About Us

As part of the American Addiction Centers (AAC) family of facilities throughout the United States, Laguna Treatment Hospital is located in beautiful Laguna, California. In a luxurious, relaxing treatment setting, Laguna Treatment Hospital provides research-based clinical and support services for adults struggling with drug addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Laguna Treatment Hospital’s location near San Diego and near Los Angeles makes it easy for native Californians and out-of-staters to access our treatment programs.

“Laguna saved my life! I cannot say enough wonderful things about this place. The staff is world class, totally up-to-date on [the] latest scientific findings on addiction, and they are kind, compassionate and understanding.” – Colleen, Laguna Treatment Hospital

Our Standard of Care

At Laguna Treatment Hospital, we take patient care extremely seriously. Our treatment team is made up of medical and clinical staff that continuously work to provide the highest quality of care in the industry. Part of the American Addiction Centers (AAC) network, we benefit from the collective intelligence of all of our experienced treatment professionals, many of whom meet multiple times per year in order to discuss best practices, new research, and how to best serve our patients.

AAC Leadership

The AAC leadership team brings to each treatment facility addiction industry expertise and research-based programs. Our Executive Management Team is based at AAC’s corporate office in Brentwood, Tennessee (outside of Nashville, Tennessee) and is represented by professionals with decades of experience in behavioral healthcare and healthcare operations. American Addiction Centers also offers our staff at Laguna Treatment Hospital various resources, allowing us to give our patients an individualized, evidence-based treatment program.

Laguna Treatment Hospital Clinical Team

Any client working on a plan for long-term recovery deserves a treatment team of caring, compassionate, and qualified clinicians, whether they are physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, therapists, or nurses. The disease of addiction comes with many unique challenges, so that simply knowing medicine or having a nursing degree may not be enough. Members of the clinical staff at Laguna Treatment Hospital have years of experience in the addiction and mental health industry. Their expertise, combined with the resources from American Addiction Centers, enables Laguna Treatment Hospital to be on of the premier rehabilitation facilities in California.

Reach out to a team member from Laguna Treatment Hospital at any time at hello@lagunatreatment.com.

Meet Our Leadership Team at Laguna

Barbara Kennedy, CEO

Barbara Kennedy, CEO

Barbara Kennedy, MHA, FACHE, LSSGB, has an unwavering and long-standing commitment to improving the health status of diverse communities and of those during some of the most vulnerable moments in their lives. Barbara has more than 25 years of successful senior healthcare leadership experience, which includes serving as President and CEO of Kennedy Health Strategies Group, providing consulting services to health care systems and as President and CEO of both North County Health Services in San Diego and Northern Arizona Healthcare. Barbara also serves as an Advisory Board Member of Virtual Me, a telehealth start-up company. Further, she has a long history of healthcare advocacy at the state and federal level, focusing on the mental healthcare, the underserved, and the medically vulnerable.

Barbara is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arizona in Accounting and Finance and her Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from California College of Health Sciences in San Diego. She also served as an adjunct professor of health sciences at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon and is the author of numerous healthcare articles and has engaged in speaking engagements across the country under her former name of Barbara Dember. Kennedy also holds a certification as a Lean Six-Sigma Green Belt.

Dr. Paul Little, Medical Director

“Addiction needs to be recognized as a brain disease and not a moral failing. We need to reduce the stigma of addiction and increase public awareness and, especially, family help.”

Paul Little, Medical Director

Dr. Little has spent more than half of his 20 years of experience in medicine focused on treating addiction. Dr. Little’s interest in addiction medicine began when he returned to West Virginia after serving as a physician in the U.S. Air Force. During this time, he began work for a consortium of rural health clinics in the hills of Appalachia where he saw a number of loggers and miners abusing opioids to cope with their recurring injuries and chronic pain.

Noticing a great need within the community, Dr. Little was among the first in the area to start a Suboxone clinic, a medication-assisted therapy (MAT) program, to help stem the tide of the epidemic. His groundbreaking work garnered him a community recognition award from the governor of West Virginia in 2009. Today, Dr. Little remains passionate about helping individuals overcome their drug and alcohol addictions. Dr. Little is a diplomate of the American Academy of Family Physicians, California Chapter of Family Medicine, as well as both the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the California Society of Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Little is also an advocate for family involvement in addiction treatment. Witnessing first-hand his own family’s struggles with addiction, he realized the importance of familial support in a person’s long-term recovery, and his treatment philosophy involves including family members in the process whenever possible.

In his spare time, Dr. Little enjoys reading novels, mountain biking, hiking and spending quality time with his family.

Stefanie Magalong, Clinical Director

Stefanie Magalong, LPCC, is the clinical director at Laguna Treatment Hospital in Aliso Viejo, CA, holds an M.S. in community counseling from University of Bridgeport.  For more than 10 years, Magalong has treated mental health conditions in various populations, and for nearly half that time, she has treated patients with substance use disorders.

Before joining Laguna Treatment Hospital as clinical director, Magalong worked with active duty military service members at a facility that addressed issues of substance use and combat trauma, among others. Treating the military population, who have a great need for mental health and addiction treatment, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her career. Magalong has also worked as a methadone counselor and an outpatient therapist, where she facilitated groups addressing relapse prevention, the development of coping skills, and living free of substances.

Magalong’s passion for treating the disease of addiction was born during her time treating active duty military members for their substance use/mental health conditions that often stemmed from PTSD and physical injuries. Her experience working with service members and police officers solidified her intentions to continue her work in addiction treatment.

When she is not treating patients, on her own time, Magalong enjoys exercising, hiking, yoga and traveling, as well as spending time with her young daughter.

Jan Bresson, Director of Nursing

Jan Bresson, RN, Director of Nursing at Laguna Treatment Hospital, has centered her career around helping those with substance use disorders. Her passion for this work is highly personal, having lost her own daughter to addiction in 2004. She has been a registered nurse for 25 years and holds a degree in Business Administration from Indiana University. Her experience includes directing a residential treatment program in Arizona for addiction, eating disorders, anxiety, and PTSD and co-founding a detox and addiction treatment program at the Acute Care Psychiatric Pavilion, Community Health Network, Indianapolis, IN. Jan also served on the Governor’s council for Addiction Treatment in Indiana. She has been active in the National Zero Suicide Initiative, has served on the board of directors for a domestic violence shelter, and has extensive training in evidence-based patient care, including dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).

Jan is instrumental in developing and training our healthcare professionals at Laguna Treatment Hospital in exceptional customer service and effective communication. She lives in Aliso Viejo with her son, who plays high school football, and her dog Dylan.

Laguna Treatment Hospital is an American Addiction Centers facility. We do not host any form of advertisement on this website, no funding is generated from any advertising or external sources, and there is no conflict of interest to disclose on this website or the content herein. Our funding is generated by substance abuse treatment services provided at our facilities.