Leadership

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OUR LEADERSHIP

Joan Erwin  //  Senior Vice President of Operations

Joan leads the Wellpath Community Care team and is responsible for operations of existing centers and development of new locations. A critical care nurse by training, Joan has worked in the addiction space for the last 11 years, creating access to compassionate, high-quality, evidence-based healthcare for individuals with Substance Use Disorder. Joan’s previous roles include leading the Business Development Team for a large national OBOT company, overseeing inpatient services at a 210-bed acute care community hospital, and serving as Senior Vice President of Innovation for a residential/outpatient addiction treatment company. Joan lives in western Massachusetts and is based in our Corporate HQ in Nashville, TN.

Steven Descoteaux, MD  //  Program Medical Director

Dr. Descoteaux is board certified in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. He has been helping people living with addiction for 20 years, having practiced in primary care, an inpatient addiction program, a methadone clinic, and in correctional settings. Dr. Descoteaux believes in taking a multidisciplinary approach to providing patient-centered care. He received his medical training at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Boston Medical Center. Dr. Descoteaux lives on Cape Cod and is based in the Corporate Headquarters in Nashville.

Michael Petersen  //  Vice President of Operations

Michael Petersen serves as the Vice President of Operation for Wellpath Community Care. Michael has more than 30 years of combined health, military, and law enforcement experience, serving his local community for over 20 years, with 8 of those years as Chief of Police.  After a brief 2-day retirement in 2016, Michael focused his passion in the addiction treatment space, traveling across the country helping communities combat the opioid crisis.  He was part of a growth team that created access to care in 11 states, establishing over 80 treatment clinics. Michael was a highly decorated officer; receiving honors from local, state and federal governmental leaders for his dedication and service to the public.  Michael received his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from Indiana Tech.

Susan Gibson, MHA  //  Director of Operations

Susan leads the Program Directors for each center in regards to Operations and Staffing, she is also instrumental in hiring and developing the staff for all sites. She is retired from the Navy/United States Coast Guard after 23 years of service and has over 20 years’ experience in Healthcare Administration and Facility start ups, and 7 years’ experience in Correctional Medicine. She is based out of Burlington, NC.

Dana Thomson  //  Director of Community Development

Dana’s role with Wellpath Community Care Centers is to assist in reducing the barriers for individuals battling the disease of addiction by working closely with community partners in bridging access to treatment, education, and reducing stigma. With 20+ years of working with the public in several key positions; she expanded access to addiction treatment throughout Wisconsin by opening and managing 12 treatment centers, while working for the State of Wisconsin she directed the outstation section in Milwaukee ensuring Milwaukee residents received state benefits in a timely manner and maintained a safe and secure environment during her time with the Kenosha Sheriffs Department. Her passion to help individuals who are struggling in their life has been the core of her career.

Stephanie Ruckman, DNP, FNP-BC, MBA, CCHP  // National Director of MAT Programs

Stephanie Ruckman is the National Director of MAT programs for the Justice Involved patients at Wellpath. Dr. Ruckman has been with Wellpath and in correctional medicine for over 6 years. She began her correctional career as a nurse practitioner in a 2500 bed men’s prison in TN and then later moved on to become a Regional Clinical Specialist covering the states of TN, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. While working in both jails and prisons Dr. Ruckman became passionate about caring for those dealing with addiction and knew as a society we had to be able to do better by those battling addiction in the correctional system. She pursued and completed her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama where her emphasis was on the study of MAT for the Justice Involved. For the last two years she has severed as the National Director of MAT Programs for Wellpath working to establish MAT programs in jails and prisons across the country. Wellpath now has over 100 sites providing MAT services, two fully licensed OTPs and many more programs in development.