Denise Houston, LPC
Denise graduated from Argosy University with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology in 1996. Her areas of interest include the impact of adverse experiences and trauma, grief and loss, and development of self across the lifespan. She has completed Level I & and Level II EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) training and became fully certified in 2006. Her experience includes many years early in her career working in non-profit and state agencies, but then moved into private practice in 2004, and is also a consultant and trainer for childhood adverse experience, trauma and loss both as an independent consultant and for the Child Trauma Institute. “I joined Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare to join forces with others of like mind and heart and to have an even larger impact on families and communities through a common goal and effort to provide excellent trauma – informed mental health services.”
Shelley Northrup, LPC
Shelley Northrup received her Masters of Education and Specialist of Mental Health Counseling at University of Florida in 2013. Since moving to Atlanta in 2015, she has worked in several mental health environments including outpatient, an advocacy center and in a crisis-oriented agency. Her focus is on client-centered, strength-focused, trauma-informed and goal orientated treatment that is tailored for each client and their unique needs. She is passionate about walking alongside clients as they find courage and empowerment towards working towards change. She has extensive training on trauma informed care and counseling, crisis counseling and suicide prevention. Shelley joined PFBH because, “I wanted to be part of a program and be part of a team that is focused on being person-centered, value-based and trauma-focused and the client remains at the center of treatment planning.”
Julie Pefanis, PMHNP
Julie began her career in healthcare over twenty years ago as a Registered Nurse but quickly realized her passion for psychiatry and specialized in psychiatric nursing. She later advanced her education and became a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and has worked in the psychiatric field for over fifteen years. Julie has experience with children, adolescents, and the adult population, managing various types of mental health issues. She has experience working in a variety of settings, including inpatient hospitals, outpatient programs, and private practice settings. “I am proud to be a member of the Family Behavioral Healthcare team providing outstanding and individualized treatment for individuals and their families in our community.”
Assessment Center Coordinator
Jeff graduated from the University of South Dakota with his BSW in 1993 and from the University of Iowa with his MSW in 2002. He has worked across a wide continuum of care including outpatient therapy, sub-acute placement, residential treatment, therapeutic boarding school, and traditional boarding schools. Prior to joining Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare, Jeff served as an Educational Consultant as a Therapeutic Placement Specialist, visiting over 300 programs to determine appropriateness of placement and quality of care for clients and families. Jeff brings his 30 years of treatment history to Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare to facilitate initial assessments and to help in the placement of our clients into the most appropriate type of service, both inside and outside of the Pyramid Healthcare continuum of care.
Call Center Supervisor
As a native to Georgia, Brandy came to Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare from an acute substance abuse and psychiatric hospital where she served for 10 years, starting as a Call Center Specialist and rising to the Inpatient Coordinator and then Call Center Supervisor. She worked directly with the Director of the intake Department to make sure the best possible care and user experience was provided to each individual client and family. Due to her tenure in the intake Department, Brandy also assisted in solidifying the facility’s relationships by educating the community about the Intake process. “I chose this career path because I have a passion for helping people in need of mental health and substance abuse treatment. It is an honor to be a part of such a passionate and dedicated team at Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare.”
Call Center Representative
Jennifer has worked in the mental health field for almost 30 years serving in a variety of capacities including financial, call center management, business office, benefits verification and completing pre-certification reviews. Prior to joining Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare, Jennifer had been working in the insurance industry, responsible for applying admissions criteria and compliance to Pre-certifications initiated by mental health facilities from her assigned region. “I joined the Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare team back in October as the Central Admissions Intake Coordinator. I am excited to be able to assist in the growth of a new Pyramid facility in the Southeast Region.”
Chad Husted, LPC
Southeastern Vice President of Operations
Chad obtained his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. He has spent the last 15 years in a variety of behavioral health positions, beginning his career in Florida where he served as a psych tech, case manager, and supervisor in community mental health. Living in Atlanta for the last 10 years, Chad managed an acute behavioral health emergency room and spent several years providing school-based mental health therapy before moving into the business arena, where he oversaw managed care contracting, professional education, and business development. Since November 2015, Chad initially served as Pyramid Healthcare’s Director of North Carolina Operations and now brings his expertise in program development, relationship building, and mental health and addiction treatment as the Southeastern Vice President of Operations.
Tom has over 30 years of experience working in the behavioral health field in the Atlanta market. He has worked in a variety of settings as well as from different ends of the care-spectrum, from prevention through population management programs to providing treatment in residential and acute care hospitals. Throughout his career, Tom has worked with adolescents, adults, families, and specialized populations by serving in clinical, business development, administrative, and executive capacities. In 2017, Tom envisioned a company that would fill gaps of unmet need in the Atlanta community and started to conceptualize the foundation of what today has emerged as Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare. “I am honored to work with such a dedicated team of professionals and a parent organization, Pyramid Healthcare, who are both committed to bringing value to the community and in helping clients and families achieve their recovery.”