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Clinical Staff Biographies

 

 

Melody McKee, BA, CDP
Clinical Operations Manager

Ms. McKee is a Chemical Dependency Professional and holds a degree from the University of Washington.  She is currently completing her Master's Degree.  Melody has been in the substance use disorder field for over 13-years.  She actually got her start in the field at Olalla Recovery Centers!  During her time in the field, she has filled many roles - including front line staff, support staff, counselor, case manager, recovery support coordinator, supervisor, trainer, educator, etc.  Within it all, she considers herself to be an advocate and champion for recovery.  She believes in reducing stigma and increasing accessibility to services for individuals living with substance use disorders.  She has a vast amount of experience in working with diverse populations including tribal communities.  Melody is a person in long-term recovery.  Her lived experience keeps her motivated to contribute to the recovery community in a meaningful way.  Melody is also a member of the King County Behavioral Health Advisory Board and a member of the Washington Recovery Alliance.  She is committed to spending quality time with her family and friends.  Melody enjoys playing softball, camping, and other outdoor activities.  Her passion for the field and her joyful demeanor are two of her best qualities the patients and staff appreciate.

Terri Roper, MA, CDP
Quality Assurance Administrator (Contractor)

Terri Roper has worked in the chemical dependency field since 1988. She started out as a telephone volunteer for the Alcohol/Drug 24 hour Helpline while completing her undergraduate degree. Since then she has worked in outpatient and inpatient programs as a counselor and manager (also served as interventionist and relapse prevention specialist), has worked as a misdemeanor probation officer, has done consulting to treatment organizations, private practice counseling, contract assessments at Remann Hall, and continuing education workshops for counselors. She returned last year from 2-1/2 years of service in the Peace Corps where, in addition to her volunteer activities, she had the opportunity to learn about treatment for alcoholism in Eastern Europe.  Terri is back at Olalla Recovery Centers after an eleven year absence and is happy to be working with the organization on staff development and quality assurance initiatives as well as working with families seeking intervention services.

Steve Fischer, BA, CDP
Assessment / Utilization Review Counselor

Steve spent his first career working in the financial services industry helping people to plan and save for their retirement.  After 15-years in the financial industry, Steve wanted to do something different, but wasn't sure what path he should take.  Steve has dedicated much of his time volunteering for various organizations and also with his church, which is where he reconnected with two friends from his high school days.  They suggested Steve should volunteer at Olalla Recovery Centers.  Steve spent the next 6-months volunteering at Olalla, while still working another job.  When a position in our support services department became available, Steve accepted the position.  He worked in the support department for about 8-months while he was completing his degree in Psychology.  When a full-time counselor position opened up, Steve took it.  Over the next few years, Steve worked as the primary counselor for what was knowns as the Marble Group, now known as the Hawk Group, then ultimately Steve had the Phoenix Group.  Steve left ORC for a period to explore options at a couple of other treatment programs, but returned in 2016 as the assessment counselor.  Steve has a passion for helping others and is dedicated to helping patients in the addiction field.  In his free time, Steve loves spending time with his family, dining out, taking road trips, and going out on the water.  Steve's positive outlook is very contagious!

Cathy Hughes, BS, CDP, NCACII
Treatment Supervisor, Inpatient

Cathy has selected the field of chemical dependency as she knows firsthand what drugs and alcohol have done in her own life and firmly believes she can help others.  She is affiliated with NAADAC and Blue Star Mothers.  Cathy enjoys working with children at her church in the AWANA program.  She also enjoys camping and hiking with her family and watching football.  Those who work with and around Cathy all say what a pleasure she is to work with and her knowledge of addiction and the effects on families is extensive. Cathy was recently promoted to Treatment Supervisor at our residential location. Cathy is currently completing multiple courses in Clinical Supervision and Leadership. Cathy has been with Olalla Recovery Centers since 2012.

Shaundra Lunore, BA, CDPT
Inpatient Counselor, Phoenix Group

Shaundra joined Olalla Recovery Centers in August 2016.  Prior to joining us, Shaundra worked in the accounting field for over 25 years.  Her mentors encouraged her to pursue counseling, so she started her collegiate journey and discovered a love for learning and for helping others see their potential.  She chose this field to help strengthen families, as Shaundra lost her own parents to the disease of addiction, as well as watching her own siblings struggle with recovery.  Shaundra is the oldest of 12 siblings, so she definitely has experience and wisdom to share.  Her goal is to be a good example and to show others it is never too late to follow and accomplish your dreams.  In her spare time, she enjoys camping, movies, and spending time with her family.

Heather Metts, MA, CDP
Inpatient Counselor, Hawk Group

Heather joined the Olalla Guest Lodge clinical team back in June 2016.  She attended graduate school with a focus on existential psychology at Seattle University.  Her first experiences in the field were in mental health services working with the severely and chronically mentally ill in a secure psychiatric facility.  Her training in providing unconditional acceptance and positive regard helped inform all of her interactions with patients.  It became clear rather quickly that, because of the overlap and interaction between substance use disorders and mental health, she would need to gain more knowledge in substance use disorders in order to provide for well-rounded treatment services.  She returned to school and received her Chemical Dependency Professional certification in 2011.  Since then, Heather has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, but it wasn't until she came to work at Olalla where she felt she had found the right niche for her background and counseling style.  Heather believes Olalla has a healing energy and overall philosophy of kindness, openness and understanding that fits with her personal worldview.  Heather states she loves working here at Olalla and is proud to be a member of the clinical team.  Heather is a very outgoing and compassionate counselor - her patients praise her attentiveness and caring nature as two of her strongest qualities.  In her spare time, Heather loves to travel and is a huge music fan.  She states she is as quirky and geeky as they come, but can also be found reading in her off time. 

Christyn Modica, BA, CDP
Outpatient Counselor

Christyn has dedicated her time to developing a diversity of experience and knowledge in chemical dependency and psychology, with experience in surrounding fields. She comprises her methods of support in eclectic form, with focus in mindfulness. Within the discipline of human services, Christyn has received training in domestic violence, sexual assault, crisis intervention, case management and mental health support. She has accompanied her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Certificate of Proficiency in Chemical Dependency and has devoted her efforts to providing support to individuals in recovery. Coming from a lifetime history of chemical dependency within the family, Christyn has developed an understanding of chemical dependency. She is devoted to professionalism and supports a diversity of eclectic methods to support individuals in a difficult place in their lives, including mindfulness. Christyn hopes to continue her education in co-occurring treatment and will provide a multitude of experience and knowledge to mental health and chemical dependency treatment.

Jessica McBride, CDPT
Outpatient Counselor

Jessica joined Gig Harbor Counseling as an assistant counselor in December 2016.  She has completed some additional course work and trainings related to youth and adolescents, including Amazing Adolescent Brain; Seeking Safety; Trauma and Grief; Sexual Assault; and YWCA Victim Services Training.  Jessica is eager to learn and has compassion for working with both adults and youth in addiction treatment services.  She is in recovery herself and is an active member of Alcoholic Anonymous.

Derek Murphy, M-RAS, CDP, SAP, CSC
Treatment Supervisor, Outpatient

Derek came to Olalla Recovery Centers, Gig Harbor Counseling in the summer of 2017. Derek has an extensive background in working in the addiction and law enforcement fields.  He has a degree in Psychology/Counseling from Johnson State College.  Derek is a former law enforcement officer, that found himself transitioning to individual and community based social work and social justice movements.  He is a federally qualified substance abuse professional and a member of the Pierce County Opioid Task Force.  Derek enjoys spending time with his family and enjoys a variety of outdoor activities - including hiking, biking, swimming, camping and shooting sports.

Peper Owens-Brown, MSW, CDPT
Inpatient Counselor, Raven Group

Peper joined Olalla Recovery Centers in 2015.  She and her family moved to the West Coast during her last year of graduate school.  Peper came to Olalla via her graduate school as an intern, but soon grew a passion to help those struggling with addiction, and soon became an employee and is now our women's counselor.  As a survivor of domestic violence, Peper brings knowledge and understanding of the family of an addict, compassion and patience.  Peper chose this field when she realized what her father taught her was the way she wanted to live her own life - care for others simply because they have a heart and were put on this earth with a purpose; they only need help finding that purpose.  Peper is a majority member of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls.  In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family.

Jennifer Vonwerner, MA, CDP
Inpatient Counselor, Falcon Group

Jennifer has been with ORC since September 2015. She completed her Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology in September 2016.  Jennifer has also worked in the corrections field providing services for offenders with mental health & addiction issues, and also services related to crisis management.  She has over 5+ years of experience working with youth behavioral issues.  Jennifer grew up under the tables of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous and firmly believes that life-long change is possible.

Buddy Bassett, CDPT
Inpatient Counselor

In April 2017, we welcomed Buddy to the Olalla Clinical Team.  Buddy began his career in Human Services/Chemical Dependency in 2010 as a volunteer lay counselor and realized his passion for helping others.  He pursued his education in chemical dependency and acquired an internship with an area outpatient program in 2011.  Shortly after starting his internship, Buddy created and implemented a vocational services component that was used in teaching the under-served population how to obtain gainful employment and/or education in a post-recession economy.  Buddy worked as a vocational navigator and Chemical Dependency Professional Trainee for the organization until January 2017.  He then decided to make the move to Olalla Recovery Centers, where he currently works as one of our counselors here at Olalla Guest Lodge.  Buddy is passionate about helping patients change the way they think about addictive behaviors.  He chose this field because he has dedicated his life to helping the hopeless find direction and purpose in their lives.  Buddy is a member of the International Association of Workforce Professionals and currently sits on the Olympic College Human Services Advisory Committee.  When he isn't hard at work, Buddy enjoys philosophy, art, technology, writing, music and psychology.  Buddy is a true advocate for our patients and lends a helping hand to anyone who might need one.

Nina Walker, BA, CDPT
Outpatient Counselor

Nina started with Olalla Recovery Centers in September 2017.  Prior to becoming an employee at ORC, Nina completed her internship with us from February 2017 to September 2017.  Before moving to Washington State, she completed her practicum in medication assisted treatment in North Charleston, South Carolina.  After having some experiences working in other areas of mental health treatment while in college and in graduate school, Nina enjoyed working in substance use disorder treatment the most due to the interactions between other colleagues and with the clients.  Nina is continuing her pursuit of her Master's Degree and is a true asset to our outpatient services. 

Lois West, BA, CDP
Lead Counselor / Reiki Master

Lois began her internship in chemical dependency services with two agencies in Kitsap County. She joined Olalla Recovery Centers in 2006. Lois has been involved with various recovery based activities in addition to working with her patients here at Olalla. Lois has a gentle spirit and deep understanding of the issues our male patients endure while beginning a life of recovery. She is highly artistic and offers patients another avenue of expressing themselves via an artistic medium. Lois is also our Native American spiritual circle and smudging coordinator. She works with our Native American consultants in offering a native spiritual component to recovery and treatment. Lois is also a Level III Reiki Master / Teacher and is currently our onsite Reiki specialist. Lois is also a former professional ballet dancer. It is her grace and jovial sense of humor the patients enjoy while here in treatment.

Ron Ohnhaus, BA, CDP
Family Program Facilitator

Ron Ohnhaus arrived in Washington in 1976 on the submarine USS Halibut. He married Kayren Ohnhaus in 1992, shortly after meeting her at a recovery campout at Neah Bay, Washington. They have two children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  Ron’s personal recovery journey began when he completed inpatient treatment in 1977. After being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1978, Ron worked as a test engineer in the Navy shipyard. He then started a contracting business, which led to forming other small companies. In each business Ron and his wife make it a priority to hire men and women in recovery. They operate a sober living home, a recovery meeting hall, and serve on boards and in organizations dedicated to supporting recovering people.  Upon retiring from a full-time business career in 2013, Ron’s passion for helping chemically-dependent people became his new profession. Returning to school he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in human services, then became licensed as a Certified Counselor and Chemical Dependency Professional. Working for two years as a primary counselor at Olalla Recovery Center, he transitioned to the family program facilitator in 2017, the position he currently holds. To enhance his professional expertise, he recently enrolled in a master’s degree program.  Ron enjoys spending time with friends and family and likes to engage in outdoor activities such as camping, boating and bicycle riding. He loves walking his Jack Russel terriers every day to exercise and meditate.

Management Team

Christine Lynch, BA, Executive Director

Christine has been with Olalla Recovery Centers since 2000. Prior to her work in chemical dependency, Christine worked in the law enforcement and legal field for over ten years. She has a degree in psychology, business administration and human resource management. Christine oversees the organization as directed by the Board of Directors. Christine is an active participant in the Gig Harbor, Key Peninsula Suicide Prevention Coalition, the Gig Harbor, Key Peninsula Youth Violence Prevention Coalition, the Washington State Association for Addiction Professionals, and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Accountable Communities of Health.

Kevin Merrick, Board Member

Mr. Merrick served as the General Manager for Olalla Recovery Centers from 1995 to 2013. Kevin brings a breadth of talent to the organization based upon his educational background in business and finance. Kevin is a dedicated to the service of families struggling with addiction and to the employees of the organization.

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