Melissa Legere, LMFT graduated cum laude from California State University, Fullerton with her Master’s Degree in Counseling. Melissa has always been driven by a connection with others and has a resilient motivation in assisting individuals in transforming their lives. Her dedication and desire to care for others is Melissa’s passion. She is currently the Clinical Director for California Highlands Addiction Treatment (CHAT). Melissa created the Clinical Program at California Highlands from the clients’ perspective. The Program is founded on evidenced based treatments such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Melissa treats all clients and staff with dignity and respect. She developed California Highlands treatment approach from the ground up with a primary focus on the uniqueness of every client who are using substance(s) to cope with the deeper issues of trauma, depression, anxiety, etc. Melissa has infectious energy, ability to connect with clients and staff easily, her compassion and empathy builds deeper connection with every individual she meets. Melissa has 10 plus years of experience as a therapist working in many different settings from hospital inpatient and outpatient programs, residential detox and treatment facilities, to utilization review departments. She has extensive experience in developing programs and is always challenging the status quo when it comes to treating individuals. She has specific training and experience in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Melissa excels at supervising intern therapists and ensures their development. Melissa strives to create the best opportunities for a client to find healing.
Phillip McKinnon MFT Intern graduated from Pepperdine University with his Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. Phillip has always been interested in human behavior and what drives people in thinking and feeling the way they do. His hopes and dreams for other people to reach their full potential in life is what drives Phillip to help others. Phillip likes to think of himself as the calm place on the sometimes stormy seas of life. He has helped hundreds of families in finding their paths in life. Phillip has 8 years of experience in different settings such as working with at risks boys in group homes, working with children and adults in a clinical setting, and working with substance abuse patients in inpatient residential treatment facilities.
Mike has over a decade's worth of sobriety and is looking forward to continuing on in his recovery journey. Mike also has experience working with young people in different settings and has specific training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Mike takes pride in understanding the negative thought processes of clients as well as finding ways to challenge and combat them. Mike believes in utilizing a holistic approach and looks to treat the person behind the addiction.
Dulce Reyes brings over eight years of experience from the Healthcare business world. Healthcare has been an important theme in Dulce’s career since the beginning of her academic endeavors. She has a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences with a minor in Human Development from California State University, Hayward and a Master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Services from the University of San Francisco, California. And although her education and work experience previously dealt with a different area in the medical field, she always felt her calling was to have a more interpersonal, one and one relationship with clients. Dulce graduated from Touro University with a Master’s Degree in Marriage Family Therapy. Her presence, compassionate heart, and common sense approach provide clients with the empowerment to overcome their difficulties. Dulce utilizes insight, awareness and helpful tools through the lens of Dialectical Behavioral and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. She believes a combination of a holistic approach including mind, body and faith yield the best treatment outcomes. Dulce works alongside her clients to establish collaborative treatment goals and encourages her clients through empowerment to find healing.
Adam graduated from Kaplan University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice/Counter Terrorism in 2011. I retired from the military in 2013. I’ve always lived by the code of dignity, honor and respect. I began to notice the deficiency of care given to our veterans with both mental health problems and substance addictions. I took this as an opportunity to do better for our military and our community. I am currently attending the University of Redlands, obtaining my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling Psychology. I volunteer my services at multiple locations throughout my community. I pride myself on ensuring my clients are heard, respected, and treated with dignity. Since joining this field, I currently hold the positions of Community Outreach Coordinator and Resources Manager for the Riverside Free Clinic and serve as a board member for the University of Redlands, Alliance for Community Transformation & Wellness (ACTW). I aim to educated both my clients and my community on substance addiction and mental health.
Eileen graduated from a Licensed Vocational Program in 2010 and began a nursing career. Eileen has continued to seek new opportunities and further her education through schooling and peer counselling. She is currently attending California State University of San Bernardino to learn more about substance abuse nursing. Eileen possesses a patient centered treatment philosophy that is tailored to the uniqueness of each individual and their needs. Eileen hopes to create an open, rich and healing environment for those at California Highlands Addiction Treatment.
Lisa is a License Vocational Nurse, Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Assistant, has been the medical field since 1999. Lisa has worked in many different medical settings such as geriatrics, disabled adults, pediatrics and substance abuse. Lisa has always had a passion to help others anyway she can and is a very compassionate person. Lisa would like to further her education in substance abuse so she can understand more about it and be able to be a better nurse and person for the clients.
Jean Raymond, LVN, graduated from Concorde College in San Bernardino, CA with his Vocational Nursing degree. Born, and raised in South Africa, he is a well-travelled USAF Veteran, and was born into a legacy of nursing. Having lived, and worked in many countries he has discovered that his purpose in life is to heal. He strives to help others realize, and reach their full potential in life, because life is a gift. Ray brings an abundance of compassion, and dedication to our team. Having developed a passion for our field of medicine, he is great at connecting with, and advocating for his clients’ needs. He has a very strong focus on the rehabilitation of our clients, and will go above and beyond to ensure our clients’ needs are met.
Joanna is a Licensed Vocational Nurse and is currently working toward becoming a Registered Nurse. She knows that the way a patient and their families are treated leaves a lasting impression and discovered that she was good at building relationships and gaining the trust of patients in her care. When not in school, Joanna enjoys spending long days at Disneyland with her son, reading a good book, physical fitness and being outdoors.
Andres Jimenez L.V.N. is a graduate from American Career College with a degree in Vocational Nursing. He has a strong background in Behavioral Science working with individuals from all ages with Developmental Disabilities throughout Southern California. He also obtains his D.S.P. (Direct Support Professional) certification which focuses on the crucial and delicate care of individuals with psychiatric and physical disabilities. Andres continues to volunteer for Salem Christian Homes as a caregiver, and for the American Red Cross aiding in the Disaster Relief Division and International Services educating foreign countries and their relief groups on disaster preparedness and the international humanitarian law. The devotion he has to nurse and serve others with dignity and respect is his passion. He has an approachable image which allows him to connect with individuals from all ages no matter an age gap or maturity level, he connects with all naturally. Andres is fluent in Spanish, French, and he is also coherent in American Sign Language, Italian, Tagalog. He transcends in educating and building strong a communication foundation. Andres works very hard with individuals transition into a progressing healthier lifestyle.
Etoné Sams, Psychiatric Technician, graduated from Mt. San Antonio Community College in 2008. In 2009 Etoné began his career as a Psych. Tech. at Atascadero State Hospital. While at A.S.H. he aided mentally ill individuals in becoming productive members of society. In 2013 Etoné transferred to Canyon Springs Developmental Center where he cared for people born with developmental disabilities. Etoné is currently in pursuit of attaining a degree for nurse practitioner which he plans to use in furthering his career at California Highlands.
Natalie Castro is a warm, open, and approachable assistant biomedical technician. I started my career in 2003, studying medical assisting, I am currently working toward my LVN. My passion is to bringing healing to the people I encounter. I have been in the medical field for 13 years, moving from medical assisting to medical billing to my current position. I pride myself on ensuring my clients feel understood, safe, and informed. I seek to ensure each of my clients have all of their questions answered in a timely manner. I am a mother, a wife, and a friend.
Angela is a dedicated wife, mother and an LVN student. She started her career in the Medical field in 2005 as a Medical Assistant. Among her many strengths, are caring and compassion toward others. Angela knew then that she had found her niche in life, and that her career path had lead her into the medical field. She prides herself by living by the golden rule. Angela continues to thrive to be the best she can be, whether it be in her everyday life or when it comes to taking care of others in the medical setting. From her years in the medical field and caring for people, Angela stays calm, takes control and handles the situations. Angela continues to grow with great strength in both her personal and medical career, which enables her to be an asset to the medical field.
Heather has been a Medical Assistant for over 10 years. Heather has worked in a renowned teaching hospital and gained extensive experience with treating individuals. Heather is currently pursuing a degree in
Bio/Physical Sciences. She comes to work with an open mind and open heart.
Jillian is a Certified administrative and clinical Medical Assistant and has received her associates degree in social and behavioral science. She has always had a passion and drive to help others and enjoys meeting new people and learning their stories. She enjoys spending time with her family and exploring nature in her free time.
Jacqueline Trujillo is part of the team at California Highlands she received her Medical assistant certification along with her Phlebotomy certification from The academy of healing arts in Las Vegas NV, Jacqueline is fluent is Spanish, she is working on continuing school to get her Vocational Nursing degree. Jacqueline is a team player, she is compassionate and sympathetic towards everyone she comes in contact with, she has a passion working in the medical field. When Jacqueline is not at work she enjoys scrapbooking and spending time with her husband and children.
Dori Del Sarto was born and raised in Southern California and her goal is to complete her Degree in Business Management. She has extensive experience in Administration, VIP Guest Services and Hospitality Management. She is passionate about helping individuals get the care they need and deserve while also contributing to a warm, safe and welcoming environment. Dori adds a unique insight to the process which helps clients to feel comfortable as she assists their various needs in the admission process. She co-navigates and brings understanding to each individual’s insurance coverage and benefits throughout their process here at California Highlands. Dori works with both private pay and insurance funded clients to ensure that they stay in treatment for the long term and get the help they need to obtain lasting sobriety. She is a very detail oriented person, making her background in Administration and Guest Services so perfect. Keeping the administration of the facility running smoothly so that the Clinical Team is free to accomplish their tasks and goals on behalf of their Clients. Dori is delighted to contribute to a field that makes such a profound impact on people's lives.
Jeremy Odenbrett has been working on computers for over 25 years. He specializes in Windows, Mac, and UNIX environments; as well as personal electronics. He has worked in the Healthcare field since 2009. Jeremy has also built call centers, internet labs, and servers for various companies.
Jade was born in Chicago, Illinois, he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1993 and played 5 years in the minor leagues before enlisting in the Army in 2004. Jade served our country for 12 hours and was honorably discharged in 2016. Jade has multiple skills and keeps California Highlands running with all of those skills. Jade loves helping people and loves working for CHAT.
Patrick Visgilio, Driver. Patrick was born in Vicenza, Italy. He grew up overseas in such places as Germany, Spain, and Japan. He traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa and the Far East exposing him to many different nationalities and cultures. He attended the University of
Maryland in Munich, Germany and Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California where he earned an Associate’s Degree. Patrick was a small business owner for ten years prior to becoming a team member at the California Highlands Addiction Treatment facility. He enjoys interacting with people and loves to see them meet their full potential.
Carie studied at Le Cordon Bleu and The Arts Institute. Carie is very passionate about cooking and delivers happiness in the kitchen. Due to Carie’s wide variety of meals she cooks up, many have described her as a “Chef of Many Flavors”. From her Asian Cuisine, to her savory baked goods, and her Festive Taco Tuesday’s; Carie brings fun and excitement to your dining experience. Among Carie’s chef skills, Carie has special training in cooking for dietary needs as well as balancing foods for a healthy lifestyle. Driven in what she does, Carie prepares quality fresh meals daily in a warm and relaxing environment. On top of Carie’s passion for cooking, Carie has a passion for making people happy. From her positive energy, to her caring and cheerful disposition; Carie brings joy to all those around her.
Kaitlin studied at both Le Cordon on Bleu for Pastry and Confectionery Arts and CSUSB for Sociology and Theatre. Kaitlin has a sweet tooth for making all types for desserts. Kaitlin's spunk and enthusiasm are what many of her peers would describe as her best attributes in the kitchen.
Kevin Bell is a Physician Assistant who graduated from a California accredited college set in Southern California known as RCC. He began working in healthcare originally in the field of Physical Therapy for many years and then decided to broaden his knowledge with a career change and became a PA. He now works in the area of Psychiatry with a focus on substance abuse. Kevin relishes working in an environment that fosters compassion, education, and the application of modern science with technology to assist patients with achieving their wellness goals.
With a driving passion for understanding how the entire body works together for better health, Dr. Keerthy Sunder, M.D. brings more than twenty years of experience to the Mind & Body Treatment and Research Institute, at which he is the Chief Medical Officer and Founder. Born in India, his idyllic early childhood in the beautiful Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan had a profound influence on his philosophy and career path, including his deep desire to integrate the mind, body, and soul into all his professional and personal endeavors.
Dr. Sunder holds diplomates from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, American Board of Addiction Medicine, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, London. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a Member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, a Board Member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), San Jacinto, and an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Addiction Therapy and Research. He is also a Dream Builder Member of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM), a member of the credentialing committee for the American Board of Addiction Medicine and the International Association for Trauma Professionals.
Also serving as a speaker at many national and international conferences, Dr. Sunder has presented in Oxford, England, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Annual Convention in Anaheim, California. His work has been published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and most recently, the Journal of Addiction Therapy and Research. His latest publication raises awareness of the importance of Mindfulness Meditation in building Resilience in the throes of Addictions and PTSD. He has gained extensive experience in the treatment of PostTraumatic Stress Disorder for returning War Veterans during his tenure with San Diego Veterans Affairs Health Care System. He is currently a Principal Investigator for a PTSD Study for returning War Veterans and has developed an innovative mindfulness based online program (https://mindandbodytreatment.com/pages/beat-ptsd-with-the-resiliency-challenge) for returning war veterans.
He is the author of an Amazon International Best Seller Addictions: Face Your Addiction and Save Your Life. He is also a co-author for the book Success Blueprint with renowned author Brian Tracy, adding Best Selling Author to his list of impressive accomplishments.
Through his life and work, Dr. Sunder continues to strive to help all individuals achieve resilience and peak performance in their lives. Visit the Mind & Body Treatment and Research Institute at www.mindandbodytreatment.com. For further information, request contact with the Institute.
Paul created and founded California Highlands Addiction Treatment based on core principles which are treating everyone with dignity and respect in a safe environment. Paul firmly believes the intimate nature and unique setting at CHAT are naturals for healing. Paul has nearly 30 years’ experience in finance, human resources, administration, and operations with the hospitality and healthcare industries. Paul has been married to his high school sweetheart (Monica) for nearly 25 years, has a daughter (Lauren) who attends college in Boston and son (Jonathan) who is in high school. Paul has completed 25 marathon including the Boston Marathon 5 times (yes, he was there in 2013) and is currently training for an Ironman Triathlon.