Meet Our Team

Executive Committee:

  • Norman Alessi, MD (Founder)
  • Gary Dimitrie, LMSW, ACSW
  • Barbara Alessi, LMSW
  • Vinnie Alessi, MS


  • Norman Alessi, MD
  • Kimberli Cumming, LMSW, MBA
  • Chris Traugott, BSN, RN
  • Santa Traugott, LLMSW
  • Hawa Haji-Hassan, LLMSW

Research Staff:

  • Hannah Lane, MSW
  • Mark J. Latessa, MSW, CSW

Administrative Staff:

  • Norman Alessi, MD
  • Mark J. Latessa, LMSW
  • Jody Miller, CPA
  • Shannon Wilson, CPC-A
  • Jo Ketzner

Norman Alessi MD, DFAPA, FAACAP

The Founder of Alessi Psychiatry and Life Center, Dr. Norman Alessi has over 40 years of experience delivering nation-leading psychiatric care. Professor Emeritus of the University of Michigan School of Medicine, Dr. Alessi has developed and defined innovative treatments for children and adults for decades. His work has resulted in over 225 journal publications and presentations. He has received numerous awards and has been recognized for 22 years as one of the Best Doctors in America.

View CV here

Kimberli Cumming, LMSW, MBA

Kim has a unique blend of skills and interests. As an outgrowth of her commitment to social justice and to her fellow humans' inspiring capacity for resilience and growth, she started her early career working with survivors of gender-based interpersonal violence. She is passionate about supporting individuals in their innate ability to heal and thrive in their own unique life circumstances. Kim’s therapeutic style is relational and egalitarian. She believes that her primary role as a therapist is to provide the supportive time and space her clients need for self-reflection and unlocking their own wisdom. She also likes to ask pesky questions that challenge assumptions, promote perspective-taking, and elicit insights for growth.
Kim earned both her MSW and MBA from the University of Michigan. In her day job as the managing director of the Michigan Ross Executive MBA, Kim leads transformational business education at campuses in Ann Arbor, MI and Los Angeles, CA. Prior to joining the Ross School of Business in 2015, Kim devoted her career to nonprofit leadership. For most of a decade, she was the executive director of The Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan where she now serves on the Board of Trustees.
Kim loves all-things nature and can often be found digging in her garden or being pulled through a wooded trail by her rescue dogs.


Gary Dimitrie, LMSW, ACSW

A founding member of the Alessi Psychiatry and Life Center, Gary Dimitrie brings over 30 years of clinical, administrative, and supervisory experience in mental health clinical care and wellness practices. He provides services directly as well as supervising clinical trainees.

View CV here

Hawa Haji-Hassan, LLMSW

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Hawa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Before joining Alessi Psychiatry and Life Center, she spent time advocating for political and social justice, community organizing, and demystifying mental health in her community. Her experience includes working with children and adolescents who have mental health challenges, particularly those with Autism, at Minnesota Mental Health Solutions. She also gained valuable experience working with mental health challenges at various agencies in the Metro Detroit area.
Hawa believes in creating a safe, affirming, and empowering environment that fosters compassion and authenticity, while also helping individuals make the necessary changes to achieve a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Jo Ketzner

Jo studied General Studies at Washtenaw Community College. She has worked in the medical field for over 20 years. She is our newest addition to our administrative team. 


Hannah Lane, MSW

Hannah studied biology before getting her master’s in social work with a focus on policy and political social work from the University of Michigan. Before joining Alessi Psychiatry and Life Center, Hannah worked at the Washtenaw County Health Department with projects focusing on community coalition building, policy advocacy, and health education. Hannah is currently working on outreach research and improving communications for the Center and hopes to continue to connect the community with the Center’s resources.


Mark J. Latessa, LMSW

Mark graduated from Eastern Michigan University with his bachelor’s in psychology and from the University of Michigan with his master of social work. Most recently, Mark has worked as a database programmer in the market opinion research field for seventeen years at MORPACE, Inc.
Mark has been in the business of data collection and research in the fields of mental health, medical, and market opinion for most of his working career.

He has vast work experience, including working as a Psychiatric Care Worker at the University of Michigan Adolescent Psychiatric hospital, as a Specialized Foster-Care social worker, as a Research and Administrative Assistant and Quality Improvement/Program Evaluation at the Livingston County Community Mental Health Center for Adolescent Services,
and as the Traumatic Brain Injury Research Coordinator & Coordinator for the National Database Center at the Rehabilitation Institute at the Detroit Medical Center.

Mark joined the Alessi Psychiatric and Life Center in August 2022, helping to implement new business software, assist with software training, documentation, form generation, and work-flow conceptualization.

View CV here

Santa Traugott, LLMSW

Santa retired for the first time from the UM’s Institute for Social Research, and then obtained an MSW from the UM’s School of Social Work.  She worked for several years at Child and Family Services in Jackson, MI and then at Outpatient Behavioral Health at Foote Hospital (now Henry Ford Allegiance Health). She retired once more, and pursued standard retirement activities, until a serious health crisis precipitated a reconsideration of how she wanted to spend her time.  (That, and a lot of persuasion from Dr. Alessi.)

She believes that client and therapist must be partners on the journey toward healing, and she is more interested in understanding who the client is, than in diagnostic categories.  While her aim always is to be supportive, her general approach emphasizes cognitive-behavioral therapy and its offshoots. 

Karen Kerns

Over my 38 years as a transformational healer, it has been my passion to connect with energies of the body for deep contact, healing and understanding with the core-life force of ourselves. Polarity therapy was my first gateway into transformational healing.

The Realization Process has revealed another gateway into our true nature as a Soul-Self-connected Being. Using the Realization Process to access the ground of Being, my knowledge of the energy system, anatomy, and physiology allow me to guide with precise accuracy. The space reveals locations of tension and separation from the core, and my role is to guide disentangling from the revealed issues of the past.


Amanda Asaro

An RYT-200 certified Yoga Instructor, Amanda has a passion for using tools in her teaching practice to increase awareness of the whole body and how it interacts with our emotional states, promoting healing in both. Using meditation, breath work, and gentle subtle movement, students begin to understand how to assess the ever-changing interaction between the body and mind. 

Prior to teaching yoga, Amanda received a BA in Public and Professional Writing from the University of Michigan- Flint. She worked as an Engineer in the automotive industry for both OEM and Tier 1 suppliers.

Madison Bachman

Madison is social work graduate student at the University of Michigan specializing in interpersonal practice. She envisions the integration of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy with contemplative practice techniques, such as yoga and meditation, aiming to usher in a new era of transformative mental health care. Madison is driven by a passion for suicide prevention and a determination to enhance mental health care for rural and low socioeconomic status (SES) populations. Her previous graduate work centered on refining treatment and therapy modalities for individuals with suicidal ideation and psychosis in community mental health.
In addition to her pursuit of a social work graduate degree, Madison holds a Bachelor's in Cell and Molecular Biology and a Master's in Biomedical Engineering, both earned at the University of Michigan. Post graduation, she aspires to a career in Psychiatry.

Shannon Wilson, CPC-A

Shannon studied at Washtenaw Community College for Office Management and CPC-A. She has worked in the medical field for over 20 years. She has other degrees and knowledge in RNA, CNA, and MA. She is also a HIPAA compliance officer and is on the BCBS advisory panel. She is extremely happy to be a part of Dr. Alessi’s as the office manager and billing coordinator!


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