Our Staff

Jeremy Pitzer

Jeremy Pitzer, LCSW
CEO

Originally from Colorado, but with strong ties to Illinois, Jeremy Pitzer earned his master’s degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, studying social work with a specialization in community mental health. He did his undergraduate work in social work and psychology, graduating magna cum laude from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois.

Pitzer stepped into the role of CEO at The Oaks in March 2017, bringing with him a wide range of experience in substance abuse treatment and co-occurring disorders. Already part of the UHS family, he spent nearly six years as the CEO of Compass Intervention Center, working with children and adolescents dealing with co-occurring disorders and childhood trauma.

His vast experience also includes serving as a director of clinical services for a treatment program that provided residential and outpatient addiction treatment and as a clinical supervisor for a 24-hour crisis line and mobile crisis team. Committed to community involvement, Pitzer served as the chair of the Region VII Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Policy and Planning Council for two years and has presented and participated in several conferences and collaborations.

Originally, Pitzer planned to study business, but a sociology elective put him on a new career path when he fell in love with social studies and the study of people. One of the most rewarding aspects of this type of work, he says, is when you’re able to step back and take a look at measures and outcomes and know you made a difference. What other jobs allow you to have that kind of impact every day? Tapping into his early interest in business, Pitzer also enjoys studying the systems in place and is constantly looking for ways to improve them.

When not working, Pitzer is kept busy with family responsibilities. He and his wife have two young children, a daughter and a son. Their year-round activities, from basketball to soccer, take up the bulk of his time, but he also manages to do some woodworking, and says he enjoys building furniture.

Stenberg

David Stenberg
Primary Therapist

David Stenberg joined The Oaks at La Paloma team first as a PRN therapist and later as a primary therapist. He was drawn to The Oaks because of the strength of its dual diagnosis program in a residential setting. As a primary therapist, Stenberg conducts both individual and family counseling sessions, as well as teaches groups. Stenberg is a nationally certified counselor who earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and a Master of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. After working for several years with individuals struggling with poverty, addiction and mental illness, Stenberg returned to school, earning a Master of Science in clinical mental health counseling from the University of Memphis. He is a lifelong Memphian who can be found cooking, gardening, running, cycling, fishing and spending time with his family and friends in his free time.

Kerrel

Kerrel Ard, LMSW
Primary Therapist

From Pontotoc, Mississippi, Kerrel Ard became a primary therapist at The Oaks at La Paloma in 2015. Inspired by work that helps wounded people create the lives they hope for, Ard brings a wealth of diverse experience to his role. He earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Mississippi and a master’s in social work from the University of Memphis. Following 11 years as an inner-city social worker and 14 years in the corporate world, Ard became a licensed clinical social worker in 2015. Trained in EMDR therapies as well as Motivational Interviewing, DBT and ACT, he is also passionate about teaching LGBTIQ cultural competency to other clinicians in the mental health field. When he’s not working, Ard enjoys being active in his church, writing, hiking and horseback riding.

Terry Matthews, LMFT
Residential Therapist

Terry Matthews is an experienced licensed marriage and family therapist. Currently he facilitates group sessions on anger management and relapse prevention, and he also leads individual and family therapy sessions. Terry completed his undergraduate work at Mississippi Valley State University, earning a BA in sociology. He also earned a master’s degree in guidance education from Alcorn State University. With over 20 years of counseling experience, Terry has worked with children and adults on a plethora of issues. He has provided individual, group, family and career counseling services. He has successfully developed treatment plans and coordinated discharge plans through assessment of community resources. Prior to joining the staff at The Oaks, Terry worked as a therapist at Compass Intervention Center for almost 10 years. In addition to providing therapy sessions, he facilitated the Multi-Family Parenting Program and worked closely with the multi-disciplinary team. Originally from Itta Bena, MS, Terry has called Memphis home for the last 11 years. Terry enjoys sports and is a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan. He is a husband and a father of two daughters.

Zachary Becker, MS, CRC
Men's Unit Clinical Lead

Zack has recently moved into the men’s clinical lead position after having served as a residential therapist with The Oaks since 2012. Zack also supervises the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program at The Oaks. A graduate of Mississippi State University with an MS in counselor education and a BS in psychology, Zack is also a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC). Zack brings experience working with individuals in a long-term residential treatment setting, primarily focusing on co-occurring disorders treatment. He also has a history in providing spiritual guidance and counseling to adolescents as a youth director. Originally from Greenwood, MS, Zack relocated to Memphis after marrying his college sweetheart. In his spare time, he enjoys all Mississippi State sporting events, running, cooking, and playing with his Labrador retriever.

Finkey

Hannah Finkey, MSW
Patient Care Coordinator

Born and raised in Parker, Colorado, Hannah Finkey became the patient care coordinator at The Oaks at La Paloma in 2016. Inspired by her personal support system that helps her navigate mental illness, Finkey is determined to provide that same compassion and encouragement to her patients. She earned bachelor’s degrees in sociology and social work, as well as a master’s degree in social work from Concord University in Athens, West Virginia. With a variety of experience in the healthcare field, Finkey has experience in partial hospitalization programs, discharge planning and therapeutic activity groups. In addition to working for a teen court program, she has also coordinated community service and mental health awareness projects. Grateful to spend her days helping people move toward positive changes, Finkey loves walking alongside patients as they regain strength and believe in themselves again. A resident of Southaven, Mississippi, she can be found reading, playing video games and painting in her spare time.

Jamieka Harris, MSW
Therapist

Jamieka Harris became affiliated with The Oaks at La Paloma and its integrated model of treatment for co-occurring disorders as a primary therapist in January 2017. After facilitating group therapy at a crisis center and conducting individual and family sessions in an outpatient setting, Harris sought out a dual diagnosis treatment facility where she would be able to maximize her skills and provide optimum service to clients.

Harris earned a master’s in social work from East Carolina University and a bachelor’s in sociology with a concentration in social welfare from Winston Salem State University. She is also a specialist in administration and leadership through Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. Her past experience includes working as a special education teacher and director of special services.

Committed to helping those who need motivation and support while striving for excellence, Harris’ primary responsibility as a therapist at The Oaks at La Paloma is to provide individual, family and group therapy sessions. She utilizes a variety of theories and models during therapy that include motivational interviewing, psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive theory.

In her downtime, Harris embraces motherhood, spends time with family and friends, travels, reads and attends church.

Rachel E. Pinter, MT-BC
Certified Music Therapist

Rachel Pinter received her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. As a board-certified music therapist, she has worked in the mental health field since 2006. At The Oaks, Pinter provides individual and group music therapy incorporating piano, guitar, vocal and percussion instrument skills. She employs lyric analysis, song composition and drum circles to teach clients how to use music as a coping tool.

Currently, Pinter is expanding her experience through The Blue Door Recording Studio on site at The Oaks to broaden the scope of treatment, allowing participants to increase positive self-esteem, self-expression and record original songs. The Blue Door also allows patients to experiment with musical techniques and jam with other musicians in a sober and safe environment. Pinter also helps with the art program and facilitates Adventure Challenge, The Oaks’ low ropes course. She has been trained and certified by an ACCT professional vendor member to use a different approach to provide, improve and utilize teamwork-building skills that are necessary to be successful in recovery.

As a music therapist, Pinter has the unique and rewarding opportunity of witnessing the positive effect music therapy has on patients. She has seen unique breakthroughs among individuals because music therapy is a non-threatening outlet for even those without musical ability or skills.

Prior to working at The Oaks, Pinter was a music therapist at two psychiatric facilities serving individuals in a residential and inpatient setting from ages 4 to 104. She has led national workshops teaching foster grandparents musical activities to be utilized with children with special needs. She has also worked with local HIV-positive individuals dealing with substance use disorders, served as a guest speaker in several community groups to advocate for music therapy awareness and volunteered as music therapist at a camp for children with autism.

Carol Ricossa
Life Challenge Community and Events Coordinator

A graduate of the University of Memphis, Carol Ricossa received her master’s in counseling education. She put that degree to work as a therapist in the Memphis city school system until 2005. At that point, Carol decided to pursue her artistic passions, taking a giant leap of faith and opening a framing studio. While self-employed, she also facilitated several art shows, exhibiting her own work and the work of local artisans.

Carol joined the The Oaks at La Paloma staff in the fall of 2010. Her current responsibilities include planning events for The Oaks at La Paloma’s local alumni, collaborating with professionals in the community and leading the patients in creative arts. This wide range of duties taps into Carol’s versatile talents of teaching art, event planning and relationship-building.

A native Memphian, Carol spends her spare time cooking with friends, bicycling, working in her garden or painting. She is also a certified fitness instructor, teaching at the Nuber YMCA.

Glenda Murray
Therapist

Glenda Murray became affiliated with The Oaks at La Paloma and its integrated model of treatment for co-occurring disorders as an intern in 2009 and was hired as a PRN therapist the following year. Glenda earned a master’s in counseling from Harding University Graduate School of Religion and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Victory University, both located in Memphis.

Glenda is dedicated to helping those whose lives are in bondage to addiction and mental health disorders because she knows firsthand the impact of these diseases on individuals and their families. Her primary responsibility as a therapist at The Oaks at La Paloma is to facilitate individual, family and group therapy sessions. To do so, she utilizes a variety of therapeutic modalities with patients, including her level II training in EMDR and in-depth training on deployment spectrum issues facing military service members and their families, including Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD.

Prior to joining the The Oaks at La Paloma staff, Glenda worked as a paralegal and then placed her career on hold for motherhood. Originally from Arkansas, she has called Tennessee home for more than two decades. In her downtime, Glenda enjoys time with her family, movies, traveling, reading and serving in her church. Glenda’s spiritual life plays a significant role in her desire to help others.

Pat Friedman, LPC
Women's Unit Clinical Lead

A licensed professional counselor, Pat Friedman earned a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Memphis. With seven years experience in the dual diagnosis field, Pat came to La Paloma expertly prepared for her role as director of the detox and assessment unit. Pat first became familiar with La Paloma and its integrated treatment through training and seminars affiliated with the facility and began referring individuals to the center. Eventually, she was brought on as the lead residential therapist and later transferred to Foundations Memphis to implement the Partial Hospitalization Program for patients with Medicare. It is the educational component of co-occurring disorders and the comparison of addiction treatment to the concept of treating co-occurring disorders that most interests Friedman. She believes that it is the knowledge of these facets that renders positive outcomes for both individuals and families. Outside of work, Pat never experiences a dull moment while keeping up with her sons, painting and enjoying her exercise regiment, which consists of ballet, yoga, gymnastics and cardio.

Henry Isaac, MS
Therapist

Henry Isaac earned a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Memphis and a BS in sociology and corrections from Mississippi State University. From an early age, he was inspired to make a difference in the lives of at-risk individuals who found themselves in and out of jail or struggled with substance abuse. Isaac possesses a strong knowledge and understanding of correctional rehabilitation and has worked with populations such as law enforcement, mental health and adolescents. He understands the relationship between repeat offenders and mental health and substance abuse and was able to use his gifts and talents to help enrich the lives of inmates in the penal and correctional institutes while addressing their underlying mental health issues as well with the hope of reducing high recidivism rates.

Isaac joined the team at The Oaks in 2015, serving as a residential therapist with responsibilities that includes facilitation of group and Individual therapy, and anger management and mental health group therapy. He is also trained in EMDR. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, spearheading church events, youth sports and working out.

Rachel Robinson, MS
Therapist

Originally from Gadsden, Alabama, Rachel Robinson relocated to Memphis in 2011, joining The Oaks as a therapist in January 2016. She did her undergraduate studies at Auburn University in communication before earning a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from the University of Memphis. Robinson’s specific area of study was addiction and co-occurring mental health, with a mission to communicate a message of love, hope and encouragement so that others can step out of darkness and into the light. When not working, her interests include camping, live music, hula-hooping, Kundalini yoga and spending time with friends and family.

Christy Phelps, MSW
Therapist

Christy Phelps has a deep passion for helping individuals who are suffering from mental illness and the disease of addiction. She completed her undergraduate degree from Mississippi University for Women with a bachelor’s degree in family and human development and holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Memphis. Dedicated to helping individuals reach their full potential, Phelps has experience providing individual, family and group therapy with diverse populations including children, teens and adults.

Hallie Bloom, LPC, CT, CCLS
Clinical Director

As clinical director at La Paloma, Hallie Bloom is a licensed professional counselor as well as a certified thanatologist and a certified child life specialist. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Texas at Austin, earning a BS in child development and family relations before graduating with a master’s from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in human development and family studies. She also holds a second master’s degree, this time in counseling psychology, from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology in Atlanta. A certified grief counselor and educator, Hallie works with individuals on their healing journey, whether it’s healing from childhood events, mental health issues, trauma or addiction. During the past two decades, Hallie has worked in the field of child life, working with children, adolescents and their families who are dealing with acute chronic and terminal illness. She served as director of child life, creating psychosocial programming, developing child-friendly environments and adding family-centered care approaches to the healthcare experience in Sacramento’s Sutter Memorial Health System, Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. She has also been a therapist at Compass Intervention Center, working with children and adolescents with dual diagnoses and behavioral issues. Originally from Clarksdale, Mississippi, Hallie has lived in various cities throughout the US, returning to the Memphis area 13 years ago. She loves animals and enjoys scuba diving, traveling and just being surrounded by friends and family.

Eskridge

Talunja Eskridge, MEd
Assessment Unit Clinical Manager

Born and raised in McCarley, Mississippi, Talunja Eskridge became the assessment unit clinical manager at The Oaks at La Paloma in 2015. With an emphasis on service and compassion, Eskridge loves watching individuals learn that they are more than their current lifestyle, thoughts and behavior. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s in education from the University of Mississippi. Eskridge has worked with a variety of patients in many settings, including programs for geriatrics, college students and domestic violence. When she’s not working, she can be found reading, listening to music, watching sports and raising her niece.