Exciting Announcements at Sierra Tucson

By Valerie Kading, DNP, MSN
Chief Medical Operations Officer

It is with enthusiasm and gratitude that we share the exciting news of recent key additions to Sierra Tucson’s Medical Department:

Director of Addictions/Co-Occurring Disorders Program

Teresa Jackson, MD, is the director of the Addictions/Co-occurring Disorders Program at Sierra Tucson and started her tenure in late 2016. She received both her undergraduate degree and medical degree from the University of Arizona. Dr. Jackson started her career as a surgeon, and then entered the field of addiction medicine after adopting a sober lifestyle. Dr. Jackson is board certified in addiction medicine. She specializes in medical detox and medication-assisted treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. In her spare time, she enjoys running and cycling.

Inpatient Psychiatrist

James Prickett, DO, serves as our inpatient psychiatrist and completed his residency at the University of Arizona. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Des Moines University in Iowa. Dr. Prickett’s primary interest lies within psychopharmacology, traditional medicine, and the relationship between belief, spirituality and mental health. He has been a guest speaker on topics including autism, psychedelic drugs, adolescent substance use, and addiction. He has traveled to Ecuador on several occasions to study traditional medicine in both the Andes and Amazon basin. His research regarding the possible mechanisms by which ayahuasca treats addictions has been published in The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

Naturopathic Physician

Erin Hayford, NMD, BCB, is a naturopathic physician who received her diploma from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, in 2016. Dr. Hayford is completing her residency training at Sierra Tucson and has a primary interest in mental health. She pursued elective coursework during her doctorate training to support her desire to serve this population, including additional counseling classes, and became board certified in biofeedback in 2016. As a naturopath, Dr. Hayford believes in the body’s innate ability to heal itself and works with residents to support this healing process through various modalities, such as herbal medicine, nutraceutical supplementation, lifestyle change recommendations, and stress reduction techniques. Dr. Hayford sees each resident as an individual, and along with the other care providers at Sierra Tucson, she works to meet each person’s unique needs to create a tailored treatment plan.

More About Sierra Tucson

The Medical Department continues to use principles of integrative medicine and remains the leader in offering innovative, evidence-based treatment for addictions/co-occurring disorders, trauma, chronic pain, and mood and anxiety disorders. Our medical interventions are customized to meet unique needs of each resident. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an FDA-approved, non-invasive treatment for depression, and we are one of the few residential treatment facilities offering TMS Therapy to residents suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. Pharmacogenomics testing is available to all residents upon admission and supports clinical decision making when prescribing psychotropic medications, thus reducing or eliminating multiple medication trials and unwanted medication side effects. Core integrative services – including acupuncture, EMDR, Somatic Experiencing® Therapy, massage and shiatsu – remain central and integral to our integrative approach and are instrumental in the overall medical management of each resident.

Sierra Tucson Out and About

Several of our medical thought leaders have been featured at national conferences and workshops to share their expertise. As chief medical operations officer, I held a three-hour workshop, “Across the Life Span of Women’s Mental Health—An Integrative Approach to Postpartum Depression and Perimenopause Mood Dysregulation,” for therapists and medical providers on April 27-28 in Denver, Colorado. On April 23, I also delivered a presentation titled “Best Practices—An Integrative Approach to Optimizing Maternal Well-Being” to an audience of mental health providers in San Francisco. On April 21, Jerome Lerner, MD, director of Sierra Tucson’s Pain Recovery Program, delivered a keynote presentation, “New CDC Opiate Guidelines and the Future of Pain Management,” at the 2017 Austin TAAP Symposium. On April 12, Dr. Jackson was featured on KGUN-9’s Tucson Morning Blend to discuss the statistics and consequences of alcohol use. On April 3, Tena Moyer, MD, associate medical director, and Jaime Vinck, MC, LPC, NCC, CEIP, chief operations officer, presented “The Mature Adult Treatment Experience: Residential and Beyond” at the Foundations Innovations in Recovery Conference in San Diego, California. On March 30, Maureen Schwehr, NMD, director of integrative services, presented “The Gut Brain Connection: How Digestion Affects Mental Health” at the Phoenix Be Informed event. On March 8, Dr. Moyer and Vinck also co-presented “Collaborative Complex Co-occurring Disorder Treatment” at the 2017 Chicago BFI Summit for Clinical Excellence. Dr. Moyer also facilitated an Addiction Professional webinar, “It’s Not About Food, It’s About Feeding,” on February 15.