Available 24/7 (888) 585-7373




Scott Huhn

President/Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II), Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS)

Meet Scott Huhn, the founder and president of Aspire, a dedicated visionary committed to the transformation of lives affected by addiction and substance use. With a profound belief in providing compassionate, evidence-based treatment tailored to individual needs, Scott established Aspire to make a lasting impact in the field.

In addition to his role at Aspire, Scott is the owner of New Vision Recovery, Inc., a specialized program collaborating with school districts to develop and implement effective intervention, prevention, and treatment strategies. His mission is to instill hope in families facing challenges and to offer support through personalized care.

Drawing from more than three decades of personal sobriety, Scott intimately understands the struggles associated with substance abuse and the profound toll it takes on families. Having battled addiction firsthand as a teenager, he experienced the transformative power of genuine recovery and embraced a commitment to sobriety.

Scott’s journey as an addiction specialist began in 1987, encompassing diverse roles in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He holds esteemed credentials as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor-Certified Addiction Specialist (CADC-II-CAS) and a Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Addictions Specialist (CAS) through the California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources.

In his leisure time, Scott finds joy in spending quality moments with his wife, daughter, and son. He appreciates the serenity of the beach and the invigorating challenges of the mountains, finding balance and inspiration in nature’s beauty. Scott’s holistic approach to life reflects his dedication to personal well-being and exemplifies his commitment to guiding others on their journey to recovery.


Ganesh Acharya


Mr. Acharya has been in the healthcare industry for over fifteen years. He started his career as a healthcare analyst for Arizona’s Medicaid Program. Mr. Acharya worked as a consultant for a firm that specialized in executive-level strategy development for large public hospitals and health plans and operated as a senior-level executive for General Acute Care and Acute Psychiatric Hospitals. Today Mr. Acharya sits on the Board of Directors for three healthcare companies that are attacking the Opioid epidemic in different treatment avenues. In addition, he works with clients to help them achieve their mergers and acquisition strategies and improve their operational efficiencies. Mr. Acharya holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Supply Chain Management and a Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing, and a Master’s of Health Sector Management with an emphasis in Healthcare Finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.


Anand Manohara


Mr. Manohara has worked in a hospital setting for over six years. Initially, he started in the accounting department as an analyst. Deciding to pursue a more operational based role in the hospital, Mr. Manohara was promoted to Associate Administrator. He assisted clinical and non-clinical departments with day-to-day operations and project management. As well as, working closely with the Human Resource Department to emphasize on compliance and recruitment; especially, physician recruitment. Mr. Manohara became the Chief Operations Officer for a hospital overseeing the daily operations of the hospital and its associated outpatient clinics. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Management Information Systems from the University of Pacific.


Roger Monzon


Mr. Monzon is a seasoned financial professional. He has extensive experience in the banking sector from working for major national financial institutions. In addition, Mr. Monzon was a Chief Financial Officer for a small hospital network in Central California, responsible for the management duties of the accounting, financial and revenue cycle departments. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Political Science and a Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Evan Cason-Aspire

Evan Cason

Director of Patient Engagement (CADCII ICADC SUDCCII CAMPII)

Evan Cason, a Los Angeles native who relocated to Bakersfield in 2013, now serves as the Director of Patient Engagement at Aspire Counseling Services. In his pivotal role, Evan oversees the call center operations and admissions processes across all company locations.

Furthermore, he conducts monthly surveys with clients at each site to assess the quality of care, treatment outcomes, and opportunities for enhancement within Aspire’s services.

Evan draws upon his background as a former wildland firefighter and his personal journey of overcoming addiction to passionately support individuals on their recovery paths.

His academic achievements include an Associate’s Degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from El Camino College and completion of Cal State Bakersfield’s esteemed Drug and Alcohol Studies program.

Evan holds prestigious certifications such as Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Level II (CADC-II) and International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC) through the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP), as well as Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor Level II (SUDCC-II) from the California Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP) and Certified Anger Management Professional (CAMP) from Century Anger Management.

Prior to joining Aspire, Evan gained extensive experience working with diverse populations in various treatment settings. Outside of work, he treasures quality time spent with his family and enjoys following sports.

Yessica Avencena Aspire Leadership

Yessica Avancena

Division Chief Executive Officer, MBA, LMFT

Yessica Avancena, MBA, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in children, adults and blended family structures. She is also the current Division CEO of Aspire Behavioral. Her work experience includes both private clinical practice and County Mental Health/Hospital roles where she was in leadership and management. She is a psychotherapist that is UCLA-trained in Mindfulness Application Practices which have been shown to be effective to treat ADHD, Anxiety and Mood Disorders as well as overall stress reduction. She has received additional training in the areas of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which utilizes awareness and mindfulness concepts along with progressive relaxation and guided meditation techniques for symptom reduction. Trained in alternative healing methods such as guided meditation, essential oils, and Reiki healing energy, she uses an empathetic and client-centered approach to change which meets the individual where they are for a holistic approach to healing. She is bilingual in Spanish/English and bi-cultural with extensive knowledge of Hispanic culture.


Ashhar Bhurgri, M.D.

Medical Director

Dr. Bhurgri completed his psychiatry residency training at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA). He was awarded the best resident of the year for the PGY-4 training year. Dr. Bhurgri believes in an empathetic patient centered approach when working with patients. His strengths include working with patients for medication management for mental health conditions. He specializes in medication management of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, opioid use disorder and adolescent as well as adult ADHD. When not practicing, Dr. Bhurgri enjoys traveling and sight-seeing, as well as spending time with his family.


Gerard Iru Fernando, M.D.

Medical Director

Gerard Iru Fernando, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist and the Division Medical Director for Aspire Behavioral Health. After completing medical school, he finished his residency at Harvard South Shore and his addiction psychiatry fellowship at Boston University. He has experience in political advocacy regarding harm reduction practices and quality improvement projects involving substance use disorders, in particular opioid use disorder.


Alma Castro

Director of Quality

Alma Castro has thirty-five years of experience in healthcare ranging from Skilled Nursing, Acute Rehabilitation, and Acute Care to Mental Health. She received her nursing training at Mt Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles, California. Her passion has always been providing excellent patient care, this led her from bedside care to Case Management and now to working in the Quality Improvement Department. She strives to support the treatment team to ensure all staff have the assistance needed to provide excellent care. When not living in regulation books and websites her other passion is being of service, to her family, loved ones and the community.


Steven Everett

Director of Digital Marketing

Steven Everett has over ten years of experience working in the Digital Marketing industry. Introduced to the “digital” business in his final year of high school, Steven received a mentorship that would lead him into the world of web design, digital strategies, graphic design, SEO, and more. His first work venture began with building an online eCommerce business, which turned successful and is still blooming. Steven finds enjoyment within the digital space while discovering new services to grow the online footprint for Aspire Counseling Services. During his free time, Steven enjoys playing hockey and traveling with his family and friends.


Jackeline Cortes

Community Outreach Specialist

Jackeline graduated from California State University, Bakersfield, as a first-generation college student with a B.S. in Business Marketing. Jackeline has always thrived with community engagement and believes it is crucial for personal and communal flourishing.

Jackeline has prioritized her mental health in her early 20s, understanding its importance in overall well-being. She believes in a holistic approach to wellness and values openness and transparency when addressing mental health issues. She is committed to addressing and normalizing the importance of mental health, as she was raised in a Hispanic household where there were often no conversations or guidance surrounding the topic.

Jackeline aims to guide individuals and families navigating mental health and substance use challenges by connecting them with the right resources and support systems. She is dedicated to fostering a healthier and more informed community through open discussions and advocacy. Her passion for mental health stems from personal experiences and a strong belief that addressing these issues openly is essential for individuals to achieve their fullest potential. Jackeline strives to be a reliable support system for those who are struggling, helping them find the right direction toward well-being.

Planting Seeds, Saving Lives

Copyright © 2024 Aspire Counseling Services® | Privacy Practices | Powered & Designed by Citryn, LLC

Planting Seeds, Saving Lives

Available 24/7 (888) 585-7373




Privacy Practices
Copyright © 2023 Aspire Counseling Services®
Powered & Designed by Citryn, LLC

Skip to content