Dr. Katherine “Katie” Dunlap, MD

Katie is originally from Northern Virginia, but she is a fourth generation visitor to Montreat, in Western North Carolina, and it is no surprise to now call this area home. She studied Classical Studies at Tulane University, Public Health University of Illinois at Chicago, and Medicine at Georgetown University. After Katie finished her residency in psychiatry and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Duke in 2016, she headed straight to the mountains and started working in community mental health and at an adolescent treatment facility.

Katie’s path towards medicine started later than most, initially wanting to pursue archaeological anthropology, but she found her calling while in the Peace Corps volunteering in Paraguay after college. She thought this would lead her to work internationally in primary care, but quickly discovered that psychiatry and working with children was the best fit for her. She enjoys working with and empowering families. As she started her own family, her interest working internationally changed into doing volunteer trips and she turned her focus to working in WNC.

Katie has been on the NCCCAP executive council since 2014 and finding ways to advocate for the pediatric mental health populations. In addition to working in underserved communities, her special interests are treating Autistic children and adults, adolescents transitioning into adulthood, medical education, and medically ill children with psychiatric comorbidities. Outside of Foothills, she is a faculty member for the MAHEC psychiatry residency and UNC school medicine. When Katie is not working, you will find her spending time with her two children, husband, and large dog. She enjoys hiking, painting, sitting on porches, reading, yoga, traveling, and exploring all the wonderful places WNC has to offer!

foothills at red oak staff photo

Carmon Donnellan

A Michigan native, Carmon and her two children relocated to the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2007 to embrace the diverse cultures that Asheville has to offer. With a bachelor’s degree in business management already in hand, she enrolled in Western North Carolina University in 2014 to pursue a new career in nursing. After two years, she graduated with a B.S. in Nursing, while working multiple jobs to support her family. Some of her strongest memories were working with underprivileged and neglected adolescents at a homeless shelter in Asheville. Her time there sparked an interest in psychiatric studies, a field she then earned a certification as a QMHP (Qualified Mental Health Professional) for adults and adolescence.

In 2016, Carmon began working with ACTT (Assertive Community Treatment Team), immersing herself into the community of clients with severe and persistent mental illness, extreme trauma, and most often – substance abuse. She worked relentlessly, seeking to help anyone she could and even spent time working at a child crisis center to better her understanding of adolescent mental health.

As an avid mountain biker and outdoor adventure seeker, Carmon spends most of her free time mountain biking or trail running in the mountains. Surrounded by the oldest National Forest in the eastern United States, she has developed an intimate relationship with the outdoors and enjoys sharing her love for nature with others. Her love for cooking and healthy living has also led her into a plant-based lifestyle, one that has helped fuel her countless adventures across the country. While Asheville is home, she’s traveled to top mountain bike destinations throughout Appalachia, as well as top destinations throughout Colorado, Arizona, and her favorite – New Mexico.

Sarah Garrard, RN, BSN

Medical Services Manager

Sarah comes to us at Red Oak Recovery with a colorful past filled with exploration, self-discovery and passion. Being raised overseas in both Europe and Asia by a British family, Sarah quickly learned the importance of cultural diversity. As an early adult she continued her love of travel and headed up north to attend Art School in Toronto, Canada focusing on Glass Art. Once finished, she travelled to Honolulu, Hawaii to explore her career in glassblowing. Over the years she focused on her art as well as teaching adolescents and adults the craft of glass work. It was during her time in Hawaii that Sarah found a passion for hiking and nature. It was also during this transformative time that she discovered her love of helping and serving others.

With a new passion burning in her soul, she returned to academia and completed her EMS training and obtained her EMT-Intermediate. She went on to work in EMS which brought her back full circle to her hometown of Houston, Texas where she pursued her RN license and went on to complete her BSN from The University of Texas Health Science Center. Sarah continued to focus on Emergency Medicine in the hospital setting as an RN where she cultivated her craft of critical thinking for the comprehensive care of others.

In 2017 Sarah and her family relocated to Asheville to lay down some roots and raise a family. Moved by the beauty of the area and cultural diversity of Asheville, she has found her forever home. Bringing a strong clinical experience in healthcare and a passion for the outdoors she is excited to join the amazing team here at Red Oak to serve as a source of medical training, education, care and support.

Sarah is married with two young boys and their family dog Charlie. She can be found enjoying her free time cooking, practicing yoga, enjoying live music or just hanging with her tribe.

Carson Evans, WFR

Medical Services Coordinator

Carson joined the Red Oak Recovery team in August of 2017 as a Clinical Technician. After years of working and recreating in a wilderness setting, Carson wanted to combine her passion for the outdoors with helping others.

Carson is now supporting the program through a new role. Her work ensures the highest level of care for our community. Carson is responsible for maintaining the smooth functioning of the medical department, as well as helping with any minor physical ailments that may occur on base or while in the field. Additionally, Carson enjoys interacting with our community, and providing care for Red Oak Recovery as a whole.

When not at work, you will find Carson mountain biking, rock climbing, or hiking with her dog.

Hannah Lea

Medical Coordinator

Hannah Lea moved from Durham, North Carolina where she worked as an EMT for ten years with various health care agencies including Duke University Health System, UNC Health Care, and Laboratory Corporation of America. She moved to Asheville and started at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® as a Clinical Technician in 2017. She took on the role of Shift Supervisor and gets the privilege of using her medical background to stay present on the campus with the women in her new role as Medical Coordinator.
She finds beauty in working with young adults and is grateful to be part of the women at The Willows as they find their path in their recovery.

In her spare time, you will find Hannah soaking up the many activities that the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer. She takes her passion for the community and incorporates it with her love for animals by volunteering and fostering animals at the local animal shelter in Asheville.

Forrest Smock

Medical Coordinator

Forest grew up on a family farm in Southern Indiana before heading to college in Boston, MA. While in college he studied Environmental Science, concentrating in Biology and Chemistry, and completed the Pre-Health track. He also became a Wilderness EMT while in school and worked for the college EMS service during the year. During the summers he mentored at risk youth in his community. Forest moved to Western North Carolina in the fall of 2017 to work for the National Park Service as a conservation biologist. When his contract ended, he was feeling drawn to return to helping people and transitioned into working as direct care staff within the mental health field. Forest worked for a wilderness based program as a guide for adults with co-occurring disorders and fell in love with his work. Forest’s move to Foothills at Red Oak Recovery enables him to bring together his passion for working with people, his love of medicine and a profound understanding of the importance of patient advocacy in mental health.

Forest loves hiking and backpacking in the mountains, cooking heavenly vegetarian food, playing old time music and is beginning to dip his toes into the world mountain biking.

Darius Bennett, MS, RDN, LDN

Registered Dietitian & Nutritionist

Darius completed his Master of Science degree in nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University and returned to the North Carolina area where he grew up to start his career. Darius is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and North Carolina Licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist with a passion for working in pediatrics. Through combining both the clinical and community sides of nutrition his goal is to enhance client’s knowledge of nutrition, its benefit to the body, and develop positive food attitudes and habits during and after their time at Red Oak Recovery®. Personally, Darius enjoys being active through exercise and sports, such as volleyball and swimming, traveling, and, naturally, trying new kinds of food.