Meet Team PDA: A small band of disruptive innovators.

We strive to make a difference in the lives of people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and those who support their recovery. We have fun. We love what we do. We give it our all, every day.

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Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D.

Founder

In addition to my work, my Personal Medicine includes being a good mom to my daughter, being with my partner of 30 years and being in nature. These things fill me with joy and peace. I am very grateful.

Read more about Pat
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Deborah Anderson, MSW

Co-Founder

As PDA’s Co-Founder, I provide a bridge between the company’s business operations and our development team’s work. Before Pat and I founded PDA, I’d worked for years as a community organizer with people receiving services in the public mental health system. I loved helping folks use their voices, individually and collectively, to work towards a mental health system where the reality of recovery is a possibility for everyone. These days, I feel a similar passion for our work using Pat Deegan's Recovery Approach to offer people with lived experience a variety of tools to amplify their voices as they move into the driver’s seat of their recovery journeys.

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Allison Stiles, MA, LPC, CPMC-T

Managing Partner

I've been working in the mental health field since 2002 and have been with Pat Deegan & Associates since 2011. As the Managing Partner at PDA, I do a little bit of everything - training, development, security... but my passion for the work we do at PDA is what drives me. I have experienced challenges in my own life related to anxiety, grief and trauma and I'm a family member of a person working on their recovery. Pat Deegan's Recovery Approach has truly been a transformative element in my life - personally and professionally. Helping staff learn about the power of recovery-oriented work and seeing them connect with their own passion is the best part of my job. 

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Missy Rufo, MS, CPRP, CPMC-T

Director of Content and Program Development

Back in 2007, I learned about the power of Personal Medicine at a conference and I was hooked. I felt the need to instantly incorporate it into my work at a psych rehab program. Once I did, I learned so much about the people I was serving and began to see them grow in their confidence and start taking more steps forward. Having struggled with anxiety my entire life, I knew there were things that I did to help me get through hard times. When I learned that those things were Personal Medicine, it drove me to work even harder to help others find their healer within. I love the work we do here at PDA. There is a better way to provide mental health services and it begins with the person we serve and meeting them where they are at. That is my passion and what drives me to do the work I do here. 

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John Caldwell, PSS, CPMC-T

Director of Marketing and Engagement

My first encounter with Pat Deegan's powerful message of hope for mental health recovery occurred in 1995. After my second experience of psychosis and the hospitalization that followed, I attended a community mental health support group where I received a printout of Pat's talk titled Recovery as a Journey of the Heart. Reading Pat's words, sometimes multiple times a day, filled my heart and mind with the hope that I would move beyond the belief that my diagnosis would define my life. As I read her speech with my hands shaking from the powerful psychiatric medications I had been prescribed, I remember telling myself, "Someday, I am going to work with Pat Deegan!" I never lost sight of that wishful dream, and 28 years later, it came true.

Drawing upon a lifetime of my own mental health recovery, and informed by an extensive career in technology, customer support, communications, and peer support services, I am excited to do my part on the PDA team to help spread the hopeful message of recovery that is foundational to the Pat Deegan Recovery Approach. It is a distinct honor and privilege to connect with our partners around the world and support them as they support others.

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Jessica Dion, CPMC

Operations Manager

As the Operations Manager at PDA, I'm responsible for bookkeeping, accounting, managing the online store, customer service, HR processes and other things that may come up! I started working here in 2012. It's been an amazing experience and opportunity working with a small group of such passionate and driven people with incredible recovery-oriented goals for the mental health system. When I’m not working I’m spending time with my husband, stepson, three dogs and horse. I’m an avid animal lover and they play a big role in my Personal Medicine. 

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John O'Brien

Software Developer

I am John and have been a Software Developer here since May 2014. CommonGround caught my attention because I can use my experience to work on something that helps people. I started coding as a teenager and have been doing it professionally for over 28 years. Designing and developing software is an obsession which provides a constant stream of things to learn and new challenges. I live in Merritt Island Florida and I enjoy all the fun things we can do near the coast and surrounded by rivers. However, my favorite sport is snow skiing.