VERA FRENCH
      "Helping people live well" 


         
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Our Staff

Anne Armknecht
Chief Executive Officer for the Vera French Community Mental Health Center
, Annie Armknecht, provides planning, direction and administration to the Center’s 160 staff and the center’s many pro- grams. Anne earned her MBA in Health Care from St. Ambrose University right here in Davenport and her BA in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa.  Anne came to Vera French CMHC in 2009 from The Richmond Center, a community mental health center located in Central Iowa where she was the Executive Director.  Anne has over 25 years experience working in the field of mental health. She is dedicated to working closely with staff, funders and community stakeholders to provide the highest quality mental health services to all in need.


Sarah Seifert
Chief Operating Officer for Vera French Community Mental Health Center, 
Sarah Seifert, has been with the Vera French Organization since 2006 and was made COO in September 2010.  Sarah previously was the Administrator of Pine Knoll Residential Care Facility in Davenport, IA.  Sarah is a Master's prepared Social Worker licensed in the State of IA.  Ms. Seifert has worked in the mental health and disabilities field for 15 years in variety of service settings.


Dr. John Stecker
Medical Director of Vera French Community Mental Health Center, Dr. John Stecker.  He is an Adult, Adolescent and Child Psychiatrist as well as a Colonel in the US Army Reserves Medical.  Dr. Stecker earned his MD at Eastern Virginia Medical School.  He completed his General Psychiatry Residency and his Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  Dr. Stecker has been with Vera French CMHC since 1995.


Dr. Ghada Hamdan-Allen
Psychiatrist , Dr. Ghada Hamdan-Allen, earned her MD from the American University of Beirut.  She finished her adult psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  She performs psychiatric evaluation and treatment to children and adolescents at Vera French Community Mental Health Center.  She is a member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  Prior to joining Vera French CMHC, Dr. Hamdan-Allen was an assistant professor at the University of Iowa at which time she did research in the areas of developmental disabilities and disruptive behavior disorders.  She was also employed by Lovelace Health Systems in Albuquerque, New Mexico before joining Vera French CMHC in 1998.

Dr. Thomas Garside
Adult Psychiatrist, Dr. Thomas Garside, earned his MD at St. Louis University of Medicine, where he also completed his Straight Internal Medicine Internship.  He completed his Psychiatric Residency at Northwestern University Medical Schools and Clinics.  Dr Garside earned his Bachelor Degree from the University of Notre Dame.  He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the Iowa Psychiatric Association, and the Scott County Medical Society.  Dr. Garside was previously in private practice in the Quad Cities and was also the Chief of Psychiatry at the US Air Force Hospital on Robins Air Force Base located in Georgia.  He joined Vera French CMHC in 1969.


Dr. William Nissen
Adult Psychiatrist, Dr. William Nissen, is an Adult Psychiatrist that is responsible for evaluating patients for the presence of psychiatric disorders and medication management.  He also provides hospital care to patients who require it.  Dr. Nissen completed his MD, Master of Science in Anatomy, and Bachelor of Science Degrees at the University of Iowa.  Prior to joining the Vera French Community Mental Health Center in 1980, he was employed by the Gundersen Clinic in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. 


Dr. Prabhaker Pisipati
Adult Psychiatrist, 
Dr. Prabhakar Pisipati, earned his MBBS from Patliputra Medical College located in Dhandad, India.  He completed his Psychiatric Residency and Public/Geriatric Psychiatric Fellowship at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center.  Dr. Pisipati is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Geriatric Psychiatry Association.  Dr. Pisipati has had many experiences, such as running his private practice and serving as the Medical Director of Mercy Medical Center Psychiatric Unit, before joining Vera French CMHC in 2011.


Dr. Eric Bruster
Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Eric Bruster, is a Clinical Psychologist that provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and groups.  He also conducts psychological evaluations.  Dr. Bruster received his Psy.D. from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago.  He completed his Pre-Doctoral Internship at the VA Medical Center in Danville, Illinois.  Dr. Bruster has also earned a Masters of Divinity from Garrett ETS in Evanston, Illinois.  His Bachelor of Arts Degree was awarded fromAugustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.  Dr. Bruster is listed with the National Association of Health Service Providers in Psychology and is a member of the American Psychological Association.  Before joining Vera French CMHC in 1994, Dr. Bruster was employed with Psychology Associates and Augustata College, both located in the Quad Cities.  He was also employed with Lutheran Social Services and Proctor Hospital in Peoria, Illinois.  


Dr. Rhonda Callison
Clinical Psychologist, 
Dr. Rhonda Callison, 
serves as a Clinical Psychologist in the adult outpatient department.  She received her Psy.D. and her MA from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, along with a Certificate in Cognitive Therapy.  Her Bachelor of Science in Psychology was earned at St. Ambrose University.  Dr. Callison began her career at Vera French CMHC in December of 2000 while completing her Practica Externship.  Before this time, she completed her internship at Dreiker’s Psychology Services Center in Chicago, Illinois.  She also completed a Practica Externship at Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health.  As a member of the American Psychological Association and the National Register of Health Service Providers, Dr. Callison is a great asset to Vera French Community Mental Health Center.


Dr. Richard Quarton
Clinical Psychologist, Richard Quarton, and provides evaluations and therapy to patients from age 3 to 75.  Dr. Quarton received his Ph.D. and Master of Science Degree from Penn State University in Pennsylvania.  He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Iowa and he is a member of the American Orthopsychiatric Association.  Before coming to Vera French CMHC in 2002, Dr. Quarton was employed with Bridgeway Community Mental Health Center and was a professor at the Behrend College of Penn State University.

Chris McCormick Pries
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, Chris McCormick Pries, is a Board Certified Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and the Clinical Director of the Vera French Community Mental Health Center.  She works closely with the Medical Director to plan and oversee mental health services delivered through outpatient and various Vera French CMHC programs.  Her responsibilities also include assessment, psychotherapy and medication management to a wide array of patients in the Quad City area.  Chris completed her Post Graduate Study in Mental Health Administration at the University of Minnesota.  She earned her MA from the University of Iowa and her Advanced Psychiatric Nursing Degree at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychoanalysis in New York.  Her Bachelor of Science in Nursing was earned at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.  She is a member of the ANA, INA, Sigma Theta Tau, and APNA.  Before joining Vera French in May 1975, Chris was an instructor at Black Hawk College, Marycrest College, and a clinical instructor at St. Ambrose University. 


Anabel Flaherty
Adult Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner,
Anabel Flaherty, provides psychiatric services such as evaluation, assessment, and medication management to adult outpatients as an Adult Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.  Anabel has earned a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Saint Ambrose University.  She also attended the University of Dubuque where she earned Master of Science in Nursing degree.  She earned her Master of Science in Education degree from Western Illinois University specializing in Councselor Education.  Anabel is a graduate of St. Ambrose School of Nursing and also received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  Before joining Vera French CMHC, Anabel taught at St. Ambrose University and Black Hawk College.  She also provided services at Family Counseling and Psychology in Bettendorf prior to joining Vera French CMHC in 1975.

Genevieve Nelson
Adult Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner,
Genevieve Nelson, provides psychiatric services such as evaluation, assessment, and medication management to adult outpatients as an Adult Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.  Genevieve joined Vera French Community Health Center in October 2009 with a Master of Science Degree from Ohio State University.  She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grandview College.  Genevieve has previously been employed with the Abbe Center for the Community Mental Health located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 


Michelle Schnack
Psychiatric Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner,
Michelle Schnack, provides psychiatric evaluations, medication management and individual therapy.  Michelle joined Vera French CMHC in 2011 after earning her Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Iowa.  She also earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a minor in Psychology from the University of Iowa.  She is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, the American Nurses Association,  and Sigma Theta Tau.  Before joining Vera French CMHC, Michelle was employed with Mid-Eastern Council on Chemical Abuse and Family Empowerment Services.

Connie Stecker

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner,
Connie Stecker, provides counseling in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is a clinical nurse specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry and mental health.  Before joining Vera French  CMHC in 2006, Connie Worked as a Psychiatric Nurse Consultant with Genesis Hospital as well as a Psychiatric Nurse at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Connie earned a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh.

Carol Dietsch
Certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse,
Carol Dietsch, is a member of the American Nurses Association.  Carol earned her MA from the University Of Iowa College of Nursing where she also completed her Post Graduate Study on Autism.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Marycrest College here in Davenport.  She became a Registered Nurse through Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Iowa City.  Carol has previously worked as a staff nurse in pediatrics at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City and as the Pediatric Nurse Instructor at St. Francis School of Nursing in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  She also worked as the Surgical Supervisor at St. Francis Hospital in La Crosse.  She then moved to the position of a staff nurse in the ER and ICU and later became the Clinical Coordinator at Mercy Hospital in Davenport.  Carol joined Vera French CMHC in 1972. 

Elaine Moss
Registered Nurse,
Elaine Moss, earned her RN from Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  Elaine has worked in all aspects of Mental Health nursing including inpatient care, residential care, home health care, community support and outpatient.  Before joining Vera French CMHC in 1990, Elaine worked as a Mental Health Specialist at Visiting Nurses and also at Pine Knoll when it was run by the county.  

Angi Tracy
Case Management Supervisor,
Angi Tracy, is responsible for overseeing the case management unit which consists of six case managers and one transporter/outreach worker as the Case Management Supervisor.  Her main responsibilities include training staff in the areas of Case Management and comprehensive assessment, assigning and supervising case loads of service monitors, and interacting with Vera French Community Mental Health Center personnel and other community agencies on a regular basis.  Angi joined Vera French CMHC in September 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from St. Ambrose University.  She belongs to the Iowa State Association of Counties and was previously employed with the Wittenmyer Youth Center (Family Resources Inc.) at the Leslie West cottage.


Michelle Kelley
Licensed Mental Health Counselor,
Michelle Kelley, has 16 years of experience in counseling with adults as well as children.  She specializes in a wide range of life issues including but not limited to traumas, childhood behavioral issues, depression, anxiety, marital concerns, conflict resolution,  woman’s issues, and substance abuse.  She has been a Registered Play Therapist for two years and is also trained in Parent-Child Interaction Training.
 

Jim Parcel
Licensed Mental Health Counselor, 
Jim Parcel, joined Vera French in 2009.  He is a therapist that has 25 years in the mental health field that includes both residential and outpatient treatment.  Here at Vera French CMHC, Jim works with individuals ranging from children to adults as well as families.  He earned a Master of Counseling degree from Regent University.

Amy Massie
Clinical Therapist,
Amy Massie, provides several valuable services to Vera French Community Mental Health Center.  As an outpatient Clinical Therapist, Amy specializes in Adolescent Sex Offender Treatment and treatment in sexual abuse and childhood maltreatment.  Amy also works as a School Based Therapist by providing play therapy in a school setting in order to help children overcome any issues and be successful in all areas of their lives.  Amy earned both her Masters in Social Work and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology at St. Ambrose University.  Amy is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.  Before joining Vera French CMHC in 2010, Amy worked as an Adolescent Sex Offender Therapist at Family Resources, Inc.  She was also a case manager in the foster care department at Bethany for Children and Families.

Joyce Morrison
Director of Program Development,
Joyce Morrison. provides clinical supervision for outpatient and school-based therapists as the Director of Program Development at Vera French Community Mental Health Center.  Joyce researches and writes grants and helps develop programs to improve access and quality of care at Vera French CMHC.  She earned her Masters in Social Work and her Bachelor Degree in Social Work at the University of Iowa.  Joyce has 26 years of practice with children and families in Scott and Clinton Counties and joined Vera French CMHC in 2007. 

Jennifer Duncan
School-Based Therapist,
  Jennifer Duncan, provides therapy services to children and families through the Vera French Community Mental Health Center as a School-Based Therapist.  Jennifer earned both her Masters in Social Work and her Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Hunter College City University of New York.  Before joining Vera French CMHC in August 2010, Jennifer served as a contract Social Worker with the US Army through Valforce, Inc.  She was also employed by the Youth Service Bureau of Rock Island County and Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health.

Taryn Hancock
School-Based Therapist, 
Taryn Hancock, has been a School-Based Therapist with Vera French Community Mental Health Center since 2005.  She provides clinical-level therapy to elementary school-aged children and their families in a school setting and/or in the home.  Taryn works collaboratively with the school, AEA, and other agencies involved with the child and family.  She also provides case management and resource referrals as needed.  Taryn earned her Masters in Social Work from St. Ambrose University and her Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Augustana College, both located here in the Quad Cities.  Taryn was previously employed with Bridgeway, Inc. and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers. 

Anne Oakes
School-Based Therapist,
Anne Oakes, joined Vera French Community Mental Health Center in 2003.  She is a School-Based Therapist that provides outpatient therapy in a school setting.  She is a registered Play Therapist and certified to provide Parent/Child Interaction Therapy.  Anne earned her MSW at St. Ambrose University and her Bachelor Degree in Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa.  Anne is a member of the Association for Play Therapy and a great asset to Vera French CMHC. 


Rhonda Scheffert
School-Based Therapist,
Rhonda Scheffert, received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Iowa.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Northern Iowa.  Rhonda has a history of working with children and families in schools, therapeutic settings, and hospice.  Rhonda joined Vera French CMHC in 2011.

Jennifer Troutwine
School-Based Therapist, 
Jennifer Troutwine, is a School-Based Therapist with Vera French Community Mental Health Center.  She joined Vera French CMHC in 2008 and continues to provide therapy to children and families throughout schools in the Quad City area.  Jennifer received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Iowa and her Bachelor Degree in Social Work from Marycrest International University.  She has previously been a therapist with Lutheran Services of Iowa. 







1441 W. Central Park Avenue  Davenport, IA 52804
      Phone (563) 383-1900       Fax (563) 328-5690