Meet The Team

Meet Your Management Team

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Evonne Stephenson, LCPC - Executive Director

Evonne is one of our Mental Health Clinicians and the Executive Director of Thrive Wellness. She has worked with individuals, couples, and families for the last 12 years. She specializes in complex trauma, PTSD, addiction/abuse issues, substance use disorders, and borderline personality disorder.

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Sherrie Smalls - Asst. Executive Director

Sherrie assists with our clinicians and practitioners. She also oversees our biofeedback and stress management treatments; along with our TMS treatment. On top of everything, Sherrie also plays a huge part of everything else in our office from billing to everyday office work.

Meet your clinical team

Serving Southern Illinois in Vandalia, Salem, Mt. Vernon, and Marion, as well as the Saint Louis Area!

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Lezley Bantolina, LPC

Lezley graduated from Missouri State University with a Masters in Mental Health Counseling. She has experience working with patients throughout the lifespan with various issues including life transitions, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, trauma, and other life-controlling issues.

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Brittany Brookshire, LPC

Brittany has a Masters in Professional Counseling from the University of Georgia. She worked as a school counselor for 3 years, and has enjoyed the transition to clinical counseling. Brittany enjoys working with children, families, and people throughout the lifespan. She is also certified in yoga and mindfulness.

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Twana Curry, LSW

As a LCSW with over 20 years of experience, I firmly believe that balance must be restored to create harmony within the whole person. My commitment to you is to walk beside you in your journey.

When I work with patients, I use a multifaceted approach. Some of the techniques I use include CBT, DBT-mindfulness, trauma informed, whole-health, person-centered, integrated behavioral health, holistic, and EFT. I am working towards my EMDR certification.

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Margaret Perry, MSW

Margaret graduated from the University of Illinois – Champaign/Urbana with a Masters in Social Work. She has experience working with patients throughout the lifespan with various issues including substance use, anxiety, depression, child behavioral issues, grief and loss, and trauma. She also works with couples on a variety of relationship issues.

Jennifer Potts, Pre-LPC

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Michelle Venogoni-Vigil, MSW

My specialties include survivors of domestic violence, survivors of child abuse, parent psychoeducation, and children/adolescence. When counseling with me, clients with diverse cultural, ethnic, gender, sexual, and various other identities/ populations will be provided with compassionate, allied, and safe therapy.

Meet Your Medical Team

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Dr. Amy Armstrong, (FNP)

Amy attended Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville where she recently received her Doctorate in Nursing Practice. She is a nurse practitioner specializing in family medicine and works with patients of all ages. She applies her personal experiences from her over 20 years in healthcare to develop relationships with her patients on an individual level. She is passionate about listening to each patient’s needs and creating a health plan together.

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Dr. Jeffrey Brower, (MD)

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Carly Ellison, (FNP, PMHNP (Pending))

Carly is a Family Nurse Practitioner with 5 ½ years of Family Practice experience in Primary Care. She chose to specialize in Psychiatric and Mental Health care, as she discovered this was her passion (while taking care of psychiatric/mental health patients in the FNP role). I have earned the following degrees and certifications: Associate Degree of Nursing, Bachelor’s Degree of Nursing, Master’s Degree of Nursing Education, Post-Master’s FNP certification, and Post-Master’s PMHNP certification (pending). She has 19 years of healthcare experience, in many healthcare environments. Carly enjoys taking care of patients, and watching people live their healthiest and best lives. Carly was born and raised in Illinois. She enjoys fishing, traveling, camping, and watching her family play sports. She tries her best to live by the following rule “Go where God leads me” and he led her to Thrive T.E.C.S. Carly is looking forward to meeting new patients and helping you to live your healthiest and best life.

Carly's Specialties: ADD/ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety disorders, PTSD, insomnia, prefers adults

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Sarah Wilson, (FNP)

Sarah is a Family Nurse Practitioner that has been in healthcare for 16 years in the Mount Vernon area. She has experience with all ages and is excited to bring a tailored approach to each patient's needs with a focus on general health and wellbeing.

Meet Your Technicians

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Kara Belangee - TMS

Kara has several years of social work experience and understands the importance of your mental and physical health. She enjoys working with individuals in need and lending a supportive ear. Kara looks forward to being part of your journey to Thrive!

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Halle Harris - Biofeedback

Halle grew up right here in Southern Illinois. She loves everything to do with animals and has 4 of her own. She really enjoys getting to know new people and becoming a friend to everyone she meets.

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Cindy Lyons - TMS

Cindy has worked in customer service for many years. This includes working in the healthcare and foster care systems. She has her associates degree from Lincoln Land Community College with continued education through Sangamon State University (renamed to U of I). Cindy enjoys hanging out with her grandchildren and crafting. She also loves her Thrive team!

Your wellness consultant & patient liaisons

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Rebecca Franke - Health and Wellness Consultant

Rebecca has her Bachelor's in Biopsychology and is currently attending McKendree University to get her Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She really enjoys spending time with her family and her dogs, being outdoors, and playing softball. She believes in the power of the connection between the mind and the body. Rebecca is excited to start her career at Thrive!

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Jade McFarland - Patient Advocate

Jade is attending Missouri Baptist University and will have her Bachelors in Behavioral Science in May of 2021. She recently got married and has a dog who she would consider her child. Jade has always wanted to work with those who are experiencing mental or physiological health setbacks, and that’s why she is excited to start her career at Thrive Wellness!

Meet your administrative team

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Arika Curry - Office Assistant

Jacob Stewart - Office Assistant

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Contact us today for your free wellness consultation!​