Additional panelists to be announced.
Mike Japenga, M.Div.,LSAT
Community Services Clinician
Mike Japenga is the Community Services Clinician for Valley Hope’s Arizona continuum of care for alcohol, drug and related treatment services. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1990 and his Master of Divinity in 1996. He served as a church pastor for six years prior to becoming a licensed counselor.
He first became a Licensed Addictions Counselor in Montana in 2001 where he worked inpatient, outpatient, and private practice. Mike joined Valley Hope at their Chandler inpatient facility in 2006. He spent four years as part of the CVH clinical team before transferring to the outpatient office in Tempe. He spent another four years helping to provide outpatient services. He spent a year of his outpatient treatment time with the AC/ESS Online team and was Admissions Coordinator for two years as well. Most importantly Mike brings his love of Valley Hope patients, and people in general, to his work. He believes that folks who struggle with the disease of addiction (and their families) are in need of love and compassion, not condemnation.
Mike Gaziano, M.S.W., LCSW (WI)
Family Program Coordinator, Family Therapist, Sierra Tucson
Mike Gaziano, Family Program Coordinator and Family Therapist at Sierra Tucson and brings over 25 years of clinical expertise to help families gain a new perspective and new approach to relationships. Born and raised in the Midwest, Mike is a graduate of the University of Arizona. He received his master’s in Social Work from the University of Illinois. Having worked in the private sector and public sector as a social worker, Mike is also trained as a mediator and conflict resolution specialist and has provided his clinical skills to Pima County as a group facilitator for domestic violence classes. He is a past member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and Rotary International. Sierra Tucson’s Family Program teaches compassion, patience, and understanding of mental illness, replacing enabling, rescuing and fear based behaviors with self-empowerment, healthy boundaries and productive communication skills.
Outpatient Program Director, Tempe Valley Hope
Susan has worked in the Substance Abuse field since 2004, helping alcohol and drug addicted clients and their family members find recovery. She graduated from Ottawa University in 2010 with Master of Arts in Counseling, and went on to complete advanced studies in Trauma and Deprivation. Susan is licensed in the State of Arizona as an alcohol and drug counselor and will soon be completing the requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. Susan is currently the Outpatient Program Director for Tempe Valley Hope in Tempe, AZ; but over the years has gained a special passion for the suffering family member. Susan was instrumental in developing a Telehealth program at Valley Hope in 2010, giving family members their own treatment program in an Intensive Outpatient format along with Continuing Care treatment groups for up to one year. This program has spread to all Valley Hope centers nationwide, helping families to find new ways to deal with the dynamic issues of the addicted family. The response to this program has been phenomenal. This program has allowed Susan and others to facilitate a sustainable healthy family unit, which happens best when all members of the family find treatment and recovery.
Douglas J. Edwards, MBA
Publisher of Addiction Professional
Douglas J. Edwards is Publisher of Addiction Professional, having formerly served as editor in chief of Behavioral Healthcare and Addiction Professional. Edwards has been serving the addiction treatment community since 2000 in multiple editorial and marketing roles. Edwards will serve as moderator of the discussion.