AFP Providers and Staff
AFP FAMILY PRACTICE PROVIDERS
Kate Atkinson, MD, FAAFP, Medical Director
Dr. Kate received her medical degree at UMass Medical School in 1996 and completed her Family Medicine Residency at UMass in Worcester. She began her career as a Registered Nurse in California, having received her BSN from California State University in Los Angeles. Her work in Oncology and Hospice spurred her interest to transition to medicine from nursing. Dr. Kate is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and is Board-Certified by the American Board of Family Physicians. Kate and her husband Steve live in Amherst—their 4 kids are growing up much too quickly. You can often see her family performing in local theatrical productions, dancing or playing Ultimate. In her free time Dr Kate loves spinning and paddleboard Yoga. Doctor Kate can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michele Spirko, MD, Director of Public Health
Michele received her medical degree from the University of Connecticut in 1996 and stayed on at UConn to complete her Family Medicine Residency at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. Michele has a passion for teaching and completed a Faculty Development Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, subsequently serving as faculty. She is currently Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Kinesiology at UMass Amherst. Michele and her husband have lived in Western Massachusetts since 2001, and she savored a prolonged career hiatus to stay home full-time and raise their growing family. An enthusiastic modern quilter, she can also be found cheering her kids on at sporting events, tackling DIY home projects, and expanding her perennial gardens. Time at the beach with her family (and dog!) is her favorite thing of all.
Alexis Anderkin, PA-C
Alexis grew up in Wilbraham and completed her Physician Assistant education at MCPHS University in Worcester after graduating from Worcester State. She is happy to be back in Western Mass where she enjoys being with family, reading, spending time outdoors hiking, kayaking, and snowboarding, and playing with her cat Mitts.
Katelyn Dutkiewicz, PA-C
Katelyn completed her undergraduate work at Smith College with a focus in psychology in 2004 and her degree as a physician assistant through Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science in 2008. Since then she has been happily practicing Family Medicine. She finds it a true pleasure to work with patients of all ages on their journey through life, and follows a team approach to care between patient and provider. She recognizes that health is comprised of mind, body and spirit, and passionately approaches patient care with that in mind always, embracing AFP integrative resources whenever possible. Born and raised in Westhampton, she is now happily settled back there with her husband and two beautiful daughters! Initially stationed at the Amherst office, she is now exclusively in Northampton hoping to embrace and support the community on “the other side of the bridge”! Spare time is scarce, but whenever possible she loves to stay active and fit cycling and running, gardening, and hustling around town with her children.
Charles Milch, MHP, MBA, PA-C
Charles has been a National board certified physician assistant since 1995 and has a background in engineering and information systems as well as business. Charles was the chair/program director and assistant professor of Physicians Assistant Studies at Springfield College. During his entire career as a PA, he has been and continues to be an advocate for positive lifestyle change to prevent chronic disease and improve the quality of his patients’ lives. In his free time you can find Charles biking around Amherst. He also enjoys gardening, hunting. fishing, dancing, skiing, playing the mandolin, practicing Spanish and also doing community service work in Nicaragua.
Max Prior, PA-C
A Northampton native, Max returned home to practice as a Physician Assistant. He was trained at Duke University and cut his teeth in primary care at community health centers in Asheville, NC and Springfield, MA. Seeking a focus in Psychiatry, he was delighted to find welcome at AFP in service of growing local behavioral health needs. If not for his ukulele, an ungainly regimen of home gymnastics, and a very patient partner, his own such needs would scarcely be met. For these reasons, he feels lucky and happy to help.
Mark Ryan, PA-C
Born in Missouri, Mark grew up in Sutton, MA and first moved to the Pioneer Valley while completing his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from UMass Amherst, graduating in 2015. He then went on to graduate from the Physician Assistant program at Springfield College. During his training, Mark had the opportunity to complete a clinical rotation at Atkinson Family Practice. He greatly enjoyed working with the entire staff and patients. Mark was drawn to AFP’s integrative approach to patient care and welcoming atmosphere. In his spare time, he enjoys running, playing basketball, hiking, fishing, biking, and spending time with family.
Martha Spiro, FNP
Martha’s career began at The Chicago Women’s Health Center where she worked as a lay practitioner. She found her love in patient-centered health care and in 1985, she received an MS in Nursing from University of Illinois/Chicago and her Family Nurse Practitioner certification. Martha has worked as a primary care FNP for more than thirty years. She also works at The Care Center in Holyoke, an educational setting for teen mothers. Martha will be doing palliative care and home visits, long-held passions for her and she feels lucky to have connected with AFP. Martha spends her free time with her two adult children and newly adopted grandsons; she plays guitar and sings, hikes as many mountains as she can with her dog, and swims in any body of water that’ll have her.
Miranda Tsoumas, PA-C
Originally from Belchertown, Miranda is one of our PA’s and graduated from the Springfield College Physician Assistant Program. Primary care has been a long dream of hers, and she loves building lasting relationships with her patients. Today, Miranda lives in Belchertown with her husband and enjoys spending time with her family whether it be camping, kayaking, hiking, or listening to/singing with her dad’s band. She also enjoys spending time with her sons Themis and Elias..
Sarah Vacca, PA-C
Sarah grew up in Reno, NV, but went to college in Boston, MA and stuck around ever since graduating from BU in 2012. She chose to apply to PA school and is fortunate to have attended the Springfield College PA program which allowed her to stay in the Pioneer Valley, a community she has grown to love. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with family and friends, being outside, and playing with dogs.
Anne Vaillant, Psychiatric NP
Anne Vaillant has worked in healthcare for over 30 years as a CNA, counselor, RN, nurse midwife and psychiatric nurse practitioner in community health centers, birth centers and tertiary care centers across the state. Anne joined AFP in January 2019 and is thrilled to find a holistic “medical home” where she can help to integrate primary care and mental health in one practice. Anne’s many clinical interests include mindfulness-based therapies, dialectical behavior therapy, and the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and subsequent mental and physical illness. In her spare time Anne can be found hiking with her family, gardening, fermenting, or making mosaics.
Dragonfly Collaborative Care Providers
AFP PHYSICAL/MASSAGE THERAPY
Patience Bousel, CSE, CTP, LMT
Patience has been involved in the field of natural health for over 25 years. Her work uses gentle techniques to provide deep, long-lasting relief from pain, tension, and stress. She is a certified practitioner of Clinical Somatic Education and The Trager® Approach, as well as a Licensed Massage Therapist, providing Kripalu Bodywork and therapeutic massage. Patience has an eclectic background, having studied French and Art History at Bryn Mawr College followed by music school and training as a piano and harpsichord technician. She and her husband lived in Quebec for 20 years where they raised three children and a few dogs, and where Patience embarked on her study and practice of holistic health. Personal challenges led her to the study of oriental medicine and whole foods with a certification as a Natural Health Educator. With her current focus of Somatic education, she loves helping to empower her clients to find new possibilities for physical freedom and lasting change.
Haiying Conover, LMT
Haiying is a Licensed Massage Therapist who graduated from The Massage School in Easthampton. This was a twist in her professional plans since she actually holds her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Agriculture. Haiying says she has always been told that massage therapy was her calling as she used to practice on friends and family using unique techniques she learned growing up in Northeast China. In her practice she combines many methods including Shiatsu, Acupressure, Swedish, cupping, etc. Outside the office, Haiying loves to cook and teach Tai Chi outside during the warmer months, she’s always taking new students!
Deb Ellis, MSPT, NCS
Deb is a clinical specialist in neurologic physical therapy with over 20 years of experience in a wide variety of practice settings treating people with both neurologic and orthopedic medical issues. Her current clinical focus is on treating people with acute and chronic neurologic or neuromuscular challenges including needs in the areas of balance, mobility training and functional strengthening. Additional practice encompasses group work in the specialty areas of Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis and chronic pain.
Asher Marino, LMT
Asher brings over 15 years of dedicated work experience and education to the table. As a licensed massage therapist specializing in orthopedic, myofascial and pain management therapies, Asher combines various soft-tissue modalities in order to reduce pain and improve function for all clients. Asher’s foundation is built on many years training in fitness, movement therapy and corrective exercise and offers customized and articulate manual therapy.
Emma Nawskon, LMT
Emma came to massage therapy by way of elderly care, teaching music, and addressing her own aches and pains. When helping care for her grandparents, she saw how much a massage therapist improved her grandfather’s mobility and quality of life after he’d had a series of strokes. As a music teacher, breathwork and body mechanics were at the core of her practice and got her interested in muscle tension and overuse injuries. And as a massage therapist she wants to find the imbalances and tension patterns our bodies have and correct them using Myofascial Release, Structural Integration, Trigger Point Therapy, and Active/Passive Release Techniques in order to improve mobility and function, reduce pain, prevent injury, and create long lasting results.
Anne Ye, MSPT
Anne Ye is an Orthopedic physical therapist who received her Masters of Science degree from Columbia University. Anne’s 12 years as a PT began in pediatrics in the NYC public schools. She then switched into outpatients orthopedics and has worked in private practices or hospital settings. Anne pursues further education through Continuing Education classes, and has an extensive background in dance, figure skating, Pilates, Yoga, tennis and Ultimate Frisbee. Her passion in PT is to help individuals achieve a healthy spine and better awareness of their body mechanics through functional stability and strength.
AFP BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PROVIDERS
Nora Schwartz-Martin, MD, Director of Behavioral Health
Nora joined Atkinson Family Practice in 2013. She was trained in psychiatry at New England Medical Center Cambridge Health Alliance, and Harvard University Student Services, and received training at Boston Psychoanalytic Association. She has extensive training in psychopharmacology and emergency psychiatry. The opportunity to work at an integrative medical practice AND raise her family in the town she grew up in was too good to be true, so Nora joined the AFP team. She believes she definitely made the right decision. Nora and her husband are the proud parents of two special needs teenagers, and their many talents continue to amaze them every day. In her free time, Nora loves skiing and swimming with her boys, and escaping the chaos of everyday life with her husband for date nights at the movies.
Emily Bloch, LCSW
Emily is a therapist for adults and adolescents over age 16. Emily’s clinical approach is trauma-informed and relational, starting from the position that past experiences and attachments have profound effects on our everyday lives, relationships, and ability to move forward. She specializes in working with people experiencing challenges associated with relationships, parenting (from pregnancy through empty nest), careers, aging, trauma, and grief. She has a special interest in working with those inhabiting multiple cultures and communities (through, for example, racial identity, class, immigration, religion, and gender). Emily’s previous clinical work has been in community mental health, college counseling, parenting, and hospice settings. Emily earned her degree from the Smith College School for Social Work. Emily also holds an MFA in Fiction Writing and comes to clinical social work after a first career as a writer and journalist with a focus on parenting and women’s health.
Natasha Campbell, LICSW
Natasha provides individuals who at some time have felt marginalized, rejected, oppressed, discriminated, and need a safe space to emotionally explore the psycho-dynamics of their life trials. She specializes with those struggling with depression, anxiety, OCD, gender transitioning and questioning. Using a multicultural center approach, CBT, motivational interviewing and strength-based perspective, she engages with individuals to reach their desired potential. Natasha has over 12 years of experience working with adolescents ages 13-23, families, and couples. Along with her clinical work, she currently teaches as an adjunct professor for the school of social work with both Elms and Smith Colleges. Natasha understands the need to connect privately, culturally and ethnically in therapy. She has a special interest in working with professionals, multicultural populations, African-Americans, Caribbean-Americans, Hispanic, Biracial identities, transgender, LGBTQIA, and all populations of people that struggle to comfortably address their mental health needs.
Maria McCarthy, LICSW
Maria hails from the Boston area. She went to Assumption College in Worcester and graduated from Salem State College with her masters in social work. Prior to starting with AFP, Maria was a social worker and therapist for Wing Hospital in Palmer. She enjoys working with people who have both substance abuse and mental health issues. Her hobbies include going to the beach, and spirituality.
Greg Petrosky, Ed.D
Greg received his doctorate from Boston University where he focused on developmental studies and counseling. He has extensive training in both clinical psychology and sport psychology. He and his wife served in the Peace Corps before settling in Western Massachusetts. He has been practicing as a licensed Psychologist in this area since 1995. In addition to the development of programs and consultations to schools, Greg provides individual, family, and group psychotherapy serving children, adolescents, and adults. With use of behavioral, cognitive, and family techniques he seeks to create a supportive therapeutic environment that examines each member’s readiness for growth and builds upon their individual and collective strengths. Some specific areas of interest include working with people who are struggling with concerns about their bodies and weight. He enjoys helping people understand the relationship between food and psychological health. He also works with athletes, students, and professionals interested in strengthening their psychological skills as a means to improve performance.
John Reino, CAGS, LMHC
John’s been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor since 1998 after studying psychology at Boston University, Westfield State, and Springfield College. Earlier in his career he worked on inpatient units, at outpatient clinics and on a crisis team. After this he taught psychology at a local community college and worked at the VA in a research program. For the last 17 years he’s been employed in the criminal justice system working in prison mental health and as an addictions specialist within a local jail. John is a Gulf War veteran after serving 4 years aboard a destroyer as a Naval Officer. John is primarily trained in CBT but he employs other modalities as well. He spent one semester at a training institute in psychoanalysis to explore his interest in depth-psychology. John played ice hockey for 43 years; He now trains and competes in triathlon events throughout the northeast.
Evan Shopper, LICSW
Evan earned his degree from the Smith School of Social Work, and provides a compassionate, safe, and non-judgmental atmosphere to help his clients better understand themselves and those things which create suffering in their lives. He has an honest, straightforward approach, and is warm and respectful of his clients’ struggles and strengths. Believing that everyone is affected by past experiences and relationships, Evan helps others understand how these experiences affect them so that they can find healthier ways of living.While Evan works with adults, he also specializes in working with adolescents/children. He has experience treating people with trauma and abuse, complex relationship issues, and parenting challenges. When working with children, he collaborates closely with parents and guardians to support them and their specific family needs, and also works with Spanish-speaking parents. Evan can be reached on his confidential line at (413) 835-1593
Jennifer Smolinski, E.D, J.D., M.S
Jennifer Smolinski is our child/young adult therapist with a vast array of experience. She is a trained school adjustment counselor as well as an attorney. She has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Supervisions from American International College in Springfield, MA, and she excels working directly with young people and their families. Her work at Atkinson Family Practice is as a therapist and advocate to provide support with social-emotional learning issues, anxiety, ADHD and stress management. Jennifer sees herself as part of a team working with kids and their families.
Chaia Wolf, LICSW
Chaia is trained in Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Mindfulness, Clinical Hypnosis and various meditation techniques. She has been a therapist helping individuals, couples and families transform their lives since 1997. She specializes in helping couples deepen and enrich their relationships, and parent more effectively. She is trained in Imago therapy, Gottman therapy and Non-Violent Communication. She provides the Stress Management Program, which helps individuals manage anxiety by developing healthy habits and positive solutions. She also provides a Women’s Holistic Health Program, supporting pre/postpartum women, women grieving pregnancy and other losses and women diagnosed with cancer and other health concerns. Chaia also offers Divorce Mediation Services. She has been a divorce mediator for the past twenty years and is a facilitator and program coordinator for divorce services with the Hampshire Probate Court. In her spare time, you can find her enjoying the trails, either on foot or cross-country skiing with my amazing family and puppy. In the summer time, she is either paddling in her kayak, picking blueberries in Maine, immersing herself (and family!) into new cultures, or just spending time laughing, playing cards, being in the community, and breathing deeply. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Peter Wood, LICSW
Change is opportunity…and just because we don’t see the answer doesn’t mean it’s not there. Therapy may take a variety of paths depending on the goals of the person seeking help. Peter has over 20 years of experience providing treatment for people who have had the wisdom to recognize a problem and the courage to ask for help to improve his/her quality of life. Peter works with individuals of all ages, couples, families and facilitates a group for people in recovery at Atkinson Family Practice. Peter has worked extensively with people experiencing challenges with anxiety, mood, thinking and substance use. He has a contagious love of learning with humility and innovation. You can reach Peter by phone at (413) 253-4094, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
AFP FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE
Jessica Jimison, FNP-C, IFMCP
Jessica was raised in Amherst, grew up as a landscaper, and got her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from UMass Amherst. She got her Master’s in Nursing from Boston College and worked as a Nurse Practitioner on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Wolf Point, Montana. She joined AFP in 2016 with nine years of experience in family practice. Jessica loves the blending of science with education that is the practice of medicine, and also the art of working with individuals, meeting people where they are, and empowering them to care for their health. She expanded her medical toolbox by becoming an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner in 2018. Jessica lives with her daughter in Amherst, and enjoys road trips and pruning in the landscape.
Elizabeth Gelotte, NBC-HWC
Liz graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She worked at Northampton Pediatrics before becoming a medical scribe for us here at AFP. Liz spent her first years at AFP scribing with Jessica Jimison. Throughout that time she learned a lot about functional medicine, and became interested in the holistic approach to health. In August 2019 she completed her certification as a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach. In February 2020 she passed her boards as a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach. Liz is now transitioning from scribing to coaching full-time. She enjoys helping people reach their health and wellness goals. Her favorite part about working with patients is getting to hear all kinds of stories from all walks of life. In her spare time, Liz likes to go hiking and snowboarding.
Nicole Smigiel, Functional Medicine Receptionist
Nicole grew up in Ware, MA and went to Gibbs College in Boston to study Visual Communications. After working retail for a number of years, Nicole decided she needed a change of pace and began school at Porter and Chester in Chicopee in the Allied Health program. She initially heard about AFP from a friend and thought our work environment would be a great fit for her. Nicole has now been with us for a total of five years! Today she works as our Functional Medicine Receptionist upstairs, and her favorite part of the job is really getting to know the patients. Nicole lives in Palmer with her husband. She also helps run Quality Auto in Agawam, MA alongside her husband. In her spare time, Nicole loves to be outside on her boat with her husband. Her family and friends mean everything to her.
Wendy Chabot, MD, FAAP
Dr. Wendy Chabot, M.D. is a pediatrician, health and wellness coach, and instructor of mindfulness based stress reduction. With a strong commitment to health risk reduction and lifestyle interventions, she has received additional training in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and smoking cessation.
Judy Grupenhoff, MS, M.Ed., NBC-HWC
Judy has an MEd in Counseling Psychology, is an Integrative Health and Wellness Coach trained at Duke Integrative Medicine, and is a HeartMath® Certified Interventions Professional and Trainer. For the past 10 years she has worked with adults and adolescents, individually and in groups, helping them build resilience and improve health and well-being on all levels. Her skills-based approach synthesizes the latest research on stress physiology, neurobiology, and self-compassion and helps individuals learn practical skills to lower stress and anxiety and quiet their critical inner dialogs. In her free time Judy can often be found sitting on a rock near water, digging in the garden, or experimenting in the kitchen.
Fatemeh Giahi, Ph.D., RDN
Fatemeh has certificates of training in child, adolescent, and adult weight management. She is a certified LEAP therapist. She also provides medical nutrition therapy for patients who have dietary health concerns, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders, and food sensitivity. Dr. Giahi believes it is her job to help you eat the right foods to stay healthy and active. Good nutrition is vital to a healthy lifestyle and is essential in the prevention of many chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. She is a registered dietitian and a licensed nutritionist with a PhD in Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She has taught courses in nutrition and health in Amherst for many years and has two certificates of training in adult weight management and child/adolescent weight management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Another area of her expertise is digestive health. She works with clients with all kinds of digestive issues including IBS, IBDs and food allergies.
Amanda Mittman, RDN, LDN
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Amanda takes a collaborative approach with her work and finds that when it comes to setting nutrition goals the client knows best. Amanda practices from a non-diet, weight-inclusive/neutral approach focusing on improving health outcomes without an emphasis on weight loss. She has found great success in sharing Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size (HAES) paradigms with her clients and is dedicated to helping people ditch “diet culture” and find freedom and acceptance around their body and food. Before working at AFP and running her private practice, Amanda worked at Community Action Head Start for five years. She received her BA in Communication from The George Washington University and completed her dietetic coursework and internship at New York University and Keene State College. She will complete her Master’s in Functional Nutrition at the University of Bridgeport in August of 2021.
Jason Potash, DC, LMT
Originally from Peabody, MA, Jason is a recent graduate of New York Chiropractic College. He completed his clinical chiropractic training at Bay Pines VA hospital in Florida. Prior to attending NYCC, he completed his undergraduate degree at UMass Amherst where he was a member of the men’s rugby club and later became a licensed massage therapist through The Massage School of Easthampton. He is passionate about empowering patients to achieve active goals and reduce pain in as few visits as possible. His treatments are custom tailored to fit each patient’s unique needs and often combine targeted soft tissue work, adjustments and rehabilitative exercise. Jason is thrilled to join the team at AFP as chiropractor and is looking forward to calling the Pioneer Valley home once again. He is an avid rock climber and chess player and loves to be outdoors year round. Ask your Provider if a consult with Jason would be a good adjunct to your healthcare.
AFP THERAPY DOGS
Loki & Cammie
Loki became an Atkinson Therapy Dog in 2015 and still has her puppy personality. Loki is VERY gentle and LOVES to be patted. Loki is a chocolate Lab Mix and Cammie, the younger of the two dogs, is a yellow lab mix. Both dogs have no qualms about staying behind the desk to bother the AFP office workers or sprawl out in the Provider’s Office, so please let anyone who works here know if you’re uncomfortable around or allergic to dogs and both pups will stay in the back!
AFP CLINICAL STAFF
Katrina Wheeler, LPN, Clinical Supervisor
Katrina has been an LPN for 30 years and is only one class away from the Bridge program. She has done many types of nursing including pediatric homecare, long term care, Alzheimer’s, teaching CNA classes, and being a residential unit nurse. She love spending time with her family. She and her husband have six daughters, two grandsons and two granddaughters, the youngest just born in May. In her spare time she loves running Spartan races with her daughter, taking pictures, kayaking, reading, exploring New England and being at the beach.
Bel Stadnicki, RMA
Bel is our Lead Clinical Assistant in Amherst as well as Building Manager. She has more energy than the rest of us put together as we have never seen her sit down! When she isnt taking great care of the patients she is enjoying her dogs and granchildren
Joleen Barrett, Clinical Assistant
Prior to coming to AFP, Joleen worked for over a decade as a CNA. On her free time, she loves hanging out with her daughter. They often go hiking in the woods, collecting rocks, crystals and fossils, and they love being by the ocean.
Carolyn Clymer, Clinical Assistant
Carolyn Clymer grew up in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod. She is currently a UMass student on a pre-nursing track. In Carolyn’s free time, she loves to hike. The Cape is pretty limited in it’s hiking trail variety, but since coming to Amherst she has been able to hike a lot more! She also loves to do art. Her favorite tpye is watercolor painting.
Kayla Harris, Clinical Assistant
Kayla was born and raised in Alabama. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2018. Kayla also completed a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences in Los Angeles, CA in 2020. She plans to start medical school in the fall of 2021. Before AFP, Kayla worked as a summer counselor for students interested in rural medicine, and was a Science and Math teacher/mentor in southern California. Kayla enjoys cooking, painting, traveling, and cuddling her pup Ace.
Mary Jeffway, Clinical Assistant
Mary grew up in Northampton, MA and is currently a student at UMass Amherst studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology on the pre-PA track. In Mary’s free time she enjoys doing CrossFit, taking her black lab Captain for walks, and spending time with family and friends. She has always had an interest in medicine and a love for being around people, so she is very excited to be working with patients here at AFP.
AFP FRONT OFFICE
Al Cheever, Front Desk Supervisor
Al lives on a farm in Hadley, MA and loves the valley life! When not at work, Al takes on random mixed media art projects, milks a communally owned cow, and makes wholesome dishes from local organic food. While Al never envisioned working in a doctor’s office, they love the stimulation of working at Atkinson Family Practice and interacting with patients. Al graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in English Literature and Landscape Studies, and has experience in Higher Education Administration, too. They like dreaming big for systems and structures and for that reason they love being involved in a challenge or a plan.
Lauren Laboursoliere, Receptionist
Lauren LaBoursoliere grew up in Western Mass and currently resides in Belchertown. She comes from a personal background in leadership and mental health advocacy, along with a professional background in PCA work and customer service. Previous to joining the AFP family, Lauren was a part time student, majoring in biology, and her dream is to get into a radiology program some day. Because of COVID-19, Lauren took a break from school, but that’s what lead her to Atkinson Family Practice! In her spare time, she participates in 4H and has a passion for all animals!
Mary Pols, Receptionist
Originally from New Jersey, Mary received her BA in Visual Arts from Rutgers University. Before joining AFP, she worked as a drafter for a civil engineering firm until she made her way to Western Massachusetts. She also worked for an education company for nearly 20 years and is a member of the Quabbin Arts Association. In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, going for walks and spending time with friends and family.
Robin Thibault, Receptionist
A lifelong resident of the Pioneer Valley, Robin has worked and raised her family within it’s unique community. She has spent the last thirty years as a hairstylist in Northampton, and enjoys the interaction and relationships it has created. As her children transition to their adult lives, all pursuing careers in healthcare, Robin has decided it’s time for change. With her own interest in healthcare, she is excited to have joined Atkinson Family Practice. Outside of work, Robin enjoys reading, exercising, working in her flower garden and spending time with family and friends.
Eric Freeman, New Patient Coordinator
Eric was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. You can tell when he reheats his lunch. He’s lived in the Pioneer Valley for the past seven years, and he’s probably the only person in New England who actually likes shoveling snow. He began at Atkinson Family Practice as a Scanner in February 2020, and he has since been promoted to New Patient Coordinator for the practice. On his off time, you can find him putting hot sauce on something while listening to a lot of bass.
Zachary Newton, TMS Coordinator/Scanner
Zachary was born and raised in New Hampshire and recently graduated with a BA in anthropology and a BS in biology and psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He hopes to start graduate school soon and has a passion for helping people, especially those with mental health issues. When Zachary’s not at AFP, he loves teaching, reading, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.
AFP Amherst Billing & Back Office
Linda Hegarty, Office Manager
Linda has been with the Atkinson Family Practice since June 2009. She loves the local community and has lived in Belchertown the past 20 years with her husband Patrick raising their six “amazing” children. She feels that the best part of her job is chatting with our patients and making sure they come in the door with a smile and leave just as happy! Above all, her family is her number one priority and loves the time she spends with them. Enjoys a good book, the sunshine and a great glass of wine! Writing is her passion and in her blood. Her late father was a published novelist and poet. She someday hopes to follow in his footsteps by publishing a novel herself.
Lynn Cournoyer, Medical Bookeeper
Lynn grew up in New Hampshire and moved to Massachusetts after graduating high school. She has worked in various accounting and administrative positions and has completed two accounting certificate programs at Greenfield Community College. She was attracted to AFP because of AFP’s approach to medicine. Nutrition, exercise and prevention have always been high on her list. Lynn is also an animal lover and enjoys having the therapy dogs in the office. She is thrilled that you are not just a number here. That is very apparent in the members of the AFP team. A genuine care and concern for their patients! The practice is very supportive of professional growth. Lynn lives on a small farm in Millers Falls with her husband, three dogs, cat, horse and chickens. She enjoy gardening (veggies and flowers) and spending time with the fur kids!
Jessica Hawley, Admin Services Supervisor
Jessica began her career with AFP in September 2015 and leads a team providing all aspects of billing, including insurance questions, coding and payments. She holds a CPC certification through the AAPC and has over 12 years of experience in healthcare, billing, and coding. Jessica and her husband, Bryan, have a beautiful daughter, Kaitlyn, Max the cat and a massive slobbering dog named Napoleon. She enjoys spending quality time with her family camping and hunting on their property in Russell.
Cheri Couture, Billing Supervisor
Cheri worked for many years in the manufacturing world before she changed career paths and joined the medical field. She has an Associate’s Degree in Business Management and is also a Certified Medical Assistant. She has been here at Atkinson Family Practice since 2011 when she started in Clinical and now works in Billing.Cheri was born and brought up in Ware, where she continues to live with her husband Terry and their three fur-baby boxers: Zeus, Zeena, and Tytus. Her children, grandchildren, dad and siblings all live in the area and play an important part in her “family oriented” life.Any free time she can find is spent developing spiritually; creating specialty woodworking projects; taking pictures of nature/people/animals; shooting archery; and relaxing by reading, crocheting, and scrapbooking.Cheri’s life experiences have taught her to forever seek out the good in life and the beauty in each day…laugh often and enjoy creation, appreciate the magic. One of her favorite quotes is from Wayne Dyer…”Everything that has happened to you is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to prevent you from growing…YOU get to choose!!”
Lindsey Boller, Referrals Coordinator
Lindsey has lived in Amherst, MA since the summer of 2019. She moved from Buffalo, New York where she lived her whole life with her parents and three sisters, to be with her boyfriend as he attends graduate school at UMass Amherst. Before starting her job as a receptionist at AFP she worked as a pharmacy technician at CVS. She has a passion for helping people and loves interacting and getting to know patients (old and young). She currently lives in Amherst with her boyfriend, their two guinea pigs Harvey and Stanley, and their cat Chemi. Lindsey loves being outside and can often be found reading or taking a nap in her free time.
Kristie Poehler, Class Coordinator/Marketing Manager
Kristie has been with AFP since October 2019. She began as Marketing Manager and then took on the role of Class Coordinator. Kristie has a Master’s in Education and is the owner/editor of New England History & Heritage Journal. She is also a published author of historical fiction and non-fiction and loves to travel, read and cook. Kristie lives in Belchertown with her son.