Richard J. Poppy, MA, LISAC, Executive Director

is the Owner and Executive Director of Desert Star. He has been working in Addiction Treatment for more than 23 years. In addition to heading up Desert Star, he continues to be involved in addiction and behavioral health issues at the community and state legislature levels.

Amy Tilley, PsyD, Clinical Director

graduated from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  She is the Director for the Chemical Dependency Intensive Outpatient Program (Oasis Program) at Desert Star. She trained in inpatient and outpatient settings in Chicago, IL, working with children, adolescents, families, and adults, and completed her pre- and post-doctoral internship in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Tilley’s clinical interests include working with adolescents and adults diagnosed with co-occurring conditions, in inpatient and outpatient settings, running psycho-educational and process groups, as well as working with clients who have a history of trauma.She is in acupuncturist, and provides this treatment weekly at Desert Star.

Kathryn Owen, BA, Clinic Manager

received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona. She has worked in behavioral health as a case manager for people with serious mental illness and developmental disabilities, and at inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment centers. At Desert Star since the day the doors opened in 2009, she has worked in various positions over the years. Currently, she manages the administrative side of Desert Star and maintains our CARF accreditation and insurance contracts. In addition, she writes Desert Star’s monthly newsletter.

Gwen Henderson, MA, Business Development

recently retired as the Executive Director for Chapter 5, a non-profit agency providing clinical and residential service to adults impacted with alcoholism, drug addiction, and co-occurring disorders, to pursue her passion for photography. Gwen brings 18 years of extensive experience in field of Mental & Behavioral Health, advocating for and serving individuals impacted with co-occurring disorders, substance abuse and alcoholism. Gwen is also a founding member of WAAT-Arizona Chapter (Women’s Association of Addiction Treatment). Being in recovery since 1997, Gwen has a strong passion for helping others find sobriety and achieve a holistic balanced lifestyle; which includes the emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual components of one’s self.

Liz Canterna Douglass, PhD, Psychologist

is a clinical psychologist. She has over 25 years of experience in the field of recovery stemming from her work as Director of the Inpatient & Outpatient chemical dependency units at St. Joseph’s hospital in Burbank to being staff psychologist and coordinator of the Assessment and Diagnostic Program at Sierra Tucson Hospital for 15 years. She also has a private practice in Tucson. Liz currently works as a Clinical Psychologist and therapist at Desert Star for all programs.

Kent M. Kalina, MD, Psychologist, Addiction Specialist

is a Board-certified psychiatrist who went to Medical School and did his training at UNC in Chapel Hill, NC. He became ASAM-certified as an Addiction Specialist in 1989. He gained extensive experience in private practice in Charlotte, NC working with people with substance and behavioral addictions and co-occurring mental health diagnoses, using multiple modalities, including non-addictive medications, psychodrama, and alternative therapies. He moved to Tucson in 2017 and also has a private practice here.

Judy Hileman, NP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

draws from a vast and varied experience to improve the mental health and functioning status of Desert Star’s clients. Attending both the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, Judy became a nurse practitioner in 1987, before many in the state had ever heard of the profession. She worked and taught in the medical area until 2000, at which time she completed her post master’s degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, and has been working in mental health ever since.

Emily Mason, RD, Registered Dietician

is a Registered Dietician. She started her career as a dietitian at Sierra Tucson back in the early 80’s, before they began treating clients with eating disorders. Through her work in the addictions field, she learned about eating disorders and cross addiction and helped Sierra Tucson develop its initial eating disorder program. She left Sierra Tucson after 11 years and moved to Denver where she worked in an outpatient setting, primarily with over-eaters. Since returning to Tucson in 2004, she have done private practice work, consulting and hospital work. For the past 6 years she has been working at Mirasol in their residential treatment and outpatient programs for women and adolescents. She also has a private practice. She works as our Registered Dietian mainly for the Mesquite Program, but can provide services to all programs at Desert Star.

Terry Shreve, Spiritual Director

is Spiritual Director, retired from the printing industry. Terry has a private Spiritual Direction practice and works primarily with people in addiction recovery. He served in the Navy from 1966-1972, on-board a nuclear submarine. Terry is involved at his church as a lay Eucharistic minister, communion bread baker and coordinator of the communion bread ministry. Terry has a 4 year graduate of Education for Ministry (Swanee Theological Studies). He teaches a 12-step spirituality class at the Redemptorist Renewal Center, is a member of the Spiritual Directors International, and belongs to the Tucson Spiritual Directors Group. Terry is also a Member of a Spiritual Directors support group.

Bill Coleman, LMSW, TEP, Therapist

is a Certified Psychodrama Trainer and specializes in Trauma and Addiction. He has lectured widely and is a frequent presenter at national conferences. Bill also practices Neurofeedback. Bill currently works at Desert Star as a therapist.

Vicki Gannon, MS, LISAC, CIP, Therapist

has 25+ years of experience in the mental health/substance abuse field. She is an interventionist for her private practice in Tucson. Vicki also works as a therapist in the Oasis Program at Desert Star.

Cindy Johnson, LMSW, Therapist

has over 20 years experience in the field of addictions and mental health treatment. She received her Masters of Social Work from Arizona State University in 1998 and has felt honored to teach at that institution over the years. She has worked in a number of inpatient and outpatient recovery settings including a recent opportunity working with individuals who were still actively serving in the US Military. She is passionate about helping people achieve their goals of recovery and has worked with people recovering from chemical addictions, behavioral addictions, eating disorders, trauma, and mood disorders. Cindy is currently works as a therapist at Desert Star for the Oasis, Mariposa, and Mesquite Programs.

Amy Lounsbury, MA, LPC, Therapist

holds a Master of Arts in Art Therapy, and has been working in the field for 10+ years.  She has extensive training in treating trauma. Amy has additional training in sand tray therapy. She works as a therapist in the Oasis, Mesquite, and Mariposa Program at Desert Star.

Courtenay Massani, MSW, Therapist

is a counselor in our Oasis Chemical Dependency Program. Courtenay received her Masters in Social Work from the university of Arizona in May of 2016. Courtenay interned with Desert Star from May 2014-May 2015, and we are elated to have her as part of the Desert Star Team!

Susan O’Day, MS, ICADC, CMKP, Therapist

started working in this field in 1989 and has a Master of Science Degree in Psychology with a specialization in addiction from Capella University.  Her special areas of interest are sexual addiction and trauma therapy. Susie currently works as a therapist in multiple programs at Desert Star.

Wendy Sizer, LCSW, Therapist and certified EMDR therapist

has worked in the field of behavioral health and addiction for 12 years, and has received specialized training in Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR). Wendy received her Master’s in Social Work from Arizona State University in 2006 and completed her basic EMDR training in 2009. She became EMDR certified in 2014. Wendy’s affiliation with Desert Star began when DS opened its doors in 2009. Her specialty areas are addiction and trauma, and she is well-versed in 12-Step recovery. Currently Wendy facilitates Oasis and Mariposa program groups and provides individual and EMDR therapy to assigned clients.

Ryan Delaney, Counselor

is currently working on his Masters Degree in Counseling from Prescott College with a concentration in addiction treatment and family counseling. Ryan was previously the Program Manger at Chapter 5, a non-profit agency providing clinical and residential service to adults impacted by alcoholism, drug addiction, and co-occurring disorders. He carries with him an intimate understanding of 12 step work and a passion for helping people succeed in their recovery.

Nicole Peterson, BS, Insurance Coordination and Billing

has been billing for Desert Star since 2015 and working in the behavioral health field since 2014. She is responsible for navigating the requirements of the insurance companies while at the same time helping to ensure that Desert Star clients get the coverage that they need. She is an advocate for mental and behavioral health care and believes that facilities and insurance companies can work together for the benefit of the client. In her free time she enjoys pursuing creative pastimes and continues to work towards furthering her educational goals.


The Desert Star Team is here to help you!

Call (520) 638-6000 today for more information or email: