Meet the Staff of Ascension Treatment

J. David Likens, Esq.

Chief Executive Officer/Founder

J. David Likens has extensive leadership experience in both the non-profit and for-profit segments of the addiction treatment industry. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Ascension Treatment Centers and before that served as Chief Executive Officer of ABC Recovery Center, one of the oldest and largest addictions treatment organizations in Southern California. He has also served as Development Director, Program Director and Project Manager for Inland Valley Recovery Services and in various rolls at several facilities across Southern California.

In addition to his experience in addiction treatment David is a named partner in the law firm of Jeoung & Likens, LC.,one of the busiest plaintiff copyright firms in the country. His legal career has primarily been spent providing legal consultation in the areas of non-profit formation and governance and health care law with an emphasis on mental health and addiction treatment. He has served as counsel for numerous addiction treatment organizations, non-profit organizations, marketing firms and e-commerce businesses. He has also served as an expert witness in both civil and criminal cases involving addiction and healthcare administration.

David graduated from Southwestern School of Law with a Juris Doctorate degree from the prestigious SCALE program. He also received a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management from University of La Verne, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He additionally obtained Associate degrees in both Liberal Studies and Addiction Studies from Mt. San Antonio College, both with high honors.

David has also appeared on or given interviews for many major networks including A & E, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and Telemundo and has lectured or held adjunct faculty positions at many colleges and universities including Mt. San Antonio College where he is currently on the faculty.

Daniel O’Connell, MSW

Clinical Director

Daniel O'Connell is a transatlantically trained clinical social worker; he holds a MSW in social work from USC and a BA in social work from Greenwich University, in the U.K. He has been formally trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy by the Beck Institute, with additional training in Brief Crisis Intervention Therapy. Daniel additionally holds both a B.A. and associates degree in Fine Art.

Daniel has worked in the field of behavioral health since 2003, building his experience amongst a diverse spectrum of service users ranging from complex child protection cases, through learning difficulty and elderly clients, to mental health and substance abuse.

Daniel is skilled in working with a range of presenting issues, including: domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial and environmental issues, LGBTQ clients, physical and mental illness, addiction, dual diagnosis, and loss.

AJ Botwin, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Botwin brings to Ascension over thirty years’ experience in addiction treatment and is a revered expert in medication assisted therapies. Dr. Botwin graduated from Ross University School of Medicine in 1984 and has been in practice for 29 years. He completed a residency at Karl Menninger School Psychology.Dr. Botwin is successful in diagnosing and treating the underlying psychiatric conditions that often result in patient relapse if unattended.

Dr. Botwin has worked for numerious nationally recognized treatment organizations including both Sunspire Health and Foundations Recovery Network. Dr. Botwin works with each patient personally from the time they enter our facilities until their discharge, regardless of their duration in treatment. This approach ensures continuity of psychiatric care throughout the continuum.

Stacy Creacy

Admissions Director

Stacy Creacy brings fourteen years of experience in both admissions and utilization review to Ascension Treatment Centers. Stacy was instrumental in successfully propelling the Orange County based luxury rehab Balboa Horizonsfrom a small service provider to a large scale operation is a few short years.She was also instrumental in spearheading the growth at Oasis Treatment Center in Anaheim. Her vast experience has helped her to develop an impeccable reputation within the industry. Stacy’s compassionate dedication to patient success is unmatched.

Jeff Anderson, CADC-CS, ICCS, ICADC


Jeff Anderson has worked in numerous capacities during his over ten years in the addiction treatment field. His experience includes medium to large scale operations and clinical oversight in both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Jeff Started his career at ABC Recovery Center where he had his first position as Chief Operations Officer, which he parleyed into his progression to head of operations for the national addiction treatment organization Sunspire Health. In addition to working in local and national treatment organizations, Jeff worked as an international accreditation surveyor with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for several years. Jeff is active in all areas of the business including licensing, accreditation, operations, IT management and software development, and clinical product improvement.

Carrie Bates

Western Clinical Outreach Director

Carrie Bates started her first career as a teenager winning three Olympic gold medals and two National Championships in swimming. Carrie attended the University of Texas prior to her long career as an executive at Nike. Carrie began her work in the addiction treatment industry in 2013, after her own personal battle with addiction. Carrie is currently the Western Director of Clinical Outreach at Ascension Treatment Centers. After holding multiple positions within the treatment field Carrie has recently turned her attention to working directly with clients and their families by helping them find the services that best fit the needs of the individual.

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