Coastal Carolina Neuropsychiatric Center

200 Tarpon Trail

Jacksonville, NC 28546


Our Medical Team


Mr. James received his Master of Science degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010. He completed intensive training through 3 years of clinical study and practicum with a concentration of psychiatric/mental health issues in preparation for the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner board certification.

Mr. James worked in the area of mental health as a registered nurse for almost 13 years prior to finishing the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program. He has experience in both outpatient and inpatient psychiatric settings. As a family psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner, Mr. James works with people of all ages.


Dr. Ash Mikhail graduated from medical school at Alexandria University. He completed his Adult Psychiatry Residency at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center and Columbia University, and then continued on to Dartmouth Medical School to complete a residency in Child Psychiatry. Board certified in Adult and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry through the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Mikhail has published several articles in peer reviewed professional journals, and participated in a number of research studies. He currently serves as the Medical Director of Duplin General Hospital’s Psychiatric Unit and Brynn Marr Hospital.

Dr. Mikhail has concentrated his efforts on improving the availability and delivery of mental health services in Onslow and surrounding counties. His focus is providing the most up-to-date, evidence-based psychiatric treatments and reducing the stigma of mental health and its impact on our community.

Ash Mikhail, MD

CEO / Medical Director

Ms. Belanger comes to us with a diverse background with cumulative of 30 years as a LPN, RN and advanced practice RN/FNP with board certification in family medicine rewarded through the American nurses credentialing center. Ms. Belanger received her Master of Science in nursing from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina in 2000. She completed intensive training of clinical study and practicum to prepare her for the family nurse practitioner board certification. Her program placed special emphasis on serving those populations who face barriers to access to care. In keeping with her commitment to our patients and our community, Ms. Belanger is currently pursuing her post-masters degree program in psychiatry at the University of South Alabama. She will complete training in December and is board eligible upon completion

Prior to her joining the staff at CCNC, Ms. Belanger has worked as a FNP in the urgent care/emergency room setting, clinical oncology, family medicine, and outpatient/inpatient psychiatric settings. She has contributed to educating nursing students at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as an associate clinical professor in women’s health care.

Ms. Belanger is affiliated with Sigma Theta Tau-Beta Nu and Zeta Gamma chapters of the National Nurse’s Honor Society, the American Nurses Association, and North Carolina Nurses Association, American College of Clinicians, Eastern Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant Council, and Phi Kappa Phi of East Carolina University.

Melvin W James II, PHMNP-BC

Marie Belanger, MSN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC

Ms. Hardin received her Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2005. She also received a Masters degree in Adult Education with a focus in Healthcare Delivery Systems and Gerontology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2003. She is a Board Certified Physician Assistant in the State of North Carolina and maintains her certification through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Jessica is affiliated with the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants. She is also a lifelong member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Fraternity.

She joined the medical staff of Coastal Carolina Neuropsychiatric Center under the supervision of Dr. Ash Mikhail in May 2008.

Jessica has a particular interest in the geriatric population and the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, however, she is knowledgeable in the diagnosis and treatment of patients of all age ranges—pediatric, adolescent, adult and older adult—all of whom she has treated since 2005.

Dr. Veeragandham graduated from Siddhartha Medical College and Research Institute affiliate of University of Health Sciences in India. He completed his Adult Psychiatry residency at the Nassau University Medical Center and Child Psychiatry fellowship at Elmhurst Hospital Center, NY. He is the chief resident in child psychiatry fellowship and board certified in adult psychiatry through the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Following completion of his residency and fellowship training, he moved to NC and worked for more than eight years with South Eastern Regional Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, LME, Lumberton, NC. He carried hospital privileges at South Eastern Regional Medical Center. He had several years experience in treating chronic treatment resistance conditions including mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders in both children and adults.

Jessica Hardin, PA-C

Ajay Veeragandham, MD

Ms. Dew received her Master’s of Science Degree and post-graduate family nurse practitioner certification from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She has worked in primary care for more than 10 years serving patients from newborns to older age adults with health care screenings and prenatal care to acute and chronic illnesses. Her primary care experiences have included public health with the goal of increasing access and providing healthcare in the most cost effective manner. Prior to her role as a family nurse practitioner, Ms. Dew was a nursing instructor at Sampson Community College in Clinton, North Carolina for 11 years. Ms. Dew has worked with Coastal Carolina Neuropsychiatric Center since 2007 in primarily inpatient psychiatric care settings. She maintains National Certification by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Ms.Dew is currently pursuing a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Certificate with the University of South Alabama.


Andrew received his Master's degree in Physician Assistant Studies from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC in 2012.  Previously, he studied Recreational Therapy at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at East Carolina University, where his accomplishments included leading a 2,000 participant research study providing substance abuse related counseling services under the supervision of a psychologist, as well as teaching college courses on group counseling techniques.  Andrew served for one year as the Co-Coordinator of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association National Mental Health Treatment Network before going on to work as a recreational therapist leading group counseling sessions at the inpatient behavioral health until at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC for two years before entering the Physician's Assistant Master's program.  He also served as assistant coordinator of a day treatment program for at-risk youth.


Andrew has a particular interest in depression and substance abuse related disorders but is knowledgeable in the treatment of a broad range of diagnoses in a variety of age groups.  He is a Board Certified Physician Assistant in the State of North Carolina and maintains his certification through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.  Andrew joind the medical staff of Coastal Carolina Neuropsychiatric Center, PA, under the supervision of Dr. Ash Mikhail in March 2013.


Dr. Antonio Cusi, MD is a board certified psychiatrist for Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He trained at Michigan State University for his Adult Psychiatry and MSU/Fairlawn Center for his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship.  He was also the chief resident and a clinical instructor at the same institution.  He also worked at St.Joseph's Mercy Hospital in New Baltimore, Mi and was in a group practice in Square Lake Psychiatric and Counselling Center in Bloomfield, MI. He later moved to Fayetteville,NC  and was the Medical Director of the Child and Adolescent Units at Cumberland Hospital in Fayetteville,NC.  He was later named the Medical Director of Cumberland Hospital.  He also was the medical director for the Adult Partial Program for Cumberland Hospital.  While holding these positions, Dr. Cusi maintained a private practice.  He later devoted his full time of clinical work in an outpatient private practice setting before joining fulltime with Coastal Carolina.  He has a long list of patients that he has developed a clinical relationship with through the years that he hopes to follow him in this transition.  He also held a clinical instructor position for the Physicians Assistant's program at Methodist University in Fayetteville. Dr. Cusi enjoys sharing his clinical experience with his colleagues and other clinicians through  lectures and promotional speaking engagements.  His particular interest in Psychiatry is broad ranged but always welcomes a challenging case.

Antonio Cusi, MD

Delores Brown MD is fellowship trained in Adult and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.  She is adept at developing team based approaches to difficulties in home, school, work and social life areas where the individual has had problems, often before being diagnosed with a mental illness. Involvement of the family and community is instrumental in ensuring continued mental health.


Dr. Brown was a National Merit Semifinalist and has an undergraduate degree in psychology, magna cum laude, from Texas Christian University. After working for several years in corporate management and human resources, she attended medical school at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.  Dr. Brown completed her internship and residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University of New Mexico. She has worked primarily in acute and residential treatment, with some outpatient practice as well. Her particular interest is working with children and adolescents, especially since research has shown that many mental illnesses have an onset much earlier than was previously thought. Early treatment can prevent further difficulties in academic, social, and family life, improving prognosis dramatically.  Addressing the multiple domains of family/marital, substance abuse, and employment/school difficulties requires that mental health providers work collaboratively to identify problems as well as the best approach to solving these problems. Furthermore, it is important to teach an individual to understand his or her mental illness, so that future exacerbations can be treated early, thereby preventing relapse.

Dorinda Dew, PMHNP-BC

Delores Brown, MD

Andrew Lytton, PA-C

Rena' Church, FNP-BC

Ms. Church received her Master's of Science in Nursing from Winston Salem State University in Winston Salem, NC.  She has practiced in Internal Medicine since becoming Board Certified.  Prior to becoming a Nurse Pracitioner, she worked as an Emergency and Trauma RN.  Throughout her training and education, the empasis has always been on care for the person, not just the patient.


Ms. Church has been preceptor to numerous healthcare professionals in training, providing guidance, instruction, practical knowledge, and encouragement to new healthcare professionals in training and practice.


Ms. Church is affiliated with the American Nurses Association, North Carolin Nurses Association, Emergency Nurses Association, and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and is certified as a Forensic Nurse Examiner.


Sadaf Ijaz, MD

Dr. Sadaf Ijaz graduated from Fatima Jinnah Medical College for Women at Punjab University. She received further education from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and received M.P.H. She completed her Adult Psychiatry Residency at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System. She also received Suboxon Certification.   She has extensive experience working in Adult and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry both In-patients and Out-patient. Dr. Ijaz has published articles in peer reviewed scientific journals, and participated in a psychiatric of research studies. Prior to CCNC she worked at Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Horsham Clinic at Ambler, Pennsylvania.

Jody Francis is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She obtained her Master of Science in Nursing through the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2013.  She earned and maintains her board certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Jody has over 20 years of experience working with patients of all ages with various mental health issues within the community setting. She has notable insight and experience in providing direct care to the homeless population through her years of working with the National Healthcare for the Homeless Coalition within her home state of Massachusetts. Jody has been an active member of the Healthcare for the Homeless Clinicians Network since 1999.

Jody is affiliated with Sigma Theta Tau- Beta Zeta Chapter, American Nurses Association, North Carolina Nurses Association, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses, and American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Dr. Kahler is board-certified in Adult Psychiatry and fellowship trained in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She received her M.D. from New York Medical College, and received her adult psychiatry training at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Kahler completed her Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at New York University, working at both NYU Hospitals and Bellevue Hospital.  She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Dr. Kahler has experience in a wide variety of clinical settings and loves working with children. She treats patients of all ages and is dedicated to providing comprehensive, evidence-based, and compassionate care to all of her patients.



Jody, Francis, NP

Sharon Kahler, MD