Lynn Echols, MSN, RN
Anita “Lynn” Echols joined the team at Foundations Recovery Network in January of 2017. Born and raised in Habersham County, Georgia, she earned her BSN from Brenau University and her MSN from Piedmont College.
Echols, who became CEO at Black Bear Lodge in December of 2018, is also a registered nurse, a green belt level in Lean Six Sigma, and a fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives. Her many years of nursing in critical care, emergency medicine, and psychiatric care, as well as administrative leadership practice, serve her well in her current role.
A sense of purpose drew Echols to mental and behavioral healthcare, and she’s passionate about her staff feeling supported so that they can deliver quality patient care. Her goal is to be the leader that she would want to have, so she leads with integrity, compassion, and drive.
Echols and her husband have two adult children. In her free time, you can find her spending time with them and traveling to new places.
Jennifer Hoodecheck, LCSW, MAC
Jennifer Hoodecheck joined the team at Black Bear Lodge as a therapist in December 2014. She later became a clinical manager before moving into her role as the clinical director. She received her master’s in social work from Austin Peay University and her undergraduate in psychology from Ashford University.
In addition to being a licensed clinical social worker, Hoodecheck is a certified trauma therapist, having spent most of her career working with people impacted by family violence, sexual violence, military trauma, and trauma as a result of substance use disorder. “I have seen the resiliency of the human spirit and the ability of people to heal,” Hoodecheck shares.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Hoodecheck has also had the opportunity to live all over the country. She notes, “This fed my adventurer soul and love of meeting new people. I learned that no matter where I am, I can make it home.” Though Georgia has been her home since 2014, Hoodecheck still manages to head to Minnesota every summer to spend time with family on one of its 10,000 lakes.
Hoodecheck’s passion for working with others shows through, as she shares, “There is nothing better than seeing the light, the hope return in someone”. She’s grateful to work at Black Bear Lodge because of the compassionate team approach that fosters a safe place for people to recover.
When she’s not working, Hoodecheck enjoys spending time with her family and friends or hiking a north Georgia trail. A wanderlust spirit, she loves to travel and explore new places and meet new people. When she’s not traveling, Hoodecheck rejuvenates by reading, kayaking, visiting live music venues, or having a cup of coffee with an old or new friend.
Roy E. Smith, MD Board Certified in Addiction Medicine, Family Medicine
Dr. Smith is board certified in addiction medicine and family medicine and is the Medical Director for Black Bear Lodge. Prior to Black Bear, Dr. Smith was the attending medical physician at Pavillon in North Carolina and was an Assistant Professor at USC School of Medicine in Greenville SC. Before Pavillon, he had his own private practice in Camden SC. He is a graduate of The Citadel and received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Dr. Smith is the immediate Past President of the SC chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
Dr. Smith enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and 4 children. Their hobbies include road cycling, mountain biking, hiking, and some golfing! His kids are involved in Scouting as well.
Ashley R. Bryan, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, CARN-AP, NEA-BC
Director of Nursing
Prior to joining Black Bear Lodge as the Director of Nursing Ashley gained experience in the US Air force overseeing over 1,000 personnel, held multiple leadership positions at various healthcare organizations, and was the Vice President of Patient Care a 92-bed treatment facility in Georgia. Ashley obtained her BSN at University of Pennsylvania, her Family Nurse Practitioner Degree at Georgetown, and is currently in her DNP as a Nurse Executive at Augusta State University. In addition to working at Black Bear Ashley has been an adjunct faculty member providing clinical instruction for nurse leaders in mental health and psychiatric nursing. Ashley has led large medical teams, has extensive experience treating co-occurring patients, has developed medical policies for various addiction treatment facilities, and served as a preceptor. She holds certifications as a family nurse practitioner, certified addiction registered nurse-advanced practice, and nurse executive advanced. She is also a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, The American College of Health Care Executives, American Organization for Nursing Leadership, and the International Nurses Society on Addictions. In her free time, Ashley enjoys off-roading in her Jeep, standup paddle-boarding, and reading.
Regional Human Resources Director
Vince Foley holds a BA in criminal justice administration and has worked human resources for well over a decade. In 2013, he became regional human resources director for Black Bear Lodge and Foundations Atlanta-Midtown and Foundations Roswell, two of Foundations Recovery Network’s Intensive Outpatient Programs. Raised in Homestead, Florida, Foley says he came to this line of work by “the grace of God. Someone gave me a chance to do more and be more, and I did,” he explains. He’s passionate about being able to serve both patients and employees with the compassion and dedication they deserve in order to assist them in making their lives better and more complete.
When not working, he can be found spending time with his wife and three boys. Foley also enjoys helping others.
Director of Performance Improvement and Risk Management
A Georgia native, Cassie Head currently makes her home in Batesville, on the beautiful Soque River. She joined the Black Bear staff in 2013 as an executive assistant, moving to director of performance improvement and risk management in 2017. She holds a BA in business administration/accounting and an MBA, both from Piedmont College.
Head’s previous roles include manager of performance improvement for Sherwood Clinical, where she fell in love with the process of ensuring accreditation/compliance. She loves hard facts and data, so it was a natural fit. “Compliance/accreditation are what keep a company alive,” she says. “If you are following the rules and regulations provided to you by your licensing board and accrediting body, then you know that you are doing things right and that you are not compromising patient care.” Head goes on to add, “We are here for our patients, and my job is to ensure that we provide the best care possible for them. People come to us looking for hope. When I do my job to the best of my ability, I am a part of helping provide that hope, even if I never interact with a patient.”
Head and her husband have one young daughter. When not working, they shop, read, hike, swim, and adventure together. They also love being on the lake during the summer and are always looking for new adventures in their backyard.
Manager of Residential Services
Originally from Franklin, Georgia, Matthew Partain joined the staff of Black Bear Lodge in 2015. He’s also served as a program manager for a state-approved male residential treatment program, primarily providing court-ordered substance abuse treatment. In recovery himself, Partain began working in treatment and soon found that helping others dealing with addiction was his passion. He’s currently completing a bachelor’s degree at Capella University in business, with a specialization in healthcare management.
As manager of residential services, Partain says he’s “in awe” of the diversity of patients Black Bear Lodge gets to serve. “It gives me pride to be a part of a company who works with our population to help them start a better life and remain in recovery as a life-long journey, rather than simply sending them on their way after they complete, wishing them luck,” he says.
In his free time, Partain is an avid reader, collects hat pins, and loves movies, but he admits he spends most of his time outside of Black Bear doing schoolwork. Married to a licensed professional counselor, they have two dogs that round out their family.