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Contact Foundations San Francisco Today!

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Annie Stafford

Executive Director

A transplant from Minnesota, Annie Stafford has worked in the mental health/substance use field since 2007. She earned her Bachelor of Arts with a Sociology Major and Spanish Minor from the University of Wisconsin Superior. She then earned her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University in Eagan, MN.

She has extensive experience in facilitating individual, family, and group sessions in IOP/OP settings with diverse populations and ages in nonprofit, corporate, and educational institutions. She has started and built 3 different IOP/OP Co-Occurring programs throughout her career as she worked as a LADC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor) and supervisor before she moved into a Program Manager role where she oversaw 8 clinics, 35 staff, and 5 supervisors.

She moved to San Francisco in June of 2022 with her son and 2 dogs; Polar and Panda. She thoroughly enjoys all that the Bay Area has to offer with the beautiful sights and weather! She started in the role of executive director at Foundations in December of 2022 and is excited to work with such an amazing team and population. She favors DBT (dialectal behavioral therapy), narrative, systemic, and motivational interviewing therapeutic models. She is working on her hours as an AMFT in addition to being in the director role.

In her time outside of work she enjoys diamond art, hiking/walking, exploring new places, and trying all the tasty foods.

Dr. Heather Kurera

Medical Director

Dr. Heather Kurera joined Foundations San Francisco in 2023 and is board certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. Dr. Kurera’s career has provided her the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including community mental health, private practice, residential dual-diagnosis rehabilitation centers and corrections programs.

She began her medical career as an active-duty officer and physician with the United States Navy in 2003. She then became a General Medical Officer at Camp Pendleton and deployed with her Marine Corps unit in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon returning from Iraq, Dr. Kurera completed her residency training in Psychiatry at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego in 2009. As a staff psychiatrist at Naval Medical Center San Diego was appointed assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry for the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and given the distinction of Master Clinician. After serving nine years of active-duty service, Dr. Kurera left the Navy at the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Dr. Kurera then went on to work in community psychiatry. She was the Medical Director for a non-profit agency in Los Angeles County that provided outpatient and residential dual-diagnosis services.
Dr. Kurera now works in private practice and continues to partner with non-profits and rehabilitation facilities to provide the best care to as many people as possible.

Dr. Kurera is excited about the breakthroughs on the horizon for Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, such as medically assisted treatment for addictions, transcranial magnetic stimulation and psychedelic assisted therapies that can bring hope and healing to many people. She enjoys partnering with clients to find what will work best for them in their journey to recovery. Dr. Kurera enjoys finding innovative solutions to complex problems.

Dr. Kurera holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry from Texas Woman’s University. She received her medical education from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

Education

2009 – Residency, Psychiatry, Naval Medical Center of San Diego

2003 – D.O., Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Thao Nguyen, PMHNP, Staff

Thao Nguyen

PMHNP

Thao is a Board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC) trained at University of Cincinnati, is passionate about helping others improve their quality of life. Thao possesses strong clinical skills enhanced by a natural ability to build rapport with patients and families. She follows evidence-based guidelines blended with clinical experience, personal observation, and intuition. She specialized in treating depression, anxiety, bipolar and substance use disorder utilizing therapy, coaching, and medication management. Thao’s approach is holistic and person-centered. 

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Adam Knepper

Director of Business Development

Originally from Ohio, Adam has been a Bay Area native for over 20 years. He graduated from Bluffton University with a BA in Business Administration and a degree in Peace & Conflict Studies. In 2002, he moved to Marin to attend San Francisco Theological Seminary and obtained a MA in Theological Studies. Along with doing business development at Foundations San Francisco, he leads the alumni program. Adam has a passion for helping people and seeing them succeed. When he is not working, he enjoys running the trails in Marin, traveling, and gardening.

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Dana Brawerman, RADT

Practice Manager

Dana Brawerman is the intake coordinator for Foundations San Francisco. In college, Dana became heavily involved with community outreach while working in the Student Life and Leadership office. There, she gained a lot of experience working with local organizations who provided support and resources for those suffering from a myriad of socioeconomic barriers including addiction, homelessness, abuse, and unemployment. 

A former paramedic, Dana realized behavioral health was her passion while working in the field. Dana’s first official role working in the behavioral field was with children and adolescents with developmental delays. She provided one-on-one behavioral analysis and intervention, facilitated peer socialization groups and outings, and trained/onboarded behavior interventionists. Dana then moved on to the role of resident advocate at a transitional housing facility that specialized in crisis intervention and advocacy for those experiencing acute and chronic homelessness. 

Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Dana thrives on connecting with others and creating a safe space for those around her. She is honored to be a part of the intake process and making sure incoming and prospective clients feel heard and cared for. In her free time, Dana enjoys taking advantage of the beautiful Bay Area weather, cooking, art and DIY, and cuddling with her giant black and white cat, Jake.

Sidney Apolonio

Business Office Manager

Sidney Apolonio is the office manager for Foundations San Francisco. Sidney graduated from San Francisco State University with degrees in Women’s and Gender Studies and Linguistics. From there, Sidney worked in various nonprofit organizations around the Bay Area as an educator, advocate, and coordinator.

Outside the office, Sidney, an avid reader, can be found on the way to the library, playing the bass, or binge watching the Real Housewives (just about any franchise will do).

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Kim Coshnear

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Kim Coshnear, LMFT, is a dedicated and highly experienced mental health professional with over a decade of experience in the field. She has been licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California since 2011, providing focused care and support to her clients. 

Kim earned her bachelor’s degree from St. John’s College, recognized for its strong liberal arts tradition. She continued her academic journey at the New College of California, where she received her Master of Arts degree in Social Clinical Psychology. This strong educational foundation underpins her multifaceted therapeutic approach. 

She’s a Scrabble enthusiast who enjoys friendly competition with her family, an amateur watercolor artist, and a nature-lover always ready for a picturesque walk. If there’s a wagging tail or a warm-hearted person nearby, you’ll find Kim basking in their company. In both her professional and personal life, Kim is all about embracing the journey, cherishing moments big and small.  

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Leah Ehinger

Associate Clinical Social Worker

Leah Ehinger is an Associate Clinical Social Worker with a background in somatic therapy and nervous system practices. She received a master’s in social work from Indiana University in Indianapolis. Leah has worked in various social work settings from individual therapy and case management to research and policy. She is passionate about personal transformation as a means to social justice. 

 Her clinical style is based in somatic therapy and the use of the body as part of healing. Leah’s early training was in movement science, fitness and kinesiology. She is also a yoga instructor and personal trainer. She helps clients connect with their bodies using somatic and polyvagal practices to soothe the nervous system and observe subtle body sensations. She uses mindfulness practices to help clients ground into the present moment. She also uses imagination and visualization practices to help her clients dream of a future without use.  

In her free time, you can find Leah at a Pilates or dance class, painting with watercolors, playing the drums, dreaming of travel, and reading novels/graphic novels.

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Leslie Leasure

Associate Clinical Social Worker

Leslie Leasure is an Associate Clinical Social Worker who has been working with people in recovery for more than 27 years in a range of roles. She has facilitated spirituality and grief and loss workshops at treatment centers across the Bay Area, and was the founding program director at the Ignite Institute – a center specializing in connecting spirituality, social justice work, and innovation.

She is a firm believer in the transformative power of connection, and her style of therapy is strengths-based, trauma-informed, and rooted in the concept of post-traumatic growth.
Leasure holds an MSW from Arizona State University, an MFA from Indiana University, and an MDiv from Pacific School of Religion. She is a guest faculty member at the Chaplaincy Institute’s Interfaith Studies program where she trains future clergy to support and advocate for those struggling with substance use disorders.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, yoga, and reading every cheesy sci-fi novel ever written. She is an avid gamer (hello Animal Crossing!) with a passion for open-world exploration.

Peter Curtin

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Peter has worked in substance use settings for over 20 years. Initially he began his career in Ireland, where he was born, working in residential treatment while working towards his degree BA in counselling and psychotherapy. Over the next ten years, he worked in a variety of treatment settings in Ireland before emigrating to the US and obtaining his master’s in social work. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2015 after graduating and has worked at Alta Mira, running the IOP there before starting his private practice in Oakland, where he now lives. Peter specializes in the intersections of substance use and trauma and practices a somatic approach in both his private practice and in his work with Foundations. He balances his time between his private practice, Foundations, and his family.

When he is not working, Peter is most likely either in the gym, in bed, or playing with his dog and his two daughters!

Beth Foley

Consultant

Beth has extensive training in the yoga and mindfulness space, specializing in the therapeutic application of somatic practices and principles to guide clients toward greater wellbeing. Her work focuses on the power of somatic awareness and nervous system regulation to transform unwanted patterns, an invaluable skill for navigating early recovery. Beth has been sharing this work for several years, supporting many clients in releasing held trauma from their bodies and living with more freedom, balance, and ease. If you’re interested in working with her, you can schedule a free consultation call here.

Briann McCoy

Briann Marie McCoy is a CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist and Licensed Esthetician. Briann began her career as an esthetician before becoming a massage therapist. She completed her training at the San Francisco School of Massage in 2014.

Briann has practiced massage in spas and wellness/rehabilitation centers throughout the Bay Area. She also served as a hearing officer for the CAMTC for five years. As a hearing officer, Briann worked to protect both massage therapists and clients from exploitation and abuse. The time spent at the CAMTC renewed her commitment to bodywork and raised her level of professionalism in her practice.

Briann uses a combination of Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point and Ortho-Bionomic therapies to alleviate pain, tension, mental fatigue and stress. Her goal is to provide a therapeutic environment where clients feel safe, respected, and cared for.

Briann believes bodywork should address each client’s physical health and emotional well-being. Through open communication and active listening, Briann engages in dialogue with her clients to meet them where they are in each session. This attention to detail helps to bring about a deeper sense of relief which is experienced well after a massage has ended.

Monique Fincannon

M.S.N. APRN PMHNP-BC

My name is Monique Fincannon, M.S.N. APRN PMHNP-BCI graduated from Saint Louis University – Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing as a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner  My passion is to help individuals with mood disorders and substance use disorders.  After graduating seven years ago I have worked in a multitude of settings – inpatient psychiatric hospital setting. residential treatment center setting, outpatient programs and clinical settings.  My passion is to help individuals through medication management and psychotherapy; I also enjoy spending time with my family and two dogs!  

Shawn Lynch

Office Manager

Shawn Lynch is the office manager for Foundations San Francisco supporting the team and our clients so that everyone can operate at their highest potential. Prior to joining the group here, Shawn worked in Consumer Affairs at Levi Strauss & Co., was an account executive at Ketchum Public Relations and then a marketing manager at Wells Fargo. Shawn is originally from a small town in Southern Indiana but spent his formative years growing up in San Bernardino, California (as an Air Force brat). He spent two years attending UC Berkeley and then returned to Indiana to finish his education at Purdue University, earning a BA in Communications. Shawn considers it a privilege to collaborate with his colleagues as well as watch clients put in the effort to become even better versions of themselves. Outside of work, Shawn enjoys nature hikes, urban hikes, cooking, reading, and dinners out with friends. 

Benjamin Brees

Benjamin Brees

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

Benjamin Brees, a registered Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, joined Foundations in May 2024 as a primary therapist, leveraging his expertise in blending biology, psychotherapy, and somatic techniques to foster healing in individuals grappling with trauma and addiction.

Benjamin holds a BA in Biology and a MA in Somatic Psychotherapy.  His journey into healthcare and addiction recovery was sparked by a profound desire to witness and support the transformation that can occur when individuals seek recovery.

Prior to joining Foundations SF, Benji worked at Bayside Marin as a primary therapist and at the Center for Somatic Psychotherapy.  He developed his approach to integrating biology and psychotherapy to address trauma and addiction through somatic interventions.  Somatic psychotherapy focuses on fostering the mind-body connection, viewing the body as a reservoir of deeper understanding of emotional and traumatic states, as well as a wellspring of resources for overcoming them.  This approach leads to profound healing and recovery from addiction by empowering individuals to access their innate capacity for resilience and self-regulation through somatic awareness.

Outside of his professional endeavors, Benjamin enjoys staying active outdoors.

Mert Civan

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

Mert joined the team in April 2024 as a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. Prior to his tenure at Foundations, Mert held roles as a Primary Counselor/Therapist at San Quentin State Prison, Serenity Knolls, and Bayside Marin. His professional journey in inpatient/outpatient treatment facilities for substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders dates back to 2018, supplemented by completing Drug and Alcohol Abuse Studies at UC Berkeley.

Mert’s passion lies in assisting individuals grappling with chemical dependency issues and supporting their families. He takes great pride in his work, eagerly anticipating the chance to empower individuals to transform their lives and navigate the challenges posed by substance use disorders. Mert delves into underlying issues and patterns contributing to persistent unhappiness, which often precipitates SUD. His authenticity and sincerity, traits frequently commended by his clients, enhance his effectiveness as a therapist.

With his own journey of recovery starting in 2007, Mert brings a wealth of personal and professional experience in dealing with SUD and co-occurring disorders. He endeavors to cultivate a safe, nonjudgmental, and collaborative environment conducive to self-expression, exploration, healing, and problem-solving. Employing a diverse toolkit encompassing psychodynamic therapy, Internal Family Systems (IFS), cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical-behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, motivational interviewing, and cognitive processing therapy, Mert tailors his approach to meet the unique needs of each individual.

Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Mert values diversity and effortlessly navigates interactions with various affinity groups. Outside of his professional pursuits, he enjoys cycling and embarking on adventures with his family.

David Field

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

David Field is an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist who has been working with people in the mental health and addiction fields for the past 12 years. He has worked at agency settings primarily in the Bay Area. Between 2015-2020 he founded a non-profit called the Austin Gay Domestic Violence Project which focused on helping same sex couples experiencing IPV (intimate partner violence) in Austin, TX. David tabled the non-profit across gay pride events, managed a 24-hour hotline, and appeared on the local news to increase awareness.

David works primarily from a CBT based approach believing that if one can restructure their thoughts and more importantly their belief about their thoughts and how they react to them, then one can transform their life to heal, connect, and change. David is a believer in the work of Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk and Gabor Mate. He is trained in EMDR and CPT approaches to help heal trauma and holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco. 

During his free time, he enjoys baking, gardening, hiking with his dogs and husband, and attending the opera, plays, and the movie theater. 

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Panda & Polar

Therapy Companions

Panda and Polar have been “employed” as therapy companions at Foundations since January of 2023They enjoy greeting everyone who comes in and in return they enjoy lots of pets, tummy rubs, and hugsThey especially love coming to work to gaze out the windows, zoom down the long hallway, and get treats from all the staffIn their free-time they enjoy long walks on the beach, bird watching/chasing, and snuggling.