A Clinic Revitalized
Since opening their doors in 2018, Revitalist has become a leading model for ketamine clinics across the United States and United Kingdom. As mental health and pain treatments continue to evolve for greater accessibility and success, Revitalist providers continue to step up to the plate, broadening their services and specialties to provide care for many of our most vulnerable populations.
Suicide rates are at an all time high. Drug use is out of control. Domestic violence continues to skyrocket. Sex trafficking is becoming more prominent. These are issues the providers at Revitalist are ready to take on. “Every employee at Revitalist wants to make a difference. We want to invest in our community for the betterment of our society. We want to be a part of the healing.” — Co-Founder and CEO, Kathryn Walker
Co-Founders Kathryn Walker and Jennifer Hultz helped open the doors of Revitalist as lead nurse anesthesiologists. “We felt it was the right thing to do. Critically-trained, advanced nurse practitioners are a hidden part of society. We have years of front line training that is instrumental in the care, compassion, and communication we feel our society is lacking, and we wanted to be the ones to step up.” Co-Founder, Jennifer Hultz Major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and suicidality are complex conditions with low rates of treatment success. Seeing the acute benefit the ketamine infusions provided quickly led Kathryn and Jennifer to being actively involved in the community as active presenters and educators to medical and mental health providers. The Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association and the european branch of the American Counseling Association were two of the largest presentations they partook in during 2018.
“Everyone was awestruck. These are conditions that the mental health profession has been ‘stuck’ with for years, and they are difficult to treat. Many times they are difficult to see any improvement, and it is very taxing on the providers. Many of the therapists I spoke with had not had a scientific discussion with a medical provider. Learning this, I felt it was necessary to be a bridge for the mental health and medical community.” – Co-Founder and CEO, Kathryn Walker
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologists (CRNAs) come with a diverse background of exceptional skills, experience, and ‘real life work ethic’.
Many CRNAs complete years working in an intensive care unit specializing in cardiopulmonary, respiratory, medical, and neurologic care before applying to nurse anesthesia school. Less than 10% of nurses are accepted into this intense, highly competitive field. After acceptance, an average of 60-80 hours weeks is a minimal expectation for a period of 27-36 months. giving CRNAs an advanced skill set unlike any other.
“Working as an intensive care nurse prior to anesthesia school allowed me to develop working relationships with specialty providers, taught me invaluable communication skills with patients and families, and gave me a real life view on the many areas the medical field may be lacking” – Co-Founder and CEO, Kathryn Walker
Soon after presenting at a local conference, now-lead therapist Jeffery Cockerham approached Kathryn and Jennifer with a compassionate offer to ‘help should they ever need it’. Therapy and ketamine was not a common topic of discussion as all the evidence-based publications were heavily weighted on the correct dosage and timing of the infusion.
One week after Jeffery’s offer, a man, Jim, walked into the clinic with his family for a complimentary consultation. Jim had lost his wife a few years prior to suicide. He was the one to discover her after the incident. Her death was around the holidays, and was soon followed by the loss of his father. These insults put Jim into a major depressive disorder that was soon followed with over consumption of alcohol.
Talking with Kathryn, “I remember when Jim walked in. He was emaciated with a grayish hue. He didn’t say much other than the fact he wanted to die. We do not take client’s as walk-ins for infusions. The family was afraid to take him home because of fear of him harming himself. I took it upon myself to call his psychiatrist to ask for insight. His psychiatrist said, “Yes, I approve, and you need to work quickly.” As she laughs “No pressure, right?”
Jim received his infusion and tolerated it as expected
The one thing Kathryn didn’t expect was the transference Jim displayed upon Kathryn. “It was intense. He relieved his entire trauma, and I became his wife. He verbalized all of the details of her passing including all the physical descriptors.” Knowing transference is a reason for transfer of care, Kathryn took the offer Jeffery presented one week earlier. “I called Jeff and explained the situation. Jeff was understanding, compassionate, and willing to help.” This was the beginning of our service line providing therapy for our clients while receiving infusions.
Jeffery has been involved around those seeking a solid base for most of his life. With a Bachelor’s degree in education with an emphasis on childhood development, a Masters in counseling with a mental health service provider specialty, and an incomplete Doctorate in Divinity, Jeffery has dedicated his life to helping others.
At the time of Jim’s treatment series, Jeffery was a full-time associate pastor at a local church. Seeing the impact these infusions made, Jeffery soon departed his full-time position at the church to instead pursue a full-time counseling position aiding in personal counseling and Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy. Jeffery has a list of specialities including Religious Trauma Syndrome. “It’s a condition that affects so many of us. We are told we are not good enough, or feel we have the right to judge others when in reality it’s all about acceptance and love. I hope to continue to bring awareness to this condition as many individuals don’t even know it exists.”
Jeffery leads a monthly support group for Revitalist clients. He also acts as a lead consultant for therapists and providers seeking additional training and guidance on Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy.
Jim was able to have a full recovery of his depression and is in active recovery today. He works at a local community mental health center helping young adults with active addiction, participates in leading a local Alcoholics Anonymous group, and has actively helped create our very own Revitalist support group called “Ketamine Anonymous”, a group focused on providing support for the in active recovery that have received infusions for underlying mood conditions.
We wanted to create this group to help support a unique population. We currently live in a heavy abstinence based recovery community that can be isolating to those seeking treatment for their mood conditions.
“Infusions are a world class medical intervention, and it should be classified as any other medical procedure,” states Dr. William Walker, (a well-known Cardiothoracic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience), a leading active advocate for those in recovery, and the Owner and Medical Director of Revitalist.
“This clinic has been constantly evolving to best benefit those needing quality care. I could not be more proud of each provider and service Revitalist is offering to our local community. Our world needs a lot of help, and I feel Revitalist is helping to fill that calling.”
As the needs and services have continued to expand, Revitalist continues to add quality leaders and providers. Mrs. Deana Ferguson joined Revitalist after gaining insight on the many marvels psychedelics offer to mental health.
Deana is a well known resource in the East Tennessee region with years of experience in several areas of care. She has been an active leader in the community actively pursuing several areas of interest including; establishment of a community mental health program, assisting in University therapies for athletes, educating and offering insight at Medication Assisted Therapies – these are to just name a few!
Deana joined the Revitalist team in early 2020. She helped secure Revitalist as an affiliate of the University of Tennessee working with the School of Social Work.
Together, Revitalist and the University of Tennessee jointly work together with the nonprofit organization, Community Change allowing greater access to therapy for individuals that are financially disadvantaged. “This is something that is really needed in every community. Mental health is changing with the services we provide, and it’s exciting to see the evolution. The mental health community has been stuck for so long, it’s finally getting the chance to allow clients real time results, and I am ecstatic to be a part of this rapid advancing scientific phenomena.” -Deana Ferguson
We each have our own story, and want to offer an environment of care, compassion, and acceptance. All of our therapists are godsends. They have the compassion and strength that really complement our medical providers.
Deana is able to utilize all of her worthy skills while working with clients that present to Revitalist. “No client is textbook. We have to be willing as providers to find the combination that works best for each client. Some clients respond to brain spotting, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), or prolonged exposure while others may need more emphasis on internal family systems, yoga, mediation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and, of course, that is just to name a few. The teamwork that goes on at Revitalist is invaluable, and the quality of care we provide for clients is unmatched in the in-patient or out-patient setting. This is the first time that mental health providers are working with medical providers to optimize the clients care. It really needs to start taking place across the nation. -Deana Ferguson
“As healthcare continues to change in the inpatient and outpatient setting the loss and addition of programs needs to be continually analyzed making sure we aren’t overlooking the needs of our community.” – Kathryn Walker stated. With this comprehensive vision, Revitalist has created their Intensive Outpatient Program as well as their Aftercare Transition Program led by board-certified Life Coach, Becky Jones.
“When I met Becky, it just felt right. With her years of experience in the inpatient and outpatient setting along with those additional certifications, international podcast, life-coaching for providers and clients, and general insight for motivational care and direction for those that have received ketamine infusions is awe-inspiring”, reports Kathryn Walker.
“This is a calling. The right energy and paths are opening up helping us to create a really awesome environment to provide individuals with what they need! And I am here to lend a helping hand, a word of encouragement to help stimulate that part of the brain that was once so highly functioning.
We quickly forget the enjoyment of laughing, self-care, accomplishment – simple pieces that were so easy for us while growing up, but once we get into adulthood, and especially when mood and pain disorders start surfacing, we lose this ability, and we aren’t always sure how to get it back. That is where I come in to help. I am somewhat of a personal trainer for your mental health.”
Personal training is one of the more popular upcoming professions that encourages society to take control of their physical health. Many specialists focus on physical health whether it is a physical therapist, massage therapist, certified personal trainer, etc., they all have an interest in building or maintaining physical health. We now must evolve our intentions and focus to start including mental health coaching. Board-certified Life Coaches are the first step to this forward path.
“We see a little of everything. We each have our own story, and want to offer an environment of care, compassion, and acceptance. All of our therapists are godsends. They have the compassion and strength that really complement our medical providers. making it a perfect storm to combat these complex conditions.” – Kathryn Walker
As a general society we often see the damaging impact that addiction and suicidality cause but the underlying specifics aren’t as well-noted. This is a passion of Logan Mahan, an acceptance and integration therapist that has professionally occupied treatment for addiction and trauma with an emphasis on men and minorities.
“It’s amazing to me that many men live without being heard of their feelings and emotions. This is what makes us human. I feel men are at a great disadvantage in dealing with mental health concerns because it is traditionally thought men lack emotions when, in fact, men experience the very same emotions as females. I am happy to be a part of this wonderful team at Revitalist, and I am excited for what the future holds.” -Logan Mahan
Revitalist is on the forefront of mental health, standing strong with other clinics willing to step up to the challenge as treatments for mental health change at a rapid pace. “We are here to help. We want them back on their feet so they can thrive in life instead of feeling they have to survive life. We want to be part of the community that steps up and helps them to move forward. We aren’t here to pacify mental health. We are here for the breakthroughs.”- Kathryn Walker
We are here to help. We want them back on their feet so they can thrivE in life instead of feeling they have to survive life. We want to be part of the community that steps up and helps them to move forward. We aren’t here to pacify mental health. We are here for the breakthroughs.