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 an 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.

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.

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.

Tony Redhouse, Native American Practitioner

is a consultant to Native American communities as well as behavioral health organizations. Tony brings traditional healing such as sound-guided meditation, drumming, and creative arts projects to Desert Star’s gender-specific Friday night groups.

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.

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.

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.

Norma Vazquez, BA, Meal Tech and Administrative Assistant

received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from the University of Arizona and has worked in multiple eating disorder treatment facilities. Desert Star’s meal tech for 3 years, Norma has now joined the administrative team as well and can usually be found at the front desk. In her free time she continues to work on her career goals.


The Desert Star Team is here to help you!

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