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Meet Stephanie Davidson, Narineh Hartoonian, and Angela Williams of Rowan Center for Behavioral Medicine in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Davidson, Narineh Hartoonian and Angela Williams.

Stephanie and Angela met during graduate school and went on to intern together at Didi Hirsch. She later met Narineh during her post-doctoral fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. At one point during their graduate work and training they had each expressed interest in creating a comprehensive health and wellness center. They found that they were looking for a new challenge that would allow them to create the kind of center they had all envisioned, and a center that would give their community members an opportunity to receive evidence-based treatment on an outpatient basis. They finally came together when Stephanie and Angela had been licensed and working for a few years and Narineh was finishing the second year of her post-doctoral fellowship, After almost 2 years of planning, the Rowan Center for Behavioral Medicine opened in early 2015 with the three founding members seeing patients with a range of physical and mental health challenges.

Has it been a smooth road?
We feel very fortunate that we have been welcomed by practitioners from across the city with such open arms. Rowan Center is unique in that there are very few behavioral medicine centers around and therefore there is a great deal of interest in what we do.

As with any new business, we have had to learn a lot along the way. Psychologists are not well-trained in business and marketing so we have all had the chance to really push ourselves to learn more about the business and marketing aspects of operations, and have worked long and hard hours in networking and getting the word out about the center.

Another challenge has been to continue to balance the business needs with our clinical interests. We are all clinicians first but there are obviously many tasks that need our attention as we have opened and expanded at a fairly fast pace.

An ongoing challenge is also to continue to navigate the range of business opportunities that have arisen while continuing to evaluate how these avenues match up with our vision for the center. There is such a need for mental health services that it is easy to get pulled in different directions by the variety of needs that we see within the Los Angeles community.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Our mission is to provide an integrated healthcare experience on an outpatient basis utilizing evidence-based practices to help individuals improve their overall wellness and quality of life supported by a community of experts in both mental and physical health. In order to achieve this goal, we have collaborated with local physicians and hospitals, including Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, to offer behavioral medicine services that improve and support the patient care experience.

Rowan Center has really been embraced by the Burbank and larger Los Angeles community and we continue to see our center grow. While we collaborate with a range of healthcare professionals, we hope to continue to expand the center offerings to include professionals from a range of specialties including yoga, mindfulness, acupuncture, massage, and nutritional support as examples.

We are different in that we offer evidence-based treatments meaning that our goal is to use what research has shown to be the most effective approach to help people based on their needs. We also collaborate very deliberately with other providers in order to close the gap between mental health care and the rest of the healthcare experience.

Stephanie Davidson specializes in health psychology and she works with cancer survivors who are facing existential questions while adjusting to their diagnosis, treatment and survivorship experiences. Narineh Hartoonian specializes in both health and medical and rehabilitation psychology and works with patients who are experiencing cognitive and emotional challenges associated with a wide range of medical and neurological conditions (i.e., brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, acute and chronic pain, spinal cord injury, brain tumors etc.). Angela Williams focuses on general mental health and has a specific interest in working with patients struggling with infertility. Since opening the Rowan Center for Behavioral Medicine, we have added two new psychologists, a marriage and family therapist, a doctoral student and two marriage and family therapy interns to our practice. We have also partnered up with local hospitals, medical groups and physicians to be able to provide services for individuals and their families who are experiencing disruptions in their lives as a result of emotional and physical challenges.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles has some of the premier healthcare centers in the country and we feel very fortunate to have the chance to practice in a city so rich in resources. The key is in linking with these resources. For someone starting out, it is imperative to meet other healthcare professionals in the community and because Los Angeles is so spread out and there are so many professional organizations it can be difficult to navigate and use your resources wisely. There are wonderful opportunities for collaboration within the healthcare field and it would be wonderful to see the city find opportunities to support that collaboration for the betterment of our community.

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Image Credit:
Jenn Spain Photography

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