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.

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
jschmidt@thecolemaninstitute.com

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@thecolemaninstitute.com

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.

Jelisa Clanton

Jelisa Clanton
Admissions Coordinator

Jelisa Clanton is the Admissions Coordinator for the Coleman Institute for Addiction Medicine. She has an associate’s degree in healthcare administration and has worked in the medical office setting for six years prior to joining our team. She finds fulfillment in helping others and loves being a part of helping them through their treatment journey. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with loved ones and traveling.

Tina Adams

Tina Adams
Medical Assistant

Tina Adams is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant with the Coleman Institute. Before joining us, Tina worked with the United States military and Department of Homeland Security in Operation Allies Welcome at Fort Pickett, in Blackstone, Virginia. Tina has a cat and three grown children. In her spare time she loves to cook, garden, and take drives to the beach.

Angela Wilson

Angela Wilson
Practice Manager
awilson@thecolemaninstitute.com

Angela Wilson is the Practice Manager for the Coleman Institute. She is responsible for daily operations and critical processes in the Richmond, VA, office. Before joining our practice, Angela worked in the medical and dental fields for almost 15 years, but her passion for helping others recover from addiction led her to join the Coleman Institute. In her free time, Angela loves to write, play piano, be outdoors, and spend time with her two almost-grown daughters.

Alicia Barreto-Whitaker

Alicia Barreto-Whitaker, MA, CSAC-S
Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Supervisor

Alicia Barreto-Whitaker is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Supervisee for The Coleman Institute. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2018, and graduated with her Master’s degree in Human Service Counseling Addictions & Recovery in 2022. She has worked in the health care field for 17 years in various roles starting in the background of nursing and administration. Prior to joining our team, she worked at VCU Health Systems for 10 years and acquired her foundation of counseling modalities at RBHA and FCCR/Richmond. She has 8 years of experience helping individuals who suffer from substance use and co-occurring illnesses, and 6 years of experience in the Addictions Psychiatry field helping the specialty population of individuals who were Health Care Professionals who struggled with chemical dependency and co-occurring illnesses who were apart of the Health Care Practitioners Monitoring Program receive treatment and return to practice safely. Currently, she is in Liberty University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program for her LPC. “My passion is to be the type of Clinician who specializes in helping individuals maximize their highest potential and wellness towards sustained sobriety and recovery.”

Outside of her work and studies, she loves kickboxing, watching classic shows, and spending time with her family.

Let's Take the Next Step Together.

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