Alexis Horan, Neil Kunkel, Ned Pucek and Maria Russo-Appel bring experience and records of success to new roles with addiction treatment leader

Northampton, Mass. – March 22, 2017– Officials with CleanSlate Centers, a leading multi-state provider of physician-led outpatient addiction treatment, announced four new hires to the team’s senior level staff today. These include:

  • Alexis Horan, Vice President of Government Relations
  • Neil Kunkel, Chief Legal Counsel
  • Edward “Ned” Pucek, President of West Division Operations
  • Maria Russo-Appel, M.D., Eastern Division Medical Director

As VP of Government Relations, Alexis Horan will oversee CleanSlate’s Government Relations efforts on both the local and national level. Her substantial background in addiction and mental health policy analysis and implementation will help her shape the firm’s policy platform and mobilize local CleanSlate leaders in grassroots and campaign efforts.

Before joining CleanSlate, Horan served as an Expert Consultant with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There, she helped develop regulations that increased the per-patient prescribing limit applied to buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction. In addition, she supported the implementation of the HHS Secretary’s Opioid Initiative and developed budget proposals to address opioid use disorder treatment gaps for the President’s FY 2017 Budget, among other significant research projects. Horan also spent over a decade directing the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s government relations team.

Neil Kunkel will join CleanSlate as General Counsel, serving as head of the corporate legal department and will be responsible for the legal affairs of the entire corporation.

Kunkel has a long history of providing legal services to hospitals and healthcare providers. Before joining CleanSlate, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Legal & Administrative Officer of Capella Healthcare where he was responsible for all legal services, compliance and human resource functions. Kunkel also served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel for LifePoint Hospitals, as well as Managing Counsel for HCA Healthcare.

Edward “Ned” Pucek will serve as CleanSlate’s President of West Division Operations. In that role, he will play a substantial part in coordinating clinical operations and developing operational plans to assure medical and logistical viability division-wide.

Pucek was previously affiliated with US HealthWorks, where he began as an area manager and was promoted to Vice President of Operations responsible for a multimillion-dollar budget. He also oversaw regional teams, aided in business development and was heavily involved in the recruitment, hiring and training of new employees. He has experience with overseeing operations across multiple states, making him well suited for this position during a critical time in our organization’s expansion.

Maria Russo-Appel, M.D., has been appointed Eastern Division Medical Director, overseeing the clinical needs of CleanSlate’s caregivers and offices.

Russo-Appel brings years of experience to this position, previously serving as medical director for Wing Memorial Hospital and Mercy Medical Center. During her time at Mercy Medical Center, Russo-Appel was appointed Vice President of Mercy Behavioral Health Care and led the psychiatric care and behavioral health service lines. She is also a board certified practicing Psychiatry doctor in Massachusetts.

“We are thrilled about these individuals joining our team, and I am confident their impact will be felt immediately on our efforts to expand access to effective addiction treatment across the country,” said Greg Marotta, President and CEO of CleanSlate Centers. “With the extensive experience we are adding to our legal, operating and medical teams, we are further embedding CleanSlate in the national conversation on the opioid epidemic and ensuring our growing organization is equipped with all the tools we need to succeed in the fight against addiction.”

More than two million Americans suffer from substance abuse disorders related to opioids. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) – the nation’s leading addiction medicine society representing over 4,300 physicians, clinicians and other professionals – opioid addiction is defined as a primary, chronic and relapsing brain disease. The award-winning CleanSlate program of care includes individualized treatment plans for each patient consisting of appropriate medication treatment prescribed by physicians, clear accountability and supportive counseling.

CleanSlate currently provides care to patients in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Indiana and will soon expand access to Connecticut, Arizona and Texas. The company continues to forge partnerships with healthcare providers and health insurers to meet the growing demand for evidence-based addiction treatment options in communities across the country.

About CleanSlate Centers

A pioneer and leader in outpatient addiction medicine, CleanSlate Centers is a national medical group that provides treatment for the chronic disease of addiction, primarily opioid and alcohol use disorders. Founded in 2009 in response to the growing opioid epidemic facing the country, the company is a growing, multi-state network of physician-led outpatient addiction treatment centers where patients who have addiction and associated disorders can receive medication-assisted treatment and related therapies using the highest quality, evidence-based practices.

Using the latest science- and medicine-based treatment guidelines, CleanSlate is bringing effective outpatient treatment to tens of thousands of new patients across the country. The company has provided treatment to more than more than 14,000 patients.

In 2014, CleanSlate partnered with Apple Tree Partners, a growth equity fund, to help expand efforts geographically and increase access to care in underserved communities with demonstrated need.


Ellis Metz