Our Mental Health Providers | BlueSky Telepsych

Keep going … Blue Skies Ahead

Our Mental Health Providers

telepsychiatry  ·  BlueSky Telepsych  ·  medication management

What is Telepsychiatry?

Telemedicine is the process of providing health care from a distance through technology, often using videoconferencing similar to Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime. Telepsychiatry, a subset of telemedicine, can involve providing a range of services including psychiatric evaluations, therapy (individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy), patient education and medication management.

​Telepsychiatry can involve direct interaction between a psychiatrist and the patient. It also encompasses psychiatrists supporting primary care providers with mental health care consultation and expertise. Mental health care can be delivered in a live, interactive communication through telepsychiatry.

Learn more about our services

Dr. Richelle Strauss (formerly Porapaiboon), or as her patients affectionately call her, Dr. Richelle, is a trained Adult and Child Adolescent Psychiatrist.

She received her undergraduate degree from Purdue University and graduated from medical school at the University of Florida. She completed her residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and completed a fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

She specializes in psychiatric medication management of children, adolescents, and young adults, but works with patients of all ages. She strives to provide a secure environment for adults, adolescents, and children with behavioral and attention disorders. A secure environment is enhanced through Dr. Richelle’s use of Telepsychiatry: using telecommunications technology, usually videoconferencing, for her assessments and treatment. Thus, her clients are in a space they choose.

Her philosophy of practice is evidence-based at its core, and her evaluations often include laboratory or other screening procedures to rule out general medical causes. In addition, she offers consultation on evidence-based alternative therapies and nutritional guidance as appropriate, and as your individual needs and interests dictate.

Richelle Strauss, MD

BlueSky Telepsych

Psychiatrist vs Psychologist

Psychiatrists differ from other mental health professionals in that they may prescribe medication as well as practice psychotherapy in treatment. Sometimes, Psychiatrists form part of a clinical team in which they will diagnose and prescribe, while psychologists or therapists provide the client’s psychotherapy.

Our Psychiatrists are qualified medical doctors who specialize in treating mental health issues and diagnosable psychiatric disorders.

John Ernzen, MD

BlueSky Telepsych

Dr. John Ernzen is a trained adult psychiatrist. He completed his undergraduate studies at Arizona State University and earned his medical degree from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. He is completing his general psychiatry residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago after which he will begin additional training in child & adolescent psychiatry at Northwestern.

He specializes in evidence-based psychiatric care, most notably focusing on mood & anxiety along with neurodevelopmental disorders. He is well-versed in all classes of psychotropic medications and their indications, though he rarely prescribes controlled substances (stimulants, benzodiazepines, etc) on an initial visit. Above all he values the human component of psychiatry and making a connection with his patients – he knows that it’s often important to meet people where they are at, and appreciates the convenience of telepsychiatry in helping him do so.

Hannah earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice with a specialty in Psychiatry from Rush University College of Nursing. She is board-certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in Psychiatry. Hannah has over ten years of experience in the healthcare field, with five years of experience in both psychiatric and primary care nursing.

Hannah believes in focusing on her patient’s whole health, as the mind and body are more connected than we realize. Hannah feels that an essential component of treatment is fostering hope, and she assists her patients in recognizing their ability to heal and recover using an integrative approach.

Hannah lives in Chicago with her husband and three dogs. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, live music, and camping.

Hannah Fox, PMHNP-BC

BlueSky Telepsych

Dr. Joseph Sivak, MD

BlueSky Telepsych

Dr. Joseph J. Sivak is a General Adult Psychiatrist board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He completed his residency training at the University of Rochester, Strong Memorial Hospital/ He attended medical School at Hahnemann University School of Medicine (Drexel) in Philadelphia. And completed his Undergraduate Degree at John Carrol University in Cleveland. Dr Sivak has 29 year of experience as a practicing psychiatrist , working in outpatient and inpatient settings as well as Emergency Settings and Medical inpatient consult liaison.

Dr Sivak has evaluated and treated hundreds of thousands of patients over the years in many different settings. and specialized in mood disorders and Post traumatic stress disorder. He believes that the most important aspect of al successful treatment is the establishment of a therapeutic alliance between patient and doctor based on empathy which builds an essential trust.  Dr Sivak is trained in a variety of modalities but all were grounded in the foundation of the Biopsychosocial model established and perfected decades ago at the University of Rochester. The model emphasizes humaneness through an understanding of the unique biological, psychological and socio-environmental interworkings and  aspects of a human being.   

 

Betsy Wojciechowski is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois. She graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology in 2015 from Governors State University. She has over 5 years of counseling experience and believes strongly in the therapeutic relationship to help client’s work towards their goals.

Betsy has a vast experience from working with survivors of sexual assault and trauma, community mental health, working with females struggling with eating disorders, chronic suicidality, self-injurious behaviors, mood disorders, self-esteem issues, depression, and anxiety.

Betsy’s approach to counseling is holistic, individualized, non-judgmental, and empathic. She approaches each client as an individual human being with his, or her own life experiences and creates individualized goals and treatment plans focused on the client. Betsy utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Outside of work, Betsy enjoys spending time with her two rescue pitbulls, Kevin and Rosie.

Book Dr. Wojciechowski

Betsy Wojciechowski, LCPC

BlueSky Telepsych

Sarah Ritter, RN, APN, PMHNP-BC

BlueSky Telepsych

Sarah Ritter has worked with a wide variety of patient populations and has developed a broad spectrum of clinical knowledge.

She focuses on the outpatient treatment of mood disorders in adults and older adults and most recently using the telepsychiatry platform exclusively to provide care.

Sarah incorporates supportive psychotherapy in her sessions in order to develop a warm, caring relationship with her patients.

She actively listens to her patients and develops individualized, comprehensive treatment plans with or without the use of psychotropic medications.

Sarah believes that psychotropic medications and psychotherapy are a mainstay in the treatment of mental illness, but has learned about some effective non-pharmacological methods as well.

While non-pharmacological approaches may not work for every patient, Sarah believes all effective treatments should be explored.

When Sarah is not working, she spends her free time with her elderly cat with special needs, helps to organize and sing in a local a capella group, and enjoys fantasy and sci-fi media.

Book Dr. Ritter

Emmanuel is a board-certified psychiatric mental-health nurse practitioner who graduated with a doctorate degree from Rush University in Chicago. He has over ten years’ experience in mental health from MacNeal Hospital, Northwestern Medicine, and Rush University Medical Center. He treats mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, substance use, and more.

He believes every patient is unique and provides compassionate, empathic care and patience towards treating you and making you feel whole again. Together you will establish collaborative goals which will be personalized by how your symptoms are impacting your life.  His approach to treatment is employing a holistic approach to care, deploying all the tools available including, but not limited to, medication when appropriate and individual supportive psychotherapy. His goal is to empower clients to be actively involved in their health and wellness.

Emmanuel Ofori-Danso, PMHNP

BlueSky Telepsych

Alexandra Warner, LCSW

BlueSky Telepsych

Alex is aware that beginning your search for a therapist can be quite overwhelming. If you are ready for real change in your life and are tired of being stuck in the same routine, same fears, or same unhelpful thought patterns, then you will work very well together. She specializes in working with individuals struggling with relationship issues, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and life transitions. She uses EMDR to help people who have experienced trauma. She is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Her style is direct, down to earth and focuses on a collaborative approach.

Michelle Nation is a licensed clinical therapist that has almost 10 years working experience in the mental health field.

When it comes to her therapy approach, Michelle uses an array of skills from a more laid back approached, like person centered to a more structured approach, cognitive behavior therapy or dialectical behavior therapy.

She previously worked in a community mental health center, so she is used to working with an array of different individuals, ranging from those struggling with their own emotions to those that are struggling with paranoia. The age ranges that she has experience with varies from young adults to the elderly.

Her primary focus has been more with helping people deal with their emotions. Michelle specialises in treating depression, anxiety, anger, and those that have been diagnosed with Bipolar. She has also been trained in trauma focused cognitive behavior therapy and has experience in trauma work as well.

Via BlueSky Telepsych, Michelle offers an easily accessible telehealth setting for addressing the difficult issues that may bring you to counseling, and flexible hours to meet your needs, including evening appointments.

She looks forward to meeting you and working together to help you meet your goals!

Book Michelle

Michelle Nation, LCPC

BlueSky Telepsych

Amen Ugwuede, PMHNP-BC

BlueSky Telepsych

Amen Ugwuede is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She graduated with her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Rush University. She has over six years of working with various patient populations experiencing mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and substance use disorders. Amen values patient centered care and creating a therapeutic alliance with patients to work collaboratively in order to create optimal treatment plans. She is committed to working with you to find the best evidence-based treatment for your mental health concerns.

Amen focuses primarily on medication management and will work with your therapist to ensure collaborative care. She believes that each person is much more than their diagnosis and with a combination of medication and therapy can achieve a better quality of life. While Amen is not working, she enjoys romance and mystery media.

Faraz is passionate about both discovery and the practice of psychiatry. He trained at Rice University as an undergraduate and moved to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where he was part of the Medical Scientist Training Program, culminating in an M.D. and Ph.D. in Neurobiology. His academic interests include molecular and behavioral neuroscience, computational sciences, and translational psychiatry among others. Faraz stresses a comprehensive understanding of a patient’s clinical picture, integrating multiple lines of evidence to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment regimen. His strategies are patient-specific and motivated by quantitative evidence derived from high-quality studies. Still, as an investigator, he understands psychiatry is a rapidly evolving field, and it is the goal of translational scientists to fill the gaps in our knowledge. Faraz consistently uses his best clinical judgement, combining fact and theory to care for his patients. Faraz is a strong proponent of multimodal approaches to patient care. He endorses appropriate use of pharmacology, therapy in a variety of settings, and novel and long-standing somatic tools. He strives for efficient deployment of evidence-based evaluation and treatment algorithms but simultaneously has a low threshold for questioning generic approaches, especially when treatment is less effective than expected. In his spare time, Faraz enjoys reading, running, and spending time with his family.

Dr. Faraz Sultan, MD

BlueSky Telepsych

Christine Romesburg, LCSW

BlueSky Telepsych

Christine Romesburg, MSW, MBA, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker within Illinois who has counseled children, adolescents, and adults for over ten years. She graduated from Bradley University in 2009 with a bachelor’s in psychology and sociology. She then graduated from Aurora University in 2019 with a Master of Clinical Social Work and a Master of Business Administration. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation focusing on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychosis from Walden University in epidemiology and public health. She provides individual, couple, and family counseling for a variety of issues. Her areas of expertise include: depression, anxiety, trauma, divorce/separation, parenting, children/adolescents, communication issues, stress management, grief & loss, self-esteem issues, self-harm, substance abuse, psychosis, family and marriage counseling, and crisis stabilization. Christine recognizes each client is a unique individual possessing their own strengths and empowers her patients to reach their full potential through an empathic approach. Christine utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Client- Center Therapy, Family Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, and Rational Emotive Therapy approaches with her patients. Christine works to assist her patients in recognizing their overall thought processes and changing their negative perceptions and beliefs into more positive, motivating insights, which will generate the change the patient desires.

Outside of work, Christine enjoys working out, coaching her son’s sports, kayaking and hiking.

Ellie is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with a focus on delivering high-quality mental health care. She embraces the use of telehealth to deliver safe, discreet, convenient, patient-centered care supported by evidence. Specializing in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment and management of a variety of mental health disorders, Ellie is an empathetic listener who believes that each patient requires unique attention. While all individuals can benefit from psychotherapy and some from psychotropic medication in their therapy plan, Ellie can explore all effective treatment options with you.

When not working with patients to set and achieve realistic treatment goals, Ellie is home with her family, reading, and crocheting.

Beth Dudley, APRN, PMHNP-BC

BlueSky Telepsych

Crystal Goods, PMHNP-BC

BlueSky Telepsych

Crystal is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who manages and treats an array of mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, and PTSD. Crystal earned her Master of Science in Nursing at The Ohio State University. She is passionate about providing compassionate, evidence-based, and comprehensive mental health services. As a PMHNP, Crystal will offer medication management, as well as incorporate trauma-informed and person-centered techniques into treatment.

Crystal possesses strong clinical skills and a natural ability to build rapport and connect with patients. She is confident that she can support you on your mental health journey by helping you gain new perspectives and help you cope with everyday stressors. Her main goal when working with clients is to help improve their quality of life and treat each client as the center of the treatment team.

 

Sarah graduated with a Master’s Degree from Aurora University and quickly completed her clinical hours to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Sarah combines this with her certification as a holistic nutritionist, as her passion begins with treating someone from the inside out, focusing first on lifestyle as well as boundaries that are often needed in successful therapy. With extensive experience in trauma based therapy, as well as years working as a crisis interventionist, Sarah is trained in treating many types of traumas and hurdles that have had a negative impact on clients’ lives. Sarah believes it is a client’s honesty and transparency in a safe environment that is the best weapon against the obstacles to overall emotional and physical wellness. She strives to provide this safe space.

 

 

 

Sarah Blomquist, LCSW

BlueSky Telepsych

Melody Stauffer, LCPC

BlueSky Telepsych

Melody Stauffer, LCPC is a licensed clinical professional counselor in Illinois who has counseled children, teens, and adults for over 10 years. She graduated from Judson University with a bachelor’s in psychology. She then graduated from Argosy University in 2013 with a Master of Arts in Community Counseling. Her areas of expertise include: depression, anxiety, trauma, parenting, children/adolescents, communication issues, stress management, grief & loss, self-esteem issues, self-harm, substance abuse, psychosis, and crisis stabilization. Melody recognizes each client has their own story to tell and specific wounds to heal and will let her clients lead the way on their mental health journey. Melody is also trained in EMDR therapy that is helpful with patients with trauma, old or new.

Outside of work, Melody enjoys helping with her family farm and being outdoors.

Katelyn earned her Masters of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lock Haven University in 2013. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has worked in the mental health field for over five years.
Katelyn has experience working with individuals in inpatient and outpatient settings. She has helped individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, stress, various traumas, loss and grief, body image, life transitions, and more.
Katelyn’s approach to counseling is calm, non-judgmental, and individualized to reflect the specific needs of each client. She also offers Christian counseling to those who would like to have faith-based counseling as well. Katelyn approaches each client with kindness and a genuine care to help them along their journey of healing.
Outside of work, Katelyn enjoys spending time with her family (including her many animals) and being an active part of her community and church. She enjoys the outdoors, reading, and singing.

Katelyn Traxler, LPC

BlueSky Telepsych

Danielle Stern, MD

BlueSky Telepsych
Dr. Danielle Stern is a trained adult psychiatrist. She completed her undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University and earned her medical degree from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is completing her general psychiatry residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
She specializes in evidence-based psychiatric medication management of adults, with a focus on treatment of anxiety and depression without the use of controlled substances. She may also evaluate patients for attention deficit disorders, though does not prescribe stimulant medications at an initial visit. She values getting to know her patients well, and appreciates the opportunity to meet patients virtually in the comfortable space of their choosing.

Lonna Larger earned her Masters of Science in Nursing Degree with a focus in Psychiatry from The Ohio State University. She is Board Certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She has over 15 years experience in the healthcare field and practices evidence based medicine with a focus in trauma informed care. For the past four years Lonna worked with the severely mentally ill population in community mental health where she served on ACT teams with forensic patients.

Lonna believes that no matter what someone has gone through there is always room to recover and heal. She is a non-judgemental, empathetic and truly listens to her patient’s needs. She specializes in treating those with trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, personality disorders, bipolar disorder and psychosis.

In her free time she loves to go to the beach and spend time with her three pugs. 

Lonna Larger, PMHNP

BlueSky Telepsych
BlueSky Telepsych · Our Mental Health Providers
Text Us! ➔