Meet Our Staff
Chief Executive Officer
Paige Bottom joined Foundations Recovery Network as the CEO for La Paloma Treatment Center in Memphis, but she has been committed to the field of addiction and mental illness for more than 18 years, beginning with her work with adolescents diagnosed with both psychiatric and chemical dependency problems.
Bottom’s path began in direct clinical work in Virginia after completing her undergraduate work in psychology, but it soon branched into prevention and education as well through work as an Employee Assistance Professional for several Fortune 500 companies. Throughout this time, Bottom remained dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people who had been affected by addiction and mental illness. As a result, she returned to graduate school with a dual focus on Counseling Psychology and Business Administration.
It was during this time that Bottom moved out of direct care and into program development, operations and administration, Driven by a desire to have a greater impact on how care is delivered and to reach a larger portion of an underserved population, her ultimate goal was to provide services that result in a powerful, life-changing experience and greater rates of success.
After receiving her Master’s in Business Administration, Bottom worked extensively in Wilmington, NC and Santa Cruz, Calif., creating and nurturing programs to be more responsive, efficient and effective.
As La Paloma’s CEO, Bottom brings a gentle, compassionate strength to her commitment and continues to stand for excellence in clinical care and customer service.
A native of Long Island, New York, David Perez traveled south for college and never looked back. After earning a BA in political science from the University of Florida and a master’s in mental health counseling from Nova Southeastern, he put his myriad skills to use in a variety of ways, all of which involved helping others.
In the early ‘80s, Perez worked with a psychiatrist who used alternative diets and vitamin therapy to reduce the use of psychotropic medications. There, Perez ran a psychiatric transition facility that worked to get patients out of long-term care. At the University of Florida, he counseled students at risk of leaving school due to financial, emotional or family issues, helping them navigate those roadblocks and achieve academic success. He also served as clinical director for one of Florida’s largest residential treatment programs and one of the state’s smallest before entering private practice in Gainesville.
Joining the La Paloma staff in January 2013, Perez says he was drawn to the co-occurring aspect of our treatment philosophy. He admits he has always had a fascination with therapy and helping others, and his current role lets him put his problem-solving skills to great use.
Married with two cats, Perez keeps busy in his off hours with renovation projects – he gutted his last house down to the studs – and pursuing his passion for food, both cooking it and eating it.
Michele Ames, LPC/MHSP, ADS, MA
A Licensed Professional Counselor with the designation as a Mental Health Service Provider (which means she can diagnose), Michele Ames is also a licensed Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist. Here at La Paloma she serves as a Clinical Therapist, working with patients in an individual and group setting.
A graduate of Charleston Southern University with a BS in Psychology, Ames also holds a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Webster University and is currently attending University of the Rockies in pursuit of a Doctorate of Psychology.
Ames has honed her skills in past positions by working in community mental healthcare with severe schizophrenics. Her experience also includes work with domestic violence victims and homeless populations.
Originally from Delaware, Ames has called many different places home, with Charleston, South Carolina remaining a favorite. She has lived in Memphis for five years.
Kyrstan Anderson, LPC-MHSP
Director of La Paloma Outpatient Services
Kyrstan Anderson joined the La Paloma staff in 2007, where she created and implemented a powerful curriculum, which focuses on understanding one’s diagnoses through education and insight into how co-occurring disorders impact individuals cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally and spiritually. As director of La Paloma Outpatient Services in East Memphis, it is Anderson’s goal that each outpatient client is able to define who they are and rediscover their own goals and potential in life before leaving the program. Her approach includes the belief that through increased knowledge and awareness, clients will develop whole wellness and healing that will dramatically increase their quality of life and create the opportunity to succeed in all areas.
Anderson received her Masters of Science in Counseling and Bachelors of Art in Psychology from the University of Memphis. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Mental Health Services Provider (LPC-MHSP), National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Certified Rehabilitations Counselor (CRC). Anderson is a Level 2 trained EMDR therapist who specializes in the treatment of individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, family systems and crisis intervention and management.
Prior to becoming director of La Paloma Outpatient Services, Anderson worked as a residential therapist for inpatient treatment at La Paloma Treatment Center (formerly Foundations Associates) and helped create and implement the Family Program. Additionally, Anderson worked as a group and individual therapist to children and adolescents with emotional and intellectual disabilities, including Autism and Asperger’s, as well as Learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit Disorder and Dyslexia.
Hallie Bloom, LPC, CT, CCLS
A Residential Therapist at La Paloma, Hallie Bloom is a Licensed Professional Counselor as well as a certified Thanatologist and a Certified Child Life Specialist. She completed her undergraduate work at University of Texas, Austin, earning a BS in Child Development and Family Relations before graduating with a Masters from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa in Human Development and Family Studies. She also holds a second Masters Degree, this time in Counseling Psychology, from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology in Atlanta counseling.
A certification grief counselor and educator, Bloom works with individuals on their healing journey, whether it’s healing from childhood events, mental health issues, trauma or addiction.
During the past two decades, Bloom has worked in the field of Child Life, working with children, adolescents and their families dealing with acute chronic and terminal illness. She served as Director of Child Life, creating psychosocial programming, child friendly environments and family centered care approaches to the healthcare experience in Sacramento, California’s Sutter Memorial Health System; Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis; and as a therapist at Compass Intervention Center, working with children and adolescents with dual-diagnosis and behavioral issues.
Originally from Clarksdale, Mississippi, Bloom has lived in various cities throughout the US, returning to the Memphis area 13 years ago. She loves animals and enjoys scuba diving, traveling and just being surrounded by friends and family.
Dr. Paul Hill, Staff Psychiatrist
Dr. Hill joined the staff at La Paloma in July 2012 as a staff psychiatrist. A Tennessee native, he attended the University of Memphis (then called Memphis State) for his undergraduate degree. Afterward, he went to medical school at the University of Tennessee at Memphis (UTHSC), completing his internship there as well. Dr. Hill relocated to Baltimore for his psych residency at Johns Hopkins, after which he returned home to Memphis and joined the teaching faculty at UTHSC before entering private practice.
Board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the subspecialties of geriatric psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine, Dr. Hill has also served on and chaired numerous committees and boards. In addition to working in private practice, he has held staff positions at the Chamberlin Clinic and the North Mississippi Medical Center.
His earlier professional background includes working with the medically ill and the elderly. While chemical dependency was always a component of his job, Dr. Hill’s previous work had him dealing with neurological diseases and end organ failure from chronic drug dependence; but now in his role at La Paloma, he gets to work with the same population before their organs have failed.
Dr. Hill has long been aware of the benefits of the Dual Diagnosis model and became frustrated by other models that he knew weren’t effective. After referring patients to La Paloma over the years, he became acquainted with the staff and, when an opening presented itself, he was a natural fit to the join the team..
Dr. Hill is a husband and a father with two grown children, and family time is the most important thing to him; but he also spends his off hours engaged in racquet sports and golf or involved in church life and activities related to his local congregation.
As La Paloma’s head chef, Jordan Emerson fills his days planning menus for a healthy and balanced diet, preparing those meals and managing the dining room and food service operations. He accomplishes this by meeting and exceeding the expectations of clients through thoughtful planning, working mindfully, creativity and a passion for vibrant, diverse and exciting food.
With extensive work in the hospitality industry in the California bay area and Big Sur and providing corporate hospitality for racing companies like Players Racing and Forsythe Championship Racing in tow, Emerson came to La Paloma because of his desire to help others while doing what he loves- creating good food.
Emerson sees the importance of dual diagnosis treatment and seeks to provide a positive influence for others through healthy diet choices during their healing process.
To keep himself healthy, Emerson enjoys biking, hanging out with his dogs and would like to see more of the world.
Pat Friedman, LPC
Detox/Assessment Unit Director
A Licensed Professional Counselor, Pat Friedman earned a masters degree in counseling from the University of Memphis. With seven years experience in the dual diagnosis field, Friedman came to La Paloma expertly prepared for her role as Director of the Detox and Assessment Unit.
Friedman first became familiar with La Paloma and its integrated treatment through training and seminars affiliated with the facility and began referring individuals to the center. Eventually, she was brought on as the Lead Residential Therapist and later transferred to the Outpatient services to implement the Partial Hospitalization Program for clients with Medicare.
It is the educational component of co-occurring disorders and the comparison of addiction treatment to the concept of treating co-occurring disorders that most interests Friedman. She believes that it is the knowledge of these facets that renders positive outcomes for both individuals and families.
Outside of work, Friedman never experiences a dull moment while keeping up with her sons, painting and enjoying her exercise regiment consisting of ballet, yoga, gymnastics and cardio.
Scherri Henderson, CBT, EMDR
A graduate of the Harding University School of Religion with an MA in counseling (with a specialty in marriage and family therapy), Scherri Henderson is a Residential Therapist whose expertise includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, motivational interviewing, EMDR (trauma resolution) and experiential therapy. She also serves as a Utilization Review Coordinator. In this capacity, she works directly with care management companies regarding precertification, peer reviews and concurrent reviews for inpatient care.
A native of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Henderson enjoys skiing and horseback riding. Upon high school graduation, she relocated to sunny San Diego before making Memphis home 16 years ago.
Scott Jones, LPC
Scott leads individual, group, family and psychoeducation therapies, as well as, the weekly crossroad graduation ceremony.
Holding an MS degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Mississippi State University, Scott Jones is a Licensed Professional Counselor in that state. At La Paloma, he leads a daily process psychotherapy group and provides individual and family counseling sessions. His responsibilities also include greeting all new assessment unit residents. While he enjoys all aspects of his job, Jones says he finds leading process psychotherapy to be the most rewarding.
Jones has worked in the mental health field as a Masters Level Clinician for 17 years and has served as a counselor, clinical coordinator, program director and referral development coordinator during that time.
Originally from North Central Mississippi, Jones is a relatively new transplant to Memphis, arriving in 2010. When not working, he enjoys fishing, hunting and home remodeling projects. In addition he is the proud father of an adult son.
Glenda Murray became affiliated with La Paloma and its integrated model of treatment for co-occurring disorders as an intern in 2009 and was hired as a PRN therapist the following year. Murray earned a Master’s in counseling from Harding University Graduate School of Religion and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Victory University, both located in Memphis.
Murray is dedicated to helping those whose lives are in bondage to addiction and mental health disorders because she knows firsthand the impact of these diseases on individuals and their families. Her primary responsibility as a therapist at La Paloma is to facilitate individual, family and group therapy sessions. To do so, she utilizes a variety of therapeutic modalities with patients, including her Level 2 training in EMDR and in-depth training on deployment spectrum issues facing military service members and their families, including Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD.
Prior to joining the La Paloma staff, Murray worked as a paralegal and then placed her career on hold for motherhood. Originally from Arkansas, she has called Tennessee home for more than two decades. In her downtime, Murray enjoys time with her family, movies, traveling, reading and serving in her church. Murray’s spiritual life plays a significant role in her desire to help others.
Robert Murray, MD
Psychiatrist, Intensive Outpatient Day Program
La Paloma Outpatient Services
A graduate of Yale University with a PhD in biology and of Meharry Medical College, Dr. Murray is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as well as the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He completed residency training in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University and in psychiatry at the University of Washington and Vanderbilt University.
Prior to joining the staff at La Paloma, Dr. Murray held positions including Medical Director at Cumberland Heights in Nashville, Tennessee; The Meadows in Wickenberg, Arizona; and Charter Charleston Behavioral Health Center in Charleston, South Carolina. He has also served on the faculty of Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee. He currently holds an appointment to the clinical faculty of the University of Tennessee, Department of Psychiatry in Memphis.
Community and Alumni Coordinator
A graduate of the University of Memphis, Carol Ricossa received her Master’s in counseling education. She put that degree to work as a therapist in the Memphis city school system until 2005. At that point, Ricossa decided to pursue her artistic passions, taking a giant leap of faith and opening a framing studio. While self-employed, she also facilitated several art shows, exhibiting her own work and the work of local artisans.
Ricossa joined the La Paloma staff in the fall of 2010. Her current responsibilities include planning events for La Paloma’s local alumni, collaborating with professionals in the community and leading the patients in Expressive Art Therapy. This wide range of duties taps into Ricossa’s versatile talents of teaching art, event planning and relationship-building.
A native Memphian, Ricossa spends her spare time cooking with friends, bicycling, working in her garden or painting. She is also a certified fitness instructor, teaching at the Nuber YMCA.
Angie Thomason, MS, NCC, EMDR certified
Trauma Resolution Program Coordinator
Angie Thomason earned her masters in counseling locally from University of Memphis. As the Trauma Resolution Program Coordinator, Thomason provides education, assessments and uses EMDR to address unresolved emotions and negative beliefs about one’s self regarding past events.
Having previously worked in inpatient and outpatient dual disorder facilities, Thomason brings knowledge and experience to La Paloma. These jobs, along with working as a hospice provider, also have filled her with empathy and compassion for the struggles people encounter in healing.
Thomason believes in the healing power of a holistic approach and appreciates how La Paloma encourages their staff to explore alternative methods of healing. By doing so, each client truly has an individualized treatment approach that can offer the best opportunity to identify strengths and develop new skills.
Outside of work, Thomason is active in her children’s schools and enjoys music, movies and reading psychological thrillers. She is also learning more about herbal medicine and other healing modalities.
George Tsirgiotis, MAR, MSEd, LPC, LMFT, EMDR
George Tsirgiotis is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who holds two Master’s Degrees from Harding University – one in Religion with a major in Counseling, and one in Education with a major in Psychology. Tsirgiotis puts that education to good use as the Lead Therapist at La Paloma, which includes a supervisory role as well as providing therapy for patients and coordinating and leading Family Weekend each month.
Tsirgiotis is EMDR Level II-trained and has extensive experience in addiction and dual recovery treatment and program design with adult and adolescent populations in all levels of care. Tsirgiotis has been in private practice in the past, specializing in solution-focused family therapy and marital therapy. Actively involved in training new therapists, Tsirgiotis has served as a clinical supervisor for therapy licensure since 2007. He teaches a course on addiction and violence in families at Harding School of Theology in Memphis, his alma mater, and actively recruits and trains intern therapists.
Originally from New York City, Tsirgiotis has lived in Memphis for more than two decades and has strong ties to the therapy community in his adopted hometown.
Stephen Watts, LADAC, MAC, NAADAC
Professionals Program Counselor
With knowledge and experience working with field specialists suffering from co-occurring disorders, Stephen Watts heads up La Paloma’s Professionals Program. As the program’s counselor, Watts facilitates groups and provides counseling and therapy to clients.
Watts earned his BA and MA from the University of Memphis, working in an indigent treatment program during college and staying in the field after graduation. He later came to La Paloma to specifically work in a professional’s program.
Watts is drawn to holistic treatments like acudetox, nutrition and aromatherapy as they become a larger part of treatment. He believes these treatments, like those offered by La Paloma, help maximize a client’s journey to recovery.
When not working with clients, Watts enjoys reading, movies and hanging out with his wife.
Greg Williams, LPC/MHSP, CRC. EMDR Level II.
(National Certified Counselor)
Therapist, Intensive Outpatient Evening Program
La Paloma Outpatient Services
A graduate of the University of Memphis, with a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Gregory Williams currently serves as a therapist in the Evening Intensive Outpatient Program. In this role, Williams utilizes group hypnotherapy, psychodrama, experiential, cognitive behavioral and solution-focused therapy.
Williams’ previous experience includes trauma, addiction and mental health issues in both for-profit and nonprofit settings, working with court mandated clients as well as impaired professions. Williams has been sober for more than 11 years and he brings his own challenges and strengths with substance dependence and mental illness into the therapeutic process. He knows firsthand the challenges clients may experience with regard to employment, family relations and the negative stigma that is associated with their diagnosis. His goal as a therapist is to help people move from the bondage of active addiction and untreated mental illness to the freedom and happiness of a meaningful and fulfilling life.
Originally from Miami, Florida, Williams has called Memphis home for four decades. When not working, he enjoys traveling to exotic locations, skin diving, gardening and attending profession seminars to learn new therapeutic techniques.
Dr. Mike Worsley
A native of Victoria, Texas, Dr. Mike Worsley is the son of a psychologist who tried to deny his genetics. He even went so far as to enlist in the Marine Corps and successfully served on active duty for four years. After much denial, he earned a BS in psychology from the University of Houston-Victoria and a Doctorate in psychology from the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri. He has since put his many skills and talents to use in a variety of settings, helping others and typically working with underserved populations.
Dr. Worsley completed an internship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and finalized his post-doctoral studies at Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center with patients who had been adjudicated guilty but insane. Later, he began working at the Arizona Department of Corrections, where he worked clinically and supervised a team of professionals working with over 5,000 inmates at two facilities in Buckeye and Yuma. He joined the Army Reserve as a psychologist and later went to work for the Veteran’s Administration (VA) where he held many clinical positions with a focus on trauma care and its empirically-validated treatments. He worked in Texas, Arizona and California with the VA and in Colorado Springs with the Department of the Army.
In 2009, as part of the 1908th Combat Stress Control (CSC) unit, he deployed to Iraq and completed a successful year-long combat tour. He remains in the Army Reserve and is currently assigned to a CSC unit in Aurora, Colorado. His military awards include: two Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, two National Defense Service Medals, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, an Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign device, an Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device, an Army Service Ribbon, an Overseas Service Ribbon, and a Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Dr. Worsley joined La Paloma in December 2013, impressed with the co-occurring focus of our treatment philosophy and the warm, caring and professional staff. The Foundations Recovery Network system of care and emphasis on integrated treatment attracted Dr. Worsley to the company.