is the Care Coordinator for the Starlight Military Program. Her unique position encompasses interaction with clients and referral sources, not only during the admission process, but throughout the clients care, discharge, and aftercare planning. Damien’s involvement in all aspects of administration is invaluable for collaboration with the Military Referral sources, Tricare and Insurance, and aftercare programs. Her expertise and extensive knowledge of these programs ensure a smooth transition back to service, civilian life, or continued treatment. Damien’s meticulous attention to detail is paramount in ensuring our clients, referral sources, and aftercare programs are ready to deliver the best care available to our service men and women.
Damien firmly believes that we should put our best efforts into serving those that have served us, and is committed to making a difference in the lives of our service men and women.
is a graduate of the UCONN School of Social Work with a special concentration in Group Work and Mental Health and Substance Abuse. He received his MSW in May of 2014. Steven passed the LMSW exam in December of that same year. He is currently employed as an LMSW Clinician in the detox unit at Stonington Institute. Prior to joining the team at Stonington, Steven was employed as a clinician at Wheeler Clinic’s Walk-in Adult Outpatient Recovery Services office in Hartford, Connecticut
While at Wheeler, he conducted both group and individual therapy for a diverse mix of clients, focusing primarily around substance abuse, while also performing intakes and triaging clinical situations as they arose by virtue of that office’s walk-in policy. At Stonington, Steven’s primary responsibility is to conduct intakes for the unit in a timely and thorough manner, providing accurate documentation at each step, working closely with aftercare specialists on discharge, planning, and delivering client services in conjunction with all members of the multi-disciplinary treatment team.
Addicts, as a class, face great stigma in society at large. Sadly, within the smaller world of the medical field, where prejudice, bias, and lack of understanding are too often the norm when it comes to the delivery of service. His life journey has compelled him to strive to grow his engagement in compassion and other directed empathetic understanding as a means to both personal growth and professional fulfillment. It is Steven’s hope that by meeting these clients where they are at, working with them from a strengths perspective, and growing their own internal motivation for change, they will feel empowered to affect lasting adaptive change in their lives.
Long-term, he hopes to continue to evolve his knowledge and skill-set around direct practice, both with groups and individuals, in a trauma-aware dual-diagnosis setting.
is a Social Worker in Stonington Institute’s Starlight Program. She provides therapeutic services supported by her background working with a variety of populations and settings focusing in addictions and mental health.
Jaclyn is an Animal-Assisted, Licensed Master Social Worker who graduated with her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Denver in 2011. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University in 2008, followed by receiving her Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counselor Training Certificate in 2009. Additionally, Jaclyn has been a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer since 2006 and is passionate about integrating the mind and body connection throughout the healing process.
Jaclyn is focused in providing trauma and addiction-based services to veterans and active military personnel. Her canine companion to assist in providing therapeutic services regularly accompanies her. Jaclyn is passionate about creating a healing environment for those she serves in order to promote health and wellness.
is a Clinician of Stonington Institute Starlight program and a licensed therapist in Connecticut. She completed her Master’s Degree from Salve Regina in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2010 and then went on to get a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Mental Health. She has a passion for helping people and developed a specific passion for helping active duty service members and veterans for the last four years. She also has experience in emergency services work doing psychiatric evaluations at Rhode Island Hospital for acute adult and children in an emergency room setting.
Josey Madison, LCSW
is Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working at Stonington Institute with the Detox and Starlight Military programs since 2013. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Southern Connecticut State University and has been running therapy groups in addition to holding individual sessions while at Stonington.
is an Aftercare Coordinator at the North Stonington Campus Detox Unit. His roles include case management, advocacy, and post-treatment planning. He works collaboratively with the clients and a multi-disciplinary team of treatment providers to ensure clients’ needs are met in the discharge planning process.
Shaune retired from the United States in Navy in November 2014. He has over 10 years’ experience working with active duty military and veterans in case management and transition training. He received a B.S. degree in Psychology from Excelsior College and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work at Case Western Reserve University.
Jim Pendergast III, LCSW
Jim Pendergast is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working as a Clinician for the Starlight Residential Military Program at Stonington Institute. He received his Masters in Special Education in 2007 from the University of Southern Maine and his Masters in Social Work in 2010 from the University of New England. He has been working in the mental health field for 15 years.
Kelli Riley, LMSW
Kelli graduated from The Catholic University of America with a Master of Social Work in May 2011. Kelli initially became interested in working with clients who have co-occurring disorders during her first social work position at N Street Village. She was particularly intrigued with the number of clients that she encountered who had experienced traumatic situations and were coping by abusing alcohol and drugs. Trauma and substance abuse continues to be a large focus of her work at Stonington Institute. She is currently one of two clinicians working in the detoxification unit.
Her primarily responsible deals with completing psychosocial assessments with clients. During that assessment, Kelli and the client discuss his/her substance use and treatment history, family history and preliminary discharge plans. This is the initial step in connecting the client to aftercare. Kelli is also responsible for facilitating psycho-education and mental health groups. These groups cover a variety of subjects and are meant to introduce the client to recovery topics in the earliest stage of her/his recovery. She enjoys working with this clientele because of the courage and authenticity that they exhibit when confronting traumatic situations in recovery.
Schon Russell, HSC, USCG Ret.
is the Starlight Program Manager. In this capacity, Schon manages the Starlight programs’ day-to-day operations – ranging from transportation to program policies and protocols. Schon retired after serving 26 years in the Coast Guard where his duties included being a substance abuse program specialist. Schon’s experience is invaluable in understanding what our military members are going through.
He continues to give sound recommendations to the clients in order to better integrate them upon returning to their units. Schon’s leadership and management of the Starlight program is an intricate part of the Starlight team, dedicated to continuous improvement and continued success of the program.
William Savinelli, M.S., LPC, LADC
is the Director of PHP/IOP and Off Campus Housing. Bill holds a Master of Science degree from S.C.S.U. and holds two clinical licenses LPC, and LADC. He has extensive experience working with various populations which include Addictions, Mental Health Co-Occurring and Child and Adolescence.
Bill had served in the Connecticut Army National Guard before beginning his career in social services in 1993. Since 1997, Bill has worked for Rushford Center in various direct care and management positions. Bill most recently held the position of Clinical Director of Addictions Services. Since 2007, services under his leadership included Child and Adolescence Residential and Outpatient, Adult Intensive Residential, Partial Hospital, Dual Diagnosis Partial Hospital, Intensive outpatient and Outpatient services. Bill had taken an active role throughout the Hartford Health Care system participating in several strategic steering committees. Bill completed DMHAS’s Leadership Institute and received the Emergent Leader Award in 2007. Bill has extensive experience working with DPH, DMHAS and The Joint Commission.
Bill has also served a member of St. Vincent DePaul’s Board. In 2009 he was elected as the Vice Chairman
Jessica Sellins, LCSW
is the Director of Clinical Services at Stonington Institute’s North Stonington campus. In this capacity, Jessica manages the clinical programming for our inpatient detoxification service and Starlight military residential service.
In addition to her administrative duties, Jessica facilitates trauma-focused groups in the Starlight Program. Jessica is a licensed Clinical Social Worker, who earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rhode Island College in 2006. She received her B.A. in Legal Studies and Criminal Justice in 1998 from the University of Massachusetts and has been working in the human services field for more than 16 years.
Jessica is a passionate advocate for active duty service men and women – as well as veterans with a history of trauma. Her work at Stonington Institute is focused on building and maintaining a program that helps men and women understand their behavioral health issues. This helps our clients overcome their addiction/trauma symptoms in order to live the happy and healthy life that they deserve.
is the Aftercare Coordinator for Stonington Institute’s Detox Unit. Her job on the unit is to connect clients to care after they finish their detox protocol at the facility. Her experience in the mental health field has spanned an entire decade. Kaleigh has worked in various settings from home care to inpatient psychiatric facilities. During that time, she has experience with a wide array of clientele of all different age ranges with various psychiatric diagnoses. Kaleigh began working on an inpatient detox unit on her 23rd birthday, and has connoted to work with clients who are struggling with substance dependence ever since.
Kaleigh graduated from Simmons College in Boston M.A. in 2010 with a B.A. in Psychology and Communications.