The addiction therapists and staff of Wasatch Crest are dedicated professionals in the treatment of behavioral health disorders. Our warm, healing environment is built on the expertise and compassion of each staff member. We are extremely proud of our values-guided team, each one committed to the highest standards of integrity.

We would like to introduce you to a few of them.

Rich McDonald, MS, CMHC

Chief Operating Officer / Executive Clinical Director

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Rich McDonald is familiar with trailblazing as an ultra-runner, successfully competing in many marathons, ultra marathons, and 100-mile trail races. He’s also the lead visionary who has cleared the way for Wasatch Crest’s winning culture. He is committed to creating an environment where all can successfully cross their own finish lines.

Known for treating his staff with respect, accountability and acceptance, Rich extends these personal values to program participants and all audiences who interact with Wasatch Crest.

Like all great leaders, Rich remains teachable and leads by example adding value to the lives of others.

With more than 20 years’ experience in management and leadership roles, Rich has been active in the recovery community for nine years.

“Recovery is a miracle; why not have a front-row seat to watch it happen.”

Chad Christiansen, MD

Medical Director

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Chad is a graduate of the Medical School of Wisconsin and has been a practicing physician for 12 years with a deep connection to addiction work and the WCR team. He completed a residency at the University of Utah and is a certified buprenorphine prescriber for sub-acute detoxification. He has an abundant knowledge of addiction and co-occurring illnesses and practices medicine with compassion, empathy and great care.

“Dr. Chad” has served as Medical Director of Wasatch Crest for three years.

“As a physician, I have treated many diseases and have witnessed, personally and professionally, the often-devastating effects of addiction. I have also seen the amazing transformation of recovery in people’s lives.

“I feel very privileged to work with the remarkable team at Wasatch Crest. I have seen first-hand what a team of caring and dedicated professionals can do to help those who suffer from the disease of alcoholism.”

Dan Peterson, PharmD

Director of Case Management

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As a Doctor of Pharmacy, Dan has designed and implemented case management programs for all levels of care. He is a noted and respected leader in health care operations and management, with more than eight years of experience in the medical field.

Dan has been connected to the recovery community for more than three years.

“Alignment with a program and connection with other individuals in recovery are two essential elements for a lifetime of freedom from the enslavement of substance abuse.”

Wendy Stine

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Wendy Stine has been an addiction professional for 18 years. Having worked on both clinical teams and in business development, her passion and expertise is in helping communities and families discovery recovery and treatment. Wendy has been a staple in the recovery industry, having worked in Colorado and nationally. She is grateful to have the privilege of working with the Lakota and Chippewa Tribes. Hawaii is her happy place.

Jason Wheelock

Operations Manager

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The grounds, gardens, lawns and wildlife at Wasatch Crest are well-tended under Jason’s masterful direction. He also supervises the maintenance of our physical facilities, vehicles and other equipment. His first concern is for the safety and security of our clients, their families and our entire team. Additionally, he attends to the comfort, care and hospitality for all who visit Wasatch Crest.

Jason has been connected to the recovery community for more than three years.

“Whatever I do I try to find something fun in it. I can always find something here [at Wasatch Crest] to make my day happy.”

Cy Hirsche

Business Development Consultant

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Cy Hirsche started his career as a successful entrepreneur who founded multiple companies in the software industry. However, personal circumstances and a passion for helping others led him to make the life-changing career choice to become a recovery specialist. Cy is a creative, flexible and dedicated professional who brings his keen business skills, communication savvy and passion to serve in the behavioral health field.

Cy attended Utah State University and Brigham Young University and is advancing his studies in addiction counseling at Utah Valley University. He is also a certified Interventionist and recovery support specialist. Prior to Wasatch Crest Treatment, Cy was a client liaison specialist at one of the world’s most reputable treatment facilities. There he firsthand encountered the difference and needs that clients will need to experience for their long-term recovery successes. Cy has had held Director level positions throughout his career and for the last several years truly feels blessed to be involved with the amazing dynamic team at Wasatch Crest and is excited to use his trusted skill set to influence change and inspire hope. Cy is in recovery himself and has a love for his work because he knows firsthand the misery of chemical dependency and the joy of recovery. He has great compassion for those struggling with addiction and truly loves to help clients find their way into the empowerment of recovery.

Cy volunteers and has contributed to many high schools’ annual red ribbon weeks, where he shares his recovery story with hundreds of high school students. Cy has sat on multiple panels facilitating funding and avenues of change for the State of Utah. He also sits on the DARE committee in Utah where he works with youth to help them understand the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Cy has played an instrumental role in bringing hope and recovery to men and women in jail and prison, where he speaks multiple times per year to inspire hope and change.

Ed Kren, BA, MA, LCSW

Therapist

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Ed gives definition to the clinical, behavioral and therapeutic modalities used in Wasatch Crest’s unique approach to treatment. His Strategies for Recovery have proven effective for clients while in treatment. His post-treatment Recovery Support System gives clients an introduction to the guideposts for life-long recovery.

Ed has been connected to the recovery community for more than 40 years

“The journey from addiction to recovery and sobriety, is gradually accomplished according to one’s ability to understand the importance of Spirituality, Acceptance, Surrender, Humility, Honesty, Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness, Accountability, Persistence, Patience, Self-help Skills and Professional Guidance.”

Adelinn Cook, BS, TRS, CTRS

Recreational Therapist

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Adelinn brings considerable knowledge and experience in adventure and experiential therapies to Wasatch Crest. She relocated from Indiana, noting that Utah is one of only four U.S. states offering licensure in Recreational Therapy.

Adelinn has the near-constant companionship of “Lilah” her emotional support dog, who accompanies her in all of her recreational and leisure interests. Adelinn would like to eventually develop and implement her own Outdoor Adventure therapy program for at-risk and chemically-dependent youth.

She is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreational Therapy and a minor in Counseling.

In addition to her educational training, Adelinn has had considerable detox and treatment experience working with adolescents and adults at Fairbanks Addiction Treatment Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has also worked with individuals with various physical, social, emotional and behavioral disabilities at equestrian centers, geriatric care facilities, and physical rehabilitation sites throughout Indiana.

Adelinn has been connected to the recovery industry for ten years.

“I’m convinced that if you encourage addicts and alcoholics to find a clean & healthy recreational activity to engage in, that positive use of leisure time can replace the negative behaviors and energy associated with using.”

Cat Tezak, Case Manager

Family Liaison

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Cat uniquely understands the many sides of addiction—especially from the standpoint of family members and their loved ones who suffer. Cat embodies and exemplifies the key ingredients essential in recovery—empathy and love. As keeper of the information vital to family members, Cat’s expertise provides the support, encouragement and understanding families appreciate, when a loved one is in treatment.

Cat has been connected to the recovery community for 15 years.

“Family members can be as frightened as the substance user they’re concerned for. My goal is to give the assurance that can ease the minds of loved ones and restore the hope that is available through recovery.”

Bret Whiting

Case Manager & Alumni Coordinator

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Bret’s work as a case manager at Wasatch Crest is built on the foundation of facilitating measureable change in the lives of clients, their families and loved ones.

Bret’s approach to recovery is guided by the 12-Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. He is an advocate of the two-part benefit that comes from sponsors working with sponsees to realize measurable results. Brett has helped many clients complete treatment and transition into meaningful, productive and successful lives.

He draws much of his strength from the discipline, teamwork, and dedication he learned as a decorated Marine. More importantly, Bret incorporates genuine caring, concern, camaraderie and love in his work.

Bret has been connected to the recovery community for 29 years.

“I want to build a real community of caring for clients, their families, our staff and alumni to support each other with genuine results. We need each other to share our successes and struggles, because in recovery, we don’t ever do it alone.”

Alexis Cononelos, COTA/L, BS

Licensed and Certified Occupational and Therapy Assistant

occupational therapy assistant, heber utahI have a passion for supporting others in their journey of exploring and obtaining their overall wellness goals. I am a mental health and substance abuse advocate.
I obtained my BS in psychology in ’06 and have worked in mental health for several years with individuals and families in a wide variety of settings. I went back to school and obtained my Occupational Therapy Assistant degree (OTA) and began working with individuals in recovery.

Josh Barker

Business Development

business development specialist for rehab in utahJosh Barker is a very kind and loving person who is passionate about helping people get the gift of recovery he has been given. Josh struggled with his own addiction for 16 years. Taking him to the depths of hell and back.  He was helped by another and considers it his honor to now help those seeking recovery from active addiction. His passion is to guide those suffering from addiction and their families to resources for help. He is also passionate about a charity called Let It Flow that he works with, where he goes to foreign countries getting people clean water. He is a very avid Star Wars fan. He has a beautiful wife and son that are the loves of his life.