Many factors surround disparate care for people, some examples include racial-ethnic, gender identity, age, community stigmas, and housing security. Access to treatment, language barriers, and affordability can all prevent people from having mental health care as part of their lives.
Watch the full Facebook Discussion with providers Dr. Diego Garza, Jim Smith, MD, Cherry Nhor, PA-C, and Louise Newton, MSW, LCSW, SEP.
Contact MindPath Care Centers 919-261-3958 for telehealth and in-person resources near you.
Dr. Diego Garza is a Medical Doctor and a master's in public health working in the medical field since 2014. His real passion is the intersection between healthcare and technology; he has been working in the telemedicine field for the past six years and has been able to develop successful programs for different organizations. Dr. Garza got his medical degree from el Tecnologico de Monterrey, the #1 school of medicine in Mexico. After that, he pursued a master's degree in public health at Gilling's School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ranked #2 in the nation in the field. During his master's degree, he was a CONACYT Scholar, a highly competitive scholarship program hosted by the National Council of Technology and Science in Mexico.
In the telemedicine field, Dr. Garza spearheaded a statewide telemedicine department in Mexico, with over 17 specialties offering services and over 40 doctors working the program, he also acted and continues to serve as one of the primary care providers for the program. After running that program and while pursuing his MPH, he became the Project Director for the NC Diabetic Retinopathy Telemedicine Network, at the Ophthalmology Department at UNC, where he was able to successfully create a program to increase access to screening services for the dialysis population in 4 counties in the state of North Carolina. In early 2017, Dr. Garza started working for MindPath Care Centers, PLLC., one of the largest private behavioral health companies in the nation. In his initial role as the Director of Telemedicine, he developed and implemented a telepsychiatry service that now employs over 160 providers and sees more than 15,000 patients per month, placing this program as the largest telemedicine program in the state of North Carolina. Now, he is currently acting as the VP of Strategy and Innovation and Director of Telehealth, where he oversees growth strategies for MindPath that are directly related to increasing the quality of healthcare services. His work at MindPath Care Centers granted him the North Carolina Health Care Hero 2018 award, given by the Triangle Business Journal to healthcare professionals that are committed to increasing the quality of services offered to the NC population.
Dr. Smith is the Medical Director Emeritus of MindPath Care Centers, LLC. He spent thirty years with the Wake County Alcoholism Treatment Center as a staff psychiatrist and over twenty years with the North Carolina Department of Correction as Chief Psychiatrist at Central Prison Mental Health. He is also the current President of the North Carolina Minority Prostate Cancer Awareness Action Team.
He completed his education at Howard University in Washington, DC where he obtained his BS and M.D. He is board-certified in Psychiatry, by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is proud to be a second-generation psychiatrist as his father preceded him in this profession and it was not surprising that he followed in his father's footsteps. He has held faculty appointments with both Duke and UNC Departments of Psychiatry. He was Chair of the Wake County Human Services from 2014 to 2019. Dr. Smith is the Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors of Urban Ministries. He has been a Board Member of the Governor's Institute on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and Catholic Social Ministries, Dioceses of Raleigh. He is a member of the North Carolina Psychiatric Association and the American Psychiatric Association. He has been on the Advisory Council Rex Prostate Cancer Center of Excellence. He was recently appointed to the Community Advisory Board of the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center. Most recently Governor Roy Cooper bestowed on Dr. Smith the "Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award."
Dr. Smith and his wife, Sandra have three sons; Anthony, Jason, and Brian. Both Jason and Brian and their spouses live in the Northern Va. area and he is most proud of his four grandchildren, Micah Alexander, Mischa Annilese, Madison Mili, and Alexandra Kaya Smith.
For Ms.Nhor, working as a mindcare provider is an honor. She enjoys being a part of people's paths towards wellness. She knows that mindcare is involved with all facets of life and, therefore, endeavors to decrease stigma and increase access to care. When working with patients, Cherry practices Positive Psychology, endorsing a collaborative, multi-systems approach towards wellness in order to find the best plan for each individual person. She is proud of the ways that her life experiences, such as abundant international travel, have helped her develop a broad frame of reference that allows her to better understand people from many different walks of life. Ms. Nhor speaks Spanish and Khmer fluently.
Education & Certifications
- Master of Health Sciences in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, NC
- Member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants
- Member of the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants
- Member of the Cambodian Health Professionals Association of America
J. Louise Newton (she/her/hers) is the Clinical Director of Psychotherapy at MindPath Care Centers and the Clinic Director of her group practice at Catalyst Somatics and Psychotherapy in Durham. Louise has been with MindPath Care Centers since early 2013. She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and her Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Louise has worked as a provider in mental health programming since 2003, providing individual and group treatment services to incarcerated and court-ordered clients with trauma-informed treatment programming, and addressing the intersection of mental health, addiction, and trauma in men's and women's gender-responsive treatment settings. More recently, Louise worked at the UNC School of Medicine as a residential therapist. She is a field instructor for the UNC School of Social Work and Smith College of Social Work graduate programs.
Louise has extensive training in motivational interviewing interventions that can be used to treat addictions, address ambivalence around pharmacotherapy, and provide support and assistance during life-changing processes. She has been a clinical educator and advocate of access to treatment for LGBTQI+ communities since 2001 and specializes in working with transgender and gender non-conforming folks, many of whom are seeking assistance in removing barriers to medical care. Louise is a Co-Founder and current Clinical Supervisor of the Gender and Sexual Diversity Initiative at MindPath Care Centers. Louise is also a fully certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and Teaching Assistant through the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute for the treatment of complex, developmental, and single incident shock traumas and their resulting mental health symptoms.