Celebrating our staff for National Addiction Professionals Day 2023

September 20, 2023

National Addiction Professionals Day 350x233

In honor of National Addiction Professionals Day on Wednesday, Sept. 20, Denver Health’s Center for Addiction Medicine reached out to program leaders and asked them to highlight one special addiction professional from their team.


Audrey Roberts

Audrey Roberts, LPC/LAC, CHS (previously OBHS)

“Audrey Roberts has been with Denver Health for over 4 years working across Hub and Spoke programs. Despite ongoing pressures and demand for services, she has continued to be present for her patients. Has continued to work alongside one of the busiest outpatient clinics and maintain ongoing rapport with not only providers but patients.” Referred by Matt Hoag and Daniella Rocha


Katie Hurlbut

Katie Hurlbut, MD, ED/OBHS

“Emergency physician Dr. Katie Hurlbut has long served patients in the Department of Emergency of Medicine at Denver Health. She worked clinically at Denver Health in the ED for over three decades bringing her expert knowledge of toxicology to the care for our diverse patient population. She led numerous initiatives to help ED patients and other patients suffering from addiction including a bridge program to initiate buprenorphine therapy in the ED before continuing their care at OBHS, where Dr. Hurlbut still works today.” Referred by Brad Shy and Stephen Wolf


Valencia Peterson

Valencia Peterson, PA, Corrections

“Valencia Peterson has been at DH for 5 years. Valencia is an exceptional addictions professional because of her willingness to educate everyone from patients to nurses to clerical staff. Valencia has a kind demeanor and non-judgmental, unbiased approach to treat everyone with respect and equality.” Referred by Holly Witt


Brian Milton

Brian Milton, LPC, CARES (previously OBHS STEP)

“Brian Milton has been at DH for 25 years. He helped start the STEP program and is now a lead counselor at CARES. During the workforce shortage, he and his team valiantly staffed Denver CARES 24/7/365 and endured many sleepless nights. He embodies the spirit of motivational interviewing well – compassionate, partners with clients, accepting and affirming.” Referred by Chris Thurstone


Daniel Severn

Daniel Severn, DO, PES/CARES

“Dr. Severn started at Denver Health in 2007. Since then, he has treated patients with substance use disorders in psychiatric emergency services, inpatient psychiatry and consults, and most recently at Denver CARES. Dr. Severn started a new clinic to support patients who are entering residential treatment at Denver CARES. Dr. Severn is a thoughtful, compassionate physician who is a passionate teacher and provider for some of our community’s most vulnerable patients.” Referred by Scott Simpson


Hayley Rotello

Hayley Rotello, MSW, Addiction Consult Liaison

Hayley Rotello has been at Denver Health a little over a year & in that time has dramatically improved the breadth of services our Inpatient Addiction Consult Service can offer. She is fabulous at identifying hidden community resources for patients, connecting patients with the appropriate level of addiction treatment, understanding the billing nuances of mental health, & on top of that, she’s a wiz with computers and EPIC. Referred by Julie Taub


Lacey Gregory

Lacey Gregory, Coordinator of Involuntary Commitment, CARES

“Lacey started working at Denver CARES as our Involuntary Commitment (IC) Coordinator in June of 2019 just before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Lacey leads her area with compassion and poise, and was a steadfast provider throughout the pandemic when the IC population census increased significantly.  Lacey is the epitome of always doing the right thing even when no one is looking, and I’m grateful for her support of Denver CARES and our vulnerable population!“ Referred by Allison Pohlmann and Bonnie Taggart


Shannon Unger

Shannon Unger, LPC, OBHS

“Shannon is a Licensed Professional Counselor who came to OBHS 5 years ago from the National Institute for Change. Shannon first joined the brand-new Treatment on Demand team, linking individuals with use disorders from emergency services to OBHS.  Since transferring to our Opioid Treatment Program, Shannon has risen to the role of program supervisor, where she supports her colleagues and patients with skill, genuine empathy and humor.  She can sometimes be seen with her equally caring Golden Retriever, Arya. Shannon loves reading, running, gathering with friends, and spending time “at the lake” with her family.” Referred by Josh Blum


Tyrone Braxton, LCSW/LAC, SBHC STEP

“Tyrone Braxton is an LCSW, LAC and Supervisor for the STEP SBHC team. Tyrone is currently pursuing his PhD in social work and is a strong advocate for his patients and supervisees. Tyrone always puts patient care first and is dedicated to making a difference in this world.” Referred by Danielle Vice