Meet Our Clinical Staff

We remain open and are continuing to accept new admissions.

SUWS of the Carolinas remains committed to providing clinically superior services within a safe and supportive environment while taking all appropriate precautions to protect the well-being of our students and staff.


For admissions information, or to learn more about the heightened preventive measures we have put in place, please click the link at the top of this page or call us at (828) 489-3198.

Melissa Wardwell, RN

Medical Coordinator

Melissa is originally from Maine, but has called Western North Carolina home since 2004 when she moved to attend Warren Wilson College. She earned a double major in history and political science and a double minor in anthropology and sociology. Later she attended AB Tech and earned her RN degree.  She has been a nurse for seven years and came to SUWS after a wide range of experiences. As a clinical director of a midwifery practice, Melissa assisted midwives in home-birth deliveries and the past four years, she spent as an emergency room nurse where many of her favorite patients were adolescents. She is certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support and has completed a Trauma Nurse Core Course. When not working at SUWS, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family on their farm, riding and training their rescued horses, hiking, cross-country skiing and running. Melissa is happy to be part of the team at SUWS and looks forward to caring for the students.

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The wilderness therapy offered at SUWS was the dynamic solution needed to help my son with his behavioral issues. When my son left SUWS, he was completely changed for the better and also created new bonds and unforgettable memories! I can't recommend SUWS enough for anyone in a similar situation!

– Britney A.
Marks of Quality Care
Why does this matter?
  • Cognia
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • Forest Service Department of Agriculture
  • National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP)
  • National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
  • NC Department of Health and Human Services
  • Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council
  • Safe Zone
  • Sky's The Limit Fund
  • The Jason Foundation

Looking to apply for one of our open positions?

Apply Here