Welcome to Summit Emotional Health
Quite simply, our practice is focused on helping individuals and families grow, connect and thrive.
Our clinicians are skilled in helping you discover and embrace the emotional health solutions that are most important to you, your family, and your relationships.
We see individuals of all ages, including families and couples.
Summit offers a comprehensive approach to emotional health that includes a complete menu of today’s most advanced, proven, and evidence-based therapeutic solutions. Our approach allows us to provide the ideal clinician for your “talk therapy” needs, while also offering the collaborative services of mindfulness, psychiatry, psychological assessment, and educational consultation.
Regardless of the approach, our goal remains the same. Helping you, or perhaps your family, achieve the insight and skills that lead to lasting emotional health and resilience.
Summit Emotional Health was founded with the goal of providing the Richmond community with a comprehensive and collaborative team of exceptionally qualified clinicians, who are committed to listening to your needs and helping you find the solution that’s tailored to your goals.
We are the only “mental health” clinic in Richmond that provides this specific set of comprehensive clinicians that includes “talk” therapists offering diverse treatment approaches as well as collaborative specialists in the areas of psychiatry, mindfulness, psychological assessment, and educational support.
Beginning with your first conversation with our welcoming specialist, we aim to distinguish ourselves from other healthcare resources in the community. We pride ourselves on responding to all initial service requests promptly within one business day, and by listening carefully to your questions and concerns to ensure that you are guided to the most appropriate care options.
Meet the Summit Team
Matt Bitsko, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Bitsko is the Founder and Director of Summit Emotional Health. He received his M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Springfield College in 1997 and worked the next four years with both elite athletes and substance-abusing adolescents and their families. Matt received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2006 and completed his Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Matt works primarily with adolescents, adults, and families, and specializes in mood, anxiety, and adjustment disorders. His eleven years on faculty at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond (CHoR) at VCU provided him with extensive experience helping clients and families address the many emotional aspects of confronting a medical diagnosis, including adjusting and thriving under such circumstances, as well as coping with grief and bereavement. While at CHoR, Matt also wrote or co-authored over 20 research articles and helped in the training and education of many future psychologists.
Matt uses a variety of clinical techniques and approaches based on the individual needs of the client and family, including Interpersonal Process Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Existential Theory. Overall, he works with all clients to navigate the many transitions of life with a focus on thriving and complete emotional health. Matt is a two-time recipient of Richmond Magazine’s “Top Docs” award.
Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and three wonderful children – who teach him more every day than any textbook could! With them, he strives to be an active husband, father, athlete and life-long learner.
Matt also enjoys serving the Richmond community. He is a current Board Member of the Cameron K Gallagher Foundation and is proud to have previously served as a Board Member of Comfort Zone Camp and ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation (Ex-Officio).
Ashley Morgan Soukup, MA, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Mrs. Soukup joined Summit in November of 2016 as a Licensed Married and Family Therapist. She received her MA in Clinical Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy from LaSalle University.
Ashley works with children, adolescents, and adults specializing in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and trauma, marital concerns, anxiety, depression, Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), substance abuse and behavioral concerns. Specifically, Ashley assists individuals and families in exploring new patterns of communication and relational engagement to support one another and promote long-lasting change within the family. In addition, Ashley provides family therapy for parents of adolescents and young adults with substance abuse disorders to process their grief associated with addiction in the family and promote healthy boundaries when their loved one returns home from inpatient and/or residential treatment.
Ashley uses an experiential therapeutic approach in conjunction with family therapy treatment approaches. Specifically, she utilizes Structural Family Therapy and Contextual Family Therapy approaches. She is also trained in Trauma Art Narrative Therapy (TANT) and Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) to assist individuals in processing traumatic life events.
Ashley enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Mike, and two energetic boys, Carter and Grady. They have visited every park in the Richmond area and spent much of their weekends at local ponds or rivers fishing for blue gills and small mouth bass. She is lucky to have three boys in the family, since she does not like to bait her own hook! During her infrequent moments of quiet time, Ashley loves to cook for friends and family, and read “chick lit” as a way to unwind.
Elizabeth Robinson, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Robinson joined Summit in November of 2016 as a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her Ph.D. in Child Clinical Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Elizabeth works primarily with adolescents and young adults, specializing in anxiety disorders (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Phobia, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), adjustment disorders, depression, as well as coping with life stressors (loss, relocation, and developmental transitions).
She also specializes in working with youth and young adults with chronic health conditions to support adjustment to and coping with diagnosis/treatment, nonadherence to medical regimens, pain management, and sleep disorders. Elizabeth previously served as a psychologist in the in the ASK Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.
Elizabeth uses an integrated therapeutic approach that includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Interpersonal Process Therapy. This approach is tailored to meet the needs of each client, their family, and his or her treatment goals.
When she is not practicing at Summit, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her husband, young daughter, and goldendoodle, Bogey, taking in all Richmond has to offer.
Louise O’Connor, MS, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Mrs. O’Connor joined Summit in October 2017 as a Licensed Professional Counselor. She received her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Studio Art from James Madison University and her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. Louise received her License of Professional Counseling in 1995 and is a member of the American Counseling Association. She is also a member and Board-Certified Counselor of the American Psychotherapy Association.
Louise works with adolescents, adults and families struggling with anxiety, depression and relationship issues. Louise also works with clients experiencing divorce, adoption, Autism Spectrum Disorders and the behavioral and emotional issues related to eating and body image.
Louise’s eclectic approach to therapy incorporates: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Person – Centered Therapy, Adlerian and Solution – Based Therapy. Her past work experience and settings include Inpatient Substance Abuse treatment for adolescents, The United Way (William Byrd Community Center), Chesterfield Mental Health Department (Substance Abuse school-based groups), Commonwealth Parenting, St. Bridget’s School and other private outpatient therapy clinics.
Louise is married with three children and a chocolate lab, who keep her spare time occupied! She also enjoys playing tennis, sports, drawing & painting, reading, and any chance to get to the Bay.
Bruce Hammond, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Mrs. Hammond joined Summit in March 2019 as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 1990.
Bruce works with clients of all ages specializing in anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorders. Bruce’s work centers around moving beyond emotional pain caused by divorce, death, difficult transitions, and other real life stressors. Her work emphasizes improving school, work, and family relationships at every developmental stage, maximizing each individuals unique strengths and competencies. Bruce provides individual, family, and couple’s therapy as well as parent consultations.
Bruce is trained in the Collaborative Divorce Model, serving as a Divorce Coach and Child Specialist. She is a member of Virginia Collaborative Professionals (VaCP) and her local practice group, Collaborative Professionals of Richmond (CPR).
As well, Bruce works as a consultant to The Steward School, providing emotional assessment, psychoeducation, and support to students, parents, faculty, and administrators.
Bruce incorporates a variety of clinical techniques based on client need, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Strength-Based Therapy, and Existential Theory, working actively and in collaboration with her clients.
Bruce loves spending time with her husband, daughter, extended family, and friends. She also enjoys volunteering in the community in a variety of ways.
Meghan Smith Lawson, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Smith Lawson joined Summit in August of 2019 to provide both psychological assessment and therapy services. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Meghan earned her doctorate in Clinical Child Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children. Meghan’s postdoctoral training focused on assessment and therapy with children who have developmental disabilities.
Meghan specializes in conducting psychological assessments, including evaluations for mental health issues, developmental disabilities, and school admissions. Within both assessment and therapy domains, Meghan often works with youth who have anxiety, depression, trauma, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD).
Meghan uses a number of therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused CBT (TF-CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Behavioral Parent Training (BPT), and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Meghan emphasizes using goals and ongoing assessment to inform therapy planning. She engages in parent consultation and family therapy to optimize therapeutic gains.
Meghan’s personal interests include traveling, hiking, reading, and spending time with her family and golden retriever.
Michele Primavera, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Primavera joined Summit in November 2019 to provide individual and group therapy to clients ages 18 and older. She earned her PhD in counseling psychology at Washington State University and completed her post-doctoral training at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a member of the American Psychological Association.
Michele brings an integrative perspective to her practice that considers the individual’s personal beliefs, cultural and societal influences, and the therapeutic relationship itself. She examines how gender, physical health, spirituality, sexual orientation, and family of origin relate to one’s mental health. In addition to working with mood and anxiety disorders, Dr. Primavera gravitates towards concerns such as: grief and loss, unresolved family of origin issues, adult AD/HD, balancing work and family, career and academic difficulties, adjustment, women’s issues and sexual orientation exploration issues.
In her free time, Michele enjoys yoga, Zumba, swimming, meditation and simply being outdoors. She is a member of a mindfulness meditation community in Richmond and attends meditation retreats locally. Other favorite relaxation activities include spending time with family and friends, as well as playing with her dog, Reggie.
Adam Bender, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Mr. Bender joined Summit in January 2020 as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He received his MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in outpatient therapy services.
Adam works with adolescents and adults specializing in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma, anxiety, depression, relationship issues and life stressors. He utilizes a client centered, strengths-based approach to assist clients in achieving their goals and objectives.
Adam believes that the client-therapist relationship is essential. His easy-going personality and use of empathy and humor has been effective in further strengthening this therapeutic relationship.
Adam is extensively trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and is currently working towards completing his certification with an EMDRIA-approved consultant. He has served on several statewide boards (CTAB and BIP Board) that advocated for the rights of victims of domestic violence.
Mr. Bender is married and a busy dad with a young son, Noah. He enjoys camping, outdoor and water activities and live music.
Adam Bender explains what EMDR is and how it can be helpful for a variety of conditions.
Bryn Schiele Moore, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Schiele Moore joined Summit in June of 2020 to provide both psychological and neuropsychological assessment and therapy services. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Bryn earned her doctorate in School Psychology from the University of South Carolina and completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota Medical School in the departments of psychiatry and pediatric psychology. Her training focused on psychological and neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents, as well as individual and group therapy for anxiety, OCD, mood disorders, disordered eating and other issues that present in childhood. She received specialized training to assist in coping with acute and chronic physical illnesses and in identifying PANDAS/PANS.
Bryn specializes in conducting assessments of children, adolescents and young adults in which she strives to identify unique strengths and weaknesses, as well as provide a better understanding of developmental differences or concerns (e.g., attention, anxiety, mood dysregulation, impulse control, processing speed, memory, learning, giftedness, executive functions). In addition to general intelligence and school admission testing, she is particularly skilled in differential diagnosis of co-occurring ADHD symptoms, learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, autism spectrum, and/or disruptive behavior disorders.
Bryn also enjoys helping young people and their families through therapy and consultation. She works collaboratively to address emotional, behavioral and cognitive concerns utilizing a strengths-based, supportive, and affirming approach. She offers various evidence-based treatment approaches, including: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Parent Management Training (PMT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT).
Bryn is a native Texan and she and her husband are happy to call Richmond their new home. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, fitness, ballet, and theatre.
Haley Kutner, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Haley Kutner joined Summit in September of 2021 as a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her doctorate from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and completed her internship at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Haley subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical health psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University before holding a faculty position in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine. Upon returning to Richmond, Haley has been providing care to the community for the past several years.
Haley’s overall therapy goals are to help her clients identify and address the barriers and stressors that interfere with their ability to lead productive and fulfilling lives. She utilizes this overarching principle to address the various presenting needs of her clients from helping an individual cope with a primary medical illness to addressing stressors associated with life transitions, interpersonal conflicts, or primary anxiety or depression. Haley draws from several therapy approaches including cognitive behavioral, internal family systems, and interpersonal therapy as well as integrating hypnosis, relaxation based techniques, and EMDR into her practice in order to meet each individual’s needs. She is trained in clinical hypnosis through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and continues to pursue additional training for the treatment of children and adults.
Haley works with individuals across the lifespan, specializing in addressing the emotional and behavioral aspects of medical conditions, identifying and modifying lifestyle behaviors that serve as risk factors for disease progression, and providing pre-surgical psychological evaluations for individuals considering bariatric surgery. She also has extensive experience working with children, adolescence and parents to address anxiety, depression, school related concerns, and family stressors. Originally from New Jersey, Haley is happy to call Richmond home for the past five years and enjoys spending time with her family.
Kristen Norton, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Kristen joined Summit in October 2021 as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her MSW from the University of South Carolina in 2006 and has been working in mental health for fifteen years at different levels (inpatient, outpatient, and community services).
Kristen works with adolescents and adults specializing in trauma related disorders, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, LGBTQ+ issues, and personality disorders.
Kristen’s primary therapeutic approaches include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She believes in creating a safe and supportive environment for people in order to encourage therapeutic learning and growth.
In her free time, Kristen enjoys collecting and listening to vinyl records, spending time with her family, attending comic conventions, and gardening. She uses she/her pronouns.
John Lynch, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
John Lynch joined Summit Emotional Health in 2021 and brings with him more than 30 years of personal and professional growth and experience. Dr Lynch has published books on men’s issues and conflict management and has developed a series of audio files to assist people with surgery recovery.
Dr. Lynch received an MS from Madison College in 1975 and spent many year working in the Stafford, Fredericksburg and Henrico school systems as both a school psychologist and director of pupil personnel. He received an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1986 and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 1989 and has worked in community mental health, psychiatric hospitals, and the Veterans Administration in addition to maintaining a private practice since 1991.
In addition to anxiety and depression, his specialty areas include couples therapy/relationship issues, men’s issues, stress and conflict management, and trauma recovery. His goal is to help individuals reconnect with their original desires and live more meaningful and productive lives.
Visit Dr. Lynch’s book and media page to learn more.
Dr. John Lynch outlines a simple and effective coping skill.
Nani Moskal, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Nani joined Summit in June 2022 as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). She earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2017. Nani enjoys working with adolescents, young adults, adults, and families. She has experience working with individuals struggling with addiction and substance use disorders, along with co-occurring mental health diagnoses, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, ADHD and trauma.
After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington, Nani spent two and a half years working in wilderness therapy and outdoor programming with adolescents struggling to succeed in conventional programs. She has over a decade of professional experiences working with adolescents, adults and families in various settings, including facilitating group therapy and individual sessions.
Nani uses a strength-based approach when working with clients and families, utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques throughout the session. She is passionate about working with her clients to help them to better understand the disease of addiction, repair relationships, eliminate stigma against mental health disorders and return to a healthy and balanced life. In addition to being a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Nani is trained in American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria, a Qualified Mental Health Professional working with Children (QMHP-C), and a certified SMART Recovery group facilitator.
In her free time, Nani enjoys hiking, drinking iced coffee, painting, exploring National Parks, laughing with friends, and spending time with her dog. She uses she/her pronouns.
Anjali Ferguson, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Gillian Regan, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Regan joined Summit in December of 2022 as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She completed her APA-accredited internship at Children’s National in Washington, DC, followed by her postdoctoral fellowship at Levine Children’s/Atrium Health in Charlotte, NC.
Gillian works primarily with school-age children, adolescents, and adults with mood, anxiety, and adjustment-related concerns as it relates to life transitions and stressors as well as issues surrounding grief and loss. Dr. Regan previously served as a Pediatric Psychologist at Levine Children’s, with a faculty appointment through Wake Forest School of Medicine. She has particular expertise in working with children, families, and adults diagnosed with acute and chronic medical conditions, including cancer and blood disorders.
Dr. Regan focuses on providing compassion and empathy through a collaborative and integrative therapy process. She primarily utilizes components from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), and interpersonal therapy in order to uniquely tailor treatment based on individual and family needs. In addition to individual therapy, she has experience leading group-based interventions.
Gillian is originally from Washington, DC, though excited to return to family and friends in Richmond. She is happily married and has two young children – a son and a daughter. She enjoys being active and outdoors with her family and friends and the family’s yellow lab, Tucker.
Stacy Swider, MSW, Clinical Coordinator
Stacy joined Summit in September of 2019 as Clinical Coordinator. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Oneonta and Master’s in Social Work from VCU. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Stacy has worked in the non-profit sector for most of her career.
Stacy serves as the initial contact for all new and prospective clients, supporting them on their quest for effective emotional support and overall well-being for themselves and family members. Through responsive and compassionate consultation, she strives to connect individuals and families with the appropriate Summit Clinicians or, if necessary, providers within the Richmond community based on their unique concerns and needs.
When not cheering on her active sons at a sporting event, Stacy loves photography and relaxing with her family and sweet dog, Jeter. To contact Stacy directly, please call 804-562-6557 x 713 or email Stacy.Swider@Summit-EH.com.
Amanda Brichta, CMT, Clinical Coordinator
Amanda joined Summit in October of 2020 as a Clinical Coordinator. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from James Madison University and is a certified medical massage therapist and Reiki I practitioner. Amanda started her career in environmental public policy work in DC and organically transitioned into the world of holistic health and wellness, with talk therapy and meditation at the forefront of the journey.
Amanda provides a caring and compassionate initial contact for all new and prospective clients, as they begin or continue on their path to finding the right Summit Team Member for their unique needs. When needed, a thoughtful referral will be given to aid finding care outside of the practice as well.
A loving mom to three awesome kids and her beloved dog, Amanda loves hiking, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen and planning life’s next adventure. To contact Amanda directly, please call 804-562-6557 x 708 or email email@example.com
Emma Taggart, Front Desk Administrator
Emma joined Summit in March of 2023 as Front Desk Administrator. After graduating from VCU School of Arts in 2016, she spent time traveling across the US and abroad and working in restaurants and set decorating. Emma takes pride in ensuring each client feels comfortable and welcome from the moment they walk in the door. She is passionate about serving others and hopes to provide our clients with the best service and care. Emma is personally a strong advocate for mental health advocacy and services and believes that everyone should have the opportunity to better themselves.
Emma loves the Richmond restaurant scene, cats, gaming, and camping.
Chas Hall, MD, Child Psychiatrist
Dr. Hall joined Summit in January 2016 as a child psychiatrist. A Richmond native, Dr. Hall graduated from St. Christopher’s School and the University of Virginia. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer and received his M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University (MCV/VCU). He completed his residency in Family Medicine at Riverside Family Practice in Newport News and General Psychiatry at MCV/VCU. He completed his fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at VCU’s Virginia Treatment Center for Children. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Dr. Hall provides continuity of care to children and young adults aged 3 to 22, with focus on outpatient diagnostic evaluation and pharmacotherapy, and case management of family needs and resources. He specializes in medication management and coordination of care for clients with neurodevelopmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Hall is a six-time recipient of Richmond Magazine’s “Top Doc” award.
Dr. Hall especially enjoys time with his family, his wife Emily and teenage sons Bowen and Willy. They spend as much time as possible on the water, in the woods, or at the soccer field.
Tamara A. Orr, PhD, LCP, PMHNP-BC
Psychologist and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Dr. Orr joined Summit in September of 2018 as a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and a Licensed Psychologist. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (2003) with specializations in behavioral medicine and neuropsychology from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Tamara completed her Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Life Span) certification at VCU in 2014 and is Board Certified by the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Tamara offers medication evaluation and management of mental health disorders for adults of all ages. She partners with clients to provide personalized mental health care by focusing on health education, wellness promotion and prevention of disease. Strategies used include psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and monitoring the effects on mental health and wellness. Tamara collaborates with psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers and other health professionals to provide coordinated client care and case management.
Outside of Summit, Tamara is employed at VCU in the Department of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care. She volunteers at CrossOver Ministries, a local non-profit health clinic, to provide psychiatric medication management. Tamara delights in time with her family, singing in her church choir, gardening, bicycling and travel.
Melissa Nelson, MD
Dr. Melissa Nelson joined Summit in May of 2023. Originally from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, she received her Bachelor of Science from Virginia Tech and her Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University (MCV/VCU). She completed her residency training at the Weill Cornell University Medical Center at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. She has additional fellowship training in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from the Rose F. Kennedy Center at Albert Einstein University. In 2004, Dr. Nelson moved to Richmond with her family, where she joined Pediatric Associates of Richmond until February 2023.
Recognizing the increasing need to support children and young adults with mental and behavioral health challenges in our community, Dr. Nelson returned to her original fellowship training skills and began formally retooling with the support of the University of Virginia in 2019. In addition to her coursework, she became a Blue Ridge LEND Fellow (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities).
As a board certified pediatrician with over 20 years of experience, Dr. Melissa Nelson is dedicated to providing a comprehensive approach to children and teens facing behavioral and mental health challenges. Her expertise includes treating anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorders, managing behavioral problems, providing parenting skills, and evaluating and diagnosing autism spectrum disorders.
Dr. Nelson has served as the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics of Bon Secours – St. Mary’s Hospital and the Medical College of Virginia’s Alumni Board of Directors. She currently serves on the ChildSavers board, Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors, and the Governor’s PANDAS/PANS Advisory Council.
Dr. Nelson has been recognized by her peers in Richmond Magazine’s annual Top Docs issue (2010, 2013, 2016 – 2023) and received one of the YWCA’s 2015 Outstanding Women Awards for her dedication and efforts to establish an independent children’s hospital in Richmond.
In her free time, Dr. Nelson and her husband, Dr. Kinloch Nelson, have three children and enjoy spending time with family and friends.
See how Dr. Melissa Nelson approaches her work as a physician with her patients at Summit Emotional Health.
Alma Morgan, M.Ed, Educational Consultant
Mrs. Morgan joined Summit in January of 2016 as an Educational Consultant. Alma received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in English from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and her master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Special Education from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She is certified in working with students with learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, and English.
Alma has over thirty-eight years of education experience across a variety of educational sectors, including: public school, private school, adult education, correctional facilities, and hospital education. For the past thirty years she has dedicated herself to providing educational support services to children and adolescents in the ASK Pediatric Oncology/Hematology Clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. She specializes in the development of Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and 504 Plans, which assist students in developing the necessary accommodations to promote academic success in the classroom. While providing consultation on necessary student accommodations, Alma also acts as an advocate for the family and a liaison with the school system to ensure the most appropriate educational plan for academic achievement.
Alma provides individualized consultations for families, as well as educational testing services to determine areas of academic strengths and deficiencies. She believes it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of a child’s strengths and barriers in order to best determine their needs. For transition age students, she serves as a resource for college and professional planning by offering career assessments and consultation services.
Alma’s passion is engaging with young people, including spending time with her two grandsons, Carter and Grady. While it may seem like work, she enjoys coordinating programs and events for ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation, such as weekend retreats, after-school tutoring programs and summer camps.
Collin McConaghy, M.Ed., CSCS, CMT, CMF, Mindfulness Consultant
Coach McConaghy joined Summit in October 2020 as a Mindfulness Consultant. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Richmond and graduate degree from Liberty University before completing his Mindfulness Teacher Certification through The Innerwork Center in Richmond under the leadership of Philip Davidson, Kay Davidson and Susan Wilkes. Collin is a Certified Mindfulness Facilitator through Mindful Leader.
Collin consults with individuals of all ages who are interested in developing a mindfulness practice as a life skill for peak performance, stress management and peace of mind. Specifically, Collin helps clients understand the link between a healthy mind and a healthy body through the awareness of how mindfulness, exercise, nutrition and sleep play a vital role in their well-being. Using formal and informal practices, his work focuses on leading clients to cultivate mindfulness-based strategies that will enable them to face difficult challenges and develop emotionally intelligent leadership skills. These sessions are a non-therapeutic approach to personal growth, and not intended to replace professional help related to mental or physical health.
Outside of Summit, Collin serves as a Co-Founder of the Peavey Project, a Richmond based non-profit that teaches mindfulness and mental performance strategies to teams and corporations. Collin is also the Head Football Coach at Collegiate School. He also works with various youth sports organizations in the Richmond area and a number of college and high school student-athletes.
Collin is an avid fan of football and working out. As a former collegiate football player at the University of Richmond, he enjoys cheering on his Spiders on the field and court. He and his wife Trisha have three children, Porter, Libby and Cam, and as a family enjoy playing sports, being outside, and hanging out with friends and family.
Jake McDonald, M.Ed., CMF, Mindfulness Consultant
Jake joined Summit in October of 2020 as a Mindfulness Consultant. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 2011, where he majored in History, minored in Creative Writing and played lacrosse, serving as team captain his senior year. In 2014, he earned a Master’s of Education in Sport Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. Jake currently serves as an Upper School Mindfulness, Health and Wellness and Leadership teacher, a football and lacrosse coach and the Associate Director of Summer Programs at the Collegiate School.
Jake is happy to consult with individuals of any age who are interested in developing a mindfulness practice as a tool for enhanced well-being or peak performance. Specifically, he helps clients develop their awareness to better distinguish the fine line between reacting and responding. By coming from this place of response, we are better able to be more intentional in how to navigate the wide range of opportunities and challenges in our life. Jake is a Certified Mindfulness Facilitator, who has been studying peak performance for the past 8 years and has been teaching mindfulness for the past 5 years. These sessions are a non-therapeutic approach to personal growth, and not intended to replace professional help related to mental or physical health.
He and his wife, Molly, have a 9-month-old son named Ned and they love cooking, listening to music of all kinds, trying out different Richmond restaurants and being outside with their two dogs – Murray and Tucker.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our clients seek support for a wide variety of concerns, including:
- Grief and bereavement
- Attention and learning disabilities
- Adjustment to chronic illness
- School success
- Behavioral concerns
- Parent training and behavior management
- Stress management/relaxation
- Anger management
- Acute and post-traumatic stress
- Transition/adjustments to divorce, the workplace and step-family issues
- Education transitions (middle/high school, college, or the workplace)
New Client Inquires
Existing Client Billing Questions
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Other Client Requests
For rescheduling or canceling appointments, or telehealth technical difficulties, please email or leave a voicemail for your clinician. If you do not have your clinician’s contact information, please email email@example.com.