I want to personally welcome you to Wyoming Behavioral Institute and all we have to offer.
WBI is a center of excellence prepared to serve the inpatient psychiatry needs of pediatric, juvenile, adult and geriatric patients. When people are faced with an emergency, need answers or looking for where to turn for their mental health care needs, we are prepared to respond.
Our professional staff delivers personalized care from admission to discharge, attending to each person with dignity and respect. We believe our role is to provide exceptional care in an environment of trust and compassion.
We are an active community partner, as a hospital and an employer. Our staff of more than 250 professionals has dedicated their time, energy and expertise to providing high quality care every day. We are patient centered, employee focused, physician friendly, community engaged, and most of all, values driven.
As we look back on 2019, we applaud our team leaders who received statewide recognition for their excellence as medical care providers and contributors to the community. Medical Director Dr. Steve Brown was awarded the Natrona County Medical Society Physician Service Award and named the Wyoming Medical Society Physician of the Year, and Acute Nurse Manager Rachel Land was the recipient of a Casper Star Tribune Nurse of the Year Award.
We are honored to have been named the Chamber of Commerce’s Large Business of the Year. And we got to celebrate those who give so much to the patients in our care as volunteers, when we were the recipients of the Wyoming Hospital Association’s Volunteer Program of the Year Award.
In 2020 we have already been presented with more opportunities to bring exceptional mental health care to our patients, our community, our region and beyond. We are actively engaged in this work, and know that we could not do it without your support. Thank you for partnering with us on this exciting journey.
Mike Phillips, CEO
Mike Phillips, Chief Executive Officer
Mike Phillips is dedicated to the success of everyone around him, and has a great passion for helping patients, their families and staff achieve their ambitions.
Mike has accrued more than 20 years of management and marketing experience with a background in long-term and short-term acute care as well as inpatient post-acute care rehabilitation. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and a master’s degree in management and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D.
A Casper native, Mike has devoted his training and talent to building the healthcare delivery system for patients and families in Wyoming and neighboring states. He serves his community as a member of the United Way of Natrona County and Special Olympics of Wyoming Boards of Directors. He also is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Mike joined the WBI leadership team in January 2019.
Joseph Izzarelli, Chief Operations Officer
Joseph Izzarelli is a Wyoming native and has been working collaboratively with Wyoming Behavioral Institute’s referral sources – including hospitals and community mental health centers – for many years. Joseph obtained a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and a master’s degree in social work from Walla Walla College in Montana. He began his career at Wyoming Behavioral Institute in 2001, working in the Intake Department as an intake/assessment coordinator. He was named the Director of Admissions in 2008. In 2018, Joseph was named Chief Operations Officer.
Stephen L. Brown, MD, Medical Director
Dr. Stephen Brown is board certified in general, child and adolescent psychiatry. He directs a private practice in child and adolescent psychiatry in Casper. He also is the medical director of Wyoming Behavioral Institute. He received his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Southern California and trained at Washington University in St. Louis’ Barnes and St. Louis Children’s Hospital where he received the Award for Clinical Excellence. Dr. Brown has been honored with the Distinguished Fellow of the APA designation. He also teaches psychiatry for the University of Washington and the University of Wyoming to WWAMI students and family practice residents.
David Martorano, MD, Assistant Medical Director, Director of Adult Psychiatric Services
Dr. David Martorano obtained his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York and completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of California Neuropsychiatric Institute. He specializes in addictions and is affiliated with the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the California Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Martorano is a second-generation psychiatrist raised near New York City.
Lida Prypchan, MD
Dr. Lida Prypchan completed her medical education at the University of Carabobo in Venezuela, the Universidad Central de Venezuela and Elmhurst Hospital Center/Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where she also completed a two-year fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Prypchan’s experience includes working as a research associate in the fields of schizophrenia, anxiety disorders in children and adolescents and diagnostic classification systems in psychiatry. More than 200 articles authored by Dr. Prypchan have been published. She is a three-time recipient of the National Award of Scientific Journalism in Valencia, Venezuela.
Frank R. Wheeler, MD
Dr. Frank R. Wheeler completed his medical education at Boston College, Muhlenberg College and St. George’s University School of Medicine, and his psychiatry residency at the State University of New York. His career in psychiatry began in New Jersey and later continued in Wyoming, where he spent many years in Lander providing inpatient and outpatient care before joining Wyoming Behavioral Institute’s medical team. Dr. Wheeler’s experience includes serving as an expert witness on forensic cases and working as a medical director and chairman for psychiatric programs in New Jersey. Dr. Wheeler sees adult and geriatric in-patients at WBI.
Leslie Bardessono, DO
Psychiatrist Leslie Bardessono, DO, received her medical degree from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in California. She completed her psychiatric residency with Unity Health in Arkansas, treating adolescent, adult, and older adult patients in inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. Her professional interests include patient advocacy, community psychiatry, integrative medicine, and wilderness medicine. She is treating adult patients receiving inpatient care at WBI. Dr. Bardessono’s earlier careers included serving as an elementary school teacher and substance abuse prevention program trainer for educators and a personal fitness trainer. Dr. Bardessono is a long distance trail runner bringing her experience in fitness, nutrition, cooking, and outdoor activities with her to Wyoming.
Zachary Bird, Director of Adult Clinical Services
Zack Bird is a licensed clinical social worker who obtained his bachelor’s degree from Utah State University and his master’s degree in social work from the University of South Carolina. He counseled elementary school children and their families on an outpatient basis before joining our children’s unit. Mr. Bird later served as utilization review director at WBI before moving to Provo Canyon School, where he was the clinical services director. He returned to Casper to serve as Wyoming Behavioral Institute’s adult unit clinical services director.
Mandy Blajszczak, Chief Nursing Officer
Mandy Blajszczak obtained her associate’s degree in nursing from Casper College and her Bachelor’s in Nursing from the University of Wyoming. She completed her Master’s in Nursing Leadership and Management in 2019. Ms. Blajszczak began her career with Wyoming Behavioral Institute in 2005 as a registered nurse on the children’s unit. She is a proponent of trauma-informed care and evidence-based practice and strives to implement these into the care provided at WBI.
Michele Berens, Associate Administrator
Michele Berens, M.B.A., is a Casper native graduating from Casper College and then receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Northern Arizona University in 1989. She began her career at WBI in 1990, as a Psychiatric Technician. She has grown through the ranks of the hospital progressing from Mental Health Worker to Lead Tech, to Lead Case Manager. In 1998, she took the position of Program Director for Adolescent Service and Staff Development Coordinator. In 2001, she was promoted to Director of Risk Management/Performance Improvement and Environment of Care. In 2008, Michele earned her Master of Business Administration from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. In 2012, she became a certified Service Excellence Trainer. In addition to her experience with WBI, Michele worked in Cody, WY for three years as a Family Preservation Specialist and Adolescent Group Home/Therapeutic Foster Care supervisor and counselor.
Willy Tophia, Admissions Director
Tammy Quinn, HR Director
Emily Genoff, Director of Business Development
Emily joined Wyoming Behavioral Institute’s business development team in 2006. She has extensive experience in community health assessment and planning, healthcare policy research and development, marketing, and journalism. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wyoming. Emily works with referral sources in Wyoming and neighboring states, collaborating with them to promote access to mental health services.
For more information or to arrange a confidential assessment at no charge, please call 800-457-9312. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are experiencing an emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.