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Our Staff

The staff at Douglas C.A.R.E.S. is a team of professionals with unique backgrounds, advanced training and many years of experience that come together to serve kids and families in crisis in Douglas County. Each has a story, a reason why they are passionate about their work here in our community.

The staff at Douglas C.A.R.E.S. brings more than 100 years of combined

experience in forensic interviewing and therapeutic skills.

 

“Our current staff is made up of some of the most caring and professional people I have ever worked with. They work in a team setting which is very important in our mission and our goals for the agency and the families of Douglas County.” - Douglas C.A.R.E.S. Former Executive Director Mike Nores

WE'RE HIRING!

Be a part of a team that assists and cares for children and families of Douglas County.

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Sarah Wickersham, Executive Director
sarah@douglascares.org

Sarah Wickersham, Executive Director, holds a BS in Health administration and a MS in Developmental Psychology. She has 15 years of experience in service to children and families experiencing poverty, mental health and behavioral challenges, substance use disorders, trauma, and child welfare involvement. She worked as a Skills Trainer, guiding youth and their parents through understanding their mental health challenges, learning to accept them and work together to build resilient systems which helped the whole family to be healthier and support each other.  

She has also done extensive Parent Training, including Raising Highly Resilient Kids, Collaborative Problem Solving, Developmental Milestones and Nutrition Education. She believes trainings are best completed by bringing the training full circle to include supervised practice with the children in a fun and engaging environment.  

Sarah has 10 years’ experience in program management and systems development first as the Health Manager at UCAN Head Start, overseeing one third of the organization's operations, including producing 1000 meals per day to feed the children, staff and parents who attended during the day, overseeing all health and mental health-related screenings, treatment provision, and referrals to providers, providing and facilitating training for staff and families, and overseeing safety and emergency operations.  

As the Treatment Services Manager at Douglas County Juvenile Department’s Residential Treatment Programs, she was responsible for designing and implementing trauma informed treatment programming for the most behaviorally challenging youth in Oregon, most of whom were in the custody of Child Welfare. She is certified in Collaborative Problem solving and engages in extensive staff training, coaching and support along with providing training and support to other treatment programs working to implement trauma informed care.  

Strengthening children and families and building resilience while honoring the unique strengths of each family are at the heart of Sarah’s personal mission to her community.   

Becky, Financial Assistant.

My background consists of several years in the fields of administration, human resources, and financial services. 

Working at Douglas CARES has opened my eyes to the high level of childhood trauma and abuse that occurs in Douglas County. I support what Douglas CARES and our community partners do for the children in our county and feel honored to be a part of the team, making sure kids are safe and happy!

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Rhonda, Medical Billing Specialist

I joined Douglas CARES in 2014 as a Medical Billing Specialist.  It did not take me much time to realize what a special place Douglas CARES is for our community.  Working for Douglas CARES has made me realize being a parent is one of the most important things in my life. 

I came to realize that when I was a child in the seventies I experienced childhood trauma and was eventually adopted by my grandparents.  I was very fortunate to have caring, loving grandparents to open up their home and take my brother and I in. The only issue back then is they did not have places like Douglas CARES to help my brother and I through our trauma and new life transition into a new home.  Knowing how much it could have benefited my brother and I, makes me understand what a valuable place Douglas CARES is for our children and communities.  I am so thankful to get to be a part of such an amazing group of caring people.

Jeanie Curphey, Therapist

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Kelsey, QMHA - Mental Health Advocate

Kelsey joined Douglas CARES in 2020 as a Skills Trainer and has recently taken on the role of Mental Health Advocate. Before working at CARES, Kelsey worked for Douglas County Mental Health, CHA , and Compass for a total of 9 years. Kelsey has an extensive background in dealing with mental health disorders and trauma. She is very passionate about her work in mental health.

Jake, Forensic Interviewer

I was hired in 2020 as a Forensic Interviewer. I have been serving in law enforcement since 2000, when I got my start with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. I now work with the Sutherlin Police Department, since 2008.  I currently am the department's sole School Resource Officer and operate within the Sutherlin and Oakland school districts. I greatly enjoy my position as the SRO, interacting with students, sharing my experiences, and helping guide them through their school years. Now I have the added bonus of working at Douglas C.A.R.E.S and joining such an incredible team that wants to help children and their families. 

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Amanda, Resource Development Coordinator

As the Resource Development Coordinator here at Douglas C.A.R.E.S, I bring to the table an extensive background in customer service and administrative support. An ardent supporter of human and animal rights, I stand for those who are unable to stand for themselves and provide a voice for the unheard. I knew I needed to be a part of this program the moment I became aware of it. I am amazed every day by the compassionate people involved with Douglas C.A.R.E.S, and the outstanding services they provide to those who need it most.

“The purpose of human life is to serve and show compassion and the will to help others.” Albert Schweitzer

Markelle, Forensic Interviewer

 

Markelle joined Douglas CARES in 2021 as a Skills Trainer then transitioned into the Child and Family Advocate role. Her most recent transition is into her favorite role yet, Forensic Interviewer. She received her Bachelors Degree from Southern Oregon University and has a background in Juvenile Justice, Social Services and Mental Health. Markelle has always aspired to be a Forensic Interviewer and is happy to be someone that a child can feel comfortable talking with and trust. Growing up in rural Douglas County, Markelle is thankful to have the chance to give back to the community, providing them with the support they need.

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Erin, Skills Trainer, QMHA,
B.S.- Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology

In the past, I have worked with Options Counseling and Family Services, assisting families to identify goals and providing them the tools that they need to reach those goals and remain a strong family unit.  I have a long history working in child development and health care.  Joining Douglas C.A.R.E.S. this year is an important opportunity to impact the children and families of Douglas County which is also my home community. 

 

 

“Character is how you treat someone who can do nothing for you”

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Bernie, QMHP - Child and Family Therapist

AA in Human services, BA in Psychology, and a MA in Organizational Management.

Bernie joined the team at Douglas Cares in March of 2023 as a Qualified Mental Health Associate, but he is now a Child and Family Therapist for our organization as a Qualified Mental Health Professional. Bernie brings over 25 years of experience working with children and families. Bernie has worked in a variety of organizations ranging from pre-schools, mental health facilities, residential treatment, and juvenile corrections. Bernie sees clients for therapy as well as mental health and CANS assessments.

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Tami Terry, Deputy Director

Tami  has over 15 years in law enforcement where she led extensive investigations into allegations of homicide, rape, kidnapping, child physical abuse, child sexual abuse and elderly abuse. She attended the FBI Crisis/Hostage Negotiation training and was an active member of the Lane County Hostage/Crisis Negotiation Team and worked collaboratively with other county agencies to ensure the safest outcomes for all involved parties according to each individual incident. She was also an investigator as a member of the Interagency Deadly Force Investigative Team (IDFIT) where every incident of deadly force conducted by all branches of law enforcement were investigated to ensure all state and federal laws were adhered to.

 

"I am very excited to start this new journey with Douglas CARES and to be part of a growing community of people who can make a difference in a child’s life." - Tami

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April, Child and Family Therapist

 BA in Psychology, and a MA in Professional Counseling

With over twenty-three years in the mental health field, April brings experience from both the clinical and research sectors of mental health. As a clinician, April has worked with individuals of all ages and many diagnoses including behavioral, mood, anxiety disorders, acute psychoses, personality disorders, and many others. April has worked in educating clients and families about disorders as well as treating disorders using various treatment methodologies. She has worked in inpatient, outpatient, and crisis settings.

 

April also worked as a researcher and trainer for the National Caregiver Center, a division of the Veteran’s Administration. Here, she was responsible for the creation of educational material for caregivers of Veterans and was responsible for leading interventions in a behavior-focused feasibility study. April traveled across the nation training staff and caregivers of Veterans on subjects such as self-care and the utilization of courses created at the National Caregiver Center. Before her departure, April co-authored an article published in the Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science. Despite the sector, research or clinical, April’s desire is to assist under-served communities and to remove the stigma attached to mental health.

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Haleigh, QMHA Family Tree Skills Trainer 

 

Haleigh previously worked at ADAPT Integrated Health Care where she helped launch the Healthy Transitions program. She provided peer support, case management and skills training for HT and the EASA team. Haleigh graduated from the University of Oregon in 2019 with a Bachelors degree and after working in mental health she plans to go back for her masters in social work. Mental health has always been a passion of Haleigh’s and given the opportunity to continue to provide her support and services to the families of Douglas County is very rewarding.  

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Buirge Jones, QMHP- Child and Family Therapist

 

Buirge has worked in the mental health field for 25 years. He has been an in-home skills trainer for children with Autism, Manager of several young adult group homes for Developmentally Disabled, Neurodivergent, and Autistic populations, and Program Director of group homes for those with high acuity behavioral needs. He received his master's in Psychotherapy in 2010. He then began working as a therapist at an in-patient equine ranch program. There he found his passion in Trauma Informed Care working with adopted youth and teens who were struggling from traumatic experiences or severe abuse in childhood. Recently, before joining CARES, he was at Adapt as a jack of all trades with their in-school therapy program. He was also a lead therapist for the new IIBHT program service for Douglas County. He finds joy in working with elementary and middle school-aged kiddos because he can apply play therapy techniques and modalities. He loves art and music therapy, enjoys collecting hats, and has rescued and adopted eight cats.

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Madysn, Child and Family Advocate

 

I was born and raised in Roseburg and graduated at Roseburg High School. I worked for Winston Police Department as a Cadet Officer until I was hired at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in the Corrections department. I recently gave birth to my first baby boy and resigned from being a Corrections Deputy to pursue my education in social work. I am working towards my BSW (Bachelor of Social Work) now and hoping to further my education and receive my MSW (Master of Social Work). I am so thankful and honored to work for Douglas CARES and to take part in helping families in need.

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Staci, CANS Assessor and Family Advocate

 

I am so excited to return to the Douglas CARES family! I previously interned here and did event coordinating, but I am back now as a Family Advocate and CANS Assessor. I am currently attending Bushnell University, and I will graduate with my Bachelor's degree in Psychology in May 2024. I have a little boy at home and many years of experience working in a preschool setting and with teenagers, so I am prepared to work with the children and families that come into CARES. I look forward to getting to know our families and our community partners going forward.

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Christopher, Mental Health Advocate

BA in Psychology

Christopher joined the Douglas CARES team in late 2023 as a Mental Health Advocate, having previously spent 2 years serving as a Mental Health and Substance Use Clinician. With 13 years military experience, Christopher brings an assortment of varying skills and experiences to Douglas CARES. 

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Allison, QMHP - Child & Family Therapist

MA in Social Work

Allison is a QMHP with a Master’s Degree from the University of Denver School of Social Work. Allison is an experienced therapist specializing in trauma informed care with an emphasis on the health equity and wellness of individuals, families, and communities.

Board Members

Anita Cox, Board Chairman

Ron Breyne

Jessica Lloyd-Rogers

Juliana Marez

Dave McGinnis

Josie Sustaire

Robin Vogel 

Rick Wesenberg

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