Blog Post

Meet the evolvedMD Team – Behavioral Health Manager Edition

We are currently living in a mental health epidemic. In a world where the need for behavioral health services is prevalent and well documented, one would think that access would be increased, but that is simply not the case. At evolvedMD, we are committed to increasing access to quality mental health solutions through our uniquely upfront, innovative, and ongoing approach. At the center of our model are our Behavioral Health Managers (BHMs) who work with patients onsite and in person (and virtually if needed) to drive positive transformations.

As part of our campaign to highlight members of the evolvedMD team, this week it is our pleasure to introduce you to our roster of passionate therapists and counselors who work daily to help patients achieve the best possible behavioral health outcomes. Each of our BHMs have made a life-changing impact on their patients’ lives, and thanks to their compassion and undying support, we can ensure an increasing number of people have access to quality behavioral health services at a time when many are struggling.

Meet them below:

Sofia Ahmed, CSW | Behavioral Health Manager


About Sofia: Sofia was born and raised in Salt Lake City, earning her Master’s in Social Work from The University of Utah. Sofia is passionate about encouraging individuals to make choices conducive to their physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In her spare time, Sofia enjoys hot yoga, hiking, and skiing.

Site: Granger Medical Clinic

Fun Fact: Although she was born and raised here, her parents taught her how to speak Hindi as her first language. She learned the English language by watching Sesame Street.


Shelby Banach, CSW | Behavioral Health Manager


About Shelby: Shelby graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with her Master’s in Social Work. Shelby’s passion for collaborating with others who have the desire to become the best versions of themselves makes her a great addition to the team. In her spare time, Shelby enjoys exercising, reading, solving puzzles, and spending time with loved ones.

Site: Ogden Clinic

Fun Fact: She’s a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo.


Rachel Bell, LMSW | Behavioral Health Manager

Rachel (1)

About Rachel: Rachel is a Master’s level clinician from Ohio. She had always wanted to move out west so when she was offered a new opportunity in Tucson, Arizona, she took a leap of faith and loves it here. Rachel graduated from Saint Louis University with a Master’s in Social Work and has over seven years of behavioral health experience. In her spare time Rachel enjoys music, being creative, and traveling.

Site: Quality of Life Medical Center

Fun Fact: She used to make clothing and purses/bags and vend at music festivals her husband would play at.


Darrina Bledsoe, LAC | Behavioral Health Manager

Darrina 1

About Darrina: Darrina is a National trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Health Therapist with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa. Throughout her counseling sessions with patients, she emphasizes physical and mental wellness as a means to developing a healthier lifestyle. Uniquely among the evolvedMD staff, she is EAGALA-certified for Equine Therapy and a former collegiate basketball athlete in the NCAA. Outside of work, her and her sister Deana, who is also a certified therapist, serve as resilience and minset coaches for Bledsoe Empower, a family-run organization dedicated to empowering others to live their best lives.

Site: HonorHealth Deer Valley

Fun Fact: She travels for music festivals and concerts, which has allowed her to become a decent DJ and rapper.


Sylvia Close, LMSW | Behavioral Health Manager

Sylvia (1)

About Sylvia: Sylvia comes to us with a diverse background in both behavioral healthcare and hospice care, starting her career serving patients with SMI and co-occurring disorders. A Master’s level clinician, she is passionate about helping people by enabling them to identify personal goals and working with them to develop the tools they need to succeed. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family, marathoning movies, playing games, and planning her next trip to the land of magic -- Disneyland.

Site: Velda Rose Medical Center


Janine Cwiklinski, LPC | Behavioral Health Manager


About Janine: Janine comes to us with over 20 years of behavioral health experience. She is originally from Philadelphia and has made her home in northern Arizona for over ten years. Her educational background is varied studying liberal arts, creative arts therapy, a variety of body psychotherapy modalities, and counseling psychology. Janine has worked with a variety of people across their life span and enjoys supporting others in finding their solutions to challenges. Creating wellness and restoring a sense of balance has been a professional passion she looks forward to sharing.

Site: Flagstaff Family Care Clinic

Fun Fact: She has stood on the bridge depicted in the painting Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lillies by Claude Monet at his Garden in Giverny, France.


Kristy Geiszler, LMSW | Behavioral Health Manager

Kristy (1)

About Kristy: Kristy is a Master’s level clinician whose experience includes over 10 years working in various hospitals around Arizona with clients that have chronic illnesses, life-threatening illnesses as well as providing support to families that have lost a loved one. Kristy loves connecting with clients and helping them live their lives to the best of their abilities. Kristy has lived in Arizona for 11 years with her husband and two children. When she is not working, Kristy coaches her children’s sports teams and is active with her local church.

Site: 4C Medical Group

Fun Fact: She has gone skydiving three times and can't wait to do it again.


Lydia Jones, LCSW | Behavioral Health Manager

Lydia 2

About Lydia: Lydia is a Master’s level clinician who previously worked in pediatrics as a care coordinator through Arizona’s First Things First grant before moving into clinical work at a community behavioral health clinic. With over 8 years of professional experience, she is passionate about helping others and has a particular interest in women’s health services. Lydia loves spending time with her family, sweating it out in Peloton and yoga classes, and baking treats for all to enjoy.

Site: Page Family Practice; Internal and Family Medicine

Fun Fact: She was a fencer in junior high school.


Lisseth Lopez, LMSW | Behavioral Health Manager


About Lisseth: Guided by her values in helping people become their best selves, Lisseth has made a tremendous impact on others’ lives throughout her career. She has tutored high-risk youth, taught English to Spanish-speaking children, and worked as a reading specialist teaching elementary school children how to read. A Master’s-level clinician, Lisseth worked with patients at Banner hospitals in the Phoenix area for eight years. Prior to that, she worked for the Arizona’s Children Association and Touchstone Health Services as a Case Manager. In her spare time, Lisseth loves spending time with her family, is a die-hard foodie, and actively advocates for both human and animal rights.

Site: ClearPath Family Healthcare

Fun Fact: She unintentionally became a cross country athlete in high school after running a mile in less than eight minutes. Hoping to sit and do nothing after this impressive feat, she was instead recruited to join the cross country team.


Melissa Mann, LAMFT | Behavioral Health Manager


About Melissa: Melissa is a Master’s-level clinician who made the transition into Counseling Psychology after spending 20 years working in law enforcement. A life-long learner with a passion for helping others navigate life, she is thrilled to join the evolvedMD team and make a positive impact on her patients’ lives. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and is an avid runner who has traveled to Seattle, Las Vegas, Idaho, Disneyland, and many other places to participate in half marathons.

Site: HonorHealth Del Lago

Fun Fact: She used to be a licensed Cosmetologist before working in law enforcement and counseling psychology.


Mary Pals, LPC | Behavioral Health Manager


About Mary: Mary is a compassionate clinician who has held various positions in the mental health field including Mobile Crisis, Case Management for Families First Program, and as a full-time therapist. Before entering the mental health field, she worked in the medical field for 20 years as a Licensed Radiologic Technologist in both staff and management positions. After spending one too many winters in Iowa, she escaped the Midwest to enjoy the year-round warm weather in Arizona. When she’s not working, you’ll find her spending time with family and friends and living it up at the beach any chance she gets. 

Site: HonorHealth McKellips

Fun Fact: She owns over 30 pairs of flip flops.


Crystal Sulit, LMSW | Behavioral Health Manager

C. Sulit_ Head Shot (1)

About Crystal: Crystal earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University. She prides herself in taking a client-centered approach to helping people from all walks of life move through their challenges so they can live the life they want and deserve. Crystal has specific experience working with patients dealing with mental health issues, substance abuse, and trauma. When she’s not working, Crystal is an avid traveler and is constantly daydreaming about her next trip.

Site: Premier Medical Group

Fun Fact: She’s been to 13 different countries and the one she wants to go back to the most is Italy.


Dennette Ward, LPC | Behavioral Health Manager

D. Ward_ Headshot

About Dennette: Dennette is a Professional Counselor licensed in AZ and CO with almost 25 years’ experience. She earned her bachelor and master’s degrees at the University of Northern Colorado, in Rehabilitation and Community Counseling. Her experience includes traditional outpatient and in-home services, front line and leadership roles in inpatient settings, extensive crisis assessment and intervention in ER's, and in partnership with first responders on scene, critical incident stress management interventions, and quality improvement. Dennette was born and raised in Wyoming and lived in the Rocky Mountains most of her adult life before moving to AZ 8 1/2 years ago as an adventure after her kids left the nest. She enjoys hiking, walking, reading, cooking, and playing cards with her husband, and seeing her kids and extended family whenever possible.

Site: HonorHealth Thompson Peak

Fun Fact: She learned how to shoot a 22 rifle at church camp when she was a little girl.


Leah Wolin, LMSW | Behavioral Health Manager


About Leah: Uniquely among evolvedMD’s staff, Leah worked as an elementary school teacher for 10 years before entering the behavioral health field. After getting her Master’s in Social Work from Arizona State University, she has gained extensive experience worked in behavioral health agencies, college counseling centers, and in private practice settings. Ultimately, through therapy or sitting down with others she cares for, she is passionate about helping people learn to love themselves. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her kids and her dogs, playing the piano, and immersing herself in nature.

Site: ClearPath Family Healthcare

Fun Fact: She has six kids and two dogs.


Jade Zinser, LAC | Behavioral Health Manager

Jade Zinser

About Jade: Jade is a Master’s-level clinician who completed her Master’s program at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. More specifically, her professional background includes play therapy and most recently neurofeedback to treat a variety of psychiatric conditions. A native Texan, Jade now resides in Phoenix with her fiancé and her golden retriever, Murphy. When she’s not working, Jade enjoys exploring the great outdoors and getting in a good workout.

Site: HonorHealth Thompson Peak

Fun Fact: She nannied for Tony and Candace Romo while in grad school.


Want to reimagine the future of behavioral health with us? Visit our Careers page to see open opportunities,
or send your resume directly to Michelle at






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