UR Medicine Recovery Center of Excellence Team
Michele Lawrence, MBA, MPH, is Co-Principal Investigator for the University of Rochester’s Recovery Center of Excellence and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Community and Preventive Medicine. She has worked closely with rural Appalachian communities for over 18 years, creating financially viable hospitals, primary care, and behavioral health programs that partner with each other to improve the health of these communities and all of their residents.
Since 1986, Gloria Baciewicz has specialized in the treatment of addiction. In her current role as medical director of Strong Recovery in the University of Rochester’s Department of Psychiatry, she works in education, administration, and clinical care. She is certified in addiction medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and board certified in psychiatry, with added qualifications in addiction psychiatry. Dr. Baciewicz is a co-principal investigator for the University of Rochester’s Recovery Center of Excellence.
Patrick Seche is the Senior Director of Addiction Services and a Senior Associate faculty member in the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry, and currently oversees three clinics at Strong Recovery, which is a part of Strong Memorial Hospital. On the steering committee for the University of Rochester’s Recovery Center of Excellence, Patrick focuses on substance use disorder, methadone treatment, and community relations.
Itza Morales-Torres is the Director of the Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the Assistant Director of Strong Recovery. Itza has worked in addiction treatment since 2008, when she joined Strong Recovery as an addiction therapist. In 2017 Itza became the Program Manager of the OTP, and in 2019 she assumed her current role as the program’s Director.
Holly Russell, MD, MS, is Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Russell is board certified in Addiction Medicine and is the founder and director of the Addiction Medicine program at Highland Family Medicine. For the last three years she has been working on a project looking at how to expand access to treatment for opioid use disorder within primary care settings including the use of telemedicine technology.
Julie Achtyl is the Program Director of the Strong Recovery Outpatient Clinic and a Clinical Coordinator at the University of Rochester Department of Psychiatry. A certified trainer in Clinical Supervision Foundations II in New York State, Julie blends her passions of counseling, leadership and teaching through training professionals and teaching at CASAC programs. She has also taught courses in group counseling and individual treatment planning.
Dr. Ashrafioun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester and a Research Investigator at the VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention at the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System. His research interests and experiences have spanned across distinct and overlapping areas of chronic pain, suicide prevention, and substance use, particularly opioid misuse.
Upon graduation from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Canadian born performance artist Charmaine Wheatley has been primarily based in New York City since 1997. Her work is held in international museum and library collections; including New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She has received numerous awards and done many Artist In Residencies; most recently at the University of Rochester Medical Center and University of Buffalo both in New York as well, a lifetime AIR of The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA.