THE ORANGE COUNTY RECOVERY TEAM

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Dr. Mike Kelly

DNP, Psychiatric Director

Dr. Mike Kelly, DNP is a board-certified psychiatric DNP. He completed his education at the University of Long Beach and Chapman University. Dr. Kelly has over 20 years of psychiatric clinical experience, providing general psychiatric and addiction medicine services. His areas of specialization include: private clinic, acute inpatient psychiatry, assisted living, partial hospitalization, residential detoxification, and sober living psychiatric consultation with MAT. Dr. Kelly holds an affiliation with hospital-based settings, providing acute in-patient and out-patient psychiatry, emergency room psychiatric triage, and psychiatric consultations.

Lizabeth Schroeder

Primary Therapist

Lizabeth is passionate in her belief that people can and do recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. She has over 20 years of experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has worked in addiction treatment since 1994. Prior to joining OCR, Lizabeth maintained a successful private practice in Huntington Beach for over 21 years, serving a population with diverse backgrounds and needs. She has extensive experience in many roles, including Program Director, Clinical Director, UR specialist and primary therapist. For over a decade, she served as treatment provider in the Collaborative Courts programs in the County of Orange. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from California State University Fullerton and a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work with a mental health concentration from the University of Southern California. Lizabeth also received training in EMDR by the EMDR Institute. She has a deep passion for helping people who struggle with addiction as well as severe and persistent mental health issues, and is a zealous believer in people’s potential for change.

Steve Knight

Chief Executive Officer

As co-founder and CEO of Orange County Recovery, Steve Knight has been passionately contributing to the recovery industry for over 15 years. He has achieved long-term sobriety and understands the journey is not easy. In 2002, he received his certification as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor – Certified Addiction Specialist (CADC-CAS) from the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP). Since then, Steve has remained involved with the operations and oversight of multiple successful recovery homes in Orange County. Currently, he sits on the committee for the First Step House and is the Vice-Chair of the Orange County Sober Coalition. Before entering the recovery field, he served in the United States Air Force and spent over two decades working at an executive level in the commercial insurance industry. Steve’s robust and varied experience gave him the discipline, insight, and skill to make a positive impact in the recovery field.

Amber Knight

Chief Operations Officer

As co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of Orange County Recovery, Amber Knight has been actively engaged in the recovery field for over 15 years. Amber holds a Clinical Supervisor Certificate from the Training Institute for Addiction Counselors and earned her Certification as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor l (CADC l) from California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP). Prior to her work in the recovery industry, Amber worked extensively in finance and real estate, and also holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Business Management from Vanguard University. Amber’s extensive work in the recovery field—including co-founding The Cottages Sober Living Home for Women in 2004 and over ten years of service in the Orange County Sober Living Coalition—have given her the experience and acumen to be effective in her field. Her knowledge and commitment make her essential to OCR’s ongoing success.

Debra Kelsey

Program Director

Debra believes that everyone has a superhero inside of them and has made it
her mission to inspire and uplift the people she encounters. During her career in addiction treatment, she has worked in case management, crisis response, and mental health. She began her work in the field in 2002, when she opened Pathways for Women, a center dedicated to giving women a safe place to land after incarceration. As a Level II Certified Addictions Counselor and Certified Clinical Supervisor and a recognized speaker on addiction treatment techniques, she regularly provides educational presentations for numerous healthcare and community organizations. She has been a passionate advocate for those with mental health issues and has also worked extensively with Orange County Mental Health Courts. Debra has also has served as a member of the University of California Irvine Institute Review Board and currently sits on the County of Orange Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board, where she advises the county’s Alcohol and Drug Program Administrator and the Board of Supervisors on alcohol and drug-related policies and goals. Debra has been recognized by the US Congress, California State Senate, and the California State Assembly for her dedication and hard work on behalf of those suffering from addiction. She truly believes recovery is possible and is passionate about helping others find the courage to change.

Cynthia Vines

The Cottages Senior House Parent

Prior to working in the recovery field, Cynthia worked in the medical industry in a laboratory setting involving cancer research. Originally from the East Coast, Cynthia came to California several years ago for a personal experience with addiction treatment. After a deeply rewarding volunteer position at a women’s recovery home, she decided to change careers and continue her involvement in the recovery field. In 2017, Cynthia became a Senior House Mom at The Cottages. She is committed and passionate about her role and remains dedicated to helping others as they seek lasting recovery.

Kathy White

The Cottages Assistant House Parent

Kathy worked over twenty years in the medical field, first as a dental assistant and later as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Her passion for service and helping others makes her a natural fit for her current role. Born and raised in Southern California, she is a mother and an animal lover, and a warm and welcoming presence for those on the road to recovery. Her own experience with treatment gives her unique insight and effectiveness as a House Parent.

Lietta Brutsche

Case Manager

Lietta is passionate about helping others find lasting recovery and works closely with clients to address core issues underlying their addictions. She received her certification as a Substance Abuse Counselor from CCAPP Academy and has held many positions in the mental health field, including providing support staff and case management for detox and residential treatment facilities, as well as daytime treatment and outpatient care. Lietta is a natural problem solver and offers clients valuable experience and insight as they rebuild their lives. She plays an active role in helping clients understand addiction, identify their struggles, learn life skills, and offers critical support and encouragement as they move forward.

Thomas Gilliam

Case Manager

Thomas entered the addiction treatment field in 2015, and in 2018 became a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor. Before entering the recovery field, he gained unique experience with diverse groups through almost 20 years as a manager in various industries from textiles to health and fitness. Thomas earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from California State University Fullerton, as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management. He is currently working towards a degree in psychology at ….. Thomas approaches his work with the utmost care and attention and is thoroughly dedicated to his client’s success. He brings enthusiasm and passion to his role, and appreciates the daily opportunity to positively impact others’ lives.