Heather Ballentine, B.A. | Intake Coordinator
Heather has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and has been working in the behavioral health field for 15 years. She is the mother of an Army veteran and is very passionate about working with veterans, active-duty service members, family members, and caregivers to ensure they receive the mental health services they need. As an Intake Coordinator for the clinic, Heather is responsible for completing intake screenings for new and returning clients seeking mental health services with the clinic. Heather’s main goal is to provide the highest level of service to our clients and to treat all clients with kindness and compassion.
Aaron Banas, Psy.D. | Psychologist
Aaron is a clinical psychologist, recently transitioned from active-duty service in the United States Navy. He is a prior-enlisted hospital corpsman and has a history of providing care for military-affiliated populations since he first entered service in 2003. Aaron completed his Doctorate at the George Washington University and is interested in building healthy and resilient communities through collaborative efforts in order to best support military-affiliated populations.
James Bell, LMSW | Intake Manager
James is a licensed master social worker, with experience that includes working as a clinical social work trainee at the Northport VA Medical Center and Hands Across Long Island (HALI). James also served as a coordinator for Veterans Justice Outreach and for the Pre-911 Caregiver Support Program. Additionally, he has served both in the U.S. Active Army and U.S. Army Reserves as a Behavioral Health NCO, working primarily with light infantry and medical support units. Most recently, James was activated in the Army Reserves and served as the Deployed Warrior Behavioral Health NCO at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany. James holds a Master’s in social work with a concentration in clinical work from Hunter College, NY, and a Bachelor’s degree in speech communication from St. Joseph’s College, NY. James has also received training in military cultural competence and applied suicide intervention skills. He has been with the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals since August 2019 and has been engaged with the military population since February 2012.
Susan Carson | Office Project Coordinator
Susan is a longtime Maryland resident and has a Bachelor’s degree in history from Trinity University, DC. She has many years of experience in administrative roles in medical, dental, and mental health offices.
Grace Caulfield, LCPC, LPC (DC), LPC (VA), CAC-AD | Vice President & Clinic Director
Grace has worked in the field of addiction for over 23 years. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with both adolescent and adult populations, as well as a strong background in family therapy. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including inpatient, outpatient, psychiatric hospitals, and residential settings. She holds a Master’s in counseling psychology and is a licensed professional counselor in Maryland, as well as a Certified Associate Counselor, Alcohol and Drug (CAC-AD) credential through the Board of Professional Counselors of Maryland. Grace received a Level 1 Trauma Certification through the Institute of Advanced Psychotherapy and Training, which she incorporates into her clinical approach and practice. Grace provides evidence-based treatment to veterans, particularly those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan wars, their families, and active-duty military personnel referred by their branch.
Simone Collins, LCSW-C | Clinician
A licensed clinical social worker with more than five years of experience in community and school-based mental health, Simone provides individual and group therapy to individuals experiencing trauma, dual diagnosis, depression, and anxiety. She uses CBT and solution-focused therapy to promote client autonomy and empower them to recognize their own potential for change.
Ta Shawn Couser | Office Manager
Ta Shawn has worked in the healthcare field for 17 years in a variety of capacities, in both direct care and office management. When not serving military families and their children at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic, she is a phlebotomist and was previously an EMT. She has been with Easterseals since April 2021 as the office manager and in that capacity, she is responsible for supervising the admin team, managing client billing, managing and coordinating client appointments, and interfacing with many departments. As a military dependent herself, Ta Shawn is passionate about this mission and about keeping the overall office running smoothly.
Jamaal Ferguson | Outreach Coordinator
As outreach coordinator, Jamaal is responsible for coordinating various activities aimed at promoting the organization's mission and raising awareness of important issues related to military family mental health.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Jamaal has always had a passion for serving his community. His grandfather's three decades of service in the Navy inspired Jamaal to pursue a career in veteran services, where he has gained extensive experience in numerous non-profit organizations.
Jamaal earned a Bachelor's degree in political science from Saint Paul's College and is currently a Senior Facilitator and Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) trainer. When not working or studying, Jamaal enjoys reading, listening to music, and attending live performances. He is a firm believer in Mahatma Gandhi's famous motto, "Be the change you want to see in the world," and strives to live his life in accordance with this principle.
Kenneth Hoffman, MD | Medical Director
A retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Ken has over 35 years of experience in mental health treatment, health promotion, teaching, research, leadership, consultation, and advocacy. As medical director, he supports patients and clinicians for medication evaluations and management. Formerly a faculty member at the Uniformed Services University, Ken directed the Center for Training and Education in Addiction Medicine and an optimized healthcare model for recovery from acute and chronic conditions. He volunteers on the Montgomery College Board of Trustees and the Oxford House Board of Directors, and continues as an adjunct faculty member at the Uniformed Services University, where he facilitates medical student discussions on medical ethics. He has published in the areas of healthcare optimization, military medicine, and alcohol and other drug use disorders. Ken received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School and has a Master’s degree in public health from Harvard University School of Public Health. He also completed psychiatric and public health residencies at Tripler and Madigan Army Medical Centers. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.
Karen Katrinic, LMFT | Clinician
Karen Katrinic has been in the behavioral health field for over 20 years, and is a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist, an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy approved supervisor and a clinical fellow since 2004, and an approved supervisor by the State of Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists. As a family therapist Karen approaches each case, be it an individual, family, or couple, through a systems perspective, in that we all are interconnected and shaped by our primary connections with other people. Her experience and knowledge are extensive from working in residential youth detention centers, youth & family service agencies, school settings, and private practice. Karen is excited by brain research, and neuroplasticity, and helping clients make adaptations that create more rewarding and free lives. Karen received her certification in EMDR in 2013 and likes how clients can make shifts that allow them to reach their goals. Karen thinks it is a privilege to work with veterans and their families.
Mallary Lass | Outreach Manager
Mallary Lass is the Senior Outreach Manager for the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals. As the Outreach Manager, she leads efforts to develop and manage community partnerships, clinic event programing, integration of services in the community, and more. She has been with the clinic since its opening in 2017, when she helped launch the clinic as an Intake Coordinator before transitioning to Outreach.
Mallary is excited to be a part of the Clinic team and enjoys working within the community. She believes that it takes UNITY of programs and supports to be successful within the commUNITY and strives to do that every day.
Prior to being with the Cohen Clinic, Mallary served in the United States Air Force as a Mental Health Technician and was stationed in Texas, Alaska, and Germany. As a Mental Health Technician, she supported clinical staff with administration, clinical services, group treatment, and more. She loved her time in the military but was medically discharged. Now, she is proud to continue serving her military and veteran community through her work and efforts at the clinic. During her time in service, she received an associate in applied sciences in Mental Health at the Community College of the Air Force and is currently working towards a bachelor's in social work with the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).
During her free time, she enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and exploring nature. Some of Mallary’s favorite quotes include “Not all those who wonder are lost” J.R.R Tolkien, “I go to seek a great perhaps” John Green, and “Nevertheless, She Persisted”.
Rocio Ramirez, M.Ed. | Counseling Fellow
Rocio completed her Master's degree in clinical mental health counseling at George Mason University. Working primarily in an outpatient setting, Rocio is passionate about treating children, adolescents, and adults within a group or individual setting, treating depression, anxiety, relationship distress, and PTSD. Rocio's approach emphasizes the collaborative approach toward goal setting and ongoing development of the therapeutic relationship. She is trained in CPT and CBT for adults and children and adolescents and continues to seek ongoing additions to her skill and knowledge base.
Leah Taylor, Psy.D. | Clinical Psychologist
Leah is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in providing evidence-based practice for PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorders. She received her Doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University and completed her pre-doctoral internship at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and post-doctoral residency within the VA Maryland Health Care System. During this time, she received intensive training in the treatment of trauma-related disorders secondary to combat exposure and military sexual trauma with veterans and military service members. She is well versed in utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for depression, anxiety, insomnia, and behavioral concerns, in addition to Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure for PTSD.
Emily Wigglesworth, LPC, LCPC, NCC | Clinician
Emily is a licensed professional counselor with 10 years of experience working in the behavioral health field. She brings expertise in working with individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders and trauma. She has provided care in various settings, including hospitals, inpatient and outpatient facilities, as well as in the home and community. Emily began her career working in community mental health, providing therapy, crisis management, and case management to homeless and vulnerable adults. She has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s in community counseling from Marymount University. Emily transitioned into the role as a clinician at the Steven A. Cohen Clinic in April 2022 and currently provides individual and group therapy for adults and adolescents using evidenced-based practices and trauma-informed care. She embraces strength-based approach and emphasizes collaboration with clients to identify and utilize strengths they already possess to achieve their goals.
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