The Bluestem Center Staff:
A Multi-Specialty Team…
Helping Individuals Discover Potential…
Helping Families Discover Strengths.

Professional Staff

Dr. Susan Jenkins
Susan C. Jenkins, M.D.
Medical Director of Bluestem Center
Board Certified in Psychiatry
Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association

Dr. Jenkins graduated from St. Olaf College and then the University of Chicago-Pritaker School of Medicine. Dr. Jenkins completed seven years of residency training at the University of Chicago and the Mayo Clinic in pediatrics, psychiatry, child psychiatry, and psychopharmacology. She co-authored The Biology of Star Trek (Harper Collins, 1998) and A Pocket Reference for Psychiatrists (American Psychiatric Press, 1990, 1994). She has a specialty interest in ADHD and other Neurodevelopmental disorders.
 
 
Dr. A.W. Atkinson
A.W. Atkinson, M.D., F.A.A.P
Dr. Atkinson is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and has also completed fellowship training in Developmental Pediatrics. He is retired from practice except for continuing to coach parents in discovering ways to help improve their relationship with challenging children. He also continues to do the medical exam portion of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) evaluations and to participate in Bluestem staffing and educational programs.
 
 
Mr. Jordan Hobbs
Jordan Hobbs, DNP, APRN, PMHNP
Mr. Hobbs received his Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. He obtained his Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Doctorate from the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. Jordan currently provides medication management for children and adolescents with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other mental health concerns. Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner, Jordan worked for six years on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Crisis Unit at Mayo Clinic. He is experienced in helping families with children suffering from aggressive impulses, oppositional tendencies, and irritability. Jordan also provides psychotherapy. He has interest in treating patients with traumatic histories. He is currently obtaining training in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
 
 
Ms. Cassidy Peterson
Cassidy Peterson, MS, RN, CNP, PMHNP-BC
Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Member of the National Honor Society of Nurses

Cassidy Peterson obtained her Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Minnesota State University, Mankato; and then her Master’s degree from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. She is a member of the National Honor Society of Nurses for her outstanding academic achievement during her education career. She is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She is now completing medication management for adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, attention difficulties, and other mental health concerns.
 
 
Dr. Jeanne M. Allen
Jeanne M. Allen, PsyD., L.P., R.N., C.N.S.
Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychologist
Clinical Nurse Specialist – Child/Adolescent Psychiatry

Dr. Allen is a licensed psychologist, with emphasis in child and family psychology. She is also a Clinical Nurse in Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. Competencies listed with the Board of Psychology include individual and group psychotherapy of adults and children, psychological assessment (personality, objective, intellectual, academic achievement, projective, neuropsychological screening) of adults and children, crisis intervention, psychopharmacology, and therapy with young children, youth and adults. Her practice emphasis is on sexual abuse, anxiety disorders, learning, and behavioral problems.
 
 
Ms. Brandy D. Brown
Brandy D. Brown,
PsyD. LP
Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Brown is a licensed psychologist, with emphasis in adolescent and adult psychology. Competencies listed with the Board of Psychology include individual and group psychotherapy of adults, adolescents and children, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), grief and loss counseling, and chemical dependency counseling. Areas of expertise include anxiety, depression, mood disorders, borderline personality disorder, developmental transitions, marital/parenting issues, faith based counseling, educative skills acquisition, and stress management.
 
 
Dr. Chawla
Nandita Chawla,
PhD, LP
Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Chawla received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego. She was practicing as a licensed psychologist in San Diego where she provided individual, group and family therapy to children, adolescents and adults in multiple setting such as residential treatment centers, day treatment centers, schools and private practice. Dr. Nandita Chawla is a licensed psychologist who has experience with children, adolescents, and adults. She provides individual, group and family therapy to children, adolescents and families with various internalizing and externalizing disorders. Dr. Chawla’s competencies listed with the Board of Psychology include individual and family therapy to address mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, adjustment difficulties, learning disabilities, attention, and behavior concerns such as acting out behaviors. Dr. Chawla has also worked with children and adult victims of various forms of abuse such as sexual, physical emotional abuse and domestic violence. Dr Chawla has also worked with perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse.
 
 
Ms. Kristin Nelson
Kristin Nelson,
PsyD. LP
Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Nelson is a licensed psychologist who has experience with children, adolescents, and adults. Competencies listed with the Board of Psychology include individual therapy to address mood, adjustment, learning, attention, and behavior concerns. Her practice also includes diagnostic assessment and psychological evaluation for cognitive functioning, academic achievement, adaptive functioning, mood and behavior problems, personality traits, and neuropsychological screenings.
 
 
Ms. Karen Ortloff
Karen Ortloff,
M.S., L.P.
Licensed Psychologist

Ms. Ortloff has 17 years of counseling experience as a licensed psychologist. Her practice includes work with all ages and group therapy. Areas of expertise include anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, developmental transitions, marital/parenting issues, and special problems of women and adolescents. She works with emergency service providers and ministerial families. She supports Christian values, and employs cognitive behavioral strategies and educative skills acquisition.
 
 
Ms. Katherine A. Porter
Katherine A. Porter, M.S., L.P.
Licensed Psychologist
Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Ms. Porter has worked extensively with Reactive Attachment Disordered children and their parents. Her practice includes work with parents, children, adolescents, individuals, couples and families. She is trained to provide play therapy, EMDR and Theraplay. Other areas of expertise include trauma, parenting, adoption, divorce, women’s issues, also, grief and loss work. She is fluent in sign language and has extensive experience working with people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
 
 
Dr. Shah
Julia Shah,
PsyD, LP
Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Shah is a licensed clinical psychologist who primarily provides therapy and assessment services for children, adolescents and families for adjustment, anxiety, mood and behavior concerns. She specializes in the assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Her practice for autism spectrum disorders includes providing behavioral therapy and social skills training, treating comorbid diagnoses including anxiety and mood disorders, parent coaching, and the treatment of young children on the autism spectrum.
 
 
Ms. Brandy Allen
Brandy Allen,
MA, LPCC
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)

Ms. Allen obtained her graduate degree from Saint Mary’s University-Minnesota in Counseling and Psychological Services. She brings over 13 years of experience supporting children, adolescents, young adults, and families in intellectual disability, mental health, and educational settings providing individual, group, family and school-based services. Ms. Allen possesses a passion to integrate creative therapy strategies, including art, mindfulness, movement, and play, to assist in the success of the therapeutic process. She is currently pursuing her national certification in play therapy. Ms. Allen is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) through the University of Minnesota (AMBIT) to assist children and adolescents process and heal from traumatic life events. She is experienced in working with children and adolescents with attachment, anxiety, trauma, adjustment, depressive, gender dysphoria, and behavioral disorders as well as those suffering with chronic illness, school and behavioral concerns, attention and hyperactivity difficulties, identity seeking, and adoption. Ms. Allen incorporates family psychoeducation and parent coaching as well as school advocacy and consultation into the psychotherapy process to support long-term success.
 
 
Ms. Louis Blissenbach
Louise Blissenbach, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., L.A.D.C.
Board Certified Diplomat in Clinical Social Work
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
Individual and Family Therapy

Ms. Blissenbach’s practice includes individual, couple, group and family therapy with 25 plus years experience. Her focus includes: chemical dependency and co-dependency, adult children of alcoholics, parenting, spirituality, divorce and separation, grief and loss, adoption, women’s issues, and affective disorders.
 
 
Ms. Annette Clark
Annette Clark, MSW, LICSW.
Ms. Clark obtained her Master of Social Work Degree in 2009 from the University of Minnesota. She has worked in a variety of school and county settings and specializes in emotional and behavioral concerns with children and adolescents. Ms. Clark will provide therapeutic services for children and adolescents with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and other mental health concerns. She is licensed to provide individual, group, or family therapy with children, adolescents, and adults. Ms. Clark believes in utilizing mindfulness/relaxation techniques, stress management practices, play therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy to enhance mental well-being and has worked with children who have trauma and attachment issues.
 
 
Mr. Dwight DoBell
Dwight H. DoBell, M.Div., L.M.F.T.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Mr. DoBell has over twenty years of Pastoral Counseling experience, having served in three parishes and as a Chaplain for the Army Reserve and Federal Bureau of Prisons. He has also been an elementary school counselor in two Roman Catholic schools. His interests include: parenting, divorce adjustment, marital, blended families, anxiety, anger, depression, emancipation, neurodevelopmental disorders and their impact on the family, grief work, and the relationship between spiritual/theological and psychological health.
 
 
Ms. Nelle Moriarty
Nelle Moriarty, L.M.F.T.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Specialist Certificate in Human Sexuality and Family Intimacy
Specialist in Chemical Dependency

Ms. Moriarty’s thirty years of experience includes individual, couple, family, and group therapy. Areas of interest include: ADHD, school refusal, adolescent oppositional behaviors, parenting, grief, loss, trauma, divorce and separation, and chemical dependency and co-dependency. She supervises candidates seeking MFT licensure in Minnesota.
 
 
Ms. Dewina Kraus
Dewina Kraus, L.M.F.T
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Music Therapist

Ms. Kraus has over twelve years of experience working with adults and adolescents who experience mental health and substance abuse problems. Areas of interest include: grief and loss processing, couples therapy, family therapy, parent coaching, school based mental health interventions, domestic violence recovery, medical family therapy, mindfulness/relaxation training, addiction and co-dependency, and spiritual health. Ms. Kraus is a trained music therapist and values the use of experiential methods in her practice with individuals, families, couples and groups.
 
 
Mr. Jonathan Kruse
Jonathan Kruse, L.M.F.T
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Mr. Kruse received his degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. He has served as a chaplain and bereavement coordinator at two local hospices. Previous employment includes outpatient care of adolescents, couples, and families. He has provided care in a group home setting for troubled adolescents. Areas of interest include the following: grief and loss, men’s issues, couples therapy, family therapy, individual therapy, adolescents, anxiety, depression, and spiritual issues.

Degrees: M.A.T. & M.S.M.F.T
 
 
Ms. Melissa Quam
Melissa Quam, L.M.F.T
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Ms. Kaderabek has been a clinical therapist/case manager in residential care and out patient practice. She provides individual, family, couple and group therapy. Melissa graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her background and training is specific to working with families to respond to the needs of their children within the culture of the family. Melissa is trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) to better assist children/adolescents to cope with traumatic life events. She has also provided training to parents on specific interventions for children with complex developmental traumas. Melissa has also developed training for parents/foster care providers to meet the needs of children with developmental trauma within their homes. Melissa’s work experience included working with adolescents ages 10-18 and their family systems.
 
 
Mr. Mark Sherman
Mark Sherman, MSW, LICSW, BCD
Mr. Sherman brings 35 years’ experience in individual and family therapy working with children, adolescents, and adults. Areas of interest include individual therapy, play therapy, family therapy, groups, the impact of neglect, Autism spectrum disorders, physical and sexual abuse, sex offender treatment, and advocacy for school programming.
 
 
Ms. Elizabeth A. Sarkaria
Elizabeth A. Sarkaria, M.A. and Psychometrist
Ms. Sarkaria received her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Cardinal Stritch University and completed her assessment training in the South Milwaukee School District. She holds undergraduate degrees in both Behavioral Science and Art Therapy. She has over 12 years of testing experience with children, adolescents and adults. Areas of expertise include testing for attention, cognitive functioning, academic achievement, adaptive functioning, mood and behavior problems, personality traits, and neuropsychological screenings. Ms. Sarkaria has trained doctoral students for the past eight years and coordinates all testing referrals.
 

Other Staff

Ms. Judy Groth
Judy Groth, R.N.
Psychiatric Nurse
 
 
Ms. Rachel Beukema
Rachel Beukema, R.N.
Psychiatric Nurse
 
 
Mr. Tim Heightland
Tim Heightland
Business Manager
 
 
Ms. Natasha Gansen
Natasha Gansen
Intake Coordinator
 
 
Ms. Deb
Deb
Patient Services – Front Desk
 
 
Ms. Erika
Erika
Patient Services – Front Desk
 
 
Ms. Miller
Emily Miller
Patient Services – Front Desk
 
 
Ms. Akervik
Mia Akervik
Patient Services – Front Desk
 
 
Mr. Aaron
Aaron
Patient Services – Billing