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Blake DeFoor


Blake DeFoor


Blake is a native of Chattanooga and graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has always had a heart for helping people in need, and upon graduation in 2005, his passion led him to a local organization doing child and adolescent mental health case management. In August 2006, Blake first joined the Focus Team as a member of the admissions department, and then quickly moved into a leadership role serving as the Director of Admission in 2010, Executive Director in 2011, and then into the role of of CEO in 2013.

Blake has a deep passion for both patients and staff, and works to promote the importance of healthy relationships in his personal and professional life.

Jennifer Massengale


Jennifer Massengale, RN

Executive Director

Jennifer Massengale serves as the Executive Director at Focus Treatment Centers. Jennifer has been with Focus for nearly 14 years. With a nursing background, she has supported Focus through many roles over the years - Staffing Coordinator, Nurse Executive, Director of Nursing, and now Executive Director. With a calm approach, unwavering compassion, and a sharp mind, Jennifer supervises the medical, clinical, and administrative teams to ensure the highest quality of care throughout the facility.

Mark Peterson


Dr. Mark Peterson

Medical Director

Dr. Peterson is a 1974 graduate of Northwestern University Medical School. He is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is Board Certified in both Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine and has over 30 years of experience in the field of Psychiatry/Addiction and Eating Disorders.

Dr. Peterson served as the Chief of Psychiatric Services at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Yokosuka, Japan, and has held several Medical Director positions in the past. He has worked in the community mental health setting and in private practice and has gained a wealth of knowledge while doing this work. As a past recipient of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Physician’s Recognition Award, Dr. Peterson has presented many presentations and authored publications in Psychiatry and Pharmacotherapy. Dr. Peterson has served in this position since the opening of the Center for Eating Disorders. Dr. Peterson enjoys traveling and has visited all seven continents. He is an avid reader, who enjoys time with his family and pets.

Gail Gnade


Dr. Gail Gnade

Senior Clinical Consultant

Dr. Gail Gnade has been a Clinical Psychologist in the state of Tennessee since 1993. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, the largest multi-denominational Seminary in the world. Early in her Career Dr. Gnade was a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor in the Chicago area and in Pasadena, CA when she was pursuing her PhD.  Dr. Gnade has been with Focus Treatment Centers in various capacities for over 10 years.

 Dr. Gnade’s specialties include:  Addictions, Eating Disorders, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Mood Disorders, Relationship Difficulties, Personality Disorders, and Recovery from Childhood and Adult Traumas (utilizing Somatic and Attachment Focused Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, S.A.F.E.).

Dr. Gnade’s passion resides in integrating evidenced based treatment modalities in treatment and the recovery process through the lens of Interpersonal Neurobiology, Poly-vagal Theory (Social Engagement Theory) and Spirituality, with a strong emphasis on the mind-body connection and integration.  In other words, she believes that we have been created to trust and connect with one another as human beings and when this goes awry for various reasons we may cope in a myriad of ways (including substance abuse, eating disorders and other addictions).  Dr. Gnade has found in her own healing process and in witnessing others, that it is indeed true; learning to safely connect with others, oneself and a power greater than oneself is foundational for recovery and living a purposeful and meaningful life.  

During her free time, Dr. Gnade enjoys spending time with family/friends, daughter, two granddaughters, reading and learning, finding humor in everyday life, and spending time with her pet/friend, “Bo,” a Collie who is trained as a HABIT Volunteer (Human Animal Bonding in Tennessee). You can often find the two of them visiting local nursing and rehab facilities (including Focus!).

Chris Harris


Dr. Chris Harris

Director Of Operations & Clinical Services

Dr. Chris Harris has a PhD in clinical counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University.  He is a licensed professional counselor with the mental health service designation.  Dr. Harris has been in the field for over 10 years and has worked in all levels of care inpatient/residential, outpatient individual and intensive outpatient group therapy. Dr. Harris’s research consisted of vicarious trauma in clinicians working with trauma victims.  He believes in treating the whole person and that mind, body and spirit are all connected.  He also has specialized training in treating trauma and PTSD. Dr. Harris, a native of Chattanooga, enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors.

Julie Munson-Jackson


Dr. Julie Munson-Jackson

Addiction Medical Specialist

Dr. Munson- Jackson is Board Certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

She is graduate of the James H. Quillen College of Medicine and completed her residency in Family Medicine at UT Family Practice/ Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, TN. She has worked in private practice as a family physician for several years and is currently Medical Director for the City of Chattanooga’s Well Advantage Health Center. She joined the team at Focus in 2014 and has been able to utilize her broad medical experience to help manage patients with complex medical diagnoses as they are going through treatment.

She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, hiking, kayaking, running and attending concerts.

Preston Goforth


Preston Goforth, LPC-MHSP

Director Of Admissions

Preston is a Licensed Professional Counselor with Mental Health Service Provider Designation and has worked in mental health since 2003.  He graduated with a BS Degree in Industrial Engineering and has a Master’s of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from Lee University.  He has worked in multiple settings including inpatient acute detox, inpatient mental health, and provided outpatient individual/group counseling services to children and adults.  Preston believes in people and their amazing ability to change seeing it over years of working with hurting clients.  Preston, a native of Atlanta Ga, enjoys spending time with his family, trail running, and the outdoors.

Laurie DeLong


Laurie DeLong, LPN

Intake Specialist

Laurie got her start in health care as a support specialist working with intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals, which led to a desire to get more involved in the mental health field.  During this time, Laurie was also providing hands-on care to her husband recovering from a severe injury, which led to a desire to become a nurse.  She put her desires into action and graduated from the Practical Nursing program at Tennessee College of Applied Technology in 2008. 
Laurie’s first nursing position was as a medication nurse for several residential and enhanced-support treatment homes serving adults with severe mental illnesses.  While in this role, Laurie developed a medication supervision training program for house staff.  This program was implemented at each of the company’s residential, supported housing, and enhanced supported housing locations throughout Middle Tennessee and improved awareness around, and reduced the amount of, medication errors facility-wide.

Laurie joined Focus in 2011 working as a nurse on both the Substance Use and Eating Disorder units.  Laurie gained experience working on all shifts with both populations before primarily becoming a bridge nurse on the Substance Use Disorder unit being responsible for admitting patients onto the unit.  In 2013, Laurie brought her nursing background to the Admissions Department.  She now does intake assessments for both units and helps evaluate potential patients for medical stability prior to admission to the facility.  Laurie is also involved in outreach by operating the chat function on the Focus website.

Laurie lives in Warren County with her husband Billy, with two grown children, Ashley and Tim, nearby.  In her free time, Laurie enjoys fishing, 4-wheeling, and going on other various outdoor adventures with her husband.

Margie Hayduk


Margie Hayduk, LPC, MSHP, NCC

Director Of Family Programming & Primary Therapist - Substance Use Disorder

Margie is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She is a licensed professional counselor and is certified in Trauma Therapy, ARISE Interventions and Youth Ministry. Her career at Focus began in 2009 in the outpatient program. She later moved to a primary counselor position, was appointed the Director of Family Services, and co-facilitates the Families in Focus program once a month.

Margie left her roots in Michigan in 1977 after her first child was born. Husband’s job included relocating every 1-3 years to various places around the country. This was until they started enjoying the comfort of family life thus settling down in Cleveland Tennessee in 1992. Margie enjoyed staying home with 5 children while completing her college degrees. After completing an undergraduate degree, she accepted a job teaching at a Christian High School in Chattanooga and moved on to graduate school. During her ten years of teaching, she completed her graduate degree, obtained her counseling license, and began counseling individuals and families at Focus. Margie brings life experience, insight, and intention to meeting the needs of struggling individuals and their families. Her goal is to offer genuine loving regard and compassion and help build trusting relationships among the individuals and families she helps.

Brittany Barber


Brittany Barber, LCSW

Eating Disorder Program Director

Brittany utilizes a strengths perspective with a goal of empowering clients to draw upon their own gifts and resources to facilitate healing and cultivate a life worth living.  Brittany is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and earned her B.S. in Psychology and Master of Social Work degrees from Kennesaw State University.  Brittany facilitates weekly process and DBT skills groups in addition to providing support and oversight to the eating disorder programming.  Brittany utilizes her EMDR training to support our clients in the journey towards healing from trauma.  While not spending time furthering her clinical knowledge, Brittany practices intentional self-care through painting, spending time with her family, enjoying the outdoors, and reading fiction.

Lauren Higgins


Lauren Higgins, MS, BC-DMT, RYT-200

Director of Embodied Therapies, IOP Therapist

Lauren Higgins is currently the only local Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist. Lauren is also a registered yoga instructor with several certifications in movement instruction. Lauren holds a Master of Science in Dance/Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute (NY) and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Bard College (NY). Lauren is the secretary and a founding member of the Southern Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association. Lauren began her affiliation with Focus in 2011 as a counselor intern and then continued as a yoga instructor and dance/movement therapist. In 2015, Lauren became the Weekend Counselor and a PRN therapist. From 2016-2018 Lauren was a primary therapist on the residential Eating Disorder unit. Lauren now works as the Eating Disorder Intensive Outpatient Program therapist and Director of Embodied Therapies. Lauren hosts an annual art show/performance called The Road: Exploring Healing and Recovery through the Arts. Lauren remains dedicated to her own movement practice, education, and arts engagement through regular trainings around the country. Lauren has completed the basic training in Somatic and Attachment Focused EMDR through the Personal Transformation Institute and is currently working on her Advanced Certification. Lauren completed Level 1 of Embodied Recovery training through the Embodied Recovery Institute in 2017.

Bonnie Watson


Bonnie Watson, M.Ed

Program Director, Substance Use Disorder

Bonnie is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga with her B.S in Psychology and Masters of Education is Community Counseling. Bonnie is continuing her education by currently pursuing clinical supervision hours to obtain her Licensure in Professional Counseling. Bonnie has worked in various roles at Focus in the Admissions and Counseling Department over the past ten years and is now the Substance use Disorder Program Director.  Bonnie facilitates weekly process and Shame Resiliency skills groups in addition to providing support and oversight to the substance use disorder programming.  Her goal is to ensure that all patients and their family members feels supported, informed, and safe as they begin the process of recovery.

Addie Bramlett


Addie Bramlett, RD, LDN, CEDRD

Primary Dietician


Addie is the Director of Nutrition Services and the Registered Dietitian for the residential unit at Focus. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Georgia State University, and completed her Dietetic Internship through Iowa State University.  She is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD), and she passionately applies her knowledge to help those in recovery from eating disorders and chemical dependency. 
Addie has experience in other aspects of nutrition; including exercise physiology, renal nutrition, diabetes care, and clinical medical nutrition therapy. 
She emphasizes a non-diet, goal oriented approach with her patients as they move towards recovery.  She shares her love of health and wellness with everyone. Her fresh mindset, outgoing personality, and zealousness make her a great fit at Focus.  

Courtney Phifer


Courtney Phifer,  MS, RD, LDN

IOP and Outpatient Dietitian

Courtney has worked in behavioral health for 10 years, specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. She has worked in all levels of care, from residential to outpatient. Courtney’s goal is to help clients develop a healthy relationship with food by practicing a non-diet approach of balance and moderation. She is DBT trained and uses a small-step goal-oriented client-driven approach that incorporates body positive and mindfulness practices.