Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners

Jerri Shields, LPC, Chairperson

Jerri is a Licensed Professional Counselor as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor. Currently serving as the Chair of the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners, she is also a professional member of the Counseling Credentialing Committee and a member of the Rules Sub-Committee.  She has a Bachelors in Business Management and a Masters in Counseling.Jerri’s professional career encompasses over 30 years of bottom line, results focused leadership and management experience including supervision of the Maricopa County Department of Elections, creating, developing and directing Destination Services for Pointe Hilton Resorts and culminating in the opening of her own private practice, Choice Counseling Services, LLC, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her work there has specialized in working with adolescents and adults with issues of anger, depression and anxiety, as well as marriage and relationship counseling. She has been a guest professor at RACU (Russian American Christian University) in Moscow, and is often asked to guest speak and conduct workshops on subjects including anger and anxiety management.  Jerri has lived in Arizona for almost 40 years. She has been married to her husband Rich for 25 years and has volunteered at Scottsdale Bible Church Counseling Center for the past 16 years.

Patricia Dobratz, LMFT, Secretary-Treasurer

Patricia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that serves as a Professional Member on the Board.  She also serves on the Marriage and Family Therapy Credentialing Committee and formerly served on the Rules Subcommittee.  She holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and a Masters of Advanced Studies in Marriage and Family Therapy degree from Arizona State University. Patricia is a clinical fellow member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Arizona Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.  ­­ She has also served on the Arizona Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Board as the Student and Associate Representative, as well as on the Spring Conference Committee.  Patricia is the Assistant Clinical Director of the Arizona Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic and an Instructor at Arizona State University.   She also provides clinical supervision to intern and associate clinicians.  She previously practiced law as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Illinois.

Mary Coonrod

Ms. Coonrod attended New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in 1966 and joined the US Navy in 1968, where she was an instructor on a simulated flight trainer, teaching the basics of instrument flight to upcoming Navy pilots. After two years in the Navy, Ms. Coonrod held a variety of clerical and administrative positions that included the management of two adult mobile home parks in Tucson. In 1978 Ms. Coonrod was hired by the Arizona Department of Corrections.  She spent a total of 8 years working for the Arizona Department of Corrections, beginning in 1978 at the Arizona Correctional Training Center-Tucson, a facility housing first-time, youthful (under 25) male offenders.  Her first position was as the Inmate Accounts Clerk; within a year, she had changed direction and became one of only five female officers working at the facility. Later, Ms. Coonrod transferred to the Arizona State Prison Complex – Phoenix (ASPC-Phoenix) and worked as an officer at Alhambra, the initial intake facility for most male inmates incarcerated Arizona.  She then promoted to sergeant at the ASPC-Phoenix Aspen DUI facility. From 1988 to 1995, Ms. Coonrod worked as a Customer Engineer at IBM in Phoenix.  In 1995, she was hired as the Assistant Facility Administrator (Assistant Warden) and helped open the second privatized Arizona State Prison:  Arizona State Prison – Phoenix West (Phoenix West), a minimum custody DUI facility housing 500 adult male inmates. Assistant Warden Coonrod has remained at Phoenix West since then, providing oversight in a variety of areas, including Administration, Food Service, Maintenance and  Programs (Substance Abuse, Education, Library, Religious).  She is a certified staff trainer and acts in the capacity of EEO liaison and also conducts internal investigations, as needed.  She is the Qualifying Party for The GEO Group, Inc. Arizona Department of Public Safety Security Guard Agency license. In 2012, Ms. Coonrod became a member of the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and served one year as Secretary/Treasurer.

Cecelia (Sally) Jones, LCSW

Cecilia (Sally) Jones is the Co-founder and CEO of Human Resource Training, Inc. (HRT) established in 1981. She provides direction and oversight for all of HRT’s programs including Foster Care, Therapeutic Foster Care, Developmental Home Program, as well as In-Home Services including Family Preservation, Family Reunification and Counseling.  Additionally, she is responsible for program development, fiscal oversight and the professional development of her management team.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Santa Clara University and went on to obtain her Master of Social Work degree from Arizona State University.  She has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Arizona since 2004.  Sally has over 37 years of experience including family therapy and supervision, program development and administration, training development and delivery, contract development and writing, and leadership management.  Early in her career she served as the Director of Social Services for a Therapeutic Foster Care Program as well as a consultant for the Arizona Department of Economic Security and was appointment to the Governor’s Advisory Council for Juvenile Justice.  She has served intermittently as field instructor for ASU Masters level students.  Additionally, she belongs to the Academy of Certified Social Workers and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, KIDS Consortium, Arizona Council of Human Service Providers and the Arizona Association of Providers for People with Disabilities. Since 2013, Sally has served as the Board Secretary of the Arizona chapter of The Humane Link. In May of 2014, she was appointed to the Board of Behavioral Health Examiners.

Gerald Szymanski, LISAC, LPC

Gerald Szymanski is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor. Gerald has a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Chapman University, a Master’s Degree in Higher Education from The University of Arizona, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from The University of Arizona. In addition, Gerald earned a two-year Infant and Family Clinical Practice Certificate from The Harris Institute. Gerald is also a Licensed Foster Care Parent and a Certified Adoption Parent.  Gerald has been practicing in Rural Western Arizona since 2002. He currently maintains a group private practice, is a foster and adoptive parent and is an Adjunct Professor at Arizona Western College where he teaches courses in Psychology, Family Studies and Sociology. Gerald has served on The Board’s Substance Abuse Credentialing Committee since 2011 and was appointed to The Board of Behavioral Health Examiners in 2014.

Peter (Chip) Coffey, LPC

Peter (Chip) Coffey is a licensed professional counselor and nationally certified counselor. He graduated from Ottawa University with a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Marriage and Family Therapy. Chip’s career has included working with at risk youth, inmate populations, psychiatric hospital settings and private practice. He is currently the Director of Therapy Services at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health where he oversees the outpatient programs as well as inpatient social services. Chip has contracted as a trainer/consultant for the National Institute of Corrections since 1998 and does training for community corrections, jails and prisons throughout the United States. He also is a trainer in several topics including supervision, cultural competency, eastern psychology, CBT, approaches with LGBTQ clients and end of life. Chip has authored many articles and appears frequently in the media. Chip has been a resident of Arizona for most of his life and has been in Phoenix for 30 years. When not working he enjoys sailing, paddleboarding, photography and world travel with his partner.

Heidi Quinlan, LISAC, LPC - Photograph and Bio not available

Nikole Hintz-Lyon - Photograph not available
Nikole currently is a full time graduate student for Professional Counseling. She holds her bachelors degree in Psychology from Grand Canyon University.  Her career includes working in the Higher Education field at GCU as well as working with children. Most recently she served as a Lead Director for Children’s ministry K- 6th grade at her family’s church. Nikole was born and raised in Phoenix AZ and is a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children ages 12, 3 and 2.  She also serves on her son’s site council for school as well as the Rules subcommittee for AZ Board of Behavioral Health. After graduate school, Nikole plans to have a career and eventually receive her LPC license and has a passion to continue to learn and work in the behavioral health field as well as serve and fill the needs of the community.

Cedric (Doc) Davis, LCSW- Photograph and Bio not available

Bradley Barnett, LMFT

Brad Barnett has been in the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy for the past 18 years.  Brad earned a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Human Development from Utah State University in 1994.  He later went on to receive a Master of the Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pacific Lutheran University in 1997.  Under the direct supervision of Doctor Thorana Nelson, Brad completed the requirements for the AAMFT Approved Supervisor status and has been supervising students towards licensure since 2002.  Brad spent several years working with chronically mentally ill adults in Washington State prior to working 6 years in residential treatment settings.  Brad spent 5 years with Youthtrack-Utah as a residential therapist/clinical Director of the 32 bed adolescent treatment center for sexually aggressive/intellectually disabled males.  Brad has worked for LDS Family Services since May of 2000 starting as a part time employee and is currently Counseling Manager for the Mesa Arizona office. Brad enjoys mentoring students towards licensure, marriage education and attending conferences where he can learn about the latest techniques in the field.  Brad has been married for more than 26 years and has 4 children and one grandchild. He and his family enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming and camping. Brad also served three years on the AZMFT board as a Board member.

Vacant Public Member

Vacant Public Member


Social Work Academic Review Committee

M. Josefina Ahumada, Chair 

Josefina received her MSW from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1999 she joined the ASU School of Social Work faculty as the Field Education Coordinator at the Tucson campus. She has had extensive experience as a clinical social worker and clinical administrator serving in the public behavioral health system in Pima County, Arizona.  She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers Arizona State Chapter.

Jeanette Devevo, Secretary - Photograph and bio not available
Richard Herbig - Photograph and bio not available

Counseling Academic Review Committee

Patricia Kerstner, Chair 
- Bio not available

Janet Lee O'Connor, Secretary

Janet Lee O’Connor, EdS, LISAC, LPC is a psychotherapist in private practice in
Tucson, Arizona as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor and Approved Clinical Supervisor, providing clinical supervision to interns and associate counselors. She has 31 years’ experience as a therapist, trainer, educator and consultant for private practitioners. Janet is an adjunct faculty member at Prescott College and Grand Canyon University, teaching in the undergraduate and graduate degree programs for addiction and professional counselors. She is co-owner of the Southwest Institute for Group and Family Therapy which provides quality, affordable, professional training. Janet is a nationally and internationally recognized trainer and has published in professional literature. She serves as Education Coordinator for the United States of America Transactional Analysis Association and is a member of the International Transactional Analysis Association.

Kathleen Britton - Photograph and bio not available

Marriage and Family Therapy Academic Review Committee

Mary Doyle, Chair 

Mary is an Assistant Clinical Professor and founding Co-Director for the Masters of Advanced Studies in Marriage and Family Therapy Program for the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University.  She has been licensed in Arizona as a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2004 and has worked in multiple clinical settings including agencies and private practice, and has supervised graduate intern clinicians and licensed associate clinicians. She is a past member of the Board of the Arizona Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Lesley Wimmer Kelly, Secretary

Lesley is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist currently serving on the Marriage and Family Therapy Academic Review Committee.  She holds a Masters of Advanced Studies in Marriage and Family Therapy degree from Arizona State University and has over eight years of experience working in the behavioral health system in Arizona. Lesley is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as well as the Arizona Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AzAMFT) and currently serves on the Spring Conference Committee for the AzAMFT.

Keith Cross

Dr. Cross is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, professor of counselor education in the Masters of Science in Counseling program at Prescott College and works primarily with couples in his private practice.  He conducts workshops on a variety of topics, but trains therapists most frequently on counselor ethics and the use of emotionally focused couples therapy.  Dr. Cross serves on the AzAMFT Board of Directors and is the Supervision Committee Chair

Substance Abuse Academic Review Committee

Kirk Bowden, Chair

Dr. Kirk Bowden is the Faculty Chair of the Department of Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Program at Rio Salado College, and the Director of the Addiction Counseling Program at Ottawa University. He is the President of NAADAC, the association of addiction professionals.  Dr. Bowden is a member of the Board of Directors and past president of the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (INCASE), the professional association for college and university professors that specialize in addiction education and research.

Cynthia Pio-Padilla, Secretary - Photograph and bio not available
Ray Johnson - Photograph and bio not available

If you want to apply for an appointment to the Board click here.