About Us

At Synergy Strive, we are a team of solution-focused clinicians and coaches. Our goal to help you, your child or your family uncover your true potential and lead a life that is worth celebrating. While we cannot change difficult situations of the past, we can work together to better understand and resolve challenges in your life. If you're looking for extra support and guidance through a challenging situation or you're just ready to move in a new direction in your life, we look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.

Our Mission

Our mission at Synergy Strive is to facilitate change in our client’s life by building hope and activating their resilience while they strive for determination towards their future. We do this using our personalized model of resiliency, ultimately assisting our clients to uncover their true potential.

Our Vision

To restore intrinsic HOPE; bringing the world together by activating resilience.

Our Values

The team at Synergy Strive is your ally to guide you on the bridge of your journey from where you are to where you would ideally like to be.

Our Goal

Our team’s goal at Synergy Strive is to assist our clients over the bridge towards life success, fulfillment and overall happiness.

     Meet the Team

Steve

Steven M Gordon, PMHCNS/NP-BC, Owner

Steven M. Gordon is a licensed and registered Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Therapist who has over 25 years’ experience treating children, adolescents, adults and families; specializing with young adults. He has worked in leadership positions at the Regional Institute of Children and Adolescents, Children’s National Hospital and University of Maryland Department of Community Psychiatry. Mr. Gordon has been recognized and spoken nationally about his model of Hope and Resiliency of treatment. Mr. Gordon is presently writing about how Life Coaching can be a vital part of the mental health continuum, ultimately preventing emotional crisis.  Using a combination of Acceptance Commitment Therapy and Mr. Gordon’s extensive psycho-pharmacological knowledge, Mr. Gordon is able to fully treat a wide demographic of patients and the issues they are facing.
Jennifer

Jennifer Jones, Director

Following a successful 20-year career in medical sales, Jennifer left the business world to become a life coach.  After completing comprehensive coursework in life coaching, she became a Certified Life Coach from the International Coach Federation in 2018. She joined Synergy Strive in 2018, and since then her position has evolved to Director of Practice Operations. Jennifer works directly with the clinical and administrative teams as well as billing, recruiting, and new patients.
Samantha

Dr. Samantha A. Rogers, DNP, PMHNP-BC, Co-Director of Nurse Practitioners

Dr. Rogers graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the Catholic University of America in 2010. From May 2010 until September 2014, she served as an active duty Nurse Corps Officer in the United States Navy. During this time she treated Wounded Warriors serving in Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, specializing in the care of those suffering from traumatic brain injuries at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. She received a Joint Service Commendation Medal in 2014 for her dedicated service and trauma-centered care while on the in-patient TBI unit.
Dr. Rogers has experience with a full spectrum of developmental ages from children to adults in individual and group therapy. She graduated with her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in 2018 from the University of Maryland specializing in Psychiatric Medication Management and Psychotherapy as a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Therapist. She enjoys spending her free time at the beach with her family and friends.
Derek

Derek Walcker, PMHNP-BC, Co-Director of Nurse Practitioners

Derek earned his BSN from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in 2009 and invested 5 years working in critical care, including ERs, ICUs, organ procurement, and Level One Shock Trauma. In 2015, Derek transitioned his career to behavioral health, joining Sheppard Pratt Hospital where he served for 3 years as the night building administrator, managing and coordinating all administrative and patient care responsibilities. During this time, he became adept at providing acute behavioral healthcare to patients in crisis, ranging in age from adolescence to geriatric.
After earning his MSN in Psychiatric Mental Health from Kent State, where he graduated with a 4.0 GPA, Derek initially provided inpatient behavioral health consultation and management for adult/geriatric residents of skilled nursing facilities, many of whom had battled a lifetime of psychiatric illness. Realizing the impact of poorly managed behavioral health over a patient’s lifespan, Derek switched his focus to providing early mental health intervention and management to adolescents and young adults in the outpatient setting. Derek is a staunch practitioner of evidence-based practice, that includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy, with intimate involvement of the patient and their family in the decision-making process. His overall goal is to provide the highest quality of life for each patient.
Bah

Dr Fatmata Binta Bah, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Dr. “Binta” Bah achieved her Doctorate in Nursing Practice specializing in Psychiatric Mental Health from the University of Maryland School of Nursing in May 2022. As part of her training, she was awarded the Behavioral Health Workforce Integration Support and Education Fellowship. In an effort to give back, Dr. Bah teaches as an adjunct faculty member of this prestigious medical program. Prior to specializing in psychiatry and behavioral health, she earned her MSN, BSN, and LPN in Family Practice nursing.
Dr. Bah chose to specialize in psychiatric medication management and therapy because she is passionate about erasing the stigma around mental illness through patient education and collaboration. She has over 9 years experience working as an inpatient psychiatric nurse and Nurse Team Leader at St Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington D.C. In 2020, Dr. Bah served on the Performance Improvement Committee and was nominated for Employee of the Year.
Dr. Bah believes in providing care that is guided by respect and self-acceptance, by openly discussing stigmas, and by collaborating with patients to reach and regain optimal health. When she’s not working with patients or students, Dr. Bah is a busy mother of three and helps with her mother’s small business.
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Ruth Bissell, PMHNP-BC

Ruth Bissell earned a BSN at Drexel University (PA) with a focus on addiction studies because of the current addiction crisis. She assisted with the long process of recovery for adolescents and adults by using Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT), counseling, education, and group therapy. Ruth realized that addiction problems affect more than just the patient, and continued her studies to become certified to treat addiction. Addiction treatment often requires treating other psychiatric problems, so Ruth gained expertise and certification in the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, and ADHD. To offer more comprehensive treatment, she studied Motivational Therapy (MT) and psychotherapy under Aaron Beck, the father of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). As Trauma became understood as a root for psychiatric problems, Ruth became recognized as an expert in crisis intervention by licensure as a forensic nurse. For years she assisted survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in hospital emergency departments. She was licensed as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at Monmouth University (NJ) before moving to Maryland. Recently, she's been treating patients with post-COVID problems, PTSD, OCD, and eating disorders.
Elsa

Dr. Elsa DeLeonardo, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Dr. Elsa DeLeonardo is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She holds a Doctorate in Nursing Practice and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. During her undergraduate studies, Dr. DeLeonardo worked in a private psychiatric practice dealing with various aspects of patient care including brain mapping and biofeedback. While raising her family, she returned to school and graduated magna cum laude from two nursing programs while working and caring for patients and their families.
Dr. DeLeonardo has worked for many years in the outpatient psychiatric setting. Her career highlights include creating and implementing a hospital-wide educational program for non-psychiatric nurses at University of Maryland Medical Center for the evaluation of suicidal ideation and developing a Clinical Practice Guideline for the Prevention and Management of Workplace Violence in the outpatient mental health setting. Dr. DeLeonardo specializes in the psychopharmacological treatment of adolescent and adult patient populations. Her years of training and experience in varied settings contributes to her holistic approach when working with patients and their families. Fluent in English and Spanish, Dr. DeLeonardo aims to provide appropriate family-centered and culturally-competent psychiatric care to all patients.
Amanda

Dr. Amanda Eblin, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Dr. Amanda Eblin is an ANCC board-certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland in 2015, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Medical University of South Carolina in 2019. She is an active member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. She has been published in The Journal of Child and Adolescent Nursing and Issues in Mental Health Nursing journal.
Dr. Eblin first began her career in psychiatry leading Dialectical Behavioral Therapy groups at a partial hospitalization program for children and adolescents during undergraduate. Upon graduation, she worked as a Registered Nurse for an inpatient pediatric behavioral health unit where she received additional training in crisis prevention.
Her professional work experience and graduate training includes community psychiatry, inpatient psychiatry, consult liaison, and partial hospitalization. Dr. Eblin has extensive training in working with children, adolescents, adults and their families. Her personal areas of clinical interest include: anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, insomnia, family issues, maternal mental health, trauma history, stress management and eating disorders.
She currently resides in Harford County with her husband and her son.
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Stephanie Gillis, PMHNP-BC, MS-FNP

Stephanie Rae Gillis is a Maryland licensed and registered Nurse Practitioner board certified in Psychiatry/Mental Health and Family Medicine. Stephanie graduated magna cum laude from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and earned her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland School of Nursing, where she continued on as an adjunct clinical faculty instructor for the graduate and undergraduate nursing programs. She went on to complete a post-graduate psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner program at Maryville University as well as a Psychopharmacology Master Program through the Neuroscience Education Institute.
Stephanie’s goal is to provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based, empathic, and non-judgmental mental health care possible. Stephanie also provides supportive therapy for patients. She is an LGBTQ allied practitioner and treats patients ages 10 and older with depressive, anxiety, and mood disorders, ADHD, PTSD, and OCD.
When she’s not working, Stephanie loves spending time with her young daughter on outdoor adventures with their puppy, Violet.
Kristen
SS Christine

Kristen Nagl, PMHNP-BC

Kristen graduated from Notre Dame of Maryland University with a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and Leadership. She proceeded on to obtain her post-master’s for her psychiatric nurse practitioner degree from Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri. Kristen has practiced as a registered nurse for over twenty years in psychiatry, emergency room, trauma, and pediatrics. She am a member of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland and Sigma Theta Tau Honors Society of Nursing. She am currently completing a fellowship at University of Maryland for psychiatry with concentration on pediatrics, adolescents, adults, consultation liaison, and substance abuse.

Dr. Christine Ro, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Dr. Christine Ro is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She holds a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Salisbury University. She began her nursing career in an inpatient medical detox unit treating patients with substance use disorders. Since then, she's gained additional experience in treating patients across the lifespan, including children and adolescents, with various mental health needs.
Dr. Ro prioritizes the development of a therapeutic relationship with her patients. During her post-graduate studies, she was chosen to participate in a Health Resources and Services Administration funded fellowship program that focused on providing multidisciplinary and culturally competent care for underserved communities. She believes this was an opportunity that highlighted the importance of enhancing the rapport between provider and patient by wholly understanding each patients’ unique needs. Dr. Ro strives to utilize her experience, education and expertise to provide evidence-based, quality care to meet the needs of her patients.
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Dr. Miriam Sperling, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Dr. Miriam Sperling is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse practitioner who holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Towson University and Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore. From the very beginning of her nursing career Dr. Sperling was passionate about mental health and began working within the community delivering care in an outpatient clinic for adults with substance use disorders. To further her exposure in mental health, she transitioned to working at Sheppard Pratt, an inpatient psychiatric hospital, where she spent five years caring for adults with a variety of mental health illnesses such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and mood disorders.
During her graduate studies she participated in a Health Resources and Services Administration funded fellowship program where she was elected to spend one year focusing on delivering interprofessional mental health care with social workers and therapists in underserved and under-privileged communities. Dr. Sperling’s education, experiences, and trainings, have given her a broad background in serving the mental health needs of adults and has enhanced her capabilities as a clinician.
Dr. Sperling is a native resident of Maryland, and in her free time enjoys taking local trips around the Delmarva region with her husband and two children going to parks, museums, zoos, and aquariums.
Yvonne

Yvonne Swann, PMHNP-BC

Ms. Yvonne Swann is a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner – Psychiatric Mental Health (CRNP-PMH). Her credentials allow her to diagnose psychiatric conditions, provide psychotherapy, and prescribe medications to individuals across the lifespan. She was awarded her Master of Science Degree in Nursing from Walden University and also holds a Bachelor of Art Degree in History from Loyola University in Maryland.
Ms. Swann has worked in various health care settings for over seven years, the last three years dedicating her care to patients with an array of psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental disorders, personality disorders, mood disorders, trauma and stressor-related disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and alcohol and substance abuse disorders.
Ms. Swann models a holistic approach to patient care – one in which medication may be a treatment option, but she believes it is also important to consider the patient’s physical and nutritional status, resilience skills, and personal goals in order to optimize their well-being. As a former merchant mariner and private pilot, Ms. Swann has a love for adventure and the humanities. She is passionate about supporting others in their journey to embrace their own potential and live their best lives.
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Melissa Susini, Patient Services Manager

Melissa has 20 years of experience in the integrative medical field where she managed patients’ therapies as well as office operations including human resources, accounting, and marketing. She joined Synergy Strive in 2022 as the Patient Services Manager where she’ll leverage her knowledge and experience. When she’s not working, Melissa enjoys spending time with her 2 daughters, her dog Maisie, and her cat Lucy.
Sherry

Sherry Proctor, Practice Communications Coordinator

After graduating college and serving in the U.S. Army, Sherry Proctor spent 13 years working for a leading pharmaceutical company in marketing and sales. She left the workforce in 2010 to focus on raising her young children. During this time, she was involved in many volunteer activities, including serving as PTA president and fundraising for local community organizations. In 2018, Sherry brought her creativity and marketing expertise to Synergy Strive as our Social Media Coordinator and recently expanded her role to include patient scheduling. When she's not working or busy with her two teenagers, Sherry enjoys spending time with her dog Drake, especially at her beach home in Delaware.
Danielle

Danielle DiTomasso, Patient Services Coordinator

After graduating from college, Danielle worked in the high tech industry for 10 years. She left the workforce to stay at home full time with her two children, volunteering and eventually working at their elementary school. Danielle joined Synergy Strive as a Patient Services Coordinator in 2021. She enjoys interacting with patients as she assists them with scheduling, confirming, and communicating with providers. Outside of work, Danielle enjoys spending time with her busy teens, fundraising for their sports teams, cooking, crocheting, and spoiling her two dogs, Milo and Olive.