Leadership Team

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Meet the Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital Team

At Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, we believe in creating a strong team that provides support and encouragement to the entire hospital and by extension, our community. We understand that true leadership takes whole-hearted dedication and a commitment to the greater good of all. In the words of John C Maxwell, " A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way".

Amy Murphy

Chief Executive Officer

Amy Murphy started her career with Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital as the Chief Nursing Officer in December 2021. Upon graduating from nursing school in 1992, Amy worked in the emergency department & emergency psychiatric department for Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas for over 5 years. Since that time Amy has obtained her BSN and is and her MSN. She has held multiple leadership roles and thrives in an environment that supports change and positive patient experiences. Amy stepped into the role of Chief Executive Officer in April of 2021 and has since then been able to assist the hospital make positive changes in order to shift the culture as well as ensure patient safety and quality CARE are at the forefront. Amy grew up as the child of an Army Lt. Col and had the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures and views of the world. Amy also participated in many team sports growing up which lent to her vision of bringing people together and adopting a team approach to her leadership. Although she has had the ability to travel throughout the US, Amy and her husband were thrilled to return to Kern County in order to be closer to their family. Amy feels strongly about her ability to do her part to help advocate for mental health and addiction in her community and looks forward to bringing her wealth of knowledge to help assist Kern County.


Chief Nursing Officer


Benjamin Andersen

Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, Benjamin Andersen provides financial and strategic leadership for Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital and manages all financial aspects of the 90-bed facility. He manages the full spectrum of the revenue cycle. Benjamin’s areas of expertise include revenue cycle and organizational leadership, budgeting and cost management, new business development, contract negotiations, physician relations, project management, team building and performance improvement. Benjamin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from California State University-Bakersfield, with a concentration in finance. He has a master’s degree in healthcare administration from California State University-Bakersfield. He enjoys spending time with family, running, and supporting his kids in their athletic pursuits.


Amber Smithson

Director, Business Development

Amber Smithson came to Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital in 2017 with over 15 years of experience in Marketing, Public Relations, Business Development, Healthcare, and Education. Amber has worked diligently throughout her secular career in building relationships throughout Kern County and believes that only collaboratively are we able to successfully advocate for the health of this great community. Amber’s passion for mental health and addiction is what drew her to Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital but her zeal to promote education, compassion, acceptance, respect, empowerment, and sincerity throughout Kern County is what motivates her each day. As a proud community member of Bakersfield, Amber has been privileged to watch Kern County grow in its understanding of mental health as well as its desire to end the stigma surrounding this epidemic. She is confident that her continued role with Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital will not only help her to assist her community in leading a healthy lifestyle but will provide those in need of exceptional mental health care a path to their next steps at Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital. Amber is a proud mother and grandmother; she believes that family is one of life’s greatest treasures and that spending time with them is her ideal way of recharging!


Randolph Beasley

Director, Clinical Services

Randy Beasley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist here in California who has been providing psychotherapy and emotional growth services for a wide variety of issues within a number of roles for the past 15+ years. Randy graduated with his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from Biola University and completed a Master’s Degree in Theology from Liberty University. While pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Theology, he felt therapy was a better way to help people. After completing his Master of Arts Degree from Touro University in Marriage and Family Therapy, he started on a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology from CalSouthern University. Randy has extensive experience working with addiction, foster services, wraparound, competency restoration, and couples/family therapy having worked within community-based clinics, substance use treatment facilities, a state hospital, and jail. Randy has received training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, managing adaptive practices, interpersonal therapy, The Gottman Method, as well as being a certified Mandt trainer (crisis intervention), and a strength deployment inventory (motivational values psychometric) facilitator. Randy's approach to care is goal-oriented and client-centered, using solution-focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and an existential therapy approach to foster awareness while developing pragmatic solutions to problems. Randy believes healing hinges on the relationships you develop and progress ultimately follows a personal conquest of fear and acceptance of responsibility. As the Director of Clinical Services at Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, he hopes to bring his wealth of experience to help individuals down their personal path of healing.


Denzel Sumlin

Director, Social Services - PD

Denzel Sumlin is the Director of Social Services at Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital. As the Director of Social Services, Denzel assists the Director of Clinical Services and performs various duties within the parameters of patient care. In Denzel’s time at Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, he has assisted therapists in gaining requirements for state licensure. Two therapists have completed submission requirements that demonstrate their readiness to test for their licenses. The values that inform Denzel’s career are integrity, accountability, honesty, perseverance, and appropriate confrontation. Denzel prides himself on the use of confrontation of issues, mediation, and conflict resolution. These have been the keys to directing staff toward compliance goals during his time at Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital. Passion for people is what drives Denzel in his daily endeavors. Every individual, staff and patient, has a story to tell, experiences to share, and knowledge to give. Denzel lives his life with the perpetual curiosity of those he interacts with daily. Outside of work, Denzel is a married father to five daughters. Being born and raised in Bakersfield he and his wife see it fit to raise children in this great little, big city. Denzel attended Ridgeview High School where he played basketball and football and then continued his studies at Bakersfield College and California State University Bakersfield. Some of Denzel’s hobbies include movies, family dinners, outings, and exercising. Traveling has been a big source of interest lately as well with Denzel fulfilling a long-time dream of seeing the pyramids in Cairo, Egypt last year.


Dr. Beasley

Facility Psychologist

Dr. Beasley graduated from Argosy University with her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and received her dual Doctorate Degree from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in clinical and forensic psychology. She is a licensed psychologist in both California and Alaska, and she specializes in psychological evaluations, namely within forensics. She has conducted hundreds of competency-to-stand trial evaluations and has a passion for discerning the nuances of psychology within judicial proceedings. She is recognized as an expert in the field of forensic psychology by the courts. She is also passionate about diagnostics, as well as sharing her knowledge and teaching future practitioners about psychology and mental health.


Ashley Frias

Risk Management & Patient Advocate

Ashley began her career with Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital in 2021 in the Quality Department as the coordinator. Since her tenure with the organization, she has transitioned into the role of Quality and Risk Manager. As the Quality and Risk Manager, her role is significant in ensuring the priority of patient safety, advocacy, and education of patients, employees, and the community. She is committed to focusing on the quality of care being delivered to all patients through the hospital’s core values; compassion, acceptance, respect, empowerment, and sincerity. As the Quality and Risk Manager, she is dedicated to promoting mental health awareness within the Kern County community; to inspire and empower others to bring awareness of this unique specialty. As the patient advocate for the organization, her role is significant in empathizing with patients and their concerns, by delivering high-quality care and support to all patients, employees, and the community as a whole. Ashley’s goal is to promote a culture where understanding and empathy are the primary focus in delivering patient-centered care. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys the outdoors and spending quality time with her family, as well as continuing to further her education in criminal justice at Bakersfield College.


Samantha Ortiz

Director, Quality & Risk Department

As a Bakersfield native, Samantha graduated from Bakersfield College with her ADN in 2016 and transitioned to California State University Bakersfield in 2017, to obtain her BSN and Public Health Nurse certificate. In 2020, Samantha continued to further her education at Grand Canyon University, where she obtained her Master of Nursing, with an emphasis on Nursing Leadership in Healthcare Systems. Samantha is honored to have become a member of the Nursing Honors Society, American Heart Association, and American Association for Critical Care Nursing, and within the community, being MICN (Mobile Intensive Care Unit) certified. Samantha's nursing experience is embodied in Cardiac Care Intensive Care Units, Telemetry, Medical Surgical, and Emergency Departments. Samantha's leadership experience entails Patient Care Unit Manager, Director of Clinical Inpatient Services, and Interim Chief Nurse Executive. Samantha had the opportunity to lead 350 FTEs and managed a variety of departments including Telemetry, Medical Surgical, Critical Care Unit, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Dialysis, with direct oversight of the Emergency Department, Quality/Risk, Outpatient Services, Operating Room, and Cath Lab. In Samantha's journey at Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, she started with her role as the Chief Nursing Officer and has been given the extraordinary opportunity to transition into the Director of Quality and Risk Management role. As part of her servant leadership, she takes pride in ensuring we provide excellent, compassionate, safe, and competent patient-centered care, to be the premier care center of choice for psychiatry and detox, to meet the needs and demands of our community. As a leader of the organization, it is with utmost significance that we advocate for our patients, peers, and community, as we create a culture to inspire and raise awareness of mental health. With interdisciplinary leadership and collaboration, we are able to provide professional excellence, vision, mission, and values of mental health and wellness. Above all else, Samantha is committed to delivering exceptional high-quality healthcare with integrity, respect, sincere kindness, evidence-based practice, fiscal responsibility, teamwork, & empowerment. With dedication and admiration, her purpose-driven life is servant leadership: to serve our patients, peers, and community and be committed to the well-being of others.


Veronica Manriquez

Director, Human Resources

Veronica Manriquez joined Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital in 2015 with over 10 years of experience in the Human Resources field. In 2019, Veronica was promoted to Director of Human Resources here at Bakersfield Behavioral. Throughout Veronica’s now 15 years of experience in various Human Relations roles, she has gained useful experience which enables her to help implement new policies and procedures while also staying abreast of current State and Federal Laws. Veronica works closely with the Senior Leadership Team in order to create and maintain an environment for all of the employees at Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital of compassion, sincerity, and above all safety.


Director, Intake


Dr. Pam Bookout

Director, Pharmacy

Dr. Bookout received her High School Diploma from Woodlake Union High School, Associate of Science Degree from College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California, and Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the Thomas J Long School of Pharmacy at the University of Pacific in Stockton, California. Dr. Bookout has been a registered pharmacist for over 30 years with experience in retail, clinic, and 340B pharmacies. The last 11 years have been spent as Director of Pharmacy for a non-profit organization and Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital.


Mellisa Foute-Huddleson

Director, Utilization Review

Mellisa started working at BBHH in 2013 as a utilization review specialist and became the director of the Utilization Review Department in 2019. Mellisa has been working in the healthcare field for 22 years she started as a Certified nursing assistant and cross-trained as a unit secretary for 13 years. She received her nursing license in 2011 and continued to work on a Med-Surg floor until 2013. Mellisa started working in behavioral health in 2013 and has found behavioral health to be a very rewarding field. Working in the behavioral health field allows Mellisa to be supportive, compassionate, and inspiring to those of all ages and backgrounds. Mellisa is a widow and has two adult sons, one adult daughter, and seven grandchildren who are her pride and joy. A healthy mind and healthy body are a motto that Mellisa lives by and she lives this by spending time with her family having barbeques, movie nights, and especially karaoke. Mellisa also really enjoys taking vacations to Arizona where she enjoys visiting her son and his family.


Denise Oney

Director, Health Information Management

Denise Marie Oney joined Bakersfield Behavioral Health Hospital in July 2022 as the Director of Health Information Management/Privacy Officer. She began her career thirty-six years ago in Pennsylvania, where she started off as a medical transcriptionist, inpatient coder, and eventually manager of a Health Information Management Department. Denise was then recruited to Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital. In that role, she designed and organized the Health Information Management Department from the startup of that new psychiatric facility. It is there that she fell in love with California. From there, she was recruited to a healthcare system in Southern California, overseeing the Health Information Management Department for the inpatient hospital, as well as twenty-four outpatient clinics. She moved back East for a while, working in behavioral healthcare hospitals as the Director of Health Information Management/Privacy Officer in Delaware and Tennessee, before returning to California, where she feels is home. Denise earned her Health Information Management Technology Degree from DeVry University, and her Registered Health Information Technology credential through AHIMA.


Carl West-Moore (Trin)

Director, Plant Operations

Trin West-Moore has been with BBHH for about a year and a half now and has the privilege of overseeing the Plant Operations, EVS, Dietary, and Security Departments here at the hospital. Trin is a Bakersfield native who returned back to Kern County after his military career in 2008. The thing that I love most about working here at BBHH is my ability to give back to our community in a small way. Trin has been happily married for 12 years now to his beautiful wife, Paula, and together, they love to take spur-of-the-moment trips and spend time with their sons and their cats!


Francisco Robles

EVS Supervisor

Francisco joins the Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital team with a wealth of knowledge. His attention to detail and desire to create a warm, welcoming and clean environment lends to the hospital’s patient-focused care mission. Francisco leads his team of diligent and hard-working staff to ensure a remarkable environment throughout the hospital.


James Beatty

Dietary Manager

James joins the Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital team as the hospital’s manager for its Dietary Department. James came to the hospital as a cook and quickly made his transition to leading the department. Since starting to oversee this department, there has been a line that circles around the cafeteria in order to taste the amazing meals. James and his teams’ careful attention to detail enables all patients and staff to enjoy healthy and delicious entrees.


Alice Juarez

Supervisor of Outpatient Programming

Alice Juarez has worked with Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital since the time Signature Healthcare purchased this building back in October 2015. Alice has held various positions within the hospital; however, she plays a vital role as the supervisor of Stepping Stones, the hospital’s own Intensive Outpatient Program. Alice's kind words and a true desire to help others lend to providing compassionate patient-focused care to all those who participate in the program.