Senior Physician, Adult Services
Dr. Robert Allen serves as the David Lawrence Center Senior Physician for Adult Services. He is a member of the Senior Physician Management Team and is responsible for providing administrative and clinical supervision to the adult outpatient physician team, oversees quality assurance activities, assures appropriate utilization of physician time and coverage in adult outpatient medical services and provides direct psychiatric services to adults.
Dr. Allen earned his medical degree from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and his residency in psychiatry from Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center both in Chicago, IL. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Dr. Allen was previously employed by the Ruth Cooper Center in Fort Myers where he served as a Staff Psychiatrist and later as the Outpatient Medical Director. He has served as an instructor and lecturer on multiple topics pertaining to behavioral health.
In addition to his work at David Lawrence Center, Dr. Allen runs a private practice in Estero.
Senior Physician, Acute Care Services
Ronny R. Valenzuela, M.D. is the part-time Senior Physician for Acute Care Services. He is a member of the Senior Physician Management Team and is responsible for providing administrative and clinical supervision to the acute care physician team, oversees quality assurance activities, assures appropriate utilization of physician time and coverage on the Crisis Stabilization Unit and Detoxification Unit and provides direct psychiatric services to adults.
Dr. Valenzuela earned his medical degree from the Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. After relocating to the United States, he completed his internship in psychiatry at the University of Miami and his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital both in Miami, Florida.
Dr. Valenzuela has nearly 20 years of experience. He previously served as a Staff Psychiatrist for NCH Healthcare System and also has a private practice specializing in adult outpatient psychiatric services.
Dr. Valenzuela is fluent in English and Spanish.
Senior Physician, Children’s Services
Dr. Frank W. Lehninger joined David Lawrence Center in 2011 as a Staff Psychiatrist in Children’s Outpatient Medical Services and Acute Care Services. In 2012, he was promoted to Senior Physician of Children’s Services. In this new role, he is a member of the Senior Physician Management Team and is responsible for providing administrative and clinical supervision to the children’s outpatient physician team overseeing quality assurance activities and ensuring appropriate utilization of physician time and coverage. In addition, he provides direct psychiatric services to children.
Dr. Lehninger is board certified in adult psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. A native of Germany, he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, European Division. He received his doctor of medicine degree from Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitaet Fachbereich Humanmedizin in Germany. After relocating to the United States, he completed his Internship at SUNY at Buffalo, Adult Psychiatry Residency and Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of South Florida, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Florida.
Dr. Lehninger has had more than a decade of experience working with adolescents and children on an inpatient and outpatient setting having worked in private practice and community mental health. Prior to joining the David Lawrence Center, he most recently served as consulting Psychiatrist for Youth Haven and Collier County Public Schools and as a Psychiatrist for the Florida Assertive Community Treatment Team. During that time, he also worked in private practice. Prior to that, he served as the Medical Director for Inpatient Services for Coastal Behavioral Health and was a Psychiatrist for Ruth Cooper Center, Renaissance Behavioral Health and J.A. Haley Veterans Administration Hospital.
Dr. Lehninger is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Florida Psychiatric Society.
He is bi-lingual in English and German.
Adult Staff Psychiatrist
Dr. Luis A. Rives joined the David Lawrence Center in 2011 as a Staff Psychiatrist in Adult Outpatient Medical Services and Urgent Care.
Dr. Rives is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He earned his bachelor’s of arts degree in chemistry and his doctor of medicine from the University of South Florida. He completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Virginia.
Dr. Rives has more than 15 years of experience in the outpatient, inpatient and hospital treatment settings serving the adult and geriatric population. He also has experience working with individuals battling eating disorders and chemical dependency. Since 1996, Dr. Rives has been in private practice in the Naples and Ft. Myers areas. While in private practice, he has also been appointed to the medical staff of a number of local medical facilities and provided psychiatric consulting services for Lee Memorial Hospital, Manor Care Nursing Home, Southwest Regional Hospital, The Willough, Moorings Park, Lakeside Pavilion, Harborchase of Naples, Aristocrat Nursing Home and more.
Dr. Rives is fluent in English and Spanish.
Adult Staff Psychiatrist
Dr. Eddy Benoit is a part-time Staff Psychiatrist in the Adult Outpatient Medical Services Department. He provides bi-lingual psychiatric medical services in Naples and Immokalee.
Dr. Benoit earned his medical degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. He completed his residency programs in psychiatry in New York at Brookdale Medical Center, Manhattan Psychiatric Center and Harlem Hospital. He received interim psychotherapy training from Columbia University and Karen Horney Institute.
Dr. Benoit has previously worked in both private practice and in the community mental health field throughout Florida including serving as a Senior Physician for G. Pierce Wood Memorial Hospital in Arcadia.
Dr. Benoit speaks fluent Spanish, French and Creole.
Dana Edward Castro, M.D. joined David Lawrence Center in 2012 as a Staff Psychiatrist in Acute Care Services.
Dr. Castro is board certified in adult psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and in addiction by the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental science and his master’s of arts in teaching from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He earned his medical degree from Albany Medical College. He completed his psychiatric internship and residency at North Shore University Hospital.
He brings with him more than 30 years of experience with a strong background in substance abuse. Most recently he served as the Medical Director at Hazelden Florida and prior to that served as Psychiatrist and Medical Director at the Carolinas Healthcare System.
During his long and distinguished career, Castro has had administrative and clinical experience in a variety of treatment settings including community mental health, hospital based psychiatric treatment and private practice. Due to his extensive background in teaching he has developed an active interest in sharing knowledge and encouraging learning and throughout his career Dr. Castro has frequently been called upon to develop training and educational presentations on a variety of topics for clinical staff, the medical community and other audiences.
Adult Staff Psychiatrist
Scott Haltzman, M.D joined David Lawrence Center in 2012 as a full time Staff Psychiatrist in Adult Outpatient Medical Services. He is a board certified adult and geriatric psychiatrist and author.
Haltzman earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology and English from Brown University and his medical degree from Brown University Medical School. He completed his residency in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and the Yale-New Haven Hospital Psychiatric Outpatient Department where he was the Chief Resident.
Haltzman relocated to Naples from Rhode Island and brings with him more than 15 years of experience in teaching, psychiatric consulting, direct patient care, psychotherapy, marriage education and couples therapy. He had participated in practice management in a variety of treatment settings including private practice, community mental health, addiction treatment centers, medical centers and hospitals.
His teaching experience includes serving as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University Medical School, and as Hospital Director of Residency Training at the Veterans Administration Medical Center. His management experience includes serving as Chief Consultation/Liaison Psychiatry and Chief of Outpatient Psychiatry Services at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Chief of Psychiatry and Medical Services and Medical Director at the Northern Rhode Island Mental Health Center, Medical Director at NRI Community Services, Inc., and Lead Psychiatrist at Stanley Street Treatment and Resources. His hospital experience includes having served as an Inpatient Psychiatrist at Landmark Medical Center, Butler Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Zambarano Hospital.
Haltzman is the author/co-author of numerous books, articles and scholarly research in psychiatry and pharmacology, particularly in his specialty of marriage, family and committed relationships. His research focuses on seeking out data to better help understand the relationship patterns of husbands and wives, and the techniques individuals use to advance the institution of marriage. He is the founder and editor of DrScott.com and 365Reasons.com and the author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men, The Secrets of Happily Married Women, and The Secrets of Happy Families. His newest book, The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity is due for publication in June, 2013.
Haltzman has gained international recognition for his work in support of marriage and husbands including having received the 1997 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the 1999 Janssen Clinical Scholar Award and being named a 2003 Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has shared his expertise in the field of relationships nationally and locally with a variety of print, radio and television media outlets. He has had appearances on nationally syndicated television programs such as the Today Show, 20/20, the Rachel Ray Show and Good Morning America. He has also been quoted nationally in TIME Magazine, Redbook, Glamour, Parenting Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Men’s Health, the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angles Times, Chicago Tribune. He is a frequent lecturer on topics related to the field of psychiatry.
Haltzman is fluent in Spanish and English.
Adult Staff Psychiatrist
Oscar Villaverde, MD, CPA, is a part-time Adult Staff Psychiatrist working in the Acute Care Services Department.
Dr. Villaverde earned both his bachelor's of science degree and doctor of medicine from the University of Miami. He went on to earn a master's degree in accounting from Florida International University before pursuing is residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Villaverde is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a Certified Public Accountant.
Before joining the David Lawrence Center, he served as a Staff Psychiatrist for Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center. He also was an Affiliate Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami.
Dr. Villaverde is an active member of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, American Psychiatric Association, Florida Psychiatric Society, South Florida Psychiatric Society and the American Medical Association.
Dr. Villaverde is fluent in English and Spanish.
Adult Staff Psychiatrist
Evelio H. Sosa, M.D., is a part-time Adult Staff Psychiatrist working in the Acute Care Services Department.
Dr. Sosa earned his doctor of medicine from the University of Monterrey in Mexico. He completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of South Florida College of Medicine.
In addition to his part-time position with the David Lawrence Center, Dr. Sosa has a private practice in Coral Gables and provides outpatient psychiatric services for Leon Medical Center in Miami.
He brings with him more than 15 years of experience providing psychiatric services in an inpatient and outpatient treatment setting. Prior to joining the David Lawrence Center, he served as a Staff Psychiatrist in the Inpatient Services Department for Mental Health Incorporated Community Mental Health Clinic, Director of the Partial Hospitalization Program at Coral Gables Hospital, Director of the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit for Mercy Hospital and Director of the Partial Hospitalization Program for Health Connections.
Dr. Sosa is fluent in English and Spanish.
Advanced Registered Nurse Practioner
Jeffery Edwards is a full-time Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) in the Adult Outpatient Medical Services Department. He also provides part-time services in the Acute Care Services Department. As an ARNP, he provides psychiatric evaluations, medication management and physicals for adults with mental health and substance abuse problems. He is a licensed Nurse Practitioner and a Registered Nurse and is a board certified sex therapist.
Mr. Edwards earned his bachelor’s of science degree and his master’s of science degree in nursing from the University of South Florida where he earned special certification in addiction treatment. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society.
Prior to joining the David Lawrence Center, he served as an ARNP/RN for Charlotte Behavioral Health Care, Ruth Cooper Center, St. Anthony’s Hospital, Lee Memorial Hospital System and in private practice. He has more than 18 years of experience working with adults and seniors in a variety of treatment settings including inpatient crisis stabilization units, outpatient clinics, hospital based psychiatric services and private practice settings.
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Lori Ann Nervina joined David Lawrence Center in 2013 as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) in Children's Outpatient Services. As an ARNP, she provides psychiatric evaluations and medication management for children and adolescents with mental health and substance abuse problems.
Nervina earned her RN degree from St. Joseph's College of Nursing in Syracuse, NY. She earned her bachelors or nursing, masters of science and family nurse practitioner degrees from Syracuse University where in 2002, she was a recipient of the Sigma Theta Tau Nurse's Honor Society Research Award for her research in adolescent depression and suicide prevention. She then earned a post masters certificate as a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Practitioner from Binghamton University also in New York where in 2011, she received the academic achievement award from the Decker School of Nursing.
Prior to joining David Lawrence Center, Nervina most recently served as a child and adolescent psychiatric nurse practitioner for Cayuga Counseling Services in Auburn, New York. Prior to that, she maintained a private practice in child and adolescent psychiatry. In total, she brings over 25 years of experience in psychiatric nursing to her new position with DLC with more than a decade of experience as a nurse educator, psychiatric consultant and community speaker on mental health issues.
Nervina is nationally recognized as a dual board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Nurse's Honor Society, New York State Nurses Association and Florida Nurse Practitioner Network.
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Debra Ebaugh is a licensed Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) in Acute Care Services. As an ARNP, she provides psychiatric evaluations, medication management and physicals for adults and children with mental health and substance abuse problems in the Crisis Stabilization Unit, Adult Detoxification Unit and Emergency Services.
Ebaugh earned her bachelor’s of science degree in nursing from Valdosta State College in Georgia and her master’s of nursing degree in psychiatric, mental health nursing and adult health education from the University of Miami.
Ebaugh has more than 35 years of experience in nursing with specialties in psychiatric nursing, utilization management, quality improvement, patient education and nursing education.
Prior to joining the David Lawrence Center in 2008, Ebaugh taught psychiatric nursing courses at Edison College and provided supervision of nursing student interns and clinical associations in a variety of treatment settings including the David Lawrence Center, Naples Community Hospital, Manor Nursing Home and the Health Department.
Maureen Gerrity is a licensed Physicians Assistant in Acute Care Services providing medical evaluations and medical advice to adults and children with mental health and substance abuse problems in the Crisis Stabilization Unit, Adult Detoxification Unit and Emergency Services.
Gerrity pursued her undergraduate degree in biology and studio art from Baldwin-Wallace College and completed the physicians assistant program at Cuyahoga Community College both in Ohio. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and licensed in the state of Florida.
Prior to joining the David Lawrence Center in 2008, she spent more than twenty years working as a Physician Assistant in the areas of preoperative, surgical, and postoperative care at several hospitals in the Ohio area.