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Our Team


Addiction doesn't wait.

Take your first steps towards addiction recovery with Serenity Grove.

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

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Founder & CEO

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A. Patrick Brooks, MD

Medical Director

Starr Porter, clinical director
Star Bridges, MS LPC CMAC CCS

Clinical Director

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Katie Sklivagkos, RN, MSN, FNP-C

Nurse Practitioner

Bryan Price
Bryan D. Price, M.D.


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Mike Forrest, P.A.

Physician Assistant

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Todd Saner

Client Care Manager

Lindsay Avery, Director of Operations
Lindsay Avery

Director of Operations

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

Training Consultant

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Cam Moore

Director of Admissions

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Erica Hamby, CIT

Group Facilitator

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Alyssa Leggett, CACI

Certified Addiction Counselor

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Jordan Whiddon RN

Director of Nursing

Nashia Mayfield, LAPC


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Cathie Puckett, CCIT

Group Facilitator

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Renee Ware, LPC


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.

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.

Bryan D. Price, M.D.


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.

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.

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.

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 ( 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 (, 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.