Stephanie Fuller, Ph.D. serves as USD-GPEP Training Director for LCBHS. She is a clinical psychologist who works as a consultant for South Dakota Social Security Disability Determination Services. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota (USD) where she has been teaching and supervising psychiatry residents in psychotherapy for over 20 years. She was formerly the Director of the Psychological Services Center, a part of the USD clinical training program in the psychology department at USD. She has served over 20 years as a clinical supervisor for the USD clinical psychology graduate training program in various positions and has supervised at a variety of graduate student clinical placement sites in South Dakota over the years including Urban Indian Health, Heartland Counseling and Community Behavioral Health, and the South Dakota Human Services Center, which is the South Dakota state psychiatric hospital. She has a wealth of experience in training issues and working with underserved populations. She grew up in Nebraska and South Dakota and obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of North Dakota. She currently works in eastern SD and is a clinical placement supervisor at the USD Student Counseling Center in Vermillion.
Dr. Dracy earned his Ph.D. in psychology in 2000. Since 2000, Dr. Dracy has evaluated and provided therapy for individuals and families who experienced severe and persistent mental health challenges. Dr. Dracy has been the Lewis and Clark Behavioral Health Services (LCBHS) Veteran Services provider since 2000 and he has participated in two National Guard Debriefing Exercises after soldiers returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. From 2001 to 2007, Dr. Dracy served as a professional facilitator and consultant for Yankton, SD Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Dr. Dracy has been a supervisor of LCBHS crisis response team since 2010. In 2018, Dr. Dracy became LCBHS’s Farm Crisis Outreach and Individual Services Provider. Dr. Dracy has provided Critical Incident Stress Debriefings for several emergency responder critical incidents. Additionally, Dr. Dracy has been an educator for local law enforcement officers on the topics of Mental Illness, Involuntary Commitments, and De-escalation Techniques. Dr. Dracy has been a presenter at the South Dakota Wellness Conference numerous times covering a range of topics, including issues related to: anxiety disorders and Treatments, Evidence Based Treatments, and Motivational Interviewing and Stages of Change. Dr. Dracy has been a consultant providing Mental Health Assessments and Consultation for Avera Sacred Heart Hospital and has evaluated and given testimony at over 4,000 involuntary commitment proceedings.
Thomas S. Stanage, Ph.D., is a native of Yankton, South Dakota. Dr. Stanage has had a lifetime of providing for the care of those in need. Dr. Stanage completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Yankton College, Yankton, South Dakota. At the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, he earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with a minor in Developmental Psychology and Alcohol Studies. Through his employment with Lewis & Clark Behavioral Health Services, Inc., and in his current role as Executive Director, Dr. Stanage is recognized throughout the state as a leader in providing the highest quality mental health services. He has been the recipient of numerous federal and state grants and is known as a pioneer in the development of behavioral health services in rural South Dakota. Dr. Stanage received local, state, regional and national recognition for his leadership and commitment to serving those with serious mental illness and chemical dependency. His professionalism is recognized through his membership, offices held, and continuing involvement with the National and South Dakota Chapters of the American Psychological Association, the South Dakota Council of Community Mental Health Centers, and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Dr. Stanage serves as the chairperson of the South Dakota Board of Psychological Examiners. Dr. Stanage has extensive experience in the provision of both adult and family / child services. Dr. Stanage is a dedicated family man who actively serves his local community in many leadership capacities on an extensive list of organizations and Boards.
Dr. Dominic Alvernaz earned his PsyD in Clinical Psychology at Alliant International University-Fresno in California. He also attended Merced College in Merced, California and the University of California San Diego where he studied Psychology. Dr. Alvernaz completed his Postdoctoral Residency at Compass Health Network in Missouri. He is assigned to adolescent acute and intermediate length inpatient psychiatric units at the Human Services Center in Yankton, South Dakota.
Dr. Joel Merkwan earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Dakota Clinical Psychology Training Program, which is American Psychological Association Accredited. He completed his residency at the Center for Psychiatric Care in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Dr. Merkwan is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine Psychiatry Department and an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Dakota Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. He is employed as the Director of Psychology and a Clinical Psychologist at the Human Services Center in Yankton, South Dakota and covers adult inpatient psychiatric acute and rehabilitation units.
Dr. Erick Messler earned his PhD in psychology from the University of South Dakota. After completing his studies, he served in the United States Air Force as an officer and clinical psychologist. Following his career in the Air Force, he worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs before moving back home to Yankton, SD to take a position at the Human Services Center. Dr. Messler also teaches at Mount Marty University.