A Unique Experience.
RECOVERING ADDICTS TREATING ADDICTS
Former Addicts Helping Addicts
OUR TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS ARE DEDICATED TO YOUR RECOVERY
Howard C. Samuels, PsyD
FOUNDER and CEO
32 years in recovery
Howard C. Samuels, PsyD is a leading drug and alcohol addiction expert. He is a licensed therapist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with years of experience running two successful treatment centers, and is the founder of The Hills Treatment Center.
Dr. Samuels specializes in the treatment of mood and addictive disorders, love addiction and substance abuse intervention. Dr. Samuels has been clean and sober for 31 years from heroin and cocaine addiction.
As the son of a prominent New York state political figure, Howard’s private battle with addiction became public when his drug busts in 1969 and 1971 hit the front pages of the New York Post and New York Daily News, and were covered in Newsweek and Rolling Stone magazine.
As a columnist with The Huffington Post, Howard comments on the epidemic crisis of drugs and alcohol in America. His testifying before the California Senate Public Safety Commission resulted in legislation prohibiting the sale to minors of the dangerous hallucinogenic Salvia.
Howard is widely sought after by network television shows such as ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s The Today Show, CBS, CNN, Entertainment Tonight and many more as well as syndicated radio programs for his professional and personal experience with recovery.
David A. George
David A. George, Chairman, of The Hills Treatment Center is one of the nation’s most experienced and accomplished healthcare industry executives.
Over the past 30 years, George has held key executive positions with businesses focused on the management and delivery of healthcare services to the nation’s largest payers. Prior to joining The Hills, George served as chairman and CEO of Healthcare Solutions, a leading healthcare services company providing technology based healthcare solutions to the nation’s largest payers in the property and casualty market.
George served as president of AdvancePCS, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager and health services company, and as a director and executive vice president of the predecessor company, Advance Paradigm, Inc.
George also served as executive vice president of United Healthcare, a leading health plan and managed healthcare services company. Prior to United Healthcare, George served as president of The Prudential’s southeastern healthcare division, and led the healthcare industry’s early development and adoption of broad based managed healthcare programs.
Bruce Turner, M.A.
28 years in recovery
Bruce Turner has a M.A. in Marriage Family Therapy and has been working as an addiction specialist with dual diagnosed clients both in residential treatment settings and private practice for over fifteen years.
Bruce’s experience includes extensive work with clients individually as well as in the group process for addiction education, relapse prevention, grief counseling, and multi-family process groups.
Prior to working in treatment, Bruce has over twenty-three years experience in health care administration including Human Resources Administration and Employee Assistance Programs.
Terre Bridgham, LMFT
39 years in recovery
Terre Bridgham is a licensed therapist and registered art therapist with a Masters in Psychology. She brings over 30 years of experience, both personal and professional, working in addiction and recovery. Terre’s experiences include work in the non-profit sector, residential youth, homeless and domestic violence programs and private practice.
Terre provides individual and group counseling, specializing in trauma and attachment, relational issues and relapse prevention. In addition to traditional “talk” therapy, she is able to utilize art therapy interventions to enhance and facilitate insight in the therapeutic process.
Jorja Davis, LMFT
FAMILY THERAPIST/ADDICTION SPECIALIST
28 years in recovery
Jorja Davis has been a leader in the field of addiction both in the private and public sector for the last 26 years. Jorja brings to The Hills her wide expertise with children, adults and families.
Jorja has been trained by the area’s leading specialists in addiction, psychiatry and neurology. Parents and family members who have attended Jorja’s addiction 101: “lectures for the family” have often said how easily accessible the information is and exclaimed “how come no one ever told me this before?”
“Addiction is a disease” is not just a marketing phrase for The Hills. With the help of Jorja Davis’ neurological understanding, clients and families can attain an understanding of gaining one of the keys to sobriety – emotional intelligence.
Lisa Coyro, LMFT
15 Years of Recovery
Lisa Coyro Ervin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, that has worked in the field of substance abuse, criminal justice, and dual diagnosis mental health since 2000, the year she began her own sobriety. Right away her passion for recovery led her to helping others find the same hope she found. Lisa is dedicated to working with people struggling with addiction and mental health, especially those that have been unsuccessful with past treatment attempts. Her direct approach has assisted many clients to find the footing that will sustain them in the long road of recovery.
Lisa specializes in re-integration into the community, drawing heavily from her pre-licensure experience working as a case manager within the L.A. County Jail System, helping clients make the transition from jail back into the community. Here she honed her skills of meeting the clients exactly where they’re at, while simultaneously helping them to strive for a better life. Through her own personal experience with countless failed treatment attempts prior to getting sober, Lisa has the belief that anyone has the ability to recover.
Vira Tkachuk is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Vira studied at Pepperdine University where she received an M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 2010. Vira’s professional experience includes working with adults, adolescents, couples, families, OIF/OEF veterans in residential treatment facilities, outpatient programs, and non-profit organizations: providing individual and group psychotherapy. Vira is passionate about her work as a therapist, helping others and values taking the time to explore feelings, thoughts, and relationships in greater depth. She is also on the Board of Directors for TEEN LINE, a national teen-to-teen crisis hotline.
11 years in recovery
Paige Zito brings a wealth of knowledge to the field of addiction and recovery with both personal and professional experience. With 9 years in recovery she decided to return to school to get her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in order to deepen her knowledge of human behavior. With empathic care she assists clients in clarifying their goals as well as their objectives allowing them to transition back to their life with services and life skills to support their on-going recovery.
7 years in recovery
Every employee at The Hills is a success story, and Heather Allen is no exception. After spending almost a decade and a half ensconced in her addiction, Heather was arrested in 2004 for possession and found herself incarcerated for 4 months. Rather than let this event define her, Heather used it to galvanize her commitment to change. Upon her release, she spent 6 months in a residential treatment program where she wrestled the urge to quit and self destruct before moving on to yet another 6 months in an outpatient program. Impoverished but persevering, Heather gave birth to her first child within the first 18 months of her sobriety and quit her job as a waitress to pursue a career in recovery by taking a job at the self same treatment center that had saved her life.
It was then that she enrolled at a community college in a chemical dependency program and dedicated herself to becoming a credentialed treatment worker. Heather completed the program and made the Dean’s List while working full time and schooling part time and grew pregnant with her second child. Her work at the treatment facility led to her wearing many caps, starting as a graveyard facility monitor and working her way up to counselor where she oversaw a caseload of 7 women, facilitated groups, and managed both the QA and EHR for the facility.
Seeing an opportunity to put her newfound skill set to the test, Heather left that job after 5 years and joined us here at The Hills where she eventually put on the hat she currently wears proudly as Residential Supervisor. Literally everything she does is born of the love she has for her two children and her commitment to remain clean and sober one day at a time. Her plan is to continue her education at Antioch University.
Tracy Monteverde, LVN
18 years in recovery
Tracey Monteverde’s worked in treatment since 1999 with a special interest in detoxing patients. Her formidable intellect and warm-but-no-nonsense bedside manner makes her uniquely qualified to walk clients at The Hills through the process of getting clean and sober. Her dedication to our clients’ well-being is without equal, and she will often times continue to work with the clients long after treatment in order to help them coordinate their health and medications. Her extensive background in Private Detox, Non-Profit Drug and Alcohol Treatment, Psychiatric Hospitals and High-End Substance Abuse Facilities affords her an empathy that enables her to not only connect with our clients, but genuinely care for them as they embark upon the road to recovery.
Alana Tsipris, LVN
The war on addiction is not one without casualties. As friends began to suffer and die from heroin overdoses, Alana Tsipris surveyed the wreckage of her life and realized that she was standing at a ground zero of her own holocaust, and that it was time for her to take action. Having become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in 2010, Alana left a nursing position at American United Health Care and went to work at Malibu Horizon rehab in Malibu where she quickly began to make a difference.
Clients responded to her warm, and affable nature and it wasn’t long before she found herself in a leadership position at yet another prestigious Malibu facility, Pacific Coast Detox. As her reputation as an LVN in the treatment community garnered more and more positive attention, Alana struggled to keep her eye on the prize. “I knew that I was helping people”, she explains, “but my friends were still overdosing and I needed to feel as though I were really making a difference. And, I couldn’t do that way out in Malibu. I needed to be on the frontlines.” She found those frontlines here at The Hills in the summer of 2014, bringing a fresh perspective on client care with her. And it is a perspective that not only augments The Hills’ already-high standards, but also guarantees that you and your loved ones get what you need to win your own battles against the disease of addiction. “This is just my way of making sure that no one has to go through the pain and loss that I’ve gone through”, Alana adds. “It’s my small way of making a difference”.
Business & Administration
Doree E. Cambas
PRESIDENT / COO
11 years in recovery
Doree Cambas began her career in treatment 12 years ago as an administrative assistant at a high-end treatment facility, but soon branched out and quickly assumed other roles and duties. Fueled only by a voracious appetite for challenge and the need to contribute more, Doree found herself rocketing through titles as she went from Technician to Office Manager to Quality Assurance Coordinator to Executive Assistant and Operations Manager. Eventually, she found herself here at The Hills, serving as the company’s Director of Operations, where she managed the full range of administrative, logistical and operational duties in a wide variety of program areas including human resources, financial, budgeting, information technology, property management and procurement.
Today, acting as Executive Vice President for The Hills, Doree oversees the day-to-day operations of the company, manages a multitude of budgets and works hand-in-hand with both the company’s Owner as well as the Program Director to develop and direct programs designed to meet the needs of our clientele, vendors, constituents, staff, and District and Federal Agencies. Her devotion to her husband and child and her affable spirit are paramount only to her need to serve our clients as they make ready to transform their lives and do what she, herself, has already done: Achieve the Impossible.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
13 years in recovery
When he was Director of Admissions, Oren Pius was grateful to have the opportunity to help addicts and alcoholics find the right rehab. Serving as The Hills’ first point of contact for many families, Oren worked around the clock to reach out to callers and literally help them get help for themselves or their loved ones. A recovering addict himself, he spent ten years of his life as a slave to his addiction to Heroin, Cocaine and Methadone before ultimately getting clean and sober himself. In 2003, Pius began working in treatment, first as a clinical assistant, and then as director of operations, call center manager, and residential supervisor before finding his niche with insurance billing and marketing, where he acted as a vital liaison between insurance companies and our clients, making him an essential part of every addict and alcoholic’s recovery process. As Executive Vice President of The Hills, Oren continues his tireless tradition of counseling families and paving the way for treatment for addicts and alcoholics who, like himself, were lost and in desperate need of a way out of the nightmare of addiction. Championing the cause of anyone who wants to turn their lives around, Oren remains steadfast in his conviction that, no matter who they are, and no matter how many times they’ve tried and failed, every addict deserves a shot at redemption.
ADMISSIONS DEPARTMENT / GRAPHICS / MARKETING
12 years in recovery
With over a decade of working in the treatment field, Gary applies a wide variety of experience to help us seek to achieve our mission statement by incorporating his knowledge of drug/alcohol addiction, marketing, and business management. Recently, he was also added to the admissions team and management department and has been with the company since inception.
A business marketing graduate, Gary Hackett also uses his specialized training in graphics arts, internet advertising and Search Engine Optimization to head The Hills Treatment’s online marketing department. Gary is well versed in many computer languages and programs, and also creates a number of different marketing materials you may have seen in publications or online.
HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER
“Each of us must work for their own improvement, while at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity.” -Marie Curie
Growing up, Shawn Monterroso’s mother always reiterated that, “We are all God’s Children”, which instilled within her a deep appreciation and respect for the concept of, “People helping people”. Her career began in consumer sales and services where she developed the skill set of uniting management with their staff and employees to the benefit of the corporation, thus building strong teams for success. This penchant for investigating and resolving conflict led to Shawn’s career as a Human Resources Manager. “My favorite part of working at The Hills is connecting with the people”, she says. “I take great pleasure providing a shoulder to lean on or even financial guidance as our employees wind their ways through the daunting tasks set before them”. Whether it be simple things like negotiating health benefits through our insurance carriers, resolving problems with management, or the complicated process of walking new hires through enrollment in our 401K plan, Shawn Monterroso does it all with a welcoming smile and an understanding ear.
A healthy working environment, she believes, is the first step toward enabling the staff at The Hills to better serve the clients themselves. A force to be reckoned with, Monterroso’s areas of responsibility include recruitment and staffing, benefits, classification and compensation, learning and development, employee relations and career services, payroll, information management, and leadership development, as well as non-academic aspects of the faculty personnel system. This, of course, makes her both the team’s Disciplinarian and “Den Mother”, and we are honored to have her with us.
Toni Kells, M.A. CATCIV
INSURANCE UTILIZATION MANAGER
17 years in recovery
With over a decade and a half of recovery under her belt, Toni Kells is practically a force of nature. Looking at her credentials, one would honestly think that there is nothing she cannot do, which is why The Hills is so proud to have her on our team. Toni began working in treatment in 2003 and began carving a path of accomplishments almost immediately thereafter. She has been a certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor for 10 years with special certifications in Anger Management and Domestic Counseling.
In 2012, she earned her Master’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. With these credentials in hand, Kells went on to work in high-end private treatment, non-profit treatment specializing in co-occurring disorders, evidence based treatment and best practices. She cut her teeth with a stint working with the criminal justice population and acquired an edge that addicts not only relate but truly respond to. Her experience working with Insurance Utilization Review in 2007 with the world renowned rehab Cri-Help, however, made her the perfect candidate to head our own Insurance Review Departments. Having worked closely with commercial insurance agencies such as Kaiser, United Health Care, Pacific Care, Blue Shield, and Magellan, Toni developed relationships and a street-smart savvy that makes treatment for almost everyone possible while assuring that we remain in compliance with CARF, JCAHO and State Standards, as well as DMH documentation.