Newgate 180 has recruited its staff from across Canada to provide its clients with one of the most experienced and highly effective addiction teams in North America.
Peter Kunst (he/him), CCAC
A co-founder of Newgate 180, Peter’s extensive experience and background in program development has been molded over more than 28 years in residential treatment of addictions. A graduate of Algonquin College’s Substance Abuse Counselling Program, Peter has developed and implemented many successful multi-module programs designed to meet the specific needs of individual clients. Peter played a lead role at the James Street Recovery Program where he developed the Relapse Prevention process with Continuing Care components. He has also worked with the Rideauwood Institute in Ottawa in their Parent and teen program.
Bringing awareness and transparency to addiction in the workplace has been a passionate quest for Peter as he created, delivered, and implemented addiction education and training programs both publicly and corporately.
Peter has demonstrated throughout his long-tenured career an unwavering commitment to finding addiction solutions. His respectful and compassionate approach to treatment, which sits as the foundation for the Newgate 180 mission, is the result of Peter’s highly intuitive and nurturing nature.
Program Director, Case Manager
I have spent 19 years working along side many talented individuals in the addiction and mental health discipline. Over the years, I have been blessed with opportunities to expand my knowledge and gain invaluable experience. I’ve been afforded the pleasure of working with adult, youth and correctional populations at different levels and responsibilities. Each experience and treatment centre has allowed me to build a solid and lasting foundation.
Working at NewGate 180 has provided me an opportunity to apply my knowledge and skill set in a family like setting. My colleagues have a wealth of knowledge and experience that makes the NewGate team strong, supportive and empowering. The holistic approach and non-judgemental atmosphere, are the premises we build from. I am grateful to be a member of a long standing and proven community like NewGate 180.
Joy Parsons-Nicota, NP-PHC, BScN, MScN
Newgate 180 is unique in that it embraces a holistic approach to recovery and utilizes my full range of Nurse Practitioner skills including: health assessment, diagnosis, treatment, counselling and health teaching. I enjoy working within an interdisciplinary team where we practice collaboratively by sharing clinical problem solving and working toward common goals.
As a licensed Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner, Joy graduated from The University of Ottawa in 2000. She also holds a Master of Science in Nursing degree and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Western Ontario. Joy has clinical expertise in Primary Health Care with specialties in Gerontology and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing. Along with her education, Joy was presented with the Pace Award for Clinical Excellence from NPAO for demonstrating excellence and leadership in Primary Health Care and for her contributions to research and education.
Joy is committed to incorporating the best practices of clinical drug addiction treatment by providing individualized care that focuses on emotional health, physical wellness and spiritual growth. Joy’s professionalism and caring approach to the clients at Newgate 180 facilitates recovery and lifelong sobriety.
Dr. Shawn Yakimovich, ND
Dr. Shawn Yakimovich ND studied human nutrition at McGill University before earning his Naturopathic Doctor designation at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2006. He has been in private practice ever since, first in Ottawa and since 2010 in Kemptville Ontario. In his general family practice he confidently blends herbal medicine, hydrotherapy, homeopathic medicine, acupuncture and nutritional counselling to help people feel better as gently and quickly as possible. He has been offering his services at Newgate 180 since September 2018.
“Dr. Shawn”, as he is known to Newgate 180 residents and staff, brings a holistic approach, acknowledging the importance of sleep, stress reduction and nutrition for health and recovery. Every week he presents a discussion on a unique aspect of health, with topics including restorative sleep, aromatherapy, demonstrating how to make a herbal healing salve and teaching general principles of immunity and detoxification. Participants then have the option to experience acupuncture or cupping therapy, which are very effective for pain relief, stress reduction, emotional balancing, and sleep promotion.
During these sessions there is also the opportunity for more individualized one – on – one discussions where residents can receive additional naturopathic treatments and guidance for acute and chronic health issues.It is Dr. Shawn’s goal that Newgate 180 residents return home feeling better, with some practical skills to take charge of their own health and with a greater awareness of healthcare options available to them in the community.
“Over the years here at Newgate 180, I have been able to turn the passion developed through a volunteer position into a highly rewarding career. It is both an honour and privilege to be trusted enough by clients to share their stories, fears, pain and hopes, dreams and plans with us. Our work with the family and workplace of a client enable us to really know a person – each of whom is unique and of infinite value. Being able to walk alongside a person as they gradually regain a sense of empowerment, self-worth, self-respect and self-confidence is second to none.”
“Continuing care with Newgate 180 facilitates and nurtures a client’s gradual return to the person they choose to be, and life he or she wants to live – one of health in body, mind and spirit. As this part of the program is my main focus, I am able to develop long lasting relationships with our clients, lasting years. I have many clients that, years later, will contact me for some support if needed, or with the latest news of their lives. This is what drives my dedication to people who need a hand up, an encouraging word and some guidance on the journey of recovery.”
Dale brings to Newgate an extensive background in personal and family-of-origin addiction, together with many years of volunteer work with youth and with formerly incarcerated men in recovery and working to re-enter the general population. Dale is an Honours Graduate from the Addictions and Community Service Worker Program at Everest College, as well as a Certified Canadian Addiction Counsellor. Dale continues to work a few shifts per month at a local distress centre, and plans to pursue a degree in psychology via distance learning.
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
As a nutritionist and continuing care counsellor at NewGate180, I strongly believe that a holistic and multi-faceted approach to addiction recovery is integral. Working in the nutrition field for years showed me that mental health and physical health go hand in hand, and every part of our lives comes together to create a healthy individual. The team at NG all bring different approaches and backgrounds, ensuring a well-rounded and supportive system to address physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.”
Janine graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition with a diploma in Natural Nutrition in 2015. After working several years in the health field, she wanted to pursue a higher education focusing on behavior change and completed an Honours Bachelors Degree in Behavioural Psychology from St. Lawrence College in 2021. She also completed a yoga teacher certification in 2019. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work to better serve vulnerable populations at a program development level.
I’ve had a long-standing passion for helping people. I have had opportunities to support, empower and help people thrive in their daily lives. In turn, it has pushed me to further my professional and personal development. My experience in life has taught me to encourage people to overcome difficult situations to be non-judgmental and to show unconditional positive regard.
My belief in Newgate 180 holistic approach stands true. They approach individuals with a non-judgmental and open-minded attitude. They work with individuals to help them recover and work towards finding balance in every aspect of their lives; physically, mentally, emotionally, culturally and spiritually.
Brittany graduated from St. Lawrence College with a diploma in Practical Nursing and furthered her education by taking the Mental Wellness and Addiction Worker course at St. Lawrence College.
Addictions Counsellor, Fitness Consultant/Trainer
Jeff Gulick, B.A., CCADC
Jeff is a Canadian Certified Addictions Counsellor and a member of the Canadian Addiction Counsellor Federation. He has Honours B.A. in Psychology from Carleton University, a B.A. in Sociology, and a Trauma and Addiction Certificate from Algonquin College. Jeff had the opportunity to work at Newgate 180 before opening his private practice and is familiar with the treatment program offered at Newgate 180. Jeff also has 10 years of counselling experience in the addiction field. He has worked with individuals who have been exposed to trauma and violence, and his past experience enables him to understand the specific challenges encountered by first responders.
Jeff adopts the belief that addiction does not exist in isolation, and that effective therapy should reflect individual needs. Exploring the principal causes of addiction and developing positive behavioural change is essential in recovery. Following residential treatment, a smooth transition into a comprehensive, balanced, and meaningful recovery plan, is important to help ensure success during the ongoing recovery process.
Executive Director Assistant
“After facing addiction in my personal life for many years, I decided to go to school to become an Addictions and Community Service Worker. Soon after graduating, I began working at Newgate 180 as an Addictions Counsellor and continued in that role for 5 years. Just over a year ago, I transitioned from a Counsellor to Executive Director Assistant. Although I decided to take a break from counselling, I continue to work at Newgate because I love the atmosphere, the staff, and the amazing clients I get to interact with every single day. I truly couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
When clients make that first call to reach out for help we believe that it should be a personal experience – not just a call with an automated system. They will speak directly with a staff member, which is often myself.”
Melissa is often the first point of contact when you first call Newgate 180, and with her background in counselling and current position in admin, she is able to help potential clients or their loved ones understand more about what we do here at Newgate 180, by answering any questions they may have and helping them move to the next step of seeking treatment if they decide to do so.
“Newgate 180’s approach doesn’t just look at the addiction; it looks at every aspect of the person’s life. It truly is a holistic approach and all you need is to spend a little time with the staff to realize how deeply they care for their clients. To us, clients are people and not just a number.
Newgate 180 helped me to rediscover what I truly love about this field and helping others find their way to a sober lifestyle”
Leanne is a graduate with honours of the Social Service Worker program at Algonquin College. She has many years of experience working with youth who struggle with addictions and mental health and has been working with Newgate 180 for the past several years. In her spare time Leanne is currently completing a degree in psychology with Carleton University.
Addictions Counsellor and Continuing Care
Paul has an Addictions and Community Services Worker Diploma from Willis College of Business, Technology, Healthcare. He also has certifications in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). Paul is also a certified Canadian Fitness Professional.
Paul has extensive experience in fitness, health, and addictions. So far here at Newgate 180 Paul has taken on many roles throughout his time at Newgate including being an addictions counselor, relapse prevention worker, and fitness consultant/trainer. Paul has grown into a monumental member of the Newgate 180 team and continues to go above and beyond.
Shannon Woolner, MEd
Case Manager – Casual Relief
“I am a Case Manager and I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Newgate team. The team is made up of knowledgeable, competent and caring professionals who do their utmost to meet the needs of each and every client. I appreciate the fact that the program at Newgate considers clients from a holistic perspective and addresses the multi-faceted nature of addiction – the biological, psychological, emotional, social and cultural factors that come into play. I have a Master of Education (Counselling Program) from the University of Calgary and have worked for many years in the field of addiction. I find it to be very rewarding work, as I am continually amazed and inspired by the resilience and courage the clients demonstrate day after day.”
Continuing Care Counsellor
One of the biggest reasons that I love Newgate 180 is because of the individual person-centred approach. As a team, we actively plan and consult with the individuals we work with to ensure we are meeting their individualized needs during and post-treatment. While employing an approach to provide a holistic treatment, part of this process is recognizing the individualized needs of a recovery plan. No two people are the same, therefore the plans moving forward need to fit the personal lifestyles and needs of the individual while covering all areas of their lives that may impact their recovery.
Samantha graduated from Loyalist College with a diploma in Community and Justice Service Work, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Victimology from Algonquin College. Samantha’s educational experience has provided her with the ability to assist individuals with complex vulnerabilities such as addiction, homelessness, mental health concerns, involvement with the justice system, and victimization. As a victimologist, Samantha has demonstrated the ability to analyze trends of victimization and the implications that occur in the victim’s life and better assist in meeting their treatment needs to restore healthy functioning – both physically and mentally. Post education, Samantha pursued work within the realm of child welfare and worked closely with youth trauma and addiction. While working within youth care, Samantha gained experience with case management, and facilitating social and life skills groups. Samantha also has certifications in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). In the future, Samantha hopes to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology.
Matt Wilson, B.A.
“As part of the Newgate 180 team, I am surrounded by professionals with a multitude of different skills and backgrounds. I am fortunate to work in an environment where every team member genuinely cares about each client’s individual recovery process. Working alongside such a passionate and dedicated team has given me a deep understanding and appreciation for holistic, client-centered care. Thus far my time at Newgate 180 has been a wonderfully rewarding experience and I feel extremely grateful to be a part of such life-changing recovery processes.”
Matt graduated from Carleton University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He continued his education at Canadore College, graduating with honours from the Mental Health and Addiction Worker program. He has a background working in residential treatment, most recently working in a long term care home for those with dual diagnoses. He believes in a holistic approach to client care and strives to help improve the client’s well-being and experience during treatment and recovery. Matt maintains a strong belief in lifelong learning and is currently working towards an Accredited Addictions Certification.
Alana Brankin, B.A.
“I have always had a passion for helping people in any way that I can. That is what attracted me to working at Newgate 180. The staff help people not only with their addiction recovery but in every aspect of their life; relationships, family, fitness, nutrition, emotions etc. I believe the holistic approach at Newgate 180 is crucial in recovery and in life. Having experienced addictions through family members it gives me a different perspective than having dealt with addiction myself however, my understanding and compassion is the same no matter who you are or your story. I am an open, kind, honest person who is just trying to help people feel a little bit better about themselves and live a more productive life.”
Alana graduated from St. Lawrence College with an Honours Bachelor degree in Behavioural Psychology. Throughout her studies she has trained in developmental psychology, applied behavioural analysis, cognitive behaviour therapy, mental health and addictions. She had opportunities to complete three placements in the human services field where she designed programs for maladaptive behaviours.
“I am a dedicated, focused and empathic person. I am always learning and growing from the staff and individuals that walk through the doors at Newgate 180 and for that I am thankful.”