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Our Leadership

Ben Nordstrom, M.D., Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Ben Nordstrom is passionate about giving people the best substance use disorder treatment so they can return to their lives free from the negative effects of addiction.

He joined Phoenix House in 2015 and has served as the Chief Clinical Officer. In this role, he worked closely with regional executives and clinical leaders to conceptualize and implement a clinical transformation across all Phoenix House programs.

Now as President and CEO, he will lead Phoenix House in its mission to heal individuals, families, and communities challenged by substance use disorders and related mental health conditions.

As a Board Certified Addiction Psychiatrist, he’s held many positions that have shaped the modern approach to substance use disorder treatment. Nationally, Dr. Nordstrom served on the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s expert consensus panel on the use of medications in the treatment of opioid use disorders. He was the President of the Board of Directors for the New Hampshire Professionals Health Program, and he worked to improve medication assisted treatment in Vermont. Dr. Nordstrom also served in the Middle East as a psychiatrist in the United States Army Reserve.

Dr. Nordstrom holds a Doctor of Medicine from Dartmouth and a Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, and criminology at both universities, and he completed his training in psychiatry and addiction psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

 

Maria Alvarez

Vice President, Florida

Maria Alvarez joined Phoenix House in February 2007 and serves as Vice President, Florida.

As Vice President, Ms. Alvarez is responsible for the oversight and management of Phoenix House’s residential and outpatient services, as well as for overall fiscal control of the Florida region. Before assuming this position, Ms. Alvarez served as Director of Finance in Florida.

Prior to joining Phoenix House, Ms. Alvarez had more than 15 years of accounting and management experience in organizations ranging from start-ups to multi-million dollar corporations. During this time, Ms. Alvarez held several leadership positions, including Administrative and Finance Manager and Controller. Ms. Alvarez volunteers as a Guardian Ad Litem, an advocate for children in the court system primarily as a result of alleged abuse or neglect.

Ms. Alvarez holds a Bachelor of Science in business management from the University of Phoenix.

 

Michael D. Berkowitz

Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer

Prior to joining Phoenix House, Mr. Berkowitz served in various senior leadership positions, including Managing Partner at Silverpoint Advisors, Chief Human Resource Executive at Sixth Geer, and Senior Vice President of Global Compensation and Benefits at Merrill Lynch.

Prior to these roles, Mr. Berkowitz was a Senior Vice President, Human Resources at JPMorgan Chase for 19 years, where he held numerous senior human resource positions in Corporate Finance, Global Private Banking, and Asset Management and Consumer Financial Services.

Mr. Berkowitz serves on the Board of Directors of the Wellspring Foundation, a residential mental health treatment center, and the Leadership Council for The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, located in Boston Massachusetts. Mr. Berkowitz is also a member of the New York City Ballet Advisory Board.

Mr. Berkowitz holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Master of Business Administration in in Organization Behavior from Drexel University, and a Master of Public Administration in Healthcare from the New York University Wagner School of Public Service.

 

Ann-Marie K. Foster, FACHE

Senior Vice President and Executive Director, New York

Ann-Marie joined Phoenix House in October 2017 as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Phoenix House New York.

Ann-Marie has been a leader in healthcare for more than 20 years. Prior to joining Phoenix House, she led the Bellevue Hospital Department of Psychiatry—the largest psychiatric program in the country—for eight years. She was responsible for the overall administration and management for 359 beds within the Department of Psychiatry and Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. She also served the NYC Health + Hospital system as the Associate Executive Director of Clinical Services, where she oversaw surgery, anesthesia, women’s health, medicine, and pediatrics.

She has a B.S. in Biology from Syracuse University and a M.P.A. from Baruch College. In November 2016,  Ms. Foster became a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

 

Heidi B. Goldstein

Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

As the principal legal officer and a member of the National Executive Team, Ms. Goldstein is responsible for overseeing all of the legal affairs of Phoenix House and its affiliates, reporting to the President/Chief Executive Officer and National Board of Directors. Ms. Goldstein provides legal counsel, guidance and strategic advice on a wide range of matters regarding the organization’s operations and programs, including governance, real estate, litigation, risk management, employment, regulatory, and compliance.

Prior to joining Phoenix House, Ms. Goldstein practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for many years, where she was part of the general litigation group, and represented businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations in varied controversies, including complex commercial litigations, arbitrations, mediations and regulatory investigations. The clients Ms. Goldstein represented from the exempt organizations sector included private foundations and public charities (with missions ranging from cultural exchange to health care, social services, religion, and the arts).

Ms. Goldstein currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Binghamton University Alumni Association.

Ms. Goldstein graduated from Binghamton University, with honors, and from New York University School of Law.

 

Shawna Morris

Senior Vice President and Executive Director, California

Prior to joining Phoenix House, she was Vice-President for Mental Health Services at Burrell Behavioral Health in Missouri, where she expanded wraparound services for adults, enhanced addiction treatment services, and was instrumental in the expansion of eating disorder services and collaborations with primary care providers.

From 1997 to 2014, she held a variety of positions at the Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas, ranging from the Director of Marketing and Business Development to Chief Operating Officer. In her role as COO, Ms. Morris was accountable for creating and executing the Clinic’s strategic plan and building successful internal and external business relationships.

She earlier served in high-level management positions at ValueMark Healthcare Systems, Inc. and Human Affairs International, Inc.

Ms. Morris holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Psychology from Grace College and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas. She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

 

Peter Mumma

Senior Vice President & New England Regional Executive

Peter Mumma joined Phoenix House in August 2017 and serves as Senior Vice President, Executive Director of Phoenix House New England.

Before joining Phoenix House, Mr. Mumma was System Director of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at LifeBridge Health. In this role, Mr. Mumma oversaw the strategic, financial, clinical, operational and executive responsibility for care and outcomes of the psychiatric, behavioral health and addiction clients served by LifeBridge Health.

Prior to LifeBridge Health, Mr. Mumma served in several leadership positions, including as Administrative Director of Behavioral Health services at Lancaster General Health and Director of “the Oaks” Behavioral Heath Hospital.

Mr. Mumma holds a Master of Science in applied psychology from the University of Baltimore, a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Goucher College and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration in healthcare management from York College of Pennsylvania.

 

 

Deborah Simpson Taylor

Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic

Debby Simpson Taylor joined Phoenix House in November 2010 and serves as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic.

Ms. Taylor’s career in the treatment of substance use disorders spans 38 years. She joined Vanguard in 1989 as Executive Director and assumed the title of Chief Executive Officer seven years later. She was responsible for Vanguard’s growth to 14 programs serving over 800 persons, plus their families, annually.

Prior to joining Vanguard, Ms. Taylor was employed by Virginia Hospital Center as Program Manager of the Adolescent Addiction Treatment Program.

During her career, she has also worked for Suburban Hospital in its Addiction Treatment Unit in Bethesda, Maryland, the Psychiatric Institute of Montgomery County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia’s Alcohol and Drug Services.

Ms. Taylor is an appointed member of the Arlington County Partnership on Children, Youth and Families. Ms. Taylor also serves as a Board member of the Arlington Committee of 100, on the Program Committee of Leadership Arlington Board of Regents, and as the Chair of the Partnership for a Healthier Arlington Committee on Teen Age Binge Drinking and Serious Drug Use.

Ms. Taylor is a psychiatric nurse certified in Chemical Dependency.

 

Elena Sturman

Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer

Elena Sturman emigrated to the United States from Kiev as a young woman. In 1996, after graduating from Brooklyn College, CUNY with a BA in Psychology, she joined the Jewish Theological Seminary as Assistant Director for Grassroots Development. In 2000, she was hired as the Director of Donor Relations at the non-profit City College Fund, a fundraising arm of the City College of New York, and, four years later, she became its Executive Director.

With over 20 years experience in fund raising and executive management, Elena is a challenge-driven dynamic leader with successful track record in fund raising, marketing, board development, and team-building. As a strategic planner, she is able to effectively harness internal and external resources to achieve objectives. Her strong analytical and communication skills drive performance excellence and staff dedication.

Throughout her career as a highly effective fundraiser and executive leader, Elena has forged lasting and meaningful relationships and has proven to be a valued partner to her colleagues and donors.