Ella is a native of Avery County, NC and loves working in the community where she was born and raised. She received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1993, and a B.S. in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD in 1996. She received her Masters degree in Nursing from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2000, and a post-Masters Certification in Psych/Mental Health Nursing from Frontier Nursing University in 2019. She is board certified in both Family Practice and Psychiatric-Mental Health.