Jamie Bellenoit, LMFT, Ph.D – Executive Director
Dr. Bellenoit is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and has been practicing in this field for over 15 years. Her educational preparation began at Providence College, where she received a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. She then received Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Hofstra University in 2004. She completed her education by earning her PhD from the University of Connecticut in the same field. Her doctoral research interests focused on the correlation between early childhood relationship experiences (with caregivers, siblings, etc.) and adult romantic relationship experiences.
Her clinical experience includes working in multiple settings such as outpatient mental health agencies, residential treatment centers and hospitals. She was Chief Operating Officer of Adelbrook Behavioral and Developmental Services until 2013, when she left to pursue private practice and teaching at the University of Connecticut. She was chosen for the role as the Executive Director at the Community Child Guidance Clinic in Manchester in March of 2016. She began this role in July. She is honored to have been chosen as only the 3rd Executive Director in the history of the clinic, as well as the first woman in this position.
Tanja Larsen, LCSW – Chief Operating Officer
Tanja Larsen is the Clinic’s new Chief Operating Officer. She began her training in the field of social work obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree at Southern Connecticut State University. Prior to completing her Master’s Degree of Social Work at Fordham University she worked in community based programming in the field of juvenile justice. She took her love for community work with a desire to grow her clinical skills and joined Community Child Guidance Clinic in the year 2000. The agency provided her with multiple opportunities to grow her supervisory career and clinical knowledge. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for the clinical day school she managed day to day crisis’s, offered clinical consultation to school staff and provided family and group therapy to the parents of the students. She helped develop the Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program: North Star. In 2012 she transitioned into her supervisory role in the outpatient clinic. She has facilitated the expansion of group therapy services, evidenced based practices, substance abuse treatment and trauma treatment. Throughout her time here she has collaborated with area colleges and universities to train interns. She is a solution focused leader who is passionate about developing and implementing strengths based effective programming to meet the needs of our community. She believes in collaborating and engaging in the micro, mezzo and macro systems in the process of change.
Mary Gracyalny,MBA – Chief Financial Officer
Carlos González, MD- Medical Director
Dr. González is our staff child and adolescent psychiatrist. For the past ten years, he has worked in the evaluation and management of children and adolescents in settings that include outpatient, intensive in-home services (IICAPS), and our therapeutic school. He is a graduate of Cornell University Medical College, and completed a residency in psychiatry at St. Vincent’s Hospital, as well as a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City. His prior work has included a faculty appointment at Yale, as well as active contribution to the Fourth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association with regard to culture and psychiatric diagnosis. He was the co-author of a chapter on culture and diagnosis in the American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Psychiatry.
Robin Entress, LCSW – Director of Community and Home-Based Services
Robin Entress is the Director of Community and Home-Based Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from NYU and her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work. Ms. Entress began her career providing home-based services along the south shore in Mass. and then joined a large community mental health center south of Boston. Her love of community-based work led her to take a part-time position at Community Child Guidance Clinic providing home-based wrap around services. Ms. Entress began working full-time at CCGC in 1996 and has focused on providing intensive in-home services to help families with the greatest needs, including evaluating children in psychiatric crisis, treating children who may need out of home placement and working with families whose children are at risk of removal. Ms. Entress has enjoyed the opportunity to meld child, parent and family treatment and engage with families in their natural environments. Ms. Entress also oversees school-based services, which provide access to children who might otherwise not receive mental health treatment. It is an honor to supervise and work with clinical staff who are truly invested in helping families grow.
Laura O’Donnell, MA, CAGS – Director of Education
Laura O’Donnell is the Director of Education at our school. Laura earned her B.A. in Special Education at Dowling College in Oakdale NY, her Master’s degree at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford CT, and her Educational Leadership Certification at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield CT. Laura first worked as a special education teacher at the Clinic from 1987 through 1993 and then returned in 2006. In 2011 Laura was promoted to Head Teacher and was responsible for supervision, training and providing professional development to staff.
In 2014, Laura was promoted as the new Director of Education. Laura’s passion has always been to improve student learning by providing a safe and nurturing educational environment. During her transition to her new position as Educational Director, Laura participated in grant writing that allowed for the installation of smart technology in seven of our classrooms. This has greatly increased the level of student engagement. It is our goal to provide our students with quality education and help them develop the social/ emotional skills they need to be successful when they transition back to their home school district.
Lauren Schempp, LCSW – Director of Special Initiatives
Lauren is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is our Director of Special Initiatives. Lauren came to the Clinic in 2007 after earning her Bachelor’s Degree of Social Work from Western New England University and a Master’s Degree of Social Work from Boston University. Lauren has worked in a variety of settings throughout the Clinic and has had roles in CCGC’s Intensive Outpatient Program and CCGC School before becoming the Director of Special Initiatives this year. Lauren’s experiences at the Clinic have led her to a variety of areas of clinical interest including co-parenting after divorce and separation, psychotic disorders, and substance abuse. After many years working directly with local universities and supervising generations of CCGC staff, Lauren has also discovered a passion for clinical supervision as well as the training and field education of social work students. Over the past few years Lauren also took on several special projects, including the Clinic’s transition to a new Electronic Health Record and writing the grant which brought Trauma Focused CBT to our agency. As she moves into her new role this year as Director of Special Initiatives, she hopes to bring the energy, motivation, and organizational skills she has shown in other roles to new projects benefiting the clinic and its internal and external communities.
Molly Mitzman, BA – Development Coordinator
After studying in multiple disciplines throughout her college career, Molly Mitzman graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Since then she has been able to bring a variety of different interests and values to the North Star IOP Program, where she worked from 2011-2016. After re-imagining the curriculum for the IOP group, Molly was able to successfully reorganize the Program’s behavioral system while simultaneously working in direct care every day to introduce hands on therapeutic activities to children. In doing these things, Molly discovered a passion for organizational and development work, and was able to hone important skills needed to help bring together the Clinic and the community it represents. Molly has had the opportunity to work on multiple events and fundraising activities at the Clinic over the past two years, and has been creating publications for these purposes as well. As of this year, Molly will be transitioning out of the IOP program, and is looking forward to continuing a legacy of creativity and positive change as the Clinic’s new Development Coordinator.
Nereida Lopez – Information Technology Manager
Nereida Lopez has been serving CCGC for nearly 20 years. In 1998 she joined the staff as part of our billing department and two years later she transitioned to a new role as the Clinic’s first Information Technology Manager. Since that time she has steadfastly served the clinic and been the sole provider of IT support for both Clinic Locations. Nereida has contributed untold amounts of organization and network management services that keep the Clinic functioning and able to provide services to the community. She has overseen numerous technological advances in her time at CCGC and continues to support the entirety of the Clinic staff in their day to day technological tasks and responsibilities.
Nancy Dube – Executive Director Assistant
Nancy Dube has worked for non-profit organizations for over 18 years in both direct care and leadership roles. Nancy studied Workforce Development and Education at the University of Southern Illinois. Her career here at CCGC has just begun; she came to the agency in June of this year. Nancy provides administrative support to the Executive Director and the Executive Team. She has enjoyed learning about the programs at CCGC and is excited to be a part of a professional and dedicated staff committed to helping families and the local community.
Karen Smalley has worked for CCGC in a variety of roles since 1987, when she served as a Teacher’s Assistant in what was then CCGC’s Autism classrooms in the day school. After taking some time away from the clinic to focus on family, Karen returned to CCGC School in 1995 where she worked as a Teacher’s assistant in multiple classrooms over time. An integral part of the internal Clinic community for more than a decade, Karen brought an organization and competency to her role that eventually resulted in her transition to Facilities Management in 2005. In this position, she is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the physical workplace that is the Clinic, ensuring that both our 317 North Main street and 1075 Tolland Turnpike locations are well equipped and in the best possible condition to provide the best care for our community.