Medical

Mark Jaffe psychiatrist

Mark Jaffe MD

Psychiatrist

Dr. Mark Jaffe graduated from UCLA cum laude in 1987.  He attended the University of Southern California medical school and completed his internship and residency in psychiatry at the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center.  He also completed two years of fellowship training at the USC Institute of Psychiatry and Law, where he is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry.  He is board certified in general and forensic psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.  Dr. Jaffe is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine with a Certification in Addiction Medicine.

During his residency and fellowship training at the LAC+USC Medical Center, Dr. Jaffe was responsible for triage, evaluation, treatment, admission and disposition of emergent psychiatric patients in a 2000-bed facility.  The medical center comprised the pediatric, women’s and general hospital departments and served the greater Los Angeles area.

Dr. Jaffe currently consults for the Los Angeles County Superior and Municipal Courts and is a member of the Expert witness Panel.  He has provided consultations to various agencies including the Medical Board of California, the United Sates Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Postal Service, The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Long Beach Rapid Transit, and the Los Angeles County Mental Health Court.  He has also performed evaluations for many various agencies, courts and attorneys on cases involving the use of drugs and alcohol during the commission of crimes or during employment.

His level of expertise, when coupled with both his empathy and ineffable charm render him a preeminent choice in the field, especially when running the gauntlet of psychiatric affairs both emotional and litigious.

Clinical

Deena Manion PsyD, LCSW

Clinical Officer

Dr. Deena Manion is a Doctor of Psychology and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1993. Dr. Deena is the Clinical Supervisor for the Westwind Clinical Staff. She provides her clinical expertise and guidance for top-notch clinical programming, as well as to the staff and clients for the best treatment outcome.

Dr. Deena has worked in the field of addiction and mental health since 1991. Prior to Westwind, she held the position as Chief Clinical Officer for a well-known recovery center in Los Angeles and she was the Clinical Director of a Malibu dual diagnosis treatment center from 2000 to 2018. She built that treatment center from a small 6 bed facility to a 40 bed facility. She worked as a Psychotherapist in a variety of settings including psychiatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, homeless clinics, and public and private schools in both California and New York.

Dr. Deena has a private practice in Beverly Hills and Agoura Hills, both located in California where she sees a variety of clients with mental health and addiction issues. Dr. Deena has a broad range of clinical skills and has a stellar reputation in the mental health and addiction field.

Dr. Deena has extensive experience in the entertainment field.  She has appeared as an expert on Dr. Phil for sixteen seasons. She has also been an expert guest on Dr. Drew’s Life Changers, Face the Truth with Vivica Fox, Ricki Lake, as well as on Intervention on A&E. She has also appeared on various documentaries on Fox11 and local public and cable television shows. Dr. Deena’s ultimate goal has always been to combine her clinical background with the entertainment industry to help people on a bigger scale. Dr. Deena is personable, direct, charismatic and overall has a unique approach to helping people. Westwind always strives to better our program, so we feel very fortunate to have Dr. Deena as a part of this process.

Jessica Steinman LMFT, CSAT

Clinical Director

Jessica is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Master’s Degree from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena California, as well as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). She has been a long-time follower of renowned therapist, Dr. Patrick Carnes, who founded the Certified Sex Addiction Therapist certification through his organization The Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). Jessica Steinman has been working in treatment and in Private Practice since May 2014 with a passion for treating sex and love addiction. She believes that many people who struggle with substance use disorders or other addictions may have Sex and Love Addiction as a primary or co-occurring disorder. She believes they may end up using substances to escape their relationship and sexual compulsions. This is another reason it is vital to educate and work with people with sex and love addiction since it is a common cross addiction once someone becomes sober from substance abuse.

In addition to specializing in Sex and Love Addiction and Codependence, Jessica received exceptional post-graduate training at The Maple Counseling Center, a prominent low fee counseling center in Beverly Hills where she worked psychodynamically with individual adults as well as couples. Her work as a Supervisor and Research Associate for Teen Line (a program that provides crisis intervention and prevention, peer counseling, and referrals for young people) at The Center for the Study of Young People at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center makes Jessica uniquely qualified to administer care to a broad spectrum of adults; both the young and the young-at-heart.

Jessica Steinman’s incredible journey has led her through careers in Entertainment, Hospitality, Public Relations and Marketing and now to Mental Health and Recovery. Westwind Recovery® is very proud to have someone with such an eclectic, seasoned background running the show. Her diverse skill set and her ability to connect with people in a way that is not patronizing or insincere, is what sets her apart as a leader and is what makes Westwind proud to have her.

Randy Smith addiction treatment staff

Randy Smith LMFT

Therapist

Randy Smith hails from Austin, Texas where he earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.  He later earned a Masters Degree in Psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles.  He received his training at a counseling center in North Hollywood for both individuals and families while working closely with at-risk youth at The Teen Suicide Hotline at the world-renowned Cedar’s Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills.  In addition to his thriving private practice, Randy has also served as Primary Therapist for several dual diagnosis treatment centers in Los Angeles prior to joining the Westwind Team.

Prior to his work in the recovery field, Randy Smith worked in the Entertainment Industry as a Marketing Executive at Sony Pictures Entertainment and, later, a Vice President of Marketing at MGM, which makes Randy uniquely qualified to help professionals, who are newly recovering to be better prepared to handle the stressors and challenges they face on a daily basis while reintegrating back into the corporate environment.  Randy Smith’s therapeutic specialties include addiction and recovery as well as working with couples.  His work with the LGBTQ Community is bolstered by his robust Gay Men’s Therapy Group which he facilitates in his private practice.

“I feel my goal has always been to create a safe, non-judgmental environment where my clients can seek clarity to make the major changes needed for individual progress.  And, I’m grateful to be able to help clients figure out what they really want from life and then be a compassionate, driving force that helps them achieve their goals.”

Samantha Wood LMFT

Therapist  

As a licensed therapist with a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Phillip Graduate University in Chatsworth California, Samantha has been working in treatment and in Private Practice since May 2013.  In her time at her master’s program, Samantha found her calling in co-occurring disorders, where she added course work to her already full learning schedule in order to better understand and eventually treat clients challenged by substance use disorders and underlying mental health concerns.  Before Samantha’s journey into becoming a therapist, she worked with children from ages 2-17 who were challenged with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  She worked with the children, their families, and teachers in order to help facilitate meaningful social experiences in the home, school, and community settings.

At Westwind, Samantha performs individual, family, couple, and group therapy.  Samantha’s approach to her therapeutic work is deeply based in the use of compassion as a starting point to reduce shame, and to assist clients in the safe exploration of themselves, and the contributing factors to their current substance use disorder.  Samantha does her best to address each of her client’s unique backgrounds by considering their culture, race, sexual/gender identity, and religious beliefs.

Grace O’Connor MA, LMFT

Therapist  

Proud to call Chicago her hometown (Go Bears!), Grace O’Connor has been in Los Angeles since 2001 specializing in providing council and support to the LGBTQ+ population, using her own experience as a launchpad toward healing and recovery.  With 27 years clean and sober time herself, Grace is no stranger to the pitfalls many of her clients face and is a staunch believer in the ages-old axiom that adversity does not build character, it reveals it.

Grace acquired her degree from the prestigious Antioch University and received her training at a LGBTQ Youth Counseling Center before setting her boots on the ground at a LGBTQ recovery center from 2018-2020.  Then, enamored by the opportunity to help even more men and women, Grace heroically transitioned to Westwind where her penchant for “digging deep” (coupled with her verve) has rendered her beloved amongst our clients and cemented her place amongst our staff.

Sean Feig CADC II

Case Manager

Fast approaching five years of clinical experience, Sean Feig remains a formidable agent for transformation here at Westwind.  Specializing in walking our clients through the transitional phases of their recovery, Sean’s ability to guide his wards is couched in a belief that every one of them steps into his office trailing wisps of glory.  His penchant for preparing them for true independent living while helping them implement 12-step models to ensure long-term sobriety is born from his own eclectic background.  Sean Feig, himself, was torn from his disparate drug-addicted life the moment he checked into a long-term treatment facility and began the arduous journey that would get him off of the streets and into a home and career of his own.  While working as a technician at a dual diagnosis treatment center in Los Angeles, Sean quickly worked his way up to Case Manager. His past experiences having rendered him uniquely qualified to avail clients to resources they’d hereto for never considered.  Life Goals are the main focus in every session Sean has with his clients, mostly because he believes with every fiber of his being that everyone can build the life they want so long as they have someone who believes in them.  And Sean believes in everyone.

Feig is currently acquiring his Associates Degree in Psychology at L.A. Valley College and is fast-tracked to transfer to California State University where he will pursue his Masters in Social Work which, he believes, will aid him in his calling.  Until then, he plans to continue his work here at Westwind where his “boots on the ground” ethic serves our clients in a way that is both compassionate and inspiring.

Shreya Ramanujan

Therapist

Rebecca Berstein

Primary Therapist

Operations

Priya Martindale MBA Healthcare

Director of Operations & HR

Born and raised in the Fiji Islands, Priya migrated with her family to America when she was 12 years old but made a conscious decision to maintain her sense of practicality throughout the process of her Americanization. Supported by friends and family, she aggressively pursued her Bachelor’s in Accounting and then her Master’s in Healthcare Administration while working as a contract manager at a local hospital. She ultimately started working for an umbrella corporation as Director of Human Resources. “Healthcare is where I found my calling”, Priya explains. “I’ve been doing this since 2010 and I honestly feel as if this is where I can do the most good.” At one point, Priya was an advocate for almost 100 employees, overseeing everything from Payroll and Benefits to providing guidance on general human resources compliance issues as well as managing policy and procedure implementations and updates for her company. Her secret passion is food! As self-proclaimed “foodies”, Priya and her husband are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting dining experiences, be it leisurely drives to 5-star restaurants or weekend excursions to hunt down the best food trucks in LA. “It’s all part of a well-rounded life,” Priya says. “You learn early on that it is important to enjoy the little things in life and take care of yourself, so that you can be fresh and ready to take on the obstacles that life throws your way.”

Rebecca Boswell RAC #14563

Program Coordinator

When you hear the words, “ROLL TIDE!”, chances are you’re thinking football and the Alabama Crimson Tide – but, for us here at Westwind, Roll Tide takes on a different, special meaning.

Hailing from Alabama, Becky Boswell is best known for her rich, southern accent and warm ineffable charm.  An interventionist in her own right with a CCMI accreditation, Becky first came to Westwind in 2017 where she served as house manager for our delightful Sycamore House.  Her spiritual practices of Buddhism, Meditation and Yoga have held her in good stead during the past four years of her recovery from drugs and alcohol, but it is her continuing education in addiction studies that separates Becky from her classmates and makes her a genuine diamond in the rough.

Having worked her way up from House Manager to Technician to Director of Operations, Becky has recently taken on the impressive mantle of Program Coordinator for Westwind’s Outpatient Center, which places her in charge of our PHP/IOP programming, including the supervision of all technicians and overall program management.  Her innate ability to lead with a steady hand while lending a deep compassion for our clients’ daily struggles make her the standout candidate for ensuring every need gets met with a love and guidance you will not find at any other program -at any price.

Michael Shahin RAC #14556

Housing and Alumni Officer 

Like many of our staff, Michael Shahin is, himself, in recovery.  Having been clean and sober since 2013, Michael can soulfully attest that the foundations for his recovery were built during his own time spent residing at a Sober Living. There, his colorful career in the Entertainment Industry as a producer and production coordinator eventually gave way to a 2-year stint as a mentor at a prominent treatment in Los Angeles where he cultivated his gift for helping others find their way back to sanity and fully came into his own.  He then segued into his role as Technician for Westwind while juggling his duties as House Manager for Westwind’s Houdini House when it first opened.  His commitment to making sure that no client “fall between the cracks”, when coupled with his eye for detail, propelled him through the ranks with ridiculous ease.  Today, Shahin oversees all of Westwind’s housing managers, operations supervisors, and technicians, making sure all of our sober living homes are running smoothly.

In addition to all of this, Michael is currently in school earning his Nursing license at Los Angeles Community College while also working toward acquiring recovery credentials in case management and intervention.

Michael’s long-term goal is to work in the recovery field at the medical level.

Admissions

Dave BiFulco

Director of Business Development

Dave BiFulco’s career began while working in the Labor Union field on the East Coast in 2007, which comes as no surprise when you take into consideration Dave’s devotion to fighting for others.  In 2016, Dave stood tall and proud with the owners of Westwind when they opened our doors and reached out to help those suffering from addiction, because he himself had survived his own addiction.

As Director of Admissions, Dave was the first person every client encountered when calling the center; every one of them felt cared for and supported as they struggled with the first stages of the intake process.  And every one of them felt – intrinsically – that they were not just another revenue stream; Dave helped them feel as if they mattered, and as if this huge vital step was one that they didn’t have to take alone.  BiFulco eschews “cookie cutter” programs and firmly believes that every case is different, every client unique.  Because it’s true.

In his role as Director of Business Development, Dave takes things one step further while going back to his roots to advocate for easier access to substance abuse programs for unions, underserved communities, as well as large corporations.  Dave BiFulco’s main reason for existing nowadays is to ensure that no one falls between the cracks, and that everyone receives the compassionate help they deserve.

Phillip Stevens, CADC-I

Admissions Counselor 

Phil Stevens is a certified alcohol and drug counselor with over 4 years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health field. Being in recovery himself, he has the ability to genuinely express empathy and compassion toward all clients he interfaces with. Phil began working in the field as a residential technician and quickly climbed the ranks to becoming a residential supervisor, overseeing day to day operations, facilitating staff trainings, and ensuring detox/residential compliance. He eventually found his calling when he became more involved clinically and with admissions. It is Phil’s belief that a smooth and effective admissions process sets the tone for the entire treatment experience.
Recommended by Westwind’s Clinical Officer, Phil offers his knowledge and expertise of 12-step modalities, crisis intervention, emergency medical services training, case management, counseling, and most importantly, client care and safety. Currently residing in Pasadena, Phil is continuing his education at Pasadena City College, nearing his completion of an AA in psychology with the long term goal of becoming a licensed psychologist. He believes in the therapeutic value of psychoeducation, the effects on the mind, body, and spirit of prolonged substance use, and finding the right solution pertaining to each individual client.

“The process of recovery takes consistency. It is a continuous process of growth and is available for anyone who seeks it. All it takes is one foot in the door to begin a life changing process.”

Stephanie Karling RAC #14523

Admissions Counselor

Growing up in Ketchikan, Alaska, Stephanie Karling watched cruise ships drift lazily by, always dreaming of a bigger and better future for herself. This was, of course, before she succumbed to addiction. It was Westwind’s own Jessica Steinmen who made possible Stephanie’s admission into Westwind Detox in 2018, heralding a return to the life Stephanie had only ever dreamed about.

Once clean and sober, Stephanie quickly chose a life path that would bring her the most joy, first by serving as House Manager of Westwind’s Sycamore Sober Living House, and then, later, as a Technician at Westwind’s Residential Facility nestled deep in the Hollywood Hills.

“I like getting to know the clients and really connecting with them. Because, without the connection, they can’t hear me”, Stephanie reports, “It’s the best way that I know to really make a difference: when the heart speaks, the heart listens.”

Stephanie is currently preparing to go back to school to get her CADC in drug addiction and hopes to someday hang a shingle and become a therapist in her own right.

Founders

Justin White

Co-Founder

By the time Justin was 18 years old, he’d already earned his Associate’s Degree and, by 2009, he’d made a concerted effort to reshape the landscape of the treatment world by introducing the idea that, in a 21st century economy, what the market valued was the ability stay on course through to the completion of one’s goals. And this meant becoming part of a company whose main focus was the newcomer.

When a doctor or lawyer or other professional finds themselves losing everything they’ve worked for, they haven’t lost everything they’ve learned. People have value. Clean and sober people have skill sets and knowledge bases that they can still harness and use to successfully rebuild their lives – and, in some cases, make those lives richer and more robust than ever imagined. This can also be said about the occasional young person or housewife; everyone has value. No matter how far down the scale they have fallen, Justin White believes that everyone who comes to Westwind wants the same thing that he wanted when he, himself, opted to get clean and sober. Justin’s eye on the financial arm of Westwind’s services and his finesse with utilization review and compliance is a vital component in ensuring client success. Add to that his passion for cooking and spending time with his fiancée, and what you wind up with is a well-rounded individual who is ready to show up for anyone who asks for help.

Because everyone wants to build a legacy.

And, having built one of his own, Justin White is here to help.

Zachary Ament

Co-Founder

After numerous attempts to get clean and sober at various treatment facilities and programs that began during his high school years, Zack finally found success while running sober living homes in 2014 while simultaneously pursuing a Bachelors degree in Addiction Studies at Pepperdine University. His light, positive, high energy personality lends itself to the camaraderie experienced at Westwind, and his passion for creating an atmosphere of community and – more importantly – family through fun, social, sober events fosters a sense of “all-inclusiveness” amongst our clientele. This buoyant charm enables Zack to not only serve as the chair for the AALA Roundup, an LGBTQ nonprofit that serves to bolster communities through Crisis Intervention, Mental Health leniencies, as well as Alcohol, Drug and Substance Abuse awareness, prevention and treatment while continuing his addiction studies in clinical psychology at Antioch University.

Zack’s indomitable will and dogged determination are infectious, and he instills this spirit in every client he encounters while tempering it with a passion and zest for life that propels everyone toward a greatness he feels is the birthright of every broken man and woman who walks through our doors.

“You can’t fake sincerity”, Zack says. “Our clients know right away who is all about saving their lives and who isn’t. That’s why our team works, and why our program is one of the best that I know of; because we care about what we do and who we do it for.

Contact Westwind Recovery® to work with our experienced addiction treatment staff. Call 855.340.8832 today for an easy start to recovery and life of sobriety.