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 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
Mark Lancet is a licensed professional counselor providing services to adolescents and adults in Pennsylvania and Virginia. He has a vast array of clinical interests and his areas of expertise include addiction, depression, codependency, geriatric therapy and self-esteem. Mark first became interested in behavioral health care because he wanted to make a positive impact on other people’s lives and to assist in constructing a path forward in partnership with each patient. Mark’s philosophy of care is to meet a person where they’re currently at in a non-judgmental and accepting way.
Fun facts about Mark include that he has appeared nationally on the Geraldo Rivera Show and has performed at the New York World’s Fair. Additionally, Mary has travelled to Great Britain, Spain and Italy.
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” – Elie Wiesel
Mariam Kashani is a licensed nurse practitioner offering services to adults in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. She has been a nurse practitioner since 2001 and is board-certified in both adult primary care and psychiatry. She has a variety of interests; however, she specializes in depression, anxiety, mood disorders and bipolar disorder. Mariam completed a doctoral degree in Advanced Nursing Practice in 2013 from John Hopkins University.
Soon after Mariam began practicing in primary care, it became clear to her that the mind and body are not separate entities, but parts of the whole person. In her practice, Mariam utilizes a person-centered approach in order to treat the whole body to achieve mental health balance. Mariam’s philosophy is that mental health is at the core of overall wellness and each person can benefit from a customized treatment plan to empower their health. She also believes that every individual possesses the intrinsic ability to heal and lead a happy and fulfilling life.
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Rumi
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 patient. He 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 enjoyable. Patients 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
Carlita Coley is a licensed professional counselor offering services to adults in Virginia. She has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializes in cognitive behavior therapy, stress management, women’s issues and health, LGBT issues and life coaching. In her practice, Carlita strongly believes in empowering clients to connect with and articulate their own truth.
Carlita’s interest in mental and behavioral health care came naturally at a young age. As a middle child, she was the “peacemaker” and always sought to try to understand and articulate everyone’s perspectives in order to obtain or maintain peace. A career in mental health was not something she believes she chose; it was more of calling.
Carlita had three children in a four-and-a-half-year span. She has a puppy named Maverick, who is part Chihuahua and part German Shepard, and the beach is her therapy.
“My mission in life is not to merely survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” – Maya Angelou
Cheryl Simms is a licensed professional counselor offering services to children, adolescents and adults in Virginia. She 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 provide excellent 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.”
Andrea Davis is a licensed clinical social worker offering services to children, adolescents and adults in Virginia. She has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializes in mood disorders, parenting, marriage and relationship counseling, anxiety disorders and family therapy. In her practice, Andrea’s philosophy of care is centered around the belief that we are all in it together. She believes that we all have our struggles and sometimes it takes someone outside of the situation to help with gaining non-judgmental perspectives. Andrea sees her role as a mental health professional, as being like a chameleon of sorts where her approach changes to blend and partner with those she’s working with in order for successful outcomes. Together, her and her patients learn through trial and error until they resolve all issues.
Andrea’s interest in mental and behavioral healthcare began when she interviewed her school counselor for career day in 7th grade. As she developed as a professional, she realized that she was a stable presence for those in crisis and those dealing with more complex problems like chronic mental illness and severe mood and anxiety disorders. Through working with youth and families, she grew a passion for taking problems that seem complicated and breaking down solutions with manageable, bite sized steps toward healthy living.
Andrea enjoys animals and learning facts about animals with her kids; they visit zoos and animal exhibits often. When Andrea feels overwhelmed, she enjoys organizing and cleaning. A goal of hers is to visit all US territories and states, so far, she’s been to all states between Texas and Maine and several islands in the Caribbean.
“The mark of a wild heart is living out the paradox of love in our lives. It’s the ability to be tough and tender, excited and scared, brave and afraid—all in the same moment. It’s showing up in our vulnerability and our courage, being both fierce and kind.” – Brené Brown
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”– Princess Diana
Mary Raykowitz is a licensed professional counselor offering services to adults in Virginia. She has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializes in mood disorders, substance abuse, dependence, and addiction, bipolar disorder, stress management and women’s issues. In her practice, Mary believes all individuals have the ability to change with the appropriate assistance. With her clients’ leading the way, she helps guide them toward their most productive lives.
Mary’s interest in mental and behavioral health care developed while working in a corrections facility, where she interacted with individuals who were court-ordered for treatment. This spurred her interest to become a counselor and assist people with mental health issues to improve their lives.
Mary is currently working on obtaining a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. She owns two rescue chinchillas, loves to read and always has a book at hand.
“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Gustav Jung