Renee Amacher
Renee Amacher
Director of Marketing and Development
Meridian HealthCare
Renee M. Amacher has been the Director of Marketing and Development at Meridian HealthCare, an integrated healthcare organization in Ohio, for the last five years. In that time, Amacher has been responsible for helping rebrand the agency, along with improving the reputation throughout the community. She works to develop media relationships and attract new funders and private donations. She also oversees community relations, grant writing and event planning for the agency.

Thomas Baier
Thomas Baier
Behavioral Health Consultant/Trainer
Self Employed
Tom Baier is a consultant, trainer and clinical supervisor. He serves as adjunct faculty for the Villanova University Certificate Program in Alcohol and Drug Counseling where he was a Program Coordinator for 10 years. He also taught in the Drexel University College of Nursing & Health professions in behavioral health. Baier is the past president of the board of directors for the Pennsylvania Certification Board, where he continues to serve on the board of directors and chairs its education committee and serves on the ethics committee. For four years, he served as the Pennsylvania delegate to the International Credentialing and Reciprocity Consortium and the co-chair for the clinical supervision credential committee. Tom is a recipient of the Lorraine Hinkle Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the field of drug and alcohol treatment awarded by Villanova University and holds a master’s degree in Human Services. His other credentials include: Licensed Professional Counselor, State Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and Certified Clinical Supervisor.

Lakesha Bennett
Lakesha Bennett PhD
Business Development Administrator
Panacea Healthcare
Dr. Rodriguez received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, and master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the Carlos Albizu University. Consistently working with a diverse population of individuals and families, her wide range of experience includes helping clients struggling with substance abuse, family dysfunction, co-occurring disorders, and trauma. Additionally, Dr. Rodríguez has taught undergraduate courses as adjunct faculty and conducted psychological evaluations in private practice. She is fluent in Spanish and English.

Jeffrey Berman, MD, DFASAM
Jeffrey Berman, MD, DFASAM
Medical Director, Department of Addiction Psychiatry
SOBA College Recovery

Kenneth Blum
Kenneth Blum BSc, MSc, PhD, DHL
Chairman of Board and Chief Scientific Officer
Geneus Health, LLC
In 1995 Kenneth Blum retired from the University of Texas Health Science Center to enter the world of business and biotechnology. Blum continues to publish research articles and books and is actively pursuing numerous patents in the field of molecular genetics and nutrition. He is an active scientific director of the Path Medical Foundation. His concept of “reward deficiency syndrome” is being embraced in science and is part of the DSM-5. He serves as Editor in Chief of The Journal of Reward Deficiency Syndrome & Addictive Sciences and is currently serving on 12 other editorial boards. Additionally, he teaches at the department of psychiatry and McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida College of Medicine, at the University of Vermont Center for Clinical and Translational Science and at the department of psychiatry for the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Blum also has been named honorary lifetime full professor in the department of psychology at Eötvös Loránd University, located in Budapest, Hungary. He currently serves as neuroscience advisor for Dominion Diagnostics.

Gregory Branch
Gregory Branch MD
Public Information Officer
Director of the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. Gregory Branch is the Director of Health and Human Services for Baltimore County. As a native of New York City, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Branch completed his training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in the William Osler Internal Medicine Residency Program. In addition, he received his Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Baltimore Merrick School of Business. Dr. Branch has practiced medicine for over 20 years. He is nationally recognized as a Certified Physician Executive and is currently on the faculty at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

Lawrence R.  Brown Jr. MD, MPH, FASAM
Lawrence R. Brown Jr. MD, MPH, FASAM
START Treatment & Recovery Centers
Dr. Brown, the Chief Executive Officer of START Treatment & Recovery Centers, has a MD from the NYU School of Medicine and a MPH from the Columbia University School of Public Health. He has appointments as Associate Physician, Rockefeller University Hospital and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Medical College, Cornell University. A member of NYS’s Public Health and Health Planning Council and the Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council, previously served on the Board of Directors of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD), and as President, American Society of Addiction Medicine. He has served on various governmental committees with over 100 peer-reviewed published reports related to addiction consequences and improving substance abuse treatment. The New York Academy of Medicine, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and CPDD have bestowed the distinction of Fellow on Dr. Brown.

Amanda Burnside
Amanda Burnside MA, ATR
Art Therapist
Retreat at Lancaster County
Amanda Burnside is a Team Therapist and Art Therapist at the Retreat at Lancaster County, an inpatient setting for adults with addiction disorders. She earned her master’s degree in art therapy and is currently working toward obtaining Licensed Professional Counselor degree. During her graduate program, Burnside fulfilled two internships at the Retreat and now plays a major role in its art therapy program.

Osvaldo Cabral
Osvaldo Cabral
MA, LPC, LAC, Director of Operations
The Lookout Boulder
Osvaldo Cabral, MA, LPC, LAC has worked as a primary therapist and in Executive Leadership since 2002. He has worked in various treatment settings to include residential, intensive outpatient, DUI/substance abuse programs, domestic violence, sex offender clinics, community mental health centers and the chronically mentally ill. Areas of expertise include Aggression Replacement Training, CBT, DBT, trauma-focused therapies and working with co-occurring disorders. He has worked with a variety of clients and age groups, including the Spanish-speaking population.

Fatina  Cannon
Fatina Cannon
Clinical Director
NorthStar Transitions
Fatina Cannon came to the addiction field by way of trauma research and a desire to empower others who were self-harming through substance and addiction based processes. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, holds a Master Addiction Counselor and Certified Addiction Counselor II certifications, and is a Registered Dance Movement Therapist with the American Dance Therapy Association. Additionally, she is committed to guiding the therapeutic team at NorthStar to deliver cutting edge and client centered addiction treatment.

Deni Carise
Deni Carise PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Recovery Centers of America
Deni Carise is a clinical psychologist and has been part of the recovery community for over 30 years. She is currently the chief clinical officer of Recovery Centers of America (RCA), and helped raise $350 million for this start-up company. Previously, she held leadership positions at CRC Health Group, Sierra Tucson, Phoenix House, and was a National Institutes of Health-funded scientist. Carise has published over 100 articles, books and chapters and has been an adjunct clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. She has worked internationally with treatment providers in Nigeria, Mexico, Thailand, Egypt, Greece, Singapore, Brazil and China to develop national systems of clinical treatment delivery.

Kenneth Carter
Kenneth Carter M.D., M.P.H.
Medical Director
Kenneth Carter is board certified in Psychiatry, completing his psychiatry residency at Jacobi Hospital/Albert Einstein College of Medicine and earning a masters of public health at Columbia University. He is also a board certified full body acupuncturist. Currently, Carter is medical director of SalusCare’s Florida acute care and residential services for adults with general psychiatric conditions including co-occurring and primary substance use disorders. He is past president of National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA). He has published in peer reviewed journals including primary research on the integrated use of NADA ear protocol in the management of substance use and co-occurring disorders.

Aruna Chandran
Aruna Chandran MD, MPH
Associate Scientist
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dr. Aruna Chandran is a social epidemiologist, interested in applying epidemiologic and geospatial methods to address the influences of socioeconomic and place-based factors on health inequities. She is part of a team evaluating the effectiveness of a demonstration project aimed to improve HIV prevention and treatment for vulnerable populations in Baltimore City, and also a member of two data centers performing cross-cohort analyses related to HIV and child health outcomes in vulnerable populations. She has experience in coordinating surveillance studies, program evaluations, and clinical trials in numerous low and middle income countries. She also served for two years as the Chief of Epidemiologic Services at the Baltimore City Health Department. As a pediatrician, Dr. Chandran's clinical practice has focused in childhood emergency and urgent care. She teaches in several introductory epidemiology and practice-focused courses in the Johns Hopkins schools of public health and medicine.

Tom Coderre
Tom Coderre BA
Senior Advisor
Altarum Institute
Well known in the addiction recovery community, Tom Coderre has been in long-term recovery since 2003. In his current role as senior advisor to Altarum's Behavioral Health Technical Assistance Center, he oversees the work of the Center to ensure best practice approaches for recovery, and supports the behavioral health technical assistance team with its work in substance use disorder recovery and mental health programs and services.

Prior to joining Altarum, Tom served as chief of staff and senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) from 2014 until January 2017. While at SAMHSA, Tom led the team that produced Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. He is the former national field director of Faces & Voices of Recovery and has an extensive background in government, serving as a member of the Rhode Island Senate from 1995-2003 and as chief of staff to the Senate President from 2009-2014. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Rhode Island College

Kathy Coleman
Kathy Coleman MSW, LCSW,CAADC
CLinical Trainer
Pyramid Healthcare
Kathryn Coleman, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, CAADC, has experience in multiple behavioral health services, including Associate Clinical Director of Addiction Medicine Services for UPMC Western Psychiatric Institute/Clinic; Training Director for the Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions; Clinical Educator/Trainer for the Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment Project; and has served for 19 years at the St. Francis Medical Center. Coleman directed residential and outpatient programs and worked with populations across the life span in areas including substance abuse, forensics, medication assisted treatment, perinatal addiction, and co-occurring disorders. She is a trainer for Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and served as adjunct faculty at Penn State University, Robert Morris University and Community College of Allegheny County. She has served on several state committees as well.

Tracy Collander
Tracy Collander MSW
Executive Director
Linden Oaks at Northwest Community Healthcare
Tracy Collander, Executive Director Behavioral Health- Linden Oaks at Northwest Community Healthcare Griffin Collander has more than 21 years of experience in behavioral healthcare as both a clinician and an executive director focusing on residential, day treatment, therapeutic day schools, foster care, in-home, and outpatient treatment programs. She recently served as the executive director for behavioral healthcare at The Joint Commission.

Ben Cort
Ben Cort
Author, Consultant
Ben Cort, a person in recovery, left a position as a human resource director for an S&P 500 firm to help start the Colorado nonprofit Phoenix Multisport. He then joined the drug policy conversation at the national level in 2012 to craft an awareness campaign and was appointed to the board of directors of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) and NALGAP (the National Association of Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender Treatment Providers and their Allies). A frequent speaker, Cort’s first book, “Weed, Inc.: The Truth About the Pot Lobby, THC, and the Commercial Marijuana Industry,” was released in September 2017. He moved on from his position with the University of Colorado Hospital in 2017 to focus on marijuana education and addiction consulting services.

Ebony Davis
Ebony Davis
Senior Program Associate
Advocates for Human Potential
Ebony Davis LCSW-C is a Senior Program Associate at Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. and the Deputy Director of the SAMHSA Women, Children and Families Training and Technical Assistance Project. Prior to joining AHP, Ebony worked as a Social Worker in the Maryland Office of the Public Defenders where she specialized in advocacy and mitigation services for adult and juvenile offenders charged as adults. She has diverse experiences including working with at-risk children and families, promoting diversity and inclusion and advocating for human rights. She possesses both a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California.

Steven Defossez
Steven Defossez MD, EMHL, CPE
Vice President, Clinical Integration
Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association
Steve Defossez’s responsibilities at the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) include strategic leadership, education, and advancing policy initiatives that facilitate members’ transitions in meeting key health delivery reform imperatives. Steve provides value to, and enhances collaboration with, MHA hospital-affiliated medical practices. Steve serves on the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Committee on Preparedness. A strong patient advocate, he continues to practice medicine, reading MRI part time.

Steve serves as co-chair of the statewide MMS-MHA Joint Task Force on Physician Burnout. Prior to joining MHA, Steve was a multi-term medical staff president at Northeast Hospital Corporation, long-term president of MRI Radiologists of the North Shore, and a founding trustee of Lahey Health. He is a sought-after national speaker on matters of health policy, combating the opioid epidemic, physician engagement, clinician burnout, alternative payment systems, and combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2014 he finished an Executive Master’s in Healthcare Leadership at Brown University. He completed his BA and MD from Tufts University before his surgical internship at Duke University Medical Center, a Radiology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an MRI fellowship at MGH.

Scott Dehorty
Scott Dehorty LCSW-C
Executive Director
Delphi Behavioral Health Group, Maryland House Detox
C. Scott Dehorty has been working in the field of addiction for the past 20 years. He received his undergraduate degree from Elon University in North Carolina and his Masters of Social Work from the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work. Scott began his career working in the admissions department at Ashley Addiction Treatment in Havre de Grace, MD. He then went on to become the Executive Director of the Limen House, a halfway house for substance abuse, in Wilmington, DE. He became interested in working with chronic pain patients when he started working at the Johns Hopkins Hospital as a social worker in the Department of Psychiatry in 2005. He has now returned to Ashley Addiction Treatment to lead the clinical aspects of the Pain Recovery Program. In addition, Scott has private practice offices in Bel Air and Lutherville, MD.