From our Admissions and Administrative staff to our Senior Fellows and Clinical staff, the Claudia Black Young Adult Center employs only the most knowledgeable, experienced, and compassionate people. We pride ourselves on providing quality, cutting-edge care from some of the nation’s leading addiction experts.

Young Adult Treatment Team

Sean Walsh

Sean Walsh, President

Sean Walsh is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Meadows Behavioral Healthcare and is responsible for the oversight of its family of programs which include The Meadows, Gentle Path at The Meadows, Claudia Black Young Adult Center, The Meadows Ranch, Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows, The Meadows Outpatient Center, and Willow House at The Meadows. Sean has been in the behavioral health field since 1996. Sean has a clinical background and although he has been a treatment center executive since 2009, he is a licensed therapist and is highly invested in ensuring quality care to the patients The Meadows serves. Sean came to The Meadows from Calvary Addiction Recovery Center where he was the Chief Executive Officer. Prior to Calvary, Sean was the COO of Laurel Ridge Treatment Center in San Antonio, and he has held a wide variety of positions in the treatment field ranging from Director of Outpatient, Risk Management, Case Management, Intake, and has been a primary therapist specializing in treating young adults.

Allan Benham

Allan Benham, Vice President

Allan Benham is the Vice President of Meadows Behavioral Healthcare. In his 16 years with The Meadows, Allan has served in numerous roles including positions as a Registered Nurse, Director of Nursing, Director of Operations at The Meadows, Executive Director of Gentle Path at The Meadows, and presently as the Chief Operating Officer for Meadows Behavioral Healthcare. With a background in working almost every position and with every facility in the Meadows family, Allan brings a commitment to quality and effective treatment for our patients and a dedication to helping those who are suffering find relief. Allan is now working with all of the Meadows Behavioral Healthcare facilities including The Meadows, Gentle Path at The Meadows, Claudia Black Young Adult Center, Meadows Ranch, Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows, The Meadows Outpatient Center, and Willow House at The Meadows.

claudia black

Claudia Black, Ph.D., MSW

Claudia Black’s seminal work with children impacted by substance abuse in the late 1970s created the foundation for the adult child movement. Today Dr. Black is a renowned author and trainer internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders. She sits on the Advisory Board for the National Association of Children of Alcoholics and the Advisory Council of the Moyer Foundation and also serves as an Addiction and Trauma Program Specialist for The Meadows. Dr. Black is the recipient of numerous national awards including the 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Washington School of Social Work, the 2010 Conway Hunter Award for excellence in the field of addictions, the 2012 Robert Rehmar Addiction Professional Award, and the 2014 Father Joseph C. Martin Professional Excellence Award. Dr. Black has been a keynote speaker on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada.

Dr. Black’s scope of influence includes working with multi-cultural agencies and audiences around the world, as well as presenting workshops to military academies, prison systems, medical schools, and mental health and addiction programs. Claudia is the author of It Will Never Happen To Me, Changing Course, My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has A Disease, Repeat After Me, Relapse Toolkit, A Hole in the Sidewalk, Depression Strategies, Straight Talk, Family Strategies, Anger Strategies, Deceived, The Truth Begins With You, Intimate Treason, and her most recent book Unspoken Legacy. She has produced several audio CDs and over twenty DVDs.

Danielle LaPointe, LPC, Executive Director

Danielle LaPointe leads the team at the Claudia Black Young Adult Center as Executive Director, where her goals are simple: to ensure every patient has such an amazing experience that they are afforded the opportunity to recover, and to equip the staff to make that recovery a reality. She has two decades of experience working with individuals affected by substance use disorders, eating disorders, and process addictions.

Danielle has a heart for altruism and a passion to make a difference. She excels at organizing teams, delegating authority, and empowering individuals to achieve their full potential because she is a natural-born leader who is driven to succeed. Before coming to the Claudia Black Young Adult Center, her work with the court system was instrumental in mitigating criminal recidivism and taxpayer costs by providing long-term solutions for those suffering from addiction and bridging the gap between the legal system and the healthcare community.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and her master’s degree in professional counseling from Liberty University, Danielle dove headfirst into the field that most captured her heart: addiction. She leads the Claudia Black Young Adult Center team on the cutting-edge of behavioral health, establishing the facility as a pioneer in the field of substance abuse.

Whitney Howzell, Ph.D., LMSW, MEd, MPH, CSAT, Clinical Director

Dr. Whitney Howzell is a dynamic, highly motivated, and conscientious leader with a depth of knowledge and experience in social work, sociology, and sexology. Dr. Howzell is a licensed social worker, holds master degrees in clinical social work, public health, education, and a Ph. D in Human Sexuality Studies. She also has extensive experience and training in gender related issues, attachment, sexual orientation, relationship communication, and sexual trauma. Much of Dr. Howzell’s work centered on treating adolescents and families with behavioral and emotional issues, sexual compulsive behavior, sexual trauma, and couples with relational issues. She is an empathic therapist who is passionate about mental health, raising awareness about sexual health, and providing excellent patient care.

michael denicole

Michael Denicole, Director of Addiction Medicine

Dr. Denicole currently serves as the Medical Director for The Meadows. Since 2007, he has practiced primary care addiction medicine. After receiving a medical degree in 1984 from the University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, MO, Dr. Denicole served a medical internship at Phoenix General Hospital. Dr. Denicole is Board Certified in both Family Practice and Addiction Medicine.

jon caldwell

Dr. Jon G. Caldwell

Dr. Caldwell is a board-certified psychiatrist and clinical research investigator who specializes in the treatment of adults who are healing from relational trauma and addictive behaviors. He is currently the Medical Director of Meadows Behavioral Health, with oversight of Willow House. His theoretical perspectives are heavily influenced by his Ph.D. training at the University of California at Davis, where he began researching how early childhood maltreatment and insecure attachment relationships affect cognitive, emotional and social functioning. His clinical approach has become increasingly flavored by the timeless teachings of the contemplative traditions and by the daily practice of mindfulness. Dr. Caldwell has published a number of articles on child maltreatment, attachment theory, emotion regulation, and mindfulness and he is a noted international speaker and trainer on these and other topics.

Intake Team

Kevin Berkes

Kevin Berkes

Kevin Berkes, MA, is the VP of Admissions and has been with The Meadows since 2004. Kevin leads the intake team guiding patients and their families through the difficult decision of admission into inpatient treatment. His passion for helping struggling individuals has helped thousands of people to realize recovery is possible. With formal training in Theology, his varied work experience ranges from working with traumatic brain injury patients in upstate New York to running groups for addicts in Southeast Asia. Kevin is currently undergoing the Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) training.

Christi Erickson

Christi Erickson

Director of Intake

Greg Fine

Greg Fine

Intake Manager of Gentle Path/Willow House

Lauren Madden

Lauren Madden

Intake Manager for Workshops

Carla Roddy

Carla Roddy

Intake Coordinator

Debbie Barber

Debbie Barber

Intake Coordinator

Drema Stroud

Drema Stroud

Intake Coordinator

Janet Davis

Janet Davis

Intake Coordinator

Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson

Intake Coordinator

Leah Echeveste

Leah Echeveste

Intake Coordinator for IOP

Lisa Ariola

Lisa Ariola

Intake Coordinator

Taylor Norris

Taylor Norris

Intake Coordinator

Tim Eddy

Tim Eddy

Intake Coordinator for Workshops

Tina O'Conner

Tina O’Conner

Intake Coordinator

Toni Hershkowitz

Toni Hershkowitz

Intake Coordinator