Clinical Staff


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Melissa Gragert, M.Ed. President

A licensed psychotherapist with extensive experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings, Melissa personally developed many of Tenley’s clinical interventions and treatment models. After getting her M.Ed. at Harvard, Melissa designed programs and curricula to address addiction, addiction interaction, trauma and eating disorders. In 2008, Melissa created the Young Adult Program and College Bound Program at Tenley and has overseen its growth and development. Melissa finds great meaning in working with clients and their families as they rebuild their lives from the devastating impact of addiction. She believes strongly that every day, every moment, individuals are capable of beginning again. When not working with clients, Melissa spends time outdoors and traveling with her family.

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Susan Gillespie, M.A.

Susan Gentz Gillespie is originally from San Francisco and has been licensed to practice as a marriage and family therapist since 2003, facilitating groups for people in recovery, and in private practice.  She joined the Tenley treatment team in the District of Columbia in 2011, where she regularly facilitates substance abuse groups, relapse prevention groups, and a trauma and recovery group, as well as working with individuals, couples and families, as treatment requires, around a variety of related issues.  Her passion is lifespan development as it applies to both individuals and families, including family complexities which arise in the course of recovery. In her spare time Susan enjoys reading, outdoor activities, live music, art of all kinds, and activism supporting the environment and the rights of less fortunate members of the community.

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Stephanie Peng, M.A.

Stephanie is a licensed therapist with extensive experience in the outpatient setting working with adult, young adult, and adolescent populations with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Within this context, she has worked in multiple levels of care including Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient programs. One of her motivations for working with addictions is wanting to promote genuine change, improved health, and a sense of well being in individuals who are working towards recovery from substance abuse and mental health disorders. Some of Stephanie's personal interests include exercise, spending time with family, travel, and animals.

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Bobbie Merlino, LICSW

Bobbie Merlino is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work Masters’ Degree Program. She earned top honors as an undergraduate in dual degrees of Psychology and Social Work.

Bobbie began in 2007 as a primary counselor in both the young adult program and a professionals’ group at Tenley. “Group work is essential to empower those in early recovery to build a sober network and lifestyle and to assist with the rebuilding of their lives.”

Bobbie takes over 20 hours a year of continuing education credits based on her interests in the fields of addiction and ethics. Bobbie also works as a case manager and social worker at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC, recently voted by U.S. News and World Report as the number four hospital in the greater Washington area.

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Kimberly Brammer, M.A.

Kim is a graduate of George Washington University and practices as a licensed professional counselor and board-certified (Art Therapy Credentialing Board) art therapist. She specializes in stress & anger management, emotional regulation, and art-based trauma interventions.

She began working at Tenley in 2016 and recently started a private practice. Kim has created and implemented therapy programs for adults and children in inpatient and outpatient facilities throughout the DMV area. In these facilities, she realized her passion of working with individuals who struggle with addiction, but came to realize that she wanted to assist clients in maintaining sobriety rather than detoxing.

She loves watching her clients change as they get further away from their active addictions. She believes that everyone can reach their fullest potential when their creativity is explored and put into practice, allowing them to benefit from greater degrees of profound self-knowledge and healing.

Outside of her professional life, Kim likes to hike and rock climb with her family.

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Anita O. Solomon PhD. (consulting)

Dr. Anita Solomon, a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, passed the Board Examination from The American Board of Professional Psychology, the “highest distinction in Clinical Psychology”.

Anita graduated Fairleigh Dickinson University’s postdoctoral degree program in clinical psychopharmacology.  She has been nationally recognized as a group therapist, having designed innovative techniques in expressive arts, particularly music, poetry and movement therapies, for reducing and resolving violence in patients. This work earned her a Fulbright Scholarship, and she is slated to receive the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Award for Exceptional Service for her work at the Spring Grove Hospital Center in Catonsville, MD.

Dr. Solomon has authored professional articles based on her research on violence, cults, creativity and family values. She regularly speaks at conferences throughout the United States and in Europe.  In 2002, Dr. Solomon Chaired a Panel at the 6th International Conference on Social Values held in Oxford, England, and has since been invited to present her work at Oxford. The Governor of Maryland appointed Dr. Solomon to the Governor's Mental Health Advisory Council on Mental Hygiene.

 An accomplished musician and vocalist, Anita has found that multi-media arts can stimulate better mental outlooks, physical health, creative thinking and critical analysis. She uses poetry to evoke relaxation, to de-escalating violent emotions, and to enhance better communication.  Her prescriptions for altering a negative mood: "Keep a song in your heart, smile often, and know that we have choices.”

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David Hill, MSW, LICSW

David Hill has more than fifteen years of experience in the field of human services, and has worked extensively with adolescent and adult populations providing substance abuse, mental health, and HIV counseling and testing services. David’s counseling experience includes individual, group, and family therapy sessions. He regularly develops and maintains treatment plans, and integrates evidenced based practices to the clinical approach. In 2008, David conducted a workshop on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder at the Statewide Adoption Network and Permanency Planning Convention in Lancaster, PA.  He also presented on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder at the University of Pittsburgh in 2009. Mr. Hill was a guest speaker at the Violence Prevention and Anti-Gang Symposium at Reading High School, and is an associate of the Black Men at Penn, an organization dedicated to providing equal opportunities for people in urban environments. David has vast experience with a range of therapeutic modalities including motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, structural family therapy and solution focused brief therapy.

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Zina Hussain, M.D.

Zina is a licensed psychiatrist in the District of Columbia and Maryland. She is board certified in two specialties, psychiatry and neurology, and also in psychosomatic medicine. Zina has extensive experience in both inpatient and outpatient care.

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Mark Servatius, B.S

Mark started his experience in the chemical dependency field after completion of long term residential treatment at a therapeutic community called Operation PAR in Clearwater Florida in 1986. He had already completed a Bachelor of Science degree at University of West Florida in Management. The management discipline was a group experiential program focusing on behavior of an individual within a group setting and proved beneficial to both his future recovery and clinical endeavors.

Mark continued with Operation PAR in a variety of modalities including detoxification, residential treatment, individual and group education (especially for DUI offenders) and at the end of his time at PAR as a Senior Counselor (C-III) at PAR's Tier IV outpatient program at Clearwater Community Correctional Facility. It was a joint venture by PAR, the State of Florida and the US government. Mr. Servatius was not only responsible for doing the majority of the clinical work but also for day to day operations to satisfy The Joint Commission's (then JCAH) standards. He continues what has been a succession of volunteer and part time contributions to recovery which includes hundreds of hours of continuing education as well as over seventy-five hundred hours of group facilitation as both a primary and secondary counselor, facilitator and educator.

In June of 2004 Mr. Servatius was recognized as an "Unsung Hero" by Caron Foundation at their inaugural Washington Metropolitan Community Service Awards Breakfast. He was cited for his diligent work in the Washington area delivering the message to those "affected by their addiction so that they can overcome their disease and live a sober life...." Currently Mark provides education content for EADP’s education and awareness raising group with primary emphasis on early intervention with DWI offenders.

 

Professional Staff


Jason Vogel, M.S., M.R.E.
CEO

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With a background in psychology, business, and media, Jason heads the administrative staff of Tenley. A graduate (BSFS) of Georgetown University, Jason the earned master’s degrees in psychology (M.S. in Spiritual Psychology), in real estate (M.R.E.), and post-graduate certificates in Hypnotherapy. He also completed a year-long Positive Psychology Counseling program with Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania.  Jason started his career in media as a documentary filmmaker producing, writing or directing 600 programs, mostly for The Discovery Channel, Public Television, and HGTV. After receiving his post-graduate training, Jason had a counseling practice using the principles of Positive Psychology and Hypnotherapy to help clients leverage their signature strengths to improve their lives. He specializes in helping people who are organizationally challenged to become more effective. Jason has also given speeches to hundreds of colleges, high schools, and corporations. A published author of 2 books, he edited three more and was a contributing editor to a national business magazine, Financial World. Jason and his therapist wife of 30 years have four talented and successful children.

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Kenneth Vogel, Esq.
Legal Counsel

A native Washingtonian with over thirty years as a practicing attorney, Kenneth Vogel practices business law in Washington, DC, with a specialty in mediation, dispute resolution, and litigation. He gained bar admission to practice in all state and federal courts in D.C. and Maryland. Ken helped craft the legislation that allows psychologists to testify as expert witnesses in Maryland. His legal practice focuses on construction law, representing aggrieved homeowners, contractors and architects.  Ken is the Maryland/Washington representative of Construction Dispute Resolution Services, and an international provider of mediation and arbitration services.

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Linda Nutall, Office Manager

Linda uses her long career in health care to combine compassionate patient interaction with best-practices in the office. A Johns-Hopkins MBA, Linda currently is working to keep Tenley HIPAA compliant while implementing electronic medical records for client convenience and therapist communication. Supporting the Tenley clinical team with process improvement and a solid administrative structure is her passion, and in turn, helps the clients as they progress through recovery.

 

House Managers & Peer Mentors


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Merrick Murdock, House Manager

A woman living in long-term recovery, Merrick has helped establish private sober-living homes for women entering recovery from inpatient treatment. Merrick currently manages Irene’s Place, Tenley’s sober house for women. She has special talents in mentoring and working with women who have suffered abuse. Before joining Tenley, she worked as a broadcast TV producer, creating healthcare television campaigns on behalf of the National Institutes of Mental Health, SAMHSA and other divisions of the NIH, in addition to producing television commercials for corporate clients. Merrick also created SoberChic™, a website resource center for sober women. Merrick enjoys hiking, anything creative, and happily watching her kids grow up.

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Kevin Wartel, OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

Kevin first came to Tenley as a client and sober living resident, displaying a unique motivation and an open-minded nature that led to a successful and fulfilling recovery. Kevin later joined Tenley as Assistant House Manager of the men's residence, and currently fills the role of Operation Coordinator, splitting his time between the office and Tenley House, where he assists both clinicians and clients.

Kevin's hands-on experience with Tenley's treatment program and team and life at the Tenley House make him uniquely qualified to help current and future residents in their early treatment and recovery, and his unique perspective, wealth of experience, and approachable personality allow him to thrive in this new role. He is especially helpful to Tenley's young male clients, as his experience has closely mirrored theirs.

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Kevin Hourigan, House Manager

Kevin Hourigan is in long-term recovery.

Kevin has worked in the restaurant industry, in his native Bethesda, MD, for more than 25 years, and since his recovery, he has worked in the drug and alcohol rehabilitation field for the last 11 years, including at Father Martin's Ashley and Harbor of Grace, both in Havre de Grace, MD.

Having moved back to the area in late 2017, he began working at Fresh Start, a treatment center in Gaithersburg, MD, and is now the Men's Residential Manager of Tenley House.

His passions are recovery, family, and golf.

 

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