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Meet the Alternative to Meds Team

We bring together over 65 skilled team members, including licensed therapists and counselors, doctors from both medical and naturopathic realms, alternative practitioners, acupuncturists, holistic nurses, addiction treatment specialists and diverse care providers from around the world to administer a program capable of delivering recovery to the complex population that we serve. Below you can meet some of our staff. 
Wholistic and Holistic are actually variant spellings of the same practice. The (W)holistic practice is to treat the whole body as the body is designed to work together, rather than to treat individual parts. Traditional psychiatry can often view the brain as an isolated chemical organ and fall short of recognizing the dynamic interplay between the gut, brain, heart, and body and how we move through the world in our lives.

Medical Staff

The ATMC medical team consists of licensed medical professionals such as a psychiatrist, a naturopathic doctor, registered nurses, and an acupuncturist. The team blends approaches from both east and west to find the right balance of alopathic and natural methods in healing. Our medical staff work collaboratively with each other and the resident to find the best treatment for their unique needs.

  • Jack E. Downhill Jr, MD
    Jack E. Downhill Jr, MD
    Medical Director
  • Dr. Ellie Wright, NMD, MA, CHT
    Dr. Ellie Wright, NMD, MA, CHT
    Director of Naturopathic Medicine
  • Jessica Reese R.N.
    Jessica Reese R.N.
    Registered Nurse
  • Abbie Cook R.N.
    Abbie Cook R.N.
    Registered Nurse
  • Adam Da Virro, LAc
    Adam Da Virro, LAc
    Acupuncturist
  • Michael Loes, MD
    Michael Loes, MD
    Consulting Physician

Clinical Staff

Our clinical team is comprised of skilled and experienced clinicians such as psychologists, therapists, and care managers. Each resident is assigned their own therapist and care manager, each of whom they meet with on a weekly basis. In addition, residents have weekly meetings with their clinical team to collaborate on treatment planning and their unique needs.

  • Robert Potter MA, LISAC, CSAT
    Robert Potter MA, LISAC, CSAT
    Clinical Director
  • Libby Smith P.H.D
    Libby Smith P.H.D
    Therapist
  • Malia Martinez CSAT
    Malia Martinez CSAT
    Care Manager
  • John Lovely
    John Lovely
    Care Manager

Care Staff

The care provider team is available 24 hours a day to address the needs of our residents. Our care team prides itself on providing care with kindness, compassion, and respect. Graduates often offer gratitude for the care team stating that they go above and beyond for them.

  • Rob King
    Rob King
    Care Provider Supervisor
  • John Camillieri
    John Camillieri
    Program Director
  • Krystal
    Krystal
    Care Provider
  • Lotus Om, CNA
    Lotus Om, CNA
    Detox Shoppe Director, Certified Holistic Life Coach

Administrative Staff

Our administrative staff work both behind the scenes as well as being present and available in the therapeutic milieu. They are a diverse group of talented individuals who are passionate about this work.

  • Lyle Murphy
    Lyle Murphy
    Founder of ATMC
  • Isaac Levin
    Isaac Levin
    Chief Administrator
  • Debbie Nelson
    Debbie Nelson
    Public Relations Coordinator
  • Necole Zeigler
    Necole Zeigler
    Financial Officer

Support Staff

Our support staff consists of a team of chefs who prepare all the delicious meals using only organic and whole foods. We have a full housekeeping staff who clean the resident’s home daily. In addition, we have a diverse team of practitioners that offer healing services to our residents.

  • Sonia Martin
    Sonia Martin
    BA, BBA, MA, CHT B.E.S.T. Elite Master Practitioner
  • Sarah Peterson
    Sarah Peterson
    Reiki Master/Teacher
  • Rachael Nez
    Rachael Nez
    Spiritual Counselor
  • Karina Voievitka Maluf, LMT, B.A.
    Karina Voievitka Maluf, LMT, B.A.
    Massage Therapist
  • David Ramierez
    David Ramierez
    Holistic Chef

Our Success Stories

Medication Withdrawal Success Stories

Can you imagine being free from medications, addictive drugs, and alcohol? This is our goal and we are proving it is possible every day!

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Holistic Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Articles

News, media and up to date information on medications, symptoms and side effect, addiction and treatment for substance abuse from our expert staff.

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Jack E. Downhill Jr, MD
Medical Director

After completing medical school at St. Georges University’s School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, Dr. Downhill continued his postdoctoral training with a focus on Neuroscience. He completed his Residency Training in Adult Psychiatry at the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine in New Jersey and went on to serve as a Fellow in Neuropsychiatry and Neuroimaging Research at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics as well as a Fellow at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, NY, with a focus on Schizophrenia and Neuroimaging Research. He was certified in 1994 by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry and has since held academic and hospital appointments at numerous prestigious medical institutions.

 

Dr. Downhill brings decades of experience in Neuropsychiatry and Neuroscience to his role as Medical Director at ATMC and we are grateful to have his wisdom and expertise supporting and guiding our residents as they go through our holistic medication tapering and addiction treatment program

Dr. Ellie Wright, NMD, MA, CHT
Director of Naturopathic Medicine

Dr. Ellie Wright is licensed as a Naturopathic Physician in the State of Arizona and received a Doctoral Degree in Naturopathic Medicine at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. She also trained in Biological Medicine with the Swiss Paracelsus Academy. She holds a graduate level Certificate in Geriatric and Gerontology from Arizona State University. Dr. Wright has worked with clients in her private practice in the areas of preventative health care, nutritional medicine, botanical medicine, and counseling in mind/body therapy. As an avid medical researcher, she has presented her research around the world for the EGW Research Institute.

As the Director of Naturopathic Medicine at ATMC, Dr. Wright’s greatest joy comes from being able to educate and empower clients to create a healthy lifestyle. Her approach to health includes bridging the world of medicine, psychology and art of science to create tailored protocols for clients. In this process, she investigates the underlying causes and then proceeds with removing the barriers to healing through a mind and body detox. From a holistic perspective, she evaluates the adrenal function, thyroid, food sensitivities, malabsorption, emotional eating, and nutritional status. Her personalized approach to medicine includes these steps: REMOVE, REPLENISH, REJUVENATE. In reshaping the health of the mind and body, she uses botanical extracts and amino acids to modulate neurotransmitters. In addressing mental health, her goal is to overcome the biochemical changes in the brain that are caused by anxiety, depression, PTSD, stress and aging. As a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, she utilizes the universal language of subconscious words and visualization to empower clients into reaching their goals.

She has been always been passionate about mental wellness and fascinated with the healing power of the mind. Dr. Wright is very excited to be working with the professional practitioner team at ATMC to provide natural alternatives to medications and bring hope and healing to a lot of people. It is a joy for her to build long-lasting professional relationships with patients and see their health improve.

Jessica Reese R.N.
Registered Nurse

Jessica has been interested in addressing the root cause of psychological maladies since members of her close family were diagnosed with psychiatric illness. As contemporary psychiatric care in the US is heavily medication based, she was dissatisfied with these interventions for those close to her, and believed there had to be another way. Jessica graduated with the Nursing Student of the Year Award from Yavapai College in 2013 and was the President of the Student Nurse Association, creating educational opportunities for her fellow students that brought in practitioners with more holistic interventions and ideals, to show that there was more to nursing care than just the allopathic model taught to students.

She began working at ATMC immediately after passing her nursing boards, and currently is a staff nurse who provides medication management and works closely with each resident to optimize their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Jessica’s favorite part of being a nurse at ATMC is seeing the nursing interventions and supplementation address the root cause of emotional or physical dysfunction, and knowing that she is contributing to a sustainable, effective, and healthy way of life that can provide lasting change that works with the body’s natural systems.

Abbie Cook R.N.
Registered Nurse

Abbie has over 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse working as Critical Care RN/Supervisor, RN Case Manager in Hospice and Home Health settings and other supervisor roles as an RN. Throughout her career she has embodied a holistic body-mind-spirit approach to the care of others. Her passion for holistic care led her to gain certifications in Interactive guided imagery, Healing touch, Holistic Cancer Educator.

As Nurse Manager she, along with the Physician and other nurses, manage the medical care of our residents. Her focus throughout her career is to support people during difficult transitions, whether through a critical illness, trauma, facing end of life or assisting those transitioning from addiction to recovery.

Adam Da Virro, LAc
Acupuncturist

Adam Da Virro offers group acupuncture treatments biweekly for the residents of ATMC. In 2006 Adam graduated from Yo San University in Los Angeles, California with a Master’s of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Adam moved to Northern Arizona in 2006 and has maintained a private practice in the area for the past five years. His passion is Internal Medicine specializing in auto immune conditions, Men’s Health and Digestive Health. He has devoted his practice to the study of Chinese Herbology and formula construction as well as state of the art nutritional protocols. He is honored to be serving the residents of ATMC with Chinese Medical Principles, supporting their path to a full recovery.

Michael Loes, MD
Consulting Physician

Dr. Michael Loes is board certified in Internal Medicine , Pain Management and Addiction Medicine. He holds a dual license in Homeopathic and Integrative Medicine. He obtained his medical doctorate at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1978.  Dr Loes performed an externship at the National Institute of Health for Psychopharmacology. Additionally he is a well published author including Arthritis: The Doctor’s Cure, The Aspirin Alternative, The Healing Response and Spirit Driven Health: The Psalmist’s Guide for Recovery. He has been awarded the Minnesota Medical Foundation’s “Excellence in Research” Award.

He was the medical director of ATMC between 2014 and 2016. He now is a consulting physician and provides relief for the current medical director. Prior to Alternative to Meds Center, he was a medical provider at Hazelton.

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Robert Potter MA, LISAC, CSAT
Clinical Director

Robert has many years’ experience working with addiction and co-occurring conditions in a variety of therapeutic settings. He has worked as the clinical director of a residential care facility as well as in private practice and as a private contractor for the U.S. government. Bob has additional trainings and certifications in substance abuse, sex addiction, mindfulness and meditation.

Robert is a Clinical Director that embraces concepts of self-discovery through non-judgmental curiosity and exploration. He works closely with residents to educate, empower, and challenge them along their healing journey. Along with his regular practice with ATMC residents, Bob has also introduced an Equine therapy program to the curriculum.

Libby Smith P.H.D
Therapist

Libby Smith or “Dr. Libby” as many of her friends and clients affectionately call her, is an educator, counselor, author, Chair of the Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals, and an Equine-Assisted Therapeutic Practitioner. She has been teaching at colleges and universities for over twenty-five years and has written and published several books including her most recent, “What’s the Matter?”

Over the past eight years she has worked as a counselor in both Behavioral Health and Substance Use arenas and currently works  as s Therapist at Alternatives to Medications Center. She is the owner and CEO of Wind Horse Wellness LLC located in Flagstaff, Arizona.  She has a heart for service and is honored to be working with the administration, staff, and patients at Alternatives to Medications Center.

Malia Martinez CSAT
Care Manager

Malia has spent over 16 years working with multi-disciplinary teams in support of clients with co-occurring conditions. She was educated and previously licensed in Honolulu, Hawaii and she is presently licensed in Arizona. She is experienced at providing counseling, group therapy, rehabilitation and support services to residents in recovery. She is culturally diverse, having been raised around several different ethnic backgrounds.

Presently Malia is a Care Manager and Counselor at ATMC. She loves the philosophy of addressing the whole person, utilizing a holistic approach. Her approach to treatment is to meet with the client where they are at, taking into consideration their history, present situation and cultural values.

John Lovely
Care Manager

John comes to ATMC with a wealth of experience in behavioral and mental health and child welfare services. He has worked closely with both individuals and families, providing holistic and compassionate support for those struggling to cope with mental health and addiction issues.

John’s extensive knowledge of how the mind functions, combined with his background in social work, psychology and mental health counseling make John a tremendous asset to the ATMC team.

Rob King
Care Provider Supervisor

Rob comes with 13 years in behavioral and mental health having worked with conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s, dementia, developmental and cognitive disabilities, psychosis, and addiction in all ages. A firm and avid believer in practitioner of the holistic process. Rob has over 20 years of personal education in herbology, homeopathy, Ricky, psychology, and meditation.

ATMC, Rob offers residence experience, compassion, and knowledge in a wide range of therapeutic modalities. Being in the professional service of others, Rob sees this as more than just an occupation, but a way of life.

John Camillieri
Program Director

John D. Camillieri is a graduate of Ithaca College with a degree in Psychology with a focus in Behavioral Neuroscience. He is a certified Grief Counselor through the Grief Recovery Institute and a Suicide Counselor for New York Help Line through Marble Collegiate Church. John is also on the panel of MATFORCE, the Verde Valley Substance Abuse Coalition, runs numerous 12 Step Meetings for Central Valley and is a Certified Mentor with the Yavapai County Reentry Project.

As the Residential Program Director at ATMC, John takes a hands on approach to working with the residents and staff, to ensure that each person involved with the program is supported, heard, and encouraged. John brings a mind, body and spirit approach to personal growth and recovery. His life mission is helping others in recovery through harnessing and cultivating the hero within.

Krystal
Care Provider

Krystal graduated college with a degree in Healthcare Administration and worked as a Healthcare Administrator for 13 years. She has acquired numerous certificates in the field of healthcare administration over the years, and she passionately continues her research and study of the many varying approaches and applications to healthcare administration.

Krystal decided a couple of years ago that she wanted to help people dealing with addiction and behavioral issues, which led her to her current job here at ATMC.  She enjoys ATMC’s outdoor activities and loves to help our residents smile and laugh. Working at ATMC is definitely her favorite of all her past jobs.

Lotus Om, CNA
Detox Shoppe Director, Certified Holistic Life Coach

Lotus is a Licensed Nursing Assistant and Certified Holistic Life Coach with 20 years of experience in hands-on patient care, ranging from hospice work to addiction and chemical dependency issues. Currently, Lotus is the Director of AMTC’s Detox Shoppe. As a senior staff member and executive board member Lotus has worked in most of the departments at ATMC. She is a valued team member with a diverse knowledge of the company and she strives to deliver excellent, heart-centered service.

Lotus loves working with people who want to help themselves.
It is a genuine pleasure for her to meet each client where they are at, each day, while helping them work towards their goals by offering consistent encouragement, patience and love. Her personal passion lies in living a natural and healthy life to maintain balance within and without and she stands wholeheartedly behind ATMC’s holistic and alternative approach to wellness.

Lyle Murphy
Founder of ATMC

Lyle Murphy is the founder of Alternative to Meds Center.  Lyle did his pre-med scholastics at West Georgia University receiving the only recommendation for advancement to medical school in his class. Though accepted to Emory Medical School, he instead chose to attend LIfe University school of Chiropractic because of their naturalistic approach. 

Immediately after completion of chiropractic school, Lyle suffered a low blood sugar event that resulted in a crisis. Hallucinating for no known reason, Lyle was justifiably concerned and went to the emergency room.  While at the hospital and trying to differentially diagnose himself, Lyle insisted on a blood sugar test as it seemed the only logical conclusion. The result was 39 mg/dL, which is deathly low, yet instead of the hospital appropriately treating an obvious medical situation, he was instead given a Haldol injection and soon after dropped into a low blood sugar coma for 2 weeks. He suffered stroke-like residuals and had to re-learn how to talk, walk, and communicate all over again without any professional help or hope. Still highly impaired after ten years and looking forward to at best living a disabled life, he made a full recovery after engaging in some of the modalities similar to those offered at Alternative to Meds Center.  This gave him a potent exposure to how inadequate the mental health system truly is. 

He has now dedicated his life to holistic mental health and furthered his education to receive a post-doctoral certificate from SpiritMed in environmental medicine. He trains doctors in medication reduction techniques and has authored much of the philosophy of Alternative to Meds. 

Isaac Levin
Chief Administrator

Isaac is one of the founding members of ATMC and he has worked with the organization in numerous capacities. Over the years, he has worked as a Care Provider, Care Manager, and Massage Therapist, among many other roles. His experience allows him to have an intimate understanding of each facet of the organization. He has training and certifications as an Emergency Medical Technician, Sober Coach, and Empathic Coach. Isaac prides himself on providing impeccable service to each and every resident. On any given day he is onsite at the residence or at the Detox Shoppe, making himself available to address the concerns of residents, whether big or small.

As Chief Administrator, Isaac is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the program and supervising the staff. He takes the time to work with each staff member to ensure the ATMC team is cohesive and effective.

Debbie Nelson
Public Relations Coordinator

Debbie Nelson is an activist in the mental health and addiction world. She is the founder of Addiction Recovery Revolution, where she features revolutionary ideas for the mental health and addiction community. She is passionate when it comes to educating the world about highly-effective holistic addiction treatment methods. Debbie has been trained in amino acid therapy through the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition. She is on the board of multiple non-profits including the Alliance for Addiction Solutions, and Steps to Recovery Homes. She is trained in amino acid therapy for mental health and addiction, a certified mental health and addiction recovery coach, a sobriety coach, and trained in the Simply Healed energy healing modality.

Debbie is ATMC’s public relations outreach specialist and also works in the education component of amino acid recovery for clients. She loves helping others achieve long-term success on their road to recovery from addiction and medication dependence. With her own history of recovery, she cares deeply for seeing people have lasting results, using multiple modalities of healing and an integrative approach.

Necole Zeigler
Financial Officer

Necole is originally from Augusta, GA and is honored to call Arizona her home. She has over 20 years of experience in accounting and business operations. Necole has worked as an independent agent for various types of companies and has truly found her passion at ATMC.

Necole has a compassionate heart for others who have also struggled with the negative effects of prescription medications and fully supports the ATMC mission of holistic health and detoxification. She is dedicated to serving the needs of staff, clients and their families to support the continued growth and success of the ATMC program.

Sonia Martin
BA, BBA, MA, CHT B.E.S.T. Elite Master Practitioner

Sonia has been assisting ATMC’s residents achieve success in their ATMC program since 2011 through B.E.S.T. (Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique). Approaching the residents with unconditional love and compassion, she helps them become free from unconscious habits and patterns of negative thinking and acting, along with false beliefs about themselves that have resulted in the challenges that are impacting their lives. Through B.E.S.T., a person can more readily achieve the experience of health, success, and happiness in all areas of life.

Originally from Ohio, Sonia lived in Albuquerque, NM, for 20 years where she worked full time while completing her Bachelor degree, an M.A. in Human Resources Development, and certification as a Clinical Hypnotherapist. She moved to Arizona in 1990, and from 1993 through 2011, she was assistant to and Chief Editor for Dr. David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., a world-renowned psychiatrist who wrote a number of books about human consciousness research and spirituality. In 2007 Sonia become a B.E.S. T. practitioner and advanced to the level of Elite Master. She teaches B.E.S.T. at all levels of the training and has instructed students all over the world.

Sarah Peterson
Reiki Master/Teacher

A healing practitioner at ATMC since 2015, Sarah is committed to providing each resident with a sacred space for deep healing. Sarah is a certified Reiki Master /Teacher, trained in the ancient and traditional form of Usui Reiki healing. She uses the gentle yet powerful energy of Reiki to help people relax, reconnect, and center themselves so that they may heal physically, mentally, and emotionally during their detox process. Residents often walk out of a session with Sarah feeling more grounded, hopeful and restored.

Sarah is an Arizona native, with a deep spiritual background. She also works with the herbal medicine-making facility in Sedona that supplies ATMC with their herbal formulas. Sarah’s path with energy work began in 2012, and she is deeply devoted to assisting the residents at ATMC on their journey of healing and recovery.

Rachael Nez
Spiritual Counselor

Rachel Nez has been a member of the ATMC team since 2012. She concurrently works as an herbalist, and as an herbal medicine maker for the company that supplies ATMC with their herbal formulas. Rachel has spent many years among various indigenous cultures including, Navajo, Mayan, Rapa Nui and Shipibo tribes – to name a few – and brings those teachings into her work with clients.

Rachel is a certified Reiki practitioner. She has also studied extensively with Sandra Ingerman and The Foundation for Shamanic Studies. Rachel offers healing sessions at the Detox Shoppe, combining Trauma Release with her Reiki skills and indigenous teachings. During their stay at ATMC, residents often report profound healing shifts from Rachel‘s sessions.

Karina Voievitka Maluf, LMT, B.A.
Massage Therapist

Karina Voievika Maluf was born in Brazil and is a licensed massage therapist. She was trained at the world-renowned Sedona School of Massage, which specializes in a holistic approach to massage therapy where she took courses in a variety of different modalities including Neuromuscular therapy, Myofascial Therapy, Shiatsu, Ortho Bionomy and CranioSacral Therapy. She holds a Bachelor’s in Marketing and Advertising from UNIP Sao Paulo University. She also does energy work and has been certified in the White Time healing modality. She practices integrative massage, incorporating techniques from Donna Eden’s work, in addition to Shiatsu acupressure points.

She has seen the power of massage therapy in helping individuals on their healing journey and greatly believes in helping individuals to heal at Alternative To Meds Center. She was attracted to work at Alternative To Meds Center because she believes that’s where the real work can be done and enjoys working in a therapeutic setting. Karina is interested in a therapeutic approach because she believes that is where a balance to the emotional, physical and spiritual can be reached.

David Ramierez
Holistic Chef

David has been working with ATMC since 2016, helping to prepare the nutrient dense, organic cuisine that makes up the ATMC diet. He has been a certified chef for 20 years, channeling his passion for a health-conscious lifestyle and the culinary arts into delicious vegan, ayurvedic and paleo cuisines.

For David, the most rewarding part of his position as a chef at ATMC is having the ability to help individuals access healthy nutrients through natural, organic foods, prepared with integrity and love.