About The Recovery Village Team

Welcome to TheRecoveryVillage.com, one of the world’s largest behavioral health care websites, reaching millions each month impacted by substance abuse and mental health conditions. The Recovery Village team is comprised of diverse business and health care professionals from our parent company, Advanced Recovery Systems, LLC. Additional external contributors are hand-selected for their unique subject matter expertise.

TheRecoveryVillage.com aims to educate the public with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and often medically reviewed. We also regularly conduct continuing education webinars for healthcare professionals and publish related news and research on behavioral health topics.

Learn more about our team below, including our internal staff that delivers treatment across our national network of drug and alcohol rehabs.

Our Editorial Policy

Addiction and Mental Health are sensitive topics. That’s why The Recovery Village Editorial Team carefully vets and reviews every piece of content we publish. Throughout our website, on our medical web pages, blogs, news, related articles and in continuing education webinars, we deliver evidence-based content and medically reviewed facts that focus on behavioral health conditions, treatments and research. Our mission is to help others by delivering trustworthy, accurate and up-to-date medical and clinical information from a group of passionate contributing experts.

In-House Staff, Editorial Team & Medical Reviewers

Allison Walsh

Allison Walsh is the Vice President in charge of Business Development and Branding for Advanced Recovery Systems, LLC. the parent company of The Recovery Village. Allison is responsible for all community outreach, partnership development, continuing education, and events. In her role as VP, Business Development & Branding for The Recovery Village, Allison regularly... Read More

Ashley Sutphin

Ashley Sutphin Watkins is a professional writer and blogger. A native of North Carolina, she received her degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in psychology and journalism. For the past eight years, she has worked with clients throughout the country on writing projects. Now based in Knoxville, Tennessee, when she isn’t working and writing Ashley... Read More

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a contributing author for The Recovery Village, a newspaper reporter and a graphic designer from Minnesota. Beth regularly writes about the realities of getting sober young. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and like her blog for updates.

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Bill Boulden

Bill “Spruke” Boulden is an engineer and musician from Buffalo, NY. When not blogging about his experiences with addiction and recovery, he spends his days developing web software and his nights DJing and producing music as “Spruke”. A lifelong nerd, Bill’s free time is spent playing Blizzard games such as Overwatch and Hearthstone with his... Read More

Carly Benson

As an avid traveler, yogi & confessed self-help junkie, Carly writes about her adventures in life & sobriety on www.MiraclesAreBrewing.com where she offers inspirational concepts for enlightenment, spirituality, and embracing epicness.

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Christina Bockisch

Christina is a mud runner, dog lover, and amateur photographer located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She also runs her own blog, My Life in Wonderland, where she writes about newlywed life, fitness, mental health, and her life as a whole. Christina is obsessed with Harry Potter, always has a collection of lip balm in her purse, and never passes up an opportunity to make sweet... Read More

Eric Patterson, LPC

Eric Patterson is a licensed professional counselor in the Pittsburgh area who is dedicated to helping children, adults, and families meet their treatment goals. As contributor for the American Psychiatric Association, he helped shape the content in the DSM-5. For the last five years as a freelance writer, Eric has worked to spread reliable, actionable information regarding... Read More

Jessie Gould

Jessie Gould lives in Phoenix, Arizona and writes regularly at various websites, news publications and blogs.

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Lindsey Hall

Lindsey Hall is an author contributing to The Recovery Village with writing on topics related to eating disorders and mental, behavioral health issues.

 

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Liz Lazzara

Liz Lazzara is a freelance writer and editor living and working in Boston, MA. She is working on three large projects:

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Robert Ashford

Born in North Texas and raised in North Eastern Pennsylvania, Robert Ashford devotes his time to behavioral health recovery and social justice advocacy. Robert most recently served as the National Program Director for Young People in Recovery.

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Benjamin Caleb Williams

Benjamin “Caleb” Williams is a registered nurse who grew up in New Zealand and moved to the United States in 2008.

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Christina Caplinger

Christina Caplinger is a licensed pharmacist in both Colorado and Idaho and is also a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. She completed a fellowship program in infectious disease pharmacy, in which her research interests included antimicrobial stewardship and appropriate antimicrobial prescribing, resulting in several publications in peer-reviewed medical journals.... Read More

Ashley Ulbrich

Ashley has a history of working in public relations, communications, and digital publishing industries. She possesses a Bachelor’s in Human Communications and a minor in Hospitality Management from the University of Central Florida. Ashley has worked for The Recovery Village and Advanced Recovery Systems, LLC in a variety of roles and now oversees all continuing... Read More

Becky Greiner

Becky Greiner has worked in the professional writing industry since 2003 with experience in print journalism and web content. She has been the Managing Editor of Advanced Recovery Systems since 2017 and served as a judge for the 2018 Digital Health Awards. Becky... Read More

Camille Renzoni

Cami Renzoni is a creative writer, copywriting mentor and the content coach for Advanced Recovery Systems. Through topical research articles, engaging email campaigns and insightful interviews with rehab graduates, Cami aims to end the stigma that surrounds addiction and mental illness. As an advocate for behavioral health, Cami is certified... Read More

Cynthia Reyna

Born a Hoosier, Cynthia is now loving life in sunny Florida. Cynthia spent five years writing about pets at an advertising agency in Indiana before joining TheRecoveryVillage.com. She’s now happy to be writing about people at The Recovery Village in Orlando. Her desire as a writer is for her words to both inspire and change lives.

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Devin Golden

Devin Golden joined Advanced Recovery Systems as a digital copywriter in February of 2018 after eight years working for various print and digital news organizations. Devin’s family has been affected by addiction and mental health disorders, which is a large part of why he wants to help others who have either directly or indirectly been... Read More

Jennifer Kopf

Jennifer Kopf is a Florida-based writer who likes to balance creative writing with helpful and informative pieces. Her passion for helping people has translated into writing about the importance of substance use disorder and mental health treatment.

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Jessica Freda

Hailing all the way from Long Island, Jess Freda is a journalism graduate who aims to fight the stigma against mental health in two major ways – through her writing and her music. Well into recovery herself, Jess works to share the stories of her struggles in hopes of helping others. Now based in Orlando, Jess aspires to help as many people overcome their inner battles... Read More

Matt Gonzales

Matt Gonzales is an award-winning content writer. Since 2016, he has covered the latest drug trends, analyzed complex medical reports and shared compelling stories of people in recovery from addiction. Matt leverages his experiences in addiction research to provide hope to individuals grappling with substance use or mental health... Read More

Megan Hull

Megan Hull is Advanced Recovery System’s head copywriter. As a Florida born-and-raised writer with a family history of addiction, Megan is driven by her desire to connect people to treatment that works. Since she started writing for The Recovery Village in 2017, she has covered various aspects of addiction trends and treatment, including the... Read More

Renee Deveney

As the content manager at Advanced Recovery systems, Renée Deveney is passionate about helping people struggling with substance use disorder. She leads a team of dedicated writers who provide insightful material for individuals seeking treatment. With a family history of addiction and mental illness, Renée is committed to opening up a proactive dialogue about substance use... Read More

Thomas Christiansen

With over a decade of editing experience, Tom is the editor for the Advanced Recovery Systems content team where he polishes the great research articles, news releases and blog posts that the content team produces every day. Working with such a passionate team of dedicated writers inspires Tom to ensure that the quality of the content remains... Read More

Conor Sheehy

Dr. Sheehy completed his BS in Molecular Biology at the University of Idaho and went on to complete his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) at the University of Washington in Seattle. Since graduation, He has enjoyed varied experience in the areas of psychiatric pharmacy, retail pharmacy, and has worked as a provider with 1-on-1 patient appointments to manage anticoagulation... Read More

Denise-Marie Griswold

Denise-Marie Griswold is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist. She earned her Master’s Degree in Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling from East Carolina University in 2014. She has worked primarily in a residential, inpatient setting treating patients with substance use and co-occurring disorders. She lives in Wilmington, NC—recently ranked the number one city in... Read More

Dawn Sheets

Dawn Sheets is a registered pharmacist who works with Advanced Recovery Systems to review web pages for medical/pharmaceutical accuracy. She has been a pharmacist for over 15 years and has worked in both retail and hospital settings. She has a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Toledo and doctor of pharmacy degree from the Ohio State University. She... Read More

Frances Antoinette Aguilar

With over 11 years experience in academic, hospital, and ambulatory pharmacy, Frances has a demonstrated history of working in the hospital and healthcare industry, assisting physicians with the development of pathways or protocols to improve clinical practice. She interprets evidence-based literature for clinicians to support a... Read More

Lara Frazier

Lara Frazier is a freelance writer and influencer living in the Tampa Bay area. She is a fierce advocate for addiction recovery and shares her own story of sobriety through her blog, A Story of Healing.

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Megan Lawrence

Megan is a writer in Recovery with a passion for healing others through the power of word. She believes in speaking her truth, being loud and proud about her story, and she hopes to inspire others to share theirs through her website, Healing Hopefuls. She is based out of Jacksonville, FL, but enjoys connecting with people from all over the World.

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Olivia Pennelle

Writer and wellness advocate, Olivia Pennelle (Liv), is in long-term recovery. She passionately believes in a fluid and holistic approach to recovery. Her popular site—Liv’s Recovery Kitchen—is a resource for those on their journey toward health and wellness in recovery. You will find Liv featured amongst top recovery bloggers and fellow writers. She is published on... Read More

Hunter Mefford

Hunter Mefford is the Chief Marketing Officer of Advanced Recovery Systems, LLC, parent company to The Recovery Village. Since joining The Recovery Village in 2015, he’s overseen marketing efforts that’ve helped Advanced Recovery Systems educate millions across the globe impacted by behavioral health issues. His efforts have led to the publishing of thousands of the... Read More

Jessica Pyhtila

Dr. Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, MD with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care. She is a double board certified Geriatric Pharmacist (BCGP) and a Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS). She completed both a PGY1 pharmacy practice residency and a PGY2 ambulatory care pharmacy residency.

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Krisi Herron, LCDC

Krisi Herron is an Adjunct Psychology Professor, a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and a Freelance and Ghost Writer who contributes to several mental health blogs. Krisi obtained her Master of Arts degree in Psychology through Texas A&M University in Commerce and has worked in the mental Health industry for 11 years.  Her work with Texas Mentor, Covenant Kids,... Read More

Kevin Wandler, MD

Dr. Kevin Wandler is the Chief Medical Officer of Advanced Recovery Systems. In addition, he serves as the medical director at The Recovery Village Ridgefield and at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake. With more than 30 years of experience in addiction medicine, Dr. Wandler ensures the latest research-based techniques in addiction treatment are being used. He is certified by... Read More

Mike Candelaria

Mike Candelaria is a 30-year veteran of the magazine industry in Central Florida, having served as a writer and editor for numerous publications. Those publications range from city/regional and business magazines to travel/leisure and sports magazines. Formerly, he was the editor of Orlando magazine and the 1996 president of the Florida Magazine Association. He is well-known... Read More

Marina Katz, MD

Dr. Katz graduated with her medical degree from the Kishinev Medical University in the Republic of Moldova, where she was recognized for academic excellence. She then completed a residency program at the University of Louisville in Psychiatry. Dr. Katz has earned numerous awards including San Diego Top Doc and Psychiatrist of the Year. She is board certified in Psychiatry... Read More

Nathan Jakowski

Nate is a practicing clinical pharmacist specializing in managed care and drug information. He has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Doctor of Pharmacy degree, both from the University of Wisconsin. He enjoys medical writing and education and has developed several accredited continuing education courses for pharmacists.

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Nicole Arzt, LMFT

Nicole Arzt is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working in Southern California. She has been privileged to provide therapeutic services for a wide variety of individuals, couples and families. Her clinical emphasis lies in working with females with substance use, eating disorders, and complex trauma. A passionate writer, she has authored several scholarly articles,... Read More

Dr. Obianuju Helen Okoye, MD, MBA, MS-Epi, MD, MBA

Dr Helen Okoye is a highly accomplished and sought after American Public Health Physician with a Medical Degree (MD), an MBA in Healthcare Management, and a Masters in Epidemiology/Public Health. She has been featured on NBC News, Yahoo News, The Huffington Post, The Reader’s Digest Tonic by VICE, She Knows, Massage Magazine, Carol Roth, among others. Dr. Okoye has... Read More

Patrick Moser

Patrick is a nationally certified Family Nurse Practitioner who primarily works with adult patients with mental health conditions or problems with addiction. With a background in primary care, he has expertise in both acute and chronic medical conditions. Outside of mental health, he has extensive experience with cardiovascular disease and diabetes in a primary care setting.... Read More

Stephanie Hairston

Stephanie Hairston received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and English from Pomona College and her Master of Social Work degree from New York University. She spent several years in the field of clinical social work before transitioning into professional writing and editing. As a social worker, she provided group and individual therapy, crisis intervention, and... Read More

Sendra Yang

Sendra is a pharmacist with a specialty in drug information. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Wingate University School of Pharmacy, and completed a one-year postgraduate residency in acute care pharmacy and a second postgraduate pharmacy residency in drug information. Her experience includes hospital pharmacy, drug/medical information, medical writing, formulary... Read More

Timothy Huckaby, MD
Medical Director

Orlando Recovery Center

Dr. Timothy Huckaby is the medical director at Orlando Recovery Center. He is a clinical expert who is triple board certified in anesthesiology, pain medicine and addiction medicine. Since completing his residency at Louisiana State University, Dr. Huckaby has spent his career providing expert care and compassion to people and he specializes in helping people who are... Read More

Kelly Fitzgerald

Kelly is a sober writer based in Cape Coral, Florida, best known for her personal blog The Adventures Of A Sober Señorita. She has been published across the web on sites like The Huffington Post, SheKnows, Ravishly, The Fix, and Buzzfeed.

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Tracy Smith, LPC

Tracy Smith is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Nationally Certified Counselor, an Approved Clinical Supervisor, and a mental health freelance and ghostwriter.  Tracy received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Science degree in Professional Counseling from Monmouth University.  Tracy has been in the mental health field for the past... Read More

Wendy Weber, MBA

Wendy J. Weber is a pharmacist with almost 20 years of experience in acute care clinical practice, hospital pharmacy leadership, medication safety, and clinical research. Her professional background also includes community pharmacy, government contracting, and association leadership.

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Yuliya Sagan

Yulia is a cell and molecular biologist with expertise using embryonic stem cell models, 3D human tissue models, and animal models to investigate different human disease phenotypes including impaired wound healing, cardiovascular disease, and cancer metastasis. She is interested in translational stem cell research and therapeutic applications of adult-derived stem cells,... Read More

Athena Phillips

Athena Phillips is the owner of Integrative Trauma Treatment Center in Portland, OR. Athena continues to practice out of her Portland location and provides professional training’s on the subjects of Trauma and Dissociation Disorders locally and nationally.

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Amy Armstrong, LAC

Amy Armstrong is a licensed addiction counselor in the state of Colorado. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado. Amy went on to complete her master’s in clinical mental health counseling at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. A National Certified Counselor (NCC) trained in Eye Movement... Read More