Krystle Graham DO, FAPA                                                                                                                                       Psychiatry Residency Training Director
Gateway CSB
Vice Chair of Psychiatry, Associate Professor
Mercer University School of Medicine                                                                                                                    Medical School:  Lake Erie Collage of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency:  Medical Collage of Georgia

Dr. Graham is passionate about educating residents and medical students in community mental health.  Prior to moving to Savannah, Dr. Graham spent four years in Charlotte, NC developing and serving as the Program Director for a new psychiatry residency program.  She has also been heavily involved in undergraduate medical education and currently serves as the Vice Chair of Psychiatry at Mercer University School of Medicine.

Dr. Graham has presented nationally on the roadmap to developing a psychiatry residency program and is the founder and chair of the New Residency Program Caucus through the American Association of Psychiatry Residency Training Directors.  She was inducted into UNC’s School of Medicine Academy of Educators and received the Academy’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019.   Dr. Graham is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and works primarily inpatient with underserved individuals in the community.

Dr. Graham is originally from Ohio and loves the coastal weather and friendly community.  She lives on the water with her husband, three children, and two dogs.  She enjoys biking, boating, exploring local coffee shops and restaurants, dolphin watching from her dock, and the beautiful evening sunsets.


Mark Johnson, MD

Designated Institutional Official
Chief Executive Officer
Gateway Community Service Board
Professor of Psychiatry
Mercer University School of Medicine                                                                                                                                        Medical School: University of Kentucky
Residency: Hahnemann University and HospitaL


Dr. Johnson is currently the CEO of Gateway CSB, on the Georgia coast. He came to Savannah, Georgia after 17 years in community mental health leadership in Missouri. He participated in the development of clinical outcome metrics, improved quality of care, and implementation of integrated health care homes with Primary Care and Community Mental Health Centers and served on the Department of Psychiatry faculty at Washington University. Until becoming CEO at Gateway he practiced outpatient medicine at BJC Behavioral Health in St Louis, where provided motivational interviewing, case management and the use of peer support to assist people in making recovery-oriented healthcare behavior changes. As an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis Dr. Johnson served as Site Director for the 12 month long, 3rd year outpatient rotation in downtown St. Louis and taught various didactic lectures.

Mark holds a BA from Eckerd College, St Petersburg, FL, where he majored in Social Psychology and minored in African American Studies. Following pre-med studies at Stetson University he graduated from the University of Kentucky, College of Medicine and trained in psychiatry in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic University of Pennsylvania and at Hahnemann University and hospital.

Three children, three grandchildren.  A single source coffee aficionado.


Robert (Butch) Pallay, MD

Program Director, Family Medicine Residency
Memorial University Medical Center
Chair and Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah Campus
Medical School: Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.
Family Medicine Residency: Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, New Jersey

Prior to moving to Savannah, Dr. Pallay was the Vice-Chair and Medical Director for the Department of Family Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Medical School in New Jersey.

Dr. Pallay has served on and chaired numerous committees, and held officer positions in the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Medical Society of New Jersey. In the AAFP, he served on the Finance Commission and chaired the Commission on Public Health, and was elected to the national AAFP Board of Directors from 2005-2008.

He has served on the New Jersey bio-terrorism task force and the advisory task force on bio-terrorism for the AAFP. He has a strong track record as both a consultant and advocate for integrating fitness, sports medicine, cultural diversity, and the clinical practice of medicine and public health.


Stephen S. Yost, DO

Department of Psychiatry
Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah Campus

Dr. Yost did his residency in Psychiatry at the Mayo Medical School from 1994-1998. He received his D.O. at The Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1986.

Dr. Yost is currently the Medical Director of the Memorial University Medical Center – Center for Behavioral Medicine, and the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Mercer School of Medicine-Savannah Campus. He is a regular speaker for the Savannah community regarding mental health issues when requested by the media, be it TV, radio, or seminar panels.

Dr. Yost very much enjoys teaching and supervising residents and medical students.


Chrissie Clure, MD

Medical Director

Gateway CSB

Medical School: Medical College of Georgia
Psychiatry Residency: Medical University of South Carolina
Fellowship: Medical University of South Carolina, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Fellowship: Medical University of South Carolina, Addiction Psychiatry

Dr. Clure has been the Assistant Director of the Adolescent Dual Diagnosis Program at the Medical University of South Carolina and is currently the Medical Director for Gateway and the Medical Director of the Lakeside Crisis Stabilization Unit for Children and Adolescents in Savannah, Georgia. She also directs the psychiatry clinical rotation for South University’s PA program.

Dr. Clure specializes in the treatment of adults, children and adolescents across the full continuum of care from outpatient to residential services and has extensive experience in treating high acuity youth and those in crisis.

Her board certifications include the American Board of Obesity Medicine and also serves on the local board for National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).


Cristina Negrea, MD, CMD

Assistant Professor
Department of Internal Medicine
Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah Campus

Dr. Cristina Negrea has been practicing for 29 years and is one of the Attendings for Gateway’s Geriatric Psychiatry rotation. She is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Mercer University School of Medicine, specializing in geriatric medicine.

Dr. Negrea completed medical school at the University Tech De Santiago, Esc De Medicine in Dominican Republic, an Internal Medicine residency at Mount Vernon Hospital in New York and a Geriatric Medicine fellowship at the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Negrea oversees clinical rotations for Internal Medicine residents and South University’s Physician Assistant and Pharmacy students and residents. Her community activities include volunteering at St. Joseph-Candler Hospitals’ Good Samaritan Clinic, a free clinic in the city.



Medical Director, Brunswick
Gateway BHCC

Dr. William F. Shivers is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with 40 years of clinical experience in a variety of settings. His first "clinical" experience was gained as a combat medic with the First Air Calvary during the Viet Nam War.  His interest in working with individuals suffering from PTSD had its roots there.

He trained at Walter Reed and Eisenhower Army Medical Centers. He served as faculty at Eisenhower and the Medical College of Georgia during his 14 years of active military duty. During these years he was the Internship, Director of Research, and Assistant Chief in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, working closely with residents.

In 1987 he relocated to St. Simons Island on the Georgia coast where he opened a private practice. He has continued to work with medical students, other health care professionals and with public health services in Georgia such as Gateway CSB, community hospitals. He is the Medical Director of a geropsychiatric in the Mayo Clinic system.

Training has been one of Dr. Shivers’ passions over the years. He has enjoyed various faculty appointments, most recently at Mercer Medical School and the Medical College of Georgia and is keenly interested in developing the next generation of psychiatrists as highly competent, highly qualified practitioners in the community.


Julie Gauss, DO, MPH

Chief Staff Psychiatrist
Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, Inc.

Dr. Julie Williams Gauss is a Board Certified Psychiatrist serving as a full-time Consultation and Liaison Psychiatrist at Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, Inc., one of Savannah’s two high quality Federally Qualified Health Centers. Dr. Gauss manages the psychiatric concerns of children, adolescents, and adults of all ages.

Dr. Gauss holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Following her undergraduate studies, she completed her Master of Public Health with a concentration in International Health at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia where she was inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, Alpha Lambda Chapter. Dr. Gauss then served as Partnership Program Coordinator of Michigan for the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service (NCI’s CIS) in Detroit, Michigan, where she was a member of multidisciplinary teams collaborating with community-based organizations across Michigan to develop and implement evidence-based programs for addressing cancer health disparities among vulnerable populations in the Midwest region. Following that work, Dr. Gauss completed her medical training at Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing, Michigan. Dr. Gauss completed her Psychiatry residency training at East Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina. She was awarded Top Scholar of 2018 by her residency program for her pursuits in academic psychiatry.

Dr. Gauss is a member of The American Psychiatric Association, The Georgia Osteopathic Medical Association, and The American Public Health Association. She is a National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholar. Dr. Gauss has professional interests in the psychiatric needs of special populations (including women, aging adults and patients in the developing world) and reducing/eliminating healthcare disparities. Dr. Gauss enjoys biking, kayaking, reading, gardening, writing children’s stories, and traveling.



Brent Griffin, MD


Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine
Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah Campus

Dr. Greenberg graduated cum laude from Princeton University and AOA at the University of Miami School of Medicine and did a Neurology Fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology at Duke University.

Dr. Greenberg has practiced neurology in Savannah since 1986 and is the Director of the Neurodiagnostics Laboratory at Memorial University Medical Center and Chief of the Section on Neurology in the Department of Medicine where he directs Neurology education for the Internal Medicine Residency Program.

Dr. Greenberg is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and board certified in neurology, sleep disorders and clinical neurophysiology, an Assistant Professor at Mercer Medical School and president of Savannah Neurology Specialists.

Brent Griffin, MD, MPH                                  Internist                                                            Augusta, Georgia

Dr. Griffin enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2004. Following his enlistment, Dr. Griffin was commissioned in the U.S. Army under the Health Professions Scholarship Program. He completed medical school at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, AL in 2015. He completed his categorical residency in Internal Medicine at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Ft Gordon, GA in 2018. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. His research interests include interdisciplinary health care, medical ethics, and pharmacology.

Dr. Griffin is married with three boys and a new baby girl. His wife is a Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist also practicing in Augusta, GA. His hobbies include cooking and music. During residency, he was a founding member of the locally acclaimed rock group The Bare Metal Stents.

Dr. Ras

Vanessa Ragukonis, DO

Staff Psychiatrist
Director of Medical Student Education
Winn Army Community Hospital, Ft. Stewart

Dr. Vanessa Ragukonis is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She completed her dual major bachelor’s degree in Medicine, Health, and Society and Spanish at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. After graduation she attended Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) in Parker, CO and completed the Military Medicine Honors track. While in medical school, she commissioned into the Army through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. Dr. Ragukonis was accepted into the Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) Psychiatry Residency Program in Honolulu, HI and became the Chief Resident. During her time at TAMC, she had the opportunity to provide psychiatric services to active duty soldiers, veterans, and their dependents throughout the Pacific region. She was selected for the Army’s Junior Leaders Course and received recognition for Espirit de Corps. She graduated from the TAMC Residency Program in 2018 and has been stationed at Fort Stewart, GA. Currently she serves as a Staff Psychiatrist and cares for active duty soldiers in the outpatient clinics and the 8 bed inpatient psychiatric unit.


Reemon Bishara, MD

Clinical Director
Georgia Regional Hospital of Savannah

Dr. Reemon Bishara is the Clinical Director for Georgia Regional Hospital of Savannah. In addition to his duties at GRHS, he serves as Medical Director for Coastal Harbor Health System.

Dr. Bishara received his M.D. in 1992 from J.W.G. University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He has worked in several disciplines of psychiatry, including child, adolescent, family and adult care.

Dr. Bishara served as the Medical Director of the Outpatient Clinic at the Child and Family Institute of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City before moving to Savannah. During his time as Medical Director of the Outpatient Clinic, he was awarded Supervisor of the Year. Dr. Bishara is double board-certified through the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in adult, child and adolescent psychiatry, and certified to administer Buprenorphine.


Marlene Zetzer Shivers, MD

Chief Operating Officer
Hopsetill Health, Inc.

Dr. Zetzer- Shivers is the Chief Operating Officer and Psychiatrist at Hopestill Health, Inc., a private practice located on St. Simons Island, Georgia where she currently resides. Dr. Zetzer- Shivers has over 25 years of clinical experience in multiple settings including consultation and liaison, private general psychiatry, inpatient treatment, outpatient practice, community mental health and telepsychiatry.

She completed medical school at Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine and residency training at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in Maryland.

Along with her husband, Dr. William Shivers, she enjoys her supervisory role with residents, medical students and mid-level professionals at Gateway CSB, with a focus on psychiatric team management, geropsychiatry, PTSD, psychosomatic medicine and psychopharmacology.


Alana Cox, MD

Private Practice
Savannah, GA

Dr. Cox is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and completed her Psychiatry residency at Washington University in St. Louis. She settled in Savannah after residency and joined a group practice here with other private practice psychiatrists.

Dr. Cox specializes in the treatment of adult mood and anxiety disorders and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.  Her experience includes schizophrenia precursors and prodromal states at Washington University where she participated in the First Contact assessment service. She is also experienced in university student mental health and has completed research regarding attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.

Dr. Cox looks forward to engaging residents in the discussion regarding post-residency career transitions.


Michael T. Compton, MD, MPH

Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Columbia University

Dr. Compton serves as a research mentor for the Gateway Psychiatry Residency in Savannah, a city where he has active research underway. Dr. Compton is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. After completing medical school at the University of Virginia in 1997, Dr. Compton trained in general psychiatry, preventive medicine, public health, and community psychiatry at Emory University in Atlanta.

Dr. Compton has maintained continuous NIMH research funding for more than 15 years, conducting research on: (1) first-episode psychosis, (2) the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model of collaboration between law enforcement and mental health (which was studied in a number of police agencies in Georgia, including in Savannah), (3) a linkage system between police officers and the local mental health system (which is being studied in Atlanta and Savannah), (4) the effectiveness of a new form of recovery-oriented community navigation for persons with serious mental illnesses and repeated hospitalizations (which is being studied at Gateway Behavioral Health), and (5) linguistic abnormalities associated with schizophrenia. His research has led to more than 200 publications.

His books include a guide for patients with first-episode psychosis and their family members; four American Psychiatric Association books: The Clinical Manual of Prevention in Mental Health (2009), The Social Determinants of Mental Health (2015), Marijuana and Mental Health (2016), and The American Opioid Epidemic: From Patient Care to Public Health (2018); The Complex Connection between Cannabis and Schizophrenia (Academic Press); and a manual for police officers responding to persons with mental illnesses. He is also very interested in incorporating public health and prevention into psychiatry and addressing the social determinants of health.

Dr. Compton is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is Chair of the Prevention Committee at the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. He was the 2017 Chair of the Scientific Program Committee of the APA’s mental health services conference. He has received the APA’s Senior Health Services Scholar Award.


Major Peter Dell, Ph.D., LCSW, BCD

Installation Director of Psychological Health
Chief, Department of Behavioral Medicine
Winn Army Community Hospitals, Ft. Stewart

Major Peter Dell, Ph.D., is an Army Behavioral Health Officer at Fort
Stewart's Winn Army Community Hospital. He serves as the Installation
Director of Psychological Health and Chief of Behavioral Health Department
that consist of eight outpatient behavioral health clinics and two intensive
outpatient programs.

Major Dell completed both his Bachelor's and Master's in Social Work at the
University of South Florida and received his Doctorate of Social Work at the
University of Texas. Dr. Dell is a board certified diplomat in Clinical
Social Work and serves as a member of the Society for Social Work Research
and Council for Social Work Education. He has made multiple publications and
national presentations.

Dr. Dell finds it very rewarding to work with Gateway Behavioral Health CSB
Psychiatry residents and serve as a research mentor.


Jay Synn, MD

Medical Director, Savannah Gateway BHCC
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah Campus

Dr. Jay Synn is a board certified psychiatrist with 24 years of clinical experience.  After graduating from Tulane School of Medicine, he completed his residency at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Fort Gordon, GA.  He served as Chief of Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic at Darnall Army Medical Center for 2 years, then served as Chief of First Calvary Division Mental Health Clinic at Ft. Hood, TX.
Following his military service, Dr. Synn went into private practice for twenty years in Hickory, NC where he gained experience in inpatient care at an 80+bed psychiatric hospital and outpatient care at his private outpatient clinic.  He has experience in community mental health as a provider for ACTT and assisted-living facilities, and has extensive experience in medication-assisted treatment programs while serving as both provider and medical director at a substance abuse treatment center.
Dr. Synn enjoys fishing, biking, and spending time with his wife, 3 grown children, and 2 rescue pups


Peri Kyriacos, LCSW, MAC, CARES

Substance Abuse Treatment Program
Savannah Counseling Services
Gateway CSB

Peri Kyriacos is a LCSW and level 2 Substance Abuse Counselor in Savannah GA. She manages the Substance Abuse Outpatient Program at Gateway Behavioral Health CSB for dually diagnosed clients.

Peri received a degree in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education in 1985 from the University of Georgia. She wanted to do more for those who were suffering from the disease of addiction, therefore, in 2014, Peri decided to obtain her Masters of Social Work from Savannah State University. She later obtained her Master Addiction Counselor Certification in 2016.

Peri has a passion for helping people with Substance Abuse diagnosis. She is committed to advocacy in the mental health community; she volunteers regularly with local organizations that support mental health initiatives locally and globally. Peri serves on the board of Interfaith Addiction and Recovery Coalition, an organization focused on inclusion across faiths with a mental health and addiction focused agenda. Peri is an Alumni of Leadership Savannah, Class of 2000. Peri is a member of the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse and the Clinical Social Work Association of Savannah. Peri is a native of Savannah, Ga. and currently resides in Savannah, Ga with her daughter Leila.


Erika Zavyalov, DO

Division Psychiatrist

Dr. Erika Zavyalov, D.O., is a Chief Psychiatrist at Winn Army Community Hospital in Ft. Stewart, GA. Dr. Zavyalov completed her Psychiatry residency in 2017, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. After residency, she became a Staff Psychiatrist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. She has served in the United States Army since 2010.

Dr. Zavyalov currently serves as a member of the American Psychiatric Association and Society of Uniformed Services Psychiatrists. She has completed various publications and poster presentations. In 2017, she received the Joint Service Achievement Medal and Residency Esprit De Corps Award. Dr. Zavyalov is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.


Edward M. Drohan, Ph.D.

Supervising Psychologist
Gateway CSB

Edward M. Drohan, Ph.D. is a clinical and consulting psychologist. He currently serves as a Supervising Psychologist at Gateway CSB. Following a ten year career in banking, he entered then received his doctorate from Georgia State University in 1987. Dr. Drohan has maintained clinical practices psychotherapy and consulting psychology in Atlanta and Decatur, GA, Washington, D.C. and currently has his private practice in Thunderbolt, GA. He also serves as Chief of the Psychology Section at Memorial Health University Medical Center and established the Psychology Consulting Service there serving adults, children and families in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He brings a long background of program development and organizational management in government agencies and private industry. When asked he will say “I am a psychotherapist.” It remains his passion after nearly three decades.

Ortiz March

Jesus Ortiz, MD

Georgia Regional Hospital of Savannah

Jesus J. Ortiz, M.D. is a psychiatrist currently working at GA Regional Hospital – Savannah.  He has been there since September 1st, 2017.  He attended medical school at the Instituto Technologico de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He then practiced general medicine for two years in the rural areas near La Vega, Dominican Republic.  Dr. Ortiz completed his psychiatry residency training and was chief resident at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, NY.  He also graduated from Armstrong State College in Savannah with A Bachelor Degree in both Biology and Chemistry with a minor in Spanish Literature.  His work has taken him to Florida where he worked at FL State Hospital as Medical Director of the Civil part of hospital; Psychiatry Director at Palm Beach Detention Center; Director of  Behavioral Medicine at A.G. Holley State Tuberculosis Hospital in Lantana, FL and Psychiatry. Attending on the Tuberculosis Recovery Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL.

Dr. Ortiz was part of the Southeast National Tuberculosis Center (SNTC) faculty that taught quarterly tuberculosis courses at A.G. Holley State Hospital where physicians and public health care providers attended from all over the United States as well as sent by the Embassies of the different countries of the world to learn about tuberculosis. He supervised residents at Jackson Memorial Hospital/ Univ of Miami in psychotherapy and psychopharmacology for approximately 14 years.

Dr. Ortiz has been interested in teaching and was a math and chemistry tutor at Armstrong State College. He also taught a couple of quarters of organic chemistry for nursing students at this same institution.  He also taught a couple of semesters of anatomy and physiology for nursing students at the University of Alaska in Anchorage. He also taught biochemistry at the Universidad Mundial in Santo Domingo.  He is also adjunct faculty at University of Miami, University of Florida and University of South Florida.  He has received teaching awards from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and University of Miami.  He currently teaches psychiatry classes in the Physician Assistant program at South University.  He also supervises Gateway Psychiatry Residents that rotate through his assigned unit at GA Regional Hospital.

Dr. Ortiz was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to the United States on one of the last allowed flights in 1962.  He enjoys activities such as fishing, boating/canoeing, camping, hunting, BBQ, dancing and watching movies.  He use to play sports – baseball, basketball, soccer and studied Karate for 4 years.  He organized the Savannah International Soccer Club team in the latter half of the 1970s and also played on the Savannah All Star Soccer team.


Dr Synn