2018 Speakers

Joseph A. Cabaret MD
Joseph Cabaret is chief medical officer and co-founder of A Healing Place—The Estates in Camarillo, California, and its “triple diagnosis” specialty program for chronic pain, psychological disorders, and substance use treatment. Cabaret is a triple-boarded physician who has nearly 25 years of experience in pain and addiction medicine. He is a fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and a diplomat of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management and the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians.

Nate Auvenshine
Lieutenant Nathan “Nate” Auvenshine has been with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office since 1996. During that time he has held positions in Patrol, SWAT, Training and, since 2015, the commanding officer of the “Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking Task Force” (a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional taskforce). Lt. Auvenshine is also the team commander for both the YCSO Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team and the YCSO “Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team,” since 2012. Lt. Auvenshine is a certified Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) instructor in several areas and disciplines. Lt. Auvenshine has been teaching in the field of law enforcement since 2001. Lt. Auvenshine also taught as an adjunct instructor in administration of justice at Yavapai College from 2002-2014. He is certified by the Force Science Research Center as a Use of Force Analyst and specializes in Use of Force training for both law enforcement and civilians. Lt. Auvenshine earned a bachelor’s of science degree in criminal justice with a minor in sociology from Northern Arizona University (class of 1995).

Andrea Barthwell MD, DFASAM
Dr. Andrea Grubb Barthwell is Founder and CEO of Two Dreams, a comprehensive wellness center for the treatment of alcoholism and substance use disorders. She is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Washington, D.C.-based global healthcare and policy-consulting firm EMGlobal LLC. Barthwell served as Deputy Director for Demand Reduction in the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George W. Bush from 2002 to 2004. Her current work is focused on developing strategies to expand access to treatment for opioid dependence disorder, expanding practitioner knowledge of urine drug testing in the identification and treatment of substance use disorders, and helping individuals and families prevent substance use disorders with the lecture series, “The Parents Academy.” Barthwell received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wesleyan University and a medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. In 2003, she received the Betty Ford Award from the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse. In 1997, her peers named her one of the "Best Doctors in America" in addiction medicine.

Claudia Black PhD
Claudia Black is the recipient of numerous national awards including the 2014 Father Joseph C. Martin Professional Excellence Award, the NAADAC 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Washington School of Social Work, the 2010 Conway Hunter Award for excellence in the field of addictions and the 2012 Robert Rehmar Addiction Professional Award. She has been a keynote speaker on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., as well as on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. Her workshops have been presented to a wide range of audiences including military academies, prison systems, medical schools and mental health and addiction programs. Black has extensive multi-cultural experiences working with agencies and audiences in Japan, Brazil, Australia, Scotland, Iceland, Germany, England and Canada. She is the author of: It Will Never Happen To Me, Changing Course, My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has A Disease, Repeat After Me, Relapse Toolkit, A Hole in the Sidewalk, Depression Strategies, Straight Talk, Family Strategies, Anger Strategies, Deceived: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Lies and Secrets, The Truth Begins With You, Intimate Treason and her most recent book, Unspoken Legacy.

Sarah Bridge LCSW
Sarah Bridge LCSW, has been working in the mental health field as a clinical social worker for over 30 years specializing in addiction and trauma recovery. In addition to her private practice, Bridge has lectured with world renown author and clinician Pia Mellody on her post induction therapy (PIT) treatment model for trauma and codependency. In 2017, Bridge was hired by the Meadows to be the primary trainer of the PIT model to both staff and outside clinicians. She also conducts experiential family or origin trauma intensives for clients. Additionally, she has worked at inpatient settings including UCLA’s neuropsychiatric institute and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

John Briere PhD
John Briere, PhD. is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, and Director of the Psychological Trauma Program at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. He is past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. He is a past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), and recipient of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Science of Trauma Psychology (APA), the Robert S. Laufer Memorial Award for Scientific Achievement (ISTSS), and the Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Child Psychology (Mayo Clinic). He is Director of the USC Adolescent Trauma Training Center of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. His website is: johnbriere.com

Haley Coles
Haley Coles is the founder and executive director of Sonoran Prevention Works. She has advocated for drug user health since 2006 in rural and urban areas both in Arizona and Washington State. Her work with vulnerable populations has been recognized by Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona and Governor Jay Inslee of Washington. She sits on several state-level advisory groups for the prevention of overdose and HIV, develops harm reduction curriculum, and pursues policy change to improve public health and health equity.

Mary Gina Connelly
Dr. Connelly is Board Certified in obstetrics/gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine. Her main clinical interests are maternal and fetal affects of diabetes mellitus in pregnancy, autoimmune disease in pregnancy and prenatal diagnosis of fetal abnormalities.

She received her medical degree and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Arizona, and her maternal-fetal medicine fellowship at the University of Arizona and Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix.

In addition to practicing at TMCObstetrics, Dr. Connelly actively participates in the obstetrics/gynecology residency program at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Connelly is a well-respected provider at TMCObstetrics and has been nominated two years in a row by the clinical staff at Tucson Medical Center as one of their favorite doctors to work with.

Bennet E. Davis MD
Bennet E. Davis, MD, is the director of the pain recovery program at Sierra Tucson and chief medical officer for the Arizona Business Coalition on Health. He practiced pain medicine and directed the University of Arizona Pain Institute, later co-founding the Integrative Pain Center of Arizona. Davis is particularly interested in primary care and co-investigated the first National Institutes of Health online Pain Medicine CME program for primary care physicians. Additionally, he is the medical director of the Weitzman Institute’s Project ECHO for pain care. Board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine, he has received numerous awards. Davis completed his undergraduate work at Stanford University and received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University. He then trained in orthopedic surgery and anesthesiology at the University of New Mexico and University of California, Irvine


Michael DeLeon
Michael DeLeon, FBI, Special Agent in Charge, Phoenix Division.

Michael Grafton
Michael Grafton, Diversion Program Manager of the Drug Enforcement Administration Phoenix Field Division, started with DEA in 1990 as a Diversion Investigator in Chicago, Illinois. Over the next 14 years he worked in the Chicago Field Division as an investigator and a group supervisor. DPM Grafton subsequently worked as staff coordinator in DEA-Headquarters, Diversion-Liaison and Policy Section. Since 2008, he has served in the Phoenix Field Division as a Diversion Group Supervisor and Diversion Program Manager.

Stephen F. Grinstead Dr. AD, LMFT, ACRPS
Stephen F. Grinstead is chief clinical officer and co-founder of A Healing Place—The Estates in Camarillo, California, and its “triple diagnosis” specialty program. Grinstead has specialized experience in pain management, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and coexisting mental and personality disorders. He advocates having patients play an active role in the recovery process. Additionally, he has conducted seminars and trainings for more than 40,000 healthcare providers over the last 20 years.

Pamela Harmell PhD
Pamela H. Harmell, PhD, is a national lecturer specializing in legal and ethical issues in clinical practice. A professor at the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology, she has written extensively in professional publications on ethical practice. Hamell is a former chair of the California Psychological Association State Ethics Committee and is the current co-chair and past-president of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association Ethics Committee.

John Koch
John Koch is the Peer Support Programs Manager with Community Medical Services. As a person in long-term recovery, Koch shares his story to empower hope and help change the way people look at substance use disorders. He developed the Peer Support Program within Community Medical Services and is developing educational programs within the Maricopa County Jail.

Jim Kreitler MS, LASAC
After a successful 29-year corporate career, Jim Kreitler answered a calling to serve those with addictions in 2008. Since then, he has served in many capacities, including residential unit staff member, intake director, licensed counselor and, since 2012, CEO of Calvary Healing Center, a state licensed and accredited residential facility with all levels of care. Calvary is a contracted in-network insurance provider that relies on its reputation and local relationships for referrals. Kreitler is also pursuing his doctorate at Grand Canyon University.

Melissia Larson
Melissia Larson is Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Coordinator (LEAD-C), overseeing Fayetteville's (NC) Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program. She works on expanding LEAD and helps oversee NCHRC's law enforcement projects. Larson is an experienced public safety project manager with 16 years experience serving as lead on a variety of issues. During her work with a sheriff’s office in eastern North Carolina, she implemented over 60 projects and served as project director for several innovative state and federal initiatives focusing on domestic violence, mental health diversion, and human trafficking. While it is difficult for her to pick her most rewarding project involvement, she has been at the forefront for law enforcement implementation in her state for installing permanent drop-off boxes for unwanted prescription pills and the law enforcement deployment of naloxone. In 1995, she received her BS in criminal justice from Mount Olive College. She continues her professional training as a frequent attendee at seminars and conferences. As a law enforcement representative, she has served on various boards focusing on public health issues such as sex work and human trafficking, overdose prevention, child fatality prevention, substance use and misuse, and traffic safety.

John Leavitt
Captain John Leavitt joined the Tucson Police Department as a Reserve Police Officer in 1982, where he served while a student at the University of Arizona. He became a salaried officer in 1985, working in patrol assignments. As he was promoted through the ranks, he worked a wide variety of assignments, including SWAT Commander, various investigative commands, narcotics enforcement, and administrative assignments. He has been in senior command assignments for over 23 years. Last year Captain Leavitt became the Commander of the Counter Narcotics Alliance, a HIDTA initiative in the Tucson area, comprised of state, local, county, and federal law enforcement agencies. In addition to maintaining the high level of enforcement activities from the alliance, he has been engaged in expanding its influence throughout the community, becoming part of the region’s drug education, prevention, and treatment efforts. Captain Leavitt holds a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Arizona, a master of education from Northern Arizona University, and certificates from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Police Executive Leadership Institute, the Senior Management Institute for Police, and the Eller College of Management. He is an adjunct instructor in the School of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Arizona, teaching police management. He is a certified ethics instructor for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and for the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board.

Adrienne Lindsey MA, DBH
Adrienne Lindsey, MA, DBH, serves as Principal Manager for Interprofessional Curricula and Training for Arizona State University’s (ASU) Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy, with faculty affiliate appointments in the School of Social Work and College of Health Solutions. She earned her doctorate in integrated behavioral health from ASU after obtaining a master of arts in psychology from Northwest University. She serves as a senior trainer for the Pacific Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer and a guest lecturer for the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine. Lindsey is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers.

Shana Malone

Stephen McGuigan

Dawn Mertz
Dawn Mertz has served as the Executive Director of the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) since June 2015. The HIDTA Program is a grant-funded initiative of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which provides assistance to Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug trafficking regions of the United States.

Prior to her appointment as Executive Director of the Arizona HIDTA, Ms. Mertz spent 27 years as a criminal investigator for the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS CI) Division. In February 2010, she was appointed Special Agent in Charge for the IRS CI Phoenix Field Office, where she was responsible for planning, directing, and evaluating activities of criminal investigation employees in the states of Arizona and New Mexico. During her time as Special Agent in Charge, Ms. Mertz served on the Executive Boards of the Arizona and New Mexico HIDTAs. She retired from the IRS in May 2015.

Ms. Mertz began her career as a Special Agent in Phoenix, working in Arizona for ten years followed by two years in Nevada. As a Special Agent for IRS CI, Ms. Mertz investigated a variety of financial crimes, which included money laundering, structuring, income tax evasion, and tax fraud. The focus of her money laundering cases included narcotics investigations and telemarketing fraud, as well as asset forfeiture.

As a Supervisory Special Agent in Fresno, California, Ms. Mertz supervised a group responsible for financial investigations in the Central Valley of California, including Fresno, Bakersfield, Modesto, and surrounding communities. She then worked at IRS headquarters in Washington D.C., as a Senior Analyst in the Planning and Strategy Section, before returning to Arizona in 2008 as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the IRS CI Phoenix Field Office.

Dawn Noggle PhD
Dawn Noggle, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with specialization in trauma- informed care and has served as an administrator, consultant, researcher, and professor. She is the Mental Health Director and Justice and Community Partnerships Strategist for Maricopa County Correctional Health Services (CHS), Co-Chair of the Smart Justice Committee, and the key leader in Maricopa County’s Stepping Up, a national initiative to reduce incarceration of the mentally ill and substance misusing population. She leads the Justice-Involved Women’s Initiative, which includes a seven-week intensive treatment program for women, and Mosaic, addressing substance use and other criminogenic risk factors. Dr. Noggle is a founding member of the Arizona Mental Health and Criminal Justice Coalition, which brings together family members and individuals with lived experience with justice and behavioral health agency staff. She has collaborated on various grant-funded initiatives including a Bureau of Justice Assistance grant focused on justice-involved women to provide trauma-informed care training and to improve service delivery, implementing a gender-specific, trauma-informed, criminogenic needs responsive approach. Most recently she has been appointed to the Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care Board, designed to promote community-wide planning, coordination, oversight and strategic use of resources to address homelessness. Dr. Noggle is dedicated to collaborations and initiatives aimed at improving the lives of justice-involved individuals, specifically those with increased vulnerability due to mental illness, substance misuse, homelessness, and other contributing disparities.

Kyle Penniman MSW, LISAC, CADAC
With over 20 years of clinical and leadership experience in the behavioral health field, Kyle has spent nearly a decade providing training and consultation to behavioral health professionals who serve LGBTQ individuals and families. He has been an active leader with various state and local initiatives, and in 2009, created Stonewall Institute Outpatient Treatment Center in Phoenix. Penniman is an independently licensed counselor through the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. In 2016, he was presented with Sierra Tucson’s annual Spirit Award for his outstanding contribution to the LGBTQ community.

Mel Pohl is a board-certified family practitioner and Chief Medical Officer of Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC). Pohl was a major force in developing the center’s Chronic Pain Recovery Program. He is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). He is the former chairman of ASAM’s AIDS Committee, a member of the planning committee for ASAM’s annual “Common Threads, Pain and Addiction” course, and co-chair of ASAM’s Pain and Addiction Workgroup. Additionally, Pohl is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. He was elected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Doctors in America from 2009 to present.

Mitch Prager
Mitch Prager has been helping people recover from the disease of alcoholism and addiction since opening Soberman’s Estate in 1998. He also founded Hospitality Career Services, a consulting firm that exclusively serves the hotel industry and now provides consulting services to the addiction and alcohol treatment industry. Additionally, the Society of American Magicians presented the Alliance of Harry Houdini award to Prager in 2011. During the 1980s, Mitch performed magic professionally in Las Vegas while earning his bachelor’s degree in hotel administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Today, Prager utilizes magical affects as visual aids in nearly all his presentations.

Sara Salek
Sara Salek, MD, has been the Chief Medical Officer for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) since June 2014. In her current role, Dr. Salek oversees all clinical operations for the AHCCCS Division of Health Care Management and the Division of Fee for Service Management, including quality management, medical management, dental, and pharmacy services. Specific initiatives aimed at improvement of service delivery include addressing controlled prescription drug prescribing, improving services to children with autism spectrum disorder, and improving service delivery to children and families involved with the Department of Child Safety. Dr. Salek grew up in Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She completed the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training Program at Boston Children’s Hospital through Harvard Medical School. Dr. Salek is board certified in both psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry.

Amy Scott LCSW, CEDS
Amy Scott is a licensed clinical social worker currently serving as clinical director for University Park Behavioral Health at the Cascade, Colorado, residential treatment care program. The Cascade program serves women in early recovery from drugs and alcohol. The focus at Cascade is on individualized, holistic treatment of the underlying traumatic events. Scott is trained in eye movement desensitization reprocessing and is a certified eating disorder specialist. A graduate from the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work in 2003, she has been working in the mental health and substance use disorder field for 14 years as a clinical therapist.

Jeffrey T. Scott
A twenty-year veteran of DEA, Phoenix Field Division (PFD) Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Jeffrey Scott earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree from the College of William and Mary, before attending George Mason University School of Law and becoming a member of the Virginia Bar. ASAC Scott was hired by DEA in May 1995, and was assigned as a Special Agent to the Los Angeles Field Division. He was later transferred to the Port Au Prince Country Office/Caribbean Field Division, before returning to domestic law enforcement at the Louisville District Office, and then promoting to a Group Supervisor position in the PFD, Tucson District Office. During his domestic assignments, ASAC Scott worked a myriad of drug investigations, including Title III investigations, undercover cases, historical conspiracy investigations, maritime smuggling cases, and state and local impact cases. While overseas, ASAC Scott developed far-reaching and complex initiatives targeting emerging Haitian drug cartels, and as a supervisor, he oversaw the creation of and led the Tucson OCDETF Strike Force, which focused on conspiracy investigations involving Mexican cartels and smuggling groups operating on the Southwest border. Prior to his 2013 promotion to the ASAC of the El Paso Division, where he oversaw the Alpine and Midland Resident Offices, the Tactical Diversion Squad, the OCDETF Cross-Border Violence Group (CBVG) and other Division enforcement and administrative elements, he was assigned to the DEA Office of Congressional and Public Affairs in Washington, DC. In this position, he provided support and oversight to DEA-related news, media, and entertainment projects, and was featured on National Geographic Channel, War Stories with Oliver North, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

Doug Skvarla
Doug Skvarla was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Duquesne University. He has been in the pharmacy profession for 22 years. Upon completion of college, Skvarla moved to Tucson and worked briefly as a mail order clinical pharmacist, and the majority of his professional life has been in retail pharmacy, where he has held roles ranging from staff pharmacist to divisional manager. In 2016, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey appointed Skavrla as a member of the Board of Pharmacy, where he served until August 2017. At that time, Skavrla resigned his seat on the board to begin his role as director of the Controlled Substance Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Since then Skavrla has become a member of the Governor’s Goal Council 3 and Rx Core Group, helping write the new Arizona Opioid Prescribing Guidelines. Additionally, he is part of the Rx Initiatives Health Care Advisory Team and the Opioid Regulatory Workgroup headed by Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. All of these groups have the same goal: to fight the opioid epidemic and make communities safer.

Lisa Villarroel MD, MPH
Dr. Lisa Villarroel serves as the Medical Director for the Division of Preparedness for the Arizona Department of Health Services. She received her bachelors in biology at Princeton University and her doctor of medicine at Northwestern University before getting her masters in public health and becoming board certified in family medicine in Phoenix. In addition to her work at the health department, she is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a practicing locum tenens.

Michael White MCJ
Michael White has worked in the field of substance abuse for over eight years along with two years in family services. White graduated from Arizona State University with a Master’s in Criminal Justice. Michael specializes in program development between community agencies and judicial systems and has developed, implemented and supported the integration of medication-assisted treatment into county and state correctional facilities located in Alaska, Arizona, Montana and North Dakota. White has been successful at developing a collective impact model to support system partners who historically did not coordinate with MAT. His experience includes working within family courts and the state Department of Child Safety, and obtaining resources for pregnant women who are struggling with substance use disorders. Michael is a national presenter in the areas of collective impact as an effective tool for the continuum of care, pregnancy and opioid dependence, along with utilizing medication-assisted treatment for incarcerated offenders.