The Ria Health Team

Our experienced team is committed to transforming alcohol addiction treatment

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Our Medical Team

JOHN MENDELSON, MD

CMO & PHYSICIAN

Professor of Medicine, UCSF; Senior Research Scientist Friends Research Institute; Medical Director, Bay Area Addiction Research and Treatment (BAART) Programs; Distinguished in Clinical Research and Primary Care Medical Practice.

PAUL R. LINDE, MD

MEDICAL DIRECTOR, PSYCHIATRY AND COLLABORATIVE CARE

Over 25 years’ experience in emergency psychiatric care. Published researcher and author. Clinical Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry at UCSF School of Medicine. International clinical and teaching experience. Former Medical Director, the Stonewall Project.

VIPUL PATEL, MD

PHYSICIAN

25-plus years practicing Internal Medicine, with over 20 years treating addiction. Enjoys direct patient care. Believes in honesty, transparency, and cost effective treatment.

MICAH HALE, DO

PHYSICIAN

Certified osteopath and family physician with nearly 2 decades in urban and rural emergency room care—including treating alcohol and opioid addiction and withdrawal. Licensed to practice medicine in 26 states.

LINDA HICKMAN, RN

REGISTERED NURSE

Best career decision, joining the Ria Health medical team. After spending the last 10 years working with individuals in a more traditional setting, I am excited about the Ria Health telemedicine platform as a means of expanding access to care.

TRINETTE L. RADASA, DNP

PSYCHIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH NURSE PRACTITIONER

Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Texas at El Paso, many years of experience as an FNP and PMHNP treating clients with various medical and mental health disorders. Director of the PMHNP-DNP Program at the University of San Francisco, and currently on the medical team at Ria Health.

BEN GARDNER, DNP

NURSE PRACTITIONER

Nurse Practitioner with experience in diagnostics, primary care, acute care, chronic
disease care, and case management. Doctor of Nursing Practice from University of San Francisco.

ISAIAH CRUZ, NP-C

NURSE PRACTITIONER

Family Nurse Practitioner with broad experience in the medical field—including long term care, hospice, home health care, ER, ICU, telemedicine, and outpatient addiction treatment. Currently pursuing certification in Psychiatric Mental Health.

VITALIA NGALA, DNP

NURSE PRACTITIONER

Certified FNP with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. My primary clinic practice includes medication-based treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorders, including provision of mental health services such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

RACHEL BOTKIN, FNP-C

NURSE PRACTITIONER

Board Certified Nurse Practitioner with experience in multiple areas of the care spectrum—including urgent care and clinical instruction. Enjoys connecting with Ria’s members on the telehealth platform, and feels that it expands their access to care.

NITA KOFCHOCK, PMHNP

PSYCHIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH NURSE PRACTITIONER

Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. 15 years’ experience, including emergency and outpatient psychiatry, and residential treatment. Recent clinical work within psychiatry and chemical dependency.

KATHERINE SARSFIELD, APRN

NURSE PRACTITIONER

Advanced Practice Nurse with experience in chronic physical and mental health care, assisted living, and addiction recovery. Dedicated to expanding access and preserving human dignity through holistic healthcare.

JULIEN STAINBACK

CUSTOMER CARE/MEDICAL ASSISTANT

Pre-med student with a bachelor’s in psychology, currently studying under Dr. John Mendelson. Dedicated to maximizing quality of care for patients, and supporting the Ria team through research and development.

ZACK DRUMM

MEDICAL ASSISTANT

Pursuing a bachelor’s in biopsychology from Tufts University as a pre-med student. Especially interested in pharmacotherapy, medical research, and helping others. Experienced in addiction assistance.

VINCENT SUTTON

MEDICAL ASSISTANT

Pursuing a bachelor’s in Neuropharmacology at Pitzer College. Particularly interested in alternative forms of pharmacotherapy, and treatment for addiction and mood disorders.

DARRE’LL WALLACE

MEDICAL ASSISTANT

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant with an Associates of Science. Pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in Registered Nursing, with over 6 years of medical and behavioral health experience. Dedicated to improving the overall health of members.

KIYANA DAVIS

MEDICAL ASSISTANT

Bachelor’s in psychology from Columbus State University. Older sibling and nature lover. Brings determination, creative thinking, empathy, and compassion to work with the Ria team and its clients.

Our Coaching Team

ALEX LEE, DSW, LCSW

DIRECTOR OF COACHING

Clinical expert in addiction, mental health, and trauma. Designed over 6 evidence-based interventions. Led large teams in military, academic, government, nonprofit, and community settings to treat addiction & mental health. Managed start-up virtual health clinics in the US & Canada. Professor at University of Denver.

BRENDA LEWIS

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

Over 6 years of experience in substance-abuse counseling, with a background in nonprofit, community-based services. Committed to fighting addiction from a holistic and harm reduction standpoint.

MARICELA RAMOS

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

Dedicated to collaborating with members in utilizing new strategies, and their experience with co-occurring disorders, to achieve their desired relationship with alcohol.

JONATHAN WEAN

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor with nearly nine years in the field. Extensive experience in harm reduction and medication-assisted treatment, and a great supporter of the pragmatic advantages that Ria Health provides its members.

MIKE OSBORNE

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

17 years of experience in social work and substance abuse counseling, including a decade in social services. Main counseling strengths include motivational interviewing, harm reduction, trauma-informed care, and encouraging healthy self-care.

JEFFERY D. WHITFIELD

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

Certified clinical supervisor and substance abuse counselor with over a decade in both individual and group settings. Experienced in youth counseling, crisis management, family education, and community contexts.

ANTHONY GILES

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor with a Masters in Addiction Studies. Committed to social justice and assisting individuals and families in making their own lives better.

NAMRATA PEREIRA

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

Alcohol and drug counselor since 2008. Additional experience as a program director, mentor, and most recently an aftercare supervisor, helping people adjust to life after rehab. Believes in medication as a treatment option.

LISA ALLEN

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

16 years in the substance use field, working as a Clinical Coordinator and an Outpatient Treatment Program Coordinator. Experience in both community and criminal justice settings. Committed to helping people improve their lives and futures.

KERRI J. REYES

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

Cumulative 17 years’ experience in behavioral health & addiction treatment. United States Air Force veteran and Master’s of Social and Behavioral Public Health. Passionate about meeting people ‘where they are’ by providing education, autonomy, & advocacy.

RANJIT (BOBBY) UPPAL

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

Has worked in the field of substance use disorder for the past 14 years in both individual and group settings. Passionate about helping people reconnect with themselves and work through barriers, with an emphasis on self-care and self-worth.

JANET HAUGEN

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

Over 5 years’ experience in mental health and addiction treatment, including residential, corrections, and nonprofit settings. Dedicated to supporting individuals through empowerment, advocacy, and a compassionate, person-centered approach.

MARIA MITCHELL

REGISTERED RECOVERY COACH

Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor with over a decade in social services. Takes a person-centered approach to ensure treatment goals are adapted to members’ desires and lifestyles. Experienced with motivational interviewing, MAT, and harm reduction.

Enrollment Counselors

NIKKI STERN

MANAGER OF ENROLLMENT

9 years’ coaching experience. Passionate about supporting people on their path of growth. Psychology degree and background in program development for homeless services, functional medicine, nutrition, yoga, and personal training.

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MARCELA HUCKABY

ENROLLMENT COUNSELOR

Passionate about building connections with people and supporting them on their growth journey. Background in trauma recovery, and five years in the health and wellness field.

MATT FOSTER

ENROLLMENT COUNSELOR

Army Veteran with background in substance use prevention in a military setting.Passionate about supporting fellow veterans in their treatment goals and guiding individuals through positive reinforcement.Finis Coronat Opus: “The End Crowns the Work”

CASIDY GREGORY

ENROLLMENT COUNSELOR

Background in behavioral health and education. Passionate about supporting individuals through their recovery and helping them grow along their path. Pursuing a Masters in Social Wor

FLOYETTA BATES

ENROLLMENT COUNSELOR

Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with four years’ experience in the mental and behavioral health field. Supporter of all things encouraging, particularly self-development, positive affirmations, and personal growth.

BRIANNA MORRIS

ENROLLMENT COUNSELOR

Masters in Social Work. Five years’ experience in behavioral health/crisis management. Advocate for those who are voiceless. Dedicated to providing people the tools they need for a better quality of life.

 

JESSILYNN RUIZ

ENROLLMENT COUNSELOR

Bachelors in Educational Psychology, with a background in behavioral and mental health. Passionate about helping others live life to their full potential

FELICIA THOMPSON

ENROLLMENT COUNSELOR

Bachelor’s in Human Services with a background in mental health and social services. Experienced in trauma-informed care, harm-reduction, and crisis intervention. Passionate about helping others overcome barriers and live their best life.

LATORYA DOPSON

ENROLLMENT COUNSELOR

Bachelors in Psychology, with a background in Behavioral Health. Five years of behavioral health experience. Passionate about helping others go through their journey of recovery. Mental health is not a destination but a process.

Our Administrative Team

TOM NIX

CEO

Advisor, growth consultant, CEO; Positioning, Go to market, Marketing & Sales Operations, M&A, and Analytics. CEO with successful exits.

JC MUYL

COO

Serial startup executive, expert in launching and scaling digital health products. Multiple contributions in organizations dedicated to broadening access to mental health. Hands-on experience scaling large ops across multiple segments of healthcare.

BOB NIX, PHD

CTO

Entrepreneur, Architect, Technologist; VP R&D and Principal Architect, Athena Health; CTO VP Eng. Peppercoin; Founder or CTO six more startups in fintech, enterprise software, ecommerce.

LAUREN AKINS

VP OF PEOPLE SUCCESS

10 years’ experience in tech and healthcare startups. Passionate about companies that blaze new paths and create new solutions. Dedicated to building teams that help drive that innovation, and supporting candidates on a human level.

ALISON MANKOWSKI, LCSW

VP OF CLIENT DEVELOPMENT

Background in behavioral health marketing, operations, sales, and client success. Advisor for both provider groups and digital health companies. Most recently oversaw the exponential growth of behavioral health and EAP offerings for over 40 million members nationwide at MDLIVE.

KATIE LAIN GOYATTON

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Advocate for pharmacotherapy as an empowering way to overcome alcohol dependence. Background in marketing, media and community building efforts. Personal experience with overcoming alcohol dependence using pharmacotherapy.

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FERNANDA BERNARD

CORPORATE RECRUITER

Experienced bilingual (English/Spanish) full cycle recruiter, with a demonstrated history of working in the healthcare industry. Passionate about communicating with people to uncover their goals and values, and match them with the right career move.

VICTORIA HOFF

PRACTICE MANAGER

Over 15 years in nursing and clinical practice management, including leading remote clinical teams in the telehealth industry. Passionate about serving those who care for patients, and streamlining practices so they can focus on what they do best.

JULIE MARSHALL

REVENUE CYCLE MANAGER – CLAIMS RECONCILIATION

Twenty-five years in healthcare, incuding fifteen with athenahealth as an SME in both Operations and Revenue Cycle Management. Passionate about working with companies whose mission and purpose is focused on the patient and their healthcare experiences.

 

ARIN GHARAPETIAN

DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER

Experienced digital marketer within the behavioral health industry. Strong focus on conversion rate optimization and data analysis. Professional B2B sales background, and a BA in Information Systems.

SAM XU

LEAD SOFTWARE DEVELOPER

Enthusiast in building scalable real-time systems. Backend developer for athenaText and Epocrates. Over a decade of experience working with healthcare professionals.

BRUCE HODGES

SOCIAL MEDIA

New York-based professional writer, editor, and fundraising consultant, with over three decades of experience in print and online text, public relations, and social media.

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EVAN O'DONNELL

CONTENT WRITER/EDITOR

Content writer and editor with a background in music marketing and academic research. Dedicated to bridging the “information gap,” making the abstract or complex easier to grasp.

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CHANDLER GARRETT

CUSTOMER SERVICE SPECIALIST

Background in education, with experience finding holistic solutions to meet family needs, and communicating compassionately. Highly passionate about contributing meaningfully to people’s lives, and making a positive change in the world.

ANGEL NAJERA

CUSTOMER SERVICE SPECIALIST

Positive community member with a background in customer service and a passion for helping others. Strongly believes in Ria and the lives it saves every day. “Like my team, I want to contribute and be a beacon in the world for change.”

Advisory Board

CLAUDIA CHRISTIAN

ACTOR, NCPRSS Certified

ADVISOR

Founder of C Three Foundation to help raise awareness of The Sinclair Method treatment for problem drinking. Film & Television actor with over 50 films and television roles to her credit.

WARREN BICKEL

PhD.

ADVISOR

Director, Addiction Recovery Research Center, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute; past Wilbur Mills Professor of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Prevention, Department of Psychiatry, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

CHARLES O’BRIEN

MD. PhD.

ADVISOR

Addiction and Mental Health Appel Professor and Vice Chair Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, U. Pennsylvania; Naltrexone developer; chair DSM-V committee for diagnosis of mental illness and addiction.

IVAN DIAMOND

MD. PhD.

ADVISOR

Neurology of Alcohol Addiction CSO Amygdala Neurosciences; Senior Advisor, Gilead; Prof. and Vice Chair Neurology, Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology (Emeritus), UCSF; Founding Director, Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center for neuroscience of alcohol on the human brain.

Is My Drinking Normal?

Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol.