Clinical

Dr. Venice Sanchez, M.D., Medical Director
Dr. Sanchez is a Board Certified Psychiatrist who received her Bachelor of Science degree from the UCLA, Medical Degree from Michigan State University, and Psychiatry Residency training at UCI Medical Center. Her primary focus is mood and thought imbalances and how to enable patients to regain control over their lives and successfully deal with their addictions. Dr. Sanchez works with all psychiatric diagnoses, but specializes in detox and rehab care, dual diagnoses, and PTSD. 
Dr. Rafael Penunuri, M.D.
Dr. Rafael Penunuri is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). He is a family doctor based in Newport Beach, California and is affiliated with Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and Mission Hospital, Laguna Beach. He received his medical degree from David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and has been in practice since 1985. With over 30 years of experience in general family practice and detoxification, he specializes in addiction and family medicine. 
Lauren Cabaldon, Program Director & Director of KOA Men’s Residential
laurencz1Lauren is a Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern and serves as Akua’s Program Director and the Director of KOA’s Men’s Residential Program. Lauren secured a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and also has extensive experience working in the addiction treatment industry. Lauren is passionate about helping clients get in touch with their spiritual selves and believes strongly in the power of community to promote healing and growth of the mind, body, and spirit.
Shannon Hybl, Program Director of LANI Women’s Residential
shannonz1Shannon is a MFT intern. She graduated from Vanguard University with a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Shannon is passionate about empowering individuals to find healing and restoration. “There is nothing more rewarding than to be invited into someone’s pain and to watch them grow and experience the freedom from their bondages,” she says. Shannon also specializes in dealing with people struggling with addiction, depression, anxiety and relational issues.
Eaman Saddaifard, Program Director of Detox MAHALO & ALOHA
eamanz1Eaman is the Director of Detox at Akua. He brings over six years of experience in substance abuse treatment to his position. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, with an emphasis in philosophy of psychology and phenomenology of addiction, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work. Eaman is passionate about helping those who struggle with addiction and wish to transform their lives through successful recovery.
Kari Penso, Program Director of  OHANA Intensive Outpatient Program
kariz1Kari is a Certified Addiction Specialist who is dedicated to helping all who seek recovery find the courage to fight their addiction. With a Master’s Degree in Education from Azusa Pacific University, Kari brings over twenty years of teaching experience to her various roles in addiction treatment. Passionate about 12 Step recovery, Kari employs a no-nonsense approach to the realities of addiction while sharing her deep respect and compassion for those embarking on their life-changing journey.
Terrah Osborne, Associate Director of Detox MAHALO & ALOHA
terrahz1Terrah obtained her license in Vocational Nursing from Northwest College. She has clinical experience in a variety of specialties, including psychiatric/mental health, surgical, pediatric, gastrointestinal, and community health care, and plans to further her education to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Her ultimate goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner.  Terrah’s medical capability and caring approach make clients feel personally cared for and safe as she nurtures them towards their recovery.
Kevin Woolums, Program Therapist of KOA Men’s Residential
kevin2 Kevin received his Master’s degree in MFT at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and is currently working on his PhD in Depth Psychology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute. With over eight years of experience working in youth, crisis, family, and addiction treatment, Kevin emphasizes an existential and depth psychological orientation designed to strengthen the self-concept and empower clients to experience transformation. His approach is both practical and suitable for people with different conditions.

Kristen Torp, Program Therapist
599kirtenKristen is a MFT Registered Intern and a Practitioner of Clinical Counseling Registered Intern. She received both her BA and Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology (with an emphasis in MFT) from Azusa Pacific University. Kristen also completed the coursework for the Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling at CSUDH and utilizes the Humanistic and Existential models of therapy and a holistic approach. She is passionate about the holistic approach to recovery from addiction.

Jordin Tate, Case Manager
JordinTateJordin discovered a passion for working in the addiction field as a result of a personal experience in 2011. After earning her CADC, Jordin began helping women understand the issues that surround the cycle of addiction, such as self-esteem, body image, healthy relationships, and communication. Some of the women struggling with such issues have a history of abuse. She is committed to helping women transform into their authentic selves and create a fulfilling life of recovery.

Erika Ball, Case Manager
Erika Ball is a Case Manager at the Ohana IOP at Akua. She received her Certification in Substance Abuse and Addictions in 2014 and her Bachelor’s in Human Services in 2016. She completed the coursework for her CADC at New Creation College. Erika is an active member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention of Orange County. She is passionate about raising awareness on mental health and addictions and helping eliminate the stigma attached to it.

Jennifer Newman, Program Therapist at Lani Women’s Residential

Jennifer is a registered MFT intern who had graduated in Clinical Psychology. She is a holistic health coach and has received additional training in Trauma Focused Yoga. Her focus in working with clients is mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. She feels that addiction is best addressed for a person and a group through individual therapy. She comes from a mindfulness and vipassana meditation background and leads meditation groups across all our locations.

Leslie Chappelle, Case Manager
Leslie is the Case Manager at Akua’s Detox program. She has been working in the field of recovery since 2010 and brings with her years of experience helping struggling addicts and alcoholics take their first steps toward a new way of life. Leslie is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor and is passionate about supporting and encouraging Akua clients while they work toward a healthy and happy future in recovery.

Sam Seaton, Clinical Therapist
samz1Samantha is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, who specializes in addiction, eating disorders, and relationships. She comes from a depth psychology orientation, using image and dream-work along with relational work to help clients find their truest selves. She believes one’s symptoms and addictions can be their greatest guide to healing if they are brave enough to face them. Her approach leads her to deliver an experience that is longer-lasting and has a profound impact.

Tiare Brock, Trauma Therapist
tiarez1Tiare is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in the field of trauma and addiction. She earned her Master’s degree in Counseling from the CSUF. Tiare worked as a victim advocate in the felony sex crime unit with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for 12 years. She currently works in a private practice and also facilitates therapy sessions for several residential treatment facilities in the Newport Beach and Costa Mesa area.

Brandon Joffe, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Brandon began his career with addiction counseling at the Substance Abuse Foundation in 2001. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Brandon deals with addiction issues, eating disorders, anger management problems, and significant mental health disorders. He has developed Inspired Resolutions, a center dedicated to families and teens. His dedication towards the integration of fitness, nutrition, and mental/physical health allows his clients to take ownership of their life goals and develop a spiritual approach to recovery.

Christina Milucky, Clinical Therapist
christinaz1Christina is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, Case Manager, and MFT Intern. She earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. For the past six years, Christina has worked in both residential and outpatient facilities helping countless individuals, couples, and families, find their own path in the recovery process. Christina currently works at a private practice and also facilitates several groups focused on relapse prevention and the recovery process.
Gina Zulegar, Licensed Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist
ginaz1Gina, a voracious researcher and persistent academic, is both an educator and healer. Through the use of acupuncture, herbs, nutritional supplements, and dietary suggestions, Gina helps clients work through the recovery process and the wide variety of imbalances associated with it, particularly digestive issues, pain, sleep difficulties, hormonal dysfunction, and stress management. This treatment plan also includes massage therapy, which is a powerful technique to speed up recovery.
Kellyann Linehan, Yoga Instructor
kellyannz1Kellyann has been a Yoga Therapy instructor in the rehabilitation arena for seven years. She helps clients find a quality of life through healing Yin yoga, specializing in working with people in recovery. Specifically, Kellyann’s classes influence people who struggle with dependencies, helping them find new hope through healing breath and meditative postures. Her approach is to guide each client through the different layers involved to meet body requirements. Kellyann teaches a restorative and vinyasa flow style practice that provides physical and mental balance.
Tami Broderick, Registered Dietician
tamiz1Tami earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Administration from CSULB. Her expertise is in the areas of nutrition as it relates to mental health and addiction, weight loss, food sensitivities, sports nutrition, and disease management with an emphasis on diabetes care. She worked as a dietician at the Sports Club/LA in Orange County for several years, followed by private practice for over 10 years. She keeps herself updated with cutting edge research in this field.
Matthew Graber, Clinical Technician
mattz1Matthew brings over eight years of hands-on drug and alcohol detoxification experience to Akua. He was previously employed by social services, interacting with various agencies to supply aid for the needy and underprivileged. Matthew’s warm and caring approach to his job creates a feeling of safety and trust for the clients he meets on daily basis. Matthew oversees any and all client needs, including monitoring their medications and encouraging their detoxification progress.
Elizabeth Irving, Group Facilitator
Elizabeth is a Certified Yoga instructor and a Reiki II Practitioner with experience in addiction recovery. She believes that mindfulness is the key to understanding one’s self and paving a path through recovery that is authentic and sustainable. Elizabeth loves to blend science and spirituality in her holistic approach to mindfulness meditation, and believes that people’s capacity to heal one another with open hearts and open minds is the greatest miracle there is.