Addiction Treatment Facility

The Team

We have brought together an excellent team of highly qualified counselors, therapists and support staff. We have a psychiatrist, psychologist and licensed therapists that can work with our clients. Each have a unique role in thela recovery of every client. Our staff is passionate about what they do and many have personal or firsthand experiences with addiction.

Management


George A. Goldberger, B.Sc, CEO

Having over 35 years of business experience throughout North America and Overseas as well as being a person in recovery, George has the expertise and understanding to be the perfect fit to lead our organization.

With his recovery experience and compassion George is the exact individual you need to talk with to understand our process of recovery. His Motto is “Its not about getting Sober, It’s about staying Sober.”

Having a passion for Sobriety and Business has been the perfect combination to allow George to take the organization to the next level of being certified by Veterans Affairs and Department of National Defense.

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE

Dr. Carole MacInnis, Program Director

Carole has her Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Psychologist in Nova Scotia. She also holds a Ph.D. in Education.

Carole has many years of experience working in the fields of psychology and education. She has been the program director in educational, non-profit and for profit organizations. She has a strong background in assessment in a variety of clinical and educational settings. Besides her work at Ledgehill, she is currently teaching in the in counselling program at Acadia University as a part-time instructor and has a private practice specializing in transitions with adults, youth and families.

During transitions, people often experience grief, anxiety and depression. To support her clients she uses evidence-based approaches such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Solution-focused Therapy to support the clients in learning new ways to deal with times of stress. Besides helping her clients to change ineffective patterns to more positive strength-based ways of being, she also works with them to examine the emotional triggers which have resulted in destructive behaviors. Through this exploration people begin to develop a different way of seeing and understanding themselves. Carole enjoys working with individuals, families and groups who are going through periods of change. She feels privileged to be a witness to the courage it takes to break old patterns and embrace the future as it emerges from one day to the next.

Eileen Kempton, Operations Manager, RPR

Eileen has many years of experience working in Business Management, Finance and Human Resource Management. Having owned and operated her own business, she has a very strong background in operations. Along with being a Registered Professional Recruiter, Eileen is also very knowledgeable in areas of Conflict Resolution, Incident Investigation and Occupational Health & Safety and has level 1 MANDT training. Eileen attended Halifax West High School and Mount St Vincent University. Eileen has a passion for continuous learning and enjoys helping people.

Lori Slaunwhite, Clinical Director

Lori Slaunwhite has been working in the fields of substance use, mental health and trauma for almost 25 years and recently left a busy private practice in Toronto to join as Clinical Director at Ledgehill Treatment Centres. She has held diverse positions during her career including clinical case management, consultation and training, as well as teaching. Previously Lori was the Clinical Director of a large integrated addiction and trauma program in Ontario, and was also the Addiction Consultant to William Osler Health Centre’s psychiatry teams.

Trained is social work and psychotherapy, Lori completed her graduate studies in Contemplative Psychotherapy through the Nalanda Institute in New York City. She uses a trauma informed, contemplative approach to her work – drawing on CBT, CPT and mindfulness approaches most commonly. She uses ear acupuncture regularly in her work and is a Registered Trainer in an internationally known intervention known as NADA protocol.

As Atlantic Canada’s first Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), she is excited to bring Dr. Patrick Carne’s model of treating sexual compulsive behaviours, particularly as they relate to men and women in substance abuse recovery, to our community.

Originally from the Pictou area, Lori is happy to be living once again in Nova Scotia and working in the field she loves.

Medical Team


Dr Drysdale, M.D., Medical Director

Dr John Drysdale is a family physician in the Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia.  He has a keen interest in addictions and withdrawal management, in addition to a full scope family practice.  Practicing near a military base, he also has experience with veterans affairs matters, including PTSD, mental health, and chronic pain.

Mark
 Johnston, M.D., FRCP (C), Psychiatrist

Dr. Johnston firmly believes counselling should form the core of most mental health treatment plans. However, as a medical doctor, his role is often confined to diagnosis and medical treatment. For this reason, he works closely with psychologists and refers his patients to them for counselling. In his experience, patients are best served by this collaborative team approach – with psychologists conducting counselling and psychiatrists managing medications, when appropriate.

Darlene Gavel RN

Darlene graduated the Registered Nursing Program from the Yarmouth School of Nursing in 1986. She has practiced at her full scope in British Columbia, New Hampshire, Arizona and then home to Nova Scotia. Darlene is also trained to teach CPR and first aid and is a Legal Nurse Consultant. She has experience in critical care, occupational health and safety, long term care and most recently in addictions. She also has experience in infection control, ICU and cardiac care.

Darlene conducts the telephone intakes on the clients before they arrive at Ledgehill or Oakhill. She approaches the clients in a kind and understanding way, which puts the clients at ease. Darlene prides herself in her sense of compassion and empathy.

Kaiti Stanton LPN

Kaiti graduated from NBCC in 2015 with an award for academic excellence. During college she focused her research efforts on substance use and harm reduction. She has a background working with seniors in long term care, acute care, and most recently at a tertiary psychiatric facility in New Brunswick. She has completed continuing education in addiction medicine and maintained a strong belief in life long learning. She has always had a passion for mental health and addiction, the two are greatly intertwined and help make up the complex world our clients face. She believes in a holistic approach to client care and strives to help improve their well being and experience during treatment and recovery.

Amanda Carson LPN

Amanda is a native of Yorkshire, England and immigrated to Canada in 1997. She graduated from the LPN program at NSCC in 1999, with an award for excellence in communication. She completed the Mental Health First Aid course in 2016 and has been recertified in Pharmacology in 2014. She is certified in Standard First Aid and in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention. Most recently she has completed the NSHA Palliative Care Course. She has worked in Long Term Care, Dermatology and Research/ Clinical Trials at the Transitional Care Unit of the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax. She uses a positive approach and a sense of humor when dealing with clients.

Counsellors


Leanne Cameron, MEd, CCC, RCT, Counsellor

Leanne has an Advanced Diploma in Addiction as well as a Masters of Education in Counselling from Acadia. She is a Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and was admitted to the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists (NSCCT) with the designation of Registered Counselling Therapist – Candidate.

Leanne believes in a client centred approach, encouraging clients to determine their own intrinsic motivation for change in their lives. She uses CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused and Psychotherapeutic intervention strategies with her clients while integrating a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach with treatment planning.

Leanne holds her clients recovery with great pride and support and feels honored to assist in their journey of insight and growth.

Agnieszka Kubow

Agnieszka has a BA in Psychology from Dalhousie University where she focused her studies on learning theory and the interplay of environment and behaviour. Following her passion in how unhelpful habits and behaviours lead to dysfunction in interpersonal relationships and connection within, she continued her studies in applied behavioural analysis, completing her advanced diploma in behavioural intervention. She has since worked with young adults with challenging behaviours, and instructed for Dalhousie’s College of Continuing education where she helped students reach academic success through an understanding of how emotional reactions and behavioural patterns can lower one’s ability to succeed in reaching goals in life.

With her Masters in Counselling Psychology, Agnieszka works as a counsellor in addiction focusing on compassion-focused therapy that is client directed, utilizing CBT, ACT and DBT. With her experience with treatment for eating disorders, Agnieszka understands the importance of reconnecting clients with their self-identity, self-worth and self-compassion in healing the whole and building emotional and physical health through multidisciplinary approaches.

Peter Churchill M.Ed.

Peter has over 20 years of individual and group counselling experience in addiction, mental health, and family work.  He has a M.Ed in Counselling Psychology, and is completing a PhD in Social Work.  Prior to the privilege of working with the excellent team at Ledgehill, he worked for Alberta Health Services in Outpatient and Acute Inpatient clinics, and as a staff trainer and program developer, culminating in a period as the policy and practice leader for addiction counsellors in Alberta.  He has been a lecturer and researcher for a number of universities, ministries, and private firms.

Johnena (Jo) Kennedy

She comes from Piper’s Glen Inverness Co, Cape Breton . She has a BA in Community Development from Simon Fraser University. She spent the most of her career happily working for Addictions Services in Inverness, Ingonish, Cheticamp and much of the time in Glace Bay. Prior to Addictions she spent some time working for Correctional Services in Port Hawkesbury. She worked with Leeside Society and was instrumental in the building of Leeside Transition House in Port Hawkesbury. She comes to us with almost 30 years of Working with Women in Addictions which is her passion. She was also a member of the Provincial Woman’s Strategy for Women and Addictions in Nova Scotia. She has also worked as an Addictions Counsellor and an Outreach Worker within the field of addictions. She is a recovering person with 39 years of recovery. She has an endless supply of compassion and understanding of the recovering person on both a professional and personal level. She was the recipient of the Dr. Mian Award in 2016. This is an award given for outstanding effort in helping to improve the lives of folks with Addictions and Mental health. She enjoys working with a team of like minded professionals. She is studying Shamanic Healing. She is the Mom of four adult children and is Nana to an adorable little grandson. She loves music, story telling and loves to laugh. She also enjoys spending time with her kitten Luna Blue. You will find her happily doing her job as Addictions Counsellor for Oakhill Women’s Treatment Center.

Maryam Savari MACP, RCT-C

​Maryam earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from St. Mary’s University and a Masters of Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. Maryam is a Registered Counselling Therapist – Candidate that works with young adults, adults, couples and families who are struggling with addiction, mental health concerns including behavioural issues, grief, anxiety and stress. Maryam incorporates a trauma-informed approach to establish supportive and therapeutic rapport with young adults and adults and is aware of the sociocultural context surrounding counselling. She believes in personal development, meaning-making, and a sense of purpose and bases her strategies on personalised needs. Maryam provides a safe space in which to explore issues, develop practical strategies, and attain viable solutions. She incorporates a goal oriented strategy within her therapy so that lasting change can be achieved.

Healthy Living


Adam Lewis, Addictions Counsellor / Recreation and Healthy Living Program Coordinator, CCAC

Adam has a Diploma in Addictions Counselling as well as online studies through the Addictions Technology Transfer Center of New England (Brown University), specializing in Relapse Prevention. Adam’s approach to recovery involves, personal and environmental awareness as well as developing and practicing abstinence based skills and strategies. He will give the clients and understanding of 12 Step Recovery and help them develop a comprehensive Relapse Prevention Plan as appropriate to their needs.

As Recreation and Healthy Living Coordinator, Adam has received certification through the YMCA as a fitness instructor, and his passion for Healthy Living comes from seeing, first hand, the benefits of adding exercise, proper diet and enjoyable fun activities to his own recovery program,

A local resident, he has worked at Family and Children’s Services of Annapolis County, facilitating a variety of programs for children and their families. As a volunteer he has sat on community based addiction boards and committees and facilitated many Drug Intervention sessions in schools throughout the Annapolis Valley.

Elena Basevich, Recreation and Healthy Living Coordinator, BA Psy.

I have been teaching yoga for nine years and have been practicing for over sixteen. During these nine years I have taught yoga in the Annapolis Valley, leading public classes, specialty groups and meditation workshops. I love my work! I have also set up yoga classes in many of the public schools in this area, making yoga part of the gym curriculum and facilitating after school programs for staff and students alike. I enjoy cycling, skating, hiking in the woods with my dog and practice yoga every day. I feel that my calling is bringing health and fitness into people’s lives, becoming aware of their body and moving it as much and as often as possible is the path of happiness and health. Rural Annapolis valley is an amazing place to enjoy nature, the forest, the stars, and the stillness associated with country living. Being close to nature brings us back to ourselves.

Susan MacDonald, Program Assistant

Susan grew up, lived and worked most of her life in Nova Scotia. In the year 2010, after a career in private business and public service she relocated to the Annapolis Valley to begin her journey in recovery. Rather than return to the business world Susan chose to become part of our team as she truly believes part of her recovery is to “pay it forward” by sharing her personal “Experience, Strength and Hope” with others beginning their journeys in recovery. Susan’s passion for life and recovery is reflected in the growth she inspires with each client with whom she shares.

Wally and Oliver (Our therapy dogs)

Wally joined our team all the way from Florida. Wally is a pure breed Standard Poodle. Still a pup he comes from a long line of therapy dogs. The clients love him as much as he loves them. Take Wally snowshoeing on our beautiful trails brings total serenity and is therapy in itself.
What a great addition to our team.
We all luv you Wally & Oliver

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