Kelly Lynne Harris has worked in the Behavioral Health industry for 21 years and is thrilled to be a part of Akua! Kelly Lynne moved to Laguna Beach CA, from New Jersey , in 2002 and started her career as a house mom for adolescents struggling with addiction. From there, she worked her way to positions such as Admissions Director and Utilization Review Director. Kelly Lynne studied at Temple University and went on to become a Nationally Certified Interventionist, doing hundreds of crisis interventions for those struggling with mental health or substance abuse.
Being in recovery herself, Kelly Lynne understands how important a smooth and stress-free transition into treatment is and wants to provide all of our clients with the chance to take their life back!
Nichole has over 15 years of experience in healthcare, 10 of which are in the area of neuroscience, acute psychiatric and substance use disorder. As the Director of Business Development at both Southern California Neuroscience & Spine and the Brain & Spine Institute of California, she was part of the clinical study teams for two different surgical methods. Nichole has been on the leadership team at three different acute psych hospitals. At Pacific Grove Hospital, she was both the Director of Admissions and Director of Business Development, at Aurora Charter Oak Hospital, she was the Interim COO and Director of Business Development, and most recently she was the Director of Business Development at Del Amo Behavioral Health Hospital. Nichole is currently working on her doctoral project for her PsyD at Cal Southern University where she will graduate Magna cum laude in September 2024. Nichole's mission is to help people navigate the complexities of the healthcare system and get them the right treatment so that they can continue to live a healthy life.
Camille graduated from Western Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in business and has completed her AODS education through San Diego City College. Camille is in the application process for the CADC II certification through CCAPP. Camille has been working in the treatment industry since 2016 and her passion for helping others through the cycle of addiction is undeniable. Camille’s ability to connect to a diverse group of people, while aiding in the transition period with our clients, helps to lesson relapse potential when transitioning into the AKUA alumni program. Through her case management and community outreach experience, Camille has been able to develop close relationships with several facilities in the San Diego area. Her vast resources aid our clients and alumni for ongoing support post treatment in hopes of providing the highest-level of accountability. Camille has proven to provide encouragement, unity, and greater integration throughout the recovery community in San Diego and within the AKUA alumni program. With numerous weekly meetings and ongoing monthly events, the AKUA alumni program continues to show great success. With our strong community, we can process together, have fun together, and ultimately, recover together.
“Erika has spent the past few years in Business Development within the Eating Disorder field using both her own personal recovery and community outreach to help those struggling to find the healing and resources they need.
With a background in Fashion Marketing & Design, she has always had a passion for helping others. Through her own recovery journey, she’s dedicated her life to helping others and over the past 11 years she’s volunteered to run support groups and loves to support fellow Recovery Warriors all over Southern California. She is excited to continue to support those seeking their own healing and working alongside a team passionate about doing the same. What Erika loves most about this work is the ability to continue to give back to the community and make real change in the fight against Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Eating Disorders and help to stop the negative impact they have on the lives of so many.”
I hold a B.A. in psychology from CSU Stanislaus and have accumulated over 7 years of experience in the mental health field. My roles have been diverse, ranging from being a team leader in a psychiatric facility to serving as a counselor in group homes for teenagers and kids. I've also worked as a benefits specialist in an outpatient mental health clinic for the homeless and as a client development specialist in admissions and outreach for an augmented residential board and care.
My motivation for working in behavioral health stems from its importance. I am also driven by a passion for assisting others. My ultimate goal is to ensure that everyone has the resources needed to access mental health treatment.
Anthony Gabaldon began his behavioral health journey in 2005. After being around the behavioral health community, he decided to return to school in 2010 earning a nursing license 2012. Beginning his career in behavioral health he worked as a detox and psychiatric nurse. In 2015, he transitioned to administration working in admission, case management and utilization. Anthony was offered the opportunity to work in business development in 2018 for an acute behavioral health hospital in California. In a short time, he found a real passion for connecting with clients, families and professionals in the community. He found that he could make a difference helping people get to the proper level of care they need. Currently he has returned to school pursuing his bachelor in communications and business. Over the past 5 years he has formed relationships with professionals throughout Southern California. His personal goal is to connect public and private industry and to better serve his community. He has created a large network of professional relationships with community members who share the same beliefs; The belief that regardless of how far their disease has taken them, if given the opportunity they can recover.
Elisa was born and raised in South Florida and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a BA in Communication. After 14 years as a 9th Grade English Teacher, She decided to change careers to work in Addiction and Mental Health. A choice inspired by her own recovery journey. Elisa has 12 years of long-term sobriety with a sober date of 9/19/2011. Recovery has also given her a purpose of service and helping others. She was involved in charity work for years and in 2013-2014 became Palm Beach's Finest Women Of The Year For Cystic Fibrosis for raising thousands of dollars for CF. Also, Elisa was one of the founding members of Women Empowering Women Palm Beach where they sent several young women in recovery to college. Elisa has over 10 years doing Business Development in all levels of care and feels that working in this field is truly a passion and a purpose!
Garrett is a United States Marine Corps Disabled Veteran who served in Afghanistan. Garrett has 6 years of behavioral health case management experience. He has worked at My Family Incorporated (MFI) in Riverside County as a Substance Abuse Counselor/Case Manager. He then pursued an Outreach Career at Social Work Action Group (SWAG) for the chronically homeless. Garrett became the substance abuse expert for the organization, and then the Outreach Coordinator for the Lake Elsinore Team. While he provided guidance and leadership for the Outreach team, he also managed the Crisis Stabilization/Emergency Shelter, named “The Anchor”. Garrett is committed to bringing organizations together to help those that are struggling with mental health and substance abuse and has a supreme focus on our Active Duty Military Personnel and Veterans.
Nathan Blacksmith is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of Lake Traverse South Dakota. Nathan is a second-generation urban American Indian. A result of his grandparents’ Elmer & Martha St. John’s, participation in the Indian re-location act of 1956, which moved his family from the Lake Traverse reservation to Oakland, Ca.
Nathan holds a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with an emphasis in leadership, a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and possess extensive experience and education in traditional healing practices and the substance use disorder field.
Nathan currently serves as the Sacramento Native American Health Center’s, Chief Traditional Health Officer, where he leads the integration of American Indian Traditional Medicines, values and teachings into all programs & services offered as SNAHC. Nathan previously served on the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Native American Health Center, served as Deputy Director for Friendship House Association of American Indians and provides consulting services focused on culture and traditional healing practices.
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.