ASPIRE LEADERSHIP

Scott Huhn

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

Meet the founder and president of Aspire, Scott Huhn! Scott started Aspire with the vision of transforming lives impacted by addiction and substance use through compassionate, evidence-based treatment that is personalized to fit each individual’s needs. He is also the owner of New Vision Recovery Inc. a program that specializes in working with the school districts to design and implement intervention, prevention, and treatment modalities. He wants families who are struggling to know that there is always hope. While he can relate to all individuals struggling with addiction, he especially enjoys working with teenagers and their families.

Though he has been sober for more than thirty years, Scott has firsthand experience with substance abuse and knows the havoc it wreaks on families. As a sixteen year old addicted to drugs and alcohol, he was bounced from various treatment facilities until the promise of real recovery finally sank in and he made a commitment to sobriety. His experience gave him the deeply rooted desire to help others to overcome the disease of addiction and to help families heal broken bonds.

Scott began his career as an addiction specialist in 1987 and has extensive experience in both inpatient and outpatient programs. He received his credentials as a certified alcohol and drug counselor-certified addiction specialist (CADC-II-CAS) from the prestigious California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals. Additionally, he is a certified alcohol and other drug addictions specialist (CAS) through California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and son and going to the beach and mountains.

Evan Cason

Director of Patient Engagement (CADCII ICADC SUDCCII CAMP)

Evan Cason is a native of Los Angeles who moved to Bakersfield in 2013. He previously worked as a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service until an injury created an opportunity for a career change. Having struggled with addiction himself, Evan has always had a passion for helping others in recovery. To this end, he completed an associate’s degree in social and behavioral sciences at El Camino College before attending Cal State Bakersfield’s Drug and Alcohol Studies program and currently is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Level II (CADC-II) and International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC) under California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) Evan also holds the Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor Level II credential (SUDCC-II) with the California Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP) in addition to a specialty credential of Certified Anger Management Professional (CAMP) with Century Anger Management. Evan has worked with diverse populations in individual and group settings at both a residential and intensive outpatient treatment center before joining the Aspire team. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, which includes several pets, and watching sports.

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, sight seeing as well 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. In addition to his work with Aspire Behavioral Health.

Alma Castro

Director of Quality

Alma Castro has thirty five years of experience in healthcare ranging from Skilled Nursing, Acute Rehabilitation, Acute Care and 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 be a support to the treatment team to ensure all staff have the support 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 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 started into 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. On his free time, Steven enjoys playing hockey and traveling with his family and friends.

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