Sierra Tucson Staff


Note: The following is a partial list of the professionals who compose the Sierra Tucson staff. For specific information about any staff member — or for any other information about Sierra Tucson — complete a contact form on our Contact Us page.

Direct links to staff divisions on this page
Administrative | Medical | Clinical | Alumni | Outreach

Administrative Staff

Stephen Fahey, M.S.W., M.B.A.
Executive Director

Sierra Tucson welcomed Stephen Fahey, M.S.W., M.B.A., as Executive Director in January 2012. A leader in the behavioral health field for over 20 years, Stephen began his professional career as a psychotherapist and has served as a senior executive in a number of top healthcare settings, most recently as Director of Business Development at a comprehensive, multidisciplinary center focused on cancer patient care, research, education, and prevention.

His experience includes CEO of the National Deaf Academy in Mount Dora, Florida, and President and CEO of a private, not-for-profit, full-service healthcare organization in Westport, Connecticut. He was appointed to the Mental Health Strategy Board by the Connecticut Senate Minority Leader, tasked with creating a strategic plan to provide assistance for adults and youth with mental illness. For his significant work on this board, Stephen received the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s 2003 Public Service Award. Also during this time, he was elected as a board member to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS).

As Regional Director with Charter Behavioral Health, he oversaw 12 hospitals in Charter’s Eastern Division. While at Charter he also had tenure as CEO of the Westbrook facility in Richmond, Virginia, and was recognized as “Outstanding CEO” among 92 hospitals for his strong leadership and performance results. Stephen has been Administrator of Behavioral Health at a 5-hospital medical system in Central Florida, CEO of a 100-plus-bed psychiatric hospital and residential treatment center for children and adolescents, and Director of a substance abuse treatment program in Massachusetts.

With an M.B.A. in Healthcare Management from Boston University, an M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work from Boston College School of Social Work, and a B.A. in Psychology from Providence College, Stephen has served on numerous boards and taught continuing education at Boston College School of Social Work. Top

Keyne Petkovic, M.S., CAPPM
Associate Executive Director / Interim Director of Intake

Keyne Petkovic brings 15+ years of management experience and a passion for employee relations, system improvement, and budget management to her current position as Associate Executive Director. Keyne graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Psychology and minor in Business. She went on to receive her Master of Science degree in Community Counseling from Winona State University in 2001. Keyne joined Sierra Tucson in 2003 as a Medical Assessment and Stabilization Counselor and moved into an administrative role as Practice Manager for the Medical Department in 2005, bringing to this role her prior management experience from a non-profit social service agency. She became a Certified Administrator in Physician Practice Management in 2008. In 2009 she was promoted to Director of Medical Services, overseeing the operational management of the Medical Department, giving administrative oversight to the Medical staff and Psychology Department, and providing direct supervision of the Integrative Therapies Department, EMDR Therapists, Registered Dietitians, Eating Disorder Technicians, Scheduling Department, and Bookstore. In January 2014, Keyne was promoted to Associate Executive Director and currently manages the Integrative Therapies Department, Scheduling, Maintenance, Housekeeping, Food Services, and Human Resources, as well as serving as Interim Director of Intake.   Top

Medical Staff

Jerry Lerner, M.D.
Medical Director
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chief of Pain Medicine

Dr. Jerry Lerner joined Sierra Tucson’s medical team in December 2010 as Chief of Pain Medicine. He was appointed Interim Medical Director in December 2012 and accepted position of Medical Director in September 2013. Wisconsin born and raised, Dr. Lerner received his medical education and specialty training at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He is Board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is a diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management. Dr. Lerner has investigated pain from many perspectives. In addition to his medical and physiatric training and experience, he has studied and trained in myofascial release, cranio-sacral therapy, osteopathic manipulation, mindfulness meditation, nutrition, life coaching, and trauma recovery. His treatment philosophy is to serve as a guide and facilitator, bringing together knowledge and appreciation of medical, surgical, rehabilitation, and alternative strategies to serve individuals with pain, trauma, and disabilities. Dr. Lerner brings a quarter century of clinical and leadership experience to his work. He is the former medical director of Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Hospital, Mount Carmel Health and Rehabilitation Center, Performance Enhancement Rehabilitation, and The Center for Integrative Pain and Rehab. He owned and operated a private practice for 15 years as well as developed and operated Selfcares, a wellness spa. He has been a clinical instructor at the Medical College of Wisconsin for over 20 years and has served frequently as a medical-legal expert on cases involving injuries, pain, and disability. Top

Harry Goldwasser, M.D.

Dr. Harry Goldwasser, a Board-certified Psychiatrist, has served patients at Sierra Tucson since 2007. His training includes a tour of great southern public institutions: undergraduate degrees in English Literature and Genetics at the University of Georgia; medical school at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa and, finally, internship and residency in psychiatry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Dr. Goldwasser has a compelling professional interest in helping others who suffer with psychiatric and addictive diseases. He holds a fundamental belief that, “We all can recover despite how hopeless we may feel. Certainly, improvement can take time and effort, but I have been amazed at how the integrative program at Sierra Tucson has helped so many.” As a physician who has gone through treatment, Dr. Goldwasser brings a real understanding of the struggle that getting clean takes but the reward and serenity that recovery brings. He states, “I am active in the recovery community and consider it a privilege and honor to work at such a world-class facility.” Top

Sue Menzie, R.N., M.S.
Director of Nursing

Sierra Tucson welcomed Sue Menzie in July 2011 as Director of Nursing, and she was appointed Director of Patient Care Services in January 2014. With over 35 years of experience in nursing, including 25 years in behavioral health nursing and a history of management in business, nonprofit, not-for-profit, for-profit, public, and private settings, Sue brings impressive knowledge and leadership to Sierra Tucson. Attending California State University, Chico, for her B.S.N., Sue also earned a Master of Healthcare Administration from Bellevue University in Omaha, Nebraska. She has directed nursing, clinical, psychiatric, and mental health services in hospitals and gained experience with all ages in psychiatric acute units, chemical dependency, eating disorders, geriatric programs, and outpatient settings including crisis intervention, brief therapy, case management, and mobile crisis teams. Speaking Indonesian, Malaysian, and English, Sue served with nonprofit Mission Aviation Fellowship to provide transport and communication technology, as well as triage and village health nursing, to third world countries. With a background in consulting/coaching in leadership and teaching psychiatric nursing at a university level, Sue enjoys enhancing staff development and education. “I’m excited to bring a sense of internal vision and purpose to the Nursing Department,” Sue states, “and help them work together even more effectively with the whole multidisciplinary team.” Committed to a philosophy of wellness, Sue says, “I believe that the mentally ill are well people who are currently unwell, so we treat them as individuals who can and will get better. Sierra Tucson’s multidisciplinary programs work on change and healing rather than a band aid approach.” As Director of Patient Care Services, Sue manages the 24/7 staff that provide direct care to our patients, as well as overseeing Medical Records, Quality Management and the Patient Advocate Office.  Top

James Seymour, M.D.

Dr. James Seymour joined Sierra Tucson’s staff in June 2010. In addition to serving as Attending Physician, he accepted a promotion to Associate Medical Director in January 2014, allowing him to further support and enhance the medical team’s ability to meet our patients’ clinical complexity. Dr. Seymour received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee and completed his psychiatric residency at the University of Virginia in 1983. He studied for three years with the American Institute of Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy and has practiced in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He was an officer with the United States Public Health Service, where he served as Mental Health Director of the Tucson Area Indian Health Service. For ten years he served as Assistant Medical Director of an inpatient behavioral health and substance abuse program focused on the healing of mind, body, and spirit. Dr. Seymour is Board-certified by both the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Addiction Medicine. His special areas of interest include addictions, trauma recovery, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and somatic mind-body therapies. Dr. Seymour believes strongly in the resilience of the human spirit and sees the role of the psychiatrist as assisting the person in removing obstacles to the natural healing and recovery process.  Top

Cleve Shirey, M.D.

Cleve Shirey, M.D., joined the staff of Sierra Tucson in August 2013. Dr. Shirey earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and his medical degree from Texas A&M University College of Medicine. Dr. Shirey completed his residency in Psychiatry at Brown University School of Medicine in 1994. He is Board-certified in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Shirey practiced in a variety of public and private settings in Alaska for 15 years. These included the state psychiatric institute, a private group where he was developer and medical director of psychiatric home health care and geriatric psychiatry consultation programs, and the state’s largest tertiary care medical center, where he provided inpatient care and psychiatric consultation services. Dr. Shirey also served as “traveling psychiatrist” to mental health centers in rural towns, acted as psychiatric consultant to a comprehensive pain management center, and operated a private psychiatric practice in Anchorage for several years. He taught medical students and psychiatry and family practice residents from the University of Washington Medical School as well as the Alaska Family Practice Residency and spoke at statewide healthcare conferences and local physician meetings throughout Alaska. Beginning in 2009 at the Southern Arizona VA Medical Center in Tucson, Dr.Shirey served in multidisciplinary teams in the mental health clinic and taught psychiatry residents from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Dr. Shirey brings to his work at Sierra Tucson a strong interest in integrative psychiatry; an abiding interest in the interface between psychiatry, internal medicine, and neurology; and a passion for patient-centered care. Top

Nia M. Sipp, M.D.
Medical Director for the Eating Disorders Program

Dr. Nia Sipp joined Sierra Tucson’s medical team in December 2012. After quickly developing a reputation for compassionate, expert care and strong clinical leadership, she was named Medical Director for the Eating Disorders Program in July 2013. Dr. Sipp received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed Fellowships in both Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine. She is board-certified in General Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Addiction Psychiatry. Dr. Sipp relocated from the Atlanta area where she was on staff at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Willowbrooke at Tanner and was in private practice with Meridian Psychiatric Associates. She has received several national recognitions including 2007 Recipient of the APA/SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Award. Top

Karla Synkelma, R.N.
Assistant Director of Nursing

After serving as a nurse at Sierra Tucson for 13 years, Karla Synkelma filled the role of Interim Director of Nursing and then moved into the new position of Assistant Director of Nursing in July 2011. Karla received her bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Montana State University and became a Registered Nurse through the University of Arizona. At Sierra Tucson she assisted in creating the role of Resource Nurse, assisting staff nurses with medication management, and served on the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee as well as Performance Improvement Teams. She has facilitated continuity of care through many procedural changes and continues to offer support and supervision for the Nursing Department to assist patients in reaching their treatment goals and providing a safe environment. Top

Clinical Staff

James H. Davis, M.A.
Associate Program Director

Since October 2000, James Davis has worked in several clinical areas at Sierra Tucson. He has served as primary therapist in the programs for Mood, Chemical Dependency, Trauma, Eating Disorders, and Pain Management. In July 2013, Jim was appointed to the role of Associate Program Director. He received his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University at Santa Barbara, California, in 1986 and was licensed as a MFT (California) in 1991. Top

Patricia Beldotti, Psy.D.
Clinical and Neuropsychologist

Patricia Beldotti, Psy.D., serves as the Lead Neuropsychologist at Sierra Tucson. She is a Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist who has been practicing in Arizona for four years, after relocating from the East Coast. She received her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and completed a two-year Neuropsychology Post-doc at the Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania. This post-doc included clinical work, research related to brain injury and stroke under a NIH T-32 grant, and supervision and training of interns. Dr. Beldotti’s experience includes work with adults and children with a variety of clinical, neurological, and medical issues, in a variety of settings, including neurorehabilitation programs, inpatient medical settings, outpatient behavioral health settings, consultation with a number of community agencies, and private practice. Services she has provided include a range of neuropsychological, educational, and psychological assessments; individual counseling; cognitive remediation; case consultation; behavioral management; supervision; teaching; and presentations at trainings and conferences. Top

Jennifer H. Breslin, Ph.D.
Neuropsychologist, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Jennifer Breslin is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of Arizona. Dr. Breslin completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychological Science at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ, with specializations in Clinical Neuropsychology and Behavioral Sleep Medicine. Dr. Breslin joined Sierra Tucson in March 2013 as a contract psychologist and neuropsychologist. At Sierra Tucson, she delivers weekly lectures in the Better Sleep Series and provides individualized Behavioral Sleep Medicine consultations to individuals seeking non-pharmacological treatments for Insomnia or other Sleep Disorders. Dr. Breslin also conducts neuropsychological and psychological evaluations. Dr. Breslin is currently a Board Member of the Tucson Postpartum Depression Coalition and a member of the following professional organizations: American Psychological Association, Arizona Psychological Association, and Southern Arizona Psychological Association. Top

David Cato, M.S.W.
Primary Therapist, LGBTQ Support Specialist

David Cato began working at Sierra Tucson in April of 2008 and has served many roles, beginning in the Mailroom. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Texas A&M and a Master of Social Work from Arizona State University. David completed his master’s coursework through interning at Sierra Tucson. He has worked with substance abuse, mood disorders, eating disorders, codependency, grief/loss, and trauma. David specializes in working with the LGBTQ population by holding support groups each week and assists patients individually who are struggling with sexuality and gender identity issues. Top

Bill Coleman, LMSW, TEP

Bill Coleman, a Certified Psychodrama Trainer, has been a Trauma Therapist at Sierra Tucson since April 2007. He is a founding director of La Jornada Institute in Arizona and New Mexico. He is also on the faculty of the Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute and The Action Institute of California. Bill was a staff psychodramatist at an acute care psychiatric hospital in Westchester, NY. He has presented at many national conferences and is the creator of Men-At-Fifty Workshops. He has recently instituted a new model of diagramming defensive strategies for trauma treatment to help trauma sufferers bring into focus what happened to them and how they have coped. He has also created many psychodramatic action structures for substance abuse treatment. Bill was an adjunct professor at Russell Sage College, where he wrote and taught courses in Theater Therapy. A graduate of Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work, Bill lived in New York City for 30 years before coming to Tucson. Bill also had earlier careers in business and served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He says to his patients, “I am no stranger to trauma, and you will not be alone as we go on the recovery journey together.” Top

Elizabeth Cruz-Stoughton, M.S.W., LMSW
Primary Therapist, Pain Management Program

Elizabeth Cruz-Stoughton is proud to have been born and raised in New Orleans. She relocated to Tucson as a result of Hurricane Katrina, completing her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work at Arizona State University. After completing an internship at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, she accepted a position at Sierra Tucson in February 2013 as a Float Therapist. Soon after she worked as a Primary Therapist in the Addictions/Co-occurring Disorders Program, before becoming Primary Therapist for the Pain Management Program. She enjoys working with clients with chronic pain, whom often struggle with mood disorders, anxiety, substance use disorders, trauma, and eating disorders, as well. Elizabeth is a part of the rotating pain education within the Pain Management Program. Additionally, Elizabeth has recently become a member of the Diversity Committee at Sierra Tucson, helping to raise awareness and cultural sensitivity at Sierra Tucson. Top

Liz Dampsey, M.A., RSMT
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapist, Therapeutic & Recreational Activities Program (TRAP)

Liz Dampsey joined Sierra Tucson in April 2001 and has worked in the Therapeutic & Recreational Activities Program (TRAP) for seven years, where she primarily facilitates Equine-Assisted Therapy, as well as Challenge activities and Expressive Arts Therapy. She also served as Coordinator of the Grief and Spirituality Department for five years. Liz received a B.A. and an M.A. in Psychology and is a certified EAGALA and OK Corral Series equine-assisted therapist. She is also a certified Interfaith Spiritual Director and Registered Somatic Movement Therapist. Liz co-developed an Integrative Movement series and was also instrumental in building the Sierra Tucson labyrinth. She is currently completing her doctorate in clinical psychology from Fielding Graduate University and is interested in researching the effects of equine-facilitated psychotherapy on emotion regulation among trauma survivors. Top

Sarah Foxley, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist

Sarah Foxley, Psy.D., is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in the state of Arizona. After receiving her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2010, she came to Tucson for internship and completed her pre- and post-doctoral internships while working at a residential treatment facility for addiction. Dr. Foxley has worked in a variety of settings, including community mental health, the prison system, and within residential services. She has experience working with multiple client populations in areas such as addiction, developmental disabilities, and a variety of general mental health problems. Her main areas of interest are addiction and trauma. Dr. Foxley is a board member of the Southern Arizona Psychological Association. Top

Barbara Rose Gaynor, ACC
ACC Residential Therapist

Barbara Rose Gaynor began working at Sierra Tucson in 2007, when she was recruited to be a Life Coach in the newly-opened Progressions Program. With a passion for helping people to create lives they love and live powerfully, Barbara Rose offers patients a way of knowing their unique skills, talents, and life purpose that allows them to begin the transition to the next chapter of their addiction-free and healthful life. A Transitions Coach for over ten years, she brings to her sessions the fullness of possibility and the direction achieved through intention that has people feeling full of vitality and focused on their recovery plans. Barbara Rose has a B.A. in English and has taught at high school and college levels. She completed the year-long Team Management and Leadership training through Landmark Education. In 2000 she helped to found the Tucson Professional Coaching Alliance and has held two board seats. Barbara Rose graduated from Coach For Life School in San Diego and is accredited by the International Coaches Alliance. Top

Mike Gaziano, M.S.W., LCSW (WI)
Family Program Coordinator, Family Therapist

Mike Gaziano was born and raised in the Midwest and chose Tucson for his undergraduate work in Psychology. He is now a proud alumnus from the University of Arizona. He later received his master’s in Social Work from the University of Illinois. Bringing over 25 years of clinical expertise to Sierra Tucson, Mike has worked in the Family Program since 2008 and was promoted to Family Program Coordinator in April 2013. He has worked in the private sector and public sector as a social worker and is trained as a mediator and conflict resolution specialist. Mike has also provided his clinical skills to Pima County as a group facilitator for domestic violence classes. Top

Antoinette Giedzinska-Simons, Ph.D.
Director of Behavioral Medicine

Dr. Antoinette Giedzinska-Simons received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern California, where her training emphasized the bio-psycho-social approaches in behavioral medicine, research, and clinical work. She has authored several scientific publications addressing psychological correlates of cancer quality of life and patient treatment decision-making. Her APPIC internship was held at the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Hospital, where she continued to work in clinical health psychology and rehabilitative medicine. She joined Sierra Tucson’s Department of Psychology in early 2008, providing assessment and diagnostic testing. In mid-2009, Dr. Giedzinska-Simons began developing and implementing Biofeedback Training into the Sierra Tucson treatment process as well as moving into a team role for the Pain Management Program, giving daily education classes to pain patients and developing outcomes measurement to assess patient progress. Dr. Giedzinska-Simons’ enthusiasm as a scientist/practitioner in her current roles at Sierra Tucson is not only to support and educate patients towards resiliency, quality of life enhancement, and stress reduction and management, but to continue one of her favorite passions in life, which is to be part of multidisciplinary teams that collaborate in and integrate cutting-edge modalities aimed to enhance the mind-body connection. Top

Victor P. Gilbert, M.S.W., LISAC
Primary Therapist

Victor Gilbert began working at Sierra Tucson in 1989 as a Primary Therapist and currently serves in this role. From February 2006 to June 2013, he served as Program Manager, supervising primary therapists, assisting with case conferences, and participating in the daily multidisciplinary admission staff meetings. Victor received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Sociology in 1972 from the University of South Florida and a Master of Social Work in 1988 from Arizona State University. He served in the U.S. Navy for nine years. Victor’s relaxed but competent and humorous style of leadership is appreciated by Sierra Tucson’s staff. Top

Katie Hadlandsmyth, Ph.D.
Psychology Manager, Training Director

Dr. Katie Hadlandsmyth, an Arizona-licensed psychologist, completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, with a specialization in Behavioral Medicine. She obtained a master’s in Social Research from the University of Bath (in the UK) and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Neurological Center for Pain at the Cleveland Clinic (in Cleveland, Ohio). Dr. Hadlandsmyth joined Sierra Tucson as a contract psychologist in October 2012 and was promoted to Psychology Manager and Training Director in August 2013. Top

Michelle Madsen, M.Ed., LISAC, CADAC
Family Therapist

Michelle Madsen has served Sierra Tucson as a Family Therapist since June of 1990. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Physical Education/Coaching, a Master of Education degree in Counseling, and certifications of Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC) and Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADAC). Previously, Michelle has taught junior high and high school students and coached a variety of sports, including basketball, volleyball, track, gymnastics, and cheerleading. At Sierra Tucson, Michelle applies her teaching background in designing educational lectures and training new family therapists, as well as family members. In April through October of 2004, Michelle added the role of Family Program Manager to her repertoire and continued her primary focus of facilitating weekly family groups. Michelle grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, and has two wonderful daughters. Top

Phillip S. Mitchell, M.A., MFT (CA), MAC
Primary Therapist, Clinical Trainer

Phillip Mitchell earned his master’s degree in Humanistic and Transpersonal Clinical Psychology in 1980 from Johnston College, University of Redlands, in Redlands, California. He became licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in California in 1981 and certified as Master Addictions Counselor (MAC) through the National Association of Forensic Counselors in 1998. He has served in the fields of mental health and recovery since 1971 in the areas of clinical services, program development, administration, and private practice. Since 1990, Phillip has filled many positions at Sierra Tucson, including Family Therapist for Eating Disorder and Chemical Dependency patients, Spiritual Counselor, Float Therapist, Primary Therapist, and Workshop Presenter (at Alumni Reunions, Quality of Life Workshops, etc.). He has written several articles on recovery and related matters for professional magazines and for Sierra Tucson publications. Currently, Phillip is Primary Therapist for Addictions/Co-occurring Disorders, providing therapy, education, and support for patients and their family members. He also provides training for therapists and leads Sierra Tucson’s Green Team. His book, Breathe, Feel, Heal, Awaken, and his CD, “The Technology of Forgiveness,” is available through our Bookstore. Top

Maureen C. O’Connor-Strout, M.C., NCC, LPC, EMDRIA
Consultant-in-Training EMDR Therapist

Maureen O’Connor-Strout, EMDR Therapist, joined Sierra Tucson’s staff in July 2000 as a grief therapist after a 7-year background in adult and pediatric Hospice and support group facilitator at a Cancer Care Center. “Working at Sierra Tucson, I quickly identified that the patients who were making the greatest progress were also doing Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR),” says Maureen. “I began training in EMDR in January 2001 and am still passionate about the process of EMDR and the healing that patients are able to achieve in EMDR sessions.” Top

Susan O’Day, M.S., ICADC, CMHP, EAP
Family Therapist

In 2005, Susan O’Day joined Sierra Tucson as our Equine Therapist. She subsequently worked as a Primary Therapist in the Program for Sexual and Trauma Recovery and then became a Family Program Therapist in 2010. Since 1989 she developed her focus on the treatment of trauma in the context of addiction recovery. Before joining the Sierra Tucson team, her positions at two other facilities included recreation therapist, primary counselor, trauma workshop facilitator, and equine therapist. Susan holds a B.F.A. from Montana State University Bozeman, and a M.S. in psychology with an addiction specialization from Capella University. She is an Internationally Certified Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Counselor, an EAGALA-trained equine therapist, and is trained in the treatment of sexual addiction through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals. Susan is actively involved in postgraduate education in the areas of counseling and sexual addiction. Her paintings have won multiple awards in juried exhibitions. A former professional horse trainer, livery manager, and riding instructor, she worked for the Equine Science departments of Montana State University and Scottsdale Community College. Top

Marden Petrie, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist

Marden Petrie, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist who relocated from Minnesota to Arizona in 2011 and is currently working at Sierra Tucson and in private practice in the Tucson area. She returned to school in 2001 after a rewarding 25-year career as a marketing executive to obtain a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and has trained and practiced in a variety of multidisciplinary clinical settings since 2005, including Melrose Place, Hazelden, and St. Olaf University Counseling Center. In addition, she volunteered for two years as a part-time therapist at the Walk-in Counseling Center in Minneapolis, which is the last remaining privately funded, free, community mental health center in the nation. She completed her APA accredited Internship and full-time Fellowship, funded by the George Foundation, at the Hamm Memorial Psychiatric Clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has worked with individuals, couples, and groups with various presenting concerns to restore stability, build resilience, and expand relational understanding and flexibility. Trained in several traditions including psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral, she has found attachment theory to be a useful tool in understanding and treating a variety of mental health challenges. Her style is warm, collaborative, and honest. At Sierra Tucson, Dr. Petrie performs insight-oriented, therapeutic assessments, facilitates a DBT skills group for individuals in the Eating Recovery Program, and supervises doctoral-level psychology interns at Sierra Tucson. Top

Kathryn Piaskowski, M.C., LPC
Continuing Care Counselor

Kathy Piaskowski received her master’s degree in Counseling in 1996 at the University of Phoenix in Tucson. She has over 20 years of experience working with the developmentally disabled and maintains a Licensed Adult Development Home. Her previous experience includes working at a nonprofit women’s and children’s facility. Kathy began her career with Sierra Tucson in 2001 as an Intake Coordinator and then transferred to a Continuing Care position. She enjoys helping patients with their transition to the next level of care. Top

Virginia Poag, M.S.W., LMSW
Continuing Care Counselor

Virginia (Ginger) Poag, M.S.W., LMSW, joined Sierra Tucson’s team in March 2013 as Continuing Care Counselor, working with patients to establish a specialized plan to continue their recovery success after treatment. Ginger has over 15 years direct clinical experience in behavioral health, social services, and counseling fields. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University in Psychology and her Master of Social Work from Arizona State University, and she is a member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. Ginger is also a published author, having written for both the medical and academic fields, and has had her work incorporated into curriculum at several universities in the U.S. Currently, Ginger is collaborating with University of Calgary on projects related to emotional regulation disorder. Top

Jeannette Rojas, LASAC, CADAC II, CEDS
Primary Therapist, Eating Disorders Program

Sierra Tucson welcomed Jeannette Rojas as a Primary Therapist in December 2004. After studying at ANAHUAC University in Mexico City, Jeannette became a Clinical Psychologist and received a diploma (post-graduate degree) in Substance Abuse and Alcoholism. She is trained as a Level II Equine-Assisted Psychotherapist (EAP II) through EAGALA and is also a Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (LASAC) in the State of Arizona. After working in psychiatric hospitals in Mexico City, she coordinated clinical services for an Employee Assistance Program in Mexico. Jeannette then helped develop the first treatment center in Mexico for eating disorders, trauma, and addictions, serving as Director and Vice President. At Sierra Tucson, Jeannette facilitates a process group as Primary Therapist and coordinates the Eating Disorders Program, which includes work in body imagery, DBT, the Family Program, restaurant outings with patients and dietitian, Continuing Care Planning, and maintaining communication with the referring professional. Jeannette also provides training, coordinates Eating Disorder staff team building, and speaks at conferences. Top

Michael G. Simpson, M.S.C., NCC, LAC
Family Therapist

Michael Simpson has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with a double major in Pastoral Care and Theology. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling, with a Community Counseling specialization, from the University of Phoenix in Tucson, Arizona. He is a National Certified Counselor with the National Board of Certified Counselors and a Licensed Associate Counselor in the state of Arizona. Michael completed training at the College of Executive Coaching and passed the national exam to obtain the credential of Board Certified Coach from the national Center for Credentialing and Education. This allows Michael to add life coaching skills to his counseling skills in the Family Department. He is trained and certified to provide court-ordered DUI treatment and education and domestic violence treatment to persons in the state of Arizona. Michael is Clinical Associate Member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), the international professional organization for therapists and researchers in that field. Prior to coming to Sierra Tucson, Michael worked in community counseling providing general mental health counseling to adults of all ages as well as providing couples and family therapy. He also facilitated therapy groups and provided individual therapy for parenting, anger management, intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment, DUI education and treatment, domestic violence treatment, and treatment for state and federal sex offenders. Michael now focuses on family and couples therapy and occasionally serves as an expert witness in Child Protective Services cases in Family Court, particularly in cases where substance abuse, domestic violence, and/or sexual abuse are material issues. Prior to becoming Family Program therapist, Michael was a primary therapist in Sierra Tucson’s Mood Disorders Program. Top

Susan Smith, Ph.D.
Psychology Department Therapist

Dr. Susan Smith has worked in the mental health field for over 25 years. She holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology and is a Certified Spiritual Director. Dr. Smith joined the clinical staff at Sierra Tucson in 2008, originally providing psychological, cognitive, and career testing. She currently works with the Assessment & Diagnostic Program (ADP) team in providing evaluation services to individuals seeking intensive clinical, neuropsychological, and educational assessment. Additionally, Susan enjoys interdisciplinary studies and serves as a mentor to college students, integrating psychology and liberal arts. Top

Shannon Sticken, Psy.D., CSAT, CMAT
Sexual Compulsivity Therapist

Shannon Sticken, Psy.D., CSAT, CMAT, is a licensed clinical psychologist, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, and a Certified Multiple Addictions Therapist. Dr. Sticken joined Sierra Tucson in April 2012 as a contract psychologist. At Sierra Tucson she conducts psychological evaluations and facilitates sexual compulsivity work. After earning her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Nebraska, she obtained her M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Arizona School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Sticken completed her doctoral internship at Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology (formerly Southern Mississippi Psychology Internship Consortium). She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Gratitude Program (formerly known as Gentle Path at Pine Grove Behavioral Health), a sexual addiction residential treatment facility, where she worked directly with Dr. Patrick Carnes. Dr. Sticken is a member of the following organizations: American Psychological Association, Arizona Psychological Association, Southern Arizona Psychological Association, and International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals. Top

Meira Yaer, R.N., M.A., MFT
Family Therapist

Meira Yaer joined the staff at Sierra Tucson in 2005 as the Family Therapist for the Program for Sexual & Trauma Recovery. She was promoted in October 2009 to Family Program Coordinator and currently serves as Family Therapist. Her focus in this work is to facilitate self-empowerment, self-advocacy, self-accountability, and healing in the recovery process for patients and their family members. Meira is also a Nurse and Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in the field of brain injury advocacy, trauma recovery, and rehabilitation. She began her work in brain injury over 15 years ago in Eugene, Oregon. She is the author of “The Process of Empowerment: A Therapeutic Model After Brain Injury” and has presented at national and international conferences. Her work focuses on the healing of body, mind, and spirit through self-awareness, animal-assisted psychotherapy, and other intuitive therapies. She is the founder of Opening The Way, a brain injury program, and facilitator of The Tucson Brain Injury Advocacy Panel, which provides panel presentations and in-services to community members and healthcare professionals in the field of traumatic and acquired brain injury. Meira enjoys drawing, depicting desert images with vibrant colors and shapes and has shown in galleries and at the Tucson Botanical Gardens in Tucson, Arizona. Top

Judy Gianni, N.M.D.
Naturopathic Physician / Integrative Medicine Consultant

Dr. Judy Gianni joined the Integrative Medicine team at Sierra Tucson in April 2010. She is a 1995 graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, earning her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. She served from 2001 until 2003 as the naturopathic preceptor in the Program of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona alongside Andrew Weil, M.D., teaching the Fellows about natural medicine in weekly case conference. She is the founder and director of NatureMedica Naturopathic spa and clinic in Tucson. Dr. Gianni works with the patients at Sierra Tucson to find ways to optimize their health and well-being with natural and integrative medicine. Dr. Gianni is skilled in hormone assessment and balancing, bio-identical hormone prescribing, herbal, homeopathic, and nutritional medicine. She is a compassionate listener and truly cares about each patient she interacts with, wanting to assist them in their path to wellness. Top

Outreach – Alumni Coordinators

Tim McLeod
Senior Alumni Coordinator

Tim McLeod joined the Sierra Tucson team as Alumni Coordinator in February 2001 and was named Senior Alumni Coordinator in August 2007. After struggling with addictions for 27 years, he came to Sierra Tucson for treatment in the fall of 1999. “I can honestly say that the ‘Promises’ of the program have continued to unfold,” he says. Tim also attended the Sierra Tucson Family Program when a family member entered treatment. His experience and empathy give him a deep passion for supporting Sierra Tucson alumni. Tim lives in Kansas and directs Sierra Tucson’s alumni services. He offers encouragement to others in recovery through follow-up phone calls to the family members, facilitating workshops, assistance with local alumni support groups, the “Afterwords” Newsletter, and the Alumni eNews, “Beyond the Miracle.” Toll-Free Telephone: 866-638-1650 Email: Top

Outreach – Clinical Outreach Specialists

Thomas A. Ahern, M.A.
Regional Clinical Manager - CT, DC, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PA, VA

Thomas Ahern is a former School Psychologist and Public School Administrator working as Regional Clinical Manager. Mr. Ahern has served in both clinical and leadership positions in education and behavioral healthcare for most of his 25-year professional career. Thomas has long been an advocate for individuals with behavioral health needs, founding several pioneering programs to improve the continuum of care. He is an enthusiastic presenter on issues ranging from adoption to the modern American family and is committed to the personal and professional growth of the care-giving community. Mr. Ahern earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Boston University, a master’s in Education, sixth year in School Psychology, and an advanced degree in Educational Leadership, all from the University of Connecticut. He resides in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Toll-Free Telephone: 800-409-3025 Email: Top

Parastoo Barnajian, Ph.D.
Clinical Outreach Specialist California – Los Angeles/Orange County Area

Parastoo Barnajian received her B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She has practiced as a clinical psychologist in residential and community mental health centers, providing direct clinical services to clients of all ages. Dr. Barnajian’s dissertation focused on the psychosocial factors related to substance use among adolescents with Type I diabetes, and she has learned the profound and harmful effects of untreated substance use. Dr. Barnajian is dedicated and passionate about helping patients receive effective, compassionate care in their recovery process. Toll-Free Telephone: 800-408-9410 Email: Top

Max Cohen, BA (hons), MBACP
UK Clinical Liaison

Max became Sierra Tucson’s UK Liaison in 2008. He works with referring professionals and is available to meet with prospective patients or family members in the UK. He can also assist patients in transitioning back home after treatment. An accredited therapist, Max has over 27 years of experience in working with individuals, couples, and groups in various settings. He integrates psychodynamic, person-centered, cognitive behavioural, EMDR, EFT, and bio-psycho-social-spiritual modalities into his practice. Max specialises in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders, trauma, relationship difficulties, self-esteem and confidence issues, addictions, behavioural dependencies, and co-occurring disorders. In addition to running a busy central London private practice and supervising and training other professionals, he currently lectures on a MSc in Addiction Psychology and Counselling course at a London University. Telephone within the UK: 07973 167245 Email: Top

Alisa Fliss, Ed.S., M.B.A.
Regional Outreach Specialist – Florida

Alisa joined Sierra Tucson’s Outreach Team in May 2013 as Regional Outreach Specialist for the state of Florida. Alisa is extremely passionate about treatment and the recovery process. She has presented nationally on such topics as Eating Disorder awareness, prevention, and recovery and has appeared on Good Morning America, HBO, and CNN. Alisa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix, and an Ed.S. from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Alisa began her career in the U.S. Air Force before spending eight years with the School District of Palm Beach County in teaching and administration and five years in the pharmaceutical industry. Toll-Free Telephone: 561-702-6654 Email: Top

Lisa Sarno
Regional Outreach Specialist MA

Lisa Sarno joined Sierra Tucson’s team in February 2011 as Clinical Outreach Coordinator. She graduated from Boston University College of Communication with a Bachelor of Science degree. She has over 25 years of marketing expertise within the academic, financial, media communications, inpatient addictions, career transition, and pharmaceutical industries. She brings to her work a passion for expanding networks of treatment providers and listening for what’s important to people. Toll-Free Telephone: 888-452-8458 Email: Top

Chrissy Lamy
Regional Outreach Specialist Arizona

Chrissy Lamy is a former High School Special Education Teacher and also has experience in the behavioral healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Her 18 years of marketing expertise span various industries. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business from Arizona State University and a master’s in Education from University of Phoenix. Chrissy is passionate about the holistic approach of Sierra Tucson and finds great joy in helping others. She invites you to contact her anytime you have questions regarding Sierra Tucson or Aspen Education Group. Direct Telephone: 480-231-0260 Email: Top

Rosemary Sheehan Werner
Regional Clinical Manager Texas – Northern Area, OK

Rosemary Sheehan Werner joined Sierra Tucson’s Outreach Department in June 2010. She currently serves Northern Texas and Oklahoma as Regional Clinical Manager. Rosemary has extensive experience as a director of marketing and business development, with a special concentration in the behavioral health and chemical dependency arenas. She has worked at other psychiatric hospitals, treatment centers, and a national EAP. Toll-Free Telephone: 877-602-7323 Email: Top