A member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Dr. A. Patrick Brooks has served as the Medical Director of Serenity Grove since March 2017.
Dr. Brooks received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1976 from The University of Georgia. In 1980 he earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Brooks completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Brooks has practiced at Athens Internal Medicine since 1983, where he is the founding partner. An avid Georgia Bulldog alumnus, Dr. Brooks became the team physician for The University of Georgia football team in 1989 and served in that capacityfor a number of years.
Founder & Administrator
Jay Veal, MS, APRN, CARN, CAADC founded Serenity Grove in 2016. Mr. Veal is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics from The University of Georgia, a nursing degree from Athens Area Technical College, and a Masters of Science degree from California University of Pennsylvania, with a specialty certification in nurse anesthesia from The Washington Hospital in Washington, PA. Jay is as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) since 1999. Mr. Veal first entered the field of addiction care by founding and operating a sober living community in 2009. In 2014, Jay collaborated with Karen Skinner, MED, GCADC III to co-found Athens Addiction Recovery Center (AARC), a licensed partial hospitalization program and intensive outpatient treatment center, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Mr. Veal is honored to hold the designation of Certified Addictions Registered Nurse (CARN) from IntNSA, a specialty organization founded in 1975 for registered nurses committed to the prevention, intervention, treatment, and management of substance use disorders. In addition to his specialty experience as an advanced practice registered nurse, with specialties both in anesthesia and the care of clients with substance use disorders, Mr. Veal has been a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor since January of 2018. Jay’s vision for Serenity Grove is better access to care for clients through easily accessible, state-of-the-art outpatient facilities, anchored by the flagship residential addiction treatment center headquartered in Athens, GA. In his leisure time, Jay enjoys international and domestic travel, motor sports, and most of all, spending time with his sons Max & Clark. Jay has passionately supported causes such as The Victory Junction Gang Camp, Heart Ministries, Penfield Christian Homes, & The Atlanta Union Mission. Jay and his sons reside in the heart of The Classic City.
Clinical Director, Clinical Supervisor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Master Addiction Counselor, & Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers Member
Tommie L. (Larry) Walton, III has worked in behavioral healthcare, consultation, and training since 1973. He serves as the Clinical Supervisor for the Serenity Grove counseling staff and maintains his primary office at the Athens, GA treatment center.
During his tenure in the Behavioral Health Care field, Mr. Walton has created successful and innovative programs in both the public and private sectors. In addition to his involvement at Serenity Grove, he has a thriving private practice in psychotherapy and addiction treatment (www.recoverycafe.com) where he uses daily the methods he teaches. Serenity Grove and Recovery Café enjoy a collaborative affiliation, often working together to provide clients’ services and options unavailable at more traditional treatment programs. Larry is also a co-founder of The In House Group (www.in-house-group.com), a concierge practice taking recovery to people where they live and travel, a unique option in the field of dual-diagnosis addiction treatment and the ultimate in personalized care.
Larry alternates time between Georgia, Idaho and Wyoming and is licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in those states. He has attained certification as a Master Addiction Counselor and Clinical Supervisor. As a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers he is trained as a trainer in Motivational Interviewing and as a Motivational Interviewing supervisor.
Larry breeds, trains and competes Catahoula Leopard Dogs (six national championships). As a National Outdoor Leadership School Graduate and Leave No Trace Trainer, he delights in being outdoors.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Kendall P. Weinberg holds a master’s degree in Community Counseling from the University of Georgia. Kendall is the past WRC Director at MARR Women’s Recovery Center. Kendall enjoys working with groups, individuals, and their families to facilitate empowerment, incorporate the principles of recovery, and create a balance in physical, spiritual and emotional health. Kendall has fifteen years of experience helping others discover or rediscover the innate strengths that will allow them to align their beliefs, emotions and values for a more fulfilling life. She has a calm, centered demeanor, which creates a space for openness and acceptance. In her spare time, Kendall enjoys reading, watching college football, freshwater fishing, writing, and traveling with her husband. She also participates in local women’s book and writing circles. She has been a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia since 2006 and maintains membership with the Licensed Professional Counselor Association of Georgia.
Certified Addiction Counselors
Mike Bowden, CADC II
Mike Bowden has been involved in substance abuse recovery and counseling for over a decade. During that time he has assisted clients in developing strategies to manage stress, identify values, set goals, and achieve their full potential. His approach to counseling is collaborative and strength-based, employing modalities from CBT, Motivational Interviewing, and 12-step programs, incorporating community resources whenever beneficial and feasible. His breadth of experience as a counselor has given Mike strong interpersonal, motivational, and behavior change skills.
Mike loves living in the northeast Georgia area. States Mike, “There is nothing better than Saturday afternoon in Athens watching college football with family and friends, and being a part of an incredible recovery community. “
Amanda Perkins Coan, CAADC
Amanda Coan received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at Mississippi University for Women in 1992. In 1996, she completed her nurse anesthesia training at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, TN. Amanda also holds a Master of Science in Nursing Healthcare Administration from Loyola University, graduating in 2011. Amanda spent most of her career until 2016 in the practice of nurse anesthesia, prior to pursuing a second career in counseling clients with substance use disorders.
Today, Amanda conducts a full-time practice as a member of our counseling team. In 2017, she earned the designation, Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC), from the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Certification Board of Georgia. The CAADC certification process was developed in 1999 from the standards set forth by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).
A life-long learner, Amanda currently is a dual master’s degree candidate at the University of the Cumberlands. In August 2018, Ms. Coan will be awarded two degrees, a Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and a Master in Addiction Counseling.
Amanda specializes in complex disorders and she has specialized training in Clinical Hypnosis with Rapid Trauma Resolution (RTR). Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT) is an innovative therapeutic technique that painlessly and completely eliminates the negative influences of traumatic events. Using this integrative approach, developed by Dr. Jon Connelly, Amanda helps clients resolve the psychological and physiological effects of trauma. Problem areas that may benefit from RTR include: Fears and Phobias, Lack of Sexual Desire, Sexual Trauma, Childhood Abuse, Traumatic Grief, Anger Problems, Insomnia, PTSD, and Anxiety.
Amanda is a native of the Mississippi gulf coast and has expressed her love and affection for the area and it’s people by volunteering in relief efforts after numerous hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters since 1992. Amanda enjoys a diverse list of leisure pursuits, including beach activities, deep sea fishing, SEC football, travel, and cooking. But most of all, Amanda adores quality time spent with family, friends, and her miniature dachshund, Lulu.
Licensed Practical Nurse & CADC - T
Gina Reed, LPN
John Marr, with 35 years of personal sobriety, is no stranger to helping others both find a path to sobriety and learn to live useful and happy lives without a need for mood-altering chemicals. John has completed the education & training for Certified Addiction Counselor I, and also successfully completed trainings for Level I & and Level II of the evidence-based Prime Solutions recovery curriculum.
Peer Support Specialists