Menu Close

Our Team

• SERENITY GROVE •

Reach Out Today

The addiction treatment specialists at Serenity Grove are dedicated to helping clients and their loved ones heal from the effects of addiction. In our Athens, GA treatment center, clients can find the support they need for lasting recovery. From detox to outpatient treatment, the levels of care offered at Serenity Grove are designed to promote sustainable sobriety.

Take the first step on the road to recovery by connecting with our addiction treatment specialists at 844.904.3485 or by connecting with the Serenity Grove staff online.

Meet the Serenity Grove Staff

addiction treatment specialists
Jack W. Paschal, M.D.

Medical Director

addiction treatment specialists
Bryan D. Price, M.D.

Psychiatrist

addiction treatment specialists
Jay Veal, MS, APRN, CRNA, CARN, CAADC

Founder & CEO

addiction treatment specialists
Nora Blankenship, LCSW

Clinical Director

addiction treatment specialists
Tommie L. (Larry) Walton, III, LCSW, MAC, MINT

Training Consultant

cropped-serenity-grove-favicon-logo-512x512-1.png
Lindsay Avery

Director of Operations

cropped-serenity-grove-favicon-logo-512x512-1.png
Joe Hopper, MEd, NCC

National Certified Counselor

addiction treatment specialists
Amanda Perkins Coan, LAPC, CAADC, MATS

Associate Professional Counselor

cropped-serenity-grove-favicon-logo-512x512-1.png
Chassidy Mann

Therapist

addiction treatment specialists
Todd Saner

Alcohol & Drug Counselor

addiction treatment specialists
Stephanie Gum, CPS-MH, CAS

Admissions Specialist

cropped-serenity-grove-favicon-logo-512x512-1.png
Angie Romero-Shih

Therapist

Contact Serenity Grove Recovery

Reach out to our addiction treatment specialists today at 844.904.3485 to learn more.

Jack W. Paschal, M.D.

Medical Director

A member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Dr. Jack W. Paschal is the medical director of Serenity Grove.

A native of Morgan County, Georgia, Dr. Paschal received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta and also completed his residency in anesthesiology there following medical school. A board-certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Paschal’s training in critical care, pain management, and airway management combine to allow Serenity Grove to safely provide more comprehensive and higher-acuity withdrawal management services when indicated, including intravenous fluid, electrolyte and vitamin management, and continuous monitoring. This level of medically managed detox is unavailable from the vast majority of non-hospital treatment programs. Dr. Paschal’s high-acuity skills are not his only attribute. Staff and clients alike are drawn to Dr. Paschal’s affable and upbeat bedside manner that leaves no doubt about his optimism and enduring commitment to helping as many clients and families as he can. Dr. Paschal enjoys spending his free time with his wife and young children. He is also an avid outdoorsman, and can often be found enjoying nature while engaging in conservation work on his farm.

Bryan D. Price, M.D.

Psychiatrist

For nearly two decades, Dr. Price has been engaged continuously in the practice of psychiatry. A Furman University graduate, Dr. Price earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1993. He received his M.D. from Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia in 1999. After completing his general medical studies, Dr. Price became a resident physician in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science of Emory University School of Medicine through 2003 and served as the chief resident of psychiatry at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta during his final year of residency. Dr. Price is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, having achieved this distinction in 2004.

With substantial teaching experience, Dr. Price is well-rounded in his service to others. He served as a clinical assistant professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science of Emory University School of Medicine from 2003 until 2008. Concomitantly with his teaching role, Dr. Price conducted a successful solo practice in psychiatry in Newnan, GA. Tireless in his pursuit of helping others; Dr. Price has also served with the DeKalb Community Service Board, the DeKalb Crisis Center (Emergency Receiving Facility/Crisis Stabilization Unit), and at the North DeKalb Mental Health Center. Dr. Price has been affiliated with our organization since 2018, helping our clinical team and clients optimally manage substance use disorders and co-occurring conditions.

Jay Veal, MS, APRN, CRNA, CARN, CAADC

Founder & CEO

Jay Veal 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 Master of Science degree from the California University of Pennsylvania, with a specialty certification in nurse anesthesia from The Washington Hospital in Washington, PA. Jay has been 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, motorsports, 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.

Nora Blankenship, LCSW

Clinical Director

Nora Blankenship is a licensed clinical social worker with fifteen years of experience working with individuals and families in a variety of settings. From an early age, Nora was drawn to the idea of helping others, and she earned her master’s in social work from the University of Georgia in 2007 in the hopes of building a career supporting individuals and families. Early in her career, she worked in family welfare and preservation, and it was during this time that Nora discovered her passion for working with individuals affected by substance use disorders. That commitment has grown and developed throughout time as a social worker.

Over the course of her career, Nora has worked in many different capacities and has extensive experience in case management, program management, clinical supervision, and individual, family, and group therapy. For the last four years, Nora has worked as a therapist at a community health center, where she assisted in the development of and served as the primary therapist for their medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program, supporting individuals working towards long-term sobriety. Nora has many years of experience in treating substance use disorders (as well as other behavioral health disorders) with a variety of therapeutic modalities. Nora is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, motivational interviewing, narrative exposure therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

Nora loves working in partnership with clients and their families, utilizing their strengths to help them sort through the challenges of life and achieve their goals. She believes in a “whole person” approach to treatment, emphasizing the importance of addressing ALL aspects of a person’s life that impact their wellbeing at the individual, family, and community levels. She is committed to incorporating new evidence-based treatment and research into her practice and adapting to her clients’ needs, and she is very excited for the opportunity to serve in the role of clinical director here at Serenity Grove, where she can use her years of experience to help individuals and families affected by substance use grow and heal.

Tommie L. (Larry) Walton, III, LCSW, MAC, MINT

Training Consultant

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 healthcare 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 the methods he teaches on a daily basis. 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.

Joe Hopper, MEd, NCC

National Certified Counselor

Joe Hopper received hIs master’s of education in professional community counseling from the University of Georgia in 2018. As an intern, he has worked with the substance abuse population as both an individual counselor and as a group facilitator. Joe combines an existential approach along with narrative therapy in order to help people identify their core values so as to live a more congruent lifestyle. Joe has also received training in the evidence-based Prime Solutions recovery curriculum and continues to learn and build upon his skill set. Joe is a lifelong Georgia Bulldog fan and also enjoys rooting for the Atlanta Hawks, Braves, and Falcons professional sports teams.

Amanda Perkins Coan, LAPC, CAADC, MATS

Associate Professional Counselor

Licensed Associate Professional Counselor and Certified Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor
Amanda Coan received her Bachelor of Science 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 2018, Ms. Coan was awarded two degrees, a Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and a Master in Addiction Counseling. She became a licensed associate professional counselor in 2019.

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 its 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.

Todd Saner

Alcohol & Drug Counselor

Mr. Saner has been with the firm since 2017 and holds the Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor in Training (CADC-T) from the distinguished Alcohol & Drug Abuse Certification Board of Georgia. Todd enjoys living in the Five Points area and pursuing a rigorous fitness program in his personal time.

Stephanie Gum, CPS-MH, CAS

Admissions Specialist

Stephanie Gum is our admissions specialist. She is a key member of our admissions and business development teams.

Stephanie graduated from the Social Work Assistant Program at Athens Technical College in 2020. Stephanie is a certified peer specialist and a certified addiction specialist.

She ensures every referral is contacted and handled with care and compassion.

Stephanie is an upbeat, lively, and bold individual who is dedicated to helping individuals and families struggling with addiction navigate the road to recovery.