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Our Staff

Chapters Capistrano Rehab Center

Chapters Staff has over 200 years of Combined Experience and Clinical Excellence in the Addiction Treatment Field. Below you can find our full time staff.

Alejandro Alva, M.D.
Psychiatrist & Detox Specialist*

Dr. Alva received his education at the California State University, Fullerton and the Autonomous University of Guadalajara Medical School. After he completed his education and training in Guadalajara, Mexico, he returned to California to finish his residency at the University of California, Irvine.

Dr. Alva is the CEO and chief medical officer of Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists, a specialized medical group that focuses not only on psychiatric disorders but also on dual diagnosis conditions including alcohol and chemical dependency.

Prior to Dr. Alva's formation of Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists (PNS), he was involved in multiple endeavors, including inpatient and outpatient detoxification and rehabilitation work with the VA Long Beach Healthcare System, Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Chapman Medical Center in Orange, as well as multiple out patient rehabilitation centers in Southern California. Since the formation of PNS, Dr. Alva's focus is on the latest treatments available for psychiatric disorders and chemical dependence as well as aspects of ethnicity and gender and their correlation to pathological states. Dr. Alva has over 20 years experience in serving the medical community in various capacities, including roles as a patient advocate, clinician, researcher, and medical director.

Dr. Alva's expertise in adolescent, adult, and geriatric psychiatry and dual diagnosis utilizes the latest pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches to treat depression (such as rTMS, which involves magnetic stimulation of the brain) as well as the use of anticraving treatments make him one of the nation's most innovative and prominent psychiatrists.

Dr. Alva is a member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Orange County Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the California Psychiatric Association, the American Board of Forensic Medicine, the American College of Forensic Examiners, the American Board of Psychopharmacology, and the California Hispanic American Association of Hispanic Professionals.

Lastly, Dr. Alva understands the stigma associated with chemical dependence disorders and the societal bias against these medical conditions. Dr. Alva and his staff have a mandate to work together with rehabilitation and recovery centers to optimize treatment and provide the best medical care available.
* "Independently affiliated Physician."

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Alejandro Alva, M.D. <br/><noscript><img src=

Alejandro Alva, M.D.
Psychiatrist & Detox Specialist*

Dr Sharon Stafford
Clinical Supervisor/Therapist

Dr Sharon Stafford is a clinical psychologist with years of experience in the fields of addiction and mental health. She has worked in in-patient and out-patient mental health, in hospital settings in the ER and cardiology units, and has worked as clinical director of a children’s in-patient psychiatric program and of an addiction treatment center. Currently she is the Clinical Supervisor at Chapters Capistrano and has her own private practice treating children, adolescents and adults in Placentia, California.

I believe that recovery is not just about getting sober but rather it is about becoming our best versions of ourselves across all circumstances. Addiction is a complex neurobiological/psychosocial/behavioral disorder. By using an individualized and multi-modal approach to treatment the highest rates of success can be achieved.

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Dr Sharon Stafford
Clinical Supervisor/Therapist

Aaron Estrada
CADC-II, ICADC Program Director

Aaron Estrada has been working in the field of addiction treatment since 2011. Prior to joining the Chapters Capistrano team Aaron held roles that included operational, clinical and management positions at several residential facility’s.  Aaron transitioned to Chapters Capistrano to work as an addiction professional in 2016 because he believes whole-heartedly in their specific mission, approach, and ideals.  Aaron is a Certified Addiction Counselor who brings strong clinical skills along with his personal recovery experience to provide good clinical leadership. Aaron has a wonderful natural gift and the utmost passion for working with individuals struggling with substance abuse, as well as their affected families.  Aaron is a forward thinker and is vigilant about creating a warm nurturing environment that will allow our clients the opportunity to heal. Aaron has experience with various models of treatment and therapy and has a strong understanding of the inner mechanics of the alcohol and other drug abuser’s mind. Aaron believes on the importance of inspiring others to assist them with their personal recovery, and insist on addressing the substance user as a whole person,  believing that the individual and their unhealthy behaviors are always a result of something deeper than the drugs and alcohol.
Aaron is dedicated to living an active and healthy lifestyle, and in his free time likes to cross-train, run, and spend time with his wife and two daughters.

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Aaron Estrada
CADC-II, ICADC Program Director

Summer Witty
LMFT- Therapist

Summer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She She has earned her Bachelor's of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Studies and her Master's of Science degree in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton. She has extensive experience working with adolescents and adults struggling with addiction, mental health, and eating disorders in multiple treatment programs as well as private practice.

Summer's passion for this field includes her primary hope that she can help people leave treatment with a greater sense of hope and purpose in their lives. Summer is inspired when she sees people being able to manage life without the destructive behavior or substance, which was once the central and dominating force in their lives. Summer enjoys working in the field of addiction because she loves seeing people learn and implement new and more effective ways to work through and cope with underlying pain, eliminate self-destructive behaviors, and change old ways of thinking leading to an increased sense of happiness in their lives.

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Summer Witty
LMFT- Therapist

Alison Hathaway
Therapist

Alison is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern with a background in addiction counseling as well as in-patient and out-patient Behavioral Health counseling. This experience has given her a better understanding of those who struggle with dual diagnosis.

Her education includes degrees from California State University, Fullerton - a Master of Science degree in Counseling, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services with an emphasis on Addiction and Mental Health. She is also board certified as an Addictions Treatment Counselor through the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators. Her holistic approach of counseling focuses on helping clients explore the underlying issues that relate to their addiction. She specializes in helping clients who are experiencing depression, anxiety, and grief & loss. Alison's passion is to help each client begin a new more positive chapter of life.

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Alison Hathaway
Therapist

Sandi Thomas
CATC II – Case Manager/Chemical Dependency Counselor

In 2010, Sandi graduated with an Associates of Arts degree in Human Services, in addition to completing the Alcohol and Drug Studies Certificate Program, through Cypress College. She is currently state certified with the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Educators as a Chemical Dependency Counselor, guiding others in overcoming alcohol and drug dependency.

Sandi is passionate about her work and the clients’ she serves. Working at Chapters Capistrano, has allowed Sandi to do what she loves best-helping individuals and their families who struggle with addiction. Sandi has always enjoyed working one on one with clients; creating customized treatment plans, originally as a massage therapist, and currently as a substance abuse counselor and Case Manager. After reclaiming her life, from her own addiction, Sandi returned to school in 2008 to broaden her knowledge and understanding of the "disease of addiction."

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Sandi Thomas
CATC II – Case Manager/Chemical Dependency Counselor

Andrea Geric
CATC III – Case Manager/Chemical Dependency Counselor

Andrea's background is in addiction treatment, psychology, and fitness instruction. Andrea brings her personal and professional recovery experience to each client, helping them identify the areas of their life that need change. Andrea's health conscious approach to addiction treatment encompasses a mind, body and spirit approach. Andrea focuses on working with the clinical team to treat the client as an individual, creating a treatment plan that is specific to each clients needs.

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Andrea Geric
CATC III – Case Manager/Chemical Dependency Counselor

Sherry Tripp
Meditation & Holistic Instructor

My passion for yoga and meditation began 6 years ago. My purpose for starting a yoga practice was to heal from trauma and loss. I began with the physical practice or (asana) which started a relationship between my body and mind… The more I practiced the more present I became. The deeper I entered the present moment the more I came to understand there is a divine force at work in our lives. It is our work to cultivate a practice of mind body and spirit.

Yoga and Mediation are a few ways we "create" this unity. A meditation practice can seem daunting at first. To sit still with our thoughts can and will at times cases unease or restlessness. My belief is meditation "is finding the small gap in between the thoughts, if only for a brief moment". I incorporate movement, guided imagery, silence, sound, and aromatherapy to create a safe a effective way to bridge thought and silence. I am humbled and grateful each time I am able to share my journey.

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Sherry Tripp
Meditation & Holistic Instructor

Kelsey Lang
Yoga Instructor

I began my yoga journey in 2011 with a steady hot vinyasa flow practice. Like a spark to light my inner fire, yoga brought light and clarity to the corners of my life. I loved what I found; a deep peace. I was inspired to share what I found in myself with others through yoga.

My aim as a teacher is to empower the people around me and in the community to live a life they love. My classes focus on breath and awareness – either flowing through or relaxing into balanced and thoughtful sequences. I teach vinyasa, the 26 postures from Bikram Hot Yoga, restorative, and yin yoga styles as well as meditation and Yoga Nidra. I blend a variety of healing modalities with yoga and meditation including Reiki, Emotional Freedom Technique, Aromatherapy, visualization, and Sound therapy.

In yoga we return to our awareness to the mind, body, and spirit and in creating and nurturing this relationship, we cultivate deep and mindful relationship with ourselves. I am passionate and humbled by the sacred journey yoga has to offer and believe yoga is a path to open the doors of the mind, body, and spirit, connecting us to the present and to your true potential.

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Kelsey Lang
Yoga Instructor

Edmund Erickson
Acupuncturist

Edmund is a California Licensed Acupuncturist/Herbalist and has over 16 years of clinical experience. He uses the following treatment methods in clinic: traditional Chinese acupuncture, traditional Japanese meridian therapy, and the balance method.

He treats such things as: detoxification, addiction, pain of any kind (physical or emotional), weak digestion, stress, anxiety, sleep problems, fatigue, and mind-body disconnection.

Edmund is Nationally Certified as a Diplomat in Acupuncture by the NCCAOM. He holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Science Degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, California.

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Edmund Erickson
Acupuncturist

Robert Karlsson
Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CNN)

Robert Karlsson is a certified clinical nutritionist and health care consultant working with local schools, community centers, and substance abuse recovery centers across Southern California. Over last decade, his fascination with nutrient deficiencies led him to focus on depletions caused by poor diet and toxic states that prevented the body from healing at its optimal performance. His techniques to healing are easily integrated into modern medical treatment programs of all sorts. Here is a little more background into his training and philosophy.

His main mentor was Dr. Frank Varese, M.D., who was a pioneer in longevity medicine and devoted his practice to finding health and wellness solutions for patients who could not find the answers they needed from their regular doctors. He worked with Dr.Varese for six years.

"Working alongside Dr. Varese, I saw firsthand how many natural, non-prescription remedies, including vitamin and enzyme therapies, bio-identical hormone replacement, and certain advanced technologies can accelerate the body’s natural power to heal itself. In addition, I met and developed relationships with many caring and skilled medical doctors, scientists, and everyday people who believe in enhancing the quality of life for their patients, rather than just treating symptoms. In my quest to constantly remain informed about the most effective remedies for various disease conditions, I regularly attend medical conferences and lectures at which the world’s leading medical experts share their research and opinions."

"Like you, I often hear through the media about the disease epidemics in our modern world. I find myself consistently frustrated that, in many cases, the simplest and, often, most effective remedies for wellness and longevity are not offered to the average patient in our current healthcare system. I am also frequently disturbed by the amount of research time and money spent by major pharmaceutical companies in the race to develop new and ever more expensive drugs when the solution to a particular disease condition is often already available to patients in a natural, safer, less expensive, and more effective form.

I firmly believe that health care decisions should only be made based on a thorough evaluation of a patient’s health history and individual treatment needs. However, the thorough evaluation necessary to treat a particular patient is just not available in our current health care system where doctors often have no more than fifteen minutes during a typical appointment to devote to the patient. There is, for example, absolutely no reason why aspirin should be used as an automatic remedy when it is known that two thousand people die every year on first time use, even though they followed the labeling instructions for the correct dose. From my experience these last several years, I have learned that the only thing that can cure a disease is your own body. The body can heal physical ailments, diseases, and mental disorders, and there are many non-drug nutrients, natural supplements, and advanced technological treatments that, when used correctly, can stimulate the body to heal itself."

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Robert Karlsson
Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CNN)

Francisco Najar
Head Chef

Francisco Najar is an experienced and compassionate Chef with more than 25 years in the industry and possess the knowledge to serve each client’s nutritional needs. He believes that food can health the body and mind and takes immense pride in what he servers his clients. Whether a modified diet is required or a five-star meal, the culinary team he leads is ready to serve and start the healing process.

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Francisco Najar
Head Chef

Mario Galindo
Chef

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Mario Galindo
Chef

Barmak Hefazi
VP of Operations

Mr. Hefazi comes from an extensive background in Business, Recovery, and Management. Mr. Hefazi is passionate about recovery and creates an environment of compassion and structure. He brings to Monarch Shores his team building skills along with unmatched client care practices. He has be working in the field for several years mastering and understanding the needs of clients while simultaneously providing the infrastructural needs of the company.

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Barmak Hefazi
VP of Operations

Anthony Grignon
General Manager

Anthony Grignon met his sobriety head on in February of 2012. He went through a treatment program, which made him realize his potential to share this wonderful new life with people looking for a change. Completing his education at the Training Institute of Addiction Counseling in 2013, he has managed both sober living and treatment centers specializing in substance abuse and dual-diagnosis.

Anthony is a believer in a balanced lifestyle, incorporating everything from sports, to meditation, to being a foodie. His motto is "If you want something you've never had, you need to do something you've never done." He is committed to helping people figure out what that is for themselves.

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Anthony Grignon
General Manager

Chris Gallina
Director of Compliance

Chris Gallina is the Director of Compliance for Chapters Capistrano, a position dedicated to consistent, safe, and effective treatment and operations practices. A San Diego, CA native, Chris moved to North Orange County for college where he received a B.S in Biological Science from California State University, Fullerton. Chris’s analytical background and attention to detail allow him to dive into tackling performance hurdles in a modern substance abuse treatment environment. In the past, Chris has worked and consulted for a multitude of companies nationwide to achieve successful licensure statuses and third-party accreditations including the Joint Commissions Gold Seal and CARF International accreditations. Chris’s passion and dedication to improving performance and eliminating risk position him to impact the daily lives of Chapters Capistrano staff, clients, volunteers, and interns in a positive and meaningful way.

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Chris Gallina
Director of Compliance