William Oswald, Executive Director and Founder

Over the past 30 years William Oswald has established himself as a pioneer in the alcohol and addiction recovery field. At the Adult Substance Abuse Program of Southern California (ASAP) he was one of the first to expand the scope of addiction treatment into mainstream medical facilities. In 1988 he founded Avalon Treatment Centers at Van Nuys Hospital, the first center to provide a broad range of social and therapeutic treatments that significantly reduced relapse rates. In the 1990s he established Lumax Mental Health, a company specializing in day treatment programs for dual diagnosis patients at area hospitals, and went on to direct business development for New Seasons Behavior Health Center, one of the first centers to utilize neurocognitive treatment for addiction. Mr. Oswald was also instrumental in creating Cocaine Anonymous, a 12-Step fellowship that has helped thousands.

Steven Booth, Finance Director and Founder

Steven earned his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Economics. Before helping to co-found Summit Malibu Steven worked in both private and public accounting. Like many others, Steven has seen first hand the destruction that addiction can inflict on family and friends. He has also witnessed the extraordinary changes that can be made when addicts receive the necessary treatment.

Shahla Modir, M.D., Independently Affiliated Physician

Dr Modir is one of the most recognized and respected physicians in the addiction recovery field, and is known for the effectiveness of her holistic approach to treatment. She completed residency training in Psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and sub-specialty training in Addiction Psychiatry at the UCLA Medical Center. Dr Modir is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology for Addiction Psychiatry, and has extensive training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Dr Modir is also a licensed buprenorphine provider.

Richard Sandor, M.D., Independently Affiliated Physician

Richard S. Sandor, M.D, received his undergraduate degree at Yale in 1968 and his medical degree at the University of Southern California in 1972. After working as an emergency room physician for several years, he completed post-graduate training in psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute in 1980. He was Board certified in psychiatry in 1985 and was certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine in 1986.
In 1982, Dr Sandor became the founding Medical Director of the Redgate Memorial Recovery Center. He went on to serve as the Chief of the Chemical Dependence Treatment Programs at the Sepulveda VA Medical Center, the Medical Director of the Betty Ford Center outpatient program in Los Angeles, and finally, as the Medical Director of Saint John’s Hospital Chemical Dependence Center in Santa Monica. He has lectured and written widely on the subject of addiction, has served as an expert witness before the California State Bar and Medical Board of California, and was President of the California Society of Addiction Medicine from 1993 to 1995. Dr Sandor is the author of Thinking Simply About Addiction, published in March, 2009, by Tarcher/Penguin.

Lisa Benya, D.O., Independently Affiliated Physician

Dr Benya is a 1995 graduate of the Ohio University College Of Osteopathic Medicine. She is an nternal medicine doctor that has serviced the Malibu community for over 10 years. Her caring and compassionate approach combines both eastern and western medicine and has earned her a great reputation and a lot of respect in the community. In addition to her regular medical practice, she also offers top of the line spa treatments at her CURE Spas, located in Malibu, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. Also, she has recently began a Concierge based medicine practice, offering personalized medical care 24/7.

Becca Zimble, Director of Marketing/Admissions/Utilization Review/Aftercare Planning

Becca is an LA native.  She is passionate about helping people see a new way of life.  She studied Psychology, Communication and Biological Sciences in college and takes her own experience in recovery into the field when communicating the benefits of treatment for long term success with families and clients. She works in congruence with the Clinical and Medical departments to ensure stellar client care and aftercare. She knows that each individual’s recovery looks different and the road to self-discovery is inevitably the most powerful one of all. Her experience in the marketing field coupled with her ability to relate to each step of the treatment process gives her a unique perspective on the ever changing recovery world, the difficult stigma’s surrounding medication and dual diagnosis, and the evolving therapeutic and holistic techniques associated with addiction. She is the direct liaison between clients and the insurance, which gives her a direct connection to their length of time at Summit. As the aftercare coordinator, Becca works closely with therapists to devise a strategic plan for next step in clients’ recovery and works with several outpatient programs to ensure a cohesive clinical and structural continuation of the foundation created at Summit. Becca also oversees the Yoga and Meditation program at Summit involving special events and weekly practices. Becca enjoys spending one on one time with clients and believes in the power of community to heal our past and move confidently into the future. Becca is also a Yoga and Meditation instructor outside of Summit and loves all ocean activities.

Kristin Robert, Program Director

Kristin has been a part of Summit Malibu since January of 2014. In that little time Kristin has propelled herself into several leadership roles due in large part to her decisiveness and ability to understand and effectively communicate client needs to all staff and medical personnel. Kristin trained under Dr. Mohammad for 4 years through various facilities before coming to Summit. Her treatment experience combined with her desire to serve those in need have given her a perspective that is valued among the staff here at Summit. Kristin oversees several departments at Summit Malibu including but not limited to Medication Protocol, Staffing, Appointment Scheduling as well as being the primary liaison between Management, Physicians, Clinical Team and staff. Kristin leads a staff of over 25 individuals each day with honesty and integrity.

Christian Savala, Director of Operations

Christian is passionate about watching the light come on in individuals who reinvent their self worth by eliminating mind altering substances and coming clean about their struggles.  He knows that a strong community in many areas of life can be the turning point to reconnecting with self.  Christian is in the process of obtaining his CAADAC to further his knowledge of the psychology and science behind addiction and treatment.  He has been sober since 2013 and began his days at Summit doing overnights.  He transformed into a Lead Technician through hard work and dedication to client needs and attention to detail from medication to new admit pick-ups and communication with the clinical team.  He eventually found his niche in the operations department as he found that he was able to share time with the clients alongside making sure the facilities are up their world-class status and keeping clients and staff safe.


Rosalia Sandoval, Director of Residential Facilities

Rosalia has been a member of Summit’s all star team from day 1. She is committed to world class service on every level of the program.  From facility cleanliness to client care.  She enjoys interacting with clients and staff and is present every day to welcome clients with a fresh breakfast and warm smile.  Her immense gratitude for her own family and life shows through her energy and dedication to the Summit Team. She inspires the team to do their best work and has left an impression on every client that comes through Summit.

Jason Batanides, MFTI, Primary Therapist

Jason Batanides is a registered Marital and Family Therapist Intern. He received a BA from Pepperdine University and a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Phillips Graduate University. Jason has significant experience working in the field of addiction and recovery in residential treatment settings for the past four years. Jason provides therapeutic services for clients using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Schema Therapy, Relapse Prevention, and Mindfulness. Jason works with the client to create a treatment plan that will work best for them. Jason creates a therapeutic alliance with the client of warmth, empathy and genuine regard to better assist the client on their journey to recovery.