Renata Jamison is a licensed clinical social worker offering services to adolescents and adults throughout Virginia. She has a vast array of clinical interests; however, her specialties include family therapy, marital counseling, trauma and PTSD, and mood disorders.  

Renata began her career in the education field. As an educator, she saw a gap in therapy services and she felt that the mental health component was the missing piece, so she chose to pursue education in the behavioral health field to fill that gap. She believes that individuals possess the agency of their decisions and therefore, her philosophy of care is a very person-centered treatment. 

She is the proud mother of five African American boys and her passions include dancing and motorcycles. 

“She believes she could, so she did.” – Unknown 

Cheryl Zupancic is a nurse practitioner offering services to adolescents and adults in Maryland and Virginia. She has a vast array of clinical interests; however, she specializes in ADHD, anxiety disorders, and depression.

Cheryl became interested in behavioral health care in the early 2000’s when she worked as a clinician in a variety of settings – trauma, burn intensive care and surgical intensive care. She was usually routed to patients with significant mental illness as a causative factor of their medical illness. Also, during this time, her mother was known as the “Warrior Nurse” for her advocacy to fight to save DC General Hospital. She passed in 2014, but Cheryl was proud to follow in her mother’s footsteps by becoming a nurse.

Cheryl believes in the treatment of an individual as a whole and that often medical co-morbidities are harsh life circumstances are the root cause of mental health maladies. Effective treatment includes medication management alongside therapeutic care, but also acknowledgement and modification of troubling life circumstances that impair mental health.

As a mental and physical health advocate, her favorite quote is a simple phrase “never give up”. Cheryl believes that mental health is achievable by all, regardless of circumstances and even the most so-called hopeless of cases can result in well mental health and recovery. So, one should never give up.

Fun fact: Cheryl has two master’s degrees, the first of which was earned in Communication and Culture with a focus on Health Communications. It has been essential to her to understand human health behavior as we have navigated through the turbulence of the global pandemic.

Vlatka Plymale is a board-certified psychiatrist offering services to adults in Tennessee and Virginia. She has a vast array of clinical interests; however, her specializations are PTSD, depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and addiction. 

During her tenure as a primary care physician, Dr. Plymale noted significant behavioral health issues in her patient population and felt that she did not have the right tools to serve her patients. This is what sparked her interest in moving her medical career into behavioral health care. 

When deciding between MD and DO training, she took the time to learn about both options and chose DO due to its holistic 360-degree approach to the patient. She believes that treating a patient as a whole being is how one should approach medicine.  

Dr. Plymale is a 10-year survivor of a civil war in Yugoslavia and served in the US Army for 10 years. Prior to entering medical school at age 34, she was a professional classically trained flute performer.  

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll 

Dr. Shane Rau offers behavioral health care services to adults in North Carolina, New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia. He has many clinical interests and his expertise lies in mood disorders, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, trauma & PTSD and psychosis. Dr. Rau’s interest in mental health arose at the intersection of his interests in the study of the brain and mind with a hope to make a difference in people’s lives. 

Dr. Rau’s prefers to take a shared decision-making approach to understand his patient’s perspective to ultimately empower his patient to improve their mental health. 

Dr. Rau is a huge movie buff with a special interest in science fiction and historical drama. He also loves nature and enjoys the time that he can spend outdoors. 

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha 

Dr. Nicole Christian-Brathwaite is a board-certified psychiatrist offering services to children, adolescents and adults in Illinois, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Utah and Virginia. She has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializein mood disorders, child and adolescent psychiatry, trauma and racial trauma. Her philosophy of care is patient-centered and strength-based. 

Dr. Christian-Brathwaite became interested in mental and behavioral health care after working as an elementary school teacher. She realized that the children who were having the most difficulty were those with a history of trauma or mental health concerns. 

Dr. Christian-Brathwaite is originally from Philadelphia and will always be an Eagles and Sixers fan. Her favorite singer is Whitney Houston. 

“Statistics don’t lie, statisticians do.” 

Anthony Lopez is a licensed mental health counselor offering services to adults in Florida, New York and Virginia. He has a variety of clinical interests; however, he specializes in men’s issues and health, stress management, depression, anxiety disorders and faith-based counseling.  In his practice, Anthony’s philosophy of care is to form a true connection and trust with each patientHe usually begins by focusing on equipping patients with the resources to manage their symptoms and then looks for deeper issues that may exist. Anthony’s approach to care is collaborative, insightful and enjoyablePatients have expressed that he’s very down to earth and that their situation was well understood.

Anthony’s interest in mental and behavioral healthcare developed while working as an administrator at a university. There, he started a mentoring and leadership program. He ended up mentoring some of the students and loved it. Anthony then felt that pursuing a career in therapy was the next step. 

Anthony speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese. He’s traveled to Israel, Jordan, Brazil, Guatemala and Bolivia, and has received U.S. Senate Congressional Recognition. 

“Start from wherever you are and with whatever you’ve got.”- Jim Rohn 

Cheryl Simms is a licensed professional counselor offering services to children, adolescents and adults in South Carolina and VirginiaShe has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializes in addiction, child and adolescent therapy, couple counseling, post-traumatic stress disorder and within the military community. In her practice, Cheryl’s philosophy of care is to providexcellent services that maintain the standards of professionalism, advocacy, moral, empowerment, empathy, honesty and diversity. 

Cheryl’s interest in mental and behavioral health care stems from her love for helping others. She is always willing to advocate for others and is a great listener. She believes everyone has the power within themselves to do and be better. 

Cheryl enjoys anything outdoors, as well as crafting and designing home decor. 

“To thine own self be true.” 

Rhonda Schwindt is a psychiatric nurse practitioner offering services to adult residents in Virginia and New Jersey. She has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializes in the treatment of mood, anxiety, thought and substance use disorders as well as post-traumatic stress. She also has extensive experience assisting people who are ready to quit smoking. While she enjoys working with all patient populations, she has a special interest in serving the LGBTQ community. Rhonda’s philosophy of care is deeply grounded in two fundamental principles. First, each person has the capacity for healing and possesses a unique set of strengths. Second, mental health care is not about a specific disease state or a list of criteria found inside a diagnostic manual. Rather, it is about soliciting each person’s life story and creating a collaborative plan that respects their individuality. 

In addition to maintaining an active clinical practice, Rhonda is an associate professor at The George Washington University School of Nursing and Director of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. She has extensive experience in graduate education and has an established program of research focused on reducing the disproportionate impact of substance use disorders among those living with mental illness. 

Rhonda is also a martial artist and an avid runner. 

Nena Forshee is a licensed clinical social worker offering services to child, adolescent and adult residents in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. She specializes in anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and adolescent and early adulthood therapy. Nena’s philosophy of care is centered around the belief that the most important part of providing care is understanding where patients are in their mental health journey and meeting them at that point. She enjoys taking a collaborative approach with clients to determine how they will work together in meeting their set goals.

Nena’s interest in mental and behavioral healthcare stems from her innate passion for helping others. She took a strong interest in mental health in high school which continued into college. She began working with children and adolescents in a residential program, where she became increasingly interested in diagnostic evaluations and different treatment models for therapy. Nena then went on to pursue her master’s in social work. 

Last year Nena explored Europe visiting Ireland, France and England. She is extremely family oriented and her favorite place to be is on the beach listening to the ocean. 

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places…” – Ernest Hemingway 

Dr. Sharon Batista is a boardcertified psychiatrist offering services to adolescent and adult residents in New York, Virginia and California. She has a vast array of clinical interests; however, her specializations are women’s mental health, anxiety disorders, OCD and mood disorders. In her practice, Sharon’s philosophy of care is to integrate various tools to help patients feel better, which may include medication and self-help approaches. 

Sharon’s interest in mental health care comes from having been exposed to psychiatry very early on during her first semester of medical school. She happened to choose an elective with a psychiatrist who now has been her lifelong mentor ever since 

Sharon has published a handbook on AIDs psychiatry together with several colleagues. She enjoys cooking, learning about different cooking techniques, and her daily companion is her beloved bulldog, which is often snoring by her side. 

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If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free, 24-hour hotline at 1.800.273.8255. If your issue is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.