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 daughters and are currently raising their first rescue dog, a Belgian Malinois named Sasha. In her free time, you can find her spending time with them and traveling to new places.
Dr. Ken Thompson
Dr. Ken Thompson is an addiction medicine specialist and medical director 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 Lee Warner, MD
Dr. Melissa Lee Warner earned her undergraduate degree from Hood College before attending Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. She followed that with an internship at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia in neuropsychiatry and a residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Dr. Warner joined the team at Black Bear Lodge in 2014. She brings with her an expertise in non-intoxicating approaches to pain management and a passion for tobacco sobriety. Board certified in both family practice and addiction medicine, her affinity for addiction treatment began during her addiction medicine fellowship at the prestigious Willingway Hospital in Statesboro, Georgia. She continued her addiction practice as a member of the medical leadership at the nationally recognized Farley Center program in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Previous roles include chief medical officer, medical director and assistant professor. Dr. Warner has served as a respected and crucial member of a number of high-quality addiction treatment teams including The American Society of Addiction Medicine, The Federation of State Physician Health Programs, The American Bar Association’s Committee on Lawyer Assistance Programs and International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous (IDAA).
Jennifer Hooper, LCSW
Born and raised in Indiana, Jennifer Hooper joined the staff of Black Bear Lodge in 2014 as a primary therapist before becoming clinical manager. Today, she serves as clinical director. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Hooper earned a master’s in social work from Indiana University. Previous work experience includes owning her own company, working in an addiction-based therapeutic community and serving as a therapist and substance abuse counselor in community mental health.
Hooper says she has always had an interest in and passion for helping others, something she finds fulfilling and challenging. She’s passionate about the work she does at Black Bear Lodge because she loves “our compassion and evidence-based system of care that allows for the unique strengths of the employee to establish real connections.” Hooper feels that “these relationships foster inspiration, hope and resiliency in the patients. I love being in the milieu, watching patients and staff take ownership for their part in the process and in the change.”
When not working, Hooper enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has a great love for the outdoors and likes to hike with her dog, kayak and travel. Hooper states she has a love for the arts and occasionally will paint, draw or build things. She also finds great joy in listening to live music, theater and attending sporting events.
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.