Medical

Mark Jaffe psychiatrist

Mark Jaffe MD

Psychiatrist

Dr. Mark Jaffe graduated from UCLA cum laude in 1987.  He attended the University of Southern California medical school and completed his internship and residency in psychiatry at the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center.  He also completed two years of fellowship training at the USC Institute of Psychiatry and Law, where he is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry.  He is board certified in general and forensic psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.  Dr. Jaffe is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine with a Certification in Addiction Medicine.

During his residency and fellowship training at the LAC+USC Medical Center, Dr. Jaffe was responsible for triage, evaluation, treatment, admission and disposition of emergent psychiatric patients in a 2000-bed facility.  The medical center comprised the pediatric, women’s and general hospital departments and served the greater Los Angeles area.

Dr. Jaffe currently consults for the Los Angeles County Superior and Municipal Courts and is a member of the Expert witness Panel.  He has provided consultations to various agencies including the Medical Board of California, the United Sates Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Postal Service, The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Long Beach Rapid Transit, and the Los Angeles County Mental Health Court.  He has also performed evaluations for many various agencies, courts and attorneys on cases involving the use of drugs and alcohol during the commission of crimes or during employment.

His level of expertise, when coupled with both his empathy and ineffable charm render him a preeminent choice in the field, especially when running the gauntlet of psychiatric affairs both emotional and litigious.

Clinical

Deena Manion PsyD, LCSW

Executive Director / CCO

Dr. Deena Manion is a Doctor of Psychology and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1993. Dr. Deena is the Clinical Supervisor for the Westwind Clinical Staff. She provides her clinical expertise and guidance for top-notch clinical programming, as well as to the staff and clients for the best treatment outcome.

Dr. Deena has worked in the field of addiction and mental health since 1991. Prior to Westwind, she held the position as Chief Clinical Officer for a well-known recovery center in Los Angeles and she was the Clinical Director of a Malibu dual diagnosis treatment center from 2000 to 2018. She built that treatment center from a small 6 bed facility to a 40 bed facility. She worked as a Psychotherapist in a variety of settings including psychiatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, homeless clinics, and public and private schools in both California and New York.

Dr. Deena has a private practice in Beverly Hills and Agoura Hills, both located in California where she sees a variety of clients with mental health and addiction issues. Dr. Deena has a broad range of clinical skills and has a stellar reputation in the mental health and addiction field.

Dr. Deena has extensive experience in the entertainment field.  She has appeared as an expert on Dr. Phil for sixteen seasons. She has also been an expert guest on Dr. Drew’s Life Changers, Face the Truth with Vivica Fox, Ricki Lake, as well as on Intervention on A&E. She has also appeared on various documentaries on Fox11 and local public and cable television shows. Dr. Deena’s ultimate goal has always been to combine her clinical background with the entertainment industry to help people on a bigger scale. Dr. Deena is personable, direct, charismatic and overall has a unique approach to helping people. Westwind always strives to better our program, so we feel very fortunate to have Dr. Deena as a part of this process.

Randy Smith addiction treatment staff

Randy Smith LMFT

Therapist

Randy Smith hails from Austin, Texas where he earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.  He later earned a Masters Degree in Psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles.  He received his training at a counseling center in North Hollywood for both individuals and families while working closely with at-risk youth at The Teen Suicide Hotline at the world-renowned Cedar’s Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills.  In addition to his thriving private practice, Randy has also served as Primary Therapist for several dual diagnosis treatment centers in Los Angeles prior to joining the Westwind Team.

Prior to his work in the recovery field, Randy Smith worked in the Entertainment Industry as a Marketing Executive at Sony Pictures Entertainment and, later, a Vice President of Marketing at MGM, which makes Randy uniquely qualified to help professionals, who are newly recovering to be better prepared to handle the stressors and challenges they face on a daily basis while reintegrating back into the corporate environment.  Randy Smith’s therapeutic specialties include addiction and recovery as well as working with couples.  His work with the LGBTQ Community is bolstered by his robust Gay Men’s Therapy Group which he facilitates in his private practice.

“I feel my goal has always been to create a safe, non-judgmental environment where my clients can seek clarity to make the major changes needed for individual progress.  And, I’m grateful to be able to help clients figure out what they really want from life and then be a compassionate, driving force that helps them achieve their goals.”

Grace O’Connor MA, LMFT

Therapist  

Proud to call Chicago her hometown (Go Bears!), Grace O’Connor has been in Los Angeles since 2001 specializing in providing council and support to the LGBTQ+ population, using her own experience as a launchpad toward healing and recovery.  With 27 years clean and sober time herself, Grace is no stranger to the pitfalls many of her clients face and is a staunch believer in the ages-old axiom that adversity does not build character, it reveals it.

Grace acquired her degree from the prestigious Antioch University and received her training at a LGBTQ Youth Counseling Center before setting her boots on the ground at a LGBTQ recovery center from 2018-2020.  Then, enamored by the opportunity to help even more men and women, Grace heroically transitioned to Westwind where her penchant for “digging deep” (coupled with her verve) has rendered her beloved amongst our clients and cemented her place amongst our staff.

Maia Fohrman

Maia Fohrman, LMFT

Night Track Therapist 

Bio coming soon

Shreya Ramanujan

Shreya Ramanujan, ACSW

Therapist

Shreya Ramanujan is an Associate Clinical Social Worker within California (BBS 92542). She received her Masters in Social Work from The University of Chicago with an emphasis on trauma-informed, anti-oppressive practices. Additionally, Shreya is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) through California’s EMDR Institute. Shreya has experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Theory, Relational Theory, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Family Systems Theory. She has extensive experience working in settings such as schools, community counseling centers, and treatment centers ranging from residential to outpatient levels of care. Her clinical lens is founded on the belief that clients are the true experts of their own life experiences, and the therapeutic relationship is a means towards exploration, empowerment, and actualization. Shreya is passionate about advocating for her clients and supporting each individual’s wants, needs, and goals through a non-judgmental humanistic lens.

Rebecca Bernstein

Rebecca Bernstein, ACSW

Therapist

Rebecca is an Associate Clinical Social Worker BBS #97657. She earned her graduate degree from the University of Denver’s CSWE accredited Master’s of Social Work Program with a focus on mental health, trauma-informed practices and systemic approaches. Rebecca’s areas of expertise lie in trauma and PTSD, grief and loss issues, identity, and relationships with an emphasis on personality and mood disorders. She has a background in utilizing multiple therapeutic treatment modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Psychodynamic Theory, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Relational Theory, Multisystemic Theory, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy interventions.

Rebecca has a certification in Animal Assisted Social Work from the University of Denver and has experience bringing animals into individual and group therapy sessions. Rebecca is also currently in the process of training towards a certification in Brainspotting for treatment-resistant trauma and other physiological reactions to trauma. Rebecca focuses her interventions on treating the individual, but also works within family, couple, and community systems to create meaningful change. She has extensive experience working as a social worker in multiple settings, such as schools, diversion and reentry programs, community counseling centers, and dual diagnosis treatment centers with varying levels of care. Rebecca’s therapeutic approach is honoring and validating client’s experiences, and encouraging a deeper look into cognitive functioning and incorporating mindfulness practices into their lives when possible. Rebecca is passionate about encouraging clients to understand their inherent value, with an emphasis on fostering safe environments that cultivate authentic therapeutic partnerships and empower clients to create and achieve their goals.

Katrina Arabian

Katrina Arabian, AMFT

Therapist

Katrina is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. She received her Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University – with a certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling. Katrina is currently in the process of earning her Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University. She has extensive experience working with young adults, children, couples and families. Katrina specializes in communities who have been impacted by high levels of addiction and incarceration. Katrina’s has an immense passion for helping others and providing support along the journey of self-discovery.

Through her years of experience in working in the helping profession, Katrina has found her calling in substance abuse and co-occuring disorder treatment. Her approach to therapy is to provide a space for individuals to process their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors through non-judgment, compassion, and empathy. Utilizing a strengthsbased, Cognitive Behavioral approach, her goal is to help individuals gain greater insight, restoring their faith and hope in themselves. The foundation of Katrina’s work is based on systemic thinking, and she is most passionate about helping individuals deepen their connection with themselves and others.

Sean Feig CADC II

Case Manager

Fast approaching five years of clinical experience, Sean Feig remains a formidable agent for transformation here at Westwind.  Specializing in walking our clients through the transitional phases of their recovery, Sean’s ability to guide his wards is couched in a belief that every one of them steps into his office trailing wisps of glory.  His penchant for preparing them for true independent living while helping them implement 12-step models to ensure long-term sobriety is born from his own eclectic background.  Sean Feig, himself, was torn from his disparate drug-addicted life the moment he checked into a long-term treatment facility and began the arduous journey that would get him off of the streets and into a home and career of his own.  While working as a technician at a dual diagnosis treatment center in Los Angeles, Sean quickly worked his way up to Case Manager. His past experiences having rendered him uniquely qualified to avail clients to resources they’d hereto for never considered.  Life Goals are the main focus in every session Sean has with his clients, mostly because he believes with every fiber of his being that everyone can build the life they want so long as they have someone who believes in them.  And Sean believes in everyone.

Feig is currently acquiring his Associates Degree in Psychology at L.A. Valley College and is fast-tracked to transfer to California State University where he will pursue his Masters in Social Work which, he believes, will aid him in his calling.  Until then, he plans to continue his work here at Westwind where his “boots on the ground” ethic serves our clients in a way that is both compassionate and inspiring.

Operations

Priya Martindale MBA Healthcare

Director of Operations & HR

Born and raised in the Fiji Islands, Priya migrated with her family to America when she was 12 years old but made a conscious decision to maintain her sense of practicality throughout the process of her Americanization. Supported by friends and family, she aggressively pursued her Bachelor’s in Accounting and then her Master’s in Healthcare Administration while working as a contract manager at a local hospital. She ultimately started working for an umbrella corporation as Director of Human Resources. “Healthcare is where I found my calling”, Priya explains. “I’ve been doing this since 2010 and I honestly feel as if this is where I can do the most good.” At one point, Priya was an advocate for almost 100 employees, overseeing everything from Payroll and Benefits to providing guidance on general human resources compliance issues as well as managing policy and procedure implementations and updates for her company. Her secret passion is food! As self-proclaimed “foodies”, Priya and her husband are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting dining experiences, be it leisurely drives to 5-star restaurants or weekend excursions to hunt down the best food trucks in LA. “It’s all part of a well-rounded life,” Priya says. “You learn early on that it is important to enjoy the little things in life and take care of yourself, so that you can be fresh and ready to take on the obstacles that life throws your way.”

Anna James

Anna James, CADC II

Director of Operations

Being recruited by a treatment center in Malibu in 2001 to assist in start-up as Program Coordinator Anna relocated from Utah to California and joined a team to assist and develop many of the programs and systems.

In 2004, she decided to further her education with a specific focus and to help support dual-diagnosis treatment and attended University of California, Los Angeles. Anna was awarded a Drug and Alcohol Counseling certificate from UCLA (CADC-1 & CADC-!!) and has been trained in and co-facilitates Process Groups.

She continued for a total of ten years successfully supporting that treatment center develop from 6 to 36 treatment beds and four locations. Anna’s greatest role and contribution was to create, establish and oversee Continuing Care & Alumni Services, internationally, for eight years prior to becoming the Administrator of the facility. She then managed clinical and administrative staff, as well as handled all client needs as they focused on healing and transforming their lives.

Anna was then recruited to assist other facilities in the licensing and expansion of their programs for the next two years. Her specialty in organizational restructuring, assisting operations and supporting clinical services then landed her a role as a Program Director for 5 years at one of the nations most recognized co-occurring treatment programs in Malibu.

After the devastating losses of the Malibu fires in 2018, Anna returned to Utah to be reunited with family and friends and to find a treatment center where she could continue to make a contribution to both company and clients.

This vast experience and working knowledge of dual-diagnosis treatment makes her the best candidate to serve as the Director of Operations for IOP and Housing at Westwind Recovery® and to help support both management and residents in their care.

As a woman in long term recovery herself for the last 21 years, Anna finds her greatest
satisfaction in managing her staff and sharing her experience with residents looking to change their lives for the better.

Rebecca Boswell RAC #14563

Program Coordinator

When you hear the words, “ROLL TIDE!”, chances are you’re thinking football and the Alabama Crimson Tide – but, for us here at Westwind, Roll Tide takes on a different, special meaning.

Hailing from Alabama, Becky Boswell is best known for her rich, southern accent and warm ineffable charm.  An interventionist in her own right with a CCMI accreditation, Becky first came to Westwind in 2017 where she served as house manager for our delightful Sycamore House.  Her spiritual practices of Buddhism, Meditation and Yoga have held her in good stead during the past four years of her recovery from drugs and alcohol, but it is her continuing education in addiction studies that separates Becky from her classmates and makes her a genuine diamond in the rough.

Having worked her way up from House Manager to Technician to Director of Operations, Becky has recently taken on the impressive mantle of Program Coordinator for Westwind’s Outpatient Center, which places her in charge of our PHP/IOP programming, including the supervision of all technicians and overall program management.  Her innate ability to lead with a steady hand while lending a deep compassion for our clients’ daily struggles make her the standout candidate for ensuring every need gets met with a love and guidance you will not find at any other program -at any price.

Michael Shahin RAC #14556

Housing and Alumni Officer 

Like many of our staff, Michael Shahin is, himself, in recovery.  Having been clean and sober since 2013, Michael can soulfully attest that the foundations for his recovery were built during his own time spent residing at a Sober Living. There, his colorful career in the Entertainment Industry as a producer and production coordinator eventually gave way to a 2-year stint as a mentor at a prominent treatment in Los Angeles where he cultivated his gift for helping others find their way back to sanity and fully came into his own.  He then segued into his role as Technician for Westwind while juggling his duties as House Manager for Westwind’s Houdini House when it first opened.  His commitment to making sure that no client “fall between the cracks”, when coupled with his eye for detail, propelled him through the ranks with ridiculous ease.  Today, Shahin oversees all of Westwind’s housing managers, operations supervisors, and technicians, making sure all of our sober living homes are running smoothly.

In addition to all of this, Michael is currently in school earning his Nursing license at Los Angeles Community College while also working toward acquiring recovery credentials in case management and intervention.

Michael’s long-term goal is to work in the recovery field at the medical level.

Admissions

Dave BiFulco

Chief Operating Officer

Originally from Long Island, New York, Dave began his career journey in the field of Behavioral Health in 2015. Knowing all too well the struggles that an individual faces when seeking treatment, his goal has always been to make the process as seamless, attentive, and straightforward as possible. A passion derived from seeing an individual achieve recovery has allowed him to remain and thrive in this field.

Beginning his tenure with Westwind Recovery® as Director of Admissions, Dave worked individually with every client that came through the door. Later transitioning to Director of Business Development, Dave’s role became one focused on connecting with other like minded professionals and providers in order to further collaborate with the ever growing Behavioral Health community.

In his latest role as Chief Operating Officer, Dave has taken a new focus on quality of care, company growth, and strategic planning. Continuing to oversee the Admissions, Business Development, and Alumni departments, Dave works to create policies and procedures that are client-centric and indicative of Westwind Recovery®’s core values. Community, Collaboration, and Commitment to Excellence.

Phillip Stevens, CADC-I

Admissions Counselor 

Phil Stevens is a certified alcohol and drug counselor with over 4 years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health field. Being in recovery himself, he has the ability to genuinely express empathy and compassion toward all clients he interfaces with. Phil began working in the field as a residential technician and quickly climbed the ranks to becoming a residential supervisor, overseeing day to day operations, facilitating staff trainings, and ensuring detox/residential compliance. He eventually found his calling when he became more involved clinically and with admissions. It is Phil’s belief that a smooth and effective admissions process sets the tone for the entire treatment experience.
Recommended by Westwind’s Clinical Officer, Phil offers his knowledge and expertise of 12-step modalities, crisis intervention, emergency medical services training, case management, counseling, and most importantly, client care and safety. Currently residing in Pasadena, Phil is continuing his education at Pasadena City College, nearing his completion of an AA in psychology with the long term goal of becoming a licensed psychologist. He believes in the therapeutic value of psychoeducation, the effects on the mind, body, and spirit of prolonged substance use, and finding the right solution pertaining to each individual client.

“The process of recovery takes consistency. It is a continuous process of growth and is available for anyone who seeks it. All it takes is one foot in the door to begin a life changing process.”

Stephanie Karling RAC #14523

Admissions Counselor

Growing up in Ketchikan, Alaska, Stephanie Karling watched cruise ships drift lazily by, always dreaming of a bigger and better future for herself. This was, of course, before she succumbed to addiction.

Once clean and sober, Stephanie quickly chose a life path that would bring her the most joy, first by serving as House Manager of Westwind’s Sycamore Sober Living House, and then, later, as a Technician at Westwind’s Residential Facility nestled deep in the Hollywood Hills.

“I like getting to know the clients and really connecting with them. Because, without the connection, they can’t hear me”, Stephanie reports, “It’s the best way that I know to really make a difference: when the heart speaks, the heart listens.”

Stephanie is currently preparing to go back to school to get her CADC in drug addiction and hopes to someday hang a shingle and become a therapist in her own right.

Alexsa Dong

Business Development Representative

Alexsa was born and raised in New York, where she was once climbing the corporate ladder in New York City’s Fashion Industry. It was there that her substance abuse and mental health struggles eventually led her to seek help. As Alexsa grew personally through her own recovery, so did her wanting to work with others.

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance, Alexsa started her new career in Behavioral Health focusing on Human Resources and Office Administration. She soon transitioned into an Admissions Counselor role where she began working directly with individuals and family members in crisis. Alexsa strives to offer compassion, empathy, and education to those who seek it.

In her latest accomplishment in the field, Alexsa has taken on the role of Business Development Representative. In this position, she works to develop and nourish relationships with other providers and professionals who share aligned values with Westwind Recovery®.

Founders

Justin White

Co-Founder

By the time Justin was 18 years old, he’d already earned his Associate’s Degree and, by 2009, he’d made a concerted effort to reshape the landscape of the treatment world by introducing the idea that, in a 21st century economy, what the market valued was the ability stay on course through to the completion of one’s goals. And this meant becoming part of a company whose main focus was the newcomer.

When a doctor or lawyer or other professional finds themselves losing everything they’ve worked for, they haven’t lost everything they’ve learned. People have value. Clean and sober people have skill sets and knowledge bases that they can still harness and use to successfully rebuild their lives – and, in some cases, make those lives richer and more robust than ever imagined. This can also be said about the occasional young person or housewife; everyone has value. No matter how far down the scale they have fallen, Justin White believes that everyone who comes to Westwind wants the same thing that he wanted when he, himself, opted to get clean and sober. Justin’s eye on the financial arm of Westwind’s services and his finesse with utilization review and compliance is a vital component in ensuring client success. Add to that his passion for cooking and spending time with his fiancée, and what you wind up with is a well-rounded individual who is ready to show up for anyone who asks for help.

Because everyone wants to build a legacy.

And, having built one of his own, Justin White is here to help.

Zachary Ament

Co-Founder

After numerous attempts to get clean and sober at various treatment facilities and programs that began during his high school years, Zack finally found success while running sober living homes in 2014 while simultaneously pursuing a Bachelors degree in Addiction Studies at Pepperdine University. His light, positive, high energy personality lends itself to the camaraderie experienced at Westwind, and his passion for creating an atmosphere of community and – more importantly – family through fun, social, sober events fosters a sense of “all-inclusiveness” amongst our clientele. This buoyant charm enables Zack to not only serve as the chair for the AALA Roundup, an LGBTQ nonprofit that serves to bolster communities through Crisis Intervention, Mental Health leniencies, as well as Alcohol, Drug and Substance Abuse awareness, prevention and treatment while continuing his addiction studies in clinical psychology at Antioch University.

Zack’s indomitable will and dogged determination are infectious, and he instills this spirit in every client he encounters while tempering it with a passion and zest for life that propels everyone toward a greatness he feels is the birthright of every broken man and woman who walks through our doors.

“You can’t fake sincerity”, Zack says. “Our clients know right away who is all about saving their lives and who isn’t. That’s why our team works, and why our program is one of the best that I know of; because we care about what we do and who we do it for.

Contact Westwind Recovery® to work with our experienced addiction treatment staff. Call 855.340.8832 today for an easy start to recovery and life of sobriety.