Andrea has a passion for ensuring behavioral health services are readily accessible for individuals that are seeking care. She comes to Akua Behavioral Health with twenty plus years serving in Healthcare with a graduate degree in Nursing from Washington State University. She worked as a Behavioral Health clinician and community outreach advocate. She is proud that she assisted in bringing services to the Washington State Prison population to ensure a successful and safe transition back into the community for those suffering with behavioral health issues. Andrea passionately believes it takes a village to care for one another and is excited to support all those in need by being part of an outstanding team of Directors, Clinicians and Technicians that make a difference in every Akua client’s life.
Kelsie Barnes is a dedicated and passionate member of the AKUA family. Coming from a family of addiction professionals, Kelsie was naturally drawn to helping others find a new way of life, her passion for the Behavioral Health industry has been a steadily growing one ever since her teen years. Kelsie’s love for aiding in the recovery process led her to become a nationally certified interventionist. Her knowledge of intervention techniques made her the perfect candidate to help those in the very early stages of the recovery process. For the last two years, Kelsie has been an incredible asset to the admissions team, working hard every day to ensure admissions run smoothly and her team is readily available to assist clients seeking recovery. Her drive to help people enter Substance Abuse and Mental Health treatment is evident in the way she leads the Admissions Team. Kelsie believes this work to be of the utmost importance.
Dan has earned a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with majors in Management, Human Resources, Marketing and supporting emphasis in Psychology and Sociology. He is currently working toward the completion of his Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor designation. He uses a caring and practical approach to assist in transitioning clients thoughts, actions and perspective into a new way of life, emphasizing the necessity of a new design for living. His ability to connect with clients through respect and empathy, is an invaluable asset to those struggling with addiction and trust barriers. His approach to a 12 step lead spiritual experience is accessible and inspiring.
Angelina graduated from Grand Canyon University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Licensed Professional Counseling with an emphasis on treating complex trauma.
Angelina comes from a clinical and outreach background. She has experience working as a Case Manager at AKUA's First Responder Track where she facilitated group therapy and created aftercare plans for First Responders struggling with co-occurring disorders. In addition, she also functions in the role of a Counselor working with at-risk adolescents struggling with chronic suicidal ideation. Her philosophy in treatment embodies an empathetic, compassionate approach while practicing unconditional positive regard.
Angelina is familiar with a wide variety of treatment approaches, clinical modalities, and treatment plans. She possesses knowledge of different levels of treatment such as detox, residential, partial hospitalization programming, and intensive outpatient programming. Angelina is passionate about serving the First Responder community as well as providing quality, clinically sound, and trauma-focused treatment to all individuals in need. Witnessing first hand, individuals heal from childhood and complex trauma through the therapy AKUA provides is what makes Angelina so passionate to represent AKUA Mind & Body.
Suzanne has a passion for helping people re-discover their dreams and truly believes that stepping into a renewed life is an exciting journey. After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Economics, she has spent the past 15 + years in corporate business development and most recently in the Emergency Medicine field. In addition, as a way of positively contributing to the well-being of the members of her community, she became an EMT and has worked both on an ambulance and on scene at various events. Suzanne is excited to continue this passion for community outreach by connecting people in need with the correct resources and networks to formulate a plan for success.
Josh has a bachelor's degree in business and writing as well as a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. As a lifelong learner with a desire to help others, he has spent his life working in education, hospitality, and fitness. He uses his diverse upbringing and interest in the story of people’s lives to connect on a personal level. Most recently he has worked to help individuals and groups discover self-empowerment through fitness, health and purpose using exercise and diet to help people with image and mental struggles. Growing up in Chicago around friends and family facing substance abuse and mental illness issues as well as his own experiences with those same elements, he seeks to bring guidance, support, and personal experience to provide avenues to escape the cycles it creates. He promotes conscious living to find peace and freedom in life.
Brian has worked in Behavioral Health since he moved to San Diego in 2017 from the East Coast. He is motivated by helping people that struggle with the addiction cycle and has worked in Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Treatment in both Detox and Residential Services. Brian joined the Akua family two years ago as part of our Mission Hill clinical team. Brian is ecstatic to join the Outreach Team at Akua Behavioral Health in our San Diego Region to expand his passion for recovery to assist those in the San Diego and surrounding areas to get the help they need.
Michele is a very heart-felt and dedicated member of the Akua team. She has come from a skilled nursing background of 7 years ranging from nursing, social services, admissions,and marketing. Michele is a very strong advocate for quality of life of clients and values bonding relationships and fulfillment. She has a very unique ability to connect with a wide range of people, which has made her resourceful in times of need to clients. Through her background Michele has developed lasting relationships with healthcare partners and numerous facilities which has aided clients for ongoing support. Michele is very excited to help promote the unity and encouragement of the Akua family culture.
Jacqueline is a Southern California native who is passionate about helping people and giving back. With over 7 years experience in the substance use and mental health field, holding positions in clinical, outreach, and operations, she truly understands what it takes for someone to create a healthy state of mind and lifestyle. Jacqueline completed her drug and alcohol counseling course in 2016. She values creating the best care for clients to help establish self improvement in the four directions: emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. She encourages clients to embrace heritage, new healthy perspectives, a strong support network and execute goals. She is excited to leave a footprint in Akua and help give clients the tools to a new purpose in life.
Camille graduated from Western Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in business and is currently enrolled in the Alcohol and Other Drugs Studies program in pursuit of the CADC II certification. Camille has been working in the drug and alcohol recovery field since 2016 and her passion for helping others through the addiction cycle is undeniable. Camille’s ability to connect to a diverse group of people, while aiding in the transition period, promotes Akua’s family culture. Through her case management experience, Camille has been able to develop close relationships with numerous other facilities in the San Diego area. Her vast resources aid our clients for ongoing support post treatment in hopes of lessening relapse potential. Camille’s vision is to provide encouragement, unity, and greater integration throughout the entire continuum of care. Camille is very excited to lead the Alumni program for the San Diego facility.
Kyle is a Sacramento native with a mission to help those in his community who wrestle with addiction and mental health. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from California State University Sacramento and has a background in Conflict Management and Crisis Intervention. Kyle has over a decade of experience working with youth struggling with behavioral issues and with disadvantaged populations seeking to find a foothold in life. He finds peace in nature and fitness, and believes that connection and support are vital to the recovery process. Kyle is elated to be a part of the AKUA family, helping Sacramento Alumni navigate the often-treacherous waters towards recovery.
Brian is passionate about sharing teachings for spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health & wellness. He is skilled in working with urban and rural communities, youth, elders, families, diverse programs and building partnerships with key stakeholders in the community. Also, dedicated to the vision and mission of empowering people to achieve professional and personal success, to live healthy and active lives, to be suicide, drug and alcohol free, to celebrate cultural identity and to make healthy life-choices that will enable them to achieve and sustain their full potential as leaders in their communities. Brian has helped establish various traditional-based wellness practices within behavioral health programs and AI/NA communities nationwide, including Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center in Milwaukee. He thrives to continue to teach cultural identity and healing practices.
Kristen, is a clinical content writer and enjoys writing about evidence-based topics in the cutting-edge world of mental health and addiction medicine. She is a family medicine physician and author, who also teaches and contributes to medicine board education. Her passion lies within educating the public on preventable diseases including mental health disorders and the stigma associated with them. She is also an outdoor activist and dog enthusiast.