Leadership

DAVID VIEAU, President  & C.E.O.
DAVID VIEAU
President & C.E.O.

David’s extensive business background combined with his personal story of recovery led to the founding of Turnbridge in 2003. Under his direction, Turnbridge has evolved into a nationally recognized program for young men and young women. He has pioneered innovative approaches and developed programs specifically for young adults that have changed the way the industry approaches transitional living.

His educational background includes a Liberal Arts education from Harvard University. In addition to spending most of his career in the non-profit world, his professional experience also includes a variety of leadership roles with start-up organizations and educational institutions.

He enjoys spending time with his ten year old daughter Alexis, is an aspiring musician, and an avid golfer.

BRETT TIBERIO
Executive Vice President

As Executive Vice President, Brett provides oversight and support to all departments within Turnbridge. He joined Turnbridge in February 2010 and is responsible for maintaining focused and driven business operations, project management and execution, increasing programmatic efficiencies both clinically and residentially, and ensuring quality client care is accomplished.

As a graduate of the Turnbridge Men's Program, Brett offers a unique perspective on client centered treatment. He is always willing to speak with families and residents to share his experiences and knowledge of the Turnbridge Program. Before joining Turnbridge, Brett worked for Blum Shapiro, the largest regional accounting, tax and business consulting firm in New England. He graduated from Champlain College with a B.S. in Professional Writing. In his free time, Brett enjoys maintaining an active lifestyle, the arts, and the pursuit of personal growth.

JAMIE HAZELTON
Vice President

As Vice President, Jamie not only participates in and oversees the admissions process, but also spearheads the effort to build bridges between Turnbridge and other high quality treatment programs across the country. Maintaining close ties with other centers gives Turnbridge two distinct advantages. First, knowing the people, philosophies and practices of primary treatment centers makes the process of integrating new residents from these centers smoother and easier. Second, by understanding the specialties of other centers, it allows Turnbridge to recommend the best care option for young men and young women when Turnbridge may not be their best solution. Jamie has helped hundreds of families navigate the difficult road of choosing an addiction treatment program that best suits their loved one's needs.

Himself a Turnbridge graduate, Jamie offers parents seeking hope a compassionate ear and first-hand knowledge of the Turnbridge Program and its unique benefits. Before joining Turnbridge, Jamie attended college for nursing, and has extensive experience caring for people in need including his work with veterans for the American Red Cross. Jamie continues to live his passion for helping others as a Turnbridge Leader.

JONATHAN A LOWE – MSN, PMH-APRN
JONATHAN A LOWE – MSN, PMH-APRN
Executive Director of Clinical Services

Jonathan graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 where he earned his MSN in psychiatric nursing. He has received the Connecticut League of Nurses Award and the Joan Lynaugh Award for Outstanding Clinical Scholarship. Jonathan has worked extensively with adolescents and adults with co-occurring psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. His philosophy is to educate and empower clients to become better self-advocates and consumers of mental health services.

TOM MARZILLI - MA
Executive Director of Residential Services

As Executive Director of Residential Services, Tom is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the residential curriculum in both the Men’s and Women’s programs of Turnbridge.    

Tom earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bentley College, and completed his Masters in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University in 2012.  Before coming to Turnbridge, Tom held the position of Director of Operations at a women’s residential treatment facility in Colorado that specialized in co-occurring disorders. Tom also held a private practice in Colorado, in which he maintained a clinical focus on trauma and substance use disorders.

Tom’s career in the field of addiction treatment began in 2008, a transition that was motivated by his own journey in recovery and his passion for helping others recover.

In his spare time, Tom enjoys playing golf, practicing yoga and meditation, and is an avid handball player.

AUDREY BELL - LMSW
Women's Program Director

Audrey Bell is a Licensed Master Social Worker. A graduate of Fordham Graduate School of Social Service, she earned an MSW with a Clinical and Assessment concentration. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Manhattanville College, where she was an athlete at the collegiate level.

Prior to coming to Turnbridge, Audrey worked with the O’Connor Professional Group as a clinical companion and recovery coach. She has facilitated interventions for high-risk substance abusers, individuals in crisis, in collaboration with treatment teams and families. Her training includes motivational interviewing, strengths-based approach and solutions-focused modalities.

Additionally, Audrey has traveled extensively, domestically and internationally. She is a practitioner of Vinyasa yoga and meditation.

BILL SIMMONS – CAC
BILL SIMMONS – CAC
Director of Operations

With over a decade of professional experience in the field of substance abuse treatment, Bill has held a variety of positions in both management as well as direct-care capacities.  He is a Nationally and Internationally Credentialed Drug and Alcohol Counselor, and a BLS & CPR trainer through the American Heart Association.  Bill’s passion and motivation for helping others stems largely from his personal experience in recovery.

Bill is a certified firefighter, having spent time as an officer at his local Fire Department.  He believes in volunteering his time to those less fortunate, and is actively involved with his local food pantry.

JOHN PALMER – BSW
JOHN PALMER – BSW
Director of Professional Development

John makes sure every Turnbridge family is getting the support and direction they need to become and remain healthy. John helps both the individual and family members understand how to build a strong foundation in recovery. He facilitates a practical path to rebuilding lives using the tools that the resident and his family already possess.

Throughout his 30 year career, John has held a variety of leadership positions with national and international organizations. His own personal experience with recovery, along with a strong desire to help young men achieve their goals, brought him to Turnbridge in 2009. He graduated with a degree in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University in 1979.

MOHAMED ELSAMRA – MD
MOHAMED ELSAMRA – MD
Medical Director
Dr. Elsamra received his medical education and specialty training at the University of Connecticut. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in psychiatry. He spent four years as a staff supervisor at the APT Foundation and at the Yale Substance Abuse Fellowship program in New Haven, CT. His special areas of interest include addictions and trauma recovery. Dr. Elsamra believes strongly in the resilience of the human spirit and sees the role of the psychiatrist as assisting the person in removing obstacles to the natural healing and recovery process.
GORDON DICKLER - CAC, ICADC
Director of Admissions

Gordon helps families in crisis find hope and help for their loved ones in need. As a Turnbridge graduate and a board certified addiction counselor, Gordon’s intimate understanding of Turnbridge’s powerful ability to help young men and young women overcome addiction and mental health disorders is informed by both personal and professional experience. This unique perspective allows Gordon to relate deeply to these issues, and to explain at a foundational level the many aspects of Turnbridge’s Preparative Care Program.

After graduating from the Turnbridge Men's Program, Gordon realized a newfound desire to help others overcome addiction and disorder. He completed a substance abuse counseling certification program and returned to Turnbridge as a staff-member where he excelled in a variety of direct-care roles. In July of 2013, Turnbridge asked Gordon to apply his knowledge, personal experience, and insight to the work of Admissions, where he has the privilege of being among the first points of touch between families seeking help, and Turnbridge’s ability to give hope.

BRYCE LIBBY - LCSW, LADC, CCS, MBA
Clinical Director

Bryce Libby is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with nearly 30 years of experience working in behavioral health.  Bryce earned his Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Connecticut, his Master of Business Administration from Husson University, and his BA in Psychology from the University of Maine.  Additionally, he holds credentials as a Certified Clinical Supervisor and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.  Bryce’s broad base of direct-care and leadership experience includes work in assessment, crisis, detoxification, inpatient, PHP, and IOP environments. 

Bryce’s primary orientation as a clinician is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but he also makes use of Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy techniques, and Motivational Interviewing.  Group therapy is Bryce’s preferred modality.  He believes it is critical for all clinical services to be both gender-responsive and trauma-informed. 

Bryce’s personal recovery from chemical addiction is a big part of what drives his passion for this important work. In his personal time, Bryce enjoys traveling, singing, working out, outdoor activities, spending time with his family in Maine, and is a serious dog lover – particularly Boxers.

KATINA VARZOS - PMH-APRN
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Katina Varzos holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and a Master of Science degree in nursing from Yale University. She graduated with honors as a member of Sigma Theta Tau honor society and later went on to complete additional post-graduate training in psychiatry at Drexel University.

Katina is dually certified in both women’s health by the ACNM and as an adult psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner by the ANCC. She has over a decade of experience in community mental health providing in-home care for clients with severe mental illness and substance use disorders. Most recently, she provided all medication management services for college students seeking mental health care at Wesleyan University’s counseling center. In addition to her work at Turnbridge, Katina maintains a small private practice in which she provides specialized care for women struggling with perinatal and postpartum mood disorders. Her approach to care is holistic and collaborative; she combines evidence-based treatment modalities and ongoing education to empower clients in their path towards recovery.

JESSICA HAMILTON – LCSW
JESSICA HAMILTON – LCSW
Primary Therapist

A licensed clinical social worker with 15 years experience in the behavioral health field, Jessica Hamilton has provided both direct care and clinical supervision for some of Connecticut’s largest treatment providers of addiction, mental health and co-occurring disorders.

Jessica began her career in the mental health field working at Hall-Brooke Psychiatric Hospital in Westport, CT and has since provided a variety of co-occurring clinical services for children, adolescents and adults prior to holding clinical leadership positions. With Liberation Programs, she served as Clinical Administrator of Bridgeport Services and provided programmatic oversight for research studies for Yale University and The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Jessica was chosen as site supervisor for mastered level interns for NYU and Fordham University students. Most recently, Jessica was Program Manager for Rushford where she was responsible for clinical supervision to staff and implemented evidence based practices and overall service delivery for co-occurring outpatient services.

As a lead clinician with Turnbridge, Jessica utilizes a client centered, strength based approach with CBT and dual recovery principles. In this capacity, Jessica collaborates closely with Turnbridge’s staff to offer clinical oversight for implementation of interventions tailored specifically to the unique recovery needs of each of her clients.

Lynn Staffa, LCSW
LYNN WALKER – LCSW
Associate Clinical Director

Lynn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and certified in School Social Work and the Seven Challenges model of treatment.  Lynn earned her Master’s of Social Work degree at Springfield College and Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Criminal Justice at Central Connecticut State University.  She completed several years of internships and employment within the school setting in both New Britain and West Hartford, CT districts.  Lynn worked as an intensive in-home family therapist at Wheeler Clinic for the Multi-Systemic Therapy program (Court Support Services Division), where she worked with families of youth who were involved with the court system in order to improve client performance at school and home, by developing contingency plans to address client’s negative behaviors and substance abuse, as well as family communication.

Prior to coming to Turnbridge, Lynn worked as a lead clinician at Rushford at Stonegate, a residential treatment center for adolescent males in Durham, CT.  She provided intensive individual, family, group therapy, and crisis management services.   Lynn also works at a private practice on the weekends providing individual, couples, and family therapy for adults and children at Stokes Counseling Services in Naugatuck, CT.

LAUREN SPRINGER – LMSW
LAUREN SPRINGER – LMSW
Family Liaison

We know that addiction is a disease which affects the entire family.  As the Family Liaison for Turnbridge families, Lauren offers support, caring guidance and education to parents and families as they negotiate the pathway to their own recovery.   She believes that parents having their own recovery program is not only essential to their own health and well-being, but in turn aids in their sons’ or daughters' recovery.

Much of the insight Lauren brings to the position of Family Liaison is from her personal experience as the mother of a son who has the disease of addiction.  Lauren believes that much of her strength comes from involvement in recovery programs as well as in helping other parents build a program of recovery to find peace and serenity in their own lives.  Lauren is a Licensed Master of Social Work.  She earned her Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in adolescent health care.  She has worked with adolescents and their families throughout her career in hospital setting, child protection, judicial system, special education and social service development in NJ.  Lauren currently facilitates a Caron Foundation support group for parents of addicted children in Northern NJ.

JACK BRITTON - LPC, LADC
Primary Therapist

Jack Britton is a Licensend Professional Counselor and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. After receiving a master's degree in accounting from Southern Methodist University and having worked in that field, Jack decided to change careers and entered the helping profession through earning a master's degree from Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School.

Prior to Turnbridge, Jack worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas, first in Lubbock and later in Austin. Since 2010, in both inpatient and outpatient programs Jack has engaged with young adults struggling with substance use disorders and mental health challenges.

Clinically, he utilizes rational emotive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing techniques, enjoys exploring identity change and resolution, and likes to consider how we select mates and friends. Jack loves to run, supports the performing and visual arts, appreciates a good tailor, and prefers cowboy boots.

JOSH WATSON - LMFT
Family Therapist

Josh Watson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Master’s degree in Family Therapy from Southern Connecticut State University

Josh has nearly a decade of clinical experience working families and treating mental health and substance abuse disorders. He has seen the transformational impact that families have when they are engaged in the recovery process. Before coming to Turnbridge, Josh served as the Clinical Team Leader for Young Adult Services at BHcare and as a Primary Clinician at the Yale Child Study Center working with youth and their families. He has a private practice in Greenwich, CT where he works with individuals, couples and families.

As a family therapist at Turnbridge, Josh brings his expertise and understanding in working with family systems and families in recovery. He has additional certifications and training in Gestalt Psychotherapy, Attachment, Regulation, & Competency (ARC), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Informed Care, Mind/Body Modalities and 12-Step Philosophies. He is also an AAMFT Clinical Member and holds AAMFT Approved Supervisor Status. 

KATRINA RICCA - MA, MFT
Primary Therapist

Kat holds master's degrees in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University. Originally from San Francisco, she moved to the East Coast for graduate school after graduating from San Francisco State University with a BA in Psychology and a BA in Criminal Justice. While living in San Francisco, she worked at Seneca Center For Families as a behavioral therapist for at-risk youth. 

As a graduate student in New York, Kat held several research assistant positions exploring the impact of trauma on survivors of 9/11, depression and suicide in spouses of deployed active military personnel, and conducted assessments for a charter school. Following graduation from Columbia University, Kat worked as a substance abuse clinician at The Addiction Institute Of New York where she provided both individual and group therapy. She also has experience working as a domestic violence therapist and case manager. Prior to starting at Turnbridge, Kat worked at Fairfield Counseling Services/LifeBridge Community Services as an individual and family therapist. 

PARKER HAMPSON - MA, LPC
Primary Therapist

Parker Hampson is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 20 years of experience in mental healthcare. He earned his Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology Practices from the University of Hartford and subsequently taught at his alma mater for eleven years, maintaining an academic focus on psychological assessment.  Parker holds additional certifications and training in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and the Sanctuary Model for patients suffering from trauma.  

Parker's career includes extensive work in both direct-care and supervisory roles.  Most recently, he was the director of an inpatient substance abuse treatment program, during which he successfully integrated alternative medicine therapies such as yoga, drum circle, and mindfulness meditation. 

Parker is a lifetime member of the International Honor Society in Psychology.  He maintains a special interest in neurocognitive substrates of the disease of addiction, while recognizing the need for a holistic approach to treatment for successful outcomes.

In his free time, Parker enjoys exercise, attending live jazz concerts, and traveling with his family.

DIANA CLARK – JD, MACP
DIANA CLARK – JD, MA
Family Outreach Specialist

Diana aids and educates the family members of our clients. Recognizing that family members often live in a constant state of stress and anxiety, Ms. Clark authored and facilitates the workshop: Family Healing Strategies, which provides participants with tools they need to become or remain healthy. As both a specialist in addiction and family systems, she is a recognized force of clear speech, logic and loving acceptance – moving families to engage in behaviors which aid in the recovery process.

With a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Antioch New England Graduate School in 1997, Diana has been employed as a therapist, interventionist and consultant addressing issues of addiction and chemical dependence. Prior to her work in the field of psychology, she was a practicing Labor and Employment Attorney advising employers about the need for clear, compassionate and enforceable policies.

JESSE TOTH - LPC, RDT
Primary Therapist

Jesse is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Drama Therapist.  In 2011, she earned her Master’s degree from California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Dakota in 2006.  Her most recent training was to complete her Basic EMDR certification in early 2016.

Before coming to Turnbridge, Jesse worked at the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven working in both outpatient and public school (K-12) settings using trauma-informed psychotherapy, stress-reduction, and preventative education.  Jesse also completed her clinical internship and the San Francisco VA Medical Center, conducting recovery-oriented creative arts therapy groups for US Military Veterans living with serious mental illness, substance abuse, and PTSD. 

In her downtime, Jesse enjoys creative writing, engaging in the arts, and spending time with her rescue dog, Cooper.

MEAGHAN GORMAN – LMFT
MEAGHAN GORMAN – LMFT
Family Therapist

A Licensed Family Therapist with over 14 years of experience in the mental health field, Meaghan specializes in the treatment of dual-diagnosed, substance-abusing young adults with a particular focus on helping families and clients recover in tandem. As a system’s specialist, Meaghan has brought her expertise in integrative mental health approaches to a diversity of community and clinical settings. She has been recognized nationally for developing and implementing comprehensive, state-of-the-art clinical orientations as Director of Liberation Program’s Youth Satellite. Meaghan received her Master’s Degree from the Family Institute at Chicago’s Northwestern University.

As a therapist with Turnbridge, Meaghan utilizes best-practice interventions including cognitive-behavioral, mind-body and solution-focused modalities to encourage wellness. Uniting families and communities in order to prevent high-risk behaviors and to derail cycles of addiction, throughout her career Meaghan has endeavored to empower clients and their families to challenge the dynamics that maintain and perpetuate chemical dependency.

LEXI HOLMES - LCSW
Primary Therapist

Lexi is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  She earned her MSW from Southern Connecticut State University in 2013, and a Bachelors of Arts in both Legal Studies and Sociology from the University of Massachusetts in 2004. 

Before coming to Turnbridge, Lexi worked as a treatment coordinator at St. Vincent’s dual diagnosis intensive outpatient program where she provided crisis management, family, group, and individual psychotherapy, as well as case management.  Lexi utilizes an integrated approach to therapy, pulling from such models as CBT, DBT, person-centered, experiential, and motivational interviewing. 

Lexi has traveled much of the United States, and her passion for social work and addiction recovery truly began in Northern California while serving in AmeriCorps.  Lexi practices yoga and meditation daily, loves music, the outdoors and being present for her son.   She considers herself a lifelong learner and is dedicated to her continued growth as an individual, mother, and practitioner.  

LILA SUSSMAN - LPC
Primary Therapist

Lila holds dual Master’s Degrees from Mercy College in School and Professional Counseling. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Springfield College, where she also played on the soccer team.

Before working at Turnbridge, Lila was employed at Newport Academy’s IOP at their Therapeutic Day School, where she served as a recovery counselor for adolescents and young adults suffering from substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety and depression.  She is well-trained in DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), as well as trauma focused CBT.

She has also worked as a (MDFT) Multi-dimensional family  therapist at the Wheeler Clinic’s Multi Dimensional Family Program in Waterbury, CT. There, she helped adolescents and their families find healthier ways of coping and communicating with each other.

Specializing in the treatment of anxiety, depression and grief, she has a strong background in dealing with abusive relationships, substance abuse, and eating disorders.  She is a certified Eidetic Image practitioner— a methodology that helps clients free up their deepest positive potential.

Lila practices mindfulness meditation daily, and enjoys playing soccer, going to spin classes, and practicing yoga in her free time.

IJOMA OKWUOSA - LADC
Primary Therapist

Ijoma Okwuosa, most commonly referred to as 'IJ,' is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.  IJ earned his Master’s Degree in Community Psychology, with an emphasis on Clinical Psychology, from the University of New Haven.  Additionally, IJ holds a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies from Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

IJ has worked in the human service field since 2002 in various capacities.  Prior to working at Turnbridge, IJ helped spearhead an award-winning State initiative with Middlesex Hospital's Community Care Team to make quality care more accessible for people suffering from severe mental illness and/or or substance abuse disorders in Middlesex County.  

In clinical practice, IJ leans heavily on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

RIKKIA J. BEN YEHUDAH - LPC
Primary Therapist
Rikkia is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 17 years of experience in the mental health field working with youth and families. She earned her Master of Arts Degree in Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She is passionate about creating safe supportive and respectful spaces that meet clients where they are and allow them to move forward in understanding and strength to make meaningful and intentional healing changes in their lives. She incorporates art experientials and body work (movement and relaxation techniques) into her therapeutic practice to engage clients through self-awareness and understanding of trauma symptoms.
BERNADETTE GRIFFIN - LPC, NCC
Primary Therapist

Bernadette Griffen is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor.  She received her Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Lynn University.  Additionally, Bernadette completed a Pastoral Counseling program at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

Bernadette has a wide range of experience treating mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, grief, relational problems, problem sexual behaviors, and substance abuse, and has worked in inpatient mental health facilities, partial hospitalization programs, and schools.  Bernadette endorses an integrative approach to psychotherapy and strongly believes in individualizing therapy to each client’s needs. 

In her free time, Bernadette enjoys hiking with her dog, movies, and traveling.

SHANNON & KAITLIN DUFFY - B.A.,
SHANNON & KAITLIN DUFFY - B.A.
Academic Consulting

Bringing experience, expertise, and a deep understanding of the academic and admissions fields to the young men and young women at Turnbridge, Shannon and Kaitlin provide residents with the guidance they need while they work toward their goals in education and recovery.

Owners of College Admissions Consultants, Shannon and Kaitlin both have a solid background in the field, having worked for a number of years in the undergraduate admissions office at Quinnipiac University prior to opening and operating their own business. They shared the title of valedictorians of their college class, each graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. Both women have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and are recipients of the President’s Scholarship Award, the Alumni Association Academic Achievement Award, and the Joan Phillips Gordon Prize in Sociology.

Shannon and Kaitlin work with Turnbridge residents to determine which local school is the best match and then assist him or her through the college application and registration process.  Beyond that, they offer academic tutoring to guide each young adult through the college classe(s) he or she is taking. Shannon and Kaitlin also offer academic tutoring and program assistance for young adults and adolescents who are currently working through the high school curriculum, the SATs, and/or the GEDs. When it comes time for a young man or woman to consider education after graduation from Turnbridge, they offer college choice assistance, application and supplement assistance, college essay topic choice, college essay editing, and interview preparation services to help each young man or young woman reach his or her goal of admission to a college/university with a strong collegiate recovery program and support services anywhere in the country.