Our staff members are chosen for their ability to provide you with the most advanced care possible and their dedication to delivering an extraordinary treatment experience. When you arrive at Crownview Psychiatric Institute, you will know that you are in a safe place—one of kindness, expertise, and genuine compassion for the healing process.
Meet Our Administrative Support Staff
Our support staff is comprised of a closely interwoven team of professionals. They manage the institute’s operational needs, coordinating seamlessly with the therapists to provide the highest quality service to our clients. The spirit of compassion and individual care permeates the entire Crownview staff.
Jeff Klein has over 15 years of experience in the field of mental health and substance abuse treatment. On June 4, 2014, he co-founded Crownview Psychiatric Institute with Dr. Mark Melden and continues to be a driving force behind the company’s success. Jeff’s vision is to forever change the overall approach to mental health treatment by offering as many modalities as possible, including proper nutrition, physical exercise, alternatives to medications, occupational development, eco-therapy, music, and fun.
Mark Melden, DO/DABPN
CEO/President of Crownview Psychiatric Institute
Dr. Melden earned his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine at Philadelphia College Osteopathic Medicine and went to USC Presbyterian Hospital for his residency in Family Medicine. He then completed his Psychiatric residency at the University of California, Irvine and went to UCSD Geropsychiatry pursuing a fellowship. Dr. Melden has over 14 years of experience as a clinician specializing in treating child and adolescent, adult and geriatric clients. He has devoted his life to psychiatry in a variety of different treatment settings including in- patient and out-patient environments. He specializes in the psychiatric evaluation, complementary therapy approaches, and medical management of individuals suffering from mental illness. Currently, he maintains a private practice with Crownview Medical Group in Coronado and Carlsbad, California where he is CEO/President.
Dr. Melden is a dedicated medical professional who provides a spectrum of services from general care to specialized state-of-the-art treatment. He is committed to providing specialized and individualized services with a comprehensive treatment plan for each client he treats. Dr. Melden believes the optimal way to provide excellent care is through continued attention and maintenance.
Barry Mannion, PsyD.
Barry Mannion was born and raised in New York and moved to Southern California in 1997. He received his MA in Education with a focus on School Psychology. He was a school teacher in Los Angeles for 3 years, before entering the behavioral healthcare field with Promises in Los Angeles. Barry returned to school not long after entering the behavioral healthcare field and received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Mannion has been in Behavioral Healthcare for nearly 20 years and has held positions of therapist, Executive Director, COO, CEO and Group CEO. Dr Mannion has worked in multiple states w multiple sites throughout the country in Behavioral Healthcare. He joined the Crownview team for the unique opportunity to help the complex mental health population that the staff and Crownview serve and return to living in Southern California full time. “The last 10 years I have seen first-hand how severe mental health has become at a National level and the need for comprehensive evidenced based treatment in clinical and medical partnership which is exactly what Crownview offers patients through a full continuum of care for long term success”.
Chief Operating Officer
Kenneth Gladstone has over 15 years of leadership, management, and operations experience spanning several industries. He has a proven track record of operational improvement, managing critical projects, and overseeing the success of three start-up ventures. Over the past two decades, Kenny has worked with several entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses and achieve success.
Kenny joined the Crownview team shortly after its inception in 2014 and worked closely with the founders to create and expand the program services and its census. He has held several leadership positions within the organization, including Housing Director, Operations Director, and Program Director.
Kenny was born and raised on Long Island, NY, and holds a B.S. in Psychology from Stony Brook University. He is currently an MBA candidate at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, specializing in entrepreneurship and strategic leadership.
Dr. David Sack
Chairman of Psychiatry
David Sack, MD is a recognized expert in Addiction Psychiatry and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in General Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry. Dr. Sack’s current roles include: Regional Medical Director for Southern California for Telecare Corporation; Board of Directors of 2nd Chance Treatment Centers in Arizona, North Carolina and Texas; Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Effective Education Solutions. Among recent past roles, Dr. Sack was Founder and CEO of Elements Behavioral Health, now Promises Treatment Centers, a national provider of residential substance abuse and mental health treatment services.
Dr Sack has enjoyed successful careers in clinical, research and administrative psychiatry. After receiving his medical degree from Rush Medical College, Dr. Sack completed his residency in Psychiatry at the UCLA-Neuropsychiatric Institute. He joined the NIMH as a research fellow and later served as a Senior Clinical Scientist and Unit Chief in the Clinical Psychobiology Branch. Dr. Sack continued his research career as Senior Vice President for Clinical Research for Comprehensive Neurosciences where he conducted and supervised research in schizophrenia, depression, insomnia, cognitive disorders and alcohol dependency.
Keith P. Arnold
Strategic Development Officer
Nationally recognized leader in the Behavioral Health field in both private and public sectors. Specializing in the transformation and integration of operations, sales/outreach, marketing, branding, admissions, advertising, SEO/PPC/Social, CRM conversion and alumni development.
Over 20 years of experience leading some of the most respected and successful Behavioral Health organizations, including Elements Behavioral Health (transformed into Promises Behavioral Health), Sierra Tucson, Sunspire Health (Transformed into Meadows Behavioral Health), Lakeview Health, and Gateway Foundation, among others.
Keith’s role at Crownview is working with the leadership team, and guiding the sales/outreach and admissions teams, overseeing SEO/PPC/Social, branding, marketing and collateral development, while enhancing strategic relations and partnerships, nationally.
Chief Financial Officer
David is a successful senior financial executive with over 35 years’ experience leading accounting, finance, treasury, risk management and information technology initiatives for venture capital and private equity backed companies. He has extensive experience in healthcare, including multi-site operations, payer reimbursement and third-party administrative services. David has successfully executed and integrated mergers & acquisitions, including behavioral health companies and healthcare providers.
Jenny Li, LPCC
Executive Clinical Director
Jenny Li is a California Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and board-certified counselor by the NBCC with a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of San Diego. She also holds advanced graduate certificates in Global Health Policy, Disaster Mental Health. Jenny has lived and worked in Scandinavia, Asia, and Central- and South America; working with different populations in different capacities over the past 25+ years. She speaks English, Swedish, and Mandarin. When she can, she serves as an adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University.
Jenny has specialized training in several modalities and interventions, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (CBT-E, CBT-P), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), the Transdiagnostic Unified Protocol for complex emotional concerns; certified in Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for OCD. She is trained in Prolonged Exposure (PE), Eye-Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), and is a Level 1 trained Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapist. For families, she is trained in Emotion-focused Family Therapy, draws on structural family principles and implements interventions from being trained in Gottman’s methods. She is in the process of becoming a CAMFT certified Clinical Supervisor.
She has worked in hospitals, residential, and outpatient care with experience treating children, adolescents, young adults, and adults. Jenny has been providing direct clinical services over the past 8 years. She is currently in her role as the Executive Clinical Director for residential and outpatient mental health services, where she also leads a team of clinicians, providing clinical supervision, and overseeing program development and clinical services.
After joining Crownview in 2020 as a primary therapist, she was quickly recognized for her clinical acumen and aptitude for administrative functions and was promoted to Executive Clinical Director. In her role, Jenny has redefined clinical practices and enhanced the delivery of clinical services to all of Crownview’s clients. Under her leadership, the clinical department has been restructured, increasing the efficiency of its resources, implementing a training program and providing mentorship and supervision.
Rebecca McKnight, PsyD
Dr. McKnight earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at UCLA and received her Doctorate of Psychology in 2009 from Alliant International University California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego, California. She has been licensed since 2010 and has over 10 years of experience in the mental health field at various locations and with different populations.
Some of her work and training experiences include individual therapy, couples therapy, inpatient and partial hospitalization treatment, correctional (prison) psychology, PTSD study for the VA and long-term therapy and psychological evaluations with adolescents and adults. Dr. McKnight is a trauma specialist and is trained in Prolonged Exposure therapy.
Most recently she worked with active duty military personnel at the Mental Health Clinic at the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton from 2012-2014. She has maintained her own private practice since 2009 because she is passionate about therapy and psychological testing.
Dr. McKnight treats adolescents and adults and provides individual and couples therapy as well as psychological evaluations. In her practice, Dr. McKnight focuses on a whole-person approach and incorporates CBT and mindfulness into her practice. Currently, she has dedicated her career to full-time private practice with clients at Crownview Medical Group and Crownview Psychiatric Institute.
Johanna Brubaker, AMFT
Johanna graduated from National University with her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and is soon to be a licensed marriage and family therapist. She has experience working in crisis houses, non-profit organizations as well as private practice settings. She provided support to clinicians as a program supervisor while working at Mental Health Systems. She weaves in playful and creative strategies when working with clients alongside other evidence-based treatments such as Motivational Interviewing, Solutions-focused therapy as well as Cognitive and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Her warm and compassionate approach is always well-received by clients, families and colleagues.
Jennifer Rosewall, AMFT
Welcome! I’m Jennifer, a compassionate therapist with a Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Professional Clinical Counselor from Letourneau University. My journey started with a Bachelor’s in Crisis Counseling, guiding me to work with diverse populations, including homelessness, veterans, children, teens, families, substance abuse recovery, severe mental health, terminally ill, and co-morbidity cases. My approach is tailored to each individual’s unique needs, meeting clients where they are. I integrate various therapeutic modalities, with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) playing a significant role. I enjoy being creative in the therapeutic approach to achieve the best outcome for my clients. I specialize in treating an array of concerns, from depression, anxiety, PTSD, adverse childhood experiences, grief, loss, substance abuse, and terminal illness to life adjustments and family issues to name a few. Let’s work together on your journey toward healing and growth.
Outside of practice, I cherish time outdoors on my acreage, tending to my farm animals, and enjoying moments with my two teenagers. I find solace in hiking, expressing through watercolor, and diving into the worlds created within the pages of a good book.
Nicholas Angelo, LMFT
Nico is a marriage and family therapist with a passion for working with individuals who require some guidance to aid them on their path to reaching their full potential. Nico has been a teacher for nearly 20 years and has extensive experience working in education with teens and young adults as well as the elderly. Additionally, he has been a professional musician and artist for nearly 30 years and he utilizes these skills including music, art, poetry, sculpture, philosophy and meditation among other activities as a catalyst in his work when appropriate. Additionally, Nico utilizes a myriad of modalities including: DBT, CBT, ACT, IFS and solution-focused therapy in his work with individuals and has the ability to meet almost anyone where they are on an social and emotional level from a validating and strength based perspective. Nico is certainly adept in aiding our population to manage stress, and resulting issues that arise from family obstacles, relational issues, substance use issues, and mental health issues from a holistic perspective approach. Nico has and continues to serve the county of San Diego as a therapist in various capacities across San Diego County working in several settings both inpatient and outpatient.
Christena Khattar, LPA
Christena Khattar is a PhD candidate as well as a licensed psychological associate. After discovering a love for psychology while studying philosophy in her undergraduate program, she received a master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Media Psychology from Touro University. Currently, she is working on her dissertation to fulfill the requirements for her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Saybrook University, known for its multicultural and humanistic affiliations. Attending to clients from a person-centered and holistic stance, she draws from multiple modalities, including existential-humanistic, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based/contemplative, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and positive psychology. Christena believes in a collaborative approach, forming and maintaining a strong bond with the client, and creating a sense of hope and meaning. Her interests and specialties include PE trauma therapy, addiction, adults with ADHD, and Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT).
Leo Preuss, CADC-II
Leo Preuss was born in Los Angeles and moved to San Diego in 1987. He is certified as CADC-II AODS counselor through the California Consortium for Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP). Leo has worked in the substance use disorder field for the past 15 years. He has extensive experience conducting group therapy, individual counseling, crisis intervention and case management.
Leo is also Native American and enjoys sharing Native American Spirituality with those who are interested. “I am passionate about what I do and believe that everyone deserves a chance to make positive change in their lives, I am so grateful to be part of such an amazing team!”
Devyn is a therapy intern working towards her Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC) license. She is currently completing her Master of Science in Mental Clinical Health Counseling through Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Throughout her undergrad and graduate education, Devyn has completed ALLY and multicultural competency training to better create a welcoming and more inclusive environment for all future clients. Her future interests and goals include working with depression, anxiety, and acute mental health disorders with special emphasis on the maternal mental health field.
Michelle Ertel, CADC-II
Program Manager, and Program Director. Michelle was recruited to the Crownview team in February 2017. She initially joined the team as a Case Manager and was promoted to Director of Crownview’s Case Management Services shortly after. Through her compassionate leadership style as Program Director, Michelle exemplifies the heart and soul of the organization. She has had a tremendous impact on the Crownview culture and continues to remain dedicated to the organization’s mission.
Ryan was born and raised in California. He originally started working in the substance abuse field in 2017 and transitioned into the mental health field in 2019. Many people close to him have suffered from mental health and/or addiction. “I wanted to help and make a difference for those suffering from the same problems”. “Working at Crownview has helped make a difference with those in need”.
Aaron Priddy, RADT
Director of Admissions at CPI
Aaron Priddy is the Discharge Coordinator at Crownview Psychiatric Disorders Institute. He began his career working for non-profit organizations specifically in the area of Probation and Parole Recovery first as a Mentor then as an Operations Coordinator. In this field he highlighted his personal journey through recovery and helped others navigate their own journey. He eventually gained a Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician credential from CCAPP and began utilizing his credential for group facilitation. Once this proverbial door opened his old friend and colleague reached out to him about an open Support Staff position at Crownview. He jumped at the chance to work in the Co-occurring Recovery field. He has taken on various roles at Crownview which have included Lead Support Staff, Case Manager, Family Liaison and now in his current role as a Discharge Planner. Aaron ensures the continuity of care from our facility to the next phase of the client’s life. This involves listening to the client and understanding what the future may look like after treatment. He is with the client and family at every step and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “Crownview has fostered my growth as well as the clients we serve. I am proud to be a part of this team”.
Nikki Miller, CADC-II
Director of Operations
Nikki Miller joined the Crownview team in 2017 and as her career progressed, she emerged as an exceptional leader with a natural talent for operations and analytical problem-solving. She manages vital components directly related to the success of the organization, including overseeing Crownview’s staff-training program, hiring, and supervising its case management team. Nikki has been instrumental in improving communication and utilizes a bottom-up management approach.
Nikki Miller was born and raised in Oceanside, CA, and is pursuing her B.A. in Sociology at CSUSM. She holds the certification of CADC-II with the California Consortium for Addiction Programs and Professionals and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa’s honor society. She has since held various positions including manager, supervisor, and director.
Kimberly Gilkey, RADT-1
Director of Office Administration
Kim was born and raised in Riverside County, however in 2013, decided to call San Diego her home. Kim started her career journey after graduating from Mueller College with her certification in Alcohol and Drug Studies. Kim has worked with homeless veterans, in a dual diagnosis detox, and was on staff as Office Manager for a small, psychotherapy private practice. Kim joined the CCI team in 2018 as a Case Manager for the female clients, and stepped into the administrative department in 2020. Kim is currently working on her Bachelors of Healthcare Administration at Western Governors University.
When not at work, Kim enjoys spending time with her spouse and dog, going to the hot yoga studio, and watching Dodgers baseball.
Jennifer Vargas, SUDRC
Jennifer “JV” Vargas was born in Los Angeles, Ca, and raised in Palm Springs, CA. Psychology came as an accident for her as she was inspired by her high school AVID teacher who taught this subject as an elective. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Human Development at California State University, San Bernardino. After graduating, Jennifer began working with children in group homes, where she worked closely with Child Protective Services/Social Services for two years. She relocated to Vista, Ca in 2018 and started working for Crownview Psychiatric Institute. She has worked through many titles and roles from assisting our clients with daily living skills to training and supervising staff to running Crownview’s sister company, a residential mental health facility, in Carlsbad, Ca. Her dedication to her work motivated her to pursue and complete her Master of Arts in Psychology at Pepperdine University in December 2021. She continually strives for opportunities for growth as she becomes the jack of all trades, including becoming a certified Zumba Instructor outside the office.
Her continuous growth, currently, includes assisting our clients in establishing the appropriate aftercare treatment as they integrate back into their lives. Her expertise in networking and collaborating with outside providers, such as therapists and psychiatrists, from around the nation, provides a solid continuity of care after completing our program.