Clinical and Medical Team

Howard C. Samuels, LMFT, Psy.D

FOUNDER and CEO

In Recovery Since 8/16/1994

Dr. Howard Samuels, Psy.D, LMFT, specializes in mood and addictive disorders, love and sex addiction and substance abuse interventions. Dr. Samuels established The Hills Treatment Center in 2010 and currently operates the programs nationally recognized full continuum of care in Los Angeles California.

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. After numerous arrests, convictions and stints in treatment centers Dr. Samuels landed in a life of recovery on August 16, 1994.

Dr. Samuels has since dedicated his time and efforts helping other addicts and alcoholics find their way out of the addiction epidemic in America. His testifying before the California Senate Public Safety Commission resulted in legislation prohibiting the sale to minors of the dangerous hallucinogenic Salvia and 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.

Howard loves spending time with his family and three children when he is not facilitating client clinical groups and staff meetings at The Hills.

William C. Samuels

CHAIRMAN

William C. Samuels, Chairman, is the Managing Member of Carlyle Capital Group, an equity partner in the Hills Treatment Center. He is a well-known political activist, entrepreneur and innovator in the development of socially-responsible businesses. He currently Chairs EffectiveNY, a political organization that advocates for legislation to improve the lives of New Yorkers and the quality of our government. In 2017 he sold his Silicon Valley Technology Company, Resonant Software, Inc., to an affiliate of Toma Bravo.

Previously, as Chairman and CEO of ACTV, Inc., a digital media company he took a startup, thru an initial public offering, a second offering, to an eventual exit and a sale to an affiliate of Liberty Media. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from MIT and holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

David A. George

CHAIRMAN, HILLS ATLANTA

David A. George, Chairman, of The Hills Atlanta a state of the art Facility that will be opening in 2018. He 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.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

In Recovery Since 9/1/1987

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 15 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. Clients positively respond to Bruce’s compassion, practicality and humor.

Prior to working in treatment, Bruce’s spent 23 years in health care administration, including Human Resources Administration and Employee Assistance Programs.

Terre Bridgham, LMFT

Therapist

In Recovery Since 2/15/1978

Terre Bridgham brings over 30 years of experience, both personal and professional, working in addiction and recovery. Terre obtained a master of Psychology and is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a registered EMDR therapist and has successfully completed PIT (post induction therapy) training with Pia Melody, a prominent speaker and educator of addictions and relationships.

Terre’s professional experiences include 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 utilizes art therapy interventions to enhance and facilitate insight in the therapeutic process.

Jorja Davis, LMFT

Family Therapist and Addiction Specialist

In Recovery Since 6/18/1987

Jorja has worked in both the private and public sector of the addiction and recovery field for the last 26 years. Her training by the area’s leading specialists in addiction, psychiatry and neurology brings a wide range of expertise to clients and their family members.

Jorga has designed The Family Program at The Hills to mend the rifts caused by the nightmare of addiction and offers everyone involved real tools for living healthy, productive lives even after the time spent here has become a long, distant memory.

Jorja’s addiction 101: “Lectures for the Family” contains digestible information and practical applications that can be immediately implemented into every family dynamic so they can begin to repair and live the life the they deserve. Jorja’s passion to help clients and their families to understand and gain emotional intelligence, a key to successful recovery, shines through her interactions and connections while working with them.

Lisa Coyro, LMFT

Therapist

In Recovery Since 11/22/2000

Lisa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked in the field of substance abuse, criminal justice, and dual diagnosis mental health since 2000, the year she began her own sobriety. Her passion for recovery led her to helping others find the same hope she did.

Lisa is dedicated to working with people struggling with addiction and mental health, especially those that have been unsuccessful with past treatment. 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 in the L.A. County Jail System where she assisted clients make the transition from incarceration to the community. She meets clients where they are while simultaneously helping them strive for a life worth staying sober for. Through her own personal experience with countless failed treatment attempts prior to getting sober, Lisa has the belief that anyone recover.

Vira Tkachuk

Therapist

Vira Tkachuk is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She studied at Pepperdine University where she received an M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 2010. Vira’s professional experience includes providing individual and group psychotherapy with adults, adolescents, couples, families, OIF/OEF veterans in residential treatment facilities, outpatient programs, and non-profit organizations.

Vira is passionate about helping others and values 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.

Paige Zito

Case Manager

In Recovery Since 3/25/2006

Paige Zito is currently obtaining her Master of Clinical Psychology and offers invaluable insight about addiction and recovery to all our clients. Her dedication to study and understand human behavior and motivation assists clients in clarifying their goals and objectives for life outside of treatment.

Paige’s natural ability to aid clients in their transition from treatment to the community is far reaching. Preparing clients for a life with new systems, tools and strategies that embraces the personal, professional and recovery balance is her passion and priority.

Heather Allen

Residential Supervisor

In Recovery Since 9/17/2007

Heather is a credentialed chemical dependency treatment worker with over five years of experience which includes facility monitor, counselor, and now residential supervisor. Heather’s commitment to cultivate a safe, robust and productive program experience for all our clients is one of many areas of her expertise.

Heather’s personal and professional history with addiction motivates her in serving those who struggle as she did, ultimately helping them discover a fulfilled life in recovery. Heather fills her time away from The Hills spending it with her children.

Kylie Kolb, M.A., MFTi

Outpatient Therapist

In Recovery Since 4/12/2012

Treating every client as an individual, Kylie’s goal has always been to help each client learn how to cope with the challenges life throws them while employing her empathy, compassion and integrity to support them in struggle.  She understands how difficult it is to build a happier, healthier and more productive lifestyle because she, herself, has already accomplished it!

When Kylie first came to The Hills, she did so as a client.  Her ensuing battle with alcoholism helped her find her true calling. She earned her degree in Clinical Psychology and places value on connecting with her clients, building strong work alliances, and collaborating on therapeutic goals.

Indeed, her career has placed her, at one time or another, at every facet of the recovery paradigm, having started out at The Hills as Lead Technician and Interim Residential Supervisor, and then becoming an MFT Trainee at the Open Paths Counseling Center.  Words cannot express how thrilled we were to finally have her back home at The Hills, where she belongs, as our resident therapist at our Extended Care Center on Melrose Avenue.

As a psychotherapist, Kylie Kolb’s areas of experience include treating addiction, anxiety, relational & co-occurring disorders, and depression.  Her ability to discern a client’s individual needs render her uniquely qualified to promote the development of skills in critical thinking, active listening, decision making and self-soothing in a recovery-model setting, thus insuring every client creates a practice of gentle self-awareness.  Because it is only in this practice that true healing can occur.

Randy Smith, LMFT

Primary Outpatient Therapist

Since 2013, Randy has been working as a clinical therapist in private practice as a part of Pacific Psychotherapy Associates in Los Angeles working with individuals, couples and groups.  He also served as a Primary Therapist at Klean Treatment Centers (2015) for clients recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. Concentration there was on relapse prevention, dual diagnosis, triggers/stressors, anger management, family of origin issues, stress/anxiety/depression, self-harm, eating disorders and relationship issues. He also focused on aftercare planning and assisting clients in developing strategic life skills.  He worked as a Primary Supervisor at Teen Line (2014-2015), at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, providing guidance for staff and for teen clients calling in with crisis issues such as self-harm, suicidal ideation and abuse. Randy started his therapist career at The Center for Individual and Family Counseling (2011-2013), as a therapist to a variety of clients including adolescents, couples and families.  Prior to working as a Psychotherapist and Counselor, Randy worked in the Entertainment Industry at Sony Pictures and at MGM as a marketing executive.

Vanessa Moses

Outpatient Supervisor

10 years in recovery

Vanessa’s primary motivation was the loss of her son, who was removed from her care by the Department of Child and Family Services when she was still ensconced in her addiction.  It was a devastating blow, to be sure, but it led her to a women and children’s residential facility in January of 2007 where she remained for 7 months.  She moved to a sober living house afterward and was eventually given the opportunity to work at that same non-profit facility as a Facility Monitor.  Her immersion in the program earned her the return of her son and afforded her the realization that she wanted a long-term career in helping others like herself.
Vanessa was awarded a scholarship to go back to school and she enrolled in an Alcohol and Drug Studies Program where she obtained her certification while also becoming a certified Domestic Violence Advocate.  Moses continued to work at the women and children’s facility for 6 years, during which she quickly rose through the ranks becoming first their Lead Substance Counselor and then their Program Coordinator for 4 years.  She also worked with the Criminal Justice Population as a Prop 36 Counselor, helping women establish themselves as prominent members of society while maintaining a bent toward Independent Living.  Her tireless work at a Forensic Outpatient Agency on Skid Row for 18 months gained her more experience with the co-occurring disorder population and garnered our attention which led to her becoming the IOP Supervisor for The Hills, a position that makes her the proverbial face of our Outpatient Center, and the first compassionate hand that welcomes you.

Tracy Monteverde, LVN

Nurse Supervisor

In Recovery Since 3/31/1998

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

Nurse

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 where she quickly began to make a difference.
Clients respond to her warm, and affable nature, 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 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”.

Isaac Reddick III

Alumni Coordinator

In Recovery Since 2/22/1992

Isaac Reddick III has over a decade of experience in helping people stay clean and sober. His formidable resume reflects his commitment to providing real support to our clients, having worked his way up from a Technician-level care provider to the coveted role of Residential Supervisor, which rendered him the eyes and ears of the treatment center he called home before ultimately landing at The Hills.

In addition to his more than twenty years of clean and sober time, Isaac is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. Indeed, it is his empathy for our clients that makes him uniquely qualified to remain a part of their lives as The Hills’ Alumni Coordinator. Add to this his irreverent sense of humor and penchant for intuiting a client’s need for attention, and it is easy to see why many of our past and current clients look to Isaac for strength and support as they venture forth into the bold new lives which await them.

Business & Administration

Doree E. Cambas

FOUNDER / STRATEGIC PLANNING

In Recovery Since 3/31/2004

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.

Oren Pius

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

In Recovery Since 8/16/2003

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.

Gary Hackett

ADMISSIONS DEPARTMENT / GRAPHICS / MARKETING

In Recovery Since 3/9/2005

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.

Lee Fitzgerald

Special Events

In Recovery Since 3/24/2000

Lee has been a leader in the addiction treatment field for over 14 years. She holds a certificate from UCLA in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and is a Board Member of the Association of Intervention Specialists, having managed interventions since 2005. Additionally, Lee’s work as an interventionist has been showcased on A&E’s hit show Intervention. Lee recently served as Executive Director Western Region and International Development for Caron Treatment Centers as well as Promises treatment centers.  She currently is a board member of the United Kingdom and European Symposium on Addictive Disorders (UKESAD) and as an Advisory Board member of The Haven at College. In the past she has also served on the board of the Women’s Association of Addiction Treatment. Lee pioneered and continues to work with a nonprofit treatment center for women in Nepal and began the first women’s Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Kathmandu. Lee’s unique skills and efforts have demonstrated her talent and dedication to advancing recovery both on a local and international level.

Shawn Monterroso

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

In Recovery Since 5/17/1998

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.