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clinical approach

international/state certified counselors

medical department


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for men and women

For over forty years, we have remained committed to helping people find freedom from substance use and begin living life productively.



Mike Walker, M.Ed.
Chief Executive Officer

Mike Walker received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in biology and psychology from Shorter College in 1975. He holds two Master of Education degrees, the first from West Georgia College in Middle School Education with a concentration in math and science education. In 1980, Mike received his second Master of Education degree from the University Of Georgia, majoring in school psychology.

Mike is uniquely qualified to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Penfield as he served as the Executive Director of Hope Haven of Northeast Georgia from 1994 until July 2017. He has served as a Certified Instructor with the Crisis Prevention Institute since 2005, as well as previously serving as the President for the Service Providers for Developmental Disabilities.

Mike has completed the Executive Leadership Program for Nonprofit Organizations. Additionally, Mike has been awarded the DHR Commissioner’s Award for Outstanding Service from the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Mike has a longstanding history with Penfield Christian Homes as he has previously served on the Board of Directors since 2001, as well as serving as Chairman of the Board in 2014.


Bill has a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Tennessee and an M. Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Erskine Theological Seminary with an emphasis on addiction studies.

Bill has state and national credentials as an addiction counselor (CAC II, MAC, CCS), and is certified as a Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional.

Dr. Bill King, D.MIN, CAC II, CCS, MAC, PSAP
Chief Operating Officer


Mitzi received her associates in accounting from Athens Technical Colledge. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's in business with a focus in accounting from Mercer University. Mitzi is a Greene County native and she enjoys serving her community. She loves spending time with family and trying new things.

Mitzi Sanchez, A.B.A
Business Manager  


Maddie is a resident in Athens, Georgia. She joined the Penfield team in October 2022. Maddie is passionate about Penfield’s mission and feels called to help those in recovery. She is inspired by the experience of seeing other’s lives changed daily.

Maddie O'Donnell
Administrative Assistant 


Christine graduated with a BS in Psychology with a minor in Education from Piedmont College and a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Education from Brenau University.

Christine has worked in several addiction settings over the last ten years. Currently, in addition to Penfield, Christine works in her private practice with locations in Gainesville and Sugar Hill, Georgia.

Christine Ball, BS, MS, LPC, CPCS
Licensed Professional Counselor

She is a certified professional counselor supervisor and spends time teaching and training associate counselors to get them ready for full licensure.



Dr. Dave A. Ringer is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia with a Doctor of Medicine. Before attending medical school, he received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Ringer completed his residency at Anniston Family Practice at the University of Alabama and later received an Executive Certificate in Business Management from John Hopkins University.

Dr. Dave Ringer, MD, CPE, FAAFP
Medical Director

He is board certified by the American Board of Medicine, the American Board of Physician Executives, and the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care, granting him the title of Certified Medical Director.

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Cathy has been in the medical field for 27 years. She earned her RN degree from Piedmont College and then went on to obtain a BSN from Emory University.

Cathy notes that she is deeply rooted in her faith and enjoys serving her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She is thankful for her position here at Penfield and is confident that God led her here to assists men and women on their journey to recovery.

Cathy Thompson, RN, BSN

Director of Nursing /  Admissions


Don was born and raised in northeast GA. He pursued a career in Emergency Medicine after graduation. Don has been a Paramedic and Flight Paramedic for over 25 years.

He has two wonderful children who are married. His life is rooted in his faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. Don feels he was led to be a part of this wonderful ministry and praises God everyday for bringing him to Penfield.

Don McFarlin, PMDC
Licensed Paramedic


Felita is a native of Union Point, GA, and has worked in the medical field for 16 years as a Certified Medical Assistant. During that time, she has continued her education and has received an Associate degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Helping others is Felita’s passion. She has plans to continue her education and hopes to return to College to finish her RN degree shortly. Felita strongly believes that if you ask God for something and have Faith, it shall come to pass.

Felita Alexander, CMA
Certified Medical Assistant


Vivian is a licensed practical nurse who joined the Penfield team in June of 2020. She received her Diploma in Practical Nursing from Athens Technical College.

Vivian states she felt drawn to the Mission of Penfield and is eager to serve God through serving those suffering from addiction.

Vivian Frericks, LPN
Nurse - Lavonia Campus


Sheka is a licensed practical nurse who joined the Penfield team in August of 2022. She received her Diploma in Practical Nursing from North Georgia Technical College.

Sheka is a mother of three and she enjoys traveling and trying new cuisine. She is excited about serving the Lord through serving those suffering from addiction.

Sheka Arthur, LPN
Nurse - Lavonia Campus


Shanda is a native of Franklin County, GA. She attended Rich Mountain College where she earned her nursing degree and has been working as an LPN for ten years. She has plans to continue her education and hopes to return to College to finish her RN degree shortly. 

In addition to spending time with family and friends, going to flea markets with her mother,, and trips to the beach, Shanda has a passion for helping others. 

Shanda Harris, LPN
Nurse - Lavonia Campus



Drew joined the Penfield Addiction Ministries staff in 2014. He holds credentials as a Level I Certified Addiction Counselor and is currently pursuing his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Liberty University.

He believes he has a calling on his life to help men that are suffering from the disease of addiction by introducing them to the healing power of Christ.

Drew Metzger, CADC-I
CQI-RM Supervisor

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David holds a bachelor’s degree in Ministerial Leadership with an emphasis in Counseling from Lee University. He joined the Penfield Addiction Ministries staff in 2011 and is credentialed as a Level II Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

David credits his personal sobriety to God’s grace and the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

David Cronic, BS, CADC-II
CQI-RM Technician



William has a deep passion for serving in the body of Christ. His desire, to see men and women freed from the bondage of addiction, drives him to continuously seek God’s direction in the spreading of the Gospel.

In showing gratitude for the grace revealed in his life, he is giving his every effort to help others obtain sobriety and find God’s peace.

William Puckett, CAC-I
Admissions Counselor 


Laura received her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, with minors in Special Education and Psychology, from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. After working in the education field since 2014, Laura has chosen to follow the Lord’s lead in seeking certification as an addictions counselor and in putting effort into bringing hope to men and women struggling with addiction. 

She recognizes the blessings the Lord has set before her each day and aims to honor Him through spreading joy and love to others. 

Laura Hughes, BS
Admissions Counselor Trainee


In addition to COO responsibilities, Bill also serves as Campus Director.  Bill has a B.S. degree from The University of Tennessee and an M. Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Erskine Theological Seminary with an emphasis on addiction studies.

Bill has state and national credentials as an addiction counselor (CAC II, MAC, CCS), and is certified as a Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional.

Dr. Bill King, D.MIN, CAC II, CCS, MAC, PSAP
Union Point Campus Director

Donnie Plummer, CAC - I
Long-Term Intensive / Transitional Coordinator

Donnie has over 30 years of experience in the addiction and mental health field. After his honorable discharge from the US Army, He began his career at a state hospital in Columbus, GA in 1985.

Since 2001, he has maintained certification as an Addiction Counselor. Donnie is trained in Anger Management, Behavior Modification, Child and Adolescent Counseling, Crisis Intervention, Critical Debriefing, Domestic Violence Counseling, Family Counseling, and Substance Abuse Counseling for both adults and adolescents. Currently, Donnie serves on the GACA Board of Directors where he is serving Region 4 for his third term.


Rob is a native of Eatonton, Georgia, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Planning from the University of Georgia

Rob joined the Penfield staff in 2019 and believes that opening his heart and mind up to the will of God has allowed him to find a new purpose in his life. That purpose revolves around sharing his testimony to fellow men in hopes that God can change their lives the same way He changed his.

Rob Knight, BS, CAC- I
Substance Abuse Counselor


Nathan is a native of northwest Georgia and joined the Penfield staff in 2020. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology while working as a certified addiction counselor to serve those who are seeking recovery and restoration in their lives through Jesus Christ.

Nathan strives to share hope and joy throughout the recovery process to further the growth and healing taking place.

Nathan Hulsey, CAC-I
Substance Abuse Counselor


Dusty is originally from Rutledge, GA. He has served six years in the addictions field with two recovery residencies: Two years as an assistant director at Open Door Christian Homes and three years as the Director of Redeemed Living Ministries.

Dusty is excited and grateful to now serve God at Penfield as a counselor and help manage the transitional program. He is also pursuing his certification as an alcohol and drug counselor.

Dusty Adams, CAC-I
Substance Abuse Counselor


Austin is originally from Tifton, Ga. He joined the Penfield family in 2022 and is currently pursuing a certification in counseling where he can further fulfill his calling to serve those in need. 

Austin finds purpose in helping those struggling in the chains of addiction to find their happiness and peace again through Jesus Christ and recovery. He’s excited to share his own story of salvation in the hope to help others.

Austin Cadwell
Counselor Trainee

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John is originally from Murfreesboro, TN, and relocated to Roswell, GA, in 2022. He received his  CADC-T certification in December 2022 and is currently pursuing his goal of becoming a certified addiction counselor. John is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys seeing the beauty in God's creation.


John has a passion for serving individuals that struggle with addiction and seeks to help them find peace again through a relationship with Jesus Christ..

John Miller, CADC-T

Counselor Trainee


Robert is a 2009 graduate of World Reach Bible Institute. He joined the Penfield Addiction Ministries staff in 2009 and is certified as both a NAADAC Level I National Certified Addiction Counselor and a GACA Certified Level I Addiction Counselor. Robert served as a state representative for Celebrate Recovery from 2008-2013.

Robert currently serves at Cleveland Road Baptist Church and is passionate about helping hurting people.

Robert Schwartz, CAC-I, NCACI
Food Services


Justin is a native of Loganville, GA. He joined the Penfield staff in 2020. Justin is excited to share his story of salvation, hope, and faith, and enjoys watching the Lord work in the lives of others. 

Justin Bryson
Maintenance Supervisor



Patti Shipp received her BA in Community Agency Counseling from Piedmont College in 1996. She earned her Master of Education degree from Clemson University in 2000 in counseling. Patti is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Master Addiction Counselor. 
She has been working in the addiction field for over 20 years with experience in acute hospitalization, outpatient, and residential treatment environments. Patti specializes in treating those with addiction and their families. Her approach to treatment is to treat the whole being; mind, body, and spirit. 

Patti Shipp, CCS, MAC, LPC

Campus Director

“It’s all about choices. We can choose to believe that a power greater than our self (God) can restore us (mind, body) to sanity and live a life filled with purpose and fulfillment or not. It’s your choice.” By using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, strategies from the 12-Step program with a Christ-centered focus, treatment, and recovery are tailored made for the individual to help them make healthy choices for their life. 


Jessica is a native of Franklin Co and joined the Penfield family in 2021. Her background consists of 6 years in the addiction field. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology as well as a CADC II. 

Jessica feels that she was called to Penfield to serve her hometown thru God by offering her passion for helping those who suffer from the disease of addiction.

Jessica Canup, CADC-II
Substance Abuse Counselor


Brittney is native of Florida but currently resides in Lavonia, Georgia. She joined the Penfield staff in July 2020 and believes God has called her to serve others and mend what has been broken. Brittney plans on continuing her journey by pursuing her Substance Abuse Counseling Certification.

Brittney Rausch, CIT
Counselor Trainee

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Charley is a native of New Smyrna Beach Florida and currently resides in Lavonia GA where she has been called to do God's work helping women who suffer from addiction.  She is currently pursuing a degree in Addiction Counseling and looks forward to a future in this career path.

Charlene Atkinson
Counselor Trainee

Accepting most major insurance


Once admitted, these people are partners in your success; here to help you relearn how to live sober, and most importantly, find happiness again. 

From Admissions to Medical to Administrative to the State and Internationally Certified Substance Abuse Counselors, we each support you  and the effort to help you regain your life.

It's OK to get help!  If you or a loved one need REHAB, contact me to to discreetly speak with a non-judgmental admissions counselor to help you find the information you need.  All information is confidential.

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