UNC ACT (Assertive Community Treatment) Team

Assisting individuals in living meaningful and productive lives in the community

The Center's  Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams are well-known for their success in providing transition support for individuals with severe mental illness as they move from a facility to living in the community. The UNC ACT Team serves Chatham and Orange counties and a second team, Wake County ACT serves individuals in Wake County.

This evidenced- based practice model provides an individual with a comprehensive team of mental health professionals and paraprofessionals who have a common goal of assisting these clients /patients in receiving medication and other care that will allow them to live a meaningful life, preferably in an independent living situation. It serves individuals in various settings, including home, work and community.

The team is comprised of a team leader, mental health professionals, nursing staff, a team psychiatrist, housing specialist, vocational specialist, substance abuse specialist and a peer support specialist. Individuals are seen an average of 12 times per month for medication monitoring, symptom monitoring, therapeutic interventions, and care coordination activities. The team is available to patients 24/7, 365 days/yr.

Individuals who meet criteria for this service typically have an Axis 1 diagnosis of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder or Bi-polar disorder. In addition, the person will likely have a recent history of multiple hospitalizations, be at risk for homelessness, or have difficulty engaging in “traditional office-based” services.

Referrals for Orange and Chatham counties Contact:  main clinic number at Carr Mill Clinic 919.962.4919
Referrals for Wake County Wake County ACT Team can be made through our Wake office at 919.445.0350.

UNC ACT starts Step-Down model in Orange and Chatham counties


Carol Vanderzwagg. MD
Medical Director for Community Services

Dr. VanderZwaag is a clinical professor of psychiatry in the UNC Department of Psychiatry and associate medical director for community programs at the UNC Center for Excellence. Her prior positions include serving as the medical director of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Unit at John Umstead Hospital in Butner, N.C., the assertive community treatment team psychiatrist for the Cross Disabilities Services program at Orange, Person and Chatham Area Program in Chapel Hill and the medical director of XDS, Inc. a non-profit agency providing community-based mental health services in Orange, Person, Chatham, Durham and Alamance counties. She has extensive experience in in-home and community- based care for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and dual disorders (both co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse and co-occurring mental illness and developmental disability). She is a graduate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed her psychiatric residency at New York Hospital-Payne Whitney Clinic before moving to North Carolina to complete a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Duke University.

Kristin Lukasiewicz, MSW
ACT Team Leader

Austin Hall MD

Austin Hall, MD
ACT Team Psychiatrist
Clinical Associate Professor
Medical Director STEP Clinic

Dr. Hall joined the Center in March 2015 to work with the Chatham Orange Assertive Community Treatment  (ACT)team and became medical director at the STEP Clinic at the Carr Mill the end of May 2016.   Additionally, he provides clinical support to various programs at the Center including Community Resource Court and the Critical Time Intervention program. 

 He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.  He completed a residency and chief residency in general psychiatry at UNC in 2004.  He has certification in psychiatry from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as well as certification in addiction medicine from the American Board of Addiction Medicine. 

 Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Hall worked in community mental health for 12 years at Easter Seals UCP of North Carolina, where he worked on Assertive Community Treatment teams and in outpatient clinics in both urban and rural settings.  While at Easter Seals UCP, he helped to create the first Assertive Community Treatment team in North Carolina that focused exclusively on individuals with co-occurring substance use and severe mental illness using Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment principles. 

Erin Canute, LPCA,CRC
Supportive Employment

Zack Felder, AP
Associate Mental Health Professional

Xela Intrator, RN
Nursing Staff

 Al Jones-Bey, CPSS
Peer Support Specialist

Hillary Little

Hillary  Little, MS, CRC, LPCA
Employment Specialist


Derek Olsen, MSW
ACT Professional




Cathia Ortiz
ACT Professional

Erica Stribling, RN, BSN
Nursing Staff

 Eric Walker
ACTT Professional

Jeff Williams, RN
Nursing Staff


Mathew Wright, MSW
Team Leader, Step-Down Program


Eden Gardner
ACT Team Health Clinician