WILSON, N.C. — Barton College is pleased to welcome Longleaf Neuro-Medical Treatment Center’s William R. Benton, Jr., Julie Branch, and Martin Williams, M.D., as the featured speakers for the upcoming Psychology Series program on Wednesday, March 26, at 7 p.m.

The program, titled “An Introduction to Longleaf – Providing Neuro-Medical Treatment to the Regional Community,” will be held in The Sam and Marjorie Ragan Writing Center and is sponsored by the Department of Psychology, in collaboration with the Psychology Club. The event is open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.

The administrators of Longleaf Neuro-Medical Treatment Center will share details of their work at Longleaf and explain the variety of programs and services available to the eastern region of North Carolina.

The Longleaf Neuro-Medical Treatment Center is located in Wilson and is staffed to serve as many as 233 individuals. The Center’s web site notes that the facility “serves two types of patients: 1) Adults with severe and persistent mental illness that also have long-term medical conditions requiring residential, medical and nursing care. These patients are referred solely from the State psychiatric hospitals; and 2) Adults with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other related dementia whose assaultive and combative behavior has resulted in denial of care in a traditional nursing home setting. This patient may come from anywhere in the eastern half of North Carolina.”

Benton serves as the Director of the Longleaf Neuro-Medical Treatment Center. Completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College), he continued his studies at East Carolina University where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Psychology and a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Psychology (C.A.S.). He is licensed as a psychological associate (master’s level psychologist) by the North Carolina Psychology Board, a nursing home administrator by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners, and a nationally certified school psychologist (retired) by the National School Psychology Certification Board. In his role, Benton is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the center, which employs a staff of approximately 500 and has a total operating budget in excess of $28 million. Prior to his appointment as director of Longleaf, he served as the Eastern Adolescent Treatment Program Director and Assistant Center Director for Program and Resident Services for the North Carolina Special Care Center.

Branch, Assistant Director of the Longleaf Neuro-Medical Treatment Center, is a cum laude graduate of Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College). She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with Business Orientation. Branch supervises the Social Work and Staff Development departments at the Center. In addition, she oversees the Center’s Activities Department, including three licensed recreational therapists and the leisure activities staff. Prior to her current role, Branch served as Chief of Advocacy at the Longleaf Center.

Dr. Williams serves as the Medical Director for the facility. Graduating summa cum laude from Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College), he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and English. He completed his medical degree (M.D.) at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University followed by a residency in the Department of Psychiatric Medicine, in ECU’s Brody School of Medicine and with Pitt Memorial Hospital (now Vidant Medical Center). Dr. Williams is certified in psychiatric administration and management by the American Psychiatric Association, and in general psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is recognized as a certified laboratory director and holds a North Carolina Medical License. He supervises three other physicians, as well as the X-Ray Department, Dental Clinic, Pharmacy, and Laboratory Department. He is responsible for monitoring the standards of clinical practice and helping to develop appropriate policies to ensure quality patient care. He also serves as an Affiliate Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatric Medicine in the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. Prior to his appointment as medical director at Longleaf, Dr. Williams served as Chief of Psychiatry at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro.

For additional information about the program, please contact Dr. Edward M. Fernandes, Department of Psychology at Barton College, at 252-399-6497 or email: efernandes@barton.edu.

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