Licensed and Board-Certified Providers
Scottsdale Mental Health & Wellness Institute is founded by Dr. Roland Segal and Dr. Ehab Abdallah. Both psychiatrists are licensed and have multiple board certifications and over a decade of proving holistic psychiatric treatment and care. They are involved in regional and national professional organizations and have held Medical Directorship positions across the nation. Both Dr. Segal and Dr. Abdallah are Clinical Assistant Professors of Psychiatry with the University of Arizona. Dr. Segal was also recognized as one of the top psychiatric doctors by Phoenix Magazine in 2020.
Roland Segal, M.D.
Dr. Segal completed his medical school education at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine, in Tucson, Arizona. He continued training in a general psychiatry residency at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Then Dr. Segal completed a forensic psychiatry fellowship at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, in Los Angeles.
Dr. Segal is double board certified in General and Forensic Psychiatry.
Dr. Segal is the Chief Medical Officer at the Valley Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ehab Abdallah, M.D.
Dr. Abdallah obtained his medical degree from Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt. He completed his residency training in psychiatry at West Virginia University.
Dr. Abdallah is a triple board-certified in General Psychiatry, Consultation-Liaison (Psychosomatic) Psychiatry, and Addiction Psychiatry.
Dr. Abdallah is experienced in treating psychiatric illness in people with complex medical/mental conditions and is an expert in addiction medicine. He is passionate about quality care.
Elena Volfson, M.D.
Dr. Volfson is a double board-certified in general adult and addiction psychiatry and featured as a 2018 Top Doctor in Phoenix Magazine. She completed her medical training at the St. Petersburg Pavlov Medical University in St.Petersburg, Russia.
Dr. Volfson completed a Masters in Public Health Degree at the University of Albany, New York, and Psychiatric Residency and Addiction Fellowship at the UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She served as a Medical Director of the Integrated/Collaborative program at the Philadelphia Veteran Affairs Medical Center and as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania.
Presently, Dr. Volfson is a consultant at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Mayo College of Medicine.
Bahar Altaha, M.D.
Dr. Bahar Altaha completed her medical school at the University of Hamburg in Germany. She started her training in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and continued with General Adult and Child-Adolescent Psychiatry training at WVU in Morgantown, WV.
Dr. Altaha is triple board certified in General Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Psychosomatic Medicine (Consultation-Liaison). Dr. Altaha served as Assistant Professor at West Virginia University and as Associate Professor at the University of Arizona School of Medicine. Dr. Altaha is passionate about delivering best outcomes and improving the patient experience.
Lauren T. Bonner, M.D.
Lauren Tosca Bonner, MD is double-board certified in Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry. She has extensive experience in patient care in the inpatient and outpatient settings. She has provided care to patients in academic, public and private health care sectors. Dr. Bonner has participated in patient centered research in the fields of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alcohol Use Disorder, Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia and Schizophrenia. She was the recipient of a grant from the National Institute of Health to research a treatment for agitation in Alzheimer’s Disease. She was chosen to present her research at the International Alzheimer’s Disease Scientific Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. She has written and co-authored a number of journal articles that have been published in a number of peer reviewed journals including Neurology and Academic Psychiatry. She has also coauthored book chapters in publications such as the Medical Clinics of North America and the Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry. Dr. Bonner’s academic and patient care excellence has been recognized by her election to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and her recognition as a Leonard Weisskopf Scholar. Dr. Bonner has extensive experience in the care of patients with Mood Disorders, Trauma Spectrum Disorders such as PTSD, Psychotic Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, ADHD, Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias and Women’s Mental Health Issues.
Regan O’Brien M.D.
Dr. O’Brien earned her medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University. She came to the Phoenix area in 2015 to complete residency training at Creighton University School of Medicine Valleywise Health Center (formerly Maricopa County Hospital). Over the course of her training, she worked closely with the underserved and became experienced in treating persons with the most complex and serious mental illnesses. Dr. O’Brien’s background also includes a variety of experiences in the outpatient setting caring for patients of diverse cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Upon completing her four-year residency training, Dr. O’Brien worked at Valleywise Health in Phoenix, AZ as an inpatient psychiatric consultant before deciding to transition to mostly outpatient work. She has a strong background in psychotherapy with special interest in treating young professionals.
Alexandra Presler, PA-C
Alexandra Presler, PA-C is a nationally certified physician assistant specializing in psychiatry. She completed her Bachelor of Science in physiology with a minor in psychology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. She then went on to earn her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from Northern Arizona University in Phoenix, Arizona.
Alexandra has experience working in all levels of psychiatry from acute inpatient, to partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, to routine outpatient care. She practices tele-psychiatry and in-office visits. Alexandra believes in patient-centered care and using optimized psychopharmacology to help her patients achieve their goals for long-term wellness.
Tara Iacono, PA-C
Tara Iacono is a nationally certified physician assistant specializing in psychiatry and addiction medicine. She graduated with honors from the St. John’s University Physician Assistant program in 2006. Tara is an active advocate for her profession in the PA community and is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants. She is also on the committee of the AAPA Special Interest Group: PAs in Virtual Medicine and Telemedicine. Additionally, she is pursuing her doctorate in healthcare administration and leadership at Rocky Mountain University Health Professions. Tara feels honored to care for her patients during some of the most challenging times in their lives. Her approach to their care is holistic, collaborative, and compassionate.
Mike Higbee, PA-C
Mike Higbee is a nationally certified physician assistant specializing in psychiatry. Mike graduated from St. John’s University in New York City in 2003 with honors. His guiding philosophy in practice is not only to alleviate the burden of psychiatric illness, but also to guide his patients on where certain aspects of the disorder may be useful. Mike has experience in outpatient psychiatry, substance use treatment as well as crisis psychiatry. He is an active member of the Association of Physician Assistants in Psychiatry. He is also in the process of writing the chapters on psychotic disorders and anxiety disorders for a medical textbook in collaboration with Yale Medical.
Advanced Nurse Practitioner
Stella Waweru, MSN, PMHNP-BC
Stella Waweru, MSN, PMHNP-BC is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, with training and experience treating patients with psychiatric disorders across the lifespan and across practice settings, from hospitals to outpatient clinics. Stella earned a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stella focuses on consultation, treatment selection, and care coordination for people struggling with a wide range of psychiatric issues.
Stella brings a humanistic philosophy of holistic care for both mind and body, and an abiding commitment to individualized, personalized, comprehensive care for patients.
Samantha Willen, DNP, PMHNP-BC
Samantha Willen, DNP, PMHNP-BC is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Samantha graduated from Oregon State University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences. She then went on to receive a Master’s in Science, Entry to Nursing in 2013 and Doctor of Nursing Practice in Psychiatric/Mental Health in 2018 from the University of Arizona.
Samantha has previously worked at Maricopa Integrated Health Services (now Valleywise) for two years and Lifewell Behavioral Wellness for the past year, working with individuals diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness (SMI). Samantha utilizes an individualized approach to mental health, using evidence-based medicine to provide high value care.
Cory M.J. Groman LPC
Cory M.J. Groman has been a practicing psychotherapist for the past 8 years. Cory received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and his Masters in counseling from Franciscan University of Steubenville, located in Steubenville, Ohio. Throughout his career, Cory has served in several leadership positions, including as the lead to the crisis response team while working with Talbert House in Cincinnati, Ohio. Most recently, he has served as Lead Therapist at Valley Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. He has also conducted research having been published in the journal of ADHD. He has served as faculty and written lectures for the American Physicians Institute for Advanced Professional Studies, a web-based learning center for the continuing education of medical professionals.
Besides, he has been a peer reviewer for the OMICS publishing group, a peer-review journal. Cory has treated a variety of populations from children to adults with a variety of conditions/issues, including anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD, social anxiety, loss of meaning, addictions, grief/loss, employment issues, decision making, impulsivity.
Kristin McKenzie, MA, LPC
Kristin graduated from Arizona State University with her undergraduate degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences and obtained her Master’s degree from Ottawa University in Professional Counseling. Kristin is a licensed clinician that has extensive experience working with all populations. Kristin started her career working with families in non-profit organizations focusing on victims of domestic violence, trauma, and abuse. This allowed her to work with children on the spectrum and adolescents diagnosed with mood disorders. Kristin worked for several years in acute psychiatric hospitals working with individuals suffering from psychiatric disorders and patients struggling with self-harm and chronic mental health issues. She has a background working with military and veterans that have struggled with addiction and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She developed and implemented an inpatient substance abuse rehabilitation program for military members in an acute psychiatric setting.
Kristin was a Clinical Director for a counseling clinic specializing in DUI’s, domestic violence, and anger management. Kristin provided supervision with clinicians providing court-ordered group and individual offender treatment. Kristin is certified as a Trauma Professional with training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and substance abuse/addiction.
Jacob Johnson, LPC
Jacob Johnson graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2015 with his Master’s Degree in counseling after receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in philosophy there prior. He started his counseling work in the field of substance use and co-occurring disorders working inpatient in Flagstaff and Prescott before moving back to Phoenix where he has worked as both an outpatient counselor and a clinical supervisor.
He is a licensed professional counselor who has worked extensively with adults, adolescents, and families in the fields of substance use, co-occurring disorders, and general mental health utilizing a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, motivational interviewing, and positive psychology.
Penny Rogers, Practice Administrator
Our practice administrator, Penny Rogers, joins SMHWI with over 22 years of experience in the medical field. Not only has Penny served as an admin in a variety of specialties but she has also spent many years as a business owner and COO for a local mobile medical practice.
Penny graduated from USC with a BS in business and communications and combines that education with her experience and positive attitude to make an impact in the lives of the patients and staff at SMHWI. When Penny is not working, she spends her time with her sons and two dogs and enjoys painting, reading, and the ocean.
Please contact Penny at Practiceadmin@mdofficemail.com.
Rhia Hudson, Lead Medical Assistant
Rhia comes to SMHWI with over nine years of clinical experience after graduating at the top of her class. She has spent her career working in both the front and back office in a variety of settings including urgent care, private practices, pain management clinics, and long term care facilities. Rhia is committed to helping others and that passion drives her positivity each day and the smile she always wears. When she isn’t working with patients at SMHWI, she spends her time reading, gardening, and cooking with her husband and two furbabies.
Christina Hutcherson, Medical Assistant
Christina (Chrissy) has been a medical assistant for over eight years. She has a passion for helping others which has led her to work in a variety of clinical settings. She has experience in general practice, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, and mental health care. When she isn’t in the office, she spends her time with her children and making jewelry. Her goal for each day is to make at least one person smile!