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Leadership Research Institute

Centerstone Research Institute

Richard C. Shelton, MD - Chief Medical Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Centerstone Research Institute

Richard Shelton is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer for Centerstone Research Institute. He attended medical school at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He became a resident and Chief Resident at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (now the Longwood Program), a teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School. After residency, he was a research fellow at the National Institutes of Mental Health Intramural Program in Washington, D.C. before entering the faculty of Vanderbilt University in 1985. There he became the James G. Blakemore Research Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Psychiatry. He also became a professor in the Departments of Psychology and Pharmacology.

Shelton joined the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in February 2012 as the Charles Byron Ireland Professor, Vice Chair for Research, and head of the Mood Disorders Research Program. He has served on NIH study sections and was the chair of the Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging review group. He has also actively served as a teacher and mentor; he has won the Excellence in Teaching Award from the residents of the Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry four times and the residents of UAB Department of Psychiatry twice. He was recognized by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill for his service to persons with serious and persistent mental illnesses with the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award in 1994 and 2012. He also received the Dorothea Dix Professional Service Award from the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Centers in 2007 in recognition of his impact on the practice of Psychiatry in the State of Tennessee. Shelton’s research focuses on the development of new treatments for depression and bipolar disorder (experimental therapeutics), including the identification of new targets for treatment, prevention of serious mental illnesses, testing novel therapies, and identifying biomarkers of both disease and treatment response.

Marlene Alvarez - Research Institute Manager of Facilities & Operations

Marlene Alvarez joined Centerstone Research Institute in 2012 to serve as the financial manager, after her retirement from the State of Tennessee where she worked in the Department of Mental Health for 24 years as the Director of Operations. Prior to this role, she worked in the Department of Finance and Administration. She brings to the Research Institute her expertise in the financial management of grants and contracts along with knowledge of other fiscal challenges that face the Research Institute and other non-profit organizations. Alvarez holds a master’s degree in Psychology from Vanderbilt University. She was named Research Institute of Facilities & Operations in 2017.

Kathryn Mathes, PhD, MS, BSN, NP - Vice President for Research & Evaluation

Kathryn Mathes is the Vice President for Research & Evaluation for Centerstone Research Institute. In this role, she provides leadership, management and oversight for 23 program evaluations and three clinical research projects in Tennessee and Indiana.

Mathes holds a PhD from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, an MS from the State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, a Nurse Practitioner certification from Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Denver, Colorado, and a BS in nursing from Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky. She served in the US Army Nurse Corp active duty for six years and two years in the reserves. She owned and operated her own evaluation consulting firm, BECS, INC., for eight years in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association where she is active in the Feminist Issues in Evaluation and Diversity Topical Interest Groups.

Mathes is the Lead Evaluator for My Health, My Choice, My Life, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant, and Therapeutic Intervention, Education, and Skills (TIES), an Administration for Children and Families (ACF) grant.

Frank Stevens - Vice President of Informatics

Frank Stevens is the Vice President of Clinical Informatics. He has been with the organization since 1995. He ensures that electronic systems support the provision and review of clinical care. 

He trained as a researcher and a clinician, graduated from the Ohio State University in PhD with a degree in Psychology and is clinically licensed in Indiana. He is trained in process improvement. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and Health Information Management Systems Society.

Ashley Newton, MPS, PMP - Vice President of the Center for Clinical Excellence

Ashley Newton, MPS, PMP is Vice President of Center for Clinical Excellence of the Centerstone Research Institute. Ashley served as interim director of CCE before her role as Vice President, leading CCE through a period of transformation and unprecedented growth of both staff and projects.

In her current role, Ashley is charged with leading clinical projects that will advance Centerstone’s Noble Purpose — delivering care that changes people’s lives. She leads all the clinical transformation efforts including identification, development, implementation and evolution activities in three separate areas: clinical models, processes and pathways.

Newton joined Centerstone in 2006 and has previously held both clinical and leadership roles. Prior to joining CCE, she developed and implemented a community-based therapy model intended to provide care to rural areas where clinics did not exist. She also developed and implemented a high-fidelity community-based model serving young adults with substance use disorders.

Newton holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master's degree in professional studies and strategic leadership from Middle Tennessee State University. Ashley is a certified ACRA-ACC clinical supervisor and a Project Management Professional (PMP), the highest certification for project management.

Board of Directors
Janet Ayers, Chair
David J. Melby, Vice-Chair
Tom Mahler, Immediate Past Chair
Jonathon Morphett, Secretary
Gwen Watts, Executive Liaison
Jennifer Bencie, MD
Gil Palmer
Nedda Pollack
A John Rose
Joan Sivley
Deborah Taylor Tate
Robert J. Williams, Ph.D