Client Spotlight: Alliance Behavioral Health

Alliance Behavioral Health, situated within Crestwood Professional Center on Chateau Drive, is making great strides within the behavioral healthcare community. Co-owners, Katie Lewallen, Ph.D. and W. Jeff Bryson, Ph.D., have created an advanced practice that views mental health holistically.

And now, after celebrating its six-month anniversary in patient care, it’s developed a team, culture, and level of service that stands out.

“For so long, behavioral health practitioners have operated in silos, apart from the rest of the medical community,” said Katie. “But that mentality is quickly shifting and we will continue to see more and more mental and physical health professionals working in sync.”

According to Katie and Jeff, patients will find the greatest success when mental and physical health is addressed as a whole.

“Here at Alliance, we come up with plans to provide services for patients in a way that they can be seen more often and more efficiently,” explained Jeff. “We are here to offer our own specialized services and connect our clients with the best resources available. Sometimes, that means directing them to the correct specialist, introducing them to one of the counselors on our team, or directing them to an outside provider that may better serve his or her individual needs. We aim to be a hub of behavioral health within the North Alabama community.”

Crestwood Professional Center

Forming An Alliance

“In order to advance patient-centered healthcare, we have to realize that we can’t treat symptoms in isolation,” stated Katie. “We have to take care of mental health for physical health to improve. Alliance was created with the objective of integrating behavioral health with the broader healthcare community.”

After working together for five years, Katie and Jeff realized that they shared a vision for how and where a behavioral health practice should go. It was then the two decided to collaborate and make Alliance a reality.

“Like our name suggests, we have formed an alliance of behavioral health professionals who are passionate about what they do,” said Katie. “But the alliance extends beyond our office. We make an effort to work with clients’ family practitioners, therapists, educators, specialists, and others on their care team to get the full picture of their health.”

Within the medical community, patients are likely to encounter a number of specialists that deal with different issues individually. Alliance integrates information and input from all sources so they can develop the most effective treatment plans possible.

A Broad Spectrum of Services

Alliance offers services to all ages and specializes in a variety of disorders from the more common to extremely rare.

“We always welcome the more complex and challenging cases,” guaranteed Jeff. “In my training, I was fortunate enough to work in an environment where I was able to assist on very rare cases. We aim to do everything we can to improve their quality of life and get them functioning again, regardless of how challenging or uncommon the condition.”

Comprehensive assessments, collaborative treatment planning, psychological testing, and ongoing counseling are all under the umbrella of services offered at ABH.

“Alliance is a multidisciplinary practice,” clarified Katie. “We provide a broad range of ongoing services and each patient receives highly individualized care. It’s a technology-driven practice too that utilizes some of the most innovative and advanced techniques within the behavioral health community.”

Katie, a licensed clinical psychologist, focuses her services on children who are struggling in school or having some sort of difficulty succeeding academically or at home. Furthermore, she helps patients achieve their goals with assessments for ADHD, specific learning disorders like dyslexia, mood and anxiety disorders, and personality issues.

“I think it sounds really simple, but I love my job because I know I’m making a difference in people’s everyday lives,” shared Katie. “Watching my clients gain confidence and decrease stress is such a privilege for me.”

Jeff’s services cover a different area.

“One of the best things about our practice is our ability to provide different niche services,” said Jeff. “I specialize in health service psychology, neuropsychology, and I assess clients for a number of conditions associated with how the brain functions. Some of my cases have chronic health issues that they are dealing with and require very specialized treatment.”

The Alliance Behavioral Health team also includes three licensed professional counselors, Megan Caudle, M.Ed., LPC-S, Scott Kincaid, LPC-S, NCC, and Amy Bryan, LPC. Temple Bryson, MS, provides direct clinical assistance to the psychologists in order for patients’ assessment data to be collected and managed more efficiently. Taylor Ballard is ABH’s administrative director and ensures a quality patient experience and ongoing support for the administrative needs of the practice.

“We are all experts in our respective areas,” explained Katie. “But one of the things that sets Alliance apart is our focus on teamwork and creating connections. That’s the backbone of our culture.”

A Culture of Collaboration

“One of the reasons we felt driven to create Alliance was the need for a highly collaborative company culture,” shared Jeff. “There are a lot of practices we have put into place that not only improves the lives of our healthcare team but helps patients as well.”

Each month, the ABH team spends time reviewing cases as a group in an effort to optimize individualized treatment plans and break through barriers.

“When we sit around a table and offer insight into each other’s cases, it really gives us perspectives we wouldn’t have otherwise had,” said Katie. “Working as a team lets us put many trained minds on particularly challenging cases. It’s how we have breakthroughs—and it’s all geared toward making the experience and care of the patient successful.”

While each of the healthcare providers at ABH have specialized training and offer varying services, each team member is considered equally important to the vitality of the office. This also extends to the administrative staff.

“We all run this place together,” clarified Jeff. “From the front desk to our treatment rooms, everyone who interacts with our patients is equally important to our success and the success of our clients.” And, according to Katie and Jeff, that’s what has unified the team and made it a wonderful place to come to work each day.

“It’s true,” added Katie. “Taylor at our front desk accomplishes things that I could never do. He’s an expert at what he does and he is the first face our patients see when they walk in. We know that he will make sure they are treated well and have a pleasant experience.”

Currently, there are five full-time counselors/psychologists providing care at Alliance, but Katie said there is room for a few more.

“We are open to meeting additional providers who are interested in working with our company model,” said Katie. “Mental health professionals are trained to rely on consultation and peer support, but once we get to the real world that can be hard to come by. We have done our best to facilitate a supportive group within our team at Alliance.”

Looking to the Future

“Our practice is about building bridges between behavioral health and the rest of the medical community,” said Jeff. “We’ve designed Alliance to be a highly adaptive office that can easily evolve with the changing healthcare dynamics. In the future, we will continue to grow by adding more technology, providing education to other practitioners, and creating more connections with different providers.”

Jeff also shared that ABH hopes to further advance the use of technology within the practice, including incorporating the use of biofeedback and creating an active research program.

Katie added that the team is working on the cutting edge of what behavioral health research is saying—that patient-centered, technology-driven care is enhanced by collaboration. And part of that is creating more connections with other healthcare fields in the future.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to making a difference,” assured Katie. “Our patients need to be heard, and we tackle each day with a common goal. We want to impact patients’ lives in a positive way. No one should feel alone on their journey toward a happier, healthier life.”

Interested in learning more about Alliance? Visit the company website here: https://alliancehsv.com

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haley_squareHALEY CLEMONS
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CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

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Client Spotlight: Focus Physiotherapy

With a desire to elevate and grow the practice of physical therapy in the North Alabama, Jonathan Zecher and Chad Hobbs are focusing their vision on Huntsville by bringing their hands-on holistic approach to wellness to the region.

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“I graduated from Grissom High School and actually started out in engineering out at UAH, but then decided I just didn’t think I could sit at a desk all day long,” joked Zecher who has been practicing Physical Therapy in Huntsville for a little over 15 years after previously practicing in Birmingham for several years before that.

“Essentially,” Zecher explained that as physical therapists, “we’re the experts in movement in the healthcare profession, and that’s really what we treat.  We treat movement, we treat function.”

“Really my goal and desire has always been to increase the standard of care and increase the skills in our profession in this area.” he went on to say. “I’ve had the privilege of working with therapists all over the country and just feel like there are areas we can continue to get better and provide patients better care.”

In pursuit of this belief, Zecher opened his own practice Focus Physiotherapy here in Huntsville in August of 2015, partnering with therapist Chad Hobbs a few short months later in January of 2016. Since then their business has rapidly expanded, moving into a larger facility on Eagletree Lane, and is now in the process of opening a second location in Madison later this year.

crunkleton2016christmas_bw-7“I feel very strongly about the benefits that physical therapy brings,” stated Zecher’s business partner Hobbs. “But I also feel very strongly about our ability to empower patients.” he added. Hobbs, who chose to go back to school and study physical therapy, leaving a successful career as a exercise physiologist behind, made his choice due largely to his first hand experience witnessing how physical therapy improved the life of his disabled sister. He explained that, “we bring the ability to, number one, decrease [our patients] pain, but number two, educate patients as to why their symptoms are happening, where they are coming from, and how they can gradually, with time, make that better.”

“I think our combination of doing the hands on work and looking at people from more of a holistic standpoint sets us apart from other practices in town,” theorized Zecher. “We tend to look at people and treat people as the whole person. Certainly you may be coming in with shoulder pain, but are there other things that are influencing that?”

This approach has yielded great results even from some patients who have tried physical therapy previously and then finally found relief at Focus Physiotherapy. Zecher tells of one such patient who came in, referred for a different part of the body but mentioned having debilitating headaches every day. After treating the original body part, Zecher gained approval from the patient’s doctor to also treat their neck.

“We started working on her neck and really within only about three visits, someone who was waking up every day with a headache, was down to one headache a week,” Zecher said. “And then, in about another three visits, she was down to ‘I haven’t had a headache at all this week’ and then basically we discharged her last week after about seven visits and she had had just one headache in the last month.”

Zecher says he sees this as an example of how physical therapists can partner with physicians to provide the best overall care for every patient.

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“We’ve found that most of the family care doctors are very open to utilizing us and trusting us and find us as a great adjunct to what they are doing for their patients,” Zecher explained. “They see their patients for just a few minutes in their office and we spend an hour with a patient nearly every time they’re here. So sometimes we get information the doctor did not get and so our willingness and ability to share that information back and forth has been very positive because it just allows them the ability to treat their patient with more precision than they would have had otherwise.”

But beyond simply educating and empowering their patients, Focus Physiotherapy has also taken it upon themselves to empower its own therapists as well.

“We’re wanting to be pretty aggressive about developing our therapists skills and improving their training, pushing them further than the average therapist goes with those things,” Zecher said.

With this combination of patient education, physician interaction and increased therapist training, its no wonder why Focus Physiotherapy is expanding in Northern Alabama and Zecher and Hobbs are getting one-step closer each day to achieving their goals for their business, and their profession.

Interested in making an appointment with Focus Physiotherapy to see if they can make a difference in your life too? Simple visit their website HERE, or call them at (256) 883-0636 to book your consultation!

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KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON Commercial Real EState Group
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM