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Meet the Team

Behavioral Health Specialists, (BHS), has been providing quality professional care for over 27 years. Formerly Monroe Mental Health Center, the agency began operating as a private, non-profit organization in November of 1992.

Executive Director

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Deb Becher

Residential Clinical Director

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Tonya Oswald

Sunrise Place Administrative Director

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Trevor Urkoski

Seekers of Serenity Administrative Director

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Carla Morris-Von Kampen

Clinical Director

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Julie Gubbels Thompson

Director Youth and Family Services

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Brandon Oestreich

Director of Operations


Autumn Hoefer

Director of Human Resources

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McKinzie Miller

Executive Assistant

Outpatient Providers

Lisa Battle

Lisa Battle, PLMHP Outpatient Therapist Lisa received her master’s degree of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with specialization in Addictions from Walden University. She has worked as a therapist since 2018, upon graduating she started working as a therapist. She enjoys working with adolescents, people who struggle with disabilities, addictions, individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, and other major mental health problems. She typically incorporates a blend of Person-Centered Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Positive Therapy, Art Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy into her treatment.

Deneen Denny

Deneen Denny, PLADC Outpatient Therapist Deneen is a Provisional Drug and Alcohol Counselor with a bachelor’s degree in Social Science. She has worked with substance abuse individuals for two years. Her philosophy of counseling is that everyone is unique and deserves individualized care. She works with Intensive Outpatient group and individual substance use therapy.

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Lori Steffen, PLCSW, PLMHP Outpatient Therapist Lori received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2008. She will be working toward full licensure in Nebraska having recently received her Provisional Mental Health Practitioner and Provisional Master Social Worker licenses. She has been licensed as a Certified Social Worker in South Dakota since 2018 and received her LMSW license in Missouri in 2012. Lori has worked with individuals and groups in a variety of settings in Missouri, South Dakota and Nebraska. Lori likes working with people of all ages, helping them build on their strengths and find the wisdom within themselves while also offering strategies and options for dealing with life’s challenges. Lori primarily uses Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy techniques, informed by Motivational Enhancement and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

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Candace Stickman Counselor in Training

Residential Providers

Tessa Alexander

Tessa Alexander, LADC Residential Therapist & Outpatient Services Supervisor Tessa graduated from Central Community College in 2019. She started working at Seekers of Serenity as a Human Services Technician in 2018, while completing her internship. She then became a therapist in 2019. Tessa enjoys helping individuals better their lives and discovering inner peace.

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Brent Sell, LADC Residential Therapist Brent grew up in the rural community of Arcadia, Nebraska in the central part of the state. He earned his bachelor's degree in Agricultural Sciences in 1998. In 2015, he made a career switch and began working at Sunrise Place as a Human Service Technician from 2015 to 2019. During this time he obtained his PLADC. Brent remained in the Norfolk area, working with local agencies to provide substance use counseling. He is now a residential therapist at Sunrise Place.

Brenae Beam

Brenae Beam, LMHP, LADC Residential Therapist Brenae obtained her Master of Science in Clinical Counseling degree from Bellevue University in Bellevue, NE. She has been licensed as a Mental Health Practitioner since 2012, and fully licensed since 2014. She has been fully licensed as an Alcohol and Drug counselor in the state of Nebraska since 2017 and had completed her provisional licensing through Behavioral Health Specialists prior to that. Brenae has received the training for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and is currently pursuing a clinical certification as an anxiety treatment professional. Brenae enjoys working with individuals who struggle with addiction, anxiety, and other mental health disorders as they are being impacted by their use of substances.

Gloria Torres

Gloria Torres, PLADC Residential Therapist Gloria completed the Training for Addiction Professional in Lincoln, NE August of 2017 while working as a Human Service Technician at Seekers of Serenity Place. Gloria has been with BHS since 2015. She then became a therapist in 2019 after completing her internship at SOS. She enjoys changing people’s lives by rebuilding their desires of living a new way to better their futures.

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Kathy Hohbein, PLADC Residential Therapist Kathy graduated from York College in York, Nebraska with a degree in Psychology. She completed her coursework for her PLADC degree at Metro Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. Kathy has worked in the human services field since 1999 and enjoys helping people gain their independence from substance use.


Juan Reyes, PLADC Residential Therapist

Community Support Providers


Brittany Dugger Community Support Provider Brittany obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree at Wayne State College. She has been with Behavioral Health Specialist since December 2016. Brittany has experience working with clients with mental health and substance use concerns. She enjoys helping individuals succeed and meet their goals.


Angela Thomas Community Support Provider Angela obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Wayne State College in Wayne, NE. She has been with Behavioral Health Specialists since February 2017. She enjoys helping clients overcome their barriers and learn how to live stable lives.


Janice Euteneuer Community Support Provider Janice has always been interested with helping people with Mental Health and Substance Use. She previously worked at Rainbow Center, Inc., a day service for people with Substance use or SPI or SPMI, for 8 years. She was an Employment Specialist and the Day Support Coordinator. It gave her the education to be able to work with clients who need assistance in everyday living, from hygiene, to event planning, to becoming a productive member of society. At BHS, she is more involved with clients, assisting them with housing, employment, financial, legal, resources and so much more. She says, “I love my job because I get to work with people one-on-one. I enjoy working with people because I feel it’s necessary for them to understand that they have extra support in helping them reach their goals and be the best they can be.”


Stephanie Lurz Community Support Provider Stephanie came to Behavioral Health Specialists with a background working as a physical therapist assistant for seven years, helping people regain their independence. Stephanie has now been working to help people gain their independence and maintain their recovery from substance use and/or mental health concerns. She is working towards a bachelor’s degree in human services.

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Joyce Pojar Community Support Provider

Youth and Family Services Providers

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Tamara Schwartzer Foster Care Licensing Specialist

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Lexi Harmon Foster Care Specialist

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Ila Hast Foster Care Specialist

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Haley Meredov Foster Care Specialist

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