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Sierra Tucson Webinar Series


For more than 33 years, Sierra Tucson’s longstanding legacy of clinical excellence and compassionate care has resulted in recovery for those struggling with substance use disorder, trauma-related issues, disordered eating, chronic pain, mood and anxiety disorders, and co-occurring disorders. Internationally renowned for its innovative approach to behavioral and mental health treatment, Sierra Tucson was the co-recipient of the 2017 Clinical Excellence Award by Acadia Healthcare. Sierra Tucson combines integrative and experiential therapies with evidence-based practices to provide a full range of treatment methods. Call 888-351-3227 or visit



Understanding and Treating Post Traumatic Stress in Service Members and First Responders

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Sierra Tucson Webinars

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Upcoming Webinar


The next scheduled webinar is 9/12/18. Please stay tuned for updates!


Past Webinars

Understanding & Treating Post Traumatic Stress in Service Members & First Responders

Overcoming the stigma of being diagnosed with a mental disorder and believing that asking for help is a sign of weakness, not to mention the impact these disorders can have livelihood, have all deterred many of our nation’s heroes from getting the help they need.

An estimated 11 to 20 percent of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). An estimated 13 to 15 percent of police and firefighters suffer from PTSD.  Subclinical PTSD effects countless others. Understanding acute stress and post traumatic stress in our service members and first responders enables us to develop tailored treatment approaches that circumnavigate the stigma, effectively treat the mind/body response to trauma, address maladaptive coping strategies such as self-medicating with substances and risk-taking behaviors, and build-up resilience in the event of future exposure to trauma.

Upon completion of this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe how poly-trauma of combat/emergency response is similar to ‘Complex PTSD’ and how it is different
  • Explain current evidence-based treatment modalities for acute stress and post traumatic stress
  • Assess how to simultaneously treat post traumatic stress and prepare someone for potentially traumatic events in the future

About the Speaker

Aaron Wilson, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Sierra Tucson

Dr. Wilson received his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in psychiatry and served as chief resident at Tulane’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Prior to joining Sierra Tucson, he served as Chief Medical Officer of Valley Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. He also served as Medical Director of the Freedom Care Unit, which focuses on the specific mental health needs of military service members and first responders. Dr. Wilson is an active member of the mental health community in Arizona. He serves as President of the Arizona Psychiatric Society and is chairman of the Arizona Disaster Psychiatry Task Force. He is also a co-founder of the Arizona Inter-professional Behavioral Health Collaborative.

What Neuroscience Can and Can't Answer: An Informed Look at Pain

This presentation will provide a neuroscience-informed overview of what pain is, including nociceptive pain, neuropathic pain, and pain for psychological reasons.  We will build on that foundation in a discussion on how to talk to your patients about pain in a way that engages them in appropriate care.  At the end of the session we will take a step back from the addiction narrative, challenge the assumptions that underlie our current approach to the opioid crisis, and build on the first segment of the session to recast the opioid crisis as a trauma crisis, requiring somewhat different resources and a different approach.

Upon completion of this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Distinguish pain for psychological reasons from nociceptive and neuropathic pain.
  • Describe to their patients the cause of their pain and how treatment flows form the cause, in a way that does not suggest “it’s in your head” but rather engages and empowers patients to participate in treatment.
  • Recognize and know what to do about high risk prescribing of opioid.

About the Speaker

Bennet E. Davis, MD
Director of Pain Recovery Program
Sierra Tucson

Bennet E. Davis, MD, is the director of the Pain Recovery Program at Sierra Tucson. He is board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine. Dr. Davis completed his undergraduate work at Stanford University in Stanford, CA, and received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. He then trained in orthopedic surgery and anesthesiology at the University of New Mexico and University of California, Irvine. He completed his fellowship in Manchester, England, after finishing residency training.

Dr. Davis served as founder and director of the University of Arizona Pain Center from 1995 to 2002, where he was also director of the Pain Fellowship Program and co-founding faculty of the Arizona Cancer Center. In 2002, he and his colleagues founded Arizona’s first and only adult pain clinic to achieve American Pain Society Center of Excellence, The Integrative Pain Center of Arizona, which operated as one of the nation’s few models for interdisciplinary pain care until November 2017.

He is involved in organized medicine as past president of the Pima County Medical Society, and is active on a national level in teaching as medical director for CHC Pain ECHO, a telemedicine teaching program for primary care providers across the nation. He serves on numerous advisory boards for health policy. His latest article, “A New Paradigm for Pain?” was featured in The Journal of Family Practice and provides an updated definition of pain.

Optimizing Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder: An Integrative Approach Utilizing Brain Stimulation Therapy

Major depression is a serious medical illness affecting more than 14 million American adults every year. Often a debilitating disorder, depression results in a persistent state of sadness that interferes with an individual’s thoughts, behavior, mood, and physical health. It is important to recognize the symptoms and seek treatment as soon as possible.

Antidepressant medications and psychotherapy are the first line treatments for major depression. These treatments, however, do not work for all patients.  Patients who have failed to achieve an adequate response from psychotherapy and antidepressants, or who are unable to tolerate medications, may benefit from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS; an FDA-cleared, non-invasive, non-systemic treatment indicated for MDD. 

This webinar will discuss how health care providers are in the optimal position to address depression that has not adequately responded to first-line treatments, and explore the benefits of incorporating TMS therapy to the treatment regimen.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the prevelence and significance of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Discuss the role of TMS in the treatment of depression, including current American Psychiatric Association recommendations
  • Identify qualified candidates for TMS therapy
  • Discuss the healthcare provider's role in screening, treatment and referral 

About the Speaker

Michelle Chacon, RN
TMS Clinical Operator
Sierra Tucson

Michelle Chacon, RN, is a certified TMS clinical operator and has been with Sierra Tucson since 2015.  In her 20 years as a nurse, Michelle has worked in a wide variety of clinical settings.  Early in her career, she worked in neurological and medical/surgical hospital units.  In the neurointensive care unit, she was part of the Neuro Acute Response Team. Michelle also spent time as a home health care and hospice nurse for several years, and enjoyed being self-employed as an independent clinical case manager. In 2010, Michelle found her niche in behavioral health, with work in an acute inpatient detox facility. Her recent work has included outpatient and residential behavioral health and she is passionate about the importance of mental health and wellness for all individuals.

Michelle graduated with honors and received special recognition for academic excellence with degrees in nursing and health services administration from University of Central Florida, Orlando in 1996. 

Michelle is a Tucson native, and spends her free time in her rose garden with her calico cat, ‘Kitty’, or tending her Koi pond.


The Wounded Warrior: Caring for the Invisible Wounds of War

The lifetime prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ranges from 5-20% of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, and it is the third most prevalent psychiatric diagnosis among veterans using the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. PTSD is a complex disorder with frequent co-morbidities of depression, substance use disorders, and traumatic brain injury, which often has a catastrophic effect for the veteran and his or her loved ones.

November 11 marks Veterans Day, a celebration in honor of America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and the selfless sacrifice they have offered this nation. This webinar will focus on the etiology, recognition, and treatment modalities available to treat PTSD in our veterans. Lieutenant Commander Reynolds, a retired member of the US Navy, will discuss how mental health providers are in the optimal position to address the important mental health needs of our veterans and mitigate the potentially disastrous effects of PTSD.  

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the prevelence and significance of PTSD among our military veterans
  • Discuss the impact of PTSD on the veteran and their family unit
  • Identify various integrative modalities of evidence-based treatment for PTSD
  • Discuss the healthcare/mental healthcare provider's role in screening, treatment and referral

About the Speaker

Bill Reynolds, PA-C
Associate Director of The Addiction Recovery Program
Sierra Tucson

Bill Reynolds, PA-C, is a U.S. Navy-trained physician assistant and served on active duty for 30 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander in 2012. He has several years of psychiatry and addiction medicine experience, in addition to his family medicine background. Bill has a keen interest in working with trauma survivors due to his experience working with Marines and Sailors adversely affected by wartime stress. Additionally, he has an affinity for Sierra Tucson’s addiction medicine clients and is a strong proponent of recovery-oriented modalities to help individuals achieve sobriety. In 2017, Bill was awarded a specialty credential called a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). He is one of only 15 certified PAs in Arizona to earn a CAQ in Psychiatry since the NCCPA’s inception in 2011.


The Gut, Brain Pain Connection

Many people may not be aware, but there is a very important connection between the gut, the brain, and pain. Dr. Schwehr’s presentation will explore the science and research behind the complex gut brain relationship. Topics will include the impact of nutrient absorption on neurotransmitter creation, the enteric nervous system, and the relationship between the microbiome in our digestive track our mental health and complex pain.  We will review digestive disorders and their relationship to mental health.



  • Identify the connection between the enteric nervous system and central nervous system as it relates to mental health and pain
  • Assess effects of the GI microbiome on mental health and pain
  • Identify strategies  to improve patient outcomes by optimizing digestion
  • Explain how common medications affect digestion


About the Speaker

Maureen Schwehr, NMD
Director of Integrative Services
Sierra Tucson

Maureen Schwehr, NMD, serves as Sierra Tucson’s Director of Integrative Services. Her department provides a unique combination of physical and mental health support for residents. Dr. Schwehr oversees a team of experienced and talented staff whose services includes naturopathic medical consults, acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic services, massage therapy, shiatsu, zero balancing, somato-emotional release, and craniosacral therapy.

In addition to supervising staff, she works one-on-one with residents to help them determine the root cause of their problems. Focus is given to nutritional status and hormonal balance, supporting biochemical pathways that help the body function more effectively. Dr. Schwehr holds a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. Past experience includes a position as the medical director at Mirasol, a residential eating disorder facility. As part of the Sierra Tucson staff, she has the opportunity to be part of a truly integrative team that provides a unique, empowering perspective for residents.