MHART formed as a result of passionate professionals discussing how Tennessee therapists could serve the community during the pandemic. We know that the mental health community is one of the most generous and skilled volunteer banks in the state. We wanted to capitalize on that volunteer spirit and create something sustainable to help our state.
Our primary purpose is to connect mental health professionals to volunteer opportunities quickly. We operate a statewide emotional support line, staffed by volunteer therapists, for frontline healthcare providers battling the pandemic and are building a statewide database of therapists offering free or discounted sessions during a disaster or crisis. MHART values multidisciplinary partnerships and public-private collaborations.
MHART Board of Directors
Gina Del Gardo
Dr. Gina DelGardo is a clinical psychologist specializing in Behavioral Medicine and Forensic Psychology. She is currently employed at Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation in Chattanooga Tennessee, and works with individuals who have suffered from major medical trauma, injuries to the spinal cord and the brain, and with individuals who have disabling and complicated medical issues. She is the former President of the Tennessee Psychological Association and the Chattanooga Area Brain Injury Association. She grew up in the Tri Cities, attended ETSU, and then earned her Doctorate at Nova Southeastern University. She is a founding member of MHART, which was formed to help the community face disaster and emergencies.
Cynthia P. Lucas
Dr. Lucas is a practicing clinical psychologist in Nashville since 2001 working with individuals and couples. Early on, she served as Membership Committee Co-Chair for the then Eating Disorders Coalition of TN. She was Gilda’s Club Nashville’s 2010 Volunteer of the Year. She is a past Treasurer of the Nashville Psychotherapy Institute, served as their 2018 Chair, and currently leads NPI’s Pandemic Resources Committee. Cynthia earned her B.S. at Vanderbilt and her Ph.D. at the University of Louisville, followed by clinical residency at Atlanta’s VAMC. She helped found MHART out of a desire to help more people in innovative ways and to build an ongoing resource for Tennesseans in need, sustained by mental health professionals and experts in various fields working together.
Ph.D., Partner Liaison
Dr. Cathryn Yarbrough is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Nashville, TN. She received her doctorate from Vanderbilt University. Before entering private practice, she worked as a research project director at VUMC, Clinical Director of the Family Life Counseling Center, and Consulting Psychologist at area psychiatric hospitals. Cathryn believes strongly in community and has served as a volunteer and board member with multiple organizations. She is grateful that as 2020 Chair of the Nashville Psychotherapy Institute, she was part of the discussions that led to the creation of MHART. She joined in the effort out of a wish to help her community better cope with the emotional toll of crisis and disaster.
Ann-Marie C. Buchanan
Ph.D., Resource Coordinator
Dr. Ann-Marie C. Buchanan is an associate professor of Social Work at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) in Harrogate, TN, teaching undergraduate students. She served as the Faculty Senate President at LMU from August 2016 – May 2018. She has a BSW (Oakwood College, now University, Huntsville, AL), MSW (University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL) & Ph.D. in Human Services, with an emphasis on Management of Non-Profit Agencies (Capella University). Dr. Buchanan has taught social work in a full-time capacity at Andrews University (Berrien Springs, MI), Mississippi Valley State University (Itta Bena, MS), and now LMU. She holds a Licensed Graduate Social Work (LGSW) license in AL, where she was a member of the Board of Social Work Examiners (2002-2004). She is also a member of the TN Social Work Board of Licensure. Dr. Buchanan has been blessed with opportunities in her social work career and wants to help those in need.
Donna Goings, LCSW
Mental Health in Education Outreach, Memphis Region
Donna Goings is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice. She is also employed as a Licensed School Social Worker with Shelby County Schools Mental Health Center. Donna has over 28 years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents, and families in the Public School Systems in Fl and TN. Donna received her Master of Social Work Degree from Florida International University in Miami, FL. Donna has served on the Foster Care Review Board and the Community Advisory Board in Memphis, TN. and is a mental health volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corp. TN. She is presently the Acting Vice President of United Education Association of Shelby County, and the Mental Health Director on the United Education of Shelby County Board of Directors. Donna is very passionate about helping others and jumps at every opportunity to give back to her community, especially during times of crises. With her desire to offer emotional support and to frontline workers and those in need she did not hesitate to join MHART as a volunteer therapist.
Board Member, Memphis Region
Pastor Oliver T. Williams, Jr. is the founder and Executive Director of the Hope Center at Grace. He heads the Fatherhood Program designed to promote responsible fatherhood and prevent child abuse and neglect through the facilitation of the Strengthening Families model. To address the intimate partner violence within the community, Pastor Williams’ facilities group sessions with domestic violence offenders in the “Nonviolent Institute.” This program is one of few the state of Tennessee certified batterer intervention programs designed to educate and empower offenders helping them to stop battering and explore the consequences of the violence for themselves, their partner and to decrease violence towards their families. Elder Williams is the senior pastor of the Grace Church Of God In Christ in the community of North Memphis. As a family man, he is married and the proud parent of four children. Pastor Williams is trained as an institutional clergy to offer counseling to persons experiencing crisis and/or trauma. He strives to be a resilient resource for the vulnerable. Lastly but not least, Oliver is a proud and active member of the Omega Phi Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business, Master of Arts and Master of Divinity. He is currently in school to receive his Doctorate in Ministry in Pastoral Therapy at Memphis Theological Seminary.
Trisha Hothorn, LCSW
Trisha Hothorn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Nashville. She received her Master of Social Work Degree from the University of NC at Chapel Hill. Trisha’s professional career has included many years of clinical work in Children’s Hospitals in NC, CA and CO where she provided clinical services and support to patients, families and psychosocial education and support to staff. She was an adjunct faculty member in the Colorado School of Nursing in Denver, CO and after moving to Nashville, she joined the faculty of the Vanderbilt Program in Interprofessional Learning at Vanderbilt University. Trisha has also worked many years in community-based settings, including her tenure as a developmental specialist with the Tennessee Early Intervention Services program. Trisha joined MHART as a volunteer therapist. She discovered that the work of MHART was a perfect blending of her passions – bringing help and support to those in crisis – and to those who care for them!
MHART Advisory Board Members
Karen L Franklin, LAPSW
NASW, Tennessee Chapter
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
T. J. resides with his wife and their cat in Nashville, TN. T. J. has lived a journeyman’s life with a variety of careers in journalism, the music industry, management, and education. He holds degrees in Liberal Arts, Organizational Leadership, and a Master’s in Education with licensure in Secondary English and Business. Most recently he has taught English and acted as Headmaster for a small, private Christian school. T. J. is passionate about connecting with and helping people from all different backgrounds. In his spare time, he enjoys volunteering on several teams at Journey Church in Brentwood, TN, playing retro video games on modded video game systems, watching old professional wrestling, podcasting (Idiopod), and making music. T. J. is very excited to help MHART in their mission to provide mental health services to the people on the front lines of this war on COVID-19 and beyond.