Andrea has a passion for ensuring behavioral health services are readily accessible for individuals that are seeking care. She has twenty-plus years of serving in Healthcare with advanced graduate degrees in Nursing from Washington State University and a PhD in Abnormal Psychology. She worked as a Behavioral Health Clinician and Community Outreach Advocate. Andrea passionately believes it takes a village to care for one another and support all those in need.
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.
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.
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.
Jacqueline, also known as Jax, has worked in the substance abuse and mental health field since 2014 holding positions in clinical, outreach, and operations. She truly understands what it takes for someone to create a healthy state of mind and lifestyle. Jax completed her drug and alcohol counseling course in 2016. She values creating the best care for clients to help establish self-improvement, during and after treatment, in four directions: emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Her passion also extends to her outreach work with the Indigenous Culture Program at Akua. Jax resonates with how working through inter-generational trauma and connecting to heritage and cultural identity leads to healing and restoration. She is excited to leave a footprint at Akua and help give clients the tools for a new purpose in life.
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.
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.
Christina graduated with her master's degree in social work from Columbia University and has worked all over the country in a multitude of treatment environments. Her background in social work informs her perspective in seeing each individual client as a whole, all with unique, distinctive strengths and challenges. Christina's experience in both mental health and substance use treatment will provide an expansive lens in her role as Admissions Clinician where she will ensure a streamlined admission process for all Akua clients.
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.
Nathan's foremost passion is helping people in deep and meaningful ways and he will always go above and beyond to ensure that needs are not just met but lives are changed in a lasting way. He has worked in behavioral health outreach and public contact for over 11 years in the VA before coming to Akua. Nathan served in the Marine Corps for 8 years, has been in federal service for over 18 years, and has helped to start many non-profits and organizations for veterans, youth, and senior services. If you need anything, he will be there with an open heart and a big smile.
Colleen has a passion for healthcare especially in the areas of mental health and wellness. Her career has focused on developing national networks of providers in a wide variety of specialties to provide affordable access to care. Through her years of network and business development experience she has worked with diverse healthcare professionals from hospitals, counseling communities, educational consultants and treatment centers, as well as many other helping professions.Colleen holds a Master’s of Arts degree in Psychology. She is proud to represent the transformational culture of Akua Mind & Body as a leading primary mental health facility with an integrated treatment model where she continues to realize her vision of helping people live their best lives.
Eric Chaney is a graduate of Frostburg State University in Maryland where he is originally from. He is a Registered Substance Use Disorder Counselor and is currently enrolled at Palomar College in the Substance Use Program in order to further extend his knowledge.
Eric first began his career in the behavioral/mental health field in 2019 by managing a sober living program. It was there that he decided to continue his journey in the behavioral health field by taking on a clinical position as a discharge planner. Eventually, Eric joined our Akua family in 2022 where he was able to combine his passion for helping people with his knowledge of the recovery industry, to assist people in getting the help they need.
Savannah's passion to address substance use and mental health disorders as a public health issue was cultivated through her lived experience with family members who have struggled with substance use and mental health disorders. She earned her bachelor's degree in biological anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently pursuing her masters in public health from the George Washington University. She completed her master's practicum in community outreach and served as a community care coordinator prior to joining Akua. During her time at UCSB she also earned a professional certificate in the medical humanities which taught her the value of caring for the mind, body, and spirit of individuals seeking healing. She hopes to use her education and experience to connect individuals with the care they need to heal and grow from their situations.
Michael's passion for helping others stems from his childhood which had him bear witness to countless individuals struggling with mental health, substance abuse, and other well-known disadvantages. As a veteran of the United States Navy, he even saw his fellow service members struggle with similar things which forced him to learn how to be a strong support system for others. Since leaving the military, Michael has been working with the elderly as well as mentally and intellectually disabled children. He hopes that all of his experience and training will further impact others' lives as he continues to champion spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health.