I grew up in Southern California surfing and listening to the Beach Boys and Dick Dale. When the hippie movement began I went to the LA area Love-Ins looking for some of that free love. After dodging the draft by going to college for five years I was drafted and sent to Vietnam as a combat medic.
My military medical experience was a life changing event. When I was returned to civilian live I was interested in helping my fellow man rather than seeking fame and fortune. I took work in a local civilian hospital where I met my wife and decided to become an RN. In nursing school I enjoyed my placement in alcohol rehabilitation and was offered a position in an alcohol rehab unit at graduation (Long Beach Memorial Hospital).
Within a year I took a position with the Saint Joseph Hospital Alcohol Rehabilitation Unit where I worked for 17 years with 9 of these years as Head Nurse/Nurse Manager. When insurance dramatically cut reimbursement I worked for two years in a Community Psychiatric Hospital then went to work at the VA – back taking care of soldiers!
In the VA system I supervised a 40 bed addiction care ward, a 30 bed Mood Disorders Unit (Depression and Bipolar Illness) unit and a 30 bed Schizophrenia Research Unit. I also worked in psychiatric home health for the VA and as Director of Homeless Services for VA Long Beach.
I relocated to Arizona and worder as a Treatment Coordinator in a VA residential treatment program (Domiciliary) where I developed a 44 bed specialty Relapse Prevention program.
After my retirement from the VA I have been a nursing instructor for Northern Arizona University and served as Director of Nursing for the Flagstaff Guidance Center.
I have worked with many notable physicians:
1) Joseph Zuska – developer of US Navy Alcohol Rehabilitation Programs
2) Paul Ohligher – Chief of Staff, Saint Joseph Hospital (Orange CA) and Medical Director for Alcohol Recovery services. Author of the Chapter, DOCTOR, ALCOHOLIC, ADDICT in the AA Big Book
3) Max Schneider – Medical Director CareManor Hospital in Orange, CA. Clinical Professor and Addiction Medicine Specialist – his educational videos have been used nationwide in addiction education
4) Joseph Pursch – treated Betty Ford for addictions – Psychiatrist, Addiction Medicine Specialist, author and columnist
5) Walter Ling – Research and Development – Matrix Institute Los Angeles
6) Robert (Rocky) Gerner – Psychiatrist, Researcher and UCLA Clinical Professor, Ward Chief VA WLA Mood
7) William Wirshing - Psychiatrist, Researcher and UCLA Clinical Professor, Ward Chief VA WLA Schizophrenia Research Unit
8) Andrew Shaner - Psychiatrist, Researcher and UCLA Clinical Professor, Chief of Psychiatry, Ward Chief VA WLA Dual Diagnosis Unit
9) Stephen Marder - Psychiatrist, Researcher and UCLA Clinical Professor, Director VISN 22 MIRECC, international expert on schizophrenia
I have also taken training from William Rader (Psychiatrist, Addiction Medicine Specialist, Rader Institute), psychologists Albert Ellis (RET/REBT), Aaron Beck (CBT) and also taken extensive training in Relapse Prevetion from Terry Gorski
I have two degrees in nursing, a degree in psychology and a degree in business management. I have worked as a part time alcohol drug studies instructor at Saddleback College and the California Addictions Counselor Training Institute. I have worked as a part time psychiatric nursing instructor at Mt. St Mary’s College and West Coast University. I have been certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, the California Association of Nurses in Substance Abuse, the National Consortium of Chemical Dependency Nurses, the International Nurse Certification Board, the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors and the American Academy of Professionals in the Addictive Disorders. I was inducted into the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Counselors Hall of Fame for 20 years of service on various boards, committees and commissions. I have also been recognized in Who’s Who in American Nursing, Who’s Who in Medicine, Who’s Who of Intellectuals, Community Leaders of America and International Men of Distinction.
I served in the Army National Guard, Army Reserve and back on Army Active Duty between 1991 and 2010. I retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. I was activated for the LA Riots and Northridge Earthquake a Humanitarian Mission to Panama and active duty in War on Terror (CBHCO Riverside). I served as Personnel Officer, Army Reserve Commander, Officer in Charge of the Los Alamitos Exam Station, Executive Officer and Deputy Commander for California National Guard Medical Detachment (statewide). I conducted debriefings for personnel returning from Katrina and served as a volunteer combat stress consultant for 1/501 Infantry prior to Afghanistan mobilization. My military awards include the Combat Medical Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Overseas Training Ribbon, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal. Meritorious Service Medal. Letters of Commendation from Commanding General, 40th Infantry Division and Chief Nurse, Army National Guard Bureau (Pentagon) and the Order of Military Medical Merit.
I have done workshops and presentations for Alcoholism Research Institute, California Nurses Association, National Nurses in Substance Abuse, California Association of Nurses in Substance Abuse, California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, Saint Joseph Hospital, Orange, California, Saint Joseph Hospital, Eureka, California, Saint Judes Hospital, Fullerton, California, West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (including several Grand Rounds presentations), VA Long Beach (including Grand Rounds Presentation), TriService Combat Stress Conference, VA Best Practices Conference, the VA VISN 22 MHICM Retreat, the Evolution of the Addictions Conference in LA,ference and the AMSUS military medical conference and several presentations for SMART Recovery
I have done research and publications in alternative recovery, nurse support groups, medication effectiveness, military medical soldier motivation, characteristics of SMART Recovery facilitators and the use of nursing care plans.
I also took training in spirituality from Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (OSHO) and have been an active member of many Religious Science Churches.