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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 they need. So, don’t let another day go by. Contact us at 800-662-2873 and start the process towards a new life in recovery.

Learn more about our founders, here.


Susan Sloan

Susan Sloan-Velez, CADC-CAS

Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Susan has been working in the SUD treatment arena for over 25 years. She has spent the last 19 here at Covenant Hills. She began her career as Director of Administration, running all aspects of personnel, payroll, accounts receivable, licensing, credentialing, obtaining and negotiating insurance contracts for services and many other administrative areas. In December 2019, she added to her role and knowledge, oversight of the company’s operations. These two roles significantly overlap with one another in many ways and contribute to the wide range of experience and expertise she has accumulated over the years. As a whole, this gives her a well-rounded overview of treatment programs and how the organization function.

She is committed to helping those in need and maintaining compliance for her organization. In addition, she has been a member of ATAC for several years and was named to the Board in 2023. It is her honor to serve in this capacity as a part of a team of industry professionals who want to move our field forward with integrity and advocate for the providers as well as the clients who so desperately need our services.

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

Heather Schwartz

Heather Schwartz, M.A., LMFT

Clinical Director & 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.”

Alex Freeman

Alex Freeman, B.A., B.S., CADC II

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.”

Denna Nelson

Denna Nelson, CADC-CAS

Program Director

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.

Ed Volk

Ed Volk, M.A., LMFT, LAADC


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.
Jeremiah Wright

Jeremiah Wright, B.A., CATC IV, APCC, 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.
Carice Blazo

Carice Blazo, M.A., Ordained Minister

Pastoral Counselor

Carice Blazo is a Pastoral Counselor at the Company’s women’s treatment facility in Dana Point. Carice holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Pastoral Counseling, and is an ordained minister. As a regional director at Christian non-profit educational organization,, Ms. Blazo discipled, evangelized, taught, trained and equipped individuals and groups in their educational and spiritual journeys. Ms. Blazo has 6 years of experience in management and administration in addiction treatment centers.
Jefferson Jordan

Jefferson Jordan, B.A., CADC I

Case Manager

Jefferson loves seeing clients break free from the addiction cycle and be free to become the person they were meant to be.

Before his role as case manager, Jefferson was the lead technician at treatment facility for a year and a half, a client advocate at a detox for a year and a half, and he worked dual-diagnosis house for two years.

As a case manager for Covenant Hills, he helps clients stay on track on a day-to-day basis in their recovery, as well as oversees and coordinates their care with admissions, therapists, the operations team, the health care providers—generally helps their stay to go as smoothly as possible.

Jefferson says, “I am passionate about my work and seeing clients recover from addiction. I am committed to doing my absolute best to help my clients. I believe each one is unique and has their own story to tell. I encourage clients to embrace their stories as a part of the healing process and share their stories with others who are hurting so that they in turn may be an encouragement to them.”

Jefferson holds a B.A. in history from University of North Texas and a minor in creative writing. His passion for the arts as a means for healing in recovery, has seen him run a creative writing group for the clients.

Jefferson has been sober for nine years, is a self-published author and blogger, and performs stand-up comedy for fun. A pop culture aficionado, he loves all things Marvel, Stars Wars, and, of course, attends Comic-Con every year.

Erik Schulenburg, B.A, RADTi

Case Manager

Erik Schulenburg, stationed at the Men's Facility, brings his expertise as a Case Manager to the frontlines of addiction treatment. Erik is responsible for overseeing clients at both the Men’s residential house and an offsite IOP location. His days are filled with instructing 12-step programs and SUD courses—ensuring that clients grasp and tackle the intricacies of alcohol and drug abuse. Moreover, Erik also leads “family groups,” a pivotal platform where families witness the transformational journey of their loved ones towards recovery.

Before assuming his current role, Erik served as a resident manager at the Covenant Hills Men’s facility, which gave him a profound understanding of the challenges and needs of the residents. His educational journey includes an AS in Fire Science from Santa Ana College, which eventually led him to Concordia University, Irvine, where he pursued a B.A. in Liberal Studies, focusing on leadership and curriculum planning. Erik’s experience as an EMT with Care Ambulance, where he frequently attended to individuals grappling with substance overdose, has enriched his perspective in addiction treatment.

Erik's dedication is anchored in his desire to serve. His faith fortifies his ability to empathize and extend unparalleled care to those in dire need. At the heart of his work, Erik prioritizes the holistic transformation of clients, focusing not just on substance use but on their overall well-being.

Erik is currently a Masters student at the Townsend Institute at Concordia University, Irvine, majoring in Counseling. Erik is also a certified RADT-I Intern, Emergency Medical Technician, and is CPR trained, ensuring he is well-equipped to handle a myriad of situations in the addiction treatment landscape.

jason gill

Jason Gill, RADTi

Case Manager

Ever since joining the world of addiction treatment on Christmas Day 2021, Jason has been committed to transforming lives and guiding clients on their path to recovery.

In his current role as case manager at Covenant Hills Treatment Center, Jason is responsible for daily interactions with clients, facilitating groups on various recovery topics, providing one-on-one guidance, and exemplifying the sober lifestyle and mindset.

Before stepping into case management, Jason served as a Resident Manager and a live-in house manager at Covenant Hills, overseeing client supervision and transitions.

As a proud veteran of the US Navy, Jason gained invaluable leadership skills, the ability to serve others, and a strong work ethic. These attributes now empower him to excel in addiction treatment, where his primary objective is helping clients become sober, happy, and productive members of society.

What Jason cares about most in his work is witnessing people transform their lives and become the best version of themselves. Currently pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Human Services from Saddleback College, Jason is also RADT-I certified and working towards CADC accreditation.

Jason’s personal recovery journey, which began nearly two years ago, has been pivotal in his ability to connect with clients. As a former Covenant Hills client himself, he brings empathy and understanding to his role, making it easier for clients to trust that he knows exactly how they feel and what they are going through.

Jennifer Hoganson, RADTi

Case Manager

Jennifer Hoganson is a dedicated case manager who has made it her mission to support those struggling with addiction. She refers to her work as "holy ground," a place where she aligns her purpose with her passion. Jennifer not only works with her clients on an individual basis but also educates them in group settings, empowering them to confront their fears and adopt tools essential for a balanced and purposeful life.

Possessing a RADT-1 certification, Jennifer is furthering her education at Saddleback College, where she is working towards a BA and an advanced degree in counseling. With experience in providing one-on-one guidance on matters of identity, spirituality, and addiction, her background in ministry and mission work also offers her a wide lens on cultural and spiritual subjects. Yet, it is her personal journey through addiction and recovery that provides her with an unparalleled depth of understanding.

What drives Jennifer in her work is the opportunity to witness the transformative moment when those who felt lost rediscover the hope and potential that recovery brings.

Operations Staff

Jenny Pacheco

Client Care Manager

Bio Coming Soon!
Ryan Hampton

Ryan Hampton

Operations Manager

With over 8 years of experience in the addiction treatment industry, Ryan’s day-to-day responsibilities include logistics, staffing, coordinating doctor’s appointments, managing medications, supervising house managers, ordering supplies, and overseeing compliance and safety. However, it is seeing broken men go on to lead productive sober lives and rebuild damaged relationships that Ryan finds most rewarding about being an operations manager at Covenant Hills.

Deeply involved in recovery over the years, Ryan has seen many roles, including being an owner/operator of sober living and detox facility. Perhaps the most important role, however, is in working a program of recovery himself. It is from this foundation that Ryan can share his experience, strength, and hope to those that are struggling.

Professionally, this all comes together in his capacity to empathize with clients and meet them where they are while also effectively managing the staff and keep the operation running smoothly so the treatment team can focus on client care.

Riley Karp

Transportation Coordinator

Riley Karp is currently serving as the Transportation Coordinator for Covenant Hills. With almost three years in the field of treatment, Riley sees this job as the most rewarding one yet. Riley's primary responsibilities involve managing the transportation needs for the Women's and Men's facilities at Covenant Hills Treatment, as well as the corporate office.

This encompasses arranging pickups for new clients entering treatment, facilitating doctor visits and court dates for existing clients, and ensuring safe transport of clients returning home post-treatment.

Riley's role also extends to maintaining the safety of all vehicles through regular inspections and upkeep. As a holder of a Commercial Driver License (CDL) certified by the State of California, Riley is instrumental in training staff to acquire their own CDLs.

Prior to assuming the role of Transportation Coordinator, Riley held the positions of Residential Manager for the Men's Residential facility and House Manager at the Transitional Living facility for over two years.

Ever since the first day at Covenant Hills, Riley has been deeply impressed by the honesty, integrity, compassion, and care demonstrated by coworkers and superiors. This environment has inspired Riley to uphold these core values each day, a pursuit that has proven immensely fulfilling. One of the most rewarding aspects of the role is the opportunity to witness the smiles on the faces of clients and aid them in realizing their full potential.

Riley feels a deep sense of gratitude towards Covenant Hills as an employer and takes joy in going to work every day.

Outreach Staff

Joseph Price, B.A.

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.

Taylor Young

Taylor Young, M.A.

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 skill set that makes her as 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 is 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.

Admissions Staff

Eddie Lysen

Eddie Lysen

Admissions Director

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.

ken fischer

Ken Fischer, CADC-II

Admissions Coordinator

Ken has worked in the substance abuse treatment industry for over 4 years in various roles including operations, intake, clinical, and leadership. However, his vast knowledge and experience have led him to a new role as Admission Coordinator at Covenant Hills Treatment. The admission manager role is a good fit for Ken because of his logistics and counseling background which makes him a trusted resource for families and individuals looking for help getting into treatment.

Always showing interest in helping people, Ken pursued the required schooling and practical experience needed to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC); he is currently working towards his bachelor’s degree in the Psychology field. Ken knows that addiction can be a difficult thing to overcome, but he remains hopeful that through compassion, support, and education, he can help those affected by it.

Compassion and empathy for people who seeking help is the driving motivator behind “why” Ken does what he does. We believe that people immediately recognize sincerity and authenticity when they are working with you, and they need to feel comfortable and trust you with the process.

Ken is the recipient of The Northbound Vision Award. This award is given to the staff member who goes above and beyond to create an experience that people love. Ken’s dedication to his clients, families, colleagues, and community has earned him this prestigious honor.

Covenant Hills Treatment is proud to give Ken the opportunity to use all of his experience to help give people a chance to make positive changes in their lives.

Brittany Bennett

Brittany Bennett, RADTi

Admissions Coordinator

Brittany Bennett is a dedicated Case Manager at the Women’s Facility in Covenant Hills Treatment Center. With 5 years of experience in addiction treatment, Brittany is committed to making a difference in the lives of her clients. In her current role, she manages group facilitation, one-on-one sessions, treatment and relapse prevention planning, as well as after-care planning.

Before becoming a case manager, Brittany honed her skills as a resident manager and lead resident manager. Her approach to addiction treatment is rooted in relatability, compassion, and creating a safe and supportive environment for residents.

In her own words, what she cares most about in her work is “being able to help plant seeds so that our clients have the ability to gain all this life has to offer.” A graduate of Charter Oak High School, Brittany is currently attending Cypress College to obtain her CADAC certification and has already obtained her RADT-I.

Administration Staff

Mary L. Fisher, LPT

Mary L. Fisher, B.A., 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.

Pooya Omshehe

Pooya Omshehe

Insurance Specialist

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.