Bakersfield Chemical Dependency Staff

Meet the treatment team at Aspire Counseling Services® in Bakersfield, CA

Dr. Raul Y. Mendoza, M.D.

Medical Director, General Psychiatry

Since completing his four years of training at the renowned LAC-USC Medical Center, Dr. Raul Mendoza has been serving the local community for the past 25 years in private practice in general psychiatry with an emphasis in chemical dependency. He has served the community in numerous ways; most notably, Dr. Mendoza has provided consultation and liaison services at various local general hospitals and served as the medical director for the Charter Hospital Chemical Dependency Program and the Memorial Center Behavioral Health Chemical Dependency Program. Most recently, he served as the medical director for the Crestwood Psychiatric Health Facility/Mental Health Rehabilitation Center/Bridge Program from 2008-2013. Additionally, he continues to maintain active medical staff membership at Good Samaritan Hospital, a local psychiatric hospital.

JESSICA PATTERSON-BYRD, Partial Hospitalization Program Director/Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II), ICADC

Jessica Patterson-Byrd

Program Director/Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II), ICADC

Jessica Patterson-Byrd is a Taft native who has been in the alcohol and drug counseling field since 2011. Due to struggling with alcoholism herself, Jessica has always had a passion for helping others in recovery, especially the young adult population. To this end, she completed the Drug and Alcohol Studies program at Cal State University Bakersfield in 2013 and currently holds the title of Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II) and Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC). Jessica worked with diverse populations in both individual and group settings at a residential and intensive outpatient treatment center before joining the Aspire team. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, participating in community recovery programs and sleeping in.

EVAN CASON, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II), A.A. Social and Behavioral Sciences

Evan Cason

Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II, ICADC) A.A. Social & Behavioral Sciences

Evan Cason is a native of Los Angeles who moved to Bakersfield in 2013. He previously worked as a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service until an injury created an opportunity for a career change. Having struggled with addiction himself, Evan has always had a passion for helping others in recovery. To this end, he completed an associate’s degree in social and behavioral sciences at El Camino College before attending Cal State Bakersfield’s Drug and Alcohol Studies program. Evan worked with diverse populations in individual and group settings at both a residential and intensive outpatient treatment center before joining the Aspire team. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, which includes several pets, and watching sports.

Michelle Rich, CADC-II, ICADC - Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor - Aspire Counseling Services - Bakersfield California IOP - drug and alcohol treatment center

Michelle Rich

Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II, ICADC)

Michelle Rich is a native of Ridgecrest, CA who has lived in Bakersfield since 2011. She previously worked in retail for Albertson’s until a catastrophic event, created an opportunity for a career change. Having struggled with addiction herself, Michelle has always had a passion for helping others in recovery. Michelle completed Cal State Bakersfield’s Drug and Alcohol Studies program in 2014. Michelle has worked with diverse populations in individual and group settings at both a residential and intensive outpatient treatment center before joining the Aspire team. In her free time, she enjoys time with her family, which includes 2 beautiful pit bulls, fishing, concerts, being part of the recovery community and giving back what was so freely given to her.

BEN PAGE, Alcohol and Drug Counselor (RADT), A.A. Business Administration

Ben Page

Alcohol and Drug Counselor (RADT), A.A. Business Administration

Ben Page is Kern County native who was born and raised in Bakersfield. Ben is an Aspire Counseling Services® alumnus who decided he wanted to give back by becoming a counselor and helping those still battling the disease of addiction. Ben completed Cal State Bakersfield’s Drug and Alcohol Studies program in 2017 and immediately began working as a counselor for another organization before coming “home” to Aspire where he had found his recovery. Ben also holds an AA degree in Business Administration from Bakersfield College. In his free time, he enjoys paddle boarding, hiking, yoga, and working out in general.

Lauren Kirk-Murry

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Intern –( LPCC-I)

Lauren Kirk Murry moved to Bakersfield at age 10 and has enjoyed living in the Bakersfield community ever since.  Lauren graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Bakersfield and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling from California School of Professional Psychology.  She is a Register Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and utilizes this training, as well as meditation and essential oils, in her holistic work in substance abuse healing.  Lauren has worked with children and adolescents in traditional social skills groups and utilizes yoga for social and emotional skills groups. She currently holds a Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician (RADT) credential. Lauren enjoys reading a good book, practicing yoga in the sunshine, spending time with her family at the beach, and doing her part to make the community more connected.

Jennifer Giffin

Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II)

Jennifer Giffin is a California native who has been in the alcohol and drug counseling field for 12 years. Having struggled with several addictions herself, Jenny has always had a passion for helping others in recovery. To this end, she attended Centralia City College in Centralia, Wa followed by completing the Drug and Alcohol Studies program at Cal State University Bakersfield. She currently holds the title of Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II). Jenny has worked with diverse populations in individual and group settings at both a residential and intensive outpatient treatment center before joining the Aspire team. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and traveling.

Jerome Piper

Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician (RADT)

Jerome Piper is a Bakersfield native who has been in the alcohol and drug counseling field for 4 months. Having struggled with substance dependence himself, Jerome has always had a passion for helping others in recovery. To this end, he completed the Drug and Alcohol Studies program at Cal State University Bakersfield and currently holds the title of Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician (RADT I). Jerome did his internship at Clinica Sierra Vista Ebony counseling center, working with diverse populations in individual and group settings in an intensive outpatient treatment center before joining the Aspire team. In his free time, he enjoys Spending time with his two daughters and son.

Krysten Fielder

Administrative Assistance / Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician (RADT)

Krysten Fielder is a Pismo Beach native who moved to Bakersfield in 2017. Krysten is an Aspire Counseling Services® alumnus who decided she wanted to give back by becoming a counselor and helping those still battling the disease of addiction. Krysten attends Cal State Bakersfield’s Drug and Alcohol Studies program. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and hanging out by the pool with her children.

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