OUR STAFF

x 100 Reception Front Desk

x 105  Medical Records – Judith LaRochelle

x 108 TMS and Esketamine Coordinator – Natalie Urena 

x 200 Refill Request Line VM only

x 206 Office Manager – Maryann Mathieu

x 104 Dr. Vemuri

x 107 Dr. Merritt 

x 110 Patty Venegas 

x 204 Mary Johnson VM only

x 208 Mary Judd-Pechie VM only

x 213 Ann Carter VM only

x 214 Randi Krogstad VM only

x 215 Patty Venegas VM only

 

Meenakshi Vemuri, MD

Dr. Vemuri is a board certified adult and child and adolescent psychiatrist. She has   has been practicing psychiatry for several years. Formerly she has worked as Chief of Psychiatry at Harington Memorial Hospital, Southbridge, MA. She has expertise treating patient across the life span. She is comfortable treating the various psychiatric conditions with comorbidities and presenting with different degrees of severity. She has worked in several different settings including acute inpatient, chronic and long term as well as outpatient setting. She does consultations for ECT as well as TMS for adults and adolescents. She has been involved with clinical studies involving adults and adolescents, working at UMass Medical Center. She has worked as a supervisor and mentor for medical students and residents at UMass Medical Center as well as residents from St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Watertown, MA.

Dr. Vemuri completed her medical education at Guntur Medical College, India. Her Adult Psychiatry  Residency was from MCP- Hahnemann University, Philadelphia. She did her fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from Weill- Cornell Medical Center, Westchester, NY. She completed a Psychopharmacology fellowship at UMass Medical School, Worcester.

Zafar Nafis Naqvi, MD

Dr. Zafar Nafis Naqvi is a Psychiatrist and a Founding Member of the Institute of Coaching, affiliated with McLean Hosp
ital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Z Naqvi has 21 years of cross-cultural experience as a Psychiatrist and 10 years as a Psychoanalyst. His special interests include treating patients with Eating disorders including Anorexia
Nervosa,Obesity,Bulimia and Binge-eating disorders as well as patients with Drug and Alcohol addiction.

Dr. Z.N. Naqvi remained actively involved in academia throughout his career as he believes that the process of teaching helps one learn how to learn. He is working as an Assistant Professor Psychiatry at UMass Medical School. He is also an ex-faculty at Harvard Medical School,Department of Psychiatry. He also completed his extensive training in England (United Kingdom), and he is an International Associate of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

He is triple American Board Certified in Psychiatry & Neurology, Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry. He has also done his Fellowships in Addiction Psychiatry and Psychoanalytic Psychiatry. He is a trained Psychoanalyst and also a Teaching Supervisor of Psychoanalytic training at UMass Medical School. He has written several articles to combat the stigma associated with Mental illnesses.

He believes that Psychiatric illnesses are analogous to “rain drops” falling on different textures , as the rain drops produce different sounds when they fall on different textures like, glass, wood, plastic, desert sand etc., same is the infinite variety of disease manifestations when they test someone’s psychological make up/ego-strength”

He values the in-depth understanding of individuals in Psychiatry for providing comprehensive care and believes that through Psycho-dynamically-informed treatment model and addressing the Addiction Psychiatry facet, which is almost ubiquitous in co-occurring disorders with mental illness, the dynamics behind the patient’s needs can be understood to effectively reduce their longitudinal sufferings by modifying their prognosis.

Virginia Merritt MD

Virginia Merritt MD got her MD from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1978. She trained in general psychiatry at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton MA, followed by her training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Boston City Hospital (now Boston Medical Center). After finishing training, she was the medical director of the adolescent unit at Somerville Hospital, and then worked in numerous other settings including a DMH day treatment program for adolescents, multiple DYS units, a STARR unit, and Perkins School for the Blind. She worked at the Boston Juvenile Court Clinic as the only juvenile forensic psychiatrist in the Massachusetts court clinic system. She was formerly at the Framingham Psychiatric Counseling practice for 25 years before joining MPS.

Dr. Merritt has been in private practice treating children, adolescents, and adults since 1994, primarily focused on treatment with psychiatric medications. She has a special interest in treating people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has a friendly, engaged, and unpretentious style with a good sense of humor.

Maryann Mathieu

Maryann is our office/billing manager with over 20+ years’ experience. Please contact the front  office staff at extension 100 for new client appointments. Maryann at extension 206 handles day to day operations,  provider credentialing, accounts receivable, payable and claim submission.

Judy LaRochelle at extension 105 can help with insurance authorizations or medical record requests.

Natalie Urena at extension 108 handles prior authorizations for medications.

Mary Johnson, LMHC

My Background
Mary is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with more than 30 years of post-graduate experience in the field of outpatient counseling. Over the years she has treated clients suffering from a wide range of mental health challenges which include: anxiety disorders, co-occurring disorders (substance abuse/mental health), co-dependency (family alcoholism/drug addiction), depressive disorders, personality disorders, and chronic mental illness. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Assumption College Mary has treated clients in private practice and in mental health clinics throughout her career. She specializes in trauma and is an EMDRIA certified EMDR therapist. 

My Approach & Philosophy
The underlying cause of numerous mental health problems is untreated trauma. There are many types and many degrees of what might constitute trauma for each person. Most of us have experienced tragic or disturbing events at some time in our life that have left us injured and suffering in some emotionally painful way.

Sometimes the trauma is one devastating occurrence, such as a natural disaster, an assault, or a death in the family. In other cases, the trauma is an accumulation of hard losses and disappointments over a period of many years, such as career setbacks, difficult relationships, or a divorce. Our painful memories of these experiences may result in an overload of fear or low self-worth. Neurologically wired into our trauma memory are beliefs about ourselves that are detrimental to us in fundamental ways. The memory of the trauma can haunt us, hold us back, and prevent us from taking life-changing steps. Trauma keeps us in a restricted zone where we are too afraid to forge ahead and pursue our dreams. The consequences of untreated trauma include the abandonment of our desires because we settle for only getting by in life, just keeping our heads above water, and never fully living our lives free of debilitating stress, excessive anxiety, or disabling depressive symptoms.

When I came to appreciate the magnitude of how complicated trauma is and how harmful it can be to our brain, my practice of assessing for trauma and helping clients to heal from these experiences became a mission and a passion. My approach is client-centered and holistic. I utilize EMDR strategies to help clients reprocess painful memories and to invoke the brain’s natural healing system. Outside of session, clients will utilize internal and external resources learned in therapy which they identify as calming and meaningful. Healing from trauma holds the promise of revisiting all those beautiful dreams we have kept secret much of our lives as a consequence of having been hurt deeply in the past.
If you would like to explore this type of treatment further, please feel free to reach out for a free, 15-minute consultation.

Areas of Expertise:
PTSD
Relationship trauma
Separation/divorce
Grief/mourning
Mood Disorders
Anxiety Disorders

Mary Judd-Pechie, M.Ed, MSSW, LICSW

When life gives you new challenges that seem difficult and even impossible…. learn and practice new ways to take care of yourself! Engaging in therapy is a gift that you give yourself. It also benefits the people you love and care for. Skills like Self-Compassion, Mindfulness, Gratitude, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and DBT skills can help you feel better by reducing stress and improving ability to cope with different situations.

I studied Rehabilitation Counseling at Springfield College, with a Concentration in Substance Use Disorders and received a Master’s Degree in 1984. I worked exclusively in the Addictions field for ten years at inpatient detox/rehab programs (Nashua Brookside Hospital, Stonington Institute) and outpatient at Harrington Recovery Services. I returned to Springfield College to earn a Master’s in Social Work in 1996. For the last 23 years I have worked in Community Hospitals and in Private Therapy Practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. My experience includes working for Emergency Psychiatric Services with both children and adults, with Dually Diagnosed patients on Inpatient and Partial Hospital Units, and with medically involved patients.

My understanding of life challenges facing families and individuals today has been broadened by my own experience as a parent and a family caregiver.

 

Patricia Venegas, LMHC- CAGS, MBA, Certified DBT

Patty is a bilingual (Spanish/English) License Mental Health Clinician who has been practicing counseling for many years in Massachusetts.  She has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology as well as a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study. In addition, she is Certified in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and has advanced training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. (UMASS)

Patty’s therapeutic approach includes the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, DBT, Supportive Therapy as well as Spiritual Counseling.   In combination, these techniques have been found to be effective treatments for a range of problems including depression, anxiety, trauma, personality disorder and bereavement. Patty is sensitive to cultural issues of many types and is comfortable in working with a range of backgrounds and orientations.

She has expertise treating people across the life span and while she is currently working only with adults, she is knowledgeable of a range of relationship and family issues.

 

Ann Carter, Clinical Social Worker

Ann Carter is a clinical social worker who provides individual psychotherapy for adults, as well as therapy for couples and families.    Her strengths-based,  and interactive approach to psychotherapy draws from a variety of theoretical perspectives, including: psychodynamic, attachment, cognitive behavioral (CBT), systems and recovery-oriented models.  Ann has worked for more than 35 years practicing clinical social work, having worked with adults who have experienced a wide range of mental health challenges including; psychotic disorders, mood disorders, emotional dysregulation, PTSD/trauma, anxiety, and complex family issues.  Ann earned her undergraduate degree from Northeastern University, and her Master’s degree in Social work from Boston College.  She has a Certificate in Intensive Family Systems, from Therapy Training Boston.

 

Randi Krogstad, LICSW

The core of my treatment style is to focus on what’s going on in the here and now, look at what could change for the better, then move out from there to look at factors that might be causing problems. My clients set the goals and have control of the pace of therapy, particularly when we are working with trauma. I got my masters’ degree at Smith College, where I was trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy. I worked for many years in Harrington Hospital’s behavioral health programs, including twelve years doing outpatient therapy and 8 years as an inpatient psychiatric social worker. I enjoy working with couples and families, but currently I mostly work with adolescent and adult individuals.

 

Jack Tracy LICSW

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, educated at Harvard University and Simmons College, with over 30 years of experience as a Psychotherapist. I have worked at some well known locations in Central MA including UMass Medical School, the Fallon Clinic and Harrington Hospital. My experience has been both on inpatient psychiatric inpatient units as well as outpatient clinics and so I am familiar with a wide variety of psychological problems and conditions.
At this time, I have four main areas of clinical work with which I am involved, anxiety, depression, trauma and relationship issues. Clearly, some people experience a combination of these issues and problems can become quite complex. Other complicating factors of which I am familiar can include substance dependence and medical issues. I work almost exclusively with adults and have an interest in issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, neurodiversity as well as issues related to sexual, racial and ethnic diversity.
Using a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic Theory I am interested in assisting people to relieve the pressures and problems of the present day while also attending to underlying causes. Issues of stress management, mindfulness, motivation and self-care frequently come into play. The overall goal is to try to reduce the stresses of everyday life and work toward addressing issues that serve as obstacles.

Hilda Miller, LMFT

Hilda is a Master’s- level licensed therapist who graduated from Southern Connecticut State University. She has 21 years post-graduate experience.
She also completed a two year intensive training program in Gestalt Theory and Psychotherapeutic Techniques at SCSU in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program.
She has worked with individuals of all ages, couples and families, experiencing mental health and substance abuse issues. Experience includes outpatient, and emergency psychiatric services.
I work with my clients to resolve past and present conflicts. I join with my clients to identify patterns that are not healthy, and embark on a new road to healing and self-awareness.