Our Mission

Tropical Oasis is committed to helping our clients achieve the sobriety goals of all chemical elements that alter mood and mental well-being. This is achieved by offering the best quality care, with a staff of highly qualified and dedicated professionals, in one of the most beautiful and serene places in the world. We believe that with the right to help, a person can become free from the clutches of addiction and learn to enjoy life once again.

Nicholas Russi, LAADC, CADC-II, CSS

Founder and CEO

As part of his global vision to help recovering addicts across the world, Nicholas Russi founded Tropical Oasis in 2007. Mr Russi is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. He has worked in the field of addiction and mental health treatment for over 15 years. A recovering person himself with 16 years of sobriety, he has had the fortune of helping addicts all over the world, founding programs in the USA, Costa Rica and Panama Central America. In addition to his professional license in California, he currently holds an international certification in counseling and clinical supervision.

Doreen Garcia

Executive Director

With over 30 years experience, Doreen Garcia is an expert and visionary about establishing business relationships with Behavioral and Mental Health Treatment Centers.  Doreen has won numerous awards for Excellence in Leadership, Inspirational Awards, Women in Leadership awards by Senator Jack Scott and Carol Liu and was one of the 50 women to receive an award for “50 Fabulous Women in Pasadena, CA.  She also received a “Local Hero’s Award” through Union Bank and KCET Studios in honor of Hispanic Heritage month for being passionate about providing guidance to those wanting to transform their lives and free themselves from addictions, her loving yet stern Leadership qualities, Professionalism and Team Building skills.  Doreen carries her Visionary skills with her at all times and is truly grateful to be a part of service-based organizations.

Michelle Tullis

Clinical Program Manager

Laura “Michelle” Tullis has worked in the field of addictions since 1990.  She earned her Master’s degree in Addiction Counseling from N. Florida and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.  She specializes in addictions, grief therapy, stress management, and panic disorder.  Ms Tullis did internships on domestic violence and she was given the opportunity to teach after being admitted to the Doctoral Counselor Education Program at the University of Florida, She went on to publish with various colleagues and worked briefly at the University of Florida Brain Institute there where she trained with psychiatric interns.  She has worked in international treatment centers from Costa Rica to Thailand and her compassion and knowledge will greatly enhance our treatment center. 

David B. Green

Commercial & Strategic International Development Director

David is a proven C-level global business development director operating within the Addiction Recovery and Major Medical Surgical healthcare delivery sectors. His international experience in business operations and distribution/network channel creation & development, extends from International expatriate major medical insurance, Healthcare IT Systems, International reinsurance and Insurance Information publishing to the promotions of all medical & behavioral health service lines. Professional engagements as Commercial Director at the retention of boards & owners of International Healthcare Providers and Insurance underwriters extend to include assignments within; the United States, Central America, Caribbean, Bermuda, Australia, New Zealand, UK, UAE, Mediterranean Rim, APEC, Saudi Arabia and Canada. As CEO, COO, Commercial Director for AXA, Mutual of Omaha, RSA, BUPA International, Lloyd’s of London (underwritten products & MGU programs), he has experience as MGA, TPA, Medical Assistance, Medevac and PPA network facilitator. Recent Addiction Recovery operational experience has been gained in Canada, US, Bermuda, Australia & the Caribbean. A UK national and Canadian resident for 20 years. David has served as Commercial Director for several major JCI & CARF accredited global centers of excellence for Substance Abuse & Treatment – private residential drug rehabilitation alcohol addiction centers. He is committed to the belief that all individuals can/will become responsible for their own recovery from drugs & alcohol when given the proper environment, level and quality of encouragement and substance abuse treatment. David is married with seven children and divides his time between the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, BC, Andalucía in Spain, Australia and the UK. He is the author of the Oscar Phelps series of International Crime Fiction novels.

Dr. Steven Kogel Hughes

Resident Psychiatrist

Born in Philadelphia Pa. in 1943. Father of 8, grandfather of 13, great grandfather of 2. Studied Medicine at the University of Costa Rica and specialized in Psychiatry, graduated in 1981.  Dr. Kogel values continued education and is Currently working on thesis for PHD in Education researching the influence of compassion and spirituality on learning, health and longevity.  He Former held the position of Director of the National Institute for treatment of alcohol and drugs, IAFA.  Avid competitor of Racketball. Enjoys playing piano and flute. We are grateful and honored to have Dr. Kogel heading our psychiatric services. In addition to psychiatry, Dr. Kogel will be providing group therapy as well as individual therapy.

David Michael Berner

Staff Enrichment Consultant

David Berner was the Founder (1967) and Executive Director of Canada’s first Residential Treatment Center for drug addicts and alcoholics. The Foundation continues to thrive and send hundreds of people each year back into the community as clean and sober citizens. Mr. Berner is also an actor, writer and broadcaster. He has compiled a 5-page resume of performances in radio, television, stage and film.  He is a regular contributor to local magazines and websites and in 2013 he published his first book, “ALL THE WAY HOME,” chronicling the history and theory of his addictions work.  David conducts therapy, counseling and process groups for several long-established treatment centers on a regular basis. In his lifetime, he has run over 11,000 groups.  David is also the Executive Director of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada.

 

Vladimir Mata, MD

Medical Doctor

Dr. Vladimir Mata has practices in San Juan and Jaco, Costa Rica. He is well loved in the community, known for being kind, gentle, trustworthy, and very effective in treating his patients. Dr. Mata recieved his doctorate from The Latin American School of Medical Sciences in Cuba in 2007. He completed his residency at Holguín General University Hospital “Lenin” and Holguín Pediatric University Hospital  “Octavio de la Concepción y Pedraja.” Afterwards, Dr. Mata worked in General Medicine at Los Cocos Health Area in Limón Centro, followed by Emergency Services at Clínica Jaco and Hospital Monseñor Sanabria.

Melissa Soto

Psychologist

Dr. Melissa Soto is a licensed Psychologist with a degree from Fidélitas University in San José, Costa Rica and graduated in 2011. Since that time she has been working at private practices in Jacó, Parrita and Quepos.  She is specialized in Clinical Hypnosis, Emotional Rational Therapy, Eating disorders, Strategic Short Therapy, as well as various other fields.  She has helped children, adolescents, adults and couples work through through various problems.   Dr. Soto also works with different government entities as well.

Michal Gottlieb, L.Ac,

Acupuncturist & Massage Therapist

Michal Gottlieb, L.Ac, is an acupuncturist and a massage therapist. She uses
acupressure and a blend of massage techniques to safely and effectively get her
patients out of pain and discomfort and back to health. Michal studied 4 years of Traditional Chinese medicine in Israel, graduated in 1999 and was trained for 3 months in a hospital in Hang Zhou, China in different departments.
Treatment Techniques: Acupressure, Moxa, Auricular therapy, Tui-na orthopedic massage, Shiatsu massage, Relaxation massage.