Our Staff

Our Staff

Richmond, Virginia

Brittany Ilagan

Brittany Ilagan
Nurse Practitioner

Brittany Ilagan is an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner who started working at the Coleman Institute in January 2022. Her nursing experience includes working at VCU Health System for 6 years on a Progressive Care Medicine Unit. She received both her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and Master’s of Science in Nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is excited to work with each patient to help them be successful in their treatment journey. Outside of work, Brittany enjoys traveling, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and being outdoors either at the river or beach.

Caitlin McManus

Caitlin McManus
Nurse Practitioner

Caitlin McManus recently joined the Coleman Institute for Addiction Medicine as a Nurse Practitioner. She worked at VCU Health System for 9 years prior to joining this team, gaining experience in acute care medicine and, more recently, in an outpatient setting at the Sickle Cell Clinic. She received a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Nursing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Caitlin finds the many aspects of addiction medicine to be intriguing and enjoys assisting each individual on their path to success. When she is not working, Caitlin likes to spend time outside with her husband and dog, enjoys walking and running, and loves to try new restaurants around Richmond.

Joan Shepherd
Nurse Practitioner

Joan Shepherd has been a Nurse Practitioner with The Coleman Institute since 2008. She enjoys both the medical and coaching aspects of this position and has received certifications for completing programs at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Martha Beck Life Coaching, and as a 200 hour Yoga Works instructor.

Outside of work she hikes mountains with her husband, spends time with her family and enjoys running, yoga and calligraphic arts.

Loren Lee

Loren Lee
Nurse Practitioner

Loren Lee joined the Coleman Institute in January 2022 as a Nurse Practitioner. Loren received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Penn State University and her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University. She began her nursing career on an inpatient medicine unit at VCU Health for five years before transitioning to the nurse practitioner role. Loren enjoys educating and supporting her patients during each step of their recovery journey. Outside of work, Loren enjoys traveling, skiing, and being outdoors.

Johnnelle Taliaferro

Johnnelle Mayo
Medical Assistant

Johnnelle Mayo has worked as a Certified Medical Assistant for 13 years and has been with the Coleman Institute since 2019. Johnnelle is a quiet force on our clinical team. She is a dedicated and highly skilled medical professional, who anticipates the needs of both practitioners and patients and always has a smile on her face. When you ask Johnnelle what she loves about her job, she answers: “As clichéd as it sounds, I simply love helping people. Seeing patients come out on the other side of whatever it is that they are going through is very gratifying. Serving this population in particular is so rewarding. Just offering them a smiling face and a kind word of encouragement can have such a positive impact. To be a part of their journey is a gift… you calm them and they teach you.”

When Johnnelle is not working with us, she is working at a local hospital Emergency Room as an ER Medical Technician. When at home, she loves spending time with family, reading, writing poetry, and listening to music. And she is a talented wreath maker!

Kim Perry

Kimberly Perry
Medical Assistant

Kimberly Perry has worked as a Certified Medical Assistant for 12 years and has been with the Coleman Institute since 2013. In Kim’s tenure here, she has worked every area of the clinic. She currently works as our Front Desk Receptionist and greets every visitor with a big smile. Kim is passionate about her work and our patients and says: “Working in addiction medicine has been the most rewarding experience. It has allowed me to meet the most amazing people. My favorite part is helping our patients realize they can manage this disease and achieve their goals.”

Kim has a special way with patients and is often heard engaging in a big laugh with them. Her passion and compassion shine through every day. Outside of work, Kim enjoys spending time with family, traveling, camping and drawing wildlife with pen and ink.

Kristal Bacchus

Kristal Bacchus
Fiscal Clerk and Front Desk

Kristal Bacchus has been the Fiscal Clerk and Front Desk professional at our Richmond office since 2020. Kristal is a certified medical biller and coder who joined us from the Richmond Ambulance Authority. Outside of work, she enjoys family time and meditation (better known as shoe- and purse-shopping). She enjoys developing relationships with patients that ensure everyone either hangs up or leaves with a smile.

Kelsey Markel

Kelsey Markel, QMHP-T
Recovery Support Specialist

Kelsey Markel is the Recovery Support Specialist for The Coleman Institute. She graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Roanoke College in 2021 and is working toward her Qualified Mental Health Professional-Adult Certification. Kelsey has worked as an Adult Mental Health Case Manager in Southwestern Virginia and was an intern for a facility that specialized in Equine Therapy. Kelsey is passionate about helping others with accomplishing their needs and goals. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys hiking, kayaking, horseback riding and line dancing.

Judi Schmidt

Judith Schmidt
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Judith Schmidt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and case manager who joined the Coleman Institute in March 2020. She has worked in the substance abuse field since 2000 in many roles, including Director, Counselor, and Clinical supervisor—all within the realm of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Minor in Substance Abuse and a Masters of Social Work, both from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her passion is helping people who are seeking treatment to begin regaining their lives through the use of many interventions but group dynamics, in particular. When she is not at work she enjoys spending time with family and friends and visiting the Shenandoah Valley to relax in the beauty of the mountains.

Jennifer Pius Gifford
Director of Patient Experience & Affiliate Operations

Jennifer Pius Gifford is the Director of Clinical Services for The Coleman Institute. Her main role is providing support and medical information for potential patients and their family as well as performing clinical assessments to ensure each patient is appropriate for our services. She is the guiding voice on the phone helping those who are struggling with addiction. Jennifer holds a Bachelors Degree in Recreational Therapy and a minor in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. After several years of working as a therapist, she began her career at The Coleman Institute in March 2000.

During her spare time, Jennifer enjoys running, yoga, traveling and cheering on her favorite college basketball team, the VCU Rams. Her daughter also keeps her busy with gymnastics and cheerleading practices.

Martha Kroupa
Office/Project Manager

Martha Kroupa is the Office/Project Manager for the Coleman Institute. She is responsible for managing the daily operations and critical processes in the Richmond Virginia office and leading strategic initiatives across our national network. Before joining the Coleman Institute, Martha worked for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services as the Regional Director and Director of Training for the Veteran and Family Support Program. Martha retired from the United States Coast Guard in 2011 after a nearly 28-year career. Martha was the first female in the history of the Coast Guard to achieve the rank of Master Chief in the Health Services Corps. Martha has a background in Healthcare Administration and is currently working on her Project Management Professional certification. In her free time, Martha enjoys spending time outdoors, tending to her gardens, hiking, biking, paddling or just spending time with her wife and her pets. She enjoys encaustic painting (painting with bees wax) and many other art forms.

Andrew Blake
Chief Operating Officer

Andrew is the Chief Operating Officer for the Coleman Institute, responsible for day-to-day operations as well as strategic planning, marketing and infrastructure improvements. Andrew joined the Coleman Institute in 2015, bringing over 20 years of executive and management experience, most recently as Senior Business Director of Credit Card Operations at Capital One. Earlier in his career with Capital One, he held key positions in retail banking, marketing and strategic planning. Additionally, Andrew worked as a strategy consultant with Bain & Company in Moscow, Russia and Sydney, Australia. Prior to his business career, he was a Company Executive Officer and Platoon Leader in the United States Army.

Andrew holds a B.A. degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University, an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Stanford University, and an International MBA from the University of South Carolina. Andrew resides in Richmond with his wife, Elizabeth, and two children.

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Have questions or want to learn more? Contact us today at 877-773-3869.