Urbandale Clinical Staff


Heidi Vermeer-Quist, Psy.D

Dr. Heidi Vermeer-Quist is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years of clinical, teaching and consulting experience. One of her core passions is to serve the Christian church with best practices of psychology.  


Heidi earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College in 2002 and helped establish and build the Pine Rest Des Moines Clinic, serving thousands of patients in Central Iowa for 16 years. Heidi and her husband, Chad Quist, transitioned the Pine Rest Des Moines Clinic to Heartland Christian Counseling in 2018. She has provided psychological assessment and psychotherapy to people struggling with depression, anxiety, relational conflicts, trauma recovery, unresolved grief and adjustment, and personality disorders. In addition to her clinical training, Heidi also has obtained specialized training and extensive experience in Organizational Psychology and Family Business Governance. She has served Vermeer Corporation in various family governance roles, including serving on the Board of Directors. She continues to provide clinical services through Heartland Christian Counseling, as well as, family business and organizational consulting services through www.vqconsult.com. Heidi currently serves on the Iowa Board of Professional Psychology. 


Heidi recently released the first two books of a three-book personal growth series called Gardening Your Life. The first book, Grounding, and the second book, Grieving, are workbooks (ideal for small groups) that integrate the best practices of the field of psychology with solid Christian teaching. 


Personally, Heidi enjoys singing, raising their three amazing kids with Chad, and participating in the joy of each God given moment (though she is still learning how to do this!).  

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Susan Dannen, LISW, RPT-S

Susan is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with over 25 years of experience.  She trained at Jane Addams College of Social Work, Univ. of IL Chicago for her MSW.  She attended Lincoln Christian University for her BA in Family Life Education. She specializes in child and adult mental health, anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, play therapy, and foster/adoption.  Susan can work with children as young as 3 years old.

Her passion is working with clients to find hope and healing. Susan uses an integrated approach to therapy, utilizing the most effective therapeutic techniques in a purposeful and mindful manner. She also believes in taking a mind-body approach to mental health healing. She is a Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor, Registered Yoga Teacher, and is a Certified Youth Instructor in Yoga Calm.  She has held positions as an In-home therapist, Day Treatment Therapist, Outpatient Therapist, Hospital/Clinic Therapist, Program Supervisor, and Director. She also teaches youth and family yoga classes and corporate yoga classes.

Susan is also passionate about educating and supporting others in their work with children and families. She was an Adjunct Professor at Adler Graduate School in MN, and a trainer/writer for the MN Child Welfare Training System.  She is able to provide a variety of community and agency seminars for mental health staff, church staff & their congregations, school staff, social service staff, and foster/adoptive parents. She is approved to supervise Play Therapists and Social Workers.

Susan and her husband have been married over 30 years.  They were privileged to be foster parents with PATH of ND for 6 years and experienced the joys and challenges of adopting one of their foster children.  They have watched him grow into an amazing father and he has blessed them with 5 grandchildren.  They also have a passionately creative college age daughter.  Susan enjoys yoga, nature, making pottery, art, music, sports, and theatre. 

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Stalin George, LMHC

Areas of Specialty:  Marital Counseling, Couples Counseling, Christian Counseling, Church Consultation, Church Leadership Support, Substance Abuse 


  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor 

  • Gottman Marital Therapy: Level 3 Trained - Certification Pending 

  • International Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor (IAADC) 

  • National Board-Certified Counselor (NBCC) 

  • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology 

  • Master of Arts in Biblical Studies 

About Me:  

“I've been practicing as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor for 10 years. I graduated with my M.A from Wheaton College in 2011 and my second M.A from Moody Bible in 20015. My wife and our children moved to Iowa from Chicago in 2018. 

Regarding my clinical experience, I've had the privilege of working in many different types of counseling settings ranging from Community Mental Health to Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at Linden Oaks Hospital in Naperville, IL. 

In my current practice, I specialize in Marriages and Couples. I currently see individual clients as well. I am however currently working toward Gottman Marital Therapy Certification. I enjoy the process of working toward improving communication and coaching couples to manage their conflicts more effectively. 

Outside of work, my hobbies include: Music Production, Music Recording, Fishing, Exercise and Playing Sports, Listening to Good Music, Cooking and most importantly, learning about God and the world around me.” 


Barbara J. Graham, LISW

Barbara is a Licensed Independent Social Worker and has been in practice for over 35 years. She received her bachelor’s degree from ISU and her master’s degree from University of Iowa School of Social Work.


Her passion is to help people find healing from trauma, chronic pain, suffering and grow in God’s healing presence in their lives. She uses an integrative approach to trauma using body, mind, emotions and spiritual healing. She has been trained to use EMDR, body-sensory awareness, emotional regulation, IFS, application of relaxation skills, guided imagery, nutritional connections to mental health and identity-relational tools to help people heal.


She has been married for 31 yrs. to Gordon and they have four adult children and one grandson. She enjoys, music, theatre, reading, canning, soap making, bike riding and camping. She and her husband live on a 50-acre natural farm with chickens, cows, goats, honeybees, fruit trees and a raspberry patch.


She tries to live simply, lovingly, with great laughter and zeal for an adventurous life with the Lord.


Amy Deace, T-LMHC

Amy is a temporary Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She has a masters degree in Biblical Counseling from Luther Rice Seminary and a masters degree in Clinical Mental Health from Liberty University. She counseled through the church for many years before coming to Heartland in late 2020.

Her passion is in marital counseling, specifically with emphasis on sexual issues and also with counseling women with anxiety and depression. She is working on certifications with Gottman and is trained in EMDR. 

Amy lives outside of Des Moines with her husband and three children.


Avery Harshman, LMFT

Avery is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Iowa and her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Bethel Seminary. 

Prior to joining Heartland, her previous work includes working in a variety of different therapeutic environments, including outpatient mental health in substance abuse recovery programs, schools and therapy clinics.  She has provided individual, couples and group therapy. 

She is thankful for the sure foundation she has in Jesus Christ and for the hope He gives those in need. Avery desires to create a safe environment and work and walk alongside all who enter her office in the messy and beautiful seasons of life.  She uses an integrated approach to therapy. Her areas of clinical interest include teen issues, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, relationship conflict, adjustment disorders, peer struggles and spiritual issues. Avery works with teenagers and adults of all ages. 

Avery spends her time at home with her husband, son and cat. She enjoys time with loved ones, watching her favorite shows/movies, playing music, frequenting local ice cream shops and traveling.

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Jamie M Lohr, LMHC, IADC

Jamie is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and International Alcohol and Drug Counselor.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Grand View University in 2009 and a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling through Liberty Christian University in 2014.   She is certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) and is a TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) Practitioner.  Her focus throughout her professional training has been on trauma, the impact of substance use on family systems, as well as attachment, relationships, child development, and parenting.


Prior to joining Heartland, Jamie worked in a number of different therapeutic environments, to include outpatient mental health and substance use services, as well as residential treatment.  She has provided individual, family, and group therapy, as well as clinical oversight over community based programming.  Jamie has led and participated in various spiritual focused women’s groups over the years and has direct experience in working with families that have experienced a recent loss of a loved one.  She has worked with children, individuals, and families on a variety of issues including navigating interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution, attachment/bonding, abuse and trauma healing, as well as, guidance through the process of recovery from substance use.


Jamie is passionate about working with individuals, families, adolescents, and children in order that they may build and improve connection through meaningful relationships, feel an increased state of hope and calm, as well as achieve a sense of ‘felt safety’, acceptance, and self-worth.   Jamie has experience in treating anxiety, depression, mood disorders, attachment challenges, adjustment/transition disorders, grief/loss, family system disruptions, spirituality issues, and substance use related disorders.


Jamie is a wife, and mother of two, and enjoys reading and watching the latest, greatest, movies and television shows.  She enjoys running, woodworking, crafting, and the outdoors.


Jeff Loney, LMHC

Jeff is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and has been a clinician since 1999. He graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with an MS in Counseling Psychology, after earning his BA in Psychology from The University of Northern Iowa. Jeff has previously worked for mental health centers in Winterset, Adel and Creston.


Jeff provides counseling to persons suffering from depression and mood disorders, anxiety, adjustment issues, couple/marital problems and pornography and sex addictions. He also has worked extensively in dual diagnosis (substance abuse and mental health) and domestic violence. Jeff works with older children, adolescents and adults of all ages.

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Brian Rundle, T-LMFT

Brian Rundle is a Marriage and Family Therapist. He earned a Bachelor of Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa in 2018. He then earned a Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy from Bethel Seminary in 2021. Brian has experience in several different settings within the mental health field which include residential services for teens, intensive outpatient groups for adolescents, and employment services for individuals with mental disabilities. He enjoys working with individuals, families, and couples who are facing the various challenges of life. Some of the common challenges Brian has worked with clients on are anxiety, depression, relationship conflict, marriage conflict, trauma, and coping with unexpected life changes.  


Hilary Sheeks, T-LMHC

Hilary is a Mental Health Therapist with a temporary license.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa State University in Child and Family Services and her Master of Science from Drake University in Mental Health Counseling.


Before coming to Heartland, she worked in ministry for 20 years including Children’s ministry.  Hilary has experience doing therapy in high school settings as well as middle schools and elementary.  She has led counseling groups as well as worked with individuals of all ages, and their families.  Her clinical, experiential, and academic knowledge of counseling has helped to meet the needs of a variety of clients.


Hilary’s faith in a loving and personal God helps her to express His compassion and truth to her clients in whatever they may be facing.  Along with the hope and peace He provides, Hilary can share the tools to help Clients through anxiety, depression, grief, anger, conflict, eating disorders, divorce, panic disorder, boundary issues, low self-esteem, adjustment disorder and selective mutism.


Hilary enjoys spending time with family including her husband and their four children.  She loves when she gets to watch her son play sports and her daughters’ dance.  She also enjoys spending time with friends, running, reading, and relaxing.

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Rachel Street - LMSW

Rachel is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Cedarville University and her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Iowa.  


Prior to joining Heartland, she has worked in foster care, adoption, and school settings. She uses an integrated approach to therapy and is trained in TBRI, as well as TF-CBT. Rachel has worked with children, individuals, and families on a variety of issues. Her areas of clinical interests include depression, anxiety, grief and loss, trauma, and spiritual issues. Rachel works with children, adolescents, and adults of all ages. She desires to walk with anyone struggling and point them to the love and hope found in Jesus Christ.   


Rachel loves spending time with her bible study and serving in her church. She enjoys all things outdoors, such as hiking, sand volleyball, and paddle boarding. She loves hanging out with friends, especially over a cup of coffee.   

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Jill Thomas, LISW, RPT-S, PMH-C

Jill Thomas is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Communications and a Master in Social Work degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Her practicum experience specialized in play therapy and family therapy for children and their parents.

Prior to joining Heartland, Jill worked with children utilizing play therapy and completed the requirements to become a Registered Play Therapist. She works with children and families on a variety of issues including child/parent relationships, conflict resolution, and healing from abuse and trauma.

Jill is also certified in treating Perinatal Mood Disorders (PMH-C), like postpartum depression, anxiety, and OCD during pregnancy and after childbirth occurs. She runs a therapy group for mothers struggling with postpartum adjustment issues called Beyond the Baby Blues. Jill also has broad clinical experience with additional interests including adjustment disorders, anxiety and depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), family and marital issues, trauma recovery, grief and loss, and spiritual issues.

Jill is a wife and a mother, and she loves spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys biking, traveling, camping, fitness classes, and playing with her kids.

Urbandale Interns

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Steve Lahey, Intern - working toward his LMHC

Steve is a Liberty University student interning with Heartland Christian Counseling. He is working to receive an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Ministry from Luther Rice University.


Prior to working on his MA, he worked as a youth pastor for eight years, and worked with teens a total of ten years. In his time there, he counseled teens facing depression, addiction, anxiety, stress, and other mental health illnesses. He also got the opportunity to counsel parents and other adults during the eight years on staff.


Steve is passionate about working alongside teens and adults to help them heal, restore, and work through past and current hurts, traumas, and mental health illnesses so they can connect, have a sense of hope and peace, and attain self-worth.


Steve is a husband and father of 5. He enjoys reading, teaching, learning new things, kick boxing, dirt bike riding, exploring new adventures with his wife and kids as well as learning each day who God is.


Gabrielle Llewellyn, Intern- working toward her LMFT

Gabrielle is a Regent University student completing her internship with Heartland Christian Counseling. She received her Bachelor of Science in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University and is working toward a Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling.


Her relationship with God, the ultimate Comforter, has been foundational in her pursuit of a career in counseling. Gabrielle is passionate about individual healing as well as multigenerational family wellness. She desires to speak hope and truth in love to her clients. She looks forward to serving individuals, couples, and families as they navigate challenges such as anxiety, depression, grief, anger, conflict, marital and parenting issues, and unexpected life events.


Gabrielle is married to her high school sweetheart and has one daughter. She exercises her creativity through writing, drawing, and poetry. At any given time, she is reading one non-fiction and one fiction book. She also enjoys traveling with her family and going for walks as the Iowa weather allows.


Hannah McFarland, Intern - working toward her LMHC

Hannah McFarland graduated in 2020 from Crown College, based in Minnesota, with a BA in Psychology. As an intern at Heartland, she is in her 3rd year of graduate school and is projected to graduate in August 2022 with her MA in Counseling through Crown College.


Working in mental health, Hannah’s desire is to walk alongside others and providing support through any walks of life. Hannah strives to integrate her Christian faith in counseling, understanding that the world we live in is imperfect while God is the perfect counselor and healer. She has a special place in her heart for young children, connecting with them and helping them develop tools that they can use now and in the future.


When not working or studying, Hannah is hanging out with her family or chatting with her pet bird, Koopa-Troopa. Hannah also enjoys crocheting anything cozy, and playing the piano for fun or for church. Being a 1st degree black belt in Taekwon-do, she has exhausting fun sharpening her self-defense skills when she finds the time.

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Mark Wills, Intern - working toward his LMSW

Mark’s path comes with over twenty years of experience in Iowa and across the country in the areas of human service work, character, ethics, service and performance excellence.  Mark spent most of his early professional life working with at-risk kids and families and was able to fulfill his dream of teaching and coaching here in Central Iowa. Later, through his outreach work at the Iowa High School Athletic Association/Iowa Hall of Pride and the Robert D and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, Mark has facilitated workshops with educators, coaches, business professionals, community leaders, elected officials and even Olympic Champions on integrating character and ethical systems into their culture and climate. Over the past several years, A graduate of Iowa State University in Sociology, Mark is currently working on his MSW. Mark has also served on boards and committees for the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, International Cooperating Ministries, and the Dallas Center-Grimes School Board. Mark has twice been a selected presenter and panelist for the National Forum on Character that is held in Washington, D.C. Mark has served the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in various capacities including work with coaches and teams at Drake University, fundraising, facilitating leadership development and performing breakout sessions at FCA Camp on several occasions. In his spare time, Mark enjoys time with his family, cheering on the Cyclones and occasionally running as he has five marathons to his credit and hopes to increase that number soon.


The proud father of two teenage daughters (Meghan and Zoey), Mark and his wife Carrie attend New Hope Assembly of God Church in Urbandale and live in Grimes.

Urbandale Administrative Staff


Chad Quist PA-C, MBA

Chad A. Quist is a Licensed Physician Assistant with over twelve years of clinical experience in the fields of Urgent Care, Occupational Medicine, Psychiatry, and most recently Neurology. He actively works on team integration, communication, and healthy system dynamics. After obtaining his MBA, Chad has incorporated his skills within the fields of healthcare and business by serving numerous organizations and boards. 

As the Director of Operations, he is proud to provide business management support to the Heartland Team. 

Chad enjoys family time with his spouse and three children, church, the outdoors, and college football.


Lisa Thayer, Office Manager

Lisa has worked for Heartland Christian Counseling and previously Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services for the past nine years.  While at Heartland she supports the daily needs of the clinicians.  She is in charge of patient accounts, billing, payroll and any HR needs.  Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband, four children and dog.  She loves to read, travel and being outdoors.


Mackenzie Peterson, Support Staff

Mackenzie has worked in the mental health field for nine years.  Before joining Heartland, she worked at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services providing psychiatry support to their prescribers.  With Heartland, one of her biggest roles is providing support to the clinical staff.  She is also in charge of insurance credentialing, website updates and many other day to day clinic functions.  She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and two cats.  She also enjoys crafts, music and playing games.