Our Team

Community Connections, LLC is committed to providing the best clinical care and Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment experience for those struggling with an eating disorder. We are therapists, dietitians, behavioral health technicians who are seeking to make a difference in the lives of those with eating disorders.

Elizabeth Rodgers

MSW
Co-Founder and Director of Operations of Community Connections.  She earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Kansas at Lawrence.  She went on to earn a Master's degree in Social Work from KU as well. Liz has 29 years of professional experience combining therapy, health administration and program development.  Liz's experience includes seven years therapy in correctional settings, Clinical Supervision, Clinical Director and Director of Operations working with Individuals with serious mental illness, developmental disabilities and eating disorders.  Early in her career, Liz provided the guidance and direction in the development of a local residential program serving individuals with serious mental illness, developmental disabilities and brain injuries, and now has more than 10 years of eating disorder treatment experience.  Additionally, Liz's therapeutic treatment experience includes closely working with children and adults in both residential and outpatient settings.   Liz was the driving force in the development and inception of Community Connections and currently serves as the Director of Operations, overseeing the day to day programming of both the Residential and Intensive Outpatient programs at Community Connections. "As a Social Worker, my passion has always been to serve the individual where they are, provide the needed programs for those that have less opportunities for treatment in the community and to maintain my focus on the individual".  I remain very passionate in my work and the treatment that Community Connections provides.  It is important to provide one service extremely well, rather than many services well". - Liz Rodgers, MSW

Christine Carrillo

LAC
Christine Carrillo is a licensed Clinical Therapist from Chicago, IL. She has been living in Phoenix Arizona for the past 5-years. She completed a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Practice, and a Doctoral program in Psychology - teaching track, her area of research is in patient motivation and success, Epigenetics and Traumatic Brain Injury. Christine is a registered yoga instructor and is schooled in yoga-trauma release poses. She is trained in Equine assisted therapy and utilizes meditation, mindfulness, DBT, CBT, and cognitive processing as therapeutic modalities in treatment. Christine has 6-years of behavioral health experiences. Her background includes a specialization in Eating Disorders, Women’s Health, Postpartum Depression, Trauma, Self-harm, and Substance Abuse. Christine began her career in outpatient treatment centers and has worked in multi-cultural communities, with clients of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and diagnoses. She was a clinical counselor and Equine specialist at Rosewood Ranch, Center for Eating Disorders and has been a therapist at Community Connections for over 2-years. In her free time, Christine loves riding horses, hiking, practicing yoga, reading, and traveling. She has a passion for helping people resolve issues, learn positive coping skills to grow, heal, and change. - Christine Carrillo, LAC, EMDR Therapist

Adlin Morales-Aguilú

LMSW
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Adlin Morales-Aguilú is a bilingual (Spanish and English) licensed therapist (LMSW) with master's degree in Social Work (MSW).   Adlin has over fourteen years of experience working with patients of all ages with mental health diagnosis, substance abuse, and trauma. Adlin works with a variety of Evidence Based Practices such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Adlin therapeutic style is strength- based and person-centered with an integrated approach to recovery and wellness. Using these modalities, Adlin helps her patients to overcome depression, anxiety, trauma, anger, abuse, relational problems, attachment issues, and addictions. Adlin helps patients to develop realistic goals to achieve and provides the support needed to reach them. Adlin is committed to patient care and service. - “Recovery is about progression, not perfection.” – Adlin Morales-Aguilú, LMSW, EMDR Therapist

Katina Jonovich

BSN, RN
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Katina attended Grand Canyon University to finish her nursing degree and graduated in December 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. In the years since, Katina has worked with a diverse patient population within the hospital setting. Upon graduation, Katina worked in various medical specialties that included neurosurgery and the orthopedic specialty floor for several years. Her most recent nursing assignment was working on a gastrointestinal, gynecology and palliative unit. Katina’s passion to give back wasn’t limited to the hospital, she also has nursing experience with private in-home elderly care and assistance. “The behavioral health side is new to me, but I am excited to provide a listening ear, education and to be an advocate to those in need.” An open communication style and empathy are at the forefront of Katina’s practice, and she is excited to become part of the Community Connections as the on-call Registered Nurse. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” - Leo Buscalgia – Katina Jonovich BSN, RN

Leslie Work

RN
Leslie is an RN having moved to the Phoenix valley from Pennsylvania last year. She was an LPN for seven years and then graduated from Gannon University / Villa Maria School of Nursing located in Erie Pa. with an Associate of Science Degree in Registered Nursing. Leslie has 43 years of nursing experience with a broad range of clinical practice. She has worked in many settings including Medical/Surgical, Intensive/ Cardiac Care, Post Anesthesia Care, Cardiac Cath Lab/ Interventional Radiology (Angiography). She also has nursing experience in Pain Management and GI/Endoscopy Lab. She previously was certified in critical care (CCRN) by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and is presently ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certified by the American Heart Association. " Although behavioral health is a new area of focus, I have always approached client care in an empathic and compassionate way. I am learning so much about behavioral health here at Community Connections. My time spent with the guests is so very meaningful". Favorite Quote: "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." Mahatma Gandhi - Leslie Work, RN

Heather Suggs

LPC
Heather has been a counselor since 1997 having graduated from Oakland University in Michigan. Heather received her Master’s Degree in Counseling 1996 and became certified in Child and Adolescent Counseling, Psychological Testing and Couples and Family Counseling.   In 1997, Heather earned her License in Professional Counseling. In the most recent years Heather held a private practice business in Michigan, Utah as well as Arizona.  In addition to being the Primary Therapist for Community Connections’ Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program, Heather works at the University of Phoenix teaching the Counseling Residency courses to the graduate program students. Heather has an array of counseling experience with both adolescent populations and adult populations.   She has a life long passion and a commitment to work with individuals struggling with various eating disorders and disordered eating.  Heather’s commitment to those she serves is to truly understand an individual’s key issues impacting their eating disorder, like self-esteem, depression and compulsion. ​ “I truly love people and enjoy seeing them thrive and work through difficult issues. My clients are real SuperHeroes!” - H.A. Suggs, M.A., LPC

Christine Lewallen

RD
Christine is a registered dietitian as well as a fitness instructor and a mother of two beautiful girls. She has been a dietitian for more than 20 years and is Community Connections Lead Dietitian.  Christine is a graduate of Chico State University at California where she earned her Bachelors in Dietetics & Food Administration and a certificate in Exercise Physiology. Christine’s scope of practice ranges from ten plus years in bariatrics and diabetes education along with nutrition education for all ages.  She has had a private practice in California for several years where she also worked with individuals who were treated for eating disorders but relocated to beautiful Arizona where for the last seven years she has worked at inpatient facilities, partial inpatient treatment programs, residential treatment programs, IOP counseling centers and out patient treatment programs.    Christine is married and enjoys many outdoor sports and activities.  She was an Elite Spartan obstacle racer for several years until a traffic accident ended her participation in running activities.  Although Christine can no longer participate in short and long distance races, she continues to motivate and inspire individuals by participating in group fitness through spinning, body combat training and body pump classes. Christine's expertise, enthusiasm and her passion to help individuals improve their lives & relationships with food are the right attributes to help motivate those struggling with ED. "I'm passionate about people and their lives and how they can be their best at whatever it is they do." - Christine Lewallen, R.D.

Jordanna Riccitelli

BS, Dietitian
Jordanna is an Arizona native, with a passion for all things food and nutrition. She earned her Bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics, graduating from Arizona State University with honors, and is currently working toward her Master’s Degree in the same studies from Central Michigan University. Now working as a dietitian in her local community, Jordanna’s professional experience includes holistic care, elderly care, as well as disordered eating. Jordanna strongly believes that nutrition education is the key to maintaining a balanced intake and best see lasting optimal nutrition outcomes. Jordanna works well with individuals who struggle with mental health. ​Her approach to nutrition therapy in all realms of specialty focuses on understanding and connecting with the client to grasp who they truly are, beyond their circumstance. With a genuine compassion for her clients and an infectious positive outlook, she hopes that the joy she finds in food can be shared. "Food is a connection point for people from all walks of life. Let's connect and let me help you become your best, most nourished self!" - Jordanna Riccitelli

Joanne Gerster

LCSW
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Joanne has been working as a helping professional since 1997 after graduating from College Misericordia in Pennsylvania. Joanne received her Master’s Degree in Social Work 2001 from Arizona State University. In 2003, Joanne became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Joanne has continued to work with vulnerable populations throughout her career, with a focus on trauma and crisis. She spent 12 years working as a crisis counselor in hospital ER’s throughout Maricopa County. She believes that crisis is a time of opportunity for change. Joanne draws upon an eclectic work experience and training with both adolescent populations and adult populations. She enjoys thinking outside the box when it comes to therapy and she is committed to helping others lead their best lives. Joanne is a Certified Health Coach, the only LCSW in the state of AZ listed on the American Diabetes Association Mental Health Provider site. She is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist in Sex Trafficking and Exploitation. She is also an EMDR therapist. “It’s not my job to fix things. It’s my job to show you the tools and skills to help you do it yourself. It’s not easy but nothing easy is worth it!” - Joanne Gerster, LCSW

Vanessa Derozan-Simpson

Vanessa is the Office Coordinator for Community Connections, LLC. She is a seasoned Administrator with more than 25 years in the field of Behavioral Health with extensive experience in all Administration tasks. Before moving to Arizona, Vanessa was a California native and worked for NCADD/BHS for 15 years serving clients in the fields of Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation, Domestic Violence, Family Preservation and DUI.  Vanessa has more than five years of experience working with individuals that struggle with Eating Disorders, both adults and adolescents. When it comes to servicing potential clients as well current and past clients, Vanessa takes personal pride in making everyone feel welcomed and heard. Vanessa understands each person's path to treatment is unique and each person should be valued once walking through the doors of Community Connections.   Vanessa makes the beginning of the treatment experience comfortable and successful for All. In addition to her duties as a Wife and Mother, Vanessa continues to provide the same dedication and commitment in working for a prominent company servicing individuals with eating disorders. “Be thankful for the things you have and the things you don’t”. - Vanessa DeRozan-Simpson

You can help someone turn their life around today.

We recognize that each individual has a unique story, and his or her own distinctive strengths and challenges.  With input from the individual, his or her loved ones, and our experts, we develop an individualized eating disorder treatment plan for each individual.