Saint Illa Center

Call (912) 449-7200 to contact Saint Illa Center

3455 Harris Road
Waycross, GA 31503


Substance abuse and addiction is a massive problem in the United States. Unfortunately, this problem shows no signs of abating and is, in fact, rapidly growing despite the efforts of treatment facilities like Unison, St. Illa Crisis Stabilization and Residential Treatment Program.

When someone is in crisis, they are in imminent danger of harming themselves, harming others, overdosing, or suffering a catastrophic life changing event due to their drug or alcohol use. This makes crisis intervention and stabilization an extremely important part of the addiction treatment spectrum. Someone in crisis and in desperate need of detoxification and treatment may:

  • Seem unstable
  • Act out of character or exhibit unusual behavior
  • Be in active overdose or close to it
  • Be contemplating suicide or talking about it
  • Be experiencing hallucinations and other mental issues that cause them to act in dangerous ways or contemplate self harm or harming others
  • Severe risk taking behavior or destructive behavior

Unison recognizes this and has a unit specifically set up to deal with the unique problems that arise when someone is in this condition. The Unison vision is one of healthy and caring communities where people are productive and have meaningful lives. Now like most corporate visions, they realize that this is altruistic but they strive to meet this goal.

They work to achieve this goal by providing mental health and substance abuse treatment to promote whole community wellness. This does not mean simply treating the addiction but treating the life circumstances and community issues that cause the addiction.

This treatment begins with crisis intervention, stabilization, detoxification, treatment, and quality aftercare. The St. Illa Crisis Stabilization and Treatment Center is the branch of Unison that is set up specifically for this purpose.

Originally named Satilla Community Services, Unison was established in 1971 to serve as an independent clinic to Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Pierce, and Ware counties. It wasn’t until 2012 that the name was changed to Unison Behavior Health to be more descriptive. Unison is a licensed and accredited treatment facility with standing in the Commission on Accreditation of Rehab Facilities, Service Providers Association for Developmental Disabilities, Georgia Association of Community Service Board, and the National Health Service Corps.

Unison’s St. Illa’s Health Complex houses a few of their award winning programs. These programs are:

  • Adult co-ed addictive disease residential treatment
  • Adult supportive housing
  • Adult crisis stabilization unit

Each of these programs is designed worked together so that the residential treatment program can follow the crisis stabilization program and supportive housing works as a transitional aftercare program. This way all of the services necessary for a complete treatment cycle are housed in the same complex.

The St. Illa center is located at 3455 Harris Rd. in Waycrosse, GA 34503 and is easily accessible by both Highway 1 and Highway 23 in Georgia. You can reach them at (800) – 342 – 8168. They do not discriminate based on race, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, sexual identity, or disability. They also accept most private insurance and have some flexibility in payment plans.


Although St. Illa Crisis and Stabilization Center is not a luxury rehab, it is well appointed. There are usually 2 or 3 people per room with space for storage and a semi-private bathroom.

The St. Illa Center has two separate sections and a variety of group and recreational areas. Those in treatment receive three meals per day and beverages throughout the day. The facility is designed to promote a comfortable and caring atmosphere for each of their clients.

The kind and compassionate staff has the training to deal with just about any life circumstance and individual need. They provide for as many of your needs as possible while you are in treatment.

The case managers and social workers are available to help you with each of the phase of your treatment. They can provide you with options, help address any concerns, and make sure that your treatment is personalized to your needs and goals.


The St. Illa Crisis and Stabilization Center does not believes that your treatment begins when you walk through the door. This means that you can take advantage their therapies from day one. Some of these therapies are:

  • Individual therapy – during individual therapy sessions you will be able to explore your thoughts and feelings, discover the cause of your addiction, and learn techniques to correct the problems that your addiction caused. The counselor will act as a guide, a sounding board, and a compassionate voice of reason. They can help you through the issues you face through detoxification, recovery, and beyond. Some of the skills that you can learn are skills that can help you with your addiction and throughout other aspects of your life.
  • Group therapy – group therapy can help to gain valuable social and interpersonal skills that your addiction may have robbed you of. You will hear the stories of other addicts and be able to tell your own. You can find similar stories to yours in group therapy. During group you will have speaking sessions, skill building sessions, and a variety of other types to help you with rejoining the community at large.
  • Pet therapy – many doctors and psychologist extol the benefits of pet therapy. The unconditional love and devotion that pets provide has therapeutic benefits, as does the simple act of petting a living animal. In addiction recovery and detoxification, the calming effect that animals provide is in itself a form of therapy.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy – this form of therapy helps retrain your thought patterns. It is based on the fact that the way that you think causes you to behave a certain way. When you realize this connection, you can start to change the way that you view situations and make better decisions.
  • Medication therapy – medication therapy can help you through withdrawal and beyond. Many people find themselves addicted to the very drugs they were prescribed. In these cases, medication therapy can help. Also, if you have been self medicating using drugs or alcohol, medication therapy to treat the disorder may help you to conquer the addiction and diminish the need for the substance of abuse. Medication therapy can be a short term or long term solution.

These are only a few of the therapies offered at St. Illa Crisis and Stabilization Center. There are many more and each of these therapies has infinite combinations to make sure that you receive the personalized treatment that you need.


The St. Illa Crisis and Stabilization Center specializes in treating those with a substance abuse issue who are at a critical point in their addiction. Although this is not the only thing that they treat, it is one of the most prevalent. A person in crisis needs treatment as soon as possible before it is too late. This is where the crisis intervention team goes to work. They assess and evaluate your condition and needs and then treat it accordingly. This may mean an immediate inpatient detoxification or an outpatient detoxification solution.

This center also works with the criminal justice centers of Georgia to provide deferment and inmate re-entry programs. This allows you to avoid a criminal conviction and help those in the criminal justice system gradually re-enter the community as productive, nonaddicted members of society.

Family treatment and counseling is also an important part of the St. Illa recovery center. Family and close friend connections can be a vital part of your recovery. Family therapy can help you repair the relationships that were lost during your addiction. Since addiction is damages those around you, repairing these relationships can help you deal with the consequences of your addiction and gives you the support structure you need to avoid relapse.

Relapse prevention services are also an important part of the treatment model. Addiction is a long term, chronic disease. This means that there is always a chance that you might relapse. Relapse prevention techniques and practices are taught from the very beginning of your treatment. It is important to begin the behaviors that will help you when you are on your own and the cravings are intense.


The staff of the St. Illa Center consists of a board of directors, senior management, medical teams, and a behavioral health leadership team. The board of directors of Unison is made up of representatives from each county it serves. The board representatives for the St. Illa Center in Ware County are:

  • Carlos Nelson
  • Patrick Simmons

The Senior Management Team:

  • Angie Mock – Executive Assistant
  • Brenda Wildes – M.Ed., Director of Quality and Compliance
  • Eva Fedd – LPC, Deputy Director, BH Residential Treatment Services
  • Glyn Thomas – PhD, CEO
  • Janett Carter – LCSW, CAC II, CCS Director of Behavioral Health
  • Katrina Wheeler – CPA, Chief Financial Officer
  • Laura Fullard – Director of Human Resources
  • Tiffany Henderson – LCSW, Deputy Director of Outpatient Services

The medical staff consists of:

  • Dr. Fady Henein
  • Dr. Kavita Kothari
  • Dr. Kayln Lane – Medical Director
  • Dr. Paige Wildes – Pharmacist
  • Edyn McKinnon – Nurse Practitioner

The behavioral Health Management Team consists of:

  • Janice Griffis, LMSW – Program Manager, St Illa Residential Treatment Center
  • Laneshia Wallace, LMSW – Program Manager, Ware Child and Adolescent Services
  • Lesley White, CPRP, CPS – Program Manager, Ware Adult Day Services
  • Michelle Reid, RN – Nurse Manager, St. Illa, Crisis Stabilization Unit
  • Shonda Miller – Program Manager, Intensive Case Management Services
  • Stephonie Goddard, MA – Program Manager, Ware Judicial District Accountability Court
  • Viva Steed, LPC, MAC – Program Manager, Ware Adult Behavioral Health

These members of management direct the staff of counselors, therapists, support staff, and administrative staff that make up the treatment team of St. Illa and other portions of Unison Treatment Centers. Each staff member is trained and licensed or certified in their respective field. They also all participate in continuing education, workshops, and other enrichment programs in order to stay up to date on the latest treatment techniques and services.

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