Archives: Bios

Unity Care NW service bios.

Mary Burchard, LMHCA

I joined Unity Care in 2022.

I received my BA in Anthropology from Western Washington University, and my MS in Mental Health Counseling from Prescott College. I am a Certified Family Therapist from The Sky Center/New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project, and a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator. I’ve also been trained as a Professional Mediator with the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center.

I have an Emphasis in Somatic Therapy, and became a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Specialist through 6 years of working in Outdoor Behavioral Therapy.

I enjoy taking good care of my house plants, getting on a trail to hike, run or mountain bike, watching live music, and cooking dinner with friends. I enjoy working in Community Health because it connects me to clients diverse as our community.

 

Lauren Soekirman, DMD

I started working at Unity Care in 2022.

I received my Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from Florida State University, and my Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. I am active with the American Dental Association, and the Washington State Dental Association.

My interests include hiking, biking, and spending time with family.

I enjoying working in community health because I’m passionate about making a difference to those in need. I like being able to help bridge the gap for people to get access to good quality care.

Alicia Portillo, PA-C

I joined Unity Care NW in 2022.

I have a BS in Biology from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma WA, and a Master in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) from Northern Arizona University at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

My background includes working as a US Peace Corps health volunteer in Mozambique, and partnering with the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP) to enroll and improve upon HIV treatment. After PA school, I was a study clinician at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health (CAIH) in the Southwest, working on phase 3 clinical trials in partnership with IHS, followed by working at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.

My interests include mountaineering, backpacking, and environmentalism. Se habla español. I enjoy working in community health because it gives me the opportunity to provide accessible care and be a resource to underserved populations. It’s also rewarding to be in a position to help address barriers to healthcare that an individual may be experiencing.

 

Courtney Schick, DMD

I attended Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and NYU for Advanced Education in General Dentistry. I am a member of the Mount Baker Dental Society, WA State Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.

My interests include skiing, gardening, hiking, and biking.

I enjoy being part of a team providing compassionate care to all, regardless of a person’s ability to pay.

 

 

Dr. John Coffey

John has a background in healthcare and education; he recently retired from teaching Dental Hygiene for 30 years at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California.  During that time he was a dentist in private practice, and previously served in the Indian Health Service and two tribal programs.  As an advocate for preventive and science-based medicine, he supports parity of behavioral health and dental services as an important part of “health care for all.”  A third generation Washingtonian, John welcomes the opportunity to serve the Whatcom County community.

Julia Scherting, LMHC

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Therapeutic Recreation from Western Washington University, and a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Washington University. I utilize a person-centered, trauma-informed approach while assisting patients in reaching their health goals.

Areas of interest include trauma, anxiety, body image/eating concerns, depression, grief, relationship concerns/attachment difficulties, finding meaning, LGBTQIA+ allied. I have a background as a recreational therapist and yoga instructor, which are integrated into my work as a counselor through modalities such as encouraging engagement in natural environments for healing and somatic approaches for addressing distress.

I find it fulfilling to be a part of an organization that utilizes an integrative approach which assists patients in strengthening different aspects of their health in a holistic way.

 

Mallory Hamilton, LMHC

I received my MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from Western Washington University.

I work with children, adolescents, couples, and adults – specializing in work with individuals who have a history of trauma, anxiety, depression, ADHD, and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

My professional activities include volunteering with non-profits that support sheltered and unsheltered community members within Whatcom County. I also created a trauma-informed training for volunteers working with unsheltered individuals.

My interests include walking, cold water swimming, yoga, and dancing. I love working in community health because it integrates medical, behavioral, dental, case management, health goals and pharmaceutical needs under one roof. Supporting a human in autonomy and building trust in their support network creates long lasting effects. The hope is that the struggle decreases and the relief increases.

 

 

Chalice Bailey, LMFT

I started working at Unity Care in 2022. I have a BA in Psychology from Seattle University, and an MA in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University.

My approach is to bring forward the strengths of lived-experience, as we move through life’s challenges together. I draw on compassionate inquiry to uncover trauma and beliefs that undermine our best efforts in life.

I am a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, as well as the Washington Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

I appreciate Unity Care NW and their values, which are consistent with my own, in that we are here for and with each other – we are all family.

Pam Jacobs, PhD

I was the Chief Behavioral Health Officer at the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the NW (NARA) where I also served as the Adult Mental Health Director and as a clinical manager. I spent 15 years in private practice in Hillsboro, Oregon and had an adjunct faculty appointment at Pacific University’s Graduate School of Psychology, where I taught courses in basic clinical skills, advanced clinical skills, and the business of psychology. I received my bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and my master’s and doctorate from The Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (now Palo Alto University) in Palo Alto, California. My interests include hiking and birdwatching, travel, and horseback riding.

Pam Jacobs, PhD

Pam’s previous position was the Chief Behavioral Health Officer at the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the NW (NARA) where she also had served as the Adult Mental Health Director and as a clinical manager. Pam spent 15 years in private practice in Hillsboro, Oregon and had an adjunct faculty appointment at Pacific University’s Graduate School of Psychology, where she taught courses in basic clinical skills, advanced clinical skills, and the business of psychology.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and her master’s and doctorate from The Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (now Palo Alto University) in Palo Alto, California.  Pam’s family includes two grown daughters, Zoe and Audrey, and her partner, Bob. Her abundance of interests include hiking and birdwatching, travel, and horseback riding.