- December 28, 2018
Ahead of opening the first Ellie Mental Health location in the Sarasota and Manatee counties area in March, the national franchise has named the first clinic director.
Barbara Byrne, a licensed psychotherapist, comes into the role with 25 years of experience. She will lead the Bradenton office with the goal of hiring up to 12 therapists over the next year, according to a statement.
The company was established in Minnesota to lower barriers to mental health care and destigmatize mental illness. The local locations are being led by Gray Videnka, an entrepreneur and former nonprofit executive and seminar leader; Women’s Resource Center President and CEO Ashley Brown; and Rick Bisio, a franchise coach, author and Manatee Chamber of Commerce board chair emeritus.
“The mental health industry is full of barriers; the company has made it its goal to fill the gap and find innovative ways to break down these barriers for the communities it serves,” Videnka says in a statement. “With Barbara’s significant experience in clinical supervision as well as her expertise in quality assurance, data analysis and program evaluation, we are looking forward to offering a mental health option that is accessible and effective for community members in need.”
The first location in the Tanglewood Professional Center in Bradenton is expected to open by the end of March, the release states. The franchise hopes to open three Ellie Mental Health locations in the area by 2025.
The company also has franchise locations coming later this year in Estero, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Brandon.