant with a passion for pediatrics. She completed physician assistant training at the University of South Alabama in 2001, earning a master’s degree in health science. In 1996, she graduated from Judson College in Marion, Ala. There, she majored in biology with a minor in chemistry and marine science. While Hintz has many years of family practice experience, she has cared mainly for children for the last five years. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Alabama Society of Physician Assistants.

Alyssa Hollingsworth, PA-C

Alyssa Hollingsworth PA-C has joined AltaPointe Health working in adult outpatient services. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Mobile. She earned her physician assistant certification and master’s in health science from the University of South Alabama. She is certified through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is a member of both the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Alabama Society of Physician Assistants.

Tanya Rowell, CRNP

Tanya Rowell, CRNP, joined Accordia Health, AltaPointe’s primary care division in July 2018. Rowell earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Capstone College of Nursing at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She earned a master’s in Nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner focus from Troy University in Troy, Alabama. Rowell is board certified as a CRNP in Alabama, and she also has national certification through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has more than 20 years of nursing experience working with patients in both intensive inpatient settings and outpatient programs.

Tuerk Schlesinger

Tuerk Schlesinger, MBA, is the chief executive officer of AltaPointe Health, where he has served for more than 23 years. Based in Mobile, AltaPointe is one of Alabama’s most comprehensive healthcare organizations that utilize the integration of primary and behavioral healthcare to promote the wellness of all people across a seven-county area.

In 2017, Schlesinger spearheaded the launch of Accordia Health, AltaPointe’s division of primary care, which allows it to integrate primary and behavioral healthcare, increasing patient satisfaction and improving their overall health. Further guidance from Schlesinger led to the creation of Accordia Health & Wellness. It is a state-of-the-art employee-centered clinic in Mobile offering accessible and high-quality primary healthcare by board-certified clinicians at a reduced rate for employees and their families covered by AltaPointe’s health insurance plan.

Under Schlesinger’s leadership, the organization has grown from employing 277 to 1,600, increasing its annual budget from $17 million to $116 million, and from serving an average of 7,000 individuals each year to more than 45,000 in 2020. Operations include BayPointe and EastPointe psychiatric hospitals, five primary care locations, 17 outpatient locations, two private, professional counseling facilities, 30 adult residential group homes, six adult foster homes, seven independent living homes. As CEO, Schlesinger established AltaPointe’s partnership with the University of South Alabama, College of Medicine-Department of Psychiatry, for which the organization’s psychiatrists provide the administration and faculty.

Schlesinger is a member of the Alabama Council of Community Mental Health Boards; the National Council for Behavioral Health; the Statewide Health Coordinating Council (SHCC); the Chair of Mental Health Corporation of America Executive Board of Directors; the Alabama Healthcare Reimbursement Reform Task Force-Steering Committee;  the Alabama Hospital Association’s Telehealth Task Force; National Association for Behavioral Healthcare; various Alabama Department of Mental Health committees and subcommittees, including Chair of the sub-committee for 988 – the national suicide prevention hotline initiative. He also serves on the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board and is a Leadership Alabama Class XXXI member.

Schlesinger earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Auburn University and a master of business administration degree from Spring Hill College in Mobile. In 2008, Schlesinger was named a Behavioral Health Champion by the nationally circulated Behavioral Healthcare Magazine.

 

Chris Murphree, PsyD

Chris Murphree, PsyD, joined AltaPointe as a licensed psychologist in May of 2017. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. Murphree earned a doctorate in clinical psychology at Argosy University in Atlanta, Georgia. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences – Child Study Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Murphree’s special interests include the psychological assessment of children, adolescents, and adults, and the assessment and treatment of trauma victims.

Jeff Barker, CRNP

Jeff Barker joined AltaPointe Health in 2013 as a registered nurse and became a Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 2016. Barker earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of South Alabama. He holds a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communications from Lamar University. Currently, Barker is working on his doctor of nursing practice degree at the University of South Alabama. He has worked across AltaPointe’s continuum of care including weekend house supervisor at EastPointe Hospital and nursing coordinator at BayPointe Hospital. Barker is an active member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. Previously, Barker spent nine years working as a television news anchor and reporter.

Keri Barr, CRNP

Keri Barr, CRNP has joined AltaPointe working in adult outpatient services. Barr received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), Hattiesburg. She was awarded the Master of Science in Nursing Award from the USM College of Nursing for her graduate program and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau honor society. Barr is a board certified Family Mental Health Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Prior to obtaining her nurse practitioner certification in 2015, she was a psychiatric nurse for eighteen years working at East Mississippi State Hospital (EMSH) in Meridian. During those years, she worked as a charge nurse, nurse educator, and nursing supervisor. Barr continued to work for EMSH after becoming a nurse practitioner.  She has worked with inpatient, involuntarily court-committed adults with severe mental illness as well as clients having dual-diagnosis mental illness/Intellectual Developmental disorders.

Julie Bellcase

Julie Bellcase, MBA, joined AltaPointe Health, then known as Mobile Mental Health, in 1981, and has held a variety of positions including, vice president of operations, chief operating officer, and director of human resources. She earned a bachelor’s of science degree and a master’s in business administration degree from the University of South Alabama. Bellcase is a member of the Gulf Coast TotalCare Board of Directors, Survivors of Mental Illness Board of Directors, Mobile Community Homes Board of Directors, the 74 Club Community Services Board of Directors, Leadership Mobile, the United Way of Southwest Alabama Agency Directors, the South Alabama Coalition of Nonprofits, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Society for Human Resources Management, and has served on the Mobile County Department of Human Resources Quality Assurance Committee, Helping Families Initiative, Communities That Care, Bridges to Better Health Coalition, the Mobile County Public Health Advisory Board, and Mobile United’s steering, finance, personnel, and communications committees.

Olivia Nettles, LPC, NCC

Olivia Nettles, LPC, NCC, joined AltaPointe Health in 1993 as a therapist in child and adolescent outpatient services. Nettles steadily moved into management roles, first with a promotion to assistant director of child and adolescent outpatient services in 1996 and in August 2002 to director of performance improvement. She was the first director of BayPointe Hospital and Residential Services when the facility opened in 2002. Since 2008, Nettles has served as clinical director of AltaPointe’s children’s outpatient services where she oversees the clinical programming of the outpatient clinics, intensive outreach services, the transitional age residential services and BayView Professional Services.

A proven mental health counselor and leader, she is a member of the Alabama Council Clinical Directors Association and has held the positions of vice president and president. Nettles also has been an active member of the National Alliance for Mental Illness-Mobile Board of Directors and received the NAMI- Alabama “Mental Health Professional of the Year” award in August 2016.

Nettles graduated with honors from the University of Alabama earning a bachelor’s degree in commerce and business administration with a major in marketing as well as a master’s degree in counselor education. She is a National Certified Counselor, a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Counseling Supervisor in Alabama. Nettles is an active member of the American Counseling Association, Alabama Mental Health Counselors Association and NAMI Mobile.

Tina Baker, LICSW, PIP

Tina Baker, LICSW, PIP is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with more than 20 years of experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mobile and a master of social work degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, she holds a private independent practice license in the State of Alabama. Baker is experienced in providing therapy for teenagers, adults, couples and families. She specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy, brief solution-focused therapy, trauma-focused therapies used in treatment of individuals diagnosed with anxiety and mood disorders, eating and psychotic disorders, codependency issues, and grief and trauma-related issues.

John Conrad, LICSW

John M. Conrad, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and a Substance Abuse Professional with more than 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist. He earned his undergraduate degrees in psychology and behavioral science from Athens State College and his master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Conrad has extensive experience in marital and family systems, addictive disorders, and general psychiatric disorders. He is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems theory and addictive medicine. Conrad is the Assistant Director for BayView Professional Associates. He has extensive experience in the areas of program development, supervision and direct client services.

Barb DeLisle, PhD, LICSW, PIP

Barb DeLisle, PhD, LICSW, PIP, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with more than 20 years of experience in the human services and mental health fields. She earned a bachelor’s degree in human behavior and social sciences from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, and a master’s degree in social work from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. DeLisle also earned a doctorate in social work from The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She is certified in narrative therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and solution-focused brief therapy.

 

Delisle believes therapy allows individuals to see beyond limitations of the past and construct a future of possibilities. She enjoys working with children, men, women and their families who have faced traumatic events, have been characterized as neuro-divergent, have experienced sorrow, heartache and loss and have been captured by addiction. Her other interests in this field include implications of attachment and bonding, civilian PTSD and associated symptoms, substance use/addiction treatment, and neuro-divergent children and adults.

Laurie-Anne Walton Crespo, LICSW, LCSW, MSW

Laurie-Anne Walton Crespo, LICSW, LCSW, MSW is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She holds a bachelor’s in social work from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida graduating Magna Cum Laude. She earned a master’s in social work from Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida.

Before coming to BayView, Crespo worked with the Hollywood Florida police department’s homeless outreach program and served on the Broward County Homeless Continuum of Care Board from 2014-2016. She has both Crisis Intervention Team certification and Homeless Outreach specialist certification.

 

Debbie Gleason, LICSW

Debbie Gleason, LICSW, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work with a mental health specialization from Loyola University in Chicago, IL.  Gleason is a licensed therapist in Alabama and Illinois. After interning with the YMCA Youth Safety and Violence Prevention Program in Chicago, she became an AmeriCorps Volunteer working at an institution for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities, many of whom were also physically challenged. Gleason worked as a social worker in a residential care facility for mature persons and later became Social Service Director at Warren Barr Lincoln Park, overseeing the health and well-being of 85 residents.

Before joining BayView Associates, Gleason worked as a therapist for AltaPointe’s Adolescent Independency Program. In this role, Gleason focused on helping teenagers and young adults strengthen their life management skills to prepare them for independent living.  Her professional goal is to help her clients identify and overcome obstacles to achieving their full potential.

Heather Harcourt, PhD, LICSW

Heather Harcourt, PhD, LICSW, is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in both psychology and English literature from the State University of New York, Geneseo.  She completed her masters in social work and doctor of philosophy in social work at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick. Harcourt has worked with patients both in a private counseling setting as well as through government agencies and contracts. Before coming to BayView, she worked in Colorado as a lecturer, private therapist, and telehealth consultant.

Harcourt’s research interests include adolescent mental health, trauma-informed care, child welfare best practices, antisocial behavior, and moral development as well as juvenile justice. She served on the HeadsUp Colorado Youth Mentoring Board of Directors as well as the Juvenile Services Planning Commission for the 18th Judicial District oversight board for Senate Bill 94 juvenile pre-trial services.

Barbara Leigh, LPC-S, NCC, CCTP, BC-TMH

Barbara Leigh, LPC-S, NCC, CCTP, BC-TMH, is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 30 years of experience in mental health treatment. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hollins University and a master’s degree in education in counseling and counselor education from Indiana University. She has been a member of the American Counseling Association since 1988 and is active in the Alabama Counseling Association. Leigh is a Nationally Board Certified Counselor, a Board Certified Telemental Health Provider and holds credentials as a Supervising Counselor and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.

Leigh has worked in a variety of settings including clinical outpatient, inpatient, residential, day treatment, crisis response, forensic evaluation, in-home, online, private practice and in the broadcasting industry. She treats patients of all ages and has been an instructor in psychology, child development, and human sexuality. In addition, she has been a presenter at various conferences around the country in the areas of art therapy, online counseling, play therapy and the effects of media. Leigh provides individual, family, couples and group therapy and specializes in cognitive-behavior therapy, creative arts therapy, applied behavior analysis for special needs children and sand tray/play therapy.

 

Julie McMullen, MS, LPC, NCC

Julie E. McMullen, MS, LPC, NCC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Alabama and a National Certified Counselor through the National Board for Certified Counselors. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from The University of Southern Mississippi.

 

McMullen began working at AltaPointe in 2004 as a case manager and completed her master’s internship with the adult outpatient Bridge Team and day treatment programs. She has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families in a variety of settings including outpatient, adolescent residential, adult residential, and school/day treatment. For six years, she worked as an in-home therapist providing intensive individual and family therapy as well as crisis intervention services. McMullen is skilled at helping clients work through issues related to grief and trauma. She is also interested in working with clients who have been diagnosed with anxiety and mood disorders.

Lee Nowlin, LICSW, PIP

Lee Nowlin, LICSW, PIP, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with more than 25 years of direct, client-centered, practice. Nowlin holds a bachelor degree in psychology and social work from Greenville College, Greenville, Ill. She also earned a master of social work degree from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.

 

She has extensive experience in the treatment of adults with addiction issues, personality disorders and mood disorders, focusing on self-esteem building, and the development of healthy life skills.

Julius M. “Jay” Ritchie, MEd, LPC

Julius M. “Jay” Ritchie, MEd, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 20 years’ private practice experience in adult, child, adolescent, group, couples, and family therapy systems. His primary area of service provision is in cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) and CBT skills development.  He holds bachelor and master degrees from The University of Montevallo.

Ritchie’s areas of expertise and interest include teaching personal life management skills in depressive and anxiety disorders, cluster B personality disorders, in learning to cope with posttraumatic stress disorder, the ending of lifelong issues, and the implementation of forgiveness, acceptance, mindfulness, and personal well-being. He enjoys conducting adult, couples, family, and individual therapies with all age populations.

Ritchie worked 13 years with Alabama Psychiatric Services, PC, in its adult group psychotherapy Mental Health Partial Hospitalization Program before joining BayView in February 2015.

Dreama Schofield, LICSW

Dreama Schofield, LICSW, PIP is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with more than 20 years of experience. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She holds a private independent practice license in the State of Alabama. Prior to working with BayView, Schofield worked in a variety of settings including an inpatient acute care hospital, outpatient healthcare, women’s health, and non-profits. She has experience providing therapy to children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Her methods include cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-focused therapy, solution-focused therapy, and motivational interviewing. She has extensive experience working with individuals diagnosed with mood disorders, anxiety, ADHD, and PTSD.

Ellen Walker, LPC, NCC, CCTP

Ellen Walker, LPC, NCC, CCTP is a licensed professional counselor, certified clinical trauma professional, and nationally certified counselor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in both psychology and social work along with a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from the University of Montevallo. As an undergraduate, she presented her research study work at two national research conventions. Walker also completed field work at Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Center where she worked with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and emotional disorders. During her pursuit of a master’s in counseling, she completed two years at Hillcrest behavioral health working with male adolescents with sexual behavioral issues and adults with SMI, SA and other mental health disorders.

Walker served children and adolescents in the most intensive level of care in a residential setting where she began specializing in the new trauma treatment paradigms integrating neurobiological research and sensorimotor psychotherapies. She uses the most up-to-date treatment modalities coupled with a person-centered, solution-focused framework to help children, adolescents, adults, families, and groups to achieve their goals. She is fully EDMR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) trained and specializes in PTSD and CPTSD.

Elizabeth Wood, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, BC-TMH, CDMHS

Elizabeth Wood, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, BC-TMH, CDMHS, is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and a master’s degree from the University of South Alabama. She completed her doctoral degree from Capella University in 2015. Wood has also received her credentials from the American Mental Health Counseling Association recognizing her as a Board Certified TeleMental Health Provider, and has been named a Diplomate and Clinical Mental Health Specialist in Child and Adolescent Counseling. She is also a Licensed Professional Counseling Supervisor and EMDR certified.

Wood provides outpatient counseling for adults, groups, families, adolescents, and children. Wood utilizes person-centered, solution-focused, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal psychodynamic, and play therapy techniques to assist patients in meeting their goals. She has worked on residential units with adolescents and has experience working with both mental health and substance abuse issues. Wood is a member of the American Counseling Association, the American Mental Health Counselors Association, Chi Sigma Iota, and Phi Kappa Phi.

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