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Dr. González is an associate professor, affiliated with the Division of Addiction Psychiatry, and Board-certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry in Addiction Psychiatry. He is originally from Colombia, and after receiving his medical degree, he trained in psychiatry at the Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, School of Medicine in Bogotá-Colombia. He obtained a Diploma degree in Addiction Behaviour (DAB) at the National Addiction Center, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. He completed his second residency in psychiatry in the U.S. followed by a Substance Abuse Fellowship at Yale School of Medicine.
After working as faculty in the Division of Substance Abuse at Yale University, he joined the Department of Psychiatry at UMass in 2008. His research has focused on neurobiology and pharmacotherapy for the treatment of cocaine and opioid dependence. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. He has presented at national and international conferences on issues related to treatment of substance use disorders.
Dr. González is the coordinator of the Addiction Elective for UMass fourth-year medical students, who work with him at Washburn House on the Acute Treatment Service (ATS). He hosts medical students for their clerkships at the Addiction and Comorbidity Treatment Service (ACTS). Dr. González lectures at fellowship seminars and residents didactics about pharmacotherapy for substance use disorders.
His research has evaluated the extent to which enhancing GABA neurotransmission may modify cocaine- and opiate-taking behavior. Dr. González is interested in assessing the extent to which the modulation of glutamate neurotransmission by NMDA receptor antagonist during opioid agonist treatment may improve treatment outcomes and reduce early relapse in young adults with opiate use disorder. In addition, he is interested in understanding factors in healthcare delivery associated with reduction in mortality by opioid overdose.
Director of Nursing,
ATS Program Director
Julie Ireland is a registered nurse with 30 years of experience in varied healthcare settings. She has been with Washburn House since July 2017, where she opened the ATS in September 2017.
She believes addiction touches every aspect of health care. One of her first jobs in health care was at a public detox program in the 1980s. Throughout her career, Julie has always remembered this position as the most meaningful and fulfilling work she has done. More than 30 years later, she has found herself coming back to work in the field of addiction. She is grateful to be able to, once again, serve individuals and families suffering from addiction.
Julie is also very proud of the work she did in Les Cayes, Haiti with Forward In Health to improve the health conditions and foster dignity of the people in and around Les Cayes.
She received her ASN from Excelsior College in Albany, NY. She is Trauma Nurse Core Course Certified and a Certified Correctional Healthcare Provider.
Committed, compassionate, charitable.
I evaluate my professional success based on not only my own work, but the work of my team. For me to be considered successful, my team needs to achieve and feel valued.
I’d say my proudest moment was getting the detox program open and helping clients. After months of work and preparation, it was really amazing to see it all come together.
If you could switch jobs with one person at Washburn House, who would it be and why?
Honestly? I wouldn’t want to trade with anyone. I love the role I’m in!
I spent 2 weeks on a motorcycle in Newfoundland exploring. I also have volunteered and worked on medical missions for a week at a time for 10 years with Forward In Health in Haiti.
I can’t choose just one. My two favorites are:
“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
Well… as much as I love my job, I think I’d retire!!
Director of Quality and Compliance
Lindsey Silva is the Director of Quality and Compliance for Washburn House. Her role is to ensure compliance with all regulatory standards as they apply to safe, equitable, person-centered care focused on clients in the early stages of recovery from substance use disorders. After spending significant time working as the Quality Improvement Nurse of a large Federally Qualified Health Center, Lindsey is well versed in process improvement and the delivery of evidence-based care.
Lindsey holds a BA in Psychology from Framingham State University. After a serious illness in her 20s, Lindsey went back to school and obtained her BS in Nursing at MCPHS University. Shortly thereafter, she obtained her Master’s degree in Nursing with a concentration in Public and Community Health from Worcester State University.
In addition to her full time work, Lindsey is an Associate Board Member on the City of Worcester’s Commission on Disability, where she advocates for equal and accessible options for transportation, health care, recreation, etc. to meet the needs of citizens with any form of disability.
Having been born and raised in Worcester, MA, Lindsey has seen the various challenges the city has faced throughout the years, including the public health crisis created by the increase in substance abuse. This trend and the lack of quality facilities in the area to adequately deal with the crisis were the impetus behind Lindsey seeking employment at Washburn House. As the third employee of the company, Lindsey has been involved in nearly every decision and is truly passionate about meeting the needs of the community. Lindsey’s greatest accomplishment at Washburn House was obtaining the company’s Joint Commission Accreditation, which is the international symbol of excellence in terms of safe and high-quality healthcare services. Today, less than 20% of treatment facilities in the United States hold this accreditation.
Worcester State University, Master of Science, Nursing – Advanced Practice in Public/Community Health
MCPHS University – Bachelor of Science, Nursing
Framingham State College – Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
What is your biggest achievement to date — personal or professional?
Telling my personal story to a crowd of 70,000+ people at Boston’s March for Science to advocate for NIH (National Institute of Health) funding
Director of Quality and Compliance
Director of Outpatient Services
Melanie Amir is the Director of the Outpatient Department at Washburn House. She has been the director of several other programs before coming to Washburn House, including Marlborough Hospital Partial Hospital Program, Motivating Youth Recovery of Community Healthlink, and Highland Grace House of Community Healthlink, at which she was the founding Program Director in 2005 and spent 10 years dedicated to serving adolescent girls with co-occurring mental health and substance use issues. While at Highland Grace House, Melanie received a Special Recognition Award from Mental Health and Substance Abuse Corporations of Massachusetts for dedication and commitment to serving this population.
Melanie has given substance use lectures since 1995, centering around family education, helping people understand how to navigate conversations with their family members. She’s given numerous lectures regarding substance use and dual-diagnosis treatment.
During her many years serving adolescents and adults with co-occurring diagnoses, Melanie has mentored and guided many of her staff members to pursue degrees and become leaders in the field of substance use treatment. She’s also had the privilege of teaching and training Occupational Therapy students in the field of addiction and mental health treatment. Melanie has had special training in Solution Focused Brief Therapy and has taught classes and in-services utilizing this intervention.
Since 2011, Melanie has partnered with her Service Dog, JC, to serve and assist in treatment. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. She is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Washburn House is an exciting place to work, and Melanie is looking forward to continuing to serve this population in the Outpatient Department.