Our Team

Thousands of people suffering from alcoholism, substance abuse, and various behavioral disorders seek help every day. Finding this help can be a very frustrating experience. Our crisis response counselors will spend the time necessary to review the treatment alternatives, whether at one of our treatment facilities or elsewhere, that will best provide you or your loved one with the help needed. So, don’t let another day go by. Contact us at 800-662-2873 and start the process towards a new life in recovery.

Senior Management

Susan Sloan

Susan Sloan

Sr. Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Susan Sloan has been in the treatment industry for many years, serving in various administrative and management capacities. Ms. Sloan joined the Company in 2005. She is responsible for credentialing, licensing and accreditation as well as insurance contracting, billing and human resources. Susan has 4 children and 3 grandchildren. She is an accomplished triathlete and cyclist, competing when she can in local events. Susan has been active in recovery for over 20 years.
Dustin Frei

Dustin Frei

Vice President & Chief Development Officer

With nearly 20 years’ professional experience in the behavioral health industry and the current Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Covenant Hills Treatment, Dustin Frei is a driving force in the movement of high quality, ethical services across the spectrum of addiction treatment. His passion for meticulous, evidence-based, and compassionate addiction/behavioral health treatment, as well as his experience leading teams, developing marketing strategies, and driving revenue expansion—then ensuring the integration of all aspects of organizational efforts—give him distinct insight and combine to make him a exemplar, leading the way in the realms of behavioral health and addiction treatment.

Clinical Staff

Elizabeth Steele

Elizabeth Steele, M.A., LAADC

Executive Director

Elizabeth Steele has over 10 years’ experience working in the addiction and behavioral health fields, in both clinical and leadership capacities. Elizabeth obtained her Master’s in Addiction Counseling from the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies and holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. Her personal long-term recovery and studies elicited her passion for making a difference in lives affected by the disease of addiction. She has committed her career to engaging individuals in recovery through innovation, leadership, fun, and sound clinical judgement.

Elizabeth has a unique ability to connect with clients and families through empathy and advocacy and is known for thoughtful, timely, and collaborative communication for the betterment of all involved. She is well-informed of treatment standards and best practices and uses her extensive knowledge and experience with program structure and development, staff empowerment, and client engagement to create dynamic and engaging clinical programs. She participates in creating, maintaining, and restructuring treatment programs to include a continuum of evidence-based practices to support the sustainable recovery of individuals and their families.

Elizabeth’s commitment to the health of others is unparalleled, and she is regarded by her colleagues as someone with their best interest in mind. She has a keen sense for personality and professionalism and evaluates and provides other professionals with career advancement opportunities both within and outside of her organization; her expertise and reach are beyond her traditional career role.

Alex Freeman - Covenant Hills

Alex Freeman, B.A., B.S.; CADC-I

Program Director

As a program director at Covenant Hills, Alex oversees the operational and clinical departments for the men’s program. With over three years of experience in addiction treatment, Alex’s most recent role was outpatient and extended care program manager at Northbound Treatment where he oversaw a large co-ed outpatient and extended care program, as well, he managed the clinical staff to ensure compliance and quality client care.

More than anything, Alex cares about helping people find their way out of addiction and into long-term sustainable recovery.

To accomplish this, Alex says, “I try to emulate the high caliber of work that I expect of my team, and I will always take time to support staff and clients when needed. In my experience, consistency, reliability, and passion are integral qualities to have as an effective clinician, and I do my best to bring those qualities into my work every day.”

Heather Schwartz

Heather Schwartz, M.A., LMFT

Therapist

According to Heather, the greatest pleasure of being the primary therapist at Covenant Hills women’s facility is watching the beautiful evolution of change in others. She remains “ridiculously passionate” about the work she does on a daily basis, which includes being an integral part of the multi-disciplinary treatment team providing individual, group, and family therapy, as well as formulating unique and specific treatment plans of each resident.

Her educational background includes a BS in pastoral ministries and psychology (Vanguard University) and a Master’s of Science in Clinical Psychology (Vanguard University). She is also a California licensed marriage and family therapist, a certified eating disorder specialist, and is EMDR certified.

She educates from the efficacy of positive interventions and believes that everyone gets stuck once in a while, but she maintains that “it’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

Ed Volk

Ed Volk, MA, LMFT, LAADC

Therapist

Ed Volk is the Therapist at the Company’s men’s treatment facility in San Clemente. Ed Volk is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with an advanced certification in addiction treatment, Licensed Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselor (LAADC). Ed received his BA and MA from Wheaton College. He has worked in the field for over 20 years and has worked as a clinician on the administrative side overseeing and developing programs. Ed is certified in Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Seeking Safety. He is also a member of the Orange County, CA Trauma Response Team and has interned at Saddleback Church in the Counseling Dept. Ed has a personal and professional expertise in the field of addiction. He believes in the restorative power of the recovery process with the individual and the family.
jennifer Filipowicz

Jennifer Pappas, RADT-I

Case Manager

Jennifer started working as a receptionist and worked her way up from insurance verification and Utilization Reviewer/Biller. After completing her alcohol and drug studies in 2018, she became a Case Manager at the CH Women’s facility.

Her role at Covenant Hills finds her assessing the needs, goals, and preferences of the clients. She participates in the planning and presentation of didactic/education groups, assist clients in achieving their treatment plan objectives, provides professional referrals for medical, and offers other services post-treatment.

As a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, she is able to relate to the pain of what the women are experiencing. As a transformed woman, herself, she is able to share her hope and faith in God, which gives her the opportunity to feel the Holy Spirit work through her to help the women who walk through the doors of Covenant Hills.

She cares most about seeing the ladies walk through the doors, broken and run down, then witnessing the transformation—seeing them smile and feel good about themselves again. She feels a particular mission in this field and feels God has called her to Covenant Hills.

Bruce McMeekin

Bruce McMeekin, CADC-I

Case Manager

Bruce McMeekin is a Case Manager at the Company’s men’s treatment facility in San Clemente. He earned his Associates degrees in Social Behavioral Studies and Alcohol & Drug Studies. Bruce has a CADC-I certification. He has worked extensively with chemically dependent individuals from young adults through older adult populations, utilizing both individual and group counseling. Bruce brings many years of life experiences, knowledge and training, as well as compassion and empathy needed to provide the necessary tools for success in the program.
Carice Blazo

Carice Blazo, M.A., RADTi, Ordained Minister

Pastoral Counselor

Carice Blazo is the Pastoral Counselor at our women's treatment facility in Dana Point. Carice is an ordained minister and holds a B.A. in Psychology and a M.A. in Pastoral Counseling, Addictions and Recovery. Formerly, as a regional director at Christian non-profit educational organization, Carice has experience discipling, training, and equipping individuals and groups in their educational and spiritual journeys. Her roles in the recovery field include administration, group facilitation, spiritual leadership and counseling.

Carice loves to guide clients in transformational spiritual recovery by facilitating Christ-centered lessons, one-on-one counseling, prayer, evidence-based recovery interventions, and 12-Step principles. Carice provides a grace-filled and comforting environment for clients.

Jeremiah Wright

Jeremiah Wright, CATC II, Ordained Minister

Pastoral Counselor, Case Manager

Jeremiah has been around addiction treatment nearly two decades supporting and inspiring men to find sanity and sobriety. He is currently the men’s home pastoral counselor where he helps individuals resolve spiritual conflicts to allow them to have a more meaningful relationship with God. He also serves as a case manager and works to educate and help clients walk through the recovery process. He has worked for Teen Challenge International and served as an Associate Pastor for many years. He currently holds a degree in Drug and Alcohol Counseling and is ordained through the International Christian Ministers Association.
Michael Felton

Michael Felten, M.A., APCC

Case Manager & Clinical Intern

As the case manager and clinical intern at the men’s residential facility, Michael supports clients as a case manager and facilitates/teaches group therapy sessions. As an intern, he provides counseling to clients under the supervision of the staff therapist.

Michael received his B.A. from Chapman University, in English and worked as a professional journalist, utilizing observation, writing and interviewing skills. He received his M.A. from Concordia University Townsend Institute in Counseling.

Previously, Michael has worked as a case manager for a non-profit organization that assisted people with disabilities and was in City government where he provided case management, inspections, interviewing, and crisis intervention. Beyond that, he also has three years’ experience teaching in church and public school settings.

He loves people and enjoys working with and serving others. Michael believes we were built for relationship and too often men have learned or have become disconnected and isolated from that.

Lexi Larison - Covenant Hills Treatment

Lexi Larison

Case Manager

As a case manager, Lexi’s role is multi-faceted. At its core, she supports clients in finding a holistic approach to recovery that fits their needs. Understanding that every client is unique and complex, she ensures that their treatment plan is customized to who they are.

Her work experience, which includes roles in addiction treatment operations, clinical, healthcare, and finance, gives her a broad and invaluable understanding into the treatment experience.

From the initial phone calls with concerned family members and potential clients all the way to aftercare planning and continuing care recommendations, her collaborative efforts with the Covenant Hills team are intentional and client focused to offer every individual outstanding care.

Most of all, Lexi is passionate about helping women recover from addiction.

Her personal struggle with addiction almost robbed her of her life and children. When she went through the Covenant Hills program in 2016, she considered herself “completely hopeless and broken—truly beyond redemption.” She says, “The staff at Covenant Hills showed me that my life was worth saving. Today, I am over 4 ½ years clean and I would not be where I am if not for Covenant Hills. I believe my experience is what makes me a high-quality worker. I serve my clients from a place of humility and I know that no addict seeking recovery need die.”

Denna Nelson - Covenant Hills

Denna Nelson, CADC-1

Case Manager

With over 14-years’ experience in addiction treatment, brings her experience as a residential manager, residential manager supervisor, case manager aid, and yoga instructor for individuals in addiction treatment, Denna is passionate about being a part of women changing their lives for the better.

She believes in recovery to heal your mind, body, and spirit. That addiction takes us away from our true self and recovery brings us back.

Outreach and Admissions

Mike Robertson

Mike Robertson

Outreach Manager

Mike Robertson is an established authority in the substance use disorder field. He brings a deep understanding of SUD, process addictions, and mental health issues to the field. Beyond that, his intimate knowledge of the community, treatment centers, various programs, and wilderness and therapeutic schools (and more), make him an invaluable pillar of the organization.

Joseph Price

Outreach Manager

Joseph Price knows that people are happier when they are sober. This knowledge has given him a passion to work in the addiction treatment industry for over a decade. This conviction comes from his personal experience with recovery, which he found treatment for here at Covenant Hills (formerly Pacific Hills Treatment).

Joey’s role as outreach manager finds him identifying and optimizing important partnerships within the community of addiction treatment in Southern California and beyond.

Born and raised in Southeast Texas, Joey relocated to Orange County in 2010. He attended Sam Houston State University on a football scholarship, receiving “all-conference” status and leadership accolades.

After earning his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Joey embarked on a successful 8-year career in the financial industry. Representing prestigious firms such as; JP Morgan, BNY Melon, United Capital and Sage View Advisory group.

All that said, believes it is his unique, personal interaction with clients and the ability to connect with people at a genuine level that helps him stand out in the addiction treatment field.

Eddie Lysen

Eddie Lysen

Admissions Coordinator

Eddie Lysen works in the admissions department at our corporate office where he works through the entire admissions process with families and clients. That ranges everything from engaging through the initial phone calls of individuals looking for addiction treatment, going over the program, explaining insurance/finances, coordinating detox, transportation, and pre assessment for admission for treatment.

Having had the experience of recovery himself, he is able to share his story in hopes of helping others. This also gives him particular insight on truly understanding where addition can take someone and how hard it can be asking for help.

Previously Eddie worked as a house manager for Covenant Hills where he was able to work face to face with the clients and over the years developed a sense of how things work at the treatment level.

Ultimately Eddie is most interested in helping lift others out of addiction to give them a new hope in life—in the same way that it was done for him.

Covenant Hills Addiction Treatment team

Blair Jackson

Admissions Coordinator

Blair has been part of the Covenant Hills team since 2015 in the capacity of office manager and financial administrator. Her current role as admissions coordinator finds her interacting with prospective clients and family members looking for guidance about the substance abuse treatment program offered at Covenant Hills. Using her own experience in sobriety as a reference point, she walks with the family through the admissions process and continues to act as the point of contact through the course of treatment.

Her upbeat, can-do personality brings an atmosphere of positivity to the Covenant Hills’ program, and her firm belief in the mission of the company gives her a deep sense of joy and pride in her role.

As an alum of the program, she considers herself living proof that sobriety is possible no matter how hopeless and dark life may appear, and that the program at Covenant Hills really does work. Blair truly loves what she does—helping other alcoholics and addicts find hope again, showing them they are not alone and by helping them see that sobriety is possible.

Tayler Young

Tayler Young

Outreach Admissions Coordinator

As the outreach admissions coordinator, Tayler serves as the bridge between our marketing efforts, the community, and our admissions team. Though relatively new to the addiction treatment field, she has worked in a myriad of roles in addiction and mental health treatment including project management, utilization review, admissions, and case management. Beyond that, she has experience working in hospitals and for various insurance providers.

Working in the mental health and substance abuse field has enabled her to cultivate a skillset that makes her adaptable as possible because working in this field requires one to be able to work quickly and efficiently with so many moving parts.

Tayler currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Concordia University Irvine and currently expected to graduate with her Master’s in Healthcare Administration in 2022.

However, it is her ability to support not only the client in their early recovery but work with families to better understand and support their loved one that is struggling that makes her such an important part of the Covenant Hills team.

Administrative Staff

Mary L. Fisher, LPT

Mary L. Fisher, LPT

Utilization Management and Nurse

As the Covenant Hills utilization nurse, Mary obtains authorization at the highest level of care possible based on medical necessity. She works closely with the clinical team and the insurance companies case managers in tandem to ensure quality care. She passionately encourages the ongoing relationships with our administration, our treatment team, and insurance case managers to ensure that Covenant Hills continues to provide the highest level of care for clients utilizing their insurance benefits.

Mary has been involved in Behavioral Health industry since 1985. She has worked in hospital-based detox and treatment for addiction. As well, she’s worked with the elderly addicted and mentally ill in underserved communities in California, Florida, Arizona, and Oregon managing a Health and Wellness Program providing resources for treatment. Beyond that, she managed a team of providers that helped the stabilization of patients with co-morbid diagnosis utilizing a multitude of resources.

Understanding that recovery is a process of transformation and those struggling with addiction are separated from God, she is particularly inspired by Covenant Hills utilizing a God centered approach to addiction treatment. She holds herself accountable daily to her own program of recovery and her relationship with God.

Cody Crawford

Cody Crawford, RADTi

Operations Manager

Cody is the Resident Manager Supervisor at Covenant Hills men’s residential treatment center in San Clemente, CA. The responsibilities that come with include supervising the resident managers and working alongside the program director and transportation director, making sure they have what they need to do their jobs as efficiently as possible.

Cody is passionate about producing a high-quality of work. Not interested in half measures, he puts his all into everything he does. His dedication to the treatment field finds its origins in his personal experience in treatment where he was given the help he needed. He believes in returning that to the clients that he works with.

Bruce Stewart

Transportation Coordinator

Bio Coming Soon
Shanae Santibanez

Shanae Santibanez

Operations Manager

Shanae loves the daily opportunity of helping women from all different walks of life find recovery and a new way of living. This plays out in her role as operations manager at Covenant hills. At the women’s residential house, Shanae is responsible for supervising the operations team and making sure everything is running smoothly.

A vital part of that is making sure all policies and procedures are followed to ensure client safety. She manages the staff schedules and makes sure there is coverage 24/7. She also makes sure the treatment team and the clients have all the supplies they need and that the day-to-day essentials are covered.

In addition to working with Covenant Hills for over five years, she also had the opportunity to go through this program. She can empathize with the clients who are coming in to get help, because she too was once there.

Shanae is committed to client care, and operationally, she does whatever it takes to make sure that their treatment experience is excellent.

Pooya Omshehe

Pooya Omshehe

Revenue Cycle Manager

With over a decade of experience working in the field of recovery, Pooya is responsible for all revenue cycle functions in support of the company mission, vision, and goals. She has been the director of billing & collections and has a vast knowledge of insurance rules and regulations within major payers.

She loves to be able to give back in a way that helps and supports the families she works with.