Our Team

Executive Staff

Harry Gill, MD, PhD
President, Axis Healthcare Group

About Harry Gill, MD, PhD

Dr. Gill is the Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services, Suburban Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine and MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center. Prior to his appointment with Suburban Hospital, Dr. Gill has served as the Medical Director, Behavioral Health Services, of Providence Hospital in Washington, DC. He is presently also Clinical Assistant Professor at George Washington University Department of Psychiatry as well as St. Elizabeth’s Psychiatry Residency Training Program.

 

Originally from Croatia, Dr. Gill came to the United States to pursue study and research of the brain function. After obtaining his double-major Doctorate degree in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience from Iowa State University focusing on brain mapping of visual imagery process, Dr. Gill served as Chief Medical Officer with the State of Iowa Department of Human Services Medicaid Agency. He has worked closely with (then) Health Care Financing Administration (presently Center for Medicare Services) on the development of quality of care measures for Medicaid and Medicare Managed Care. His continued interest in quality of care as well as providing optimal care to patients needing psychiatric care led to founding of the AXIS Healthcare Group that attracted a team of experts sharing the same mission. Dr. Gill also completed training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis where he also chaired and taught in the Neuroscience and Psychotherapy course. In his private practice Dr. Gill provides psychiatric and therapeutic services. His interest in education of both professionals and lay audiences led to developing the educational branch of the AXIS Healthcare Group. He continues to promote psychotherapeutic intervention as essential component of treatment both through his clinical work as well as his ongoing teaching.

Andrea Watkins, MD
Vice President, Axis Healthcare Group

Andrea Watkins, MD

Dr Andrea Watkins is a psychiatrist with the AXIS Healthcare Group. Her clinical responsibilities primarily are dedicated to working in the outpatient clinic in Kensington. Previous to working with Axis, she worked as an Attending at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Towson on the Inpatient Young Adult Unit. At Sheppard Pratt, she also served as a staff psychiatrist in the Partial Hospital Program where she worked with patients suffering from mood, psychotic and dual diagnosis disorders. Dr Watkins also dedicated her time in the realm of education by working in medical student teaching. In addition, she directed Resident teaching in the telepsychiatry clinic which served patients on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

She holds a B.S. from Spelman College. She received an M.D. and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of NC at Chapel Hill. Dr Watkins completed her residency training at the University of MD-Sheppard Pratt where she also served as Chief Resident. She holds a board certification in Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Watkins clinical interests lie in Quality Improvement and Healthcare Prevention. She has clinical research experience in the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. She also has experience in Community Based Participatory Research where she has focused on programs to treat depression in African American women.

Our Providers

Ali Abbas, MD
Psychiatrist at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

Ali Abbas, MD

Dr. Abbas is a psychiatrist at Medstar Southern Maryland Medical Center.

Rashelle Browne, MD
Medical Director at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital

Rashelle Browne, MD 

Dr. Rashelle Browne is an attending psychiatrist with AXIS Healthcare Group and is the Medical Director of the Behavioral Health Unit at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital in Germantown, Maryland. She also conducts telepsychiatry services through Mindcare Solutions, an affiliate company with AXIS Healthcare Group. Previous to working with AXIS, she was an assistant professor and attending psychiatrist at George Washington University in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health in Washington, DC. Dr. Browne is currently licensed in Maryland, Virginia, Maine, Montana, and Georgia.

Dr. Browne is board certified at the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She completed her Psychiatry Residency training and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship training at The University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. She received her medical degree at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Shanique Cartwright, MD
Psychiatrist at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
Dida Ganjoo, MD
Psychiatrist at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

Dida Ganjoo, MD

Dr. Ganjoo is a psychiatrist at Medstar Southern Maryland Medical Center.

Lisa Gordon, MD
Psychiatrist at Suburban Hospital
Asim Haracic, MD
Psychiatrist

Asim Haracic, MD

Dr. Haracic is a psychiatrist for Axis Healthcare Group at Suburban Hospital. He is also on the clinical staff of the Meyer Treatment Center of the Washington School of Psychiatry, and a faculty member in the Residency Training Program, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. His military experience includes being a surgeon in the War in Bosnia from 1992-1995, and a counselor for psychiatric assessment and crisis intervention in the Counseling Center for Traumatized People and Victims of Torture and War Trauma, Sarajevo, Bosnia, 1994-1995.

Dr. Haracic holds an MD from the University Medical Center, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has done post-graduate work in Transactional Analysis, Psychotherapy Training, at the Yugoslav Association of TA, Center for Mental Health, University Medical Center, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. He had residencies in the Psychiatry Residency Training Program at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Washington D.C., and in the Clinic for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University Clinical Center, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. He had a Fellowship with the Baltimore-Washington Institute for Psychoanalysis.

He is licensed in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, and holds a certification with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Affiliation:

Suburban Hospital

Surendra Kandel, MD
Psychiatrist at Providence Hospital

Surendra Kandel, MD

Dr. Kandel is an attending psychiatrist with AXIS Healthcare Group at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. Previous to working with AXIS, he was an attending psychiatrist in the Behavioral Health Service at the Winchester Medical Center, in Winchester, Virginia. Dr. Kandel is licensed in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland.

Dr. Kandel did his psychiatry residency training at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. His medical diploma (MBBS, Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery) is from Kathmandu University, Nepal. Dr. Kandel has affiliations with the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association. He holds a USMLE Step-3 certification. Publications include The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Ethical and Legal Implications of Internet-Based Access to Substances of Abuse, Klein C, Kandel S, 39:3:407-411 (2011).

Affiliation:

Suburban Hospital

Khaled Khalafallah, MD
Psychiatrist at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital
Michael Knable, DO, DFAPA
Neuro-psychiatrist at Suburban Hospital

Michael Knable, DO, DFAPA

Dr. Knable is Executive Director of the Sylvan C. Herman Foundation and Medical Director of Clearview Communities, LLC. After receiving undergraduate and medical degrees at Ohio University, he trained in Psychiatry at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and in Neurology at George Washington University Hospital, and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Knable was a Clinical Associate at the National Institute of Mental Health from 1992–1998 where his research focused on severe mental illnesses. He was then Medical Director or Executive Director of The Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) from 1998-2008. Dr. Knable is the author of more than 70 publications on various aspects of neuropsychiatric disease including “Surviving Manic Depression: A Manual on Bipolar Disorder for Parents, Families and Providers.”

Dr. Knable currently holds several other leadership roles including: Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Suburban Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine; Chairman of the Psychiatric Advisory Board at the Treatment Advocacy Center, Assistant Clinical Professor at George Washington University; and Adjunct Professor at the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine. Dr. Knable was recently elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (DFAPA) and as a member of the American College of Psychiatrists.

Rosario Nunez-Brito, MD
Associate Medical Director at Suburban Hospital

Rosario Nunez-Brito, MD

Dr. Nunez-Brito is the Associate Medical Director of the Outpatient Program for Axis Healthcare Group at Suburban Hospital. She also teaches psychiatry to Georgetown University Family Practice Residents, and has a private practice partnership with Bernardo Hirshman, MD and Jose A. Apud, MD/Phd. She has admitting privileges at Suburban Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine and Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Dr. Nunez-Brito has an MD from Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University. Her psychiatric residency was at St. Elizabeth’s Psychiatry Residency Training in Washington D.C., and she had a fellowship at the Washington-Baltimore Psychoanalytic Institute. She also has a master’s degree in Latin American Literature from Maryland University. Dr. Nunez-Brito is Board certified at the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

From Dr. Nunez-Brito: I am a psychiatrist who specializes in adults, all from age 17 up. I treat a broad spectrum of disorders from serious mental illness to stress caused by the vicissitudes of daily living. As a physician I consider my first duty to help alleviate pain, psychological pain on my specialty. I believe that if I can create a genuine and caring environment, my patients will certainly find the help they need.

Affiliation:

Suburban Hospital

John Seed, MD
Psychiatrist at Kensington Outpatient Clinic

Jack Seed is a psychiatrist. He received his medical degree at St. Louis University School of Medicine and completed his residency training there as well.

He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and is licensed to practice in Maryland, DC and Virginia.
 
Jack has extensive experience in working with adult patients in a variety of out-patient, residential and hospital settings.
William Haynes
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at Kensington Outpatient Clinic
Waritta Howell, PA-C
Physician Assistant at MedStar St Mary's Hospital and Lexington Park Outpatient Clinic
Samantha Scherzinger CRNP-PMH
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at Suburban Hospital

Samantha Scherzinger

Samantha Scherzinger is a nurse practitioner who completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. She is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) credentialing center and licensed by MD and DC as an a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Samantha has previous experience working children, adolescents and adults in community mental health and in crisis services. She has a strong interest in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Immaculata Ulu, CRNP-PMH
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lisa M. Vandemark, PMHNP-BC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Lisa M. Vandemark

Lisa M. Vandemark is a psychiatric nurse practitioner who received her graduate degree from Rush University in Chicago, IL. She is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and licensed in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Delaware to treat children, adults, and older adults with mental and substance use disorders. Lisa has previous experience in nursing education and health services research, and clinical experience in community mental health and nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Psychotherapists

Rebecca Abell, PsyD
Psychologist at Kensington Outpatient Clinic

Dr. Rebecca Abell provides individual, couples, and group psychotherapy at the Kensington Outpatient Clinic. She is a licensed psychologist in the state of Maryland. Dr. Abell approaches psychotherapy from a psychodynamic perspective and integrates other theoretical perspectives as useful. She places importance on clients' understanding of the world by looking at their early experiences, thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and the therapeutic relationship. Dr. Abell graduated from The George Washington University with a Doctor of Psychology and has a background in both inpatient and outpatient hospital work at Jacobi Medical Center, George Washington University Hospital, and Suburban Hospital. 

Rich Chvotkin, LCSW
Psychotherapist at Kensington Outpatient Clinic

Richard Chvotkin received his Master of Social Work Degree in 1969 from Virginia Commonwealth University. He served six years on active duty in the US Army Social Work Department and completed an additional twenty-two years in the reserves, retiring in 1997 with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He spent six months in Operation Desert Storm in the First Gulf War as a member of a Combat Stress Control Unit.

Richard spent forty-two years on the social-work staff of the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, DC on several inpatient units, including child, adolescent, and, adult, and he was Director of Social Work from 2013 until 2016. He was a psychotherapist in PIW's out-patient clinic, specializing in working with children, adolescents, and adults as well as couple and family therapy. He has supervised graduate social-work students for the past forty-four years he has done play-by-play for Georgetown University Mens Basketball for the past forty-three years 

Nadine Lavender-Petersen, LCSW-C
Psychotherapist at Kensington Outpatient Clinic

Nadine Lavender-Petersen, LCSW

Following her heart’s desire as a young girl, Nadine Lavender-Peterson has been practicing psychotherapy for 33 years. She enjoys individual and couple psychotherapy in insight-oriented dynamic treatment. She receives great joy when a patient begins to develop curiosity, authentic self-expression, and authorship for their unique life’s calling.

Ms. Lavender-Peterson graduated from the Catholic University of America in 1978 and has completed courses in psychotherapy from the Washington School of Psychiatry and the International Institute of Object Relations Training Program. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Washington Society for Jungian psychology, and is a member of the Association for Psychoanalytic Thought, through the Baltimore Washington Center for Psychoanalysis.

Welcome to the adventure of your inner self.

Barbara Perez, MSW, LICSW, LCSW-C
Psychotherapist at Friendship Heights Outpatient Clinic

Barbara Perez, MSW, LICSW, LCSW-C

Barbara Perez is a therapist /clinical social worker with over 20-years experience. She is a certified Maryland Board Supervisor  who received her MSW from The University of Maryland School of Social Work.  Barbara completed programs at The Washington School of Psychiatry in psychodynamic theory and group psychotherapy.  She is a substance abuse counselor who received her training at The National Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Addictions.  Barbara was on staff at Chestnut Lodge Hospital as a therapist to adolescents and their families.  Prior to working with AXIS Healthcare Group, she was the lead therapist at The Psychiatric Institute of Washington's outpatient department where she practiced with a diverse population in one-on-one, couples and family therapy.  Barbara integrates insight-oriented therapy, substance abuse counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness techniques. Within a supportive environment, Barbara encourages clients to work through their challenges to meet their goals. Barbara services patients at our Friendship Heights Outpatient Clinic located at 5335 Wisconsin Ave NW, Suite 440, Washington, DC 20015.

Bonnie Gallagher, LCSW-C
Psychotherapist

Bonnie Gallagher, LCSW-C

Bonnie Gallagher is a psychotherapist with the AXIS Healthcare Group, where she provides clinical services to clients with dementia living in Assisted Living facilities, and support services to family members. Previous to working with AXIS, she was a psychotherapist at the Green Door Clinic. She has had extensive experience working with the D.C. Commission on Mental Health Services, as a supervising clinical social worker, Special Assistant to the Director of Child and Youth Services, diagnostic team leader, and case manager. She has a private practice where she provides individual psychotherapy services and clinical supervision to graduate level social workers in preparation for licensing.

She has a Masters in Clinical Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is a graduate of the four-year adult psychotherapy program of the Baltimore-Washington Institute for Psychoanalysis, and the two-year program in neuroscience and psychoanalytic thought at the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis. She was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Clinical Psychology at George Washington University from 2010 to 2012. She has held many professional and leadership positions, including appointments to the DC Board of Social Work and the DC Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Child Abuse & Neglect, and President of the Association for Psychoanalytic Thought (an affiliate of the Baltimore-Washington Society for Psychoanalysis).