Staff - STEP Community Clinics in Wake County

 John Gilmore, MD, Medical Director

John H. Gilmore, MD
Medical Director, UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health

Dr. Gilmore is the Thad and Alice Eure Distinguished Professor and vice chair for Research and Scientific Affairs in the Department of Psychiatry at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Dr. Gilmore started the Schizophrenia Treatment and Evaluation Program (STEP) in 1992. He is director of the UNC Schizophrenia Research Center and serves as principal investigator of several grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

He is also a past president of the North Carolina Psychiatric Association.


 Nerissa Price FinalNerissa Price, MD
Medical Director

Nerissa Price, MD, joined the UNC Wake STEP (Schizophrenia Treatment and Evaluation Program) Clinic in December 2015 as assistant professor and was named medical director on April 1. A native of Wake County, Dr. Price is a graduate of NC State University and received her medical degree in 2000 from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. She also completed both her general psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill. She has worked in mental health since finishing her training in 2006. In her early psychiatry career, she worked at the UNC School of Medicine’s Office of Special Programs, and helped run the nationally recognized summer program for underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students.She also served on the School of Medicine’s admission committee.  Before joining the Center, Dr. Price was a staff psychiatrist at the North Carolina Institute for Women in Department of Public Safety for 4 ½ years, working in Raleigh and at Fountain Correctional in Rocky Mount.  She has also worked in private practice at Cary Behavioral Health and later Believe in Therapy in Raleigh and was part of an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT Team) at Easter Seals UCP of North Carolina and Virginia (Raleigh).

SShannon Wallacehannon W. Wallace, LCSW, LCAS
Interim Clinical Director
Clinical Social Worker and Addiction Specialist

Ms. Wallace is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed clinical addictions specialist at the Wake STEP Clinic on Falstaff as well as at regional clinics in West Raleigh and Zebulon. Her clinical responsibilities include individual therapy and case management for adults diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) and co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Her clinical interests include the treatment of SPMI and co-occurring substance abuse disorders (individual and group therapy), minimizing the impact of substance abuse/dependence on the individual and family system, and treatment of those with a criminal background.

Darren L. Debo, MSW, LCSW
Clinical Instructor

Mr. Debo joined the Wake STEP Clinic in November 2015 as a clinical instructor/therapist.He received his master’s degree in social work from Florida international University in Miami and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.  Since moving to North Carolina in 2007, he has worked as a clinical administrator at Dorothea Dix Hospital and a clinician at Wake County Human Services Outpatient Behavioral Health.  Most recently, he served as the clinical operations director for Monarch in Wake County. His direct practice experience includes working with children, adolescents, adults, couples and geriatric populations.  He has experience working with severe and persistent mental illness, individuals affected by domestic violence, forensics, inpatient psychiatric settings in South Florida, Washington D.C., New York City, and as an adjunct professor at Florida International University in Miami.


Deborah Lawson

Deborah Lawson, LCSW,  MSW, LMFT
Social Worker

Ms. Lawson is a licensed clinical social worker and a licensed marriage and family therapist.  She provides individual, couple, and family therapy to clients with severe and persistent mental illness as well as those with co-occurring substance abuse disorders and/or developmental disabilities. Her clinical interests include treatment of SPMI and incorporating friends or family members into treatment to educate and establish supportive relationships for those who have mental illness so that they can achieve stable, enjoyable, and productive lives.


Debbie Sutter, RN

Debbie Sutter, RN, joined the staff at the UNC Wake STEP Clinic in 2015, after working in the UNC Department of Psychiatry at the Chapel Hill location. She graduated from RN training in 1976 and has worked in various fields, including general hospital, nursing home, industry, case management, working with the intellectually disabled and for the past nine years, in psychiatry.  Since entering the psychiatry field, Ms. Sutter has worked at Central Regional Hospital (CRH, formerly John Umstead Hospital), Holly Hill Hospital and for UNC at the Wakebrook Inpatient Unit.  She was one of the RNs who helped to open the new Wakebrook Inpatient Unit in 2013.




Wanda GarrettWanda Garrett, AAS,BSHA





Karen PetersonKaren M.  Peterson. MS
Administrative Associate
Admin Support/Scheduling