Meet the Staff of Pacifica Recovery

Harry L. Haroutunian, M.D.

Medical Director

Dr. Harry is board certified in both addiction and family medicine. He is an internationally known speaker and authority on topics of addiction and recovery from the disease of addiction; including drug misuse among older adults. He is the author of Being Sober, Not as Prescribed, and co-author of Hijacking The Brain.

Dr. Harry has been featured in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Drew on Call and the Dr. Phil Show.

He and has served as Physician Director of both the professional and residential programs at The Betty Ford Center.

Dr. Harry is currently the Medical Director at Pacifica Recovery as well as the President of Harry L. Haroutunian MD, a Professional Corporation. Dr. Harry is renowned in the field of addiction medicine and continues to use his in-depth knowledge and experience to provide hope and healing for those affected by the disease of addiction.

Dr. Heather Kurera

Psychiatrist

Dr. Heather Kurera has been a board-certified Psychiatrist since 2010. She became board-certified in Addiction Medicine in 2018. Dr. Kurera’s career has provided her the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including community mental health, residential dual-diagnosis, private practice and corrections programs.

She began her medical career as an active duty officer and physician with the United States Navy in 2003. She then became a General Medical Officer at Camp Pendleton and deployed with her Marine Corps unit in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon returning from Iraq, Dr. Kurera completed her residency training in Psychiatry at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego (NMCSD) and then remained at NMCSD as a Staff Psychiatrist. After serving nine years of active duty service, Dr. Kurera left the Navy at the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was awarded the Master Clinician Award by NMCSD.

Dr. Kurera then went on to work for a non-profit agency in the Los Angeles area that primarily serves women in need of drug and alcohol treatment. The dual diagnosis residential programs of this agency were trauma-informed and allowed their clients to bring their young children with them into treatment. Dr. Kurera was the Medical Director for this agency from 2014-2018.

She has now started her own group practice and continues to work in the field of mental health and addiction with various programs.

Dr. Kurera holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry from Texas Woman’s University. She received her medical education from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas.

Psychology Today Profile

An important part of getting better is finding the right medication or combination of medications. That isn't always easy. If only there were a simple blood test or an x-ray that would tell the psychiatrist what is going on and how best to treat your condition. Hopefully, one day science will bring us to that point - but for now, psychiatrists must rely on their clinical skills. Part of what I love about being a psychiatrist is getting to know my clients as well as possible so that I can figure out what is going to work best for them. This involves taking a thorough history when we first meet, then meeting regularly for follow-up appointments and actually talking to you about your life - not just about what's happening with the meds. I send clients for labs, imaging tests or back to their primary care doctors to help rule out medical conditions if it seems like that is what is going on or contributing to the problem. I often will use pharmacogenomic testing as well to help optimize a client's treatment. I'm excited about the breakthroughs on the horizon for Psychiatry that can bring hope and healing to more and more people.

I'm also board certified in Addiction Medicine. I enjoy partnering with clients to find what will work best for them in their journey to recovery. I have experience working with co-occurring disorders and recognize that psychiatric illness and addiction issues must be treated concurrently. I enjoy finding innovative solutions to complex problems.

Dr. Sandy Islands, PhD, LPCC, CADC II

Clinical Director

Sandy Islands is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She has been a licensed Mental Health Counselor in Florida for over 30 years and moved to CA in 2016 to be closer to her son. She has worked in the Substance Abuse field and with cooccurring disorders for over 15 years. She holds master’s degrees in Speech Pathology and Counseling from West Virginia University and a master’s in Creative Writing from Seton Hill University. She holds a PhD in Hypnotherapy from the American Institute of Hypnotherapy. She is the owner of Energy Illumination, LLC and has written several books and produced guided meditation CD’s. She uses EMDR and Hypnotherapy for trauma reprocessing.

"Recovery can be a journey entering into the mysterious, finding clues along the way to uproot, unravel and change old patterns. New freedom and choices to improve the addict’s life are created to find peace and joy. Tools are uncovered to light the inner flame and awaken the Truth within. By entering into the recovery process, what wants to be discovered and expressed is inspired. The addict’s Truth within shines as the old issues and layers of denial (Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying) peel away. And in doing so, they come to know, realize and honor the clean and sober individual that they are and can be moving forward."

Rebekah McCammon

Therapist

Rebekah McCammon is a clinician who works for those individuals currently struggling with chemical dependency and mental health issues. Rebekah has been involved in the field of chemical dependency and mental health since 2009; starting her work initially as an intern with the Soroptomist House of Hope, a women’s sober living facility. Rebekah believes in a client centered approach which focuses on an individual’s ability to achieve true autonomy, self -awareness, self- worth, and ultimately self- love through utilization of strong and concrete skills sets representative of Dialectical Behavioral also Cognitive Behavioral techniques and approaches.

Through previous practicum work as a Masters level student within Aurora Psychiatric Hospital (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) Rebekah was introduced to the teachings of Marsha Linehan, founder of Dialectical Behavior therapy. Rebekah was inspired by witnessing the positively profound impact DBT had on a range of different individual struggles including trauma, chemical dependency, and behavioral/psychological issues. Rebekah now utilizes that inspiration and knowledge to introduce different Dialectical Behavioral skill sets and concepts to the individuals she works with on a daily basis.

Prior to work as a clinician at Pacifica Recovery, Rebekah worked for three years at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage California where she assisted individuals, families, and loved ones through the admissions process. While working with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Rebekah traveled to the corporation’s headquarter facility in Minnesota to be part of a small and specialized focus group which looked in detail at new and improved ways to change the admissions process for all Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation facilities nationwide.

Rebekah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from California State University, San Bernardino and a Master of Arts degree with honors in clinical psychology from Cardinal Stritch University; Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Jeff Anderson, CADC-CS, ICCS, ICADC

Jeff Anderson, CADC-CS, ICCS, ICADC

COO

Jeff Anderson has worked in numerous capacities during his over ten years in the addiction treatment field. His experience includes medium to large scale operations and clinical oversight in both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Jeff Started his career at ABC Recovery Center where he had his first position as Chief Operations Officer, which he parleyed into his progression to head of operations for the national addiction treatment organization Sunspire Health. In addition to working in local and national treatment organizations, Jeff worked as an international accreditation surveyor with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for several years. Jeff is active in all areas of the business including licensing, accreditation, operations, IT management and software development, and clinical product improvement.

Please give us a call at 877-597-5700. It’s 100% confidential and we’re happy to help you with any questions.

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