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Leadership Team and Medical Staff


 Dan Kern

Daniel Kern

Chief Executive Officer

Daniel Kern is Chief Executive Officer at Strategic-Leland, with responsibility for the overall operations at the center.  Prior to joining Strategic, he worked at various treatment centers throughout the country, and served in a leadership position for both the private sector and in county government.  Daniel’s greatest strengths are his drive, leadership abilities, and his commitment to excellence.  He thrives on challenges, particularly those that call upon his abilities to lead his treatment team to success. Having worked with both adults and adolescents throughout his career, he finds working with children and adolescents the most rewarding.

Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University and received both an MS and an MBA from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.  He, his wife and their three children are delighted to be living in this coastal community.  In addition to enjoying the beach, Dan is an avid golfer.




Patrick McAfee

UR Director

Patrick McAfee, the Director of Utilization Review has been a nurse for 22 years. He has worked in several areas of nursing, including mental health facilities in PA. Six years ago he moved his family to the Wilmington Area after vacationing here and falling in love with the area.

In October 2012, Patrick began his career at SBC as a residential floor nurse before moving to the Utilization Review Department three years ago. He continues to further his education in nursing at Cape Fear Community College.

Patrick enjoys spending time with his family, camping, going to the beach, and Steelers Football.



Summer Starkey Admissions Coordinator

Summer Starkey

State PRTF Admissions Coordinator

Summer Starkey is Strategic’s resident “air traffic controller” tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the admissions process for the 72 bed residential unit. With nearly ten years of experience in mental health, Summer joined team SBC in October 2012 after spending several years working with adults and children in both inpatient and community settings. Summer’s strength lies in her ability to communicate and make others feel at ease. She has a strong drive and a work ethic that is second to none. Summer takes personal pride in helping at-risk youth and their families obtain the treatment they so desperately need. Summer relocated to Wilmington to further her career, following graduation from Marshall University with a BA in psychology. She is an enthusiastic college football fan who bleeds green for her alma mater.





Audrey Chase Wallace

Director of Risk Management

Audrey Chase Wallace has over 17 years of experience in health information, compliance and senior administrative health care experience. Her expertise is working with senior management on strategy execution, organization development, and leading change projects.  She has successfully integrated electronic medical records, HIE, and Compliance initiatives in her previous jobs. Her ability to collaborate with Quality/Performance Improvement has also led to successful Joint Commissions Surveys and facility recognition.

As the Past President and Director of the North Carolina Health Information Management Association (NCHIMA), Audrey is skilled in facilitating volunteer staff and leading and expanding the influence of health information management and compliance policy and standards within the North Carolina health care community. She has also served on AHIMA’s Council for Excellence in Education.



Anthony Murphy Program Coordinator

Anthony Murphy

Program Coordinator

After serving in the US Army for 7 years and exiting with an honorable discharge, Anthony started a new career in the mental health field that has spanned 16 years. He has provided services to 8 different companies within this field, not only working with children, but with adults as well.

Anthony started his career at Strategic Behavioral Center in 2010 as a Residential Advisor and has progressed over the years to Program Coordinator, where he currently oversees all staff working within the “milieu” of both the Residential and Acute units. Anthony takes great pride in providing service to everyone he comes in contact with – including staff, patients, and their families.



Jill Verina

Jill Verina

Regional Business Office Director

Jill Verina began her professional career in finance working directly for the Controller of a large ambulance company in Cleveland, Ohio. During this time, Jill also attended Kent State University where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.

Prior to joining Strategic Behavioral Center in 2011, Jill and her husband were owner/operators of a franchise restaurant in Ohio. Jill has combined her interest in behavioral health with her 25 years of Business Office experience. As Central Business Office Director, she provides leadership to the entire NC Business Office team, which includes all the Billing Specialists for SBC’s three North Carolina facilities.



 Jason Chapman

Jason Chapman

Director of Plant Operations

Jason Chapman, the Environment of Care Director in charge of plant operations and safety, started his career at Strategic in 2009 as a Residential Advisor. He later transferred to the maintenance department, where he worked for 5 years to keep the building safe and in good repair.  Now as a director he supervises maintenance, housekeeping, and dietary employees.

Jason graduated from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana with a BA in 2003. He also enjoyed playing semi-professional football here in Wilmington for 9 years. In 2014, he was inducted into the Mason-Dixon Football League Hall of Fame for his leadership and achievements on the field.



Kim Hinson Director of Education

Kim Hinson

Director of Education

Kimberly Hinson, the Director of Education, came to Strategic in 2012 after working for over 30 years in the public schools of North Carolina.  She has served students as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, and Director of Federal Programs.

Kim was born and raised here in Southeastern North Carolina, and has a vested interest in concentrating her efforts to enrich the lives of our young people and help them find a sense of hope and purpose.

When not working with children, Kim enjoys spending time at the beach and following the Tarheels.



Betty Hagopian Executive Assistant

Betty Hagopian

Executive Assistant

Prior to coming on board at SBC as the Executive Assistant to the CEO, Betty was co-owner of an advertising agency in Raleigh, NC for 20 years. When an opportunity presented itself to relocate to the Wilmington area, she decided to explore a new career path.

Betty has a vast spectrum of administrative experience which stands her in good stead as Executive Assistant and Manager of the receptionists.  Having raised two children, she truly enjoys working in the health industry toward the betterment of children’s lives.



 Janet Santoro




Janet Santoro

Clinical Director

Originally from NY, Janet graduated from SUNY-Binghamton with a BS, and later relocated to Wilmington NC where she received her Master’s in Clinical Social Work from UNCW.

Janet comes to Strategic with over 15 years of experience working with children and families in privately funded sectors and in not-for-profit organizations.

Throughout her career, Janet has focused on being an advocate for mental health needs. She has a great passion for building healthy families and has a proven track record of providing sound clinical judgment.

When not working with children and their families, Janet enjoys Salsa dancing, watching football, and camping with her family.




Todd Deal

Chief Financial Officer

Todd Deal serves as Chief Financial Officer for Strategic Behavioral Health in Wilmington and Charlotte. Graduating college with a BA in accounting, Todd continued his education by earning a CPA degree.

With over 20 years of experience in behavioral health, Todd began his career as an accountant at a state operated psychiatric hospital. He has worked his way up through the ranks to his current position as CFO. Most of Todd’s work career has been in West Virginia with some time spent in Georgia before relocating to North Carolina.



Jacob Shaheen

Director of Business Development

Jacob Shaheen, Director of Business Development, started with SBC-Wilmington in January 2017. Jacob is originally from Memphis, TN and graduated from Auburn University in 2016 with a BS in Healthcare Administration. Jacob’s passion for psych started in 2014 during his first internship as an MHT at Peak View Behavioral Health in Colorado Springs, CO. He has also worked as an HR and QI/Compliance Intern at SBC-Garner, and Business Office Intern at Rock Prairie Behavioral Health in College Station, TX.

As Director of Business Development, Jacob leads a team of Community Liaisons who strive to connect the mental health needs of the community to the services provided at SBC.


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