Sierra Tucson Alumni Retreat (S.T.A.R. 34)

October 21, 2021 – October 24, 2021

245 East Ina Road

View MapMap and Directions | Register



Resident & Family Member Alumni are cordially invited to attend the annual Sierra Tucson Alumni Retreat, S.T.A.R. 34, Make An Impact!

Celebrating 34 Years of Reconnecting & Renewing Our Recovery!

Alumni Retreat Schedule

Thursday, October 21
10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Registration Open
10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Free time to relax, schedule a spa service, pool time, hiking, connect with others, etc.
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Yoga Stretch
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Getting Connected & Retreat Kickoff
Friday, October 22
6:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m Hiking in the Catalinas
7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Support Group Meeting & Meditation
7:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Registration Open
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Morning Presentation w/Dr. Jasleen Chhatwal
11:30 a.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Afternoon Presentation w/Dane Binder
3:45 p.m. Buses depart to Sierra Tucson
6:00 p.m. Buses depart to Westward Look Resort
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Dinner & Presenters Michael & JoLae Shapiro
Saturday, October 23
6:45 a.m. –  8:00 a.m. Nature Walk at Westward Look w/Raymundo
7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m Support Group Meeting & Meditation
7:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Morning Presentation w/George Daranyi
11:30 a.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Afternoon Presentation w/Kaila Moles, MA, LAC
3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Free Time
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Dinner and Presenter Dr. Jason Schiffman
 Sunday, October 24
7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Support Group Meeting & Meditation
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Group Activity & Closing
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Brunch


The Retreat cost is $250 per person. This includes workshops, presentations, entertainment, meals from Thursday reception through Sunday brunch, transportation Friday to and from Sierra Tucson, and gift bags to take home.

* For those that discharge from treatment at Sierra Tucson on or after September 21, 2021, will not be allowed to participate on Friday when the Alumni Retreat attendees visit the Sierra Tucson campus.

Hotel Accommodations

All Retreat activities, with the exception of Friday afternoon’s activities, will be held at the Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa, which has extended discounted rates ($156 single/double occupancy and $166 for triple/quad occupancy plus tax & resort fee) until October 6, 2021 or once room block has filled. Reservations received after October 6, 2021, are subject to availability at the Resort’s prevailing rate.

To make a reservation, you can either do so online or call Westward Look Resort at (520) 297-1151, and be sure to let them know you are with the Sierra Tucson Annual Retreat. Westward Look has sold out in the past, so it is a good idea to reserve your room as soon as possible! When making reservations, ask about the cancellation policy so as not to be charged a night’s stay if you need to cancel.

Westward Look Resort Health and Well Being Protocols

A 10% discount is available on spa services at the Westward Look Sonoran Spa (520-917-2467). It is highly recommended that you book your spa services as soon as possible to ensure availability. Be sure to mention that you are with the Sierra Tucson Annual Retreat to receive the discounted rate.

Please note that there will NOT be shuttle/bus service between other hotels and Westward Look; you will need to provide your own transportation.


We are excited to share S.T.A.R. 34’s menu, which includes healthy food options for all attendees. Click the below link for a list of meals being served. The Westward Look Resort also has several dining options. If you would like to add some items to your in room refrigerator, Safeway Supermarket, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are located just around the corner from the resort.

S.T.A.R. 34’s Menu


Presentations & Entertainment

Resilient You: Harnessing Neuroplasticity in Stressful Times

Presenter: Jasleen Chhatwal, MBBS, MD, FAPA

Stress is known to have a detrimental effect on emotional health, physical health, and our longevity. At times of great stress, like the current pandemic, it is imperative that we find ways to enhance our resilience. Through advances in neuroscience and increased knowledge of the brain’s capacity for change we will together cover strategies aimed at improving our ability to not only survive, but also thrive in times of chaos.

Jasleen Chhatwal, MD, has been an integral part of the medical staff at Sierra Tucson since 2018, serving as Director of the Mood Program and Associate Medical Director before being named Chief Medical Officer in January 2020. Dr. Chhatwal came to Sierra Tucson by way of the University of Arizona Department of Psychiatry where she continues to serve as an Assistant Professor. She believes each individual has a unique, authentic story, and is grateful to all those who have entrusted her with their stories.

As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Chhatwal is responsible for managing the medical department, which includes psychiatrists, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, as well as overseeing the integrative care team and applied neuroscience department. She strives to ensure consistent, high-quality patient care through the optimization of internal processes that help increase provider face-time with patients. In addition, Dr. Chhatwal leads the facility’s mental health education outreach efforts at national and international conferences and seminars to promote the importance of integrated and integrative care for successful, sustainable recovery.

Dr. Chhatwal completed her residency training in psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, also serving as Chief Resident. Here she trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, psychopharmacology, neuromodulation and various emerging modalities. She further completed fellowship training in Integrative Medicine from the renowned Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Post residency, Dr. Chhatwal stayed on at her alma mater working in a combined community and academic setting. Here she provided inpatient and outpatient services, while also serving as associate and then interim medical director of inpatient psychiatry services at Banner University Medical Center – South Campus.

Active in medical student & resident physician education, Dr. Chhatwal aims to enhance understanding of psychiatric disorders for varied medical personnel. She is also active in the mental health community, advocating for her patients’, colleagues and profession through elected positions in regional and national organizations. This year, she serves on the executive council of the Arizona Psychiatric Society in the role of President-Elect. Concurrently, she is also serving as the Early Career Psychiatrist representative for western US and Canada (Area7) to the American Psychiatric Association Assembly. She also holds membership in the American Association of Physician Leadership and the World Psychiatric Association. Dr. Chhatwal’s dedication and contribution to the mental health field have been recognized in the form of a Presidential Award for Leadership from the Arizona Psychiatric Society, and Fellowship in the American Psychiatric Association.

Echoing naturalistic healing disciplines, Dr. Chhatwal believes that the human body has the inherent capacity to heal itself when provided with a nurturing environment for the mind, body and spirit. In her practice, in collaboration with colleagues from various disciplines, she attempts to recreate that nurturing environment so residents can start their journey towards a healthier, more wholesome life. As a firm believer that staff care is important to providing optimal patient care, she aims to also assist the Sierra Tucson medical staff to prioritize their own self-care.

Dr. Chhatwal’s treatment philosophy includes intervening early, providing holistic, culturally competent, gender-affirming and evidence-based care. She envisions Sierra Tucson as a healing sanctuary where intensive biological, psychological and integrative therapies help restore the vital essence of each person’s unique and authentic story.

Surviving after the storm: Seeing life through a cleaner windshield

Presenter: Kaila Moles, MA, LAC

A presentation of surviving after a traumatic event(s) in your life, struggling through addiction, mental health challenges, developing coping skills and adjusting your mindset when the you reach stability. This will be a presentation that will challenge the way you think, the way you adjust to this new normal as well as education for your support systems; family, friends, etc. Come, be present and be prepared to participate in this interactive lecture about finding the real you within yourself when the storm finally settles inside and you’re able to see life through a clean windshield.

Kaila Moles is a member of the clinical therapy team at Sierra Tucson and serves as a Primary Therapist specializing in trauma and substance abuse/ co-occurring. With a background working with individuals suffering from sexual and physical trauma, Kaila has specifically focused her career working with victims of human trafficking, those struggling with substance abuse, as well as individuals dealing with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and panic disorders. She has worked for local governments in mental health helping place homeless or at-risk adults in group homes or other suitable housing. She also worked with the Oregon State Hospital working specifically with the “guilty-except-for-insanity” population, as well as in correctional facilities conducting and facilitating risk assessments and mental health assessments.

Native to the Pacific Northwest, Kaila earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an option in Human Services from Oregon State University and went on to earn her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health from Corban University. She recently earned her Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) designation through Arizona’s Board of Behavioral Health. She intends to work with first responders and retired military personnel.

Kaila is currently working toward earning her PhD from Grand Canyon University with a focus on Industrial and Organizational Psychology. With a quest to pursue even more training and education, she plans to work toward earning her credentials as an EMDR therapist, as well as becoming trained as a certified sex addiction therapist. She lives in Tucson with her husband and daughter and enjoys baking, reading, meditating, writing music and swimming.

Completions, Endings and the “Process” of Recovery

Presenter: George Daranyi

Patients hear, often, that “recovery is a process” and to “trust the process.” But, what about the possibility of “completions” or dealing with “endings” in the context of this “process” of recovery? George will discuss some important distinctions between these concepts and create a vibrant container where alumni can actually “get complete” with some areas of unfinished business in their inner (and outer) lives. He will use examples from his own life, his 33 plus years of recovery, and the work he has done with tens of thousands of patients over the past 30 years. Like always, poetry and literature will have its place, too.

George Daranyi celebrated 33 years of recovery in 2021. He has worked with thousands of men and women in and out of the mental health and recovery worlds for nearly 30 years. He combines elements from his own recovery, his legal practice, his work with The ManKind Project and his work in the mental health field together with poetry, literature, and facilitation to create memorable transformational experiences.

Making an Impact: The Intersection between Service and Self Care

Presenter: Jason Schiffman, MD, MA, MBA

This lecture examines the psychological effects of altruism and how being of service to others may promote or hinder recovery from trauma-related and addictive disorders. Specific focus is given to the role of boundaries in self care, the distinction between helping and enabling others, and the distinction between self-love and narcissism. 

Dr. Jason Schiffman is the founder and Medical Director of The Camden Center. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and completed his residency in Psychiatry at UCLA. He is a graduate of the MD/MBA program at the University of Southern California and received a Masters of Arts degree in Linguistics from UCLA. He has extensive research experience in molecular biology and is the author of numerous scientific publications in this field.

Dr. Schiffman is a nationally recognized expert on addiction and co-occurring mood and anxiety disorders and is the founder and Director of the UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program. Previously, he was the Chief Resident of the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Program. He has written extensively on the subjects of addiction, anxiety, and depression in both the academic and popular press and has provided expert opinion on these topics for numerous publications. He is a columnist for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today and previously served as Editor in Chief of

How Sierra Tucson Continues to Make an Impact

Presenter: Dane Binder, MS

Dane Binder, M.S. and Chief Operating Officer at Sierra Tucson will present on the latest updates to programming and services that continue to make Sierra Tucson the best treatment center in the world. Topics will include enhanced trauma services, positive psychology programming, and the latest in cutting edge substance use disorder treatment technology followed by a Q &A.

After graduating from the University of Arizona in 2007 with a Bachelors in Psychology, Dane worked in retail management before joining the healthcare industry as a home visitor for newborns at risk of adverse outcomes. He was promoted to a Coordinator position and assigned to marketing, prevention programs, and outreach. Dane became a Program Director serving homeless and unaccompanied youth, before joining the Mobile Acute Crisis Teams as a BHT. He was promoted to a Clinician, after obtaining his Masters degree. Dane became the Supervisor for Crisis Teams, Regional Senior Manager, and then Regional Director. As a Regional Director, Dane had oversite of Crisis Mobile Teams, voluntary and involuntary Level 1 Behavioral Health Inpatient Facilities, Level 1 Detox Facilities, Behavioral Health Residential Facilities, and a fully integrated Patient Centered Medical Home across three Counties in Southern Arizona.

His experience working across systems and developing strong continuums of care led to quality clinical outcomes and increased business opportunities. Also in his role as Regional Director, Dane helped Pima County develop an outpatient Title 36 involuntary evaluation process, served as a member of the Pima County Overdose Fatality Review Committee, presented on suicide and Title 36 processes at Pima County Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Training, and worked with the Pima County Attorney’s Office on various diversion initiatives. He also proudly took the lead in his previous agency in developing and managing a naloxone distribution system across Southern Arizona which resulted in dozens of confirmed opiate overdose reversals.

Dane has a BA in Psychology from the University of Arizona and an MS in General Psychology from Grand Canyon University. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and National Association for Healthcare Quality. He has over a decade of management experience and serves as a board member for a non-profit developing quality sports facilities in Southern Arizona. When he is not working, Dane can be found spending time with his family, hiking, boxing, and reading.

Accepting Forced Acceptance

Presenters: Michael & JoLae Shapiro

We’ve all grown familiar with the concept “acceptance is the answer to all our problems today,” however, at times we find ourselves challenged, even frustrated, and still we attempt to control outcomes. In many ways, 2021 has been a re-run of 2020 and continues to be an excellent workout gym for mastering the art of letting go, having faith, and surrendering. We are clearly in the efforts business and the results are up to God/Higher Power/The Universe, but why do we still resist? Especially knowing struggling is an option!

In this presentation we will openly share our experience, as individualls and as a married couple. What it’s like today for us living through a pandemic, career stall, loss of a family member, grieving, and gratitude while being firmly rooted in recovery, enabling the two of us to continue to grow in the face of adversity. We will discuss the ways in which we’ve been navigating these unchartered waters and how acceptance has proved to be a resilient and reliable compass for maintaining our focus on the positive in any and every situation. And we will definitely perform a few songs!

JoLae Brandt-Shapiro originally from Oklahoma, graduated from Oklahoma City University’s dance program.  Before moving to Las Vegas, she joined Carnival Entertainment where she had the opportunity to travel the world while performing in various production shows on Carnival Cruise lines.  She has since moved to Las Vegas, and has enjoyed having the opportunity to work as both a model and dancer with various production companies and agencies. JoLae has been seen on the Billboard Music Awards stage alongside Chris Brown and Pitbull, dancing beside Guns N Roses at Coachella, as well as in the country band LOCASH’s “Ring on Every Finger” music video.  She has been a part of a generous list of shows on and off the Las Vegas strip, gracing the stage alongside many talented entertainers such as Dennis Bono, Matt Goss, Kelly Clinton-Holmes, and Reckless in Vegas.

JoLae has had a lifelong interest in therapy and mental health and is currently an MFT Student Therapist at Red Rock Counseling in Las Vegas, NV.

Michael Shapiro was born in San Jose, CA but was raised in Las Vegas, NV. In 2000 he moved to Portland, OR, followed by a move to San Rafael, CA in 2006. As of April 2015, he’s back living in Las Vegas fronting the Band/Show, Reckless In Vegas.

Music has been a constant throughout his entire life. He picked up his first guitar at age 13 and trained hard in guitar, vocals, piano and trumpet and attuned his ear to classical opera as well as rock.  A chance encounter with a family friend struck the right chord and paved Shapiro’s way into music.  At age 16, he had the opportunity to jam with Bruce Springsteen.  The rocker’s energetic marathon performances spurred Shapiro to develop a taste for a raucous stage presence.  After stints in various cover bands in his teens, Shapiro formed the band Trip, released 3 albums and toured.  Being part of the VH1 Rock Across America Tour, Trip opened for artists such as Edwin McCain, Duncan Sheik, The Romantics, and Cheap Trick. It was during an ill-fated gig in 2003 while out on tour opening for Great White when a tragic fire struck, that moved Shapiro to deeply reflect on life’s vagaries and whims. This experience inspired a prolific writing period. In 2006, he recorded and released his first solo album. The first single off the album, “Hope”, received a warm radio welcome earning it’s way to the number 3 most added song in the US at 1100 spins per week. This success landed Michael on a National tour opening for the multi-platinum selling band Live.

In 2008, after moving to the SF Bay Area, Michael formed Reckless In Vegas. Releasing their first album with multi-platinum Producer Dan Shea(Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Santana, Jessica Simpson, Tom Jones/Paul Anka), followed by a second album in 2011 with Producer Sylvia Massy(Undertow, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool, Johnny Cash, System of a Down). Returning to Producer Dan Shea in 2013 with a Vegas concept album and show, Reckless In Vegas released their third album featuring original, modern rock arrangements of classic vintage Las Vegas songs from artist such as Sinatra, Dean Martin, Frankie Valli, Sonny & Cher, Sammy Davis Jr., and more. In April 2017 he joined the cast of The World’s Greatest Rock Show at The Stratosphere performing as Bruce Springsteen.

  “At the age of 36 I found myself in the painful grip of 23 years of drug, alcohol, love, and sex addiction, but was gifted with a moment of clarity. A crystal clear turning point realizing if I continued on that path, I would die. I wanted to live and for the 5th time in 6 years, I reached out for help, this time with complete surrender. I became desperate enough to become wholeheartedly open minded, willing, and honest about my situation, as if my life depended on it, because it did. I am grateful every moment, to truly be in recovery. My relationship with my higher power and my sobriety will always be my number one priority.” 

Shapiro has toured all over the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, and has done it all CLEAN AND SOBER!


Your S.T.A.R. 34 Hosts

Tim McLeod, Director of Alumni Relations at (913) 269-1323 or

Robert Lachapelle, Alumni Coordinator & Lead Connect365 Recovery Coach at (520) 624-4000 ext. 672 or