Position: Executive Director - Deschutes
Position: Clinical Director, Young Adult Primary Therapist
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.
Position: Admissions Counselor
Morgan is the Admissions Counselor for Deschutes Wilderness Therapy. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Missouri State University and began her career in various residential treatment centers. After several years working as a direct care staff, Morgan transitioned to an admissions position in 2015, where she has since served in roles such as Coordinator, Associate Director, and Admissions Director. In early 2022 Morgan transitioned from residential admissions to a full-time focus on wilderness therapy admissions, joining the Deschutes team in early 2023.
Morgan enjoys reading and spending time with her husband and family outside of work. You can often find her outdoors with her two dogs, Dottie and Kit, in tow. Morgan is also passionate about coaching gymnastics, which she does part-time with a local competitive team. As a coach, mentor, and role model to young gymnasts, Morgan hopes to co-own a gymnastics studio where she can further develop young athletes’ character in addition to their athletic abilities.
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.
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.
Position: Director of Professional Relations, Admissions Counselor
Barbara comes to Deschutes Wilderness Therapy with a wealth of experience in the digital entertainment marketing space, where she worked for nationally recognized brands including SPIN, Billboard, and the Hollywood Reporter. It was in those roles that she developed a deep understanding of building trusting relationships and creative marketing strategies.
Barbara’s introduction to wilderness therapy was the result of a personal family journey and she brings with her a commitment to serve families who are struggling with a variety of challenges. Barbara committed to making an intentional career shift to a role that was service-oriented and mission-based. Her warm, compassionate, empathetic nature and dedication to building awareness and access to wilderness therapy as a treatment option have led her to this role.
Barbara is married with a young adult son and lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is passionate about exercise and is a member of a local boxing gym. Music is integral to her life and she enjoys listening to a wide range of genres and discovering new artists. Despite her urban setting she loves to spend time outdoors exploring the local parks and beaches as well as the cultural offerings of her native NYC.
Favorite quote: “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us”. Joseph Campbell
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.
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.
Position: Program Development
As the Associate Executive Director at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy, Dan directly oversees the young adult and family services programs in addition to overall risk management, medical, and quality control systems. He combines his experience in wilderness therapy with his knowledge in organizational psychology to help push DWT in its mission through quality systems, leadership development, and data-driven, human-centered decision-making.
Dan has been working in wilderness therapy since 2012 in a variety of field, programming, and operations roles. He received his BS in Physics with a Minor in Mathematics from Penn State University and his MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Sacred Heart University. Dan is a strong leader, dedicated to service in wilderness therapy for many years now. He volunteers as an AEE accreditation reviewer, traveling to programs around the country helping them to gain and maintain accreditation, serves as the chair of the OBH Best Practices Committee, and regularly presents at conferences to help push cutting-edge treatment throughout the industry. Dan has a passion for discovering the unknown and spends his free time cycling, skiing, rafting, and tinkering in his shop. Dan loves working on engines and has recently set up a home welding studio. Dan’s friends and family enjoy Dan’s passion for cooking beautiful, creative meals for them.
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.
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.