Meet the Team
The staff at Wekiva Springs Center provides comprehensive treatment that is the key to recovery. Our staff includes qualified and experienced physicians, therapists, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals from a wide range of disciplines. When you enter treatment at Wekiva Springs, you will be cared for by a team of professionals dedicated to your recovery.
Our primary treatment team includes a psychiatrist, and internist, a primary therapist, our Director of Clinical Services, Director of Nursing, referring professionals, and any other specialists who are involved on a consulting basis. Perhaps the most important member of the team is YOU – the patient. You will be actively involved in setting treatment goals. You will hear, first hand, the recommendations of the other members of the treatment team.
Meet some of the members of our staff who are here to help you:
Sheila Carr, LCSW, Chief Executive Officer
Sheila has 18 years of combined experience in direct clinical services and administration in a behavioral healthcare setting. Her wide range of experience includes family, individual and group counseling in the school, correctional, medical and behavioral health venues.
Sheila received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida State University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Florida.
In addition, she is certified by the State of Florida as a clinical supervisor for counseling and social work. Over the past 4 years, Sheila has developed both psychiatric and substance abuse programs for both inpatient and outpatient services.
Atul Shah, MD, Medical Director
Dr. Shah is a board certified psychiatrist who completed his residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. He is board certified in UK and is a Life Fellow of American Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Shah has been in private practice in Jacksonville for over 25 years and has served as a chairman of medical staff of several hospitals in the North Florida area. Currently, Dr. Shah is exclusively seeing his patients at River Point Behavioral Health and Wekiva Springs Center. His areas of special interest include: psychiatric pain management, ECT and consultation & liaison psychiatry. He specializes in adult and geriatric patients.
Dr. Sireesha Chimata
Dr. Sireesha Chimata is a Board Certified Psychiatrist. She received her medical degree from JSS Medical College located in Mysore, India. Dr. Chimata completed her residency at East Tennessee State University, James H. Quillen College of Medicine. She recently relocated to Jacksonville to join the medical staff at Wekiva Springs Center. Dr. Chimata main areas of interest are in the treatment of chemical dependency and psychiatric illness in women over the life span.
Dr. Marcus De Carvalho
Dr. Marcus De Carvalho is a Medical Doctor who specializes in addiction medicine and psychiatry. He is board certified and is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc.
Some of his main interests include Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Addiction, PTSD and ADHD (adolescents from the age of 13 and adults). He has strong training in substance related disorders, including substance-induced dependence and substance induced mental disorders.
Dr. De Carvalho received his undergraduate degree from The University of Florida. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from St. George’s University. He completed the first 3 years of post-graduate residency training in psychiatry at State University of New York in Syracuse where he was chief resident and finished his training in Tampa at The University of South Florida.
In his spare time Dr. De Carvalho enjoys spending time with his family. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys watching his Florida Gators on Saturday afternoons during football season. Some of his hobbies are swimming, water polo, reading and traveling.
Alvaro Lacayo, MD
Dr. Lacayo is a psychiatrist and neurologist with special dedication to psychopharmacology and the emergent treatment and stabilization of Bipolar Depression and Psychoses. He trained at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where he served as Chief Psychiatric Liaison to Presidential Medal of Honor recipient Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, open heart team at Methodist Hospital.
During his neurological training at Cornell Medical College, Dr. Lacayo worked as Neurological Fellow in Chief under renowned Professor Dr. Jerome Posner, author of the classical textbook “Diagnosis of Stupor and Coma”, at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where he became published author on “Brain Tumors, Epilepsy and Behavioral Neurology.”
Dr. Lacayo has recently been selected as a top neurologist in Jacksonville by the International Association of Health Care Professionals (IAHCP). Dr. Lacayo’s name will be spotlighted in the 2016 publication of The Leading Physicians of the World. The IAHP highlights and profiles the world’s top neurologists. Dr. Lacayo enjoys reading and practicing his marksmanship at the range.
Mohammed Touheed, MD
Dr. Touheed is a Board Certified Internist who has been active in hospital medicine for the past 12 years. He graduated from Deccan College of Medical Sciences and came to the United States to pursue further studies. He completed residency training at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
Dr. Touheed has worked as a hospitalist for several hospitals and pioneered the opening of a non- 24/7 ER-gent care on the north side of Jacksonville before he transitioned to a full-time position at Wekiva Springs Center in 2013.
Dr. Touheed hails from Hyderabad, India. He volunteers his time at a free clinic in the community. His treatment approach is focused on the entire person, providing comprehensive, thorough and evidence-based health care for his patients.
Sagar Vijapura, MD
Sagar Vijapura MD is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in Mood disorders, Anxiety disorders, ADHD, and Addictions. His patients describe him as caring, and describe his treatment plans as thorough and goal-oriented.
During his medical training, he was awarded membership into the distinguished AOA Medical Honor Society. Dr. Vijapura completed his psychiatry residency and research training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, affiliate hospitals of Harvard Medical School. He has presented psychiatric research at national meetings, published multiple scholarly articles in professional journals, and received numerous teaching awards.
Since completing his training, Dr. Vijapura has returned to his hometown of Jacksonville to establish Vijapura Behavioral Health, a comprehensive treatment and research center for psychiatric and addiction medicine.
Dr. Vijapura loves watching sports in his free time, as well spending time with family, learning about healthcare technologies, and playing basketball.
Sara Saqib, MD
Dr. Sara Saqib is a psychiatrist whose practice includes working with disorders, such as Depression, OCD, PTSD, Anxiety, Bipolar, Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorders, as well as substance use and chemical dependency . She is certified to prescribe Suboxone.
After graduating from Medical School, Dr. Saqib trained at East Caroline University. She has been practicing psychiatry since 2005 and has extensive experience in a variety of settings, related to treatment of children (ages 10 and older), adolescents and adults. She has served as Medical Director with FACT and other intensive in home services, including substance abuse and medication management. She has also worked at Duval County Jail with Forensic population, as well as State Facilities and Private Hospitals. She is a member with APA and FPS.
Dr. Saqib works with patients who have co-occurring medical and psychiatric diagnosis. Chronic illnesses like cancer and other debilitating diseases that lead to significant depression and anxiety.
Felix R. Toro, MD
Felix R. Toro, MD is a psychiatrist specializing in the diverse presentation of behavioral, cognitive and emotional disorders in medicine.
Dr. Toro graduated from University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in 1982 and has been in practice for over 35 years. He completed his residency at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Toro also specializes in Neurology. Dr. In addition to English, Dr. Toro’s practice is fluent in Spanish.
He has helped develop multiple programs integrating different disciplines in addressing behavioral healthcare issues, pioneering the Common Sense approach to Psychiatry and mental health.
Barb Estes, RN-BC, Director of Nursing
Barb brings more than 30 years in nursing, all of which have been dedicated to behavioral health. She has had a diverse career, which includes working almost 20 years for a local psychiatrist, being part of the startup team initiating TRICARE and developing TOP (TRICARE Overseas Program). In addition, Barb has been part of opening a Chemical Dependency PHP as well as a PHP at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Daniel Memorial. She opened the Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) department at River Point Behavioral Health Hospital, formerly known as Ten Broeck and served as Director of Nursing during that time. Most recently, Barb was involved in delivering care to seniors through home health and gained a vast understanding and knowledge of patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. She is passionate about the care our patients receive and is vested in the employees she works with. Barb attended Florida State University and is proud to fly the colors of Garnett and Gold.
Nicole Brinson, LCSW, Director of Clinical Operations
Nicole has over 15 years of experience working with children, adults, and families in the behavioral health field. She has worked with at-risk children and their families in the community, as well as the foster care system. She developed Independent Living and Mentoring Programs for young adults aging out of the foster care system. She has been in charge of a day treatment program for chronically mentally ill adults. She also has a multitude of case management experience and has worked with TRICARE advocating for the needs of active duty service members and their families.
Nicole received her undergraduate degree from State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook in Psychology and Sociology. She received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Florida State University, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Florida. In addition, she is certified by the State of Florida as a clinical supervisor for social work interns preparing for licensure.
Katie Parker, RN, Director of Admissions
Katie is a Registered Nurse that recently relocated to Jacksonville from Virginia Beach, Virginia. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington which is located in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia. Because of her interest in treating the medical and emotional needs of patients, she returned to school at the Beazley School of Nursing where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She started her career working as a psychiatric nurse and acquired a special interest in treating patients with various psychotic disorders. After transferring to Wekiva Springs, she worked in the admissions department and developed a passion for helping patients enter treatment at various levels of care based on their individual needs. She has over five years of experience providing exceptional care to patients in addition to leading a team of phenomenal staff members. With the Admissions Department functioning as the first impression of the facility, Katie is dedicated to greeting patients with the utmost compassion and understanding during their most challenging times.
Julie Cole, MSW . Director of Social Services
Julie has over 12 years of experience working with various populations including children, families, and older adults. Her career began in Pittsburgh where she worked as a Behavioral Health Consultant for children diagnosed with Autism and other medical diagnosis. She later moved to northeast Pennsylvania where she gained experience as the leader and Director of Admissions and Social Services in two Skilled Nursing Facilities/Hospitals. She developed and facilitated support groups for her community as well as programs for those experiencing loss/grief. She brings with her years of clinical experience as well as extensive leadership skills. She is passionate about helping those in need and helping patients reach their full potential.
Julie received her undergraduate degree from Slippery Rock University and earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. She has recently relocated to the Jacksonville area to join the team here at Wekiva Springs Hospital.