Danvers inpatient team
Alumni Coordinator for Danvers
Michelle Lajara Graduated from Salem State University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Law. While at Salem State, she was president of the Latino American Student Organization and rules committee chair for the student government. She worked at the gym on campus and the Alumni affairs and events office. After graduation, Michelle went back home to Lawrence, Massachusetts and entered the nonprofit world while working at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. It was there that she developed a passion and commitment to helping those struggling with addiction and finding life in recovery.
Michelle’s interests outside of work include candle making, playing with her dog, Sax, traveling, and trying new recipes to share with friends and family. Michelle has a past in musical theater, ballet, and fine arts.
Why do you choose to work as an Alumni Coordinator for RCA?
The Alumni Coordinator role merges two passions for me – programming and recovery services. As someone who has lost loved ones to addiction, I look forward to treating those around me with the same respect and dignity I would hope for my loved ones while on this journey to recovery. I can’t think of a more fulfilling opportunity than this one.
What is your favorite quote, and why?
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom, it is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” – Assata Shakur
A controversial but revolutionary woman in her own right, Assata touched on important points in this quote. The point I most identify with is “we must love and support each other; we have nothing to lose but our chains.” It takes a village to raise more than a child, and when that village comes together to overcome obstacles, with love and support, there is no peak we can’t reach nor is there any limit to what we can do.
What are the major driving forces in your life?
The major driving forces in my life are my family, the generation of latinx folks coming behind me who will help shape the future, those who came before me, and the promise I have made myself to live life and do good.
What do you hope to accomplish as an Alumni Coordinator?
I hope to hold space where folks are treated with kindness, respect and dignity. A place where they have the support they need whenever they need it and a friendly face, they can always count on to be rooting for them to win. I hope to be an agent of change and encourage stigma-eliminating connections and education the community around RCA.
Eli Naparstek, LMHC, brings over six years of experience to Recovery Centers of America at Danvers.
Eli graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling, alongside of a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Hartford. His past experience includes Behavioral Health Clinician, Group Therapy Supervisor/Utilization Review Coordinator, and Care Clinician.
Director of Nursing
Janine Gilchrist joined Recovery Centers of America at Danvers in 2018. With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and as a licensed Registered Nurse in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
Janine brings years of experience and knowledge to RCA. Previous experience includes Senior Director of Nursing Services, Regional Clinical & Quality Outcomes Manager, Nursing Supervisor and Nurse Manager, and Regional Discharge Manager.
Dr. Heidi Ginter
Chief Medical Director
Dr. Heidi Ginter, MD, FASAM has nearly two decades of experience working in the addiction treatment field, is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine, and is a prominent voice in medication for addiction treatment (MAT). MAT, the use of FDA-approved medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, is widely considered to be the evidence-based best practice for battling addiction to opioids and other drugs.
Dr. Ginter graduated from Yale University and earned her doctorate at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She has lectured extensively on MAT and opioid use disorder. Dr. Ginter started her career as a family doctor for underserved populations and eventually found a passion for helping pregnant women struggling with addiction. Prior to joining RCA, she was the Chief Medical Officer for an outpatient addiction treatment provider with opioid treatment programs at 16 sites in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut.
Chief Executive Officer
Kat Stevens is the CEO of Recovery Centers of America at Westminster and Interim CEO of Recovery Centers of America at Danvers. She has a BS in Psychology, with a concentration in Women’s Studies. She also has an MA in Counseling Psychology with concentrations in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Child & Family Interventions and is a Massachusetts Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). With over 13 years of experience in Behavior Healthcare, including 10 years of working especially with substance use and co-occurring disorder treatments, Kat has provided leadership in multiple modalities of treatment, including acute treatment services, inpatient and residential services, and community-based support professionals. In recognition of her outstanding achievements, Kat was awarded 40 under 40 Top Leader by the Worcester Business Journal.
Kat’s background is in project management, clinical treatment, direct care, training facilitation, and quality improvement, with clinical experience in CBT, suicidality assessment, motivational interviewing, group, individual, community-based, and family therapies. She also has experience working with diverse populations, such as trauma survivors, LGBTQI, adolescents, adults, and families. Stevens provides quality, patient-centered, individualized treatment to help engage and support patients and their families in a safe, therapeutic environment.