We give hope.
The miracle of recovery can be yours too

Our Staff

 

Our addiction treatment center staff at Hope By the Sea consists of caring professionals committed to excellence. We work together to provide a safe and confidential environment while communicating with clients one-on-one and in group settings to help them achieve their addiction recovery goals. Our staff utilizes a team approach to ensure that all clients receive a comprehensive, in-depth treatment experience. Each client works with a select group of professionals over the course of his or her addiction treatment to achieve the maximum results. Our staff takes pride in the success of our patients and the many ways our Orange County drug and alcohol rehab benefits their lives.

 

The staff at Hope By the Sea provide experienced drug and alcohol counselors who have successfully worked the recovery tools, the guidelines of which are found in the Twelve Step philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These staff members provide meaningful examples of what can be accomplished with sobriety if the steps are made a part of the person's daily routine. In addition, there are trained, professional staff members who have seventy-five years of combined experience working in the field of addiction treatment. The breadth of this experience have shaped our team's thorough understanding of the challenges, accomplishments, and needs of patients undergoing drug and alcohol treatment.

 

Hope by the Sea's professional staff includes a licensed clinical psychologist and a licensed marriage and family therapist. All staff members are hired, first, because of their ability to show love and compassion and, secondly, for their professional expertise. With these priorities, we believe our staff has as much, if not more, experience working with substance abuse as any dual diagnosis recovery program. Our staff members are ready and willing to talk with interested parties about our goals, methodology and treatment services for various addiction and behavioral health issues. We will never be too busy to explain our roles and philosophy. We will always be available to listen to and guide our clients and their families. That is why we have been instrumental in helping patients overcome drug and alcohol abuse and form new and healthy ways to handle life and it's ups and downs.

 

Our staff members believe strongly in our patients' success. Clients instantly sense our staff members' genuine concern and dedication to the recovery of our patients. Our belief in every patient's ability to succeed means a lot to our clients and their loved ones. Our staff understands why patterns of drug abuse occur, why they are difficult for individuals to stop, and what steps anyone can take that will lead to lasting life changes - beginning at our California drug and alcohol rehab.

Penny Carlson, Drug Rehab California AdministratorPenny Carlsen
Chief Executive Officer


Penny Carlsen is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Nursing. After graduation she spent the next few years working at Loma Linda University Medical Center on the Neurosurgery, Neurology and Rehabilitation Units. She later served as the business manager for Medical Imaging Specialists, Inc. She has an extensive background in both clinical and administration. She is a warm and loving person and is considered by the clients to be the "resident mom". 

Candy Carlsen, Drug and Alcohol Rehab Medical LiaisonCandy Carlsen, RN
Chief Operating Officer

 

Candy Carlsen has worked in the field of nursing for several years.  She worked at UCLA Medical Center in the neuro/surgical trauma ICU and also at Hoag Memorial in the cardiac ICU.  She has extensive training in psychopharmacology and works very closely with Hope By the Sea’s physicians.  She educates clients and families on the importance of proper medication management and compliance, when necessary.

Kelly Carlsen, Drug Rehab California DirectorKelly Carlsen
Vice President of Finance

 

Kelly Carlsen has been with Hope By the Sea since its inception. She spent several years working as an intervention aide for troubled elementary students before turning her focus to helping adults with addiction. She currently is the head of the Insurance Billing department as well as oversees the Human Resources division.

Cyndie Dunkerson, Drug Rehab California CounselorCyndie Dunkerson, CADCII CA, CCS
Vice President of Program Services (Certification # A051090118/12079)

 

Cyndie has been with Hope By The Sea since the beginning and holds a strong passion for the field of addiction. As the Vice President of the Admission's Department, she helps potential clients and their families to take their first steps in the recovery process. She holds a Bachelors degree and is currently state certified with the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Educators as a Chemical Dependency Counselor and Clinical Supervisor. She has been working in the field of addiction since 2002 and also brings to the table her own journey of recovery. Since starting in the field of addiction she has maintained success working with the criminal justice system in getting defendants sentenced to treatment in lieu of jail. Cyndie is currently working towards obtaining her Doctorate in Forensic Psychology. Cyndie enjoys speaking at conferences and guest lecturing in various colleges.

Valeh Karimkhani

Valeh Karimkhani, D.O.
Psychiatrist


Dr. Valeh Karimkhani, D.O. is an adolescent and adult psychiatrist. She is board certified in Psychiatry as well as Addiction Medicine. She is the founder of Orange County Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine.


Dr. Karimkhani is dedicated to serving the psychiatric needs of her community. She has extensive experience in substance abuse, dual diagnosis, PTSD, mood and anxiety disorders, and emergency psychiatry. She is also one of a select few psychiatrists offering TMS treatment.


In addition to clinical duties, Dr. Karimkhani is an adjunct professor, teaching medical students during clinical rotations from Midwestern University.


Dr. Karimkhani is also a Major in the Army Reserves, completing three tours of duty in the Middle East. She is dedicated to helping and healing our armed forces and their families.

Sandy Busby
Office Manager


Sandy brings her exceptional organizational and communication skills to the complex world of recovery to the facility. She has a driven attitude in work ethics and her experience shows it well. She joined the team soon after her own personal recovery journey began with Hope By The Sea in 2008. She took on office management with ease and her area of expertise includes administration, accounting, finance, and insurance. Her professional manner, personal experience, and love for the field of recovery make her an invaluable asset to both our clients and staff.

 

Clinical Staff

Frank Buffa, Drug and Alcohol Rehab, Bio-Psycho-Geneologist

Frank Buffa
Bio-Psycho-Genealogist

 

Working in the field since 2005, Frank came to Hope By The Sea bringing with him his knowledge of the Co-Occurring Disorder population.  He specializes in working with clients who suffer from sexual trauma and anger control issues.  In addition, he enjoys helping clients identify and change old behavior patterns to implement healthy change and create a solid base to continue successfully into their future.

 

 

Therapists

Amanda Jaworski, Drug Rehab California ACSWAmanda Jaworski, ACSW
Therapist (BBS Reg No: ASW 30872)


Amanda is an Associate Clinical Social Worker with a bachelors in Psychology from James Madison University and a Masters in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. She specializes in working with clients who have co-occurring disorders. Her focus is on helping clients to accept their emotions while learning to love themselves. Amanda facilitates individual, couples therapy, as well as family therapy.

 

Operations Staff

Shannan FiorenzaShannan Fiorenza
Director of Operations

 

As Director of Operations for Hope By the Sea, Shannan brings over 14 years' of critical care nursing experience. Shannan spent much of her career as an ER nurse in local Orange County Hospitals. Her ability to manage multiple functions of our program ensures that our clients receive the best possible care during their treatment with us. Shannan's focus is insuring each clients needs are met both medically and emotionally. Shannan is an Orange County native and has raised her three handsome boys with the same love and commitment evident in her work.





Ryan Kelly, Rehab for College Students DirectorRyan Kelly
College Program Director

 

Ryan began working in the field of education advisement in January 2009. As an enrollment advisor, Ryan effectively enrolled more than 250 students with a 91% continuation rate (meaning only 9% dropped out). He earned his Bachelor's of Arts in Management while working full time, and successfully finished his final class after completing a 90 day treatment program at Hope By The Sea. Having previously attended Saddleback Community College from 1998 - 2001, Ryan is extremely knowledgeable with all aspects of the school that is the main focal point of our college program.

 

In Memory Of

Dale Tatum, Christian Rehab CaliforniaDale Tatum
Ordained Pastor
Spiritual Guidance and Christian Counseling

 

Dale has a tremendous love for people and a desire to facilitate their spiritual growth. He brings the love of God through His Son Jesus Christ to every client on a personal and individual basis. Dale believes that to lead clients to successful recovery, God's grace, forgiveness and love must be conveyed at the deepest spiritual level. When asked why he loves this calling he responds simply, “I want to do for others what God has so lovingly done for me!”

 

 

Each and every one of you have touched my heart and I feel so blessed to have found such a loving and supportive family in HBTS.

- K.G.

Thank you so much for everything that you have done for me!! You have made me a totally different person and you have no idea how grateful I am for that.

- T.S.

You treated me with dignity and gave me the hope that I could make it. Thank you especially for putting me in the executive house.

- T.S.

Thank you for giving me the courage to spread my wings and fly!!! I'll never forget you!

- D.

Insurances We Work With

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