Renee received her BS in psychology from the University of Arizona in 1992 and her MSW from the University of Kentucky in 1997. She began post-graduate work as the Staff Therapist serving children in foster care at Butler County Children Services in Ohio. Renee did clinical work for eight years with the UNC Psychiatry Department, including project management, clinical assessment, individual and family therapy on multiple studies with adolescents and adults experiencing psychosis and depression. Renee began providing in-home therapy to children and families with Carolina Outreach in 2003, assuming clinical supervision, training, as well as clinical, quality and site management roles over her many years with the agency. Her current role has her overseeing agency operations.
Alex Spessot, MD
Dr. Alexandra Spessot earned a B.A. in International Studies and Sociology from Johns Hopkins University before realizing that medicine is her calling. After college she returned to her native New York City and completed a Certificate in Premedical Studies at Columbia University, followed by an M.D. at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. After medical school graduation, she traded in city life for trees and grass, making Durham her home and completing residency in general psychiatry at Duke University. Having held multiple clinical and administrative leadership roles over the course of her career, Dr. Spessot is passionate about eradicating the stigma surrounding mental illness and making quality mental healthcare available to all who need it. Most recently Dr. Spessot served as Chief Medical Officer for a large community mental health provider in North Carolina, and she looks forward to continuing to serve communities throughout the state as part of the Carolina Outreach team.
LaKeisha Brown, LCSW, LCAS, LCMHCA, CCSI
Quality Management Director
LaKeisha Brown is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), licensed clinical mental health counselor (LCMHCA), licensed clinical addictions specialist (LCAS), and certified clinical supervisor (CCSI). LaKeisha has over seven years of mental health/counseling experience specifically working with adolescents and adults who suffer from mental health and substance use disorders. LaKeisha’s career includes working in a rehabilitation setting working with adolescents and adults with disabilities, providing outpatient as well as community-based mental health services, and overseeing a school-based mental health program as a Clinical Director. LaKeisha currently holds an MSW degree in Social Work from East Carolina University (2016). She has a MS degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Winston-Salem State University (2013). She also has a BS degree in Family and Community Services with a minor in Alcohol and Drug Studies from East Carolina University (2008). She joined Carolina outreach in 2020 and proudly serves as the Director of Quality Management.
Katie Wright, LCSW
Clinical Director of Adult Services
Katie Wright received a BA in psychology from the University of Virginia in 1996 and an MSW from UC Berkeley in 2001. She has worked primarily with adult clients with serious and persistent mental health and substance abuse issues in both inpatient and outpatient settings, including Forensic ACT services in the San Francisco Bay area. She joined Carolina Outreach in 2004, and, in addition to providing supervision and training, she oversees the ACT program as well as Wilson and Smithfield sites.
Robin Sartain, LCSW
Clinical Director of Child Services
Robin received her BA In English from SUNY Oneonta in 2001, and her MSW from UNC Chapel Hill in 2005. Robin worked for Durham County Child Protective Services from 2005-2007 and began her tenure with Carolina Outreach in 2007. Robin has had multiple roles at Carolina Outreach, including Durham Site Manager, Intake and Assessment Manager, and IIH therapist. She is trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and is also training to become a Certified Trainer Mentor in Eco-systemic Structural Family Therapy. Her current role includes providing clinical supervision, overseeing IIH and FCT programing, as well as the Durham and Fayetteville sites.
Heidi Dohnert, LCSW, LCAS, CCS
Director of CST and Substance Use Disorder Services and New Program Development
Heidi received her BA in English at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1995 and her MSW from the The Joint Master of Social Work Program between NC A&T University and UNC Greensboro in 2004. She was a Child Welfare scholar and started her social work career working in foster care for two years. Heidi started her clinical career providing in-home therapy and case management at Carolina Outreach in 2006. She moved into providing adult services in 2009 through the Community Support team service. She began providing leadership for CST and SUD services in 2010 and has been a big contributor to the success of our CST program. In addition to overseeing program development for CST and SUD services, her current role has her overseeing our Raleigh and Charlotte sites.
Director of Business Operations
Upon completion of her BA in Communications from Seattle Pacific University, Averill found her home in Durham, NC, and shortly thereafter, a role in administration at Carolina Outreach. Since her start with the company in 2011, Averill has worked in a wide range of administrative and managerial roles, and now oversees business operations for Carolina Outreach. Averill is passionate about supporting positive change in the communities we serve by helping to maintain a high standard of excellence in business operations and client care.