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Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Leadership Team


Alyson Harder, L.C.S.W., L.S.C.S.W.
Chief Executive Officer

She obtained her B.S. from the University of Arkansas and M.S.W. from the University of Kansas. Alyson was recruited to Heartland over 15 years ago to develop the Residential Treatment Center Program. She progressed into the role of the Director of Clinical Services before being promoted to our Chief Executive Officer in 2010. Alyson has been recognized and received numerous rewards for her commitment to placing patient care as a top priority and training future clinicians to fulfill our mission of changing lives. Alyson is a trained clinician in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Somatic Psychology, Trauma-Informed Care and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

Mike Ast
Director of Support Services

He is a graduate from Nevada High School and joined our team in 1982 where he worked in our Maintenance Department. In 1986, he became our Maintenance Supervisor. Mike took on his current position as our Director of Support Services in 2006.

Carri Compton, M.B.A.
Administrative Officer

Carri obtained her B.S. in Health Information Management and her M.B.A. with an emphasis in Clinical Information Systems from Stephen’s College. Carri joined our team in 1982 and has more than 25 years of experience in psychiatric and hospital services and is a Registered Health Information Administrator.

Betsy Curtis, M.S.L.
Director of Business Development

Betsy obtained her Associates of Science Degree from Cottey College, her B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Human Resource Management from Pittsburg State University, and her M.A. in Strategic Leadership from Stephens College. She then went on to complete her Master Certification in Disaster Management and Mitigation from Benedictine University. Betsy joined Heartland in 2010 as the Director of Marketing and Community Relations. In 2018, she became the Director of Business Development and has been involved in numerous local and national organizations over the years.

Courtney Simmons, B.S.N.
Director of Nursing

Courtney Simmons obtained her B.S.N. from Park University in Parkville, Missouri after earning her A.S.N. and RN license through Crowder College in Nevada, Missouri. She joined our team in 2013 as a charge nurse on our acute units. After working as a charge nurse with both the acute and residential teams, she became our Residential Treatment Team Nurse. From there, she moved into the position of Assistant Director of Nursing. In 2021 she transitioned into her current role as our Director of Nursing.


Dr. Arneli Solidum, M.D.
Medical Director

Dr. Solidum is a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and has been with Heartland for 8 years. Dr. Solidum is focused on our pre-adolescent acute care patients. Prior to working at Heartland, Dr. Solidum worked on the east coast as an outpatient psychiatrist.

Dr. Ahmad K. Tarar, M.D.

Dr. Ahmad K. Tarar has been with Heartland for over 30 years and is our current Medical Director . He has touched thousands of lives and we have dedicated the Dr. Ahmad K. Tarar Children’s Wing in his honor. Dr. Tarar is our current Medical Director and has received numerous awards and recognitions. He is a Diplomat for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a graduate from the AUC School of Medicine. He completed his post-graduate Residency in psychiatry from UMKC School of Medicine from 1982-1986, with an emphasis on children and adolescents. In 1986, he began working as a staff psychiatrist at Heartland and transitioned into his current position as the Medical Director. Many will remember him as “Forever the Heart of Heartland” and we are so grateful to have him on our team for all of these years.

This wing also includes a special “Wall of Honor” that honors our employees who have been with us for 25+ years. Each one of them holds a special place in our heart and has made a lasting impact on our facility.

Amanda Sloniker, PMHNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner

Amanda Sloniker obtained both her B.S.N. and Master’s Degree from Cox College of Nursing in Springfield, MO. She joined our team in 2005 as a Charge Nurse, then became our Employee Health Infection Control and Staff Development Nurse. She then moved into a new role as our RTC Nurse Manager and Assistant Director of Nursing, and transitioned into her current position as our Director of Nursing in 2018. Most recently, Amanda became a Board Certified PMHNP, and transitioned into a provider-based position on Heartland’s clinical team.

Melissa Gratton PMHNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner

Obtained BSN from Missouri Southern State University. Graduated with MSN from Cox College Springfield, Mo. Has worked at Heartland for 6 years as a charge nurse, and house supervisor prior to becoming a board certified nurse practitioner. Is now providing care for adolescents and preadolescents via inpatient care and telehealth.

Allied Health Professional Providing Medical Support

Sonja Albright, D.N.P.
Allied Health Professional Providing Medical Support

Dr. Albright graduated with her RN, BSN, and MSN from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, MO and has over 25 years of experience working in the mental health industry. Dr. Albright has authored fourteen chapters in the FENCE (Furthering Education for Nurses who Care for the Elderly) Manual, currently being used by the state of Missouri to educate and certify Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses who specialize in long term care. She joined our team in 2006 as an FNP and she is currently actively involved in numerous national and local organizations.

Karen Marquardt, P.N.P.
Allied Health Professional Providing Medical Support

Karen obtained her BSN from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS and is a graduate from the University of Missouri Kansas City, MSN, PNP Program. She is a Board Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and has over 24 years of experience working in the health and pediatric industry. Karen joined our team in 2016 as a nurse practitioner and does a wonderful job assisting our medical team.

Mandy Swink, D.N.P.
Allied Health Professional Providing Medical Support

Dr. Swink obtained her MSN and ARNP from Pittsburg State University in 2010 and her DNP in 2016 from Pittsburg State University. She joined our team as an RN and then transitioned into a FNP in 2011. Dr. Swink does a wonderful job working on our team as an allied health professional and has over 7 years of experience providing support to our medical team.

Need Help? Give Us a Call.

We cannot offer a diagnosis, counseling or recommendations online, however, our professional staff offer 24/7 assessments at no cost. We can be reached anytime by calling 800-654-9605. If you need immediate medical assistance, contact 911 or seek the nearest emergency room.