Meet the Staff
Amy Gokey, LMHC, Executive Director
In 2016 The Friary welcomed new executive director, Amy Gokey, LMHC. Amy is a licensed mental health counselor who has been working throughout Lakeview Center for six years thus far. She has served as a therapist and victim's advocate working with clients to help them heal from past traumatic events and create balance in their lives. Amy also has worked as a liaison to the court system and facilitated crisis intervention training (CIT) with local law enforcement. In her role at The Friary, she will guide the team in developing evidenced-based treatment for those seeking recovery and relief from addiction.
Misty Lingle, Admissions Coordinator
Misty is the admissions coordinator at The Friary of Lakeview. Her professional experience includes clerical and clinical areas within the medical field and spans 15 years. Her broad medical knowledge has given her the necessary tools to ensure a smooth utilization review process that is effective for clients. Working at The Friary allows her to live out her favorite Mahatma Ghandi quote: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Rachael Pitts, Admission and Billing Coordinator
Rachael is the admission and billing coordinator at The Friary. Rachael joined the Lakeview team in November 2015 and brings with her more than 13 years of experience in the insurance industry. “I love working at The Friary and being a part of something larger that makes a difference. There is no person walking the face of the earth who demonstrates more courage, dignity, honesty and integrity on a daily basis, than a person in recovery.”
Karen Sellers, Administrative Assistant
Karen Sellers was born and raised in New Jersey. She became a Florida transplant when brought to the area by the U.S. Air Force. Her husband served for 22 years. They now enjoy Gulf Coast living with a wonderful daughter, son-in-law, grandson and two dogs. Karen is a dog lover! She also loves working at The Friary helping families.
Tami Wellman-Degroote, BA, AS, RN, Nurse Manager
Tami has worked at the Friary as a recovery tech, staff nurse and now as nurse manager. She has an extensive history in emergency para medicine and 20-plus years experience as a nurse in multiple disciplines. Her background has allowed her to work in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, and she has a special interest in suicidology. “I am passionate about working in addictions, and I wholly believe in the practice of treating the body, mind and spirit.” She’s quick to tell you that The Starfish Story is her philosophy for nursing in addictions. “There’s a sense of calmness and serenity as I walk onto the Friary campus, and I am reminded that the journey is the destination.”
Medical and Nursing
Terry Ptacek, M.D., Medical Director, Certified Addictionologist
Dr. P's blend of expertise and compassion bring our patients the best medical care available. In his role as Medical Director he works closely with the treatment team to assure that total patient care is achieved. "When people stop abusing drugs and alcohol it's amazing to see how the body can heal."
Sandi Cobia, Therapist, MA
Sandi has worked for Lakeview Center since 2006 and has been at The Friary since 2014. She has a master’s degree in psychology from the University of West Florida and is working to complete course work and hours required to obtain licensure as a mental health counselor. Sandi’s experience at Lakeview Center also includes assessments and screenings for acute inpatient units and adult outpatient areas, as well as in-depth assessments for parents involved in the child welfare system. “My passion is truly to help others through tough battles in their lives and provide hope when they feel hopeless, and help them see a glimmer light in the dark tunnels of life that we all experience sometimes. I have faith that we as humans are here to help heal each other through love and compassion.”
Wadell Davis, Continuing Care Coordinator
Wadell is in charge of our Continuing Care program and works to strengthen our alumni network. He lives what we teach. "We'll love you till you can love yourself."
Meg Doherty, Therapist, MS
Meg is an addictions and mental health counselor. She earned her Master of Science in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University, and has worked in a variety of settings, including outpatient, inpatient and residential, with clients diverse in age, race, diagnosis and severity of symptoms. Meg is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) and blends a trauma-informed approach with the empowering cognitive and behavioral changes offered through choice theory /reality therapy.
Emmalee Fournier, Therapist, MA
Emmalee received her master’s degree in Social Work in 2012 and began her career as a domestic violence counselor. After serving as a victim advocate for nearly two years, Emmalee traveled to and lived in Thailand and Cambodia teaching English and learning eastern philosophy at a yoga and meditation retreat center. Her combined knowledge about trauma and the body-mind connection piqued her interest in the treatment of chemical dependency. Emmalee compliments to The Friary treatment team in that addiction can be treated with biological, psychological, sociological and spiritual perspectives. Emmalee promotes a holistic approach, an inclusive and inviting treatment, tailored specifically to each individual’s background to help achieve personal needs and goals.
Nathan VanMeter, Intern Therapist
Nathan started with The Friary in the Summer of 2016. He is currently completing his master’s degree in Licensed Mental Health Counseling (LMHC) from the University of West Florida and plans to specialize in the addiction field upon graduation. Nathan appreciates the opportunity to work with all of the great staff at The Friary during his hands-on training experience. Nathan believes in the philosophy of empowering clients to meet life’s challenges.
Beth Williams, Strength-Based Clinician, LCSW
Beth brings 12 years of experience with her to The Friary. She began her career in the field of social work after graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and early childhood development. Then, she began working with foster children with specialized needs and learned that she wanted to do more for the clients she served so she went back to school to receive her master’s degree in social work with a dual concentration in social policy and administration as well as clinical. After graduating, she went to work in a residential wilderness camp for troubled youth in the Blackwater State Forest and eventually joined Lakeview Center’s team in 2010. She has worked in several capacities at Lakeview including acute care, the TASC program (Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities), adult outpatient services, and now at The Friary. Beth is a strength-based clinician who brings a passion for empowering client’s to achieve their fullest potential as well as using mindfulness to create an awareness of their journeys on the road to self-fulfillment. "
Ben Allan Wood (dog) — In loving memory, December 24, 2005 – June 28, 2010
Ben Allen was a loving staff member at The Friary for several years. He provided a warm greeting and unconditional love to many Friary family members. Ben is recognized by the AKC as a "good citizen," as demonstrated by his gentle interaction with staff and clients. He will be remembered for his playful antics, unique markings, special charm and comforting nature