Dr. Michelle Banta

Medical Director

Dr. Michelle Banta is originally from Los Angeles and attended University of California at San Diego for her undergraduate degree in biology before heading to the University of Pennsylvania for medical school. A true California native, she returned as soon as she could, completing her residency in San Diego. Trained in psychiatry and board certified in addiction medicine, Dr. Banta joined the staff of Foundations San Diego in June 2015. She was drawn to the field of addiction recovery because she likes to see that change in people.

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In her role, she meets with each patient when they come in, performing a medical and psychiatric assessment, and she says she enjoys those opportunities to interact with patients. Dr. Banta is married with a daughter, three stepchildren and two dogs. When not working, she likes to be outdoors, hiking, boogie boarding or just hanging out at the beach.

Chris Thomas, MFTI

Primary Therapist

ThomasCalifornia native Chris Thomas joined the Foundations San Diego team in August 2015, having also worked for several years at sister facility Michael’s House. While here, he has developed a Sexual Health and Recovery program, inspired by the sex-drug link he noticed in so many of those in treatment. Thomas studied at University of Phoenix, earning a master’s in counseling, and has a personal connection to the recovery field, having been sober for 22 years.

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He began his career as a residential counselor, moving on to HIV counselor and harm reduction, and he has a strong LGBT background. In his downtime, Thomas loves the theater, likes to read and listen to music, enjoys going to the beach and playing with his dog. He’s also still active in his own recovery, going to meetings and serving as a sponsor for others.

Erica Thompson (Tolles), LMFT, LPCC

Primary Therapist

ThompsonErica Thompson (Tolles) serves as a primary therapist at Foundations San Diego and has been with the program since January 2015. Originally from Massachusetts, Thompson received her master’s in counseling psychology with a concentration in cognitive behavioral therapy from Assumption College in 2006. In her years of counseling experience, she has worked in a variety of treatment settings, including community mental health, outpatient substance abuse services, school-based counseling and an adolescent detox facility.

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Prior to moving to California, Thompson spent over six years working at Worcester Polytechnic Institute as both a counselor and, later, associate director. There, her responsibilities included counseling college students and overseeing all outreach and prevention education (substance abuse, suicide and sexual assault prevention). She is skilled in supporting clients with trauma and addictions. Thompson’s therapeutic approach is influenced by CBT, ACT, IFS, mindfulness and EMDR.

Rob Brockman, CADC-II, NCAC-I

Intake/Patient Care Coordinator

BrockmanRob Brockman is our intake/patient care coordinator. Rob believes strongly in treating the whole person: body, mind and spirit. Since 1988, Rob has assisted those struggling to overcome personal challenges associated with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Rob has extensive knowledge and experience in the whole continuum of patient care. He has also worked in outpatient settings over the last 20 years in the role of program director. Rob is thrilled to be part of a progressive organization and multi-disciplinary treatment team.

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Rob has been certified by the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Counselors and the National Association of Addictions Counselors since 1994. Rob was trained by the Cenaps Corporation and Terrence Gorski in 1993 as a relapse prevention specialist.

Rob provides hope, support and encouragement to many in the recovery community and insists on balance between work, family and play. He lives in Ocean Beach with his wife of 22 years, Gail, and their pets. Rob loves to surf, paddle, run and bike. He is an active member of the Sunset Cliffs Surfing Association as a long-standing team captain, mentor and Grand Masters division competitor.

Brittany Torgerson

Patient Care Coordinator

Brittany Torgerson attended Cal State Monterey Bay, earning a BA in psychology. She entered the field with the idea of moving into drug and alcohol addiction treatment, inspired by an extensive family history. Torgerson lost a relationship with both of her parents to the disease, and she is committed to helping others not go down that same road. She began her career with Foundations Recovery Network in October 2015 at The Canyon in Malibu, serving as a residential counselor, then she moved to Foundations San Diego in April 2016. A self-proclaimed beach bum, Torgerson used to play water polo and loves the water — and her adopted hometown.

Annie Gallagher, LMFT, LAACC

Primary Therapist

GallagherA Philadelphia native, Annie Gallagher joined Foundations San Diego as a primary therapist in July 2015. Using her heartfelt compassion and sense of humor to support those along the recovery path, Gallagher has helped patients work toward transformation for over 30 years. Following her undergraduate studies at University of California, Irvine, and University of California, Berkeley, she earned her master’s in counseling psychology, marriage and family from Argosy University in San Francisco.

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In addition, Gallagher has experience in DBT, Gottman Couples, is a trained first-responder for local communities and is certified in Relapse Prevention Therapy.

Committed to providing compassionate understanding to her patients, Gallagher’s passion is a result of growing up in a family that experienced both addiction and mental health issues. She has experience as a program manager and has been the lead counselor in a number of outpatient, diversion and parent education programs, including The Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage. Over the course of her career, Gallagher has also worked with the criminal justice system in both county-funded and school-based systems and served as a program analyst and equal employment opportunity counselor for the federal government.

Having moved all over the country, Gallagher is passionate about living in San Diego. When she’s not busy working, she can be found taking daily walks at the beach, enjoying yoga and singing in a local choir. She and her husband enjoy theater, traveling and visiting with their two grown children, grandchildren, granddog and grandcat.

Ray Killips, MFT

Therapist

Ray KillipsRay Killips, MFT, serves as a therapist at Foundations San Diego. He grew up in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, and was introduced to living in San Diego when he was stationed there with the US Navy. After working several jobs in retail, construction, sales and customer service, Ray decided to make a major shift in careers by working on a master’s degree in family therapy. Upon earning his degree, he began his career at Phoenix House of San Diego, a 40-bed residential adolescent program where he filled several roles, including therapist, deputy director and director of admissions.

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Before joining the Foundations team, he worked for two years at Hanbleceya as a clinician. Although much of his experience focused on working with adolescents, Ray says that he finds “working with adults to be quite intriguing and rewarding in its own right.” Outside of work, he enjoys hanging out with his family, martial arts, playing guitar, gold mining, fishing, dining out and watching comedy movies. Ray has been married to his wife Jane since 1997, and they have three daughters ages 25, 23 and 17.

Ray’s life mission statement is PILGRIM, which means: live a life of Purpose, Integrity, Love, Generosity, Renewal, Intimacy and Mission. Out of this mission statement flows his passion to help people discover new and more effective ways to live their lives and to find ways to encourage and nurture positivity in others while at the same time finding new ways to improve his own self physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Mari Barosay

RN

BarosayDetroit native Mari Barosay joined the Foundations San Diego team in July 2015. Her family moved to Southern California from Michigan when she was nine, and marriage later took her to Las Vegas, which is how Barosay ended up studying at University Nevada at Las Vegas. She enjoys hospitals, having worked in hospice, detox and psych ER. When her husband’s work brought them to San Diego, Barosay was hired at Foundations San Diego, where she teaches weekly classes on health and medical topics. When not working, this mother of five grown children likes to watch MSNBC, listen to national politics, shop and decorate. She also enjoys spending time with her grandson and two dogs.

Justine Hunter

Business Office Manager

HunterA wonderful addition to the Foundations San Diego team, Justine Hunter goes above and beyond in providing customer service to patients while also accomplishing her business office goals and duties. With nearly a decade of experience in the behavioral healthcare industry, Justine began her career with FRN San Diego in February 2016. A graduate of San Diego State University, she holds a degree in psychology and a certificate in alcohol and drug counseling from UCSD.

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Justine brings five years of experience at The Betty Ford Center, with expertise in all phases of admissions, and as the office manager and trainer for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundations Los Angeles outpatient program. Justine enjoys working with the Foundations San Diego team and the daily opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of others. Having lived all throughout Southern California, Justine is very happy to be back in sunny San Diego, as are her husband and two dogs who live for runs at Dog Beach. She is also thrilled to have welcomed her first child, a girl, in late 2016.

Danielle Lacey

Business Development Representative

LaceyA native of San Diego, California, Danielle Lacey serves as Foundations San Diego’s business development representative. She has worked in the treatment industry for several years and brings extensive knowledge and experience to her position. A graduate of San Diego State University, Lacey has personally been in the recovery community for almost a decade and fully understands the effects of addiction.

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Using her own life experience and treatment industry connections, she is passionate about providing the best care possible to those who are suffering. When she’s not busy working, Lacey spends her free time with her husband and son, walking around the city’s famous zoo and hiking the hills of Torrey Pines.