Our Staff

​​​​​Marna Cooper

Admissions Coordinator/Billing Specialist

Marna Cooper is the Admissions Coordinator and Billing Specialist here at Pathways to a Better Life. She has 20+ years in Medical Office Management experience and strives to help families through her dedication and experience to make their transition to our facility go as smoothly as possible. In her spare time, she enjoys camping and the outdoors with her husband and 3 children in the Fox Valley area.

An experienced and dedicated staff

At Pathways to a Better Life, we recognize the diverse populations that struggle with addiction. Our qualified staff not only treat the addiction, but also address mental health issues in a trauma-informed environment. We believe in treating the whole person and offer our residents opportunities to engage in services that reflect our compassion, understanding and treatment. We willingly work with mental health providers to stabilize dual diagnosis residents.

We are a collaborative program and extend that collaboration beyond the provider-resident relationship. We strongly support connecting with community providers to offer full, continuity of care, upon discharge.

​​​​​Jeff Janikowski

Substance Abuse Counselor

Jeffrey Janikowski is a Substance Abuse Counselor. He has been driven to work in Pathways beautiful, spiritual surroundings since it's inception in 2015. He is currently finishing up a Bachelors degree at Silver lake College majoring in psychology and a social work training certificate. He also helps facilitate the family program on Saturdays.

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."

...but then I went to Pathways. They taught me to love myself and that I was worth saving. The counselors really cared about me and didn't judge me. Jeff, Jodie, and Victor saved my life and showed me life can be a happy place and that I deserve to be happy...​

​​​Dr. Steve Staehling, MD, FAAFP

Medical Director

Dr. Staehling is currently Medical Director at Pathways.  He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Beloit College and his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin Medical School.  He has been practicing Family Medicine in Plymouth, Wisconsin since 1999.  In 2008 he integrated Addiction Medicine into his practice providing medication assisted treatment for chemical dependency, particularly opioid dependency.

Dr. Staehling has a strong interest in the variable effect of biological factors (genetic, biochemical), psychological factors (behavior, personality, mood) and social factors (cultural, familial) on the treatment of medical problems.  Treatment of addiction requires appreciation and attention to all of these factors in order to achieve good outcomes.

“Practicing Addiction Medicine has provided me the opportunity to help people who are struggling find true happiness and meaning in life.”

​​​Susan Beattie


Susan raised her 6 children in the same community that she grew up, and has always had a passion to help others.   Susan worked as an Investment Representative in the family business, Belke Financial in New Holstein, where she assisted many people with fulfilling their financial dreams and needs.  In January 2012, she became very ill and was forced to look for another purpose for her life.  Even though Susan is still affected from her illness, she knew she could employ and bring together those needed to provide the treatment services missing in our community.  Susan founded Pathways To A Better Life due to her experiences with her daughter and granddaughter and chose to devote her life to educating about the disease of addiction, and provide services to those that want it.

“It is no small comfort to me to know that God has called me to my work, putting me where I am and as I am. I have not sought the position, and I dare not leave it. He knows why He places me here – whether to do, or learn, or suffer.” ― James Hudson Taylor

​​​​​Jody Kisolek

Mental Health/Substance Abuse-IT Counselor

Pathway's to a Better Life has been a part of me since May of 2015.  I am a Mental Health/Substance Abuse-IT Counselor and prior to that job opening, I was employed as a PSS.  I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology and an Associate Degree in Police Science.  What brought me to this career is that it chose me.  I am married of 18 year's to my husband Mike and between us, we have 9 children-4 are addicts.  During my Internships and Practicum, I had a realization that mental health coincided with drug/alcohol addiction.  Healing from what is inside and working in recovery had to go hand-in-hand.  Working at Pathway's has given me gratitude that I could never have imagined.  I am a 'tool' for those who have chosen recovery and have made the life-long commitment of sobriety.  This is my life mission, it chose me.

​​​Stacy Albrecht

Nursing Director

Stacy has over 22 years of experience working with a multitude of different patients and families in direct patient care settings.  Starting as a CNA in a nursing home and wanting to be able to help people more encouraged Stacy to become a Registered Nurse and start a 13 year, life-changing career taking care of acutely-ill hospitalized patients with a wide variety of diagnoses, including addictions.  A life-long resident of the Lakeshore, Stacy is very excited to start this new chapter of her nursing career and to be able to help people and save lives in a different way, as the disease of addiction is as severe and lethal as cancer, and the need for awareness, education, and resources for recovery is huge. 

“I’ve been in Healthcare my entire life; it’s the only career I can ever imagine having; taking care of, educating, and helping people is what I know and love, and to be a part of Pathways and be able to give back and help the community in this aspect is very rewarding and humbling.”

​​​​Greg Obermeier, CSAC

Substance Abuse Counselor

Greg Obermeier, CSAC, is a Licensed Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor. Greg’s professional experience includes working with adults and adolescents who have substance use disorders in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  Greg is a client-centered clinician, who is known for his excellent rapport building skills, and his warmth and caring nature with clients. He works with clients from a strength-based and affirming perspective. Greg is creative and skilled in making individual and group sessions informative, relevant and challenging while ensuring that the client feels supported and cared for. 

“I believe each client’s dignity must be primary in the treatment process. Addiction produces behaviors that conflict with the client’s core values – as well as those of their family and society. Identifying, honoring and living true to those core values enhance healing and make recovery from addiction much more likely.”

​​​​Connie Wordell

Substance Above Counselor

I grew up learning about addiction because I had relatives and family members that drank.   Addiction is a family disease.  I felt the hurt families affected by addiction feel.  I heard the stories many recovering addicts shared and went back to school in my 40s.  I graduated with an AODA Associates Degree from Fox Valley Technical College, and a Psychology and Family Studies Degree from Silver Lake College.  I've worked at ARO Counseling at Waukesha Huber Jail, a methadone clinic working with heroin addicts, and Taycheedah Women's Prison, prior to joining Pathways To A Better Life.  

​​​​​​Wendy Heimermann

My passion for working at Pathways has been a great experience with all I have learned in the last year about the disease of alcoholism and drugs.  Each and every day is exciting and a new experience.  I am a mother of two and happily married for almost 27 years.  These three people are extremely important to me and were supportive of the decision I made by changing my career.  I am forever grateful for my family and the new family at Pathways.  Everything happens for a reason.  I feel this quote fits me as God has guided me to a new area of a comfort zone for helping others.

​​​​Heidi Thompson-Velazquez


Heidi began her journey with Pathways as a volunteer. Her deep-rooted passion for creating change, helping those in need, and personal family ties with the disease of addiction was the driving force to become more involved with Pathways. Heidi has worked in nearly every non-clinical position in the company. She assists clients and their families with compassion, understanding, empathy, and out of the box problem solving. Heidi enjoys her home in the country with her husband and 3 beautiful daughters. Heidi enjoys painting, cooking, and spending time with her family.

​“Success is not just what you accomplish in your life, it is about what you inspire others to do.”  ~unknown

​​​​Luke Yanda

Peer Support Specialist Supervisor

I am Luke Yanda and I am an addict. I am also the Peer Support Specialist Supervisor and Assistant to the Administrator. I began my journey into recovery at Pathways in May of 2015. Pathways saved my life and taught me that I have a strong passion for recovery and helping others in need. I started working for Pathways right after I graduated treatment. I love sports and spending time with my beautiful baby boy Leyden and helping others. I am excited for the future and what life has in store for me.

"Life is a journey, not a destination."

CALL US  920-894-1374

​​​​​Mike Slavin, CSAC ICS

Clinical Director

Mike has worked for years in residential treatment as Clinical Supervisor at Ministry Behavioral Health Residential before making the decision to move to Pathways. His job here is Clinical Director – working with counselors and ensuring the best patient care possible. He has helped to develop many AODA counselors, and also developed and taught beginning supervision classes.

Mike has spent a lot of his time volunteering in community projects dealing with addiction. One of his passions is helping people in jail because of addiction. He has been going into Portage County Jail most Weds. nights for 15 years.  He truly has devoted most of his adult life to recovery and treatment in one form or another, 

 His real passion is to help people change their lives, not to just quit using. His philosophy of recovery is summed up in two sayings, "Recovery is for those who want it – not for those who need it" and "real recovery starts after you stop using."