Welcome to our community of hope and healing

When you graduate from an American Addiction Centers program, you’re automatically a part of our extended alumni family – a supportive network of program graduates from facilities nationwide who understand firsthand what life is like before, during, and after treatment. Being able to lean on someone who has been in your shoes – and still is – is the key to sustained, long-term recovery.
When you graduate from an American Addiction Centers program, you’re automatically a part of our extended alumni family – a supportive network of program graduates from facilities nationwide who understand firsthand what life is like before, during, and after treatment. Being able to lean on someone who has been in your shoes – and still is – is the key to sustained, long-term recovery.
Meet our team

Amy Woodward

Alumni Co-Director

Oxford Treatment Center, Etta, Mississippi

A former primary therapist at Oxford Treatment Center, Amy works with the business office and clinical team as a liaison to help families and patients navigate Oxford Treatment Center’s 90-day continuum of care. Her focus includes helping families ease the transition into next steps in treatment. Amy holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Mississippi and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor through the Mississippi Association of Addiction Professionals. Prior to joining Oxford Treatment Center, she worked for eight years in the field of adult residential addiction treatment, serving mostly indigent and pregnant populations in the Mississippi Delta. She has experience and specialized training in crisis intervention, suicide prevention and mental health first aid for adults and adolescents. She also has experience working with the judicial system and Drug Court as a consulting therapist, as well as in conducting outreach/aftercare focus groups for individuals who have recently completed residential treatment.

Mary Beth Papcsy, MBA

Alumni & Public Relations Coordinator

AdCare Hospital, Worcester, Massachusetts

It’s fun and exciting to help individuals in recovery thrive. Alumni news and events provide positive activities, vital information, and support for alumni, as well as family and friends affected by another’s substance use. Ongoing support is a lifeline because we recover together.  I also enjoy my primary Public Relations role at AdCare because promoting all AdCare’s services helps save lives every day.

Brianna Louis

Alumni Coordinator

Sunrise House Treatment Center, Lafayette, New Jersey

Brianna’s mission as Alumni Coordinator is to provide continued support and encouragement for Alumni when they discharge from Sunrise House. Brianna joined American Addiction Center’s in September 2020 as a Treatment Advocate where she assisted patients with daily activities and clinical processes. Working at Sunrise House has deepened Brianna’s passion for advocating for others while helping them find their own recovery. Currently, Brianna runs the Sunrise House Alumni Program and assists with facility programming such as recovery concerts and karaoke, craft nights, and holiday/special events. Brianna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Community Mental Health with a minor in Counseling for Substance Use Disorders and is pursuing her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling.

Andy Ansola

Group Facilitator

Recovery First Treatment Center, Hollywood, Florida

Andy is a Christian who has over 21 years of proven treatment experience in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy, Mental Health, and Addiction; and has been an advocate for the poor, the needy, and the underserved communities in South Florida.  Andy leads the Faith-Based Initiative at Recovery First.

Andy Joined Recovery First in August of 2017 as a Facilitator and continues to provide training in the Grief, Loss, and Healing arena, which is his expertise.  A dynamic speaker and presenter, on a monthly basis Andy facilitates a Feed and Clothe the Homeless Initiative partnering with churches and other community partners.  Andy is a retired Detective and recently celebrated 15 years of sobriety.  “I have a passion for hurting people and exposing them to the love of God.”

Arturo Avalos

Alumni Coordinator

Greenhouse Treatment Center, Grand Prairie, Texas

With two years of sobriety under his belt, Arturo applied to work at Greenhouse Treatment Center as a cook. Though he couldn’t work directly with people in treatment for recovery, he saw this as an opportunity to be around them.

In the kitchen, Avalos took all the time he could during meal times to get to know the patients who were receiving treatment. As he helped patients carry their trays, he told them of his own story of recovery and offered advice to those who would see him during lunch or dinner time. At the time, there wasn’t much Avalos could do in a professional capacity because he was still in school, but he always found a way to support patients however he could. Management took notice of this, and after a year in food service, he became a behavioral health technician, which allowed him to further interact with patients. Now, as alumni coordinator, Avalos feels that he’s where he is supposed to be.

John Keyes, MBA, CADC

Community Relations Coordinator

Oxford Treatment Center, Etta, Mississippi

John worked at Lifecore Health Group addiction services in Tupelo, MS prior to coming to Oxford Treatment Center in April of 2017. He started his career with Oxford as a counselor and transitioned into Community Relations in 2020. He is in charge of facilitating the facility’s continuing education events, helps produce the Oxford newsletter, and leads the alumni program by communicating with and facilitating its groups.

Melissa Bonner

Regional Alumni Coordinator

Corporate, Brentwood, Tennessee

Melissa joined AAC’s team in 2019 as an administrative assistant. She has since earned the opportunity to work as the Regional Alumni Coordinator. This position gives her the tools and resources to provide an outpouring of support, encouragement, and hope to AAC’s Alumni. Recovery is not possible without continued education.

Melissa has an obvious passion for helping those struggling with addiction; be it the person struggling or their loved ones. Integrating education with social media has given her an outlet to provide outreach and education to hundreds of individuals across the United States. She believes everyone deserves a second chance and supports individuals as they land back on their feet during the recovery process.

Melissa holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and is currently enrolled in Trevecca Nazarene University’s graduate program to become a licensed clinical therapist.

Yaritza Semenuk

Clinical Director

Recovery First, Hollywood, Florida

When human beings suffer from the pain of addiction due to trauma and life’s stressors, it’s from the assistance of caring professionals that their lives are saved. My great passion is to help clients to find safe passage through their unraveling lives and find solitude and sobriety.

As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, it is my duty to employ the skills, education, and experience I have garnered over the years to treat the addicted. While there is no single approach that is right for every individual, my abilities to utilize Motivational Interviewing, EMDR, and DBT experience, as well as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy assist in treating the addicted.

My educational background includes a Masters of Science Counseling from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences Psychology/Biology from the University of Miami.

Mattie Velasco

Client Care & Alumni Coordinator

River Oaks, Riverview, Florida

Mattie Velasco is a Behavioral Health and Addiction Studies professional completing her bachelor's degree in Healthcare Administration and pursuing her CRPS and CRRA credentials through the Florida Certification Board. Working as Client Care Coordinator for AAC River Oaks' full continuum of care facility, Mattie oversees the River Oaks Alumni Program while working closely with clients to enhance experience and engagement.

Mattie previously worked with at-risk populations of women who experienced human trafficking & exploitation by coordinating services, providing case management, and specializing in trauma-informed care. Mattie believes creativity, community, connection, & compassion are critical ingredients to the treatment experience helping clients to meet their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs for recovery. This approach is reflected in her role coordinating all on-site & off-site enrichment and fulfillment activities, client orientation, and the Peer Leader program.

Mattie created & manages the River Oaks Sponsorship Program, pairing clients with potential sponsors in the 12-step recovery community to assist in a safe and stable transition toward long-term recovery. She does extensive service work in her community, sits as President of the Board for a local non-profit which conducts outreach and prevention, and leads several advocacy projects throughout her district, fighting for those working to overcome substance use and mental health issues as a person who is herself in life-long recovery.

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