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 

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.