Adult Psychiatry

The Desert Horizon team includes Board Certified physicians and certified advanced practitioners with combined experience of more than 135 years.  Our providers are committed to collaborating with you, your primary care provider and other members of your care team to develop a treatment plan to help you live life to the fullest.  From consultation to evaluation and treatment, you will receive customized care to meet your unique needs and goals.  

Psychiatric services and treatments for adults include:

  • Coordination of care with counselors, clinical social workers, and/or community providers
  • Diagnostic psychiatric evaluations
  • Medication management
  • Patient education
  • Recommendations for self-care and wellness activities
  • Supportive counseling

Treatment plans may include recommendations for medication, psychotherapy, and, if necessary, hospitalization or referral for additional care.

Learn more about the DHIM adult psychiatric specialists.

Preparing for Your First Appointment

Most commercial insurance plans as well as Medicare and Medicaid/AHCCCS are accepted by DHIM.  Please call us to verify that your insurance is accepted.

Please arrive to your first appointment at least 15 minutes early and bring the following items:

Hablamos Espanol. For Spanish-only speaking patients, the client’s right statement and treatment consent and registration forms are available in Spanish. DHIM also includes providers fluent in Spanish. Interpreter services are also available.

Department Providers

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Barry Irons MD
Medical Director

Barry Irons, MD is the medical director at Desert Horizon.  He completed medical school at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and his residency at the University of New Mexico. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents and young adults. Dr. Irons has expertise in the assessment and management of mood and anxiety disorders, disruptive behaviors, and distress related to trauma, health problems, or developmental challenges.

He believes in the value of comprehensive evaluation and clinical formulation to inform and guide the use of evidence-based interventions, including early considerations for therapy and psychosocial interventions, with selective use of medications when indicated. Dr. Irons provides the patient and his/her family education to support informed decisions and patient-centered care, and encourages collaboration with schools, other healthcare providers, and community partners.

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Amie Kafer DO
Adult Psychiatrist

Amie Kafer, DO has worked in the public mental health system in Maricopa County since 1991 in many different capacities.  She completed her Master of Social Work at Arizona State University and worked in the Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) psychiatry department for several years before going to medical school. Dr. Kafer completed the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) at Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University in Glendale.

Upon completing medical school, she returned to MIHS for her Psychiatry residency, working at Desert Vista Hospital as an attending physician in the inpatient unit. Dr. Kafer is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is fluent in Spanish.

Amol Patel, MD
Amol Patel MD
Adult Psychiatrist

Amol Patel, MD is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He was an information technology professional before pursuing a clinical career. Dr. Patel completed medical school at the American University of the Caribbean and psychiatry residency. Dr. Patel has completed his psychiatry residency at MIHS, where he served as vice-chief resident and worked on research with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the use of behavior plans.

He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the Arizona Psychiatric Society and promotes a holistic approach to mental health treatment that fosters well-rounded healing.

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Sean Elrod PMHNP-C
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Sean Elrod is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. He completed his graduate work at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sean decided to enter the dynamic field of advanced nursing where he felt like he could give back to his community and make a difference. He believes that a person’s mental health is just as important as one’s physical health and places significant value in patient-centered, compassionate, holistic care. Sean is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.

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Debra Gwerder PMHNP-C
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Debra Gwerder, PMHNP-C has been working in psychiatry for more than 17 years and has experience with adolescents, adults and geriatrics. Certified in both family practice and psychiatric mental health, she is uniquely qualified to approach care with a combined integrative and holistic perspective.

Debra is a self-proclaimed “lifelong learner” and earned her Master of Science- Family Nurse Practitioner from Arizona State University; she completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati. Debra enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and being active outdoors.

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