Jennifer Angier, MS, NCAC-II, CAC-II

Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer AngierA veteran of the behavioral health field, Jennifer Angier has more than two decades of clinical experience. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Black Bear Lodge, an 115-bed residential treatment center located in north Georgia. She is a level II national certified addictions counselor and is level II certified with the Georgia Addiction Counseling Association. A nationally recognized expert on addiction treatment techniques, she regularly speaks at national conferences, to healthcare, collegiate and paraprofessionals groups and in Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).

During her career in addiction treatment, Jennifer has worked in administration, case management, crisis response and in private practice. Before accepting her current position, Jennifer served as executive director of Foundations Atlanta at Roswell, and before that, she was the program director of an assessment stabilization unit. She has also worked as a clinical outreach coordinator for a young adult program.

Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia State University, graduating summa cum laude, and she completed a master’s in organizational leadership from Mercer University, again graduating with honors.

Take a listen to Jennifer Angier discussing her passion in the recovery field at the Innovations in Behavioral Healthcare 2016 Conference.

Melissa Lee Warner, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Melissa WarnerDr. Melissa Lee Warner is the medical director for Black Bear Lodge. A graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School, she completed her family practice residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a fellowship in addiction medicine at Willingway Hospital in Statesboro, Georgia, with a concurrent faculty development fellowship in family medicine at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Warner is known for her widely appreciated lectures on the The Big Book and has a special interest in nicotine sobriety, non-intoxicating approaches to pain management for recovering patients, and abstinence-based, 12-Step approaches to the treatment of food addiction. Passionate about health, wellness and spiritual development, Dr. Warner is a diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Ken Thompson


Dr. Ken ThompsonDr. Ken Thompson is an addiction medicine specialist and physician at Black Bear Lodge. He has a special interest in chronic pain and addiction, spirituality and the treatment of healthcare professionals. With over 20 years of experience in addiction medicine, Dr. Thompson was originally certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) in 1990 and has been president of the Florida Society of Addiction Medicine. He is currently an ASAM Fellow and is board certified in both addiction medicine and internal medicine. Bringing his seasons of expertise to the table, Dr. Thompson has special experience treating professionals like physicians and attorneys. He understands the complex nature of addiction and how it affects every area of a person’s life, and he knows how to help individuals get back on their feet.

Melissa Bowman, BS, PCC

Patient Care Coordinator

Melissa BowmanMelissa Bowman graduated from North Georgia College and State University with her Bachelor of Science in sociology. She is currently in the process of obtaining her CAC-II. Melissa’s background in the field of mental health and addiction is extensive. Before joining Black Bear Lodge, Melissa was a behavioral therapist in a dual diagnosis unit, where she assisted patients in crisis intervention and helped them learn about their illnesses. She was also able to assist them in completing a relapse prevention plan and having a safe discharge plan. Melissa is currently the residential counselor supervisor at Black Bear Lodge, and she loves that Foundations Recovery Network (the parent company of Black Bear Lodge) focuses on integrated care for both mental health and substance abuse disorders. She loves that Foundations is patient-centered, and she believes that her compassion for others and ability for insight will assist the residential counselors in providing the best possible care for their patients. Melissa hopes that she is able to emit calmness and a passion for working with people so that others might inspired as well and that patients will feel there is hope for recovery.

Darlene Yvette Bowling, LPC, CCTP, NCC

Women’s Clinical Manager

Darlene BowlingDarlene graduated from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia, with a Master of Science in Professional Community Counseling. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. She is a certified clinical trauma professional. Her treatment focus is on women with complex trauma and PTSD.

Darlene has been working with patients with mental health issues and substance abuse for the past several years. She recently worked at a residential trauma unit for women where she facilitated individual, family and group counseling sessions for women with Dual Diagnoses and complex trauma issues. She trained staff on trauma sensitivity and educated patients on the three phases of trauma.

Darlene is a women’s clinical manager at Black Bear Lodge. She is passionate about working with women who have complex trauma issues, helping them find peace for their past and hope for their futures. Her greatest hope in working at Black Bear Lodge is to be able to connect with her patients at their point of suffering, give them a place of safety and trust where they are able to gain understanding of their life journeys, and have hope for the future.

Donna Derden

Patient Care Coordinator

Donna DerdenDonna came to Black Bear Lodge with the ambition to continue providing excellent patient care to those suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues. Donna has 20-plus years of using her compassion, personal skills and education in the treatment field. Donna earned her bachelor’s degree in social work and was employed as a school social worker with the Alpine Psychoeductional Program, a school that served children with severe emotional disturbances and/or severe behavior disorders. After 15 years with the school system, she went to White County Mental Health, where she was a social services specialist working with patients suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues. After doing this for two years, she was promoted to site manager for White and Habersham County Mental Health, where she was responsible for operations of the two counties and services to the patients of White and Habersham Counties. While working there, Donna earned a master’s degree in public administration at Georgia State University. She has worked with the court system and DFCS in the development of the first family drug court for both White and Lumpkin Counties. In her work in the treatment field, Donna has seen firsthand the effects that addiction can have on individuals, children and/or their families, and that was one of the most important factors that led her to serve patients at Black Bear Lodge.

Douglas Pratt, PhD, LCSW

Primary Therapist

Doug PrattDoug Pratt has practiced psychotherapy, staff training and development and behavioral consultation as a licensed clinical social worker for over 20 years. Doug focuses on patients’ strengths and specializes in recovery and the treatment of addictive disease. He also emphasizes the use of cognitive behavioral and solution-focused therapies for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Doug especially enjoys helping couples and families use the family sculpting method to creatively enhance their relationships.

Prior to joining Black Bear Lodge, Doug helped create a milieu therapy program for a hospital psychiatric unit and designed and implemented the first Juvenile Sexual Offender Treatment Program for the state of Georgia. Doug has also helped ten states, Israel and Netherlands implement strengths-based, family-centered child and family service systems. Doug is an adoptive dad, and he is blessed with 26 years of recovery.

James “Jem” Clement, MSW

Intake Coordinator

James ClementJames “Jem” Clement is an intake coordinator at Black Bear Lodge. Jem received his BS in social services from Erskine College in Due West, SC, and his MSW from the University of Georgia. After graduating from UGA, he served as a counselor and director of admissions at Tallulah Falls School. He then took a position as director of admissions at Piedmont College. Jem worked at Piedmont College for 12 years in several different capacities and left Piedmont in 2008 after two years as associate VP for institutional advancement. Prior to joining Black Bear Lodge in February 2014, Jem served for five years as the executive director of the North Georgia Soccer Association. Jem currently lives in Cornelia, GA, with his wife Kathleen, who works as a school social worker in Habersham County. They have two sons, James and Chris.

James Dominic Riley, LPC, CCS

Weekend Clinical Manager 

James Riley received his master’s in counseling at the University of Georgia in 1982 and has worked in the addiction treatment field ever since. He has credentials as an LPC, CAC-II and CPS. He has worked in the management in addiction treatment for at least 25 years, providing guidance to licensed therapists and oversight of treatment modalities and interventions.

Kristen Marie Aspinwall, LPC, NCC

Primary Therapist

Kristen is a licensed professional counselor and a nationally certified counselor specializing in mood and addictive disorders. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling from North Georgia College and State University. Her previous work includes being a primary counselor and an intake coordinator. She enjoys using patient-centered techniques with cognitive and existential approaches in order to help patients discover a life of recovery. She utilizes a philosophy of hope that recovery is attainable for all.