Leadership Team

John McMillion MA Admissions Director

Dr. Ryan Patterson Medical Director

Summer Hornbeck MAT Academic Director

Kaci Sapinski Executive Director - NVW Northwoods

Andrew Scott MA Executive Director - Deschutes

Patrick McAvoy Admissions Director

Elizabeth Deardorff, LCSW Clinical Director of Family Services

John McMillion MA

Position: Admissions Director
John McMillon, MS, is the Admissions Director at First Light Wilderness Therapy in Clayton, Georgia. His primary focus is developing relationships within the therapeutic community and ensuring that referral partners understand which individuals are clinically appropriate for our program. McMillon graduated from Georgia Southwestern College and received a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Development from Troy State University. He came to First Light as a respected mental health professional and administrator. He is dedicated to being a strong contributing member of the team and to assisting families and young people as they strive to grow and heal. As a mental health professional, McMillon enjoys being part of a strong clinical team that is dedicated to individual and generational healing. In his spare time, McMillon likes to teach college and spend time with his wife and his adult children.

Dr. Ryan Patterson

Position: Medical Director

Ryan Paterson attended the University of Vermont School of Medicine and completed his Emergency Medicine Residency and Fellowship in Wilderness/Altitude/Expedition Medicine at Denver Health Medical Center/the University of Colorado, USA. He also holds advanced certifications in Tropical Medicine from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H) and in Mountain Medicine (DiMM). He is a practicing, board-certified Emergency Physician for Kaiser Permanente at St Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado, USA, and associate professor at the University of Colorado in the Department of Emergency Medicine section of Wilderness, Environmental and Expedition Medicine.

In leisure, Ryan loves to spend time outdoors with his spouse and two children. He is an avid traveler, climber, and a former distance athlete.

Dr. Paterson is the founder and director of Emergency Medical Providers (EMP) a leader in the provision of remote medical support and expedition medical direction. Ryan is co-founder and former director for the Wilderness Medical Society Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM) course. Ryan also has significant experience in large-race/event medical management. He serves as medical director for GlobalLimits and has medically-directed multiple GlobalLimits events. He is the current United States delegate to the International Society of Mountain Medicine (ISMM). Ryan founded the FLuME foundation and serves as medical director for Kolkata City Mission (KCM) working through both organizations to establish sustainable development solutions in education, health, women’s empowerment, micro-enterprise, and public-health for informal communities in and around Kolkata, India. Combining all of his training and passion, Dr. Paterson has worked in Disaster Relief efforts in both post-earthquake Nepal and with the UN in Iraq. Additionally, Dr. Paterson is an altitude researcher, expedition physician, mountain emergency medicine educator, and guide.

Summer Hornbeck MAT

Position: Academic Director

Summer has worked in education for the last 14 years, both in the wilderness and as a classroom teacher. She earned her Bachelors degree in Environmental Science and Biology from University of Colorado- Boulder and her Masters degree in Teaching from Cardinal Stritch University. After graduating from Boulder, Summer was an outdoor environmental educator for Walking Mountains Science Center in Vail and collected data for a Lynx reintroduction. She has taught and mentored students at a boarding school in Alaska, which also encouraged adventure education. For the last seven years, Summer has worked in one of the top rated districts in Wisconsin as a middle school classroom teacher. Her motivation is to help every student feel successful academically, because academic success leads to stronger mental health and greater opportunities. Summer leads an active life with her husband and two young daughters. They spend their time outside of NVW camping, hiking, boating, and skiing.

Kaci Sapinski

Position: Executive Director - NVW Northwoods

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Kaci worked in health care for 15 years in Emergency Medicine and Cardiology. As her two sons entered High School, she began looking for a deeper connection to the service industry. Honored to be part of the development of a new University of Wisconsin collaborative program, Kaci continued her education in Community Health and Wellness. With her extensive knowledge of the medical environment and passion for the outdoors, wilderness therapy became the perfect fit. Finding New Vision Wilderness has allowed her to bring her outdoor adventures to work right here in the north woods.

Andrew Scott MA

Position: Executive Director - Deschutes

Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge and energy to NVW West Coast as the Executive Director. His background in both the outdoors and the business world make him a great fit for this position. Andrew received his BA in Marketing with a Certificate in International Business at The University of Milwaukee before working as a Direct Sales Manager for a large corporation. After that he earned his MA in International Business at The University of Warsaw while completing an internship for the U.S. State Department. Andrew has been exploring the wilderness for years through canoeing, fishing, hunting, and hiking. He is currently a licensed charter captain and fishing guide and has a passion for teaching his skills.

Patrick McAvoy

Position: Admissions Director

Patrick McAvoy is the Admissions Director at Northwoods Wilderness Therapy.  Throughout his career Patrick has helped adolescents and their families find solutions in times of crisis. 

Patrick has a bachelor’s degree in Management of Music and Communications from Ohio University.  He began his work in wilderness therapy providing care and field coordination to students entering treatment.  Since then he has served in Admissions Director, Program Director, and Executive Director roles.  Patrick has additional experience in admissions at a therapeutic boarding school and was a founding member of two treatment programs for at-risk teens. 

In his free time, Patrick can be found outdoors hiking, kayaking, and skiing with his family.  He is a bass player who dreams of one day starting a family band with his wife and two kids.  

Elizabeth Deardorff, LCSW

Position: Clinical Director of Family Services

Liz joined the NVW team in 2010 and has been an integral part of the clinical team, wearing many therapeutic hats throughout the years. Although Liz has worked with each age population within New Vision, her passion is treating, supporting and guiding young adults. Young Adults are in a very important time of their life where wilderness and support create an optimal opportunity for self discovery, healing, interdependence, and personal growth.  Liz deeply believes that in order to establish a secure sense of self, healing through relational support and internal awareness is essential. She steps into this work with determination and excitement to utilize the power of nature, experiences in the present and relational repair to support that development of self. Liz achieved her Master of Social Work, emphasis on Child and Family and Mental Health, from Loyola University Chicago in Illinois. She is trained in Brainspotting, EMDR-Level One and Two, Emotionally Focused Therapy and Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga which are powerful tools to utilize with trauma, attachment and anxiety. Liz utilizes these tools to create a powerful experience within treatment. Outside of work you can find Liz trying to find every waterfall in Oregon, dancing, reading, and rooting for her favorite team, the Wisconsin Badgers.