Group Photo in Church

Why PNLH

Our Team

Our Board

Rick Hillbom

Rick Hillbom

Rick Hillbom is the COO of GIft of Life Michigan and previously worked for the Oakwood Healthcare System as a Clinical Administrator and the Interim Administrator for the Oakwood Canton Center.   

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Rick has a clinical background with an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy, a masters degree in Pharmaceutical Administration, and an MBA (all from Wayne State University) and is licensed as a Pharmacist in the State of Michigan. Of note is his time as the President of Oakwood Heritage Hospital, where there were a total of 70 inpatient psychiatric beds, in addition to their other Medical/Surgical services. During his tenure at Oakwood Heritage, Rick held a seat on the APEX Behavioral Health Board of Directors. In addition to working at Oakwood, Rick also serves on the: Michigan Gift of Life Advisory Board; MHEGA Board of Directors (local chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives); Board of Directors for the Detroit BEACON project; and the Board of Directors for the Greater Dearborn Chamber of Commerce.
Laura J. Eisele

Laura J. Eisele

Laura J. Eisele is a strategic, analytical, and results oriented attorney with over 27 years of bankruptcy, litigation and corporate law experience practicing as in-house counsel for an international consulting firm and as a partner for national law firms.
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In February 2014, Ms. Eisele opened her own firm, LJE Law Firm, handling a variety of litigation, bankruptcy and corporate matters.
Her litigation practice includes business, commercial and consumer litigation matters including bankruptcy, real estate, breach of contract, business torts, foreclosure and claim and delivery. In her bankruptcy and insolvency practice, Ms. Eisele represents businesses and individual debtors and creditors in out-of- court debt negotiations and restructurings, and in Chapter 7 and 11 bankruptcy cases.

Ms. Eisele has significant expertise helping professionals, including financial advisors and interim management, get retained and paid in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Her experience includes negotiating with the United States Trustees in Delaware and the Southern District of New York on a variety of retention and fee issues including compliance with the Jay Alix Protocol.

David Micoff, CPA

David Micoff, CPA

He is the owner of Digital Guidance.
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Since his 1986 “Cum Laude” graduation from the University of Michigan School of Business Administration, he has worked as an auditor for two “Big Six” accounting firms and served as controller and later as Chief Financial Officer for FAME Software Corporation, a subsidiary of Citibank.
Tim Michling

Tim Michling

Tim is the Research Associate for Health Policy at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.
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His public policy expertise is further informed by several years spent working as a legislative aide in the Michigan House of Representatives. Tim earned Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Health degrees from Wayne State University after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

Tim is also an accomplished musician, holding positions in the Ann Arbor and Flint Symphony Orchestras and performing professionally throughout the Great Lakes region. He is also a member of the music faculty at Oakland University. Tim earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Michigan, as well as an Artist Diploma from the Colburn Conservatory of Music.

Lisa Rutledge

Lisa Rutledge

Lisa Rutledge is a community health improvement activist who has been working in the field as both a professional and a volunteer for almost 40 years.

Leadership Team

PNLH is proud of the distinguished leadership team it has assembled to guide the organization in providing exceptional care. Presented below are some of the key leaders at PNLH:

Joseph Paliwoda, MBA

Joseph Paliwoda, MBA

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Joseph Paliwoda received his Master’s in Business Administration from The University of Michigan in 1993.

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Mr. Paliwoda has over 30 years of executive experience in behavioral health care field.  He became a behavioral health surveyor for CARF…The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission in 1995.  Mr. Paliwoda demonstrates a steadfast commitment of providing exceptional quality care in a compassionate and customer friendly manner.

Dr. Raymond Edison

Dr. Raymond Edison

Medical Director

A physician since 1976, Dr. Edison is/has been certified as a Medical Review Officer, American Board of Addiction Medicine, and currently serves as PNLH’s Medical Director and as Medical Director for another large SUD treatment provider.
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His calm compassionate approach to serving our clients is a great match for PNLH’s LIGHT Model of care. Dr. Edison is very
knowledgeable about addiction and how best to treat persons in withdrawal management and residential services.

Jackie Anderson

Jackie Anderson

Site Director

Jackie Anderson has served with PNLH for 18 years and is very knowledgeable about the expectations of clinical care for all of our levels of care.
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She serves as the Site Director at our Plymouth IOPD/OP/CM/Recovery Housing and Peer Coaching services and helps coordinate staffing needs for our female Withdrawal Management and Residential programs. She serves as PNLH’s credentialing expert for staff members and tracks expirations of certifications/licensure of PNLH clinical staff members. Jackie is a key person in the execution of daily operations at PNLH.
Pampa Banerjee

Pampa Banerjee

Accounts Analyst

She did her undergrad with a major in Chemistry and also has Law degree from a renowned university in India.

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Pampa Banerjee, B.S, LLB, is PNLH’s Accounting Analyst. She did her undergrad with a major in Chemistry and also has Law degree from a renowned university in India. She earned a Career Diploma in Bookkeeping from Penn Foster Career School. She joined our staff in 2006.

Nykia Daniels, BBA, CHRG

Nykia Daniels, BBA, CHRG

Human Resources Director

Nykia is a Human Resources Professional who holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Northwood University.
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She is also an License Lead Inspector and EBL Investigator. Currently two classes away from her Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management with Central Michigan University. With over 20 years of experience in Human Resources specializing in small and large-size organization working for profit and non-profit organizations within Human Services Organization and Healthcare Industries. Her board experience includes a variety of Human Resources functions to include management, employee relations, talent acquisition, performance management, compliance reporting, training and development and benefits. She enjoys problem solving and assisting employees and in her spare time she enjoys renovating properties. She looks forward to making a difference every day!
Amanda Gerwolds, LMSW, CAADC-DP

Amanda Gerwolds, LMSW, CAADC-DP

Special Project Manager

Amanda has been working in behavioral health since 2001 with extensive short-term residential experience ranging from domestic violence, homelessness, mental health crisis, mental health and developmental disability, substance abuse detox and substance abuse residential treatment.

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Amanda has been working in behavioral health since 2001 with extensive short-term residential experience ranging from domestic violence, homelessness, mental health crisis, mental health and developmental disability, substance abuse detox and substance abuse residential treatment. Amanda also has extensive knowledge of program evaluation and development as well as quality improvement.
Amanda has a master’s degree in Social Work from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Michigan. She currently holds a clinical LMSW.

Tonya Gray, LMSW, CAADC, CCS-DP

Tonya Gray, LMSW, CAADC, CCS-DP

Interim Clinical Director

Ms. Gray began her employment at Personalized Nursing LIGHT House, Inc. in 1994 and is currently the Interim Clinical Director for PNLH’s outpatient programs.

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Tonya Gray, LMSW, CAADC, CCS-DP has been working as an SUD treatment professional since 1989. She earned a BS from Michigan State University in 1989 and received her MSW in 1999 from the University of Michigan. Tonya has provided social work interventions in a variety of capacities including primary treatment, program management & development, Quality Improvement, Clinical Supervision, professional training for SUD treatment professionals, and field instruction for students enrolled in social work and counseling programs. Ms. Gray began her employment at Personalized Nursing LIGHT House, Inc. in 1994 and is currently the Interim Clinical Director for PNLH’s outpatient programs.
Dee Hicks

Dee Hicks

Intake Coordinator

Dee Hicks serves as PNLH’s Intake Supervisor and, for many years, PNLH’s Recipient Rights Advisor.  

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Dee Hicks serves as PNLH’s Intake Supervisor and, for many years, PNLH’s Recipient Rights Advisor.   Ms. Hicks has been with PNLH since 1990.  She is often the first person clients will meet as they enter treatment at our Plymouth location.  Her warm and  welcoming embrace of new clients is a hallmark of her service.

Andy Konwiak LMSW, CAADC, CCS

Andy Konwiak LMSW, CAADC, CCS

Clinical Director

Oversees clinical services at the Women’s STR, the Men’s STR, IOPD and Enhanced Outpatient Services.
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Mr. Konwiak has extensive experience (over 40 years) in the delivery of SUD services at all levels of care. His background includes various leadership roles at Project Headline, Eastwood Clinics, Ascension Behavioral Health and Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Services. In addition to his administrative and direct clinical duties, he has been an active fieldwork supervisor partnering with the Wayne State and MSU schools of social work and multiple other colleges and universities.
Geoff Smereck, JD

Geoff Smereck, JD

Co-founder and General Counsel & Compliance Officer

An active attorney at law in Michigan from 1978 to the present, GEOFF SMERECK graduated from Harvard University, and was a co-founder of PNLH. 

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Geoff was Chair, Needs Assessment Committee, Statewide HIV/AIDS Care Council, Michigan Dept of Community Health, Lansing MI, 1996-1999 [overseeing development of each of Michigan’s “Statewide Coordinated Statements of Need” which the State of Michigan submitted to the Federal Government under the Ryan White C.A.R.E. Act for Federal funding for all HIV/AIDS services in Michigan during the period].  Geoff served as a Member (voting), of the Federal Health Resources and Services Admin [HRSA], Wash DC, Advisory Committee on Innovative Programs for People with HIV and Substance Abuse, Boston University School of Public Health, Medicaid Health & Disability Working Group, Boston MA 1999-2003.  From 1994 – 2006, Geoff was Principal Investigator and President, of nonprofit Well-Being Institute, Inc. [federal NIDA, NIH and HRSA “Special Project of National Significance” grantee conducting street-outreach intervention research to HIV-infected homeless women suffering from concurrent DSM mental illness and substance use disorder, in Michigan, New York, and Maryland.  Geoff has served PNLH since its founding: as an intervention counselor to more than 15,000 enrolled PNLH clients, PNLH’s general counsel, and (since Nov. 2018) as its Vice President. Geoff has published 44 peer-reviewed scientific journal publications in the field of substance use disorder, homelessness, and HIV/AIDS.

Steven Meerschaert

Steven Meerschaert

Licensed Professional Counselor

Steven Meerschaert obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno.  

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Afterward he worked for several years in Residential Juvenile Facilities serving high-risk populations suffering from Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, as well as those diagnosed with intellectual impairments and sexually aggressive behaviors. Steven then enrolled in the Community Treatment track of Oakland University’s Masters of Counseling program, where he completed his degree coursework as well as completing a Postgraduate Specialization in Child and Adolescent Counseling.  Since completing his education, he has worked in Residential Juvenile Treatment and Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment where he facilitated Intensive Outpatient groups as well as an individual therapy client caseload.  Since 2013 he has worked in supervision and management of mental health services, most recently serving as Behavioral Health Manager over multiple departments at an Inpatient detox and substance abuse treatment facility, where he was also the facilitator of a community education series that educated and trained professionals and other community stakeholders in key elements of addiction treatment and recovery.  Steven has overseen outpatient departments, long term care services, admissions departments, case management teams, telehealth service providers, HPRP paneled providers, and addiction prevention programs in his various leadership roles.