Connections Health Solutions
The SUN clinic is a member of the Connections Health Solutions Family. CHS is a physician-owned organization focused on providing on-demand health care. Our mission is simple “to address any behavioral health or substance abuse need at anytime.” Partnering between CHS crisis services and clinics, as well as with community supports we are able to maximize the likelihood of successful recovery.
Our Founding partners Dr. Chris Carson and Dr. Robert Williamson have developed and implemented numerous crisis centers and programs in both Texas and Arizona. We currently operate two crisis centers- one in metropolitan Phoenix and the other in Tucson, Arizona. Our new MAT programs seek to apply our on-demand crisis approach to substance abuse services, making sure patients have access to the care they need when they need it.
Meet the SUN Team
(Yes! We all have very sunny dispositions!)
Dr. Robert Williamson
Co-Founder and Medical Director
Dr. Robert Williamson is Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of Connections Health Solutions. He has extensive experience in hospital settings and special expertise in managing medical staff. Dr. Williamson became the Medical Director and Chief Administrator of the Urgent Psychiatric Center (UPC) in Phoenix, Arizona in 2007 after being recruited by the Regional Behavioral Health Authority to address clinical care and operational concerns at the facility. After two years of demonstrated successful operations, Drs. Williamson and Carson assumed ownership of the UPC and formed Connections in 2009. In addition, Dr. Williamson developed the court ordered treatment unit at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center, and manages 36 beds and all associated medical staff. In 2010, Connections assisted Banner Health in developing and managing a crisis program and Dr. Williamson served as the first Medical Director of the Banner Psychiatric Center. He was instrumental in medical staff management during Connections’ turnaround of the Crisis Response Center in Tucson in 2014. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and is board certified in Arizona and Texas.
Brook Teal is a licensed counselor with extensive experience in individual, group, and couples counseling. She has a masters degree in clinical community counseling from Johns Hopkins and has lived and traveled extensively overseas. She is proficient in Spanish and believes that her experience with so many other cultures has facilitated her ability to be playful and nonjudgment in her approach to therapy. Brooks tends to view her clients through the lens of psychodynamic theory but is eclectic in her approach. When she isn’t traveling she can be found swimming or hiking with friends.
Dr. Margie Balfour
Chief of Quality and Clinical Innovation
Dr. Margaret (Margie) Balfour is a psychiatrist and national leader in quality improvement and behavioral health crisis services. She is the Chief of Quality and Clinical Innovation at Connections Health Solutions. Dr. Balfour four was named the Doctor of the Year by the National Council for Behavioral Health for her work at the Crisis Response Center in Tucson, where she led an organizational change initiative that greatly improved the quality and timeliness of care.
Dr. Balfour is also an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona, and co-author of the book People with Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System: Answering a Cry for Help. She serves on the board of directors for numerous organizations including the American Association of Community Psychiatrists, The American Association for Emergency Psychiatry, and NAMI Southern Arizona, and is a member of the American Psychiatric Association Council on Quality of Care.
Prior to joining Connections, Dr. Balfour directed the quality program for behavioral health at Parkland Health and Hospital System, the safety-net health provider for Dallas, TX. She received her MD and PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati and completed residency and fellowship in Public Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Justice Specialist & Clinic Jack of all Trades
Claudia Lopez is our Justice Liaison and “jack of all trades.” Claudia received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Brown Mackie College and continues to pursue her dreams by helping others. Claudia has an extensive background in behavioral health working directly with the underserved, displaced, and recovered population. Her 10-year background includes working with at-risk youth as well as a Federal halfway-house. At these locations she had the opportunity to motivate those in need while running substance abuse groups and life-skill workshops. Claudia continues to do what she loves; inspire, motivate, guide, and encourage people in need at the Sun Clinic.
Polly Knape MS, LAC
Polly Knape is a licenced counselor specializing in creation and implementation of urgent, crisis, and justice programs. Polly has a passion for building programs that bridge gaps between systems to improve patient outcomes. In her current role she focuses on creating and maintaining a positive and nurturing environment for recovery. Polly serves on a number of task-forces and commissions both in the local Tucson community and in Pheonix. Polly participates as a facilitator for the Southern Arizona CIT Program and collaborates with local law enforcement and the Pima County Attorneys office on The National Learning Sites Program.
Polly can often be found in the ocean scuba diving, out walking her 2 dogs, or spending time with family and friends.
Outreach and Education Coordinator
Debbie Krueger has an extensive background in the field of behavioral health that spans nearly two decades, and she continues to utilize her experience collaborating with community partners and building relationships with people who are seeking treatment. Debbie leads outreach, training and education to share the SUN Clinic’s mission while providing support, encouragement in a judgement free environment.
Francisca Mendoza is a skilled, patient focused LPN with experience in pediatric, family, rehabilitation and behavioral health care. She maintains earned praise for delivering excellent nursing care in the outpatient setting. Francisca prides herself in client satisfaction and providing a positive and supportive environment for clients during their recovery. She is currently continuing her nursing education, always aiming for greater heights, and in her free time enjoys her time with friends and family as well as her two dogs.
E-mail Questions for the SUN Team
Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have for the team.