Our Expert Staff
– Jeff Howard LPN, MAADC II, CEO
Jeff Howard LPN, MAADC II, CEO
Chief Executive Officer
Jeff Howard is a founding member and CEO of Midwest Recovery Centers. He has been involved in the recovery industry since the late 1990’s and has been instrumental in the development of multiple treatment programs as a founder, owner and Executive Director. He has been a Licensed Practical Nurse and State Certified AL Facility Manager for over 20 years. He is also an avid outdoors man and white water rafting is one of his passions. He has had multiple unguided trips down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and believes that everyone has a inherent right to a wonderful life. Through his own process of recovery and incorporation of a 12 step philosophy he has found that he can accomplish his dreams and help inspire others to do the same for themselves. His treatment philosophy has centered on the need for ethical, compassionate, treatment and education in regards to the progressive disease of addiction for the client he serves and their families.
Executive Director of Detox & Residential Services –
Coming soon in Kansas City, MO
Kevin O’Grady, M.S. CRADC
Director of Operations
Kevin has been involved in the field of drug and alcohol counseling for over 10 years. Growing up in Georgia, addiction was prevalent in his own household. After his own battle with drugs and alcohol as a young man, he found a natural passion to help others find a way to break away from the misery of drugs and alcohol dependence. This passion prompted Kevin to begin a career studying and understanding the various techniques in which to approach and treat patients with drug dependence. Through his many opportunities working in health care, Kevin has developed the understanding that addiction is a disease that needs to be treated with time, care, and understanding. As a member of long-term recovery himself, Kevin is able to promote the values of honesty and integrity in his daily practice.
In his free time, Kevin is an avid sports fan, and enjoys a number of recreational sports leagues. He and his wife Claire live here locally in Overland Park, and spend their days putting up with their 60 pound, lovable bulldog Brisket!
Suzanne Taylor LCSW
Suzanne Taylor has been working with individuals impacted by Substance Use Disorder since 2012. Prior to starting her work in this field, she completed her Bachelors degree in Social Welfare at the University of Kansas and her Masters degree in Social Work at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Suzanne is in long-term recovery and has personal experience battling this chronic disease. She has witnessed first-hand the devastation that this illness can cause for families. This experience continues to fuel her passion for this work.
Suzanne has extensive experience in treating both the individual with the addiction and their loved ones. Research shows that the best outcomes occur when all family members receive adequate support and education.
Suzanne is considered an expert in her field and is often called upon to give presentations and trainings in the Kansas City area. Some of her favorite presentation topics include, “Parental Substance Use and the Impact on Children”, “Working with Individuals Impacted by Substance Use Disorder”, “Recovery and Relationships” and “Addiction and the Family”.
Outside of her professional life, Suzanne spends most of her free time with her family and friends. Her hobbies include cooking, biking, board games (or, lets be honest, anything competitive) and any activities around water!
Dr. Colin MacKenzie
Dr. Colin MacKenzie specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of adults with both psychiatric and substance abuse problems. Hee is board certified in both Clinical and Forensic Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
A graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Dr. MacKenzie received additional training in Internal Medicine before completing his Psychiatric Residency at Washington University in St. Louis. He subsequently served as a Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Washington University and has been an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) Department of Psychiatry. At UMKC, he headed the Consultation Liaison Service and trained psychiatric residents. medical students, and social workers.
Dr. MacKenzie has extensive experience in psychopharmacology and psychotherapy, not only in the outpatient setting, but also in emergency care, inpatient medical services, and chemical dependency programs. In addition, he has been active in community outreach programs for under served rural areas.
Dr. MacKenzie has had a longstanding interest in the overlap of legal and mental health issues. He completed a fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry at the University of California-Davis. He has particular expertise in dealing with issues such as fitness for duty, dangerousness assessments, personal injury, and medical malpractice. Dr. MacKenzie has also participated in research trials related to the development and publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 5.
In his private practice, Dr. MacKenzie works with a broad range of patients with substance use disorders, balancing the use of medications and psychotherapy in ways tailored to individual needs. He has extensive experience working with individuals who struggle with opioid, alcohol, sedative-hypnotic, hallucinogen, stimulant, and cannabis/tobacco use disorders in both acute and long-term treatment settings. He also works closely with other physicians, psychologists, nurses, and social workers to provide comprehensive care for people dealing with these illnesses. Dr. MacKenzie is a member of the American Psychiatric Association. the Kansas Psychiatric Society where he serves as Secretary, the Kansas Medical Society, and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He is also the founder of Telepsychiatry Associates, LLC
Larry and Sheri Beaty
Monthly Family Workshops
Larry and Sheri Beaty have been married 32 years. Larry is a recovering alcoholic celebrating 36 years of sober living. He is a Certified Reciprocal Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor – CRAADC. Larry worked at several treatment facilities prior to starting his own business and while semi-retired continues to be very active in the recovery industry. Sheri has been able to offer hope to families for the past thirty plus years and is a Missouri Recovery Support Specialist (MRSS). Larry and Sheri recognized a missing piece of addiction recovery was to provide addiction education with a focus on the family. They focus on the FAMILY by offering Co-Addict Education and they know that Together We Get Better.
Danny Huffman CADC
Danny Huffman started his career in the recovery industry as a Peer Specialist, has since earned a CADC counseling credential. Growing up as a child of an alcoholic in the Kansas City Metro area. He would face his own battle with addiction. Soon after beginning his own personal recovery. He decided to leave the culinary field to pursue a passion of helping others that struggle with addiction. Using his own personal experience and evidence based practices. Danny strives to inspire the hope that recovery is possible.
David Drummond MAADC II
David has lived in the Johnson County, KS area his entire life. After years of battling alcohol and drug addiction, he was able to find long-term recovery. David has since decided to give back to individuals who struggling with the same disease. He began his career as a peer support specialist, then became the residential director at Midwest Recovery Centers. David showed a passion for wanting to work with others on a more personal and clinical level, and set out to get his credential to provide clinical services. He now is a primary therapist at our facility, striving to help others find a better way through his own experience, strength, and hope. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising up every time we fall.“.
Charity Lucero, LMSW
Charity has been working with patients with Substance Use Disorder since 2016. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Masters in Social Work. Opportunities in the field gave insight and experience of addiction, offering individualized care according to the needs of her patients. After battling years of active addiction, Charity’s road to recovery helped her renew past hobbies and interests including various art techniques. She found that her passion for creative expression was a tool for personal growth and inner healing. As a past volunteer for various organizations, she was given the opportunity to help empower individuals through creative expression. “ I saw myself trying to put back together a broken person. Once I realized I never knew that person sober, I used the pieces to sculpt a new me”.
Nick Bruzzese MAADC ll
Nick was born and raised in New York. Nick grew up playing multiple sports such as baseball basketball, football and track and field. Nick shined in track and field winning multiple medals and got the opportunity to run in a state qualifying race. Nick was offered a scholarship but turned it down due to the start of his addiction. After years of struggling with some medical issues, he found himself hooked on opiates. Nick began to fall into the common patterns of addiction: losing interest in friends and activities, and withdrawing from his family. After years of strugging, he made the decision to come to Kansas City to try and get clean. Nick had a tough time understanding the recovery process at first, but was able to stay involved long enough to recognize changes that needed to be made in his life. He began to commit himself toward 12-step recovery, found his own passion for helping others, and became and a peer support specialist at Midwest Recovery Centers. He has since grown into the role of Residential Director. “ At first I wasn’t sold on the 12 step process, I didn’t think I needed it. I quickly realized how much I needed the support and the people who have taught me so much when my life clean wasn’t going too well. The greatest thing I could have done was come out to Kansas City. It has changed my life”
Dan is originally from Patchogue, New York, just 45 minutes outside the city. After facing a long and arduous battle with drugs and alcohol, Dan made the choice to move to Kansas City for treatment at Midwest Recovery Centers. After successfully completing his stay in Phase 1 and 2, Dan was asked to work for Midwest as a Peer Support. Dan studied under the supervision of the Clinical Director and earned his certification as MAADC II, and began running groups for Midwest. After serving a couple years of managing the Phase 1 house, Dan was promoted into the role of Facility Manager. Dan grew up surfing and hunting in New York, and has carried hunting with him into his new home in Kansas City. Although he remains an avid New York Jets fan, Dan does watch in support of the Kansas City Chiefs. Dan hopes to remain a part of Midwest Recovery Centers long term, so he can continue to give back the support, compassion and accountability he was given when he entered treatment.
Taylor Brown MAADC ll
Taylor Brown graduated from UMKC with a degree in Interpersonal Communication. He has five years experience working in healthcare. He had nearly six years clean and sober and suffered a relapse into his addiction. Taylor came through Midwest Recovery Centers himself, and was asked to work at Midwest after completing his Phase 1 and 2 of treatment. Taylor brings experience with business to business sales and marketing, as well as organizing and arranging networking events. Taylor has about 8 years experience in sales and marketing. Taylor is one of five children, and is very family oriented. When he is not working, he cheers on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in football, as well as the Kansas City Chiefs, with his family. Taylor served as a Peer Support House mgr for Midwest, before being promoted to Marketing and Community Outreach Liaison. Taylor has also earned his MAADC II counseling certification and helps to run group therapy sessions for Midwest. Taylor is forever grateful to Midwest for helping him rediscover his sobriety, as well as his passion in life, helping others.
Rick Bell, LMSW
Rick Bell, MSW, LMSW has over 20 years of experience in the health and human services field. Mr. Bell comes to Midwest after completing specialized Child and Family training through the National Child Welfare Workforce Development initiative. Mr. Bell has worked with adults, families and communities through the Missouri Child Welfare Intensive In Home Therapies, Local Investment Commission, Human Relations Department of Kansas City, Missouri and Imani House Substance Center.
Abigail Gray, LPC
Abby is a licensed professional counselor and registered art therapist. She received her Masters Degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA and since then has gained experience in a broad range of settings including inpatient hospitals, a juvenile detention center, a homeless shelter, and as the therapist of an intensive outpatient program for adults with mental health and substance use disorders. Abby lives with her husband in Kansas City, MO. She loves spending time outdoors, meeting with friends at local dog-parks, and enjoying good coffee whenever she gets the chance.
Peer Support Specialists
Peer Support Specialist
Peer Support Specialist
Peer Support Specialist
Peer Support Specialist