Corporate Executive Team and Senior Leadership
Vice President of Outpatient Services
Brian Haney serves as Vice President of Outpatient Services for Recovery Centers of America. In his role he is responsible for the development and implementation of RCA’s outpatient services strategy and operational and clinical model development. He has oversight of daily operations for all national partial hospitalization, IOP, and general outpatient service lines.
With over twenty years of progressive operational, clinical and supervisory experience within behavioral health, educational and residential delivery systems across a variety of regulatory stakeholders, Brian has a strong track record of creating constructive relationships with administrators, families and staff.
Brian is passionate about service, training and teaching others while implementing effective, evidence-based solutions to improve overall organization functioning.
Chief Operating Officer
Mark Puckett is Chief Operating Officer for Recovery Centers of America. In his role he works closely with RCA’s Chief Executive Officer, the facility CEOs, and the leadership team to ensure the highest quality, evidence-based care while positioning RCA for future growth.
Mark has spent his career in behavioral health – and the last 12+ years holding senior leadership roles across a wide spectrum of service lines. Mark joins us directly from Springstone/Lifepoint Behavioral Health where he most recently held the position of SVP Operations, providing oversight, strategy, and accountability to 11 behavioral health hospitals and 24 outpatient clinics across the country.
Beyond his professional accomplishments, Mark is a proud father of four and is passionate about the Indiana Hoosiers, traveling, and playing golf when he can find the time.
Dr. Ashley Gardner
Corporate Vice President of Nursing
Dr. Ashley Gardner serves as the Corporate Vice President of Nursing at Recovery Centers of America (RCA). In her role, she oversees nursing care across the organization with responsibility for all nursing services across RCA’s 11 inpatient facilities and outpatient services. In addition to her extensive leadership experience, she is also a board certified nurse practitioner and is a strong advocate for MAT. Dr. Gardner comes to RCA with years of nurse practitioner and leadership experiences in a wide range of SUD treatment settings from outpatient including IOP and PHP to residential and sub-acute detox.
Dr. Gardner holds a Doctorate in Nursing Practice-Nurse Executive from Augusta University, a Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She is licensed as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner in several states and holds numerous professional certifications. Prior to her career in healthcare, she served 8 years in the US Air Force. Dr. Gardner currently hold an academic appointment at Augusta University.
Prior to joining RCA, Dr. Gardner served in several nurse executive roles with UHS. Most recently, she was the Chief Nursing Officer at Black Bear Lodge, a premier residential SUD treatment center in north Georgia.
Chief Executive Officer
Brett Cohen serves as Chief Executive Officer of Recovery Centers of America. As CEO, Mr. Cohen oversees RCA’s organizational strategy and company-wide operations across a network of 11 sites in seven states. He is a dynamic leader with three decades of experience building and leading successful, large-scale healthcare organizations. Throughout his career, Cohen has focused on ensuring top-quality and dignified care for patients, including and especially for complex and high-need populations.
Prior to joining RCA, Mr. Cohen was the chief operating officer of Sevita, a leading provider of home and community based services for children, people with disabilities and complex care needs, and seniors in need of daily medical care. As COO since 2015, he was responsible for leading all service lines and several corporate support functions for the $3B company. Mr. Cohen previously held leadership positions at several top healthcare organizations, including Fresenius Medical Care, Kindred Healthcare, and UnitedHealth Group.
Cohen is an alumnus of Yale University and The Wharton School, where he earned his MBA.
Regional Vice President, RCA at Devon
Ross has an extensive 25-year career dedicated to saving lives of those struggling with mental health and substance use illnesses. As an executive, he has led healthcare organizations which provided both substance use and behavioral health care for inpatient services, outpatient services, as well as crisis response care. Ross has led hospitals to award winning stature on several occasions through ensuring high quality care, positive patient outcomes, budgetary control, a continuous focus on the mission of treatment, and exemplary regulatory review.
Ross has skilled experience in strategic planning, workforce development, performance improvement, and has been lead author on scientific clinical publications in health care literature journals in the field. He has successfully led both clinical and operational departments to successful outcomes in multiple levels of care. Ross has worked directly in many roles including maintenance staff, direct care technician, social worker, unit manager, as a director of many other departments both clinically and operationally, was COO of several hospitals, as well as CEO of others.
He achieved his master’s degree from New York University, his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, and his clinical license 2004.
Senior Vice President, Operations
Christina Madeira joined RCA in 2015 continuing her life’s work of improving the quality and delivery of treatment to those struggling with substance use and mental health disorders. Her focus is on operational execution, ensuring the delivery of exceptional care, and helping patients and their families onto a path of meaningful recovery. Christina is responsible for the day-to-day operations and led the opening and expansion of our 10 inpatient treatment centers across six states. She began her career in Behavioral Health after receiving a Master of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. Prior to joining RCA, Christina served as Executive Director at Malvern Institute.
Shelly Cuny Barry
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Shelly Cuny Barry is Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Recovery Centers of America. Serving as a key member of the leadership team, Shelly provides talent acquisition expertise, strategic direction and insight regarding hiring strategy. She is responsible for the human resources operations for corporate, inpatient and outpatient staff while also overseeing employee education, training and development.
Prior to Recovery Centers of America, Shelly has served in senior leadership roles at Tower Health at Phoenixville, Brandywine and Chestnut Hill hospitals and the Memorial Hospital of Salem County. In these roles she led HR systems across multiple hospitals, physician practices and ambulatory services, managed succession planning, training and development, compliance, policy management, wage and salary administration, employee onboarding, benefits administration, performance management and fair hiring practices.
Chief Information Officer
Lancer’s background includes over 30 years as a healthcare-focused Chief Information Officer with experience across practices, MSOs, hospitals and health care IT companies. His experience has leveraged advanced disruptive technology solutions to assist healthcare organizations in overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges. His experience includes building and running scaled IT departments; partnering with executive leads to develop IT strategies that advance key corporate and department objectives; managing IT/cyber security programs; and developing and implementing advanced enterprise analytics strategies across clinical, operational, revenue cycle and payer contracting functional domains.
Prior to RCA, Lancer has served as Chief Information Officer of the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute for nearly a decade. Rothman Orthopaedic Institute is a renowned, multistate orthopedics platform that leveraged advanced IT strategies to support coordinated care programs as well as financial & operational performance oversight. Lancer has also held the positions of CISO/VP of IT for DeliverHealth, CIO/VP of IT at Practice Management Partners/NextGen RCM Services, an MSO of RCM and IT services. Lancer has also served as Chief Information Officer and CISO at Innovative Health Systems and Director of IT for SoftMed Systems.
Dr. Peter Vernig
Vice President of Mental Health Services
Dr. Peter Vernig serves as Vice President of Mental Health Services at Recovery Centers of America. In this role, he oversees mental health care across the organization, including outpatient, inpatient and digital health, as well as the expansion of mental health services into new market and service lines. He has experiences in a wide range of settings and clinical populations and expertise with many different facets of modern behavioral healthcare.
Dr. Vernig holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Suffolk University and an MBA in Healthcare Management from West Texas A&M University. He is licensed as a psychologist in Pennsylvania and holds faculty appointments at Drexel University College of Medicine and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Substance Use and the president of the Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association.
Prior to RCA, Dr. Vernig served as Chief Clinical Officer at Friends Hospital, the oldest private psychiatric hospital in the United States.
Dr. Hyong Un, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Hyong Un, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer, at Recovery Centers of America. He leads the development and implementation of the clinical behavioral health strategy for Recovery Center of America. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Un has deep experience in health care spanning 30 years. Prior to joining RCA, he was the Chief Psychiatric Officer for Aetna /CVS where he led the design and oversaw the implementation of Aetna’s behavioral health and employee assistance program. He was also the psychiatrist-in-chief for Friends Hospital and Penn Friends Behavioral Health System, a provider-owned managed behavioral health organization. Dr. Un’s clinical interests are in psychopharmacology, workplace mental health and determinants of overall health and wellbeing. Dr. Un has served on multiple boards including advisory board to the Director of National Institute of Mental Health, APA’s Center for Workplace Mental Health, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, and National Depression Center of Excellence.
Vice President, Business Development
Peter Barbuto is Vice President of Business Development at Recovery Centers of America. Since joining RCA in March 2017, Mr. Barbuto has worked to fulfill his mission of community advocacy and to serve as a resource for anyone seeking help for addiction.
Prior to RCA, Mr. Barbuto worked as Director of Business Development at American Addiction Centers, as an outreach coordinator for a South Boston housing development, and as a manager of a long-term residential facility for adolescents.
Outside of RCA, Mr. Barbuto serves on the board of directors of the Gavin Foundation, as well as on the board of the South Boston Collaborative Center, which honored him with the Beacon of Hope Award in 2015. In 2016, he was also conferred the Massachusetts Labor Assistance Professionals Community Service Award.
Chief Administrative Officer
Deanna Telese is Chief Administrative Officer at Recovery Centers of America. In this role, Mrs. Telese oversees the finance, accounting, payroll, accounts payable, purchasing, billing, accounts receivable, compliance and quality departments. She is integrally involved in the day‐to‐day operations of RCA and has been a key member of the leadership team that has guided the acquisition and development of seven inpatient facilities, seven outpatient locations and the first of a chain of Medically Assisted Treatment clinics as well as a lab performing COVID‐19 testing.
Prior to joining RCA, Mrs. Telese worked as a key member of the executive team in the role of VP‐Corporate Controller at NHS Human Services, Inc. where she designed, implemented and managed NHS’ accounting, budget, and internal control processes.
Chief Financial Officer
Kevin McClure serves as Chief Financial Officer of Recovery Centers of America. In this capacity, Mr. McClure oversees finance, accounting, information technology, business development and project management, as well as operational oversight of Genetworx. This involves providing data and information to operators to serve RCA’s patients most effectively and to ensure financing is available to expand services to treat as many patients as possible.
Prior to RCA, Mr. McClure served as CFO at Merakey (formerly NHS Human Services) for 15 years, bearing responsibilities similar to those at RCA. Before that, he was a manager at Grant Thornton LLP, focusing on healthcare clients.
Facility Chief Executive Officers
Fredericka “Freddie” Ford
Chief Executive Officer for Recovery Centers of America at Capital Region
Fredericka ”Freddie” Ford serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Recovery Centers of America (RCA) at Capital Region. Freddie comes to RCA with over 18 years in healthcare operations management and quality assurance with focus on behavioral health, medical surgical operations, acute, and substance abuse facilities across all services line.
Before joining RCA, Freddie served as the regional CEO working with several organizations on the West Coast including Newport Healthcare and US Healthvest. In these roles, she was responsible for all aspects of operations and the implementation of detox and specialty psychiatric programs. In 2021, she founded Behavioral Institutes of America, a group of multi-specialty behavioral health facilities in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Prior to this, she held ownership of Meridian Behavioral Health Systems with over 16 facilities and programs across the country. Freddie was the Chief Operations Officer and Vice President of Business Development of Carolina Health Partners, where she oversaw day-to-day operations and developed corporate infrastructure and managed care training for staff. Freddie has been in previous executive roles with Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, Universal Health Services, Acadia Healthcare, American Addiction Centers and American Hospital Management Corporation.
Freddie holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Business from Fisk University, received a Master’s degree in Executive Business Management with a concentration in Healthcare Management from Seton Hall University and received a Master’s degree in Medical Bioethics from the University Of Pennsylvania- School Of Medicine. She is a member of The American College of Healthcare Executives and National Association of Health Service Executives.
Freddie’s philosophy has emphatically professed that leadership must be part of the solution and work collaboratively with all stakeholders. She believes that every experience in her facilities should reflect the same care and expectation as if it were her family member. This expectation will be reflected every minute, every day from investors to staff members. Simply put, “Quality of care should be as natural as breathing”.
CEO of Recovery Centers of America at Indianapolis
Schultz is responsible for all aspects of operating one of RCA’s newest comprehensive opioid treatment centers, including overseeing all clinical care, Profit and Loss, facilities, staffing, community outreach and regulatory affairs. Schultz joined RCA in July, 2023 after leading a behavioral health and SUD treatment hospital in Bloomington, Indiana. She also was chief nursing officer at Valle Vista Health System in Greenwood, Indiana.
A native of Helena, Montana, Schultz served as director of inpatient services at Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena. She also served on the adjunct nursing faculty at Helena College. Christine earned her B.A.in nursing from Carroll College in Helena. She holds an MBA with a concentration in healthcare from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Chief Executive Officer, RCA at Bracebridge Hall
Blythe Maynard has over a decade of experience in the field of addiction. She has been with RCA since 2017 starting as the Clinical Supervisor for a previous Outpatient RCA site in Wilmington, Delaware before coming over to Bracebridge Hall where she served as the Regional Quality Assurance Strategist for the facility as well as the other Maryland facility, RCA Capital Region. In January of 2022 Blythe became the Director of Admissions at Bracebridge Hall where she worked directly with the facility leadership team as well as our Mission Center to increase access to care for those in need.
Before joining RCA, Blythe was with Brandywine Counseling and Community Services where she was a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in the Methadone Maintenance Program as well as a counselor for their adolescent program before moving into the Clinical Supervisor role of the adolescent program which served adolescents and their families statewide.
Blythe is an alumnus of Towson University where she received a bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies while also being a member of their Division 1 Field Hockey team. She is a graduate of Middle Management Academy, where she received training by the National Counselor for Mental Wellbeing (formerly National Council for Behavioral Health).
Chief Executive Officer RCA at Raritan Bay
As Chief Executive Officer at Raritan Bay, LeoDante Ognibene, leads Recovery Centers of America at Raritan Bay’s day-to-day operations, overseeing all aspects of the facility, including both inpatient and outpatient services.
Ognibene joined RCA in 2019 as the Corporate Director of Nursing – medical detox/mental health/residential. In this position, he was responsible for the management of all nursing and nursing ancillary personnel. Ognibene supported and directed daily operations of 10 inpatient acute facilities, four medication-assisted treatment (MAT) locations and outpatient services to include intensive outpatient (IOP) and partial hospitalization (PHP) programs servicing thousands of patients daily.
His extensive experience across the health care spectrum, including in acute care, behavioral health, and substance use disorder settings, has prepared him to meet both the center’s operational goals and RCA’s standard of excellence.
Ognibene’s dedication to serving the community and state extends into his role as a commissioned officer as a Clinical Nurse in the New Jersey Air National Guard.
Ognibene earned his registered nurse (RN) degree from Temple Northeastern Hospital School of Nursing and his Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) from Thomas Edison State University. He is expected to earn his Master of Science in nursing (MSN) from Thomas Edison State University in 2025.
Chief Executive Officer RCA at Greenville
Lisa Goodnough, MBA, CMPE comes to Recovery Center of America as the site CEO with over 28 years of experience in healthcare leadership roles including Director of Strategic Initiatives, Administrative Director of Surgical Services, Vice President of Operations, and COO. Lisa has worked in several large academic and community based hospital systems in Tennessee and South Carolina and served in senior leadership roles in the development and growth of more than 52 behavioral health and SUD treatment facilities spanning across 8 states in the southwestern and eastern regions of the United States.
Lisa earned a bachelor degree in healthcare administration from East Tennessee State University and later earned her MBA from Fitchburg State University. She is a green belt in LEAN six sigma, and is a Certified Medical Practice Executive awarded by MGMA.
Lisa is passionate about patient centered service delivery particularly for patients suffering with SUD and their families. Driven by the effects of alcoholism and SUD on her own family, she has dedicated her career to battling addiction and providing hope and support for those affected by the disease. For Lisa, it is a personal journey, to see that patients and their families receive the highest quality of care possible without judgement, with welcoming hospitality, centered around the patient’s needs and support, and healing for the patient and family.
“Every single patient must be treated like family. It is an honor to be selected to care for patients struggling with addiction, find healing and support, rebuild critical relationships, and gain confidence and trust within themselves. There is no better job in the world, as we are so fortunate through Recovery Centers of America to be a part of saving lives everyday.”
Amanda Pitts has nearly two decades of healthcare leadership experience focused on mental health and addiction treatment. As Chief Executive Officer at Westminster, Amanda will be responsible for driving positive patient outcomes while delivering the highest level of services and quality of care that is responsive to patients’ needs.
Amanda joins Recovery Centers of America from The Coleman Institute For Addiction Medicine where she served as Executive Director. She previously held leadership roles at HEMA, Spectrum Health Systems, and South Bay Mental Health Center.
Amanda lives in Hanson, Massachusetts, earned a bachelor’s degree in social psychology, and a master’s degree in applied sociology, both from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She holds an Alcohol and Drug Counselor 1 license and is certified in trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
Chief Executive Officer at Monroeville
Blenk comes to Recovery Centers of America as the Site CEO with over 30 years’ experience working in human services. From an early career focused on community development in the hospital and university neighborhoods of Pittsburgh to a later career in addiction treatment,
Blenk has risen through the ranks in lead roles with progressively increasing responsibility in five organizations including Gateway Rehab and Livengrin Foundation. Blenk served previously as an executive director, an executive vice president, and a CEO. Originally pursuing a career in design, Blenk holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture from Penn State University and the State University of New York at Buffalo respectively. With unique qualifications as a CEO, Blenk brings strategic thinking, service leadership, and sound knowledge of business operations to the role.
When asked about his interest in RCA, Blenk states he was motivated by the mission to save 1,000,000 lives and by the concept of delivering world class treatment in world class facilities. A 2012 participant in Leadership Pittsburgh, Blenk knows the varied facets of the Pittsburgh community and will work to make RCA the primary regional resource serving those struggling with addiction.
David is an avid outdoorsman. He owns a small cabin on 5 rural acres in western Pennsylvania. When he’s not working he can be found fishing, canoeing, hunting, picking berries or tapping trees for his next batch of homemade jelly or maple syrup.
Karen Wolownik Albert
Chief Executive Officer, RCA at St. Charles
Karen Wolownik Albert, LCSW joins RCA with over 20 years of experience in progressive behavioral health leadership. As a frequent public speaker and advisor regarding local, state, and federal behavioral health issues and initiatives, she is also a subject matter expert on in substance use issues and treatment, juvenile justice and child welfare, therapeutic intervention, and case management.
Karen was the recipient of the 2018 Dr. C. Vincent Bakeman Memorial Award presented by the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health for her work in connecting patients to treatment and improving the system of care for persons struggling with Substance Use Disorder. Karen serves on the Board of Directors of the Lake County Opioid Initiative and Live4Lali. She worked on the core team of Task Force members in the development and launch of the nationally recognized A Way Out Program, a law enforcement deflection program for persons seeking Substance Use Disorder treatment.
She looks forward to expanding addiction treatment in Illinois and continuing RCA’s mission of saving one million lives, one neighborhood at a time.
Interim Chief Executive Officer, Recovery Centers of America at Lighthouse
Robert “Bobby” Bunyon is Interim Chief Executive Officer at Recovery Centers of American at Lighthouse.
For over a decade, Bobby has been an influential leader within the addiction treatment field. Before assuming his current role, he served in many leadership roles at RCA including Interim Chief Executive Officer at Recovery Centers of American at Capital Region, Corporate Vice President of Strategic Growth CEO and Chief Executive Officer at RCA at Bracebridge Hall.
Prior to RCA, he worked at Retreat Behavioral Health, a provider of substance use disorder and mental health services in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Bobby received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology from the University of Phoenix.
Interim Chief Executive Officer at Devon
Bridgette Vail, MA MBA is a seasoned Behavioral Health Care Professional with over 20 years of experience. With a diverse background and advanced degrees in both the Healthcare and Business Industries, Bridgette has developed and led large teams, supervised a variety of professionals and navigated complex healthcare challenges. As a former Director of Admissions and Utilization Review Bridgette recognizes the importance of care coordination and the care management process.
Bridgette effectively utilizes clinical guidelines and accreditation standards to achieve admission and utilization targets. With additional experience as Director of Healthcare Management at an inpatient Substance Abuse Hospital and Executive Director at an Outpatient based Substance Abuse facility, Bridgette’s primary focus was to ensure access to proactive and balanced care, improve clinical outcomes and appropriately manage healthcare associated costs. Bridgette places a high value on professional ethics, professional development and positive patient outcomes.