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Our Staff/Team

Leadership and Medical Staff

Our Leadership Team

Larry Kirkland, LMHC, CEO
Larry provides oversight for the facility and its leadership team and staff. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in communications. He received his Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Troy State University and his Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University. Larry has worked for over 21 years in the mental health field.

Holly Hernandez, CFO
Holly holds a M.S. in Management and a B.A. in Accounting, both from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Prior to joining Newport News Behavioral Health Center, she held financial oversight positions in Oklahoma and Alaska.

Sara Williams, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services
Sara has been employed at Newport News Behavioral Health Center since 2017 as the Director of Clinical Services. Prior to working at NNBHC she held various leadership positions at First Home Care which included Program Manager of the ID/DD division and Clinical Director of Mental Health Services. She holds a Master’s of Social Work from Hawaii Pacific University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Virginia.

Karen Bruce, BSN, Director of Nursing
Karen graduated from Hampton University with a BSN in 1982. She has worked in a variety of medical surgical and psychiatric settings to include orthopedics, neurosurgery, general surgery, telemetry; and child, adolescent, adult psychiatric settings. She has worked previously as the Director of Nursing at Keystone Hospital; The Pines Brighton and Crawford campuses; and with Newport News Behavioral Health Center since 2012.

Darius Robinson, Program Director of Residential Services
Darius graduated from Virginia State University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. Between 2004 and 2008 he worked in a mental health group home, where he became a supervisor; then transitioned to intensive in-home counseling and therapeutic day treatment in 2008. He joined the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice as a juvenile correctional officer, and was promoted to residential community coordinator. Darius transferred to the 11th court service unit as a juvenile probation officer, where he offered probation, intake, post dispositional and diversion supervision. He joined Newport News Behavioral Health Center in September 2019.

Anthony Orozco, MSW, Director of Admissions
Anthony joined Newport News Behavioral Health Center September 2018 as the Director of Admissions. He acquired a logistics management background while serving twenty years in the United States Air Force. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Master’s of Social Work from Saint Leo University, and is a licensed Qualified Mental Health Provider in the state of VA (QMHP-C).

Kathy Parker, Director of Business Development
Kathy joined Newport News Behavioral Health Center in 2008. She has worked in leadership positions with various residential, acute, and outdoor therapeutic facilities in her 25+ year career. Kathy graduated from Mary Baldwin College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing Communications.

Michael Rogers, Director of Education
Michael has been employed at Newport News Behavioral Health Center since August 2013 as the Director of Education. Prior to working at NNBHC he was the Education Director at Childhelp in Lignum, VA. Michael is a licensed, special education teacher and published author who taught school for eight years in Orange, VA at the middle school level; designed an alternative education high school program for Orange County Public Schools, and offered instruction to inmates at Central Virginia Regional Jail. He holds a Master’s in Special Education from George Mason University and B.A. from New College at the University of Alabama.

Brian Kates, Director of Quality Improvement and Risk Management
Brian joined Newport News Behavioral Health Center November 2019, as Director of Quality Improvement and Risk Management. He previously served as a policy consultant to congressmen in Louisiana and Mississippi at the state and federal level. Brian worked as a Director of Performance Improvement at a residential facility in Mississippi, and as a Director of Risk Management/PI & EOC in Texas at acute hospitals serving adolescents and adults. Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Journalism from the University of Mississippi.

Belinda Hampton, Director of Utilization Review
Belinda joined Newport News Behavioral Health Center in 2004, and has held several positions that include Utilization Review Coordinator, Director of Admissions and Director of Utilization Review. Prior to joining NNBHC, she worked as a Behavioral Counselor at Cumberland Hospital. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Strayer University; B.A. in Social Work from Christopher Newport University; and AAS in Public Administration from Thomas Nelson Community College.

Kristine Pierce, Director of Human Resources
Kristine joined Newport News Behavioral Health Center in 2019. Prior to joining NNBHC, she was a 20-year veteran with the United States Air Force working in the health care field and personnel management. Kristine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Administration, and a Master of Business Administration and Human Resource Management from Columbia Southern University.

Terry Rethamel, Director of Support Services
Terry has been employed at Newport News Behavioral Health Center since May 2015 as Director of Support Services. Prior to working at NNBHC, Terry was a 30-year veteran with the United States Air Force. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Latasha M. Isaac, Director of Health Information Management/Privacy Officer
Latasha has been employed at Newport News Behavioral Health Center since 2013. She has been the Director of Health Information Management since 2016. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Strayer University, and a M.A. in Human Services from Liberty University.

Physicians at Newport News Behavioral Health Center

Avtar Dhillon, M.D., D.F.A.P.A., F.A.S.A.M.
Dr. Dhillon has served as Medical Director for Newport News Behavioral Health Center since 2003. He is board-certified in psychiatry, addiction, forensic psychiatry, pain management and psychosomatic medicine by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. In addition, Dr. Dhillon is board-certified in adolescent psychiatry by the American Board of Adolescent Psychiatry and in addiction medicine by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Dhillon has served as the President of the Peninsula Psychiatric Society. He is a fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Alan H. Ali, M.D., F.A.P.A.
Dr. Ali has been a full-time attending psychiatrist for Newport News Behavioral Health Center since 2006. He is board-certified in adolescent psychiatry and in general psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Ali has published several articles in the American Journal of Psychiatry about Borderline Personality in adolescents and in the Jefferson Journal about Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. Dr. Ali has given presentations to the staff on issues relating to adolescents’ mental health and treatment.

John G. Phocas, III, M.D.
Dr. Phocas is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He received his medical degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC. He completed his psychiatry training at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Phocas previously served as the inpatient medical director and vice chairman of psychiatry for Shore Health Services and worked as a psychiatrist for Dorchester County Public Schools’ Mental Health Services program. He also worked at Atlantic Psychiatric Services, Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center and the Pines at Kempsville. Dr. Phocas is a full-time attending psychiatrist for the Acute Inpatient Care facility at Newport News Behavioral Health Center.

Help and Hope are Here

Newport News Behavioral Health Center provides quality mental health treatment services to children and adolescents in a therapeutic environment. If your child is struggling with behavioral health issues, please call us at 757-888-0400. We offer no-cost assessments 24/7.