Deschutes Leadership

Andrew Scott MA Executive Director - Deschutes

Lori Vallelunga, PhD Clinical Director, Young Adult Primary Therapist

Rachel Grimm BS Program Director

Olivia Akana Administrative Director

Allison Hinkle Recruiter & HR Generalist

Matt Potako Operations Director

Dr. Ryan Patterson Medical Director

Steve Sawyer, LCSW CSAC Senior Clinical Consultant / Co-Founder

Andrew Scott MA

Position: Executive Director - Deschutes
Andrew stepped into the Executive Director role at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy in the Spring of 2015. He started working in the wilderness therapy field around 2012, taking on responsibilities such as leading an inner-city outdoor youth program, working with wilderness immersion students in the field, supporting the admissions process, and other administrative and organizational needs. He holds an MA in International Business which he earned while living abroad. He has gathered a range of experience, including with the US State Department, management roles for a large service company, and even as a Coast Guard licensed charter boat Captain. Andrew loves spending time with his wife, daughter, two dogs, and fishing, hunting, and foraging in the beautiful Oregon wilderness. He is grateful for the opportunity to bring healing to others by utilizing the great outdoors and putting his energy into supporting the great people that devote themselves to serving students and their families.

Lori Vallelunga, PhD

Position: Clinical Director, Young Adult Primary Therapist
Dr. Lori Vallelunga is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than a quarter-century of clinical and program administration experience. She comes to Deschutes Wilderness Therapy with an adventurous spirit and a passion to help others become their best selves. As Clinical Director of the Adolescent Program, Dr. Vallelunga’s skills in team building, staff communication, and support as well as program development and operations will be relied upon. She comes to her clinical approach from a positive psychology/resilience-based mindset with a strong grounding in family systems.
Dr. Vallelunga has held many leadership positions where she developed as an effective change agent. Those include Sr. Vice President, Strategic Development, The Hope Institute for Children and Families, Executive Director, PACE Center for Girls, Pinellas County, Clinical Director, The Psychological Wellness Center, Clinical Director, Central Illinois Center of The Autism Program of Illinois, among others.

Dr. Vallelunga is new to the Northwest and is excited about the adventures that await.  She recently relocated from Northeast Florida with her pack of three (well-loved) dogs. She is trying out tiny house living for the first time. Dr. Vallelunga enjoys the outdoors, exploring new places, hiking with her dogs, traveling in her camper van, and photography. She is “artsy” by nature, and her largest project to date is a river flow dining table. In the near future, she plans to own some property for her tiny house and build a large workshop for her hobbies and projects.

Rachel Grimm BS

Position: Program Director

Rachel graduated from UW Milwaukee with a degree in Community Education and a focus on therapeutic work. During college, she was also a full time athlete on the diving team. For the past five years, Rachel has worked with many children with disabilities as a line therapist for kids with autism and also as a volunteer for special education classrooms and horse therapy programs. Rachel took courses with her dog to achieve therapy dog certification. They visited nursing homes to help raise the spirits of those who need it most. Rachel is excited to be continuing her journey here at NVW; and in her free time, she enjoys fishing, horseback riding, skiing, hiking and going to the movies.

Olivia Akana

Position: Administrative Director

Olivia came to Deschutes Wilderness Therapy with experience in the facilities and real estate management space. She worked for large biotechnology companies in Boston, MA, and was responsible for new site acquisition, design, build, startup, and operation. In those roles, she developed a deep understanding of administrative and operational leadership to ensure growth and stability within an organization. Olivia believes strongly in working for a company with a meaningful purpose. Deschutes Wilderness Therapy’s mission of creating joy and healing generations and the close-knit and supportive community of coworkers has made Deschutes Wilderness Therapy a perfect fit for her.

Olivia was born and raised in the small town of Yreka, CA, in the mountains of far-Northern California & Southern Oregon. She grew up backpacking with her family, riding horses, white water rafting, playing volleyball, and performing in local musical theater. Olivia studied at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, and graduated with a BA in Music with an emphasis in Vocal Performance. Transferring her skills as a production manager/show director to the biotech industry after a move to Boston, she worked in the facilities and real estate industry for several years while also teaching private voice lessons and coaching High School volleyball.

Olivia decided to move back to Oregon in 2019 to be closer to the great outdoors and family again. Olivia strives to meld her Pacific Northwest roots with corporate organizational & project management skills she gained in the city to bring a balance of structure and creativity to the Deschutes Wilderness Therapy team. Olivia enjoys spending time raising chickens, hiking, swimming, playing volleyball, road biking, and singing.

Allison Hinkle

Position: Recruiter & HR Generalist

Allison (she/her) comes to Deschutes Wilderness Therapy with a wealth of experience in case management, program design, and recruitment. She has worked locally in the Central Oregon community for the past five years, supporting different non-profit organizations. During this time, Allison gained a strong understanding of community needs and built connections to create accessible resources for all.

Allison’s introduction to wilderness therapy started as a field guide in 2015 after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She worked in the field as a guide for just under two years. Allison is excited to return to wilderness in a new way by supporting staff and the hiring process!

Allison is married to her husband, Alex, and has a son, Mosley, and two cats, Dr. Bob and Barbara. She is passionate about baking, being outside, and spending time with her family.

Matt Potako

Position: Operations Director

Matt hails from the woody western suburbs of Philadelphia, PA where he always preferred to play outside.  He developed an early love for the ocean, growing up sailing, surfing and kiteboarding.  While studying Hydrogeology and Music Technology at Penn State, Matt fell in love with the mountains and land-based activities such as hiking, skiing and mountain biking.  Before joining New Vision in Bend, he lived in South Lake Tahoe, CA and St. George, UT, where he worked outside as a safety monitor, a wilderness field instructor, and a residential treatment staff.  Two fateful rafting trips led to him landing at New Vision, where he oversees logistical operations to “keep this well-oiled machine running smoothly.”  He loves hiking with his thrift store children’s guitar and jamming out in his free time, whether it’s on the slopes or in his garage.

Dr. Ryan Patterson

Position: Medical Director

Ryan Paterson attended the University of Vermont School of Medicine and completed his Emergency Medicine Residency and Fellowship in Wilderness/Altitude/Expedition Medicine at Denver Health Medical Center/the University of Colorado, USA. He also holds advanced certifications in Tropical Medicine from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H) and in Mountain Medicine (DiMM). He is a practicing, board-certified Emergency Physician for Kaiser Permanente at St Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado, USA, and associate professor at the University of Colorado in the Department of Emergency Medicine section of Wilderness, Environmental and Expedition Medicine.

In leisure, Ryan loves to spend time outdoors with his spouse and two children. He is an avid traveler, climber, and a former distance athlete.

Dr. Paterson is the founder and director of Emergency Medical Providers (EMP) a leader in the provision of remote medical support and expedition medical direction. Ryan is co-founder and former director for the Wilderness Medical Society Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM) course. Ryan also has significant experience in large-race/event medical management. He serves as medical director for GlobalLimits and has medically-directed multiple GlobalLimits events. He is the current United States delegate to the International Society of Mountain Medicine (ISMM). Ryan founded the FLuME foundation and serves as medical director for Kolkata City Mission (KCM) working through both organizations to establish sustainable development solutions in education, health, women’s empowerment, micro-enterprise, and public-health for informal communities in and around Kolkata, India. Combining all of his training and passion, Dr. Paterson has worked in Disaster Relief efforts in both post-earthquake Nepal and with the UN in Iraq. Additionally, Dr. Paterson is an altitude researcher, expedition physician, mountain emergency medicine educator, and guide.

Steve Sawyer, LCSW CSAC

Position: Senior Clinical Consultant / Co-Founder

New Vision Wilderness, Deschutes Wilderness Therapy, First Light Wilderness Chief Clinical Consultant/Co-Founder
Brainspotting International Senior Trainer
Heartmath Interventions & Resilient Heart Programs Co-Author
Wellbriety Mending Broken Hearts Trainer

Steve is a dual-licensed psychotherapist filled with passion and knowledge surrounding the intervention and change process. His experience comes from two decades of intervention with tough-to-reach client populations in therapy settings ranging from residential, community-based, outpatient, and wilderness therapy. He is a trainer of several unique therapeutic models, including Brainspotting and HeartMath. Steve co-founded New Vision Wilderness Therapy, Deschutes Wilderness Therapy, and First Light Wilderness programs with a trauma-informed and clinical focus. He continues to work as a core therapeutic training development staff with the Institute of HeartMath, receiving their Humanitarian Heart award in 2018. He is a leading active International Brainspotting trainer.

Along with his training in Phase 1 and 2, he created the Developmental Trauma-Focused Model of Brainspotting. Steve is also a Native-focused a Wellbriety Mending Broken Hearts trainer and Generation Red Road facilitator. Steve spends time amongst trauma-focused treatment masters like Gabor Mate and Bessel Van Der Kolk, and his training is recognized nationwide for cutting-edge therapeutic techniques, science, and inspiration.