Meet Our Orange County Mental Health Care Team



At its foundation, providing those who need mental health help comes down to the people who work together to achieve healing and happiness. We’ve always believed that, and that’s why the way that we provide Orange County mental healthcare starts with those who will be working with the people who come to stay with us. We pride ourselves in building and maintaining a team of the right people who fill and maximize the right roles for their unique talents. The bond that forms between our team members and those who stay with us is often one of the biggest factors in the success that those we help enjoy.

We want anyone who is thinking of coming to stay with us and their loved ones to get to know us better. That will help provide a boost to those who are ready to do what it takes to reclaim their mental health. Meet the professionals at SoCal Empowered™. These team members are here to care for you and help you on your path to recovery. Our experienced and knowledgeable Orange County mental healthcare team is here to support you.

Dr. Lawrence V. Tucker

Dr. Lawrence V. Tucker

Medical Director

SoCal Empowered is proud to introduce Lawrence V. Tucker, M.D. as our new Medical Director. 

Dr. Tucker is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He is a distinguished member of the International Society of Sports Psychiatry.

Dr. Tucker earned his B.S. and his Medical Degree from UCLA and remained there for  for his internship and residency in Psychiatry and

Neurology. In addition, he completed one year in child and adolescent psychiatry. Before Dr. Tucker attended UCLA, he served in the United States Marine Corps, Infantry. He has three combat

actions: Panama, and Desert Storm.

Dr. Tucker’s belief is that he “treats a person not a diagnosis!” He uses a holistic model and incorporates exercise, diet, therapy, supplements, as well as psychopharmacological therapies.

Lisa McCurry

Lisa McCurry

Clinical Director

Lisa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who completed her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Chapman University and her Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Concordia University. Lisa’s professional experience includes working in residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient settings with clients struggling with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, eating disorders, psychosis, and substance use disorders. She is committed to helping her clients understand their core emotional issues, identify their strengths, and move forward in their recovery through growth, insight, and self-compassion.

Adin Hatter Director of Operations at Socal Empowered

adin hatter

Director of Operations

Adin has been with SoCal Empowered™ since it was just a concept, after an unexpected loss through the Journey; Adin made it her personal goal to succeed at fulfilling his dreams at SoCal Empowered™. With 9 years of experience working in healthcare and Managing big Dual-diagnosis organizations; Adin holds a strong passion for what she does. As Director of Operations she helps potential clients and families to take the first steps in the process of recovery. Adin holds a degree in applied science with an administrative medical assisting specialty, Adin Hatter uses her experience and the personal approach in ensuring an exceptional client experience from day one through a successful discharge.

Arleen Jimenez

Arleen Jimenez

Operations Supervisor

After graduating Nursing School in 2014, Arleen knew her purpose in life was to help others. After working in geriatrics for 5 years, she decided to shift her focus into addiction/mental health and joined the Care Team in 2019. She has been in the healthcare field for over 10 years and works hard to assure everyone’s needs are met in our program. As an Operations Supervisor she truly works hard to complete our company’s mission which is to change the lives of others.

Sue Kue Charge Nurse at Socal Empowered

Sue Kue

Charge Nurse

Sue is a Licensed Vocational Nurse. She joined the Socal Empowered team in 2019. Her nursing experience has extensively focused on mental health and substance abuse, but she also has experience in skilled nursing, geriatrics, and home health, all of which can come in handy with her current duties.

Sue is passionate about delivering the best possible support and care to all her clients. Sue’s strong sense of duty and dedication to serve the community is what drives her toward medical excellence. Those who spend time at Socal Empowered will soon realize that they have a tireless support resource in Sue.

Kyle Swinderski

Kyle Swiderski

Operations Supervisor

After moving to Orange County in 2019, Kyle decided to focus on work that he was passionate about. He has been in involved in the mental health and dual diagnosis community for over three years. Kyle, who is nearly always accompanied by his goldendoodle named Brook, believes in helping other find their happiness.  Kyle holds a degree in Kinesiology and encourages people to get outside to enjoy nature. He enjoys taking clients on hikes, trips to the beach, and on outings. He strongly believes in encouraging clients to pursue their passions and to find a renewed source of happiness. As an Operations Supervisor for SoCal Empowered, Kyle and Brook are dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for clients as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

Matthew Cummins Lead NOC Behavioral Health Technician at Socal Empowered

Matthew Cummins

Lead NOC Behavioral Health Technician

Matthew has been with SoCal Empowered for almost 2 years now. He started off as an entry level NOC shift Behavioral Health Technician (BHT). Matthew has worked his way up and is now Lead NOC Behavioral Health Technician.

He is and passionate about helping others and is just an all-around nice guy! Matthew is currently working on getting his associate degree in healthcare administration, which he hopes to use to further his experience in the field. He is committed to providing the security and safety that clients need to rest easy at night and will always be there to lend an ear if they need someone to talk to in the middle of the night.

Sean Leonard

Sean Leonard

Nurse Practitioner

Sean Leonard received his MSN degree from Walden University. He is board certified in adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner and is completing his post master’s degree in psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at RMU. He is also working on his certification for addiction medicine nurse practitioner. His practice serves San Diego County.

He has experience with geriatric population and addiction medicine. He strives to understand psychiatry for his populations in order to serve those patients suffering from mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Sean Leonard traveled the world playing soccer. In his spare time, he enjoys mountain biking. He currently resides in Oceanside, CA with his wife and seven children.

Patrick Fernandez Hernaiz

Patrick Fernandez-Hernaiz


Patrick has over 5 years of complementary experience working in the criminal justice system, high acuity psychiatric units, applied behavioral analysis, geriatrics, and substance abuse. He is currently accruing hours towards licensing to continue his commitment to current and future clients by providing the highest level of service he can.

Carina Prado

Carina Prado

Director of Alumni Relations

Carina started at SoCal Empowered as an entry level Behavioral Health Technician (BHT). Prior to joining our team, Carina worked in the behavioral analysis field working with clients all over the spectrum. With a wealth of hands-on experience, Carina effortlessly took on the role of BHT and quickly became a key member of our team.

With her magnetic personality and love of helping others, it was clear that Carina was making an impact with the clients in our facilities. Now as the Director of Alumni Relations, Carina is dedicated to the continued success, nurturing,  and well-being of our clients in their integration back to society.

Kayla Smith Therapist at Socal Empowered

Kayla Smith


Kayla is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who completed her master’s degree in counseling psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, and her bachelor’s degree in psychology at San Francisco State University. Kayla’s experience includes working with marginalized individuals in the San Francisco community struggling with substance use disorder, anxiety, depression, psychosis, personality disorders, suicide ideation, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

As a therapist, Kayla is dedicated to helping people find their inner strength and self-compassion while learning coping skills to use in daily life through a holistic and trauma informed approach to healing and recovery. While Kayla supports clients, they have also inspired her through their stories, resiliency, and ability to move forward and grow in their recovery process. 

Melina Miranda Case Manager at Socal Empowered

Melina Miranda

Case Manager

After earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2018, Melina always knew her career would be one where she could help and provide guidance to others. Melina focuses on assisting those struggling with mental health illness through interpersonal awareness. She has experience working with both adults and children in inpatient psychiatric facilities.

As a Case Manager for SoCal Empowered, Melina is committed to assessing the needs, coordinating care, and gauging the progress of clients. 

Melanie Mitrovich Case-Manager at Socal Empowered

Melanie Mitrovich

Case Manager

Melanie has worked in the mental health field for two years in the roles of Substance Abuse Case Manager and Mental Health Case Manager in both inpatient and outpatient facilities. Melanie began her education studying both psychology and sociology. Prior to working in mental health treatment, Melanie worked as a Case Manager, Community Integration Specialist, and Assistant Residential Facility Administrator for adults with disabilities. Melanie began a master’s program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and took a hiatus to raise her son. She plans to return to complete this program.

Melanie believes all people deserve the opportunity to have a safe and supported environment while they work on their mental health. She is committed to working with clients to explore their true selves, practice self-advocacy skills, and develop life skills to help support their continued mental health journey.

JJ Chef at Socal Empowered



Hey hey, what’s up! I’m Chef JJ and I have been honing my love for cooking and serving for over 30 years across the country. I have been blessed to have had some AMAZING mentors and colleagues alike to help shape my culinary career. I have been a part of some amazing kitchens and have helped earn numerous prestigious awards. I now get to take all of that knowledge and focus it on SoCal Empowered Clients. Pair that with my “servant’s heart,” and it makes for my own special brand of “therapy,” which is good old fashioned comfort food made with love! And my kitchen is always open!

P.S. I also like puppy dog kisses and watching a beautiful sunset! Lol!

George Garland Spiritual Coach at Socal Empowered

George Garland

Spiritual Coach

George’s journey into spirituality began at a very young age, when he discovered the power of meditation. By the time George was 18, he was teaching yoga and offering spiritual guidance to those in need around the globe. George has spent his entire adult life dedicated to helping others, whether he is volunteering at his local animal shelter or traveling to Third World countries to work on service projects.

In 2020 George completed his 500 Hour Yoga, Meditation and Breath Work Certification while living in Bali, Indonesia. Since then George has devoted time and energy into cultivating healing practices for people struggling with a variety of mental health struggles. George has a BA in Cultural Anthropology from University of Colorado Boulder. For fun, George enjoys walks with his dog Koda, practicing yoga, forest bathing, cold immersion and discovering new recipes from around the world. As the Spiritual Coach at SoCal Empowered, George works with clients on ancient breathing and yogic techniques designed to regulate the nervous system, alleviate depression and anxiety and help victims of trauma to reconnect with their bodies.

Brook Therapy Dog at Socal Empowered


Therapy Dog

Hi, I am Brook, and my humans say I’m a goldendoodle with a heart of gold. I have grown up going to work with my Dad and have loved meeting and spending time with humans that have come through the doors of SoCal Empowered. I have gone through training to learn how to properly behave and support humans when they are experiencing difficult times. I specialize in making humans feel safe and loved.

I also love to spread pawsitivity, chase rocks, cuddle and give kisses. I enjoy accompanying my humans on outings from stores, beaches, bonfires, and hiking trails. If you play with me and show me love, I will make it my mission to leave paw prints on your heart and I will always remember you. I’m so excited to meet you!

We Are Committed to your Long Term Success

Wondering if in-patient mental health treatment is the right option for you? Give one of our caring professionals a call today to discuss your treatment options!

Our unique Orange County mental healthcare locations are personalized for each individual we have the honor of working with. Our goal is to equip you or your loved one with the best combination of medication and therapeutic intervention for your unique needs.

At SoCal Empowered™, we focus on meeting each individual where they are. We’re a family run facility comprised of industry-leading mental health and recovery professionals. We base our treatment approach on the most up-to-date research surrounding mental health and wellness.

We provide 24-hour, around the clock support to ensure you not only survive this difficult time but to thrive. Our licensed team of mental health and recovery experts are here for you as you begin on the journey toward personal growth and healing. We take insurance – often, your treatment costs will be 100% covered. Start On Your Path Toward Healing Now!