Dr. Roderick Fontenette is a board-certified Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Medicine physician. He completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland University College Asian Division while serving on active duty in the United States Air Force in Misawa, Japan. He attended medical school at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, LA. He completed emergency medicine residency training at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in partnership with the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University in Dayton, OH and Critical Care fellowship training with Indiana University Health at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, IN. His most recent Air Force assignment was as the Associate Program Director for one of the Air Forces’ four Emergency Medicine residency programs partnered with UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, CA. Dr. Fontenette is recently retired from the Air Force after serving 21 years on active duty. He now works as the Medical Director of the ICU at St. Helena Hosptial in the Napa Valley and does academic Emergency Medicine at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, CA. He has lectured nationally and internationally on a wide range of emergency medicine and critical care medicine topics and has an interest in neurologic emergencies and resuscitative medicine.
Ann Mendenhall is a board-certified Physician Associate. She holds a master’s degree as a PA from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, CA. Ann just completed a year-long fellowship with the Integrative Psychiatry Institute in Boulder, CO. Additionally, she has a Master of Fine Arts degree and taught college-level fine art and media courses in Seattle and in L.A. She also was a principal in a video production company focusing on medical issues, producing videos and documentaries for hospitals in Seattle, and training videos for Paramedics and EMTs. While in Los Angeles, she volunteered in the ER at L.A. County General Hospital. Also, she spent a year volunteering at the Homeless Healthcare Needle Exchange on Skid Row in Los Angeles, assisting the doctors in their tiny medical clinic.
Ann spent several years in Primary Care in rural, medically underserved Grass Valley and Point Reyes clinics. However, she discovered her true passion in addiction medicine in 2018 and has worked for several residential treatment centers and IOPs in northern CA and in WA state since.
She is grateful to be part of the amazing team at Pura Vida and feels fortunate to offer compassionate care to those individuals starting on their path to recovery. She strives to form a genuine connection with all the clients she meets to understand their needs and hopes, and to help them on their journey.
Ann is starting her doctoral program in Psychiatry in September and looks forward to bringing a deeper understanding of the intersection of addiction and psychiatry to our clients.
On a less-known note from many years ago, she spent 10 years at sea in the Merchant Marine, starting as a sailor on deck, but mainly working as a Radio Electronics Operator, circumnavigating South America 10+ times and shipping to Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, northern Europe, Mexico, Panama and Alaska many times.
Dr. Katie Schwimmer is a Licensed Psychologist who serves Pura Vida in the role of Clinical Supervisor. Dr. Schwimmer Supervises the interns and staff members who are accumulating hours towards their certification/ licensure. Dr. Schwimmer has works in the field of substance use disorders for over 10 years.
Mary Knopf is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner, Palliative Care NP and a Psychiatric and Mental Health NP. She attended UC Santa Cruz, Oregon Health Sciences University and most recently UC San Francisco. She began her career in San Francisco working with people with HIV and AIDS at the height of the epidemic.
Kirsten is completing her traineeship at Pura Vida Recovery Services as she works toward her Masters in Counseling Psychology at the University of San Francisco. Kirsten has been a part of the Pura Vida team in various capacities over the past 3 years and is now taking her passion for recovery to the next level as she pursues her ultimate goal of becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working in the field of addiction treatment.
With a decade of experience in the field of addiction and recovery, our Program Director Kate is a compassionate and dedicated professional. Known for her authenticity, humor, and directness – she brings a unique approach to helping individuals on their path to recovery.
From both professional and personal experience, Kate truly understands the challenges and complexities that individuals face when making the big decision to seek recovery. She firmly believes in building genuine connections with clients and creating a safe space for them to explore their journey in pursuit of meaningful change, and towards a healthier life of recovery. She is fondly known for utilizing humor as a means of breaking down barriers and fostering a comfortable environment. By incorporating laughter into the treatment setting, she supports clients in navigating difficult topics with greater ease and openness.
Throughout her career, Kate has supported individuals from all walks of life, guiding them towards lasting recovery. She is committed to making a difference by helping clients reclaim their lives and rediscover their true potential by making sure every client who walks through our doors is seen, heard, and given the care and support they truly deserve.
Michelle pioneered the Pura Vida Family Program and has grown it to have a wider community support component. Through her own personal experiences, she has developed a passion and further desire to provide support and education to loved ones of the addicted and afflicted. Michelle is also a professional photographer, so she sometimes wears multiple hats for Pura Vida! All of her free time is spent with her grandkids.
Click here for more information on Pura Vida’s resource for Friends and Family programming.
Bri is a Certified Addictions Counselor that brings passion, empathy, and dedication to her work. Bri has an Associate’s Degree in Human Services: Addiction Studies and is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development. She has goals of obtaining her Master’s Degree in Psychology and continuing to work with individuals suffering from addiction. She utilizes her own experience in recovery to aid others with their goals of sobriety holding the belief that every person is capable of growth if given the support. Bri is thrilled to be on the Pura Vida team!
I am a devoted Substance Abuse Counselor Certified by the state of California, with 14 years’ experience in substance abuse treatment. It is my belief that healing is a collaborative endeavor that requires time and care without judgment. I work in collaboration with my client to help them clarifying their goals for treatment. I draw from a variety of methods to create a tailored approach for each individual and situation, rather than adopting one methodology for all individuals and issues. As a counselor, I am warm, open, encouraging, and direct. I believe in holding a safe space for my clients to explore and discover techniques that will effect change.
Matt is a longstanding member of team Pura Vida. He is originally from New York where he got his Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from the The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Matt worked as a chef for 16 years in Manhattan where he refined his cooking and management skills before discovering his new passion. He has started a life-skills cooking group where he now passes on the art of cooking nutritious and healthy meals to our clients. Matt’s strengths lie in his unparalleled patience and ability to make groups both fun and educational. He has his RADT-1 and is currently in school and studying for his CADC-1 certification. Matt shows up every day ready, willing, and able to make a difference.
Jessica Woods-Killam recently completed her medical assistant certification at CalRegional in 2022, and shortly after took part in the RADT-I certification. She is driven by her passion of helping and understanding others, she hopes to become an RN in her near future.
Katharine is a Registered Nurse who, after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Dallas, received an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Katharine’s past nursing experience includes clinical work at both Stanford Health Care, where she worked as a Registered Nurse in the Cardiac Intermediate Intensive Care Unit, as well as at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, where she worked as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department. As the Nurse Administrator at Pura Vida, Katharine helps ensure continued safety and quality of all medical care administered at Pura Vida’s Medical Detox Facilities.
Marisa has worked in healthcare for sixteen years. She obtained her Associates Degree of Nursing from Santa Rosa Junior College in 2019 and her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from University of Phoenix in 2020. Marisa currently works as an Emergency Department nurse. Recently, she has done some work in community nursing, as well as disaster response.
Erica Crean is an RN with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Linfield College. She has 2 years of experience, including corrections and emergency nursing, which has allowed her to gain experience in many different aspects of nursing.