MEET THE REACH IPA STAFF
Dr. Alix Nassiri, D.O., Addictionologist
Dr. Nassiri is a board certified Addiction Medicine physician in Pasadena. His practice includes both Addiction Medicine and Anesthesiology. He is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the California Society of Addiction Medicine, the American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists, California Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Medical Association, and the American Osteopathic Association. He is a licensed and board certified physician.
Dr. Nassiri commenced his educational studies as a Regent Scholar at the University of California, Riverside, graduating at the top of his class with Summa Cum Laude, and completing his undergraduate studies in an accelerated 3 years. He pursued his medical school studies at Western University of Health Sciences, where he was the youngest member of his medical school class. Upon graduation from medical school, he completed an intensive one year traditional rotating internship at Riverside County Regional Medical Center. He then completed a three year residency in Anesthesiology through Western U/OPTI, training at RCRMC, Cedars Sinai and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. During that time, he had a wide range of exposure to different patient populations, disease states and intense exposure to patients with Chronic pain and Substance and Alcohol Abuse Disorders.
Upon completion of his residency, Dr. Nassiri entered into private practice and has worked at several highly regarded institutions throughout Southern California. After several years of practicing Anesthesiology, and noticing the lack of quality care for patients suffering from addiction disorders, Dr. Nassiri re-trained in the field of addiction medicine along side some of the most well-regarded experts in the field. For the past several years, he has cultivated a cutting edge approach toward treatment of substance abuse disorders that is collaborative, holistic and comprehensive in style.
Dr. Nassiri has been touched first hand by the loss of friends and colleagues to addiction and having witnessed the lack of quality care for professionals in search of treatment, he launched REACH Wellness & Recovery, the first Institution solely dedicated to the advanced treatment of the patient who leads a professional life. He believes that the dynamics involved in the addiction process relating to professionals and high achieving individuals warrants a much more sophisticated approach in treatment.
Dr. Nassiri has been named as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” people by Pasadena Magazine as well as voted one of the Top Doctors in the area. While Dr. Nassiri grew up in Southern California, he believes that we are all citizens of the world and appreciates traveling abroad. He has completed humanitarian medical missions overseas and in his interviews with both local and national media, including NBC, CNN, FOX and CBS; he has advocated for human rights in other countries where people don’t have freedom of speech.
Dr. Nassiri is fluent in English, Persian, French and medical Spanish. He enjoys gardening, volunteering, writing lyrics, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Matthew A. Torrington, MD
Matthew A. Torrington, MD, is the Medical Director at the Common Ground/End Dependence Free Clinic in Santa Monica, California, the Chief of Addiction Medicine at the Avalon Malibu Residential treatment center in Malibu California and a Consulting Addiction Medicine Physician at Cri Help in North Hollywood. Dr. Torrington maintains a private practice focusing on the longitudinal disease management of difficult addiction and pain cases.
Dr Torrington’s clinical focus is on the treatment of stimulant dependence, alcohol dependence, opiate dependence, and pain. A participant in the development and implementation of significant research studies, he has served as Principle Investigator, co-investigator or study physician on numerous clinical trials.
Dr Torrington has authored and coauthored numerous articles published in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Journal of Addiction Medicine, Addiction Biology, Journal of Addictive Diseases, and Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Dr Torrington is a boarded by the American Academy of Family Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the California Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Academy of Pain Management. He is a member of the Committee on Treatment of Opioid Dependence of the California Society of Addiction Medicine and is a certified Medical Review Officer.
Christian B. Rutland, MD Psychiatrist
Dr. Rutland has an extensive history in the behavioral health field of addiction medicine. He is currently the Medical Director at the Huntington Hospital’s Chemical Dependency and Recovery Center. His experience has spanned nearly 40 years of practicing psychiatry and addiction medicine. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as well as of the American Board of Addiction Medicine.
Dr. Rutland earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors during his studies at Cornell University where he majored in Neurobiology and Behavior. He then attended Medical School at the University of South Florida and completed his internship in Internal Medicine and Neurology and his residency in Psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco.
He has held numerous medical director positions over the last 30 years in Southern California. Dr. Rutland has proven to be an excellent clinician and teacher within the field of addiction medicine and psychiatry. His incredible knowledge of the myriad drug effects and interactions on brain chemistry in patients with underlying psychiatric issues is unparalleled.
Jamie E. Garcia, MD
Dr. Garcia’s passion for psychiatry and medicine stem from a summer experience in a youth program at a hospital when he was just 15 years old. Psychiatry has given Dr. Garcia the gift of listening and learning from both his patients and their loved ones in any setting. He is graduated medical school at Stanford and completed his residency in Psychiatry at the University of Southern California. Dr. Garcia has practiced both in outpatient private practice and held hospital based positions. He is an active mentor in the GE-National Hispanic Medical Student Leadership & Mentoring program and a member of numerous professional organizations.
Dr. Garcia loves to read books, volunteer, workout at the gym and spend time with his wife and two children.
Kenneth C. Russ, MD
Kenneth C. Russ, M.D. has been practicing medicine in Palm Springs, CA since 1990. His main focus has been Internal Medicine, but for the past 10 years he has dedicated the major part of his practice to Addiction Medicine and weight loss. He is certified by The American Board of Addiction Medicine and prescribes Suboxone and other forms of medicine assisted therapy. He is also certified as a weight loss specialist by The American Society of Bariatric Physicians.
Dr. Russ has authored books and articles, including The Palm Springs Diet, pertaining to weight control for those suffering from binge eating or food addiction. Dr. Russ feels that the challenge of treating any addiction is that it involves attacking the demons of the mind, body and the spirit.
Dr. Ryan Peterson, MD, Pain Management Specialist
Dr. Ryan Peterson is board certified in the specialties of Pain Management, Anesthesiology and Addiction Medicine. He graduated from The George Washington University School of Medicine and did residency and fellowship at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and UCLA School of Medicine, respectively. Dr. Peterson has a long track record and vast experience in successfully alleviating chronic pain caused by various medical conditions in the chronic pain patient with Opiate Dependency and other addiction issues. He believes with empathy and truly caring for a patient, the greatest healing happens.
Because of his personal experience, Dr. Peterson became interested in treating those suffering from chemical dependence. Dr. Peterson believes in a multidisciplinary approach to pain management and a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to addiction treatment.
Joseph Gulino, MD Psychiatrist
Since 2006, Joseph Gulino has worked with adults, adolescents and children who pursue psychiatric treatment for a wide variety of disorders, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, ADHD, pediatric behavioral problems, and autism.
Joseph Gulino attended medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University, followed by a residency in General Psychiatry and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina. Since then, Dr. Gulino has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and eventually opened his private practice in Beverly Hills.
In his psychiatry practice, Joseph Gulino emphasizes the importance of accurate diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan based on the individual needs of the patient. He begins by taking a full clinical inventory of the patient’s mental health status along with the internal and external factors that contribute to it. This includes a psychological assessment, as well as a physical, social and family history. Once a differential diagnosis has been formulated, Dr. Gulino discusses treatment options, which may include medication, lifestyle changes, psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or a combination of interventions. His patients are always fully apprised of any potential risks and benefits of the treatment plan and are involved in the decision-making process from the outset.
Dr. James Yarusso, MD, Executive Life Coach & Lecturer
Dr. James Yarusso is a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine in Portland, Oregon. His primary objective at REACH is to counsel and help patients as our executive life coach by providing mentoring and structure for relapse prevention, and teaching techniques to nurture the body, mind and spirit after detoxification and extended inpatient care. He also helps facilitate an understanding of the neurophysiology of addiction to other health care providers. Dr. Yarusso has over 10 years of experience with alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs. While he has practiced as a physician in General Practice, Emergency Medicine, and Occupational Medicine, he currently is semi-retired and works part time as an Urgent Care physician when he is not providing life and executive coaching at REACH.
Before joining our team, Dr. Yarusso was the medical director for Concentra Medical Centers in Portland, OR and Tempe, AZ. He is married to his wife of 40 years and is the father of three sons.
Dr. Fallynn C. Cox, PsyD, Psychologist
Dr. Fallyn Cox graduated from UNLV and went on to graduate school at CSPP California School of Psychology at Alliant International University. She has been practicing psychotherapy for 14 years and maintains her private practice in Pasadena, California. After graduating with her doctorate in 2003, Dr. Fallynn continued her education by participating in a small study group for eight-years led by Dr. Dan Siegel www.drdansiegel.com. Her work continues to be greatly influenced by the tenets of Dr. Siegel’s Interpersonal Neurobiology, or IPNB. Dr. Cox also spent time studying with Dr. Stan Tatkin, specializing in the most cutting-edge couple’s therapy called Psychobiological Approach to Couple’s Therapy.
In 2010, Dr. Cox became interested in being even more helpful to her patients’s suffering . She was introduced to the work of Habib Davanloo, M.D. and has been incorporating Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) under the very talented and gifted teacher/mentor Susan Warren Warshow. She finished her 4-years of DEFT core training in June of 2014 and primarily practices in this modality.
Dr. Cox has dedicated her life to helping professionals who are battling addiction, both process addictions (gambling, shopping, sex) and chemical addictions (alcohol, marijuana, stimulants, and prescription medications). She is also an expert in treating anxiety, depression, and abandonment issues.
Dr. Cox specializes with those who are battling addiction and are either contemplating recovery or are in early recovery (first 24 months). Working with couples in premarital counseling, after the affair, or any other difficult impasse is another area of her expertise.
Dr. Cox grew up on the west coast of United States and has traveled extensively.
Gaetano Vaccaro, PhD
Gaetano Vaccaro, PhD, most recently served as the clinical director at Moonview Sanctuary / Eagan Medical Group, focusing on holistic multidisciplinary treatment of psychological disturbances and addictions. Dr. Vaccaro created comprehensive assessment processes and cutting-edge multi-modal treatment programs. He received his doctorate in Jungian depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and he has a master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica. He was formerly the manager of clinical and behavioral research at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, and for eleven years he specialized in the treatment of sexual compulsivity, addictive behaviors, and mood disorders.
Dr. Vaccaro is an internationally recognized lecturer on addiction recovery, human development and personal growth who has recently presented seminars in California, Australia and Hawaii. Additionally, Dr. Vaccaro has over twenty-five years of experience as a management consultant, life coach and counselor.
Carolyn Wheeler MA, LMFT, EMDR Trained Therapist
Carolyn Wheeler is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in clinical practice for 12 years. She graduated from Phillips Graduate Institute with a MA in Counseling and Pychology and completed the certificate program in Chemical Dependency and Co-Occurring Disorders under the supervision of master clinician Susan L. Musetti, LMFT.
She is a California Board of Behavioral Sciences approved clinical supervisor and has presented on addiction, shame, neurobiology of trauma and cultural diversity at conferences.
Ms. Wheeler is an EMDR and TRM trained therapist. She has studied since 2007 under the tutelage of Don Dorsey, Ed.D., a highly regarded trainer and consultant in the EMDR community. Currently, she is pursuing certification as an EMDR Consultant and Trainer. Ms. Wheeler is well versed in the Trauma Resiliency Model, a mind-body approach that restores balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems and the mind. She also has a private practice in Beverly Hills.
Ms. Wheeler was Chair of the Community Partner Training Committee with the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services. She collaborated with DCFS to implement the Family-to-Family Initiative underwritten by the Anne E. Casey Foundation. Ms. Wheeler was also part of a select group asked to train a delegation from Tel Aviv in treating physical and sexual abuse in children and family reunification. She has over a decade of experience working with children, adolescents and families involved with DCFS and the juvenile justice system. Ms. Wheeler also has 12 years of experience treating many patients in the music and film industry, executives, composers, musicians, and multi-platinum selling artists. She understands the pressures of the business end and the creative blocks involved in the industry.
When working with clients she uses a combination of the mind-body approach, EMDR, addiction and recovery models, neurobiology, and family systems theory in treating her clients. Ms. Wheeler works with addictions, dual diagnosis, codependency, dissociative identity disorder, dissociation, single incident and complex PTSD, depression, anxiety, individuals, couples and families.
Dr. Victoria Luminita Ibric, M.D, PhD
Dr. Victoria Ibric is a board certified Neurofeedback and Biofeedback clinician/ instructor/ mentor. Nearly 25 years ago, Dr. Ibric became interested in the self regulatory responses to disease, and was trained in General Biofeedback and EEG Biofeedback (Neurofeedback) and Quantitative EEG by some of the leading scientist in the field of Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology. Presently, she has a full time practice in Pasadena at the Neurofeedback and NeuroRehab Institute, Inc, consulting to UCLA Pain Medicine Center, Kaiser Permanente, Good Samaritean, Huntington Hospital and other private clinics. She provides Biofeedback and Neurofeedback (brainwave biofeedback) services for a variety of disorders and stress-related conditions, as well as peak-performance training. Since 1993, Dr. Ibric has had a high rate of success (82%) using Neurofeedback training on patients with Addictions, post traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, Autism, tremor and seizure disorders. Dr. Ibric continuously applies her research experience while practicing Neurofeedback and Neuro-Optimization and actively presents results of her work at professional conferences. Results of her work have been published in peer-reviewed journals and made chapters in specialty books. She continues to be an enthusiastic advocate and active promoter of the Biofeedback/ Neurofeedback in the community and in National/ International forums.
Dr. Ibric graduated from medical school in Bucharest, Romania and obtained her PhD in both immunology and health psychology. Following her arrival in the United States she continued to work in cancer research followed by neurology. While conducting research at the Virology Institute in Bucharest, University of Southern California’s Cancer Research Laboratory and Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, her work involved exploration into the origins of cancer induced by viruses or chemical agents, as well as cancer prevention with use of Vitamin C and other anti-oxidants (Cancer Research Papers). Her research also explored the glia cells responses to oncogenes, various growth factors and their involvement in causing seizures (Neurology Research Papers). Her work in Neurofeedback produced several scientific papers and book chapters.
Beata Lundeen, Certified Spiritual Director
Beata Lundeen, S.D. has spent 40 years in the field of professional addiction treatment services as a nurse, interventionist and business development specialist. After experiencing her own spiritual transformation through years of one-to one professional spiritual direction, Beata graduated from an accredited school of spiritual direction and now guides other’s seeking God in the process of spiritual growth, intentional practices and personal discernment of life decisions.
Ms. Lundeen is an integral component within the REACH Wellness Recovery program and has helped many, many individuals discover the power of love, contentedness, appreciation and spirituality in their lives…all should be so lucky as to have the opportunity to work with her.
Emil Kim, AC., Acupuncturist, Yoga
Emil Kim is a second generation acupuncturist. With 12 years experience in allopathic medicine, yoga, meditation, along with traditional Chinese medicine, Emil treats musculo-skeletal issues with an integrative approach and a multidisciplinary perspective. He specializes in treating patients undergoing medical detox and addiction recovery, helping treat stress and anxiety with acupuncture.
Mr. Kim comes to REACH Wellness Recovery as being among Southern California’s most highly sought after practitioners specializing within multiple realms of Eastern Medicine. Equally important however is his vast expertise within the process of maximizing such holistic practices within the overall addiction and substance abuse treatment regimen. From detox to treatment to aftercare and long-term success in recovery as a whole, Emil Kim and his specialties definitely bolster the REACH process.
Devon Cole, MS, RD
Devon received her Master’s in Nutritional Science and completed her dietetic internship through the coordinate program at California State University, Los Angeles. Here she received training in both inpatient and outpatient services at USC Keck Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Devon has experience working with adolescents and adults in all levels of care: inpatient, residential and partial hospitalization as well as being part of an outpatient team in her private practice. She specializes in working with clients with eating disorders and disordered eating, but has experience working with clients with substance abuse, diabetes, hypertension, polycystic ovarian syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, gastric bypass, as well as celiac disease and food allergies.
Devon’s passion is helping the people she works with make peace with food and their bodies. She aims to educate her clients on how to find balance in healing and nourishing their bodies while ending the chronic cycle of dieting. She works with clients on setting and achieving their individual goals while focusing on the principles of intuitive eating.
Fitness & Nutrition Team
Our fitness program consists of certified personal trainers and nutritionists who will work with you to get you active again. At REACH Wellness & Recovery, we believe that sobriety and health are best achieved through proper nutrition and exercise.
The team at ArchFitness has nearly a decade of experience in nutritional counseling, personal training, and operating various bootcamps. They have joined forces with REACH to bring the highest quality of care to our clients and help you REACH your optimal physical state.