Raritan Bay inpatient team
Andrea has been working in the field of mental health and substance abuse for 15 years in long term residential treatment, inpatient detox and residential, IOP, Inpatient Psychiatric treatment and Admissions. She received her Bachelor’s of Social Work and Master’s of Social Work from Seton Hall University. Her passion is working in the detox and residential levels of care because she enjoys being a part of the progress of patients from the very beginning. She has been with RCA since January 2020 where she began as a Primary Therapist. In June 2021, she became the Clinical Supervisor. Both positions have granted Andrea the experience to lead a team and help patients find long and meaningful recovery.
Alumni Coordinator for Raritan Bay
If you would like to get in contact with Rahi, please email [email protected]
My passion for helping people recover from addiction stems from my own battle with addiction and journey in recovery. I started working in October 2021 and have held several positions during my time – from Lead RSS to Admissions Coordinator. In May 2023, I happily accepted the position of Alumni Coordinator, joining the Alumni Team at Raritan Bay along with Marguerite. I am working on finishing my bachelor’s in psychology from Kean University with the ultimate goal of becoming a licensed therapist specializing in alcoholism and drug addiction.
In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long term recovery?
The Alumni Association at RCA plays a crucial role in the long-term recovery process by offering ongoing support, accountability, education, and a sense of community. It helps individuals build the skills and resilience needed to maintain sobriety and work towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
What is your favorite quote, and why?
“I knew I was on the right path when I started feeling peace in situations where I would normally feel tension” – Yung Pueblo
This quote captures the essence of personal growth and transformation. It signifies a shift from a state of inner turmoil or tension to one of inner peace and calm. Often, personal growth involves breaking free from old patterns, letting go of negative influences, and making choices that support well-being. When these changes lead to inner peace, it is a clear sign of moving in the right direction.
What do you hope to accomplish as an Alumni Coordinator?
Reaching those that are struggling and showing them the positives and benefits of recovery and the gifts of sobriety. That anyone can without drugs or alcohol for the rest of their lives. As well as playing my part in RCA’s mission and message of saving one million lives from the disease of addiction.
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.
HR Business Partner, RCA at Raritan Bay
Patricia Pugliese has 16 years of experience working in the human resources industry.
Patricia joined RCA at Raritan Bay in 2021. Previously, she worked in various HR roles across the retail and IT industries. Patricia is passionate about helping people, engaging teams, and giving back to her community. She enjoys being part of a dedicated, mission-driven team that allows her to use her background to support a company devoted to saving lives.
Patricia earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University and is a Society for Human Resource Management certified professional.
Nurse Training Manager
I was born a caretaker. From my late teens, I served as an EMT learning all about emergency care on every level. My next stop in my journey was moving to California and starting nursing school. During this, I worked in the Naval hospital caring for the Active-duty military on a med-surge unit. Amid all of this, I gave birth to my first-born daughter. Through caring for her I then started caring for expectant mothers throughout their pregnancies, birth, and postpartum as a Nurse Doula and lactation consultant. My next feat was nursing in correctional healthcare in a woman’s prison and a men’s state prison. With this experience, I soon found my passion in psychiatric and substance abuse nursing. In 2019 when the opportunity arose at RCA I was compelled to apply for the position as a staff nurse. I started shortly after with RCA and fell in love with the opportunity and professionalism of this company. After a short time of working as a staff nurse, I was promoted to a Nurse Case Manager and then to a Nurse Training Manager. My goal is to grow with Recovery Centers of America and to “save a million lives.”
Utilization Review Supervisor
Stephanie earned her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Monmouth University and has worked with many different populations within the mental health field. Stephanie joined RCA in 2019 and began as a UR coordinator. She quickly found her passion in UR and has recently stepped up as Manager of UR and Finance at Raritan Bay.
Senior Alumni Coordinator at Raritan Bay
If you would like to get in contact with Marguerite regarding alumni volunteer opportunities, events, or meetings for RCA at Raritan Bay, please email [email protected].
Marguerite has worked in treatment for 9 years and joined the RCA team at Raritan Bay in May of 2019 as 12 Step Recovery Instructor. Educating patients on how to effectively work a program of action, treating the Mind, Body and Spirit. Marguerite’s passion for recovery and understanding of the importance in developing a strong sober network is what led her to the position of Regional Alumni Coordinator where she can support patients and their families throughout their journey to achieving long-term recovery.
What do you hope to accomplish as an Alumni Coordinator?
As Raritan Bay’s Alumni Relations Coordinator, my hope is to guide our patients, alumni, and their families through the process of building a strong support network. While recovery does require work and commitment, we cannot lose site of the joy that comes with embracing a new way of life and having fun along the way.
In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long-term recovery?
We can do together what we cannot do alone. Addiction breeds isolation, connecting with others focused on their recovery produces Hope and provides the needed strength along the way. Getting involved with Alumni activities and volunteer opportunities builds a strong foundation in recovery.
What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?
Having the opportunity every day to make a difference in another person’s life is what I enjoy the most about my work. Planting the seed of hope and watching it begin to grow is the greatest gift.
What is your favorite quote, and why?
My favorite quote is – “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Carl Jung
This quote reminds me to look within each day and to live with an awakened Spirit.
Sharon is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Clinical Drug and Alcohol Counselor, Certified Clinical Supervisor and National Certified Counselor with over ten years’ experience in a variety of treatment environments including detoxification, residential, halfway house, and intensive outpatient treatment. Sharon earned her master’s degree in Counseling at Kean University where she is currently an adjunct professor in their Counselor Education Department.
Sharon employs a person-centered counseling approach utilizing evidenced-based practices including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Mindfulness Based Interventions rooted in cultural competency to ensure the best possible client care.
Joseph A. Parisano has over 20 years experience in law enforcement as an officer and supervisor. He has over 10 years experience working in the substance abuse field, working in security management.
His combination of personal and professional experience and passion to help others works exactly with RCA’s mission to save 1 million lives. He started with Lighthouse as the Black Car Driver, then to Transportation Supervisor and ultimately to his new role as Facilities Manager. He earned his degree in Criminal Justice along with many other law enforcement courses and programs. He is a longtime homeowner and 5-year resident of Atlantic County.