Red River Youth Academy, Mental Health Help in Norman Oklahoma
Toll Free: 866-635-7102
Main: (405) 701-8530
Fax: (405) 701-8531
3400 Deskin Drive
Norman, Oklahoma 73069

Amy Steely, LPC
Chief Executive Officer

Steely had served as the adolescent residential treatment center’s AdmissionsCoordinator since May. She was instrumental in establishing the facility’s day treatment program, Red River Day School, in 2015 and served as Clinical Director for the program during the 2015-2016 school year.

Steely’s passion is working with children, adolescents and their families to reach their goals and lead healthier, happier lives.Prior to joining the Red River Youth Academy team, she provided individual and family therapy to children, adolescents, and adults at an outpatient, community mental health agency. She also previously served as a therapist, admissions coordinator, and clinical director of a 64-bed adolescent residential treatment center.

Steely is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Armstrong Atlantic State University and aMaster’s Degree in Community Counseling from the University of Oklahoma. She is pursuing graduate studies in School Psychology and Applied Behavioral Analysis to further her knowledge of the unique academic, emotional, and behavioral needs of children and adolescents.  

Haiwang Tang, M.D., Ph.D.
Medical Director

Haiwang Tang, M.D., Ph.D., has served as Medical Director at the facility since 2012.  He is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., and a member of the Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties.  He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry.  He is also licensed by the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision.  His approach to the effective management of care is achieving the appropriate combination of medication and psychotherapy for each individual child.

Dr. Tang is experienced in treating a number of psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, bipolar, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, disruptive behavior disorders, intermittent explosive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, drug use disorders, and psychosis including schizophrenia.

Dr. Tang holds a medical degree from Tongji Medical University and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Shanghai Medical University, China. He completed a two-year fellowship training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2013, and a three-year residency training in Psychiatry at Griffin Memorial Hospital, Norman, Oklahoma, in 2012. His teaching experience includes serving as an adjunct clinical instructor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and an assistant professor in toxicology at Henan Medical University.

Dr. Tang has extensive research experience, including positions at the Institute of Environmental Toxicology and Epidemiology at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Paris, France; the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences at the University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan; Swedish Defense Research Establishment, Umea, Sweden; The Reynold Oklahoma Center for Aging at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City; and the Cardiovascular Biology Research Program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City. 

Dr. Tang was awarded the Hamilton Clinic Award 2010 for the outstanding paper in Mental Health.  He has published 26 articles on a number of neuroscience, toxicology, and psychiatry subjects in publications including the Journal of Current Psychiatry, Brain Research, American Journal of Pathology, Neurotoxicology Research, Journal of Applied Toxicology, Toxicology In Vitro, Journal of Health Toxicology, Toxicology Letters, Journal of Pineal Research, Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, European Journal of Pharmacology, and the Chinese Journal of Public Health.

AJ Basquine, LPC
Clinical Director

AJ Basquine has been a member of the residential treatment center’s clinical staff since 2012 and was promoted to Clinical Director in 2017. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Human Relations with an emphasis in counseling from the University of Oklahoma. Basquine completed a counseling internship in residential treatment for adolescent boys at Varangon Academy and also has experience in outpatient counseling. He is a licensed professional counselor.

Basquine’s mother worked in mental health, and he says he has always had a desire to help people one-on-one. He enjoys the crisis management aspect of working in residential mental health and being able to be a strong role model for young men. What he finds most rewarding about working with adolescents is seeing clients go from telling their story to deciding what their story will be. As clinical director, Basquine enjoys working with Red River Youth Academy’s interdisciplinary team in continually enhancing the facility’s therapeutic program.

Belinda McFarlin, RN
Director of Nursing

Belinda McFarlin, RN, joined the Red River Youth Academy staff in 2016. She has more than 30 years of experience as a registered nurse, with seven years of experience in mental health care. McFarlin loves working in the mental health field, and has worked both in acute and residential settings with children, adolescents, adults and geriatric clients. She finds working with adolescents rewarding because proper care can make a life-changing difference for our youth. She sees the current focus on trauma-informed care as a new frontier, and that residential programs such as Rid River Youth Academy play a significant part in the successful transition of at-risk youth into productive, happy adults.

McFarlin’s nursing career has taken her to Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, California, the Bahamas, and Oklahoma. In addition to psychiatric nursing, her experience includes medical/surgical, home health, and working for 10 years as a Certified Rehabilitation RN caring for spinal cord and brain injury patients.

John Ferryton Smith
Program Director

As Program Director, Mr. Smith is responsible for managing the delivery of quality care and services to clients and their families. He also serves on the facility’s interdisciplinary team supporting the treatment program and philosophy. Mr. Smith joined the Red River Youth Academy staff in 2016, bringing 16 years of experience in adolescent behavioral health. His experience includes oversight of daily operations and residential services staff and management of the treatment program and milieu at residential facilities in Louisiana, Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.

Mr. Smith is a certified instructor in verbal de-escalation and the Handle with Care crisis intervention and behavior management system. In addition, he has certification in How to Supervise Staff in a Residential Program, Juvenile Sex Offenders, and Medication Administration. He has a Master of Business Administration degree from Wilmington University.

Mercedes Alvaredo, LPC
Risk Manager

Mercedes (Merc) Alvarado joined the Red River Youth Academy in 2016, bringing 16 years of experience working in inpatient residential and acute psychiatric care with children, adolescents, and adults. Alvaredo is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has worked with various inpatient general psychiatric populations as well as specialty populations including children and adolescents with sexually inappropriate behaviors, reactive attachment disorder, and autism. Her experience also includes working with geriatric adults with dementia, and adults with serious mental illness. Alvaredo has served in leadership roles including clinical/utilization review director, executive director, admissions director, and risk manager. She also conducts workshops on topics including emergency detentions, trauma-informed care in an inpatient setting, handling suicide crisis calls, working with autistic populations, and working with adolescents with sexually inappropriate behaviors on the milieu.

Katherine Leidy, ABC, APR
Business Development Director

Katherine Leidy has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, strategic communication, and advertising in corporate, non-profit, agency, and government organizations. Her responsibilities include planning and implementing marketing and communication strategies to promote the benefits and value of the facility and its treatment program and to ensure the facility meets its operational goals. Prior to joining the facility’s staff, Ms. Leidy worked for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, where she managed publications and branding and worked on public information campaigns and other communication initiatives. While at DHS, she collaborated on campaigns to help prevent child deaths from accidents, abuse, and neglect; to recruit foster and adoptive parents for children and teens in state custody; and to raise awareness of domestic violence resources. Her previous work experience includes marketing and communications for hospitals, health care facilities, and medical specialty practices. She has also taught public relations writing as an adjunct instructor at the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Ms. Leidy is accredited in business communication through the International Association of Business Communicators and in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America. She has received numerous awards for her work from organizations such as the Public Relations Society of America (local and national), International Association of Business Communicators (local and regional), Society of Professional Journalists (state), and the National Association of Government Communicators (national). Ms. Leidy has a master's degree in administrative leadership and a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Oklahoma.



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Contact Us:
3400 Deskin Drive
Norman, Oklahoma 73069
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Toll Free: 866-635-7102
Tel: (405) 701-8530
Fax: (405) 701-8531

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