Our Experienced Staff
The staff here at Valley Recovery Center comes from a variety of backgrounds, and everyone of them is devoted to helping our patients find the treatment or treatments that really speak to their needs and address their history with addiction. The staff includes psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors, who work to guide patients through their entire recovery process. They also provide one on one therapy, develop a personal treatment program for each patient, and help patients set goals and achieve lasting recovery.
GARY REMPE, M.A., LMFT, PRIMARY THERAPIST
Gary’s commitment to treatment is best seen through a fifteen-year work history that includes providing a broad range of mental health services to children, teens and families, foster care and at-risk youth, seniors and the physically disabled, as well as individuals with chronic or acute mentally illness and co-occurring substance use disorders. He has found success in the treatment of individuals suffering from traumatic or acute stress, depression and anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behavior and substance use. His work has also included services to low-income families and children struggling with violence or abuse, mental illness, behavioral disorders, learning differences, physical illness, parental loss and traumatic grief. He uses a psycho-dynamic perspective with a cognitive-behavioral and narrative therapies approach to treatment. He believes each individual, couple, or family can heal through this process, improve their relationships and achieve a greater quality of life.
MARYLOU PERELMUTTER, CLINICAL DIRECTOR
Mary Lou was born and raised in New York City. Shortly after graduating from college Mary Lou and her
young family relocated to Los Angeles. She went on to earn her master’s degree in clinical psychology
from Phillips Graduate Institute and her Doctorate from The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.
Aside from her Doctorate, she holds both a Marriage and Family Therapist License as well as being
licensed as a Professional Clinical Counselor. Mary Lou brings to Ohana decades of experience in both
the Mental Health and Substance abuse fields across all continuums of care.
RICK MACROREY, C.A.D.A.C-C.A.S.
Rick Macrory is a certified Chemical Dependent Counselor who has had experience as a case manager and facilitator in many treatment facilities, as well as extensive knowledge on how to work recovery in his life. Rick attended Point Loma College in San Diego where he studied Business Administration. Rick has excelled in sports and developed the art of working as a team player. He brings to our program compassion, love of recovery and straight talk. He is passionate about recovery and about helping our clients change the direction of their lives. Rick creates a trusting, vulnerable environment for our clients to navigate the most difficult emotional work.
CHRIS NELSON, COUNSELOR, SUDCC
Chris has worked in the field of addiction for over three years, working on his Associates of Science in Addiction Studies, and plans on continuing his education to become an LMFT. He has a wide range of experience in substance abuse, including motivational interviewing, CBT, and relapse prevention. Chris has great success in meeting clients where they are mentally and emotionally and building rapport with a diverse population of clients towards personal growth. Chris has been an active member in the recovery community for over seven years and is greatly experienced in the 12 steps.
Jennifer Poynter is a yoga and meditation teacher who focuses on health and healing underserved communities and those impacted by trauma and abuse. Her classes are held in studios, drug rehabs, homeless shelters, and prisons. She has multiple certifications in yoga, meditation, yoga for trauma, and Tai Chi Qong. The power of yoga has helped her grow stronger emotionally, physically, spiritually, and artistically. Her care filled, balanced teaching style allows students to release tension and anxiety and open up to the knowledge, wisdom, and creativity that is already inside each of them.
MARLEE SIMON, MC-BC
Marlee Simon, MT-BC is a Board-Certified Music Therapist in Los Angeles, CA. She has been with us at Valley Recovery Center since we opened our Newhall residential care facility in 2015. Music therapy allows clients to explore their recovery process in fun, safe, noninvasive, and motivating ways through music. At Valley Recovery Center, clients participate in therapeutic, music interventions—such as receptive music listening, songwriting, lyric analysis and discussion, instrumental improvisation, and music and meditation—to express themselves, connect with peers, and develop coping techniques and transferable skills for recovery. Music therapy is an accessible modality of treatment for all ages and abilities; no prior music experience or skill is necessary to participate. “Music is a universal language that be used purposefully to motive, connect, heal, and inspire people. I am passionate about helping people to discover and actualize their fullest potential. It is my passion and purpose in life to provide opportunities for people to explore their sense of self and to enhance their quality of life with music.” Marlee received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and received her Associate’s Degree in Psychology from College of the Canyons in Valencia, California. For more information about Music Therapy, visit melimusicllc.com (Meli Music LLC – Los Angeles-based music therapy services) and musictherapy.org (American Music Therapy Assocation).
AKIRA FUNAHASHI, BREATHWORK
Dr. Akira Funahashi, OTD, OTR/L, is a breathwork facilitator on the Breathwork for Recovery team, an occupational therapist, turntablist, and healer. Breathwork is instrumental in Akira’s healing journey. Grateful for what breathwork provides her, Akira is inspired to share the power of breathwork with others who are open and ready to heal. As a transgender female, Akira has particular interests in helping others in the LGBTQ community, as well as individuals who struggle with childhood and sexual abuse trauma. Akira earned an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Cal Poly Pomona and a Master’s and Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California. She has over a decade of experience as a clinical and school-based occupational therapist, specializing in pediatrics. With over 20 years of professional and competitive DJ experience, Akira is deeply passionate about turntablism and devotes her life to the DJ arts. She is driven to fuse her love for DJing and her experience as an occupational therapist to develop new forms of expression and healing. Akira is currently completing David Elliot’s, Healer Trainings, certification program. Her core values are education, awareness, and empowerment.
JASON HARPER, PROGRAM DIRECTOR
LUIS DAVILA, CHEF
DR. SIRI KHALSA, MEDICAL DIRECTOR
JARED GARCIA, COUNSELOR
KIM PARKINSON, NURSE
RACHEL TAYLOR, CASE MANAGER
EMILY SKELTON, EMDR THERAPIST
SHIREEN JANTI, DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI & FAMILY SERVICES
For more than 33 years, Shireen has been sought after as a force in the field of mental health and chemical dependency. Her numerous credentials include Certified Professional Coach (CPC), Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LAADC), and Certified Relapse Prevention Specialist (CRPS).
Professionally, Shireen has organized and facilitated numerous panels and workshops on a variety of topics, bringing awareness, prevention and resources to the recovery and mental health communities. Shireen has more than three decades of experience helping people heal, shift and transform their lives. She has helped thousands of people increase their life satisfaction and move into healthy relationships, experience increased self-esteem, improve parenting skills, increase career satisfaction, and overcome substance and process addictions that include alcohol, substances, food, shopping and sex.
Her vast experience working in the entertainment industry includes positions at the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (AFTRA), Fox Film Corporation, Fox Sports Net and Capitol Records, and 18 years at MusiCares, the charitable arm of the Recording Academy (otherwise known as the organization that awards Grammys). Starting in 2004 in the role of an addiction recovery specialist, she moved up the ranks to senior director of mental health and addiction services, addressing crisis situations and various needs of music professionals nationwide.
Additionally, Shireen has received several awards in the fields of Mental Health and Addiction including the “Gratitude for Giving” by the Sierra Tucson Treatment Center 2010; “Distinguished Service In the Field Of Recovery” by Miriam’s House, Polo in the Palisades 2016; the “Visionary Award” at the CCAPP (California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals) Convention 2016; and the WAAT (Woman’s Association of Addiction Treatment) “Victoria Smart” Award 2019.
After many years in the entertainment industry, Shireen decided to widen her reach to be able to offer her experience and skills to people from all walks of life, and successfully created her coaching and consulting practice along with her roll at AM Health Care as Director Of Alumni And Family Services.
MICHAEL FLESCHER, GROUP FACILITATOR
A PASSION FOR HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Everyone at Valley Recovery Center knows that they are part of a team working together to provide our patients with the care and support they need to achieve sobriety. We are all deeply interested in the health and the success of our patients, and we take tremendous pride in the work we do. It truly feels great to see our patients return to their families and communities and enjoy a lasting recovery.
WIDE RANGE OF SKILL SETS
Our staff includes many other professionals, including hypnotherapists, art therapists, music therapists, and pet therapists, to name just a few. They share our commitment to providing patients with personalized care, and they give patients options to find treatment programs that they can really connect with. We know that each patient is unique, so we don’t expect that the same treatment will work for everyone. Instead, we provide patients with many options, so they will be able to find the treatment that works for them.