It’s with great pleasure CLARE Foundation welcomes its new Executive Director, Dr. Lisa Steele. She ushers in a new era of leadership and fresh approach at a time when substance abuse has become a pressing national issue and reallocation of government funding has greatly affected the recovery industry – quite a different social and economic climate since Nicholas Vrataric, outgoing director, came onboard 17 years ago.

Vivacious and friendly, Dr. Lisa Steele is optimistic. “It’s a great privilege to be asked to join the talented and dedicated team at CLARE,” she said. “The venerable community institution has set a high standard for compassionate treatment and care, and I look forward to working with the Board and CLARE’s many supporters to help the organization continue to grow and provide a remarkable recovery experience to those in need.”

Lisa Steele, Ph.D., has dedicated the last 30 years of her life to working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. She has led organizations of varying sizes serving those with co-occurring substance misuse and mental health disorders, focusing on access to care for the most underserved and challenged.

Dr. Steele worked with the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health for many years to bridge the gap between mental health and substance abuse treatment services, so that people with addictions could obtain treatment through all avenues. She served as a consultant to the National Institute of Mental Health, and created the first “Minor Consent” Substance Abuse Treatment Program in California. For more than 10 years she has served on the California Statewide Co-Occurring Conference Planning Committee. She earned her Master’s Degree in Marriage, Family, Child Therapy and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with two certifications in substance use disorder treatment and co-occurring disorders treatment.

Dr. Steele places great value on the culture of recovery, and is fully committed to ensure that both clients and staff feel valued, and can live and work in a healthy environment – body, mind, and spirit.

As Pete Kastoff, Board Chair, notes: “We are fortunate to have an industry veteran join CLARE at this significant time in the foundation’s history. We are confident that Lisa’s extensive experience in healthcare and leadership will strengthen the organization and stimulate community engagement.”

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