Michael Frye, MS, Executive Director Of Admissions & Outreach
Michael Frye holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from California Coast University. Throughout his twenty-five-year career in the field of mental health and addiction, Michael has had the opportunity to have in-depth experience working in clinical environments and to have served in many diverse positions including direct clinical practice, administration, and director of admissions and outreach. Michael has extensive experience in business development and clinical outreach with an emphasis on strategic planning and development. Over his many years in the field, Michael has developed and maintained many long-standing relationships with clinicians and mental health professionals regionally and nationally. He has held executive leadership positions with prominent industry leaders including CRC Health Group, Acadia, and Universal Health. With his extensive expertise in the field, Michael provides proven success with multiple relationships around the country and has a strong passion and commitment to the field of healthcare.
Kelsie Barnes, Admissions Manager
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 Paulsell, Outreach Specialist, Orange County
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.
Taylor Vinzant, Outreach Specialist, San Diego County
Taylor has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Communication from San Diego State University. During her education she focused her studies toward learning about mental illness and implementing health campaigns. Throughout her education, she worked at a Senior Retirement Community where she learned to develop and grow relationships with the elderly residents, staff, and management. Taylor also spent time volunteering at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. It was there that she worked closely with the Autism Discovery Institute and found her passion for the healthcare industry. In her free time, Taylor loves camping, hiking, and rollerblading. She is happy to be a part of the Akua team, and excited to share the great resources Akua has to offer in her hometown of San Diego.
Angelina Horn, B.S., RADT-I, Outreach Specialist, Sacramento County
Angelina graduated from Grand Canyon University with a BS in Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Masters’ degree with a focus on treating complex trauma. Her philosophy to treatment embodies an empathetic, compassionate approach with an emphasis on self-determination and healthy living skills. Angelina carried the role of case manager at Akua for the last year. she has been successful at working collaboratively with multi-disciplinary teams, providing highly integrated care, employing clinical best practices, and developing clinically sound aftercare plans for her clients. Angelina also was very instrumental in starting the alumni program at the Sacramento location. Angelina is very excited to be in the role of outreach specialist, so she can continue the collaboration with the professionals in the Sacramento area.
Natali Skaya, Outreach Specialist, Los Angeles County
Natali Skaya grew up in Tucson, Arizona and has been living in Los Angeles for 3 years. Natali attended the University of Arizona and Whittier college and graduated with a bachelors in English and Psychology. Natali brings her experience working in both adolescent and adult treatment to Akua. She has had various roles as a group facilitator, outreach coordinator, and admissions director. Natali is passionate about working in the mental health and substance abuse field and is dedicated to ensuring both clients and families receive the support they need. Natali will be attending a Master’s program next year to earn her marriage and family therapy license and continue her work in treatment as a clinician.
Riya Dewan, Outreach Specialist, Los Angeles County
Riya graduated from The University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Business. She has a passion for helping others and believes she can make the most impact within the Healthcare Industry. Riya is very excited to be part of AKUA Mind & Body’s talented outreach team and looks forward to collaborating with skilled professionals across Southern California.
Jacqueline Stewart, Community Outreach Specialist, Orange County
Jacqueline is a Southern California native who is passionate about helping people and giving back. With over 5 years’ experience in the substance abuse 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 have a fulfilled and balanced life, including finding healthy hobbies, financial management, and establishing and executing goals. She has background in mixed martial arts, leadership development training, and enjoys pushing herself in all aspects of life to become better every day. Jacqueline knows how vital it is for alumni to have a strong support network after they leave treatment. She is excited to leave a footprint in a safe and lively atmosphere for the Akua alumni to stay connected.
Camille, Community Outreach Specialist, San Diego
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.
Lance Carson, Community Outreach Specialist, Sacramento
Lance Carson’s dedication and commitment to the AKUA Alumni stems from over 20 years of service with the Sacramento County Sherriff’s department. During his career with the sheriff’s department, Lance worked in corrections, patrol, special assignments, and detectives. After 20 years of working in the Sheriff’s department, Lance needed specific treatment for PTSD and alcohol consumption. Lance made the decision to seek assistance at AKUA. In 2017 Lance completed a 45 day stay at AKUA for his PTSD and alcohol issues and “it transformed my life”. Lance returned to the sheriff’s department for another year before officially retiring. After retirement, Lance came back to AKUA to volunteer. Lance was hired on as a clinical tech due to his firsthand experience of treatment and being a First Responder. Lance worked for over a year as a tech and was naturally keeping in touch with the alumni as they left. As of June 1st, 2020, Lance was brought on as the full-time alumni coordinator for the Sacramento Region program. For Lance this is a true passion and feel’s it is his duty to assist people with the help they need. Lance is excited to continue the work with the alumni and assist in their on-going treatment. Lance has the commitment to make the alumni program a community that people can feel safe in and be a proud member of.
Carl Lemos, First Responders Outreach Specialist, Sacramento County
Carl’s dedication and commitment to the First Responder’s program at AKUA stems from his 11 years of personal dedication to the fire department. Carl personally struggled with addiction due to an injury sustained while working as a firefighter in 2008. Carl struggled through 4 years of surgeries and complications which led to his addiction struggles. Carl personally completed a First responders treatment track and has now dedicated his life to helping first responders with the same struggles. Carl is very proud to represent the First Responders Program at AKUA Mind and Body Sacramento.