Meet Our Team
The Coeur of Our Purpose
Devoting their lives and careers to serving others, our staff of highly-skilled professionals have each made invaluable contributions to their individual fields of expertise. Read more about where they come from, their accomplishments and the innovative ways they are changing the face of mental health.
Upon graduating with honors from Western Baptist College (now known as Corban University) in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies, Sarah Stevens’ dedication to serving others began with the Spokane County Sheriff’s department, where she served six years as a deputy sheriff.
After taking some time to raise her four children with her husband, Sarah continued her pursuit of helping others by joining the direct-care team at Innercept Residential Treatment Center working in every program with special emphasis on stabilization. With nearly a decade of experience in transforming the lives of young people, she now leverages her strengths and expertise by serving as a program manager for both Coeur Assessment Center and Innercept. Sarah is also deeply committed to enriching the lives of young people in our community by serving as a soccer coach at both high-school and club levels.
George Ullrich, MD
Medical Director, Board Certified Psychiatrist
Originally from Maryland, Dr. George Ullrich graduated from West Virginia University Medical School, completing his general psychiatry residency at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After finishing a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Children’s National Medical Center, he started his career by accepting a faculty position at Loma Linda University, also serving at the medical director of in-patient and day-treatment programs for adolescent services.
After moving to Idaho, Dr. Ullrich spent fourteen years as the medical director of Kootenai Behavioral Health Center’s Youth Services and a consultant to numerous residential programs in the region. These experiences ultimately led him to co-found both Coeur Assessment Center and Innercept Residential Treatment Center to pursue his life calling of empowering young people to reach their full potential. Dr. Ullrich’s roles in leadership and as a physician-owner enable our team to deliver transformational care by focusing on the whole person.
Dr. Hanger received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1989, having obtained specialized training in Neuropsychology through nationally recognized programs at the University of California, San Diego.Over the past 30 years, Phil has conducted Neuropsychological evaluations in hospital, rehabiliatation, residential and outpatient settings. His current professional focus for Coeur is to provide the Neuropsychological evaluations that help the resident identify how their brain functions uniquely. This understanding of the connection between neuro-anatomy, and the impact on executive functioning can guide the resident and family to seek appropriate next steps.
Chris Laviola, PsyD.
Psychological Team, PsyD.
As a licensed psychologist, Chris Laviola is deeply committed to helping others reach their full potential through an all-encompassing approach to wellness. With nearly two decades of experience, he has worked in many mental-health care settings, including outpatient, emergency, crisis stabilization and therapeutic boarding schools. Dr. Laviola completed his internship at the Wyoming State Hospital and went on to earn his doctorate degree from Pepperdine University in 2009. He completed his post-doctoral residency at a rural mental-health care center in the same community.
Leveraging these experiences, he helped develop and oversee the addictions-treatment and chronic-pain programs at Northern Montana Hospital. Dr. Laviola’s ability to engage even the most resistant individuals by establishing therapeutic relationships is making a positive impact in many lives.
Lynn Wierdsma, PsyD.
Psychological Team, PsyD.
With specialties in family forensics, neuropsychology, as well as extensive experience in trauma- informed and trauma-focused treatment, Dr. Lynn Weirdsma, a licensed clinical psychologist has been helping others in need. With a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, she has worked extensively in various areas of the psychological and behavioral arenas – from teen group homes and community mental health to child protective services, juvenile probation and adult correctional facilities. Her experiences with the intersection of mental health and the legal system not only led her to pursue a doctorate in this area, but also convinced her of the power a cross-disciplinary, multi-faceted approach to treatment.
Innercept and Coeur Assessment Center’s commitment to changing the face of mental health for young people through therapeutic assessment and integral-recovery principles presented Dr. Wierdsma the unique opportunity to leverage her expertise in more effective ways. In returning to the adolescent and young-adult population closest to her heart, she continues to live her passion and purpose both personally and professionally.
John Sturges, MD
Board Certified Family Practitioner
A board-certified family physician, Dr. John A. Sturges has been committed to providing innovative patient care for more than 25 years. He completed his family practice residency in Hinsdale, Illinois after graduating from Loma Linda University Medical School in 1986.
Dr. Sturges’ time working in emergency medicine and as a solo practitioner gave him the knowledge and expertise to incorporate a more integrative approach with traditional medicine. He believes these components are vital to delivering more definitive diagnoses and treatment options. By establishing therapeutic relationships with his patients, he has the ability to see the multi-dimensional factors that contribute to their overall health and wellness. He has been early to adopt new and successful therapies to treat depression, PTSD, migraines and addiction. Dr. Sturges’ dedication to helping people achieve wellness through compassionate, innovative medical care supports our exceptional team in transforming the lives of our residents.
Psychiatric Team, MSN, ARNP, FNP-C
Yendi is an AANP board-certified family nurse practitioner who came to Innercept with years of experience in compassionate healthcare. Prior to earning her MSN as a nurse practitioner, she worked as a licensed RN and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Her experience working with patients of all ages and from all backgrounds has made Yendi extremely adaptable and sensitive to each individual’s specific needs. In particular, her time spent employed as a school nurse helped prepare her for her current role ensuring the health and wellbeing of the residents at Innercept. Yendi is also bilingual and loves opportunities that allow her to use Spanish in her practice. Yendi’s skill, dedication and passion for helping others pursue healthy, fulfilled lives makes her an unequivocal asset to Innercept and its residents.
A resident of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho from a young age, Jason Underdahl has attended a number of colleges in the U.S. and was chosen to travel abroad and represent his university in their international studies program. Currently a senior psychology student at the University of Idaho, after graduation, he plans to continue his studies in a post-graduate program.
Jason joined the team at Coeur to gain additional experience in the field of psychology and quickly came to love his job. Working as a team-manager-in-training, he enjoys spending time with the residents, helping them overcome challenges to grow and achieve their goals. Jason’s passion for life and serving others make him a valuable asset to the Coeur team.
Mr. Finch comes to Coeur with almost 20 years of educational experience in grade levels ranging from Preschool all the way through college. His bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology is from California State University at San Bernardino and his Masters degree in Education is from National University in La Jolla, California. Chris began his career as a teacher in Northern California where he taught 3rd-8th graders. After a short adventure teaching 7th-12th graders near Wellington, New Zealand, Mr. Finch returned to California and began his career as a Principal/Administrator. After leading a Pre-K-8th grade school for 5 years, he and his family made the move to beautiful North Idaho to lead a Pre-K-12th grade school in Post Falls.
Coeur is a place that truly focuses on the individual and helping them achieve their goals and aspirations. In a traditional school model, though this may be the ideal for teachers and administrators, achieving this level of individual focus can often be difficult due to restrictions on time and resources. Here at Coeur, Chris gets to serve students who are working towards their high school diplomas, college degrees and those working towards success in the careers of their choice. This wide array of learning levels and aspirations allows the education staff to regularly "think outside of the box" and help our students each day take steps towards their own goals.
When Mr. Finch is not at Innercept, he can most often be found at home on his "hobby farm", outside of Coeur d'Alene spending time with his wife, two kids, and furry menagerie of animals. Chris also loves to travel whether by plane, by RV or, most recently, sailing the Caribbean.
Zachary Schmidt, Chef
Zachary joined the Coeur wellness team armed with a culinary degree, a deep-seated passion for food and an awareness of the beauty and wonder that can be found on even the most basic of plates. He has experience working in numerous kitchens producing marvelous dishes in high production, as well as working personally one on one with people needing guidance in maintaining their specific diets.
Throughout his journey, Zachary has found that not only can food taste spectacular, it can be transforming if treated properly and with the right care and love. He has seen it be a powerful component in the healing and care for not only the body, but the mind as well. This mindset is what drew him to Coeur. He enjoys teaching individuals that even with a few simple ingredients you can create a meal that is equally beautiful and healing.
Zachary is so passionate about food and its abilities, that he holds events in his free time for friends and family to teach them more about the wonderful nature and possibilities of food. He loves to show them how they can bring that flair and beauty they see on TV into their own homes. After all, why not have extra flair if you can?
Ben DiMaggio, Chef
Ben became a wellness chef at Innercept after working as a professional cook for 8 years. He also has extensive experience in food management from his time employed at Indi Motor Sport Ranch. Before pursuing his love for the culinary arts, he cultivated his desire to help others through mentoring and work in the correctional system.
Ben was drawn to Innercept because of its core values and drive to make a difference in the lives of young people. The idea of helping others make healthy, life-altering changes resonated with him due to his own faith and passion to make the world a better place.
In his spare time, Ben is also a youth pastor. He enjoys spending time with his youth group or family, and loves to explore the outdoors, pursue new experiences, and play his guitar.
Jami Sturges, MPH, RD, LDN
Admissions and Wellness Teams, Co-founder
With a Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from Pacific Union College, as well as a Master’s degree of Public Health in Nutrition from Loma Linda University, Jami Sturges has a lifelong passion for transforming the lives of young people by using food as medicine. Her in-depth experience working as a nutritionist in various public and behavioral-health settings, such as the San Bernardino County Public Health Department, Stanford University and the Behavioral Health Center in Redlands, California, gave her a greater understanding of how diet affects the overall function of the body’s systems.
After relocating to the Pacific Northwest in 1993, Jami continued her career as a consultant with Kootenai Behavioral Health, working to educate patients suffering from eating disorders and weight concerns. The insights she gained from these experiences led her to co-found the Innercept Residential Treatment Center and Coeur Assessment Center to help young people through an all-encompassing therapeutic-assessment approach. Her clinical experience with drug-nutrient interactions and psychotropic medications, weight management, body image and the overall impact of nutrition upon mental-health stability is one of the highest in the industry. She also serves on the admissions team, helping individuals and their families navigate the process. Jami’s range of expert knowledge is a vital part of our team’s ability to successfully change the face of mental health for our residents.
Beth graduated with a degree in International Studies and German from Bob Jones University in South Carolina. Having been born and raised internationally, she takes every opportunity to explore and experience the world through travel and languages. She especially has a passion for education and helping young people discover and pursue their own talents and interests. Before joining Innercept, Beth spent four years living and teaching in Shanghai, China where she had the privilege to work with adolescents and through that work, ignite their curiosity about the world and all the opportunities that lay ahead of them. During this time, she also completed a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language.
Innercept first piqued her interested because of its mission to help adolescents and young adults overcome their unique challenges and realize their own worth and potential. As an educator, she loves that Innercept’s programs don’t aim to simply solve crises, but that they equip residents with the skills they need to experience full, successful lives long after they’ve left.
In her free time, Beth enjoys studying new languages, reading classical German novels, and quiet evenings tending to her needy cat’s every whim. After living in four countries scattered across three continents, she is happily settled in North Idaho and loves exploring the beautiful mountains, lakes, and serenity of the region with her wonderful husband.
Administration Team, Financial Coordinator
Paula Perry has more than 15 years of work experience in office management and over 10 years functioning as a financial coordinator. Her extensive background includes work in the healthcare industry and comes to Coeur Assessment Center with an understanding of the importance of confidentiality, both in the clinical and financial realms.
Paula is committed to supporting our residents and their families by helping them through every step of the financial aspect. She loves getting to know the residents and providing them with the information they need to navigate the various organizations, including school districts, guarantors and mental-health agencies. Paula's solution-oriented approach and can-do attitude align perfectly with Coeur's foundational values, and provide great peace of mind to those we serve.
Traci Feek, Ed. D, NCSP, LPC
Psychological Team, Therapist
With an undergraduate background focused on law enforcement and juvenile corrections, supplemented by her graduate studies in counseling and school psychology, Dr. Traci Feek comes to the Coeur family with a Doctorate of Counseling Psychology earned in 2013 from Argosy University. Her research has been focused on the intersection of mental health and juvenile corrections, as well as finding areas for proactive-prevention programming. Traci has spent the past fourteen years working within the school setting as a nationally certified school psychologist, focusing on assessment and development of individualized educational plans to support students’ academic, social, emotional and behavioral growth. Additionally, Traci is a licensed professional counselor who owns a local private practice. She is also an adjunct college professor and teaches abnormal psychology and developmental psychology, while providing clinical-field supervision for counseling interns. Traci is working towards the completion of her post-doctoral residency here at Coeur with goals to obtain her license as a psychologist in the state of Idaho.
Coeur's focus on integral-psychology, along with its commitment to mental-health and therapeutic assessment gives Dr. Feek the opportunity to draw upon her years of experience as both a therapist and a school psychologist. This setting allows her to continue working with the adolescent and young-adult population in a more clinical and community-based approach.
When not working, Traci enjoys spending time with her two children who are both very active in local sports. Traci and her family love the outdoors and take every opportunity to go fishing, boating, hiking, camping and exploring our beautiful North Idaho.
Kantrel was born and raised in North Idaho and also attended North Idaho College. She continued her education at the University of Idaho and graduated with a B.S. degree in food and nutrition, as well as a B.S. degree in exercise science and health, health and human performance. Prior to her employment at Innercept, Kantrel worked as a community-nutrition advisor and provided nutrition and physical-activity education to low-income families in North Idaho. It was there that she found her passion for helping people achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Kantrel was drawn to Innercept’s holistic approach to health and advocacy for both physical and mental health. As a young adult herself, she was thrilled by the opportunity to serve as a role model and provide each resident with invaluable, lifelong tools to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
When she isn't helping residents become the healthiest versions of themselves, Kantrel can often be found at the local farmer's market, outdoors with her family or in the kitchen experimenting with new foods. She also loves to spend time with her cats and her buffalo.