Staff

Meet Our Professionals.

Our multidisciplinary treatment team includes psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinicians, and master's degree professionals. Their training, compassion, and commitment contribute to a team that consistently provides exceptional mental health care. As you’ll see, each staff member supports a heartfelt customer service experience for our patients and their families.

Ellen Cochran

President/CEO

Ellen, our President and CEO, has been part of the Mental Health Associates of the Triad team for more than 20 years. Her career in mental health includes working with hospitals and medical facilities, and she holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Georgia Southern University. Although Georgia is home, she’s been proud to live in North Carolina for over two decades.

Ellen says she is lucky to work at MHA because each day allows her to pursue her passion: always working to contribute to the greater good. When she’s not busy working, Ellen enjoys spending time with a few old friends. 

 
Favorite form of self-care:

Surrounding myself with people who love me, who have no expectations, and who want nothing.

Advice they'd give their younger self:

Spend more time with and pay more attention to your mother. She knows a lot about people and living and she'll save you some grief if you listen

Favorite inspirational quote:

“It always seems impossible till it's done.” – Nelson Mandela

Dr. Kim Soban

Director, Court Services

Dr. Soban, PHD, LCMHC, CFMHE, is our Director of Court Services and has been part of the MHA team for more than a decade. As a licensed clinical mental health counselor and a certified forensic mental health evaluator, Dr. Soban directs the work we do in the Guilford County court system and the services we provide to law enforcement officers.

She is a fighter for the underdog and was raised to believe being kind to others and giving back is the most important thing. When she’s not working, Dr. Soban loves playing with her dogs Koda and Chloe, indulging in outdoor activities, and watching college football (Go Wolfpack!). 

 
Favorite form of self-care:

My quiet time at home with my dogs

Advice they'd give their younger self:

Always treat people the way you want to be treated and never ever stop fighting for what you believe in...be passionate about your work and thankful for the opportunities you have to help others.

Favorite inspirational quote:

This quote is from my grandmother. "It’s not who you are that matters, but what you give to others that measures the value of what you leave behind."

Sharon Alexander

Program Manager, Court Services

Sharon recently joined the MHA team as Program Manager for our Psychosocial Rehabilitation program. Sharon brings a strong background in Behavioral Health with a BS in Community Justice and Policy/Psychology and a MS Human Services with specializations in Forensic Population.

Her favorite part of the job is interacting with our wonderful clients and staff each day. During her free time, Sharon enjoys walking her dog in the park, listening to music, baking, and spending time with her family. Sharon is excited for this challenging chapter in her career and the opportunity to help others through her work.

 
 
Favorite form of self-care:

A long hot bath and some alone time to recharge.

Advice they'd give their younger self:

Live life to the fullest, be true to yourself, be yourself.

Favorite inspirational quote:

If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you are.   Maya Angelou

Mary Davis

Administrative Assistant

A 20+ year staff member and our administrative assistant, Mary plays an important role in helping those who are experiencing mental health issues find help and support. After retiring from her career as a Guilford County high school business teacher, she joined MHA to help others and continues to be proud of the work she does.

When she’s not working, Mary spends time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She loves visiting the coast a few times a year and playing bridge and reading. 

 
 
Favorite form of self-care:

Enjoying the wonderful bounties of nature!

Advice they'd give their younger self:

Shut your mouth and listen to others – you learn so much!

Favorite inspirational quote:

I think I can!

Jackie Gerold

Billing/Intake Specialist

Jackie is our billing/intake specialist. Originally from Minnesota, she—along with her two sons, daughter, and two cats—are now glad to call North Carolina and High Point home. Jackie loves working at MHA because of the supportive staff and clients.

She enjoys being deeply involved with Destiny’s House, outpatient services, and Court Services because of the opportunity to serve others and our community. When she’s not working, Jackie loves spending time with family and friends and playing with her cats.

 
Favorite form of self-care:

Praying, relaxing, and watching a good movie or tv series. Snuggling with my cats––they are very calming.

Advice they'd give their younger self:

Don't blink, time flies by too quickly. Don't take anything for granted. Take care of yourself emotionally.

Favorite inspirational quote:

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:13

Dean Hucks

Maintenance/Safety Technician

Dean is our Maintenance/Safety Technician. A long-term member of the MHA staff, Dean is a High Point native whose previous work includes positions with several factories in the area. Well known as a hard worker, he is one of the best team players you’ll ever meet.

Among his favorite aspects of the job are the wonderful people he meets, his responsibilities, and being part of the MHA experience. During his free time, Dean enjoys exercising and gaming.

 
Favorite form of self-care:

Doing for others gives me joy.

Advice they'd give their younger self:

Have respect for yourself.

Favorite inspirational quote:

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

Ariene Omari

Ariene joined MHA right after completing her Master’s in Social Work. Her background also includes a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, which make her a wonderful fit for providing services to disadvantaged and disempowered populations.

Ariene’s favorite part of working at MHA is interacting with clients and seeing the immediate impact that her skills have, as seen on her client’s faces at the end of the day. When she’s not working, Ariane is taking care of her human and plant babies, dancing (the robot is her signature move), meditating, and playing games with friends and family. 

 
 
Favorite form of self-care:

Simply showering and visualizing the day going down the drain.

Advice they'd give their younger self:

You only get one life so maximize the time you share with others and make lasting memories.

Favorite inspirational quote:

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the services of others. – Mahatma Gandhi

Pauline Shavers-Cunningham

Office Manager

Pauline is the office manager we depend on help keep our team moving towards our goal. Her educational background includes two Associate of Applied Science degrees in project management and non-profit management and human resources and IT management certifications.

Pauline takes great pride in working with an agency that provides services for those in need and loves the opportunity to do good for so many people. When she’s not working, Pauline enjoys gardening and nature walks––or turning on an oldies radio station and dancing.

 
 
Favorite form of self-care:

Allowing myself to laugh at me

Advice they'd give their younger self:

Yes, you can!

Favorite inspirational quote:

"If I can help somebody as I travel along, then my living shall not be in vain."  Mahalia Jackson

Dave Trayford

Clinical Therapist

Dave is one of our clinical therapists. His educational background includes bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology, a professional counselor license, and a national board certification in professional counseling.

His favorite part of his job here at MHA is helping clients overcome their distressing thoughts and feelings. When Dave isn’t working, he enjoys listening to jazz, blues, and visually "drinking in" the beautiful colors of the 50+ azaleas, Japanese maple trees, and purple creeping phlox plants in his home landscape.

 
 
Favorite form of self-care:

Rational Emotive Therapy

Advice they'd give their younger self:

Advance to nutritarianism as soon as possible!

Favorite inspirational quote:

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that was in me an invincible summer". – Albert Camus

Client Testimonial

An experienced group of well trained professionals that devote their careers to assisting people within the community.

Stuart S. 

How can we help you?

For those we serve, we are the essential and often-postponed “first step” toward the goal of mental wellness. Whether the concern is for yourself or a loved one, know that we welcome you with deep compassion and respect. What seems frightening or hopeless today can quickly become a path to a brighter, more positive tomorrow.


Whenever you’re ready to take that first step, we’re ready to help.