Dr. Stephen Odom
Founder and Chief Clinical Officer
Dr. Stephen Odom is a notable healthcare and addiction treatment professional with more than 30 years of expertise in the field. He is the founder and Chief Clinical Officer of First Responder Wellness by Simple Recovery.
He possesses an educational background in organizational behavior, clinical psychology and healthcare administration. This valuable combination allows him to integrate current research knowledge, clinical and administrative practice understanding, and practical, directly relevant experience. Stephen holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior from Covenant College, a Master’s in Experimental Psychology (Univ. of Tennessee), a Master’s in Clinical Psychology (Palo Alto University), and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) with a focus in Healthcare Administration (Capella University). He is also a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of California.
Stephen has served in multiple roles during his career, including CEO & Chief Clinical Officer of New Vista Behavioral Health, a Director’s post of Program Development for CRC Health and multiple Administrative and Clinical Director posts at various behavioral health and chemical dependency treatment centers and hospitals in California, including Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach and El Camino Hospital in the San Francisco Bay area. Moreover, Stephen served as a university adjunct faculty member in Psychology and Child Development and continues to work in private practice. Dr. Odom has been coined as a wellness and behavioral health expert with peer-reviewed articles published on mental health, substance abuse and technology; was presented the national Behavioral Health Champion award in 2018; has appeared on The Today Show; the 2016 documentary film California High, and multiple print, radio, and podcast media channels.
Dr. Odom’s focus on First Responder Wellness was born of his family’s career backgrounds with the military, healthcare, law enforcement and public safety, and was honed as he created and led specialty programs for physicians, nurses, first responders and their families. In his distinguished and extensive career in behavioral health and addiction treatment, Stephen’s empathetic and therapeutic approach has allowed him to connect not only with his clinical teams but each first responder who walks through the door.
Dr. Alva is the Medical Director for First Responder Wellness. Dr. Alva is also the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists. A single specialty medical group which focuses not only on psychiatric disorders but also on dual diagnosis conditions, which include alcohol and chemical dependence.
Prior to become the Medical Director for First Responder Wellness, Dr. Alva was involved in multiple endeavors including detoxification and rehabilitation work both inpatient and outpatient including the VA Medical Center In Long Beach, Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Chapman Medical Center in Orange as well multiple rehabilitation centers.
Dr. Alva’s focus is on the latest treatments available for psychiatric and chemical dependency. Dr. Alva has over 20 years of experience in serving the medical community in various capacities; as a patient advocate, clinician, researcher and medical director.
Dr. Alva is a member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Orange County Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the California Psychiatric Association, the American Board of Forensic Medicine, the American College of Forensic Examiners, the American Board of Psychopharmacology, the California Hispanic American Medical Association, the New York Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Association of Hispanic professionals.
Chief Development Officer
Devin is the Chief Development Officer and is responsible for the strategic direction of our program. He formulates both short and long term goals to further the overall mission of our organization. Devin comes to us with a tremendous amount of experience in the behavioral health field after founding and serving as Chief Marketing Officer of a residential mental health primary facility.
Having overcome addiction himself in 2010, he now finds a passion for helping others with substance abuse and mental health issues. Devin was drawn to our mission to help First Responders after experiencing firsthand several family members that have suffered from post-traumatic stress and addiction due to public safety employment.
Tiffany Atalla is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 15 years of professional experience. Her extensive background makes her a culturally competent clinician for First Responders. Tiffany’s role at First Responder Wellness is to provide trauma treatment and education providing EMDR, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Training and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Tiffany earned her B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Marriage Family and Child Counseling from the University of San Diego. Before joining the treatment team at First Responder Wellness, Tiffany worked as a clinician for the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team in San Diego. During the 40 hours a week in a police unit, Tiffany learned a great deal about the needs of the law enforcement community, while gaining valuable hands on emergency response experience. She also continues to work with a specialized First Responder EAP, The Counseling Team International and has her own private practice.
Tiffany started as a therapist for high risk youth in juvenile diversion and substance use cessation programs, became a supervisor for a program with Child Protective Services and then worked as a Clinical Director for an inpatient mental health and dual diagnosis treatment programs.
Her genuine understanding for First Responders and their family life comes from her own life experience as she is married to an Anaheim Fire Captain and they have two children together.
Tiffany is actively involved with First Responder family wellness in her spare time. She founded the Southern California Fire-Wives Connect group, is a Co-Founder of a Fire Family Support Services group and helps lead First Responder Spouse Retreats.
Tiffany also enjoys volunteering with Canine Companions for Independence. She has a Facility Dog from Canine Companions for Independence named Bey, that is trained to work with First Responders and has over 43 commands that assist in her client’s treatment. Tiffany has both a passion for people and animals and loves helping clients heal at First Responder Wellness.
Michael C. Koch
Case Manager, S.A.P., CADCII, BSCJA
Michael C. Koch is a former police officer/narcotics detective of 19 years and began working at First Responder Wellness in 2020 as a Case Manager. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University in Criminal Justice Administration, is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC), Level II, and holds the rare distinction of carrying the highly specialized NAADAC SAP credential, which qualifies him to work with employees of the Department of Transportation that have substance use disorders.
Michael spent 19 years of his life serving the public as a peace officer, first as police and then for 10 years as an undercover narcotics detective. He knows what life and death look like in addiction as a result of the front row seat that inspired his dedication and career change. Michael understands the culture of being a First Responder and experiencing post-traumatic stress. He has dedicated his life to assist those suffering from PTS and drug and/or alcohol dependence with special emphasis with assisting First Responders.
In 2012, his career as a police officer ended and his life helping those dealing with substance abuse dependence began. Michael has worked as a counselor for drug and alcohol programs and intensive outpatient (IOP) facilities in the City of San Diego and was program director of a San Diego drug and alcohol detox.
In 2017 Michael became the founder of the First Responder Fellowship in SD north county. This confidential 12-step/peer-based recovery group is open to all First Responders present or former and meets once a week.
Additionally, Michael is a speaker at the San Diego Police Academy, San Diego Fire Department, panel member for the POST Management Police Lieutenants, SDDA Supervisor Investigations and PDATF Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force. He provides peer support for SDPD, SDFD, local police and fire agencies including Cal Fire and Border Patrol. Michael is also a strong supporter of the 24/7 confidential hotline for police officers named CopLine and he assists with fundraising for this non-profit organization. On his quest to help those that are suffering he has reached out around the country on his search for qualified, trusted and well-vetted people and organizations. With this goal in mind Michael started a podcast in 2018 named Positive Connections Radio. This podcast is designed to help break the stigma of mental health issues among First Responders and connect those suffering in silence with confidential help.
First Responder Wellness Program Specialist, CADC-II, ICADC
Chris joined the Simple Recovery team in 2014, and is currently a First Responder program specialist, a position that focuses exclusively on First Responder education, counseling interventions, and facilitating the First Responder Family Program. Chris has worked with adolescents, adults, military veterans, first responders and families and held positions as a case manager, counselor, crisis interventionist, and program supervisor.
After battling his own alcoholism and addiction for over 15 years, Chris became sober in February 2006. Seeing the benefits of his own recovery and new outlook on life, he began helping others find themselves and see there is truly a better way to live life.
Since entering the field of addiction counseling in 2008, Chris furthered his education as a certified drug and alcohol counselor and has become an invaluable addition treatment professional.
Public Safety Advocate
Matt Fiorenza is an Outreach Specialist for First Responder Wellness. Matt is also employed as a Firefighter/Paramedic for the City of Anaheim, California where he has worked for the last 19 years.
Matt’s journey started when he moved back to California from Wisconsin, his passion to become a Firefighter was unrelenting. His schedule was arduous as he maintained a full-time job, completed his undergraduate degree, became a certified EMT and was about to start a family. In 2001, Matt had two major life events occur. First, after 5 years of striving toward his goal, The City of Anaheim accepted him as a rookie in March. Lastly, he became a father for the first time in August of 2001.
After ten years on the job, Matt encountered a myriad of critical incident stressors and like many first responders was unsure how to process traumatic events. To make matters worse Matt suffered a work-related injury which would later result in surgery as well as numerous mandatory shifts where he experienced extended periods of time away from his family.
Matt found himself in a deep depression with no escape hatch. Thoughts of suicide and a struggle with alcohol use and depression consumed his life until he reached out for help. Matt’s journey to health has placed him on the path of hope and resilience. Through his trials and recovery, he has found a passion for sharing his story and encouraging others. Matt has reclaimed his life and shows up as a son, brother, husband, and father for his family.
Today, he is a mentor for men in 12-step programs, volunteers as a Shepherd for Save A Warrior, and is an Outreach Specialist for First Responder Wellness. Matt is a trusted member of Anaheim Fire & Rescue’s Peer Support Team, an instructor with Santa Ana College, Basic Fire Academy where he sets the precedent for healthier coping skills with new recruits as they begin their journey towards their public safety careers. He has spoken on mental health and addiction at the Public Safety Peer Support Association, The International Public Safety Association and Firehouse World Conferences.
Director of Admissions
Shannon Davis comes to First Responder Wellness with almost 10 years of working in the field of substance abuse and mental health treatment. She has spent the last 7 years working with clients and families on the national level navigating the waters of behavioral health. Shannon brings her passion for wellness to those who struggle with substance abuse and other co-occurring disorders. Always willing to share with transparency and authenticity her own journey through addiction and trauma she now helps those who are trying to heal. Shannon has devoted much of her time to non-profits, has helped to create family programs and worked for other nationally recognized facilities.
Shannon spent the early part of her career working for Juvenile Justice with adolescent youth offenders. Working with inmates prior to their parole Shannon helped with structuring inmate days, oversaw the work experience program provided within the jail, family reunification building and assisted daily living skills.
As the mother of five children and 2 grandsons she truly knows the joys of a healed family and makes it her mission to continue to do the tireless work in the field of Behavioral Health.
In 2011 Brandi was given an opportunity to dramatically change her life. Since then she has been heavily involved in the recovery community and joined the field to work professionally a few years later. Brandi is the backbone of the admissions team and provides support over the phone to our clients and safely walks them through the admissions process. In her free time, she enjoys going to the movies, and spending time with friends and loved ones.
Hannah Baris has been working in the recovery field in 2014. She has worked her way up and held positions as an Operations Manager and is now the Program Coordinator for First Responder Wellness. Having her own experience being in Recovery, she knew she wanted a career with a purpose to which she had passion for and she found that here at First Responder Wellness.
Akira Tokumoto is a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) and completed the nursing program at Stanbridge University.
As a nurse at First Responder Wellness, Akira works with our patients and assists staff members on a daily basis to ensure our client’s comfort and recovery. In her free time, Akira enjoys going indoor bouldering, trying out new food places, and watching crime shows on Netflix.
Client Care Coordinator – RADT 1
After establishing her own foundation of recovery, Nicole began her career in the behavioral health field in 2016. She began as Support Staff and quickly moved her way up to Client Care Coordinator. As Client Care Coordinator Nicole’s responsibilities include working as the liaison between our Medical Providers and Clinicians, analyzing toxicology reports, and conducting Neurofeedback sessions.
Nicole’s passion for helping others struggling with addiction stems from her own experiences of having dealt with addiction herself. In her free time, Nicole enjoys visiting new restaurants, road trips on the weekends, outdoor activities, and catching up on her favorite shows.
As a Licensed Vocational Nurse, Daphne brings years of experience to First Responder Wellness. Daphne has worked in multiple behavioral health and substance abuse treatment facilities, which lead to her join our team. Daphne successfully completed the nursing program at North-West College.
Certifications and Licenses: Licensed Vocational Nurse, Intravenous Blood Withdrawal and Phlebotomy, Trach and Vent Care, Narcan Administration
RJ is a Licensed Vocational Nurse with a background specializing in pain management, detox care, and regulation of treatment for patients addicted to drugs, alcohol, and other substances.
With addiction being both a mental and physical disease, RJ is trained in both general medicine and mental health disorders with expertise in a variety of traditional and alternative modalities.
His basic duties include assessing the health needs of clients, addressing their physical, social, and psychological health promotion needs through medicine, counseling, and other activities.
Licensed Vocational Nurse
Sandra Barela has worked as a licensed vocational nurse in substance abuse and behavioral health since 2013. Sandra’s first job was working in a Detox then later working at a pediatric behavioral health unit before coming to First Responder Wellness.
TBG (The Best Girl)
Although lacking actual clinical qualifications, Lola more than makes up for it with her pure joyous heart and gift of being happy to see absolutely everyone that she meets. Lola comes from a long line of very good sitters and prides herself with exceptional sitting and shaking capabilities. When Lola is not busy at work roaming the hallways and administering snuggles and licks, she likes to spend her free-time tormenting her big brother Monkey and doing zoomies up and down her parents hallway.
Bey is a Canine Companions expertly trained facility dog, that works with Tiffany Atalla MFT at First Responder Wellness.
She has been trained in over 40 commands designed to motivate and inspire clients and support their treatment. Bey is a source of calm, unconditional love, and attention. She loves belly rubs, high fives and shaking the hands of all of our clients. Bey at work is capable of a block command to create space when a client is triggered, lap and visit, and other social connection commands, as well as appropriate pressure, touch and intervention.
As with all CCI Dogs, Bey was provided free of charge, and her role is to be in support and service of those that serve.