Trauma Based Behavioral Health Fellowship Team

Core Team

Ginger Meyer - Project Director and trainer: Ginger Meyer, MSW, LCSW, CCTP has years of experience working with multi-disciplinary collaborations.  She brings to the table a developed network of mental health providers and experience in bringing programs/resources together. She has spent over 20 years working in child welfare and the last 15 years working as a medical social worker providing psychosocial evaluations for children experiencing maltreatment.  Her focus of study is now understanding how Adverse Childhood Experiences affect the rural populations in our rural delta region and how to best screen, assess, diagnose, treat and provide behavioral health and medical services in a trauma-informed system of care.  As the project director, Ms. Meyer is dedicated to creating strong partnerships and developing systems that impact the health, healing and hope for individuals and families.  Ms. Meyer also provides therapy to individuals who have experienced trauma as a certified clinical trauma professional and a nationally certified TF-CBT clinician.

Matt Buckman - Clinical Director and trainer: Dr. Buckman is the Clinical Director of the Child & Adolescent Division at the Egyptian Public & Mental Health Department.  He supervises and provides direct services to children, teens, families, and young adults to help improve a variety of emotional and behavioral health issues. Dr. Buckman has been a strong partner in developing the TBBHF curriculum and acquiring professional community-based trainers for the Trauma Based Behavioral Health Fellowship program. He also has been instrumental in strengthening the collaborations and behavioral health partnerships over the past four years. He works with the juvenile justice councils in the region, trains and consults with the school systems on trauma-informed care and has developed numerous projects and programs.

Dhrubodhi Mukherjee - The evaluation consultant: The evaluation consultant (former project director of the 2014 BHWET grant) is Dhrubodhi Mukherjee, PhD., LCSW.  Dr. Mukherjee is an associate professor at the joint Master in Social Work Program at the University of North Texas.  His area of interest lies in trauma across lifespan, violence and trauma, military social work and technology-aided social services. He has served as an external evaluator on numerous federally funded grants and has previously been the PI of the first very successful Trauma-Focused Behavioral Health Fellowship program at SIU Carbondale.

Kim Sanders - Fiscal Manager: The Trauma Based Behavioral Health Fellowship grant project is managed in the Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development, a center within of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Strategically, this collaboration made the most sense as we continue to coordinate, streamline and provided integrated behavioral health and mental services throughout our community. The Center for Rural Health and Social Services Development, under the direction of Kim Sanders, shares a key focus to address health care and social service issues that impact the lives and productivity of the citizens in the state and nation. The Center has a long history of multidisciplinary collaborations involving University and Community partnerships, as well as being committed to the continuing development of our regional behavioral health workforce. Kim Sanders, the Director of the Center, serves as the fiscal officer of the project.


Lindsey Adams – Lindsey attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where she obtained her Master's in Social Work. She began her career as a family counselor and adoption caseworker. She then went on to work within the school system. She has also been a family therapist for children and families in the foster care community. Lindsey has just completed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) training.

Jennifer Brobst – Ms. Brobst recently transitioned from a position as Legal Director of the Center for Child and Family Health, a medical-legal faculty consortium from Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which focuses on evidence-based trauma treatment and abuse prevention.  Formerly, she practiced law as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in South Bend, Indiana, with a focus on violent felony crime, and as Supervising Attorney of the first domestic violence clinical program at North Carolina Central University School of Law.  From 2001-2004, she served as the first Statewide Trainer for the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault.  Since 2004, her teaching and scholarship have focused on matters related to public health law, criminal law, mental health law, evidence, scientific evidence, and crime victim rights. She is cross-appointed as a faculty member in the SIU School of Medicine Department of Medical  Humanities.

Behesha Doan – Behesha is the founder and training director of This Able Veteran and owner of Extreme K-9, a professional dog training business focused on training both working dogs and pets and rehabilitating problem behaviors. She and her staff have conducted seminars for and coached professional trainers throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.  As a trauma survivor herself, Behesha brings insight to how a correctly trained service dog, combined with a trauma resiliency program, can make a difference in the lives of those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injuries and those with co-occurring substance abuse. Through This Able Veteran, she has developed a veteran-centric model of care that involves the veterans, their clinicians, and the service dog. She is a Certified Life Coach, specializing in trauma resiliency, a Member, of the Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School Affiliate, and a Certified Dog Trainer – International Association of Canine Professionals.

Callie Ellison – Callie has the honor of being a mother of three kids and one stepchild. With the help of the Egyptian Health Department, she was able to support her children through difficulties in school and struggles with depression. She learned the balance of medication and counseling to help them cope with mental illness. She is very happy to be working in the mental health field so now she can help families who are going through the same struggles she once did. Her job is to make sure each family learns and understands the resources that are available for them.

Joyce Griffin – Joyce A. Griffin, Ph.D., LCPC, LPC (MO) is a Southern Illinois native who has worked for CenterPointe/Spirit of St. Louis Hospital for almost nineteen years.  She has a Master’s in Psychological Counseling and a PhD. in Clinical Psychology.  She serves as the Community Liaison and Community Educator for CenterPointe and does many presentations and trainings during the year for counselors, schools, parents, law enforcement agencies, and social service agencies.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (Missouri) and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (Illinois) and has a small private practice in West Frankfort, Illinois.  She is an active member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and is a Licensed Sports Psychologist and Master Addictions Counselor.  She spends her spare time with her animals and her 12 grandchildren.

Mike Handwerk –  Dr. Handwerk is currently the Coordinator of Outpatient Behavioral Health at Eldorado Primary Care, a Division of Harrisburg Medical Center. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and has been a licensed psychologist for more than fifteen years. Prior to moving back to southern Illinois 6 years ago, he ran the psychology department at Boys Town, a large childcare organization with multiple levels of service, where he helped develop and oversaw an APA-approved internship program, a research division, an assessment center, and an outpatient substance abuse program. He has published more than 35 articles and chapters on the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents. Currently, he is a full-time clinician at EPC, supervising several practitioners in a growing outpatient behavioral practice. He also helped develop and is the current president of Mentors 4 Kids, an organization that matches children in need with adult volunteers.

Lynda Killoran – Lynda Killoran is the clinical manager of several treatments sites in the Centerstone service network.  She has spent 30 years providing, supervising and managing mental health and substance abuse services to adults, youth and their families.  She has provided clinical supervision to numerous interns at the master's and doctoral level from various programs at SIU-C.  She currently manages a staff of 30 counselors, care managers, and psychiatric service providers. She has been a regional leader in the promotion of Trauma-Informed Care in all service settings and is a member of the Centerstone Quality Council.   She is also a founding member of the recently formed Children’s Mental Health Resource Network in Southern Illinois. She is approved by Illinois Collaboration On Youth to provide training on Adolescent Brain Development, Effects of Trauma on the Adolescent Brain, Trauma-Informed Care, Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue.  Lynda is an expert in providing training and supervision in many clinical and management areas, including Assessment, Treatment Planning, Care Planning, Care Management, Program Development, and Community Collaboration.

Marci Malnar – Marci Malnar, MSW, LCSW has a Master of Social Work from SIU. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 28 years of experience working with children and families in Southernmost Illinois. She currently works with abused and neglected children and their families. She is a trained forensic interviewer of children, conducting forensic interviews. She also provides mental health treatment. Recognizing the importance of evidence-based-trauma informed treatment, she advocates the utilization of this approach when providing treatment.  She has 21 years of experience in Child Play Therapy.

Beth Morrison –  Beth Morrison is a Wellness Coordinator at SIU and the Program Coordinator for the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant.   She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology.  She has worked in a community counseling setting, providing Mental Health and Substance Abuse Assessments to area youth and adults.  She has also worked as an Adult Therapist with Southern Illinois Regional Social Services (SIRSS) and gained experience working with Individuals diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and Severe Mental Illness. Several of her clients had extensive trauma histories.  As the Supervisor of Crisis Services, she worked with adults, and youth experiencing emotional distress, as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviors, worked with Survivors of Suicide, provided individual and family counseling to clients who lost a loved one to Suicide.  She has also been the Manager of Centerstone’s Crisis Stabilization Unit which included developing a mindfulness program and working with Recovery Support Specialists to develop stabilization programming, including increasing coping skills, resiliency, and providing linkage for their guests.  She has worked closely with community resources, hospitals, and Southern Illinois University to ensure timely and appropriate referrals. She comes to the team with over 5 years of experience working with Individuals with mental illness housed in the Illinois Department of Corrections.  In that capacity, she has implemented crisis procedures with offenders who attempted and threatened suicide and provided follow-up counseling to assist with recovery.

Melinda Squires – Melinda Squires is currently the Manager of several programs at the Herrin location for Children’s Home + Aid.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her Master’s from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  She has over 12 years of experience and started her career working for Matthews and Associates, a private practice, in Southern Illinois.  Most of her clinical experience has been working with adopted children and their families conducting individual and family therapy.  She worked with children to process and integrate their trauma as well as provide psycho-education to parents whose children have experienced chronic traumatic stress. She currently provides clinical supervision to several clinicians in house as well as several other colleagues located throughout the state. In addition, she serves on several committees throughout the agency as well as participates as a trainer for several agency-based trauma initiatives.

Kathy Swafford – In January of 2009, Dr. Kathy D. Swafford joined the faculty at Southern Illinois University as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Director of SIU’s Children’s Medical Resource Network based in Anna. Dr. Swafford has been in private practice in Anna for the past 14 years.  She served as Medical Director of Health Alliance Medical Plans based in Urbana and was on staff, including three years as Medical Director at Rural Health, Inc. and at Carbondale Clinic.  She has been a volunteer faculty member at SIU since 1987. Dr. Swafford is board certified in Child Abuse Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics.  She is also board certified in Pediatrics and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Illinois Chapter of AAP.  She currently serves on the board of the Southern Seven Health Department and is Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern Illinois Medical Association.  She is on the advisory board for Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children and the Division of Specialized Care for Children.  She also serves on the Immunization Advisory Committee for the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Ben Wrase – Benjamin is a certified alcohol and other drug counselor (CADC), and has been providing residential substance use treatment services for Gateway Foundation for the past 12 years. He began his career working with adolescents and is currently the lead counselor in the men’s co-occurring program. In addition to his regular responsibilities, he trains his fellow employees to facilitate.  Seeking Safety group therapy, and is a certified trainer of Nonviolent Physical Crisis Intervention. He was selected for the Trauma-Based Behavioral Health Fellowship in the 2015-2016 term and graduated from Southern Illinois University in December 2016. In 2017, he returned to the fellowship to teach about substance use treatment for survivors of abuse and neglect.