Meet our Staff

Every Banyan staff member is a specialist in their respective field which allows us to match the therapist that is most appropriate to address each client’s individual needs. Together, our staff comprises a balanced team that is equipped to meet each and every client where they are in their personal road to recovery.

Matt Ganem

Executive Director

Matt Ganem is a poet and the author of “The Shadow of an Addict.” Matt also hosts Banyan Recovery Radio and speaks to different schools, recovery programs and community forums on addiction. He is a huge voice for recovery not only in his hometown of Massachusetts, but nationwide.

Oxycontin which eventually led to Heroin addiction brought him to rock bottom at the age of 21. He was able to turn his life around and now tries to provide hope and strength to those still sick and struggling with substance abuse. Matt works relentlessly to help others escape the grasp of addiction by shining a positive light on recovery. He does this by speaking at schools and community events for prevention education. His work was recognized by Massachusetts Organization of Addiction and Recovery and Matt was selected to be Massachusetts Recovery Advocate of the Year in 2015.

Matt Ganem a father of two beautiful children Christian and Payton and has been clean and sober for over 11 years.

Joseph Papa

MSW, CADC-II

Clinical Director

Joseph received his Masters in Clinical Social Work for UNH, and is a Certified Alcohol Drug Abuse Counselor-II. He specializes in treating clients suffering from substance use, trauma, and co-occurring disorders. Joe uses a client-centered approach to help our clients identify and capitalize on their strengths to make realistic, meaningful, and lasting changes in recovery. Through his use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution Focused Therapy, he empowers clients to develop well-focused and achievable recovery goals. He has been working as a therapist for over 17 years in community settings, psychiatric hospitals, and private practice. Joe has 20 years of 12-step recovery, and still practices his program on a daily basis. His extensive knowledge and experience of clinical treatment along with his personal recovery brings a multi layered and individualized approach to treatment for our clients.


Dr. Laura Hitchmoth

DNP, ARNP,CNS, BC

Assistant Clinical Director

Dr. Hitchmoth received her Bachelor’s Degree from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, she holds two Master’s degrees as a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner in both Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. Dr. Hitchmoth received her Doctorate from the University of Massachusetts and completed her residencies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health at Tewksbury State Hospital, Tewksbury Massachusetts. Throughout her career, Dr. Hitchmoth has worked with a diverse population, treating individuals diagnosed with various psychiatric conditions and specializes in the treatment of substance abuse. Dr. Hitchmoth has experience treating individuals in a variety of settings including inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, substance abuse hospitals, community hospitals, and state psychiatric facilities. She currently maintains a private psychiatric practice, is a University Professor and is a lecturer for pharmaceutical companies.


Melanie Gore

Intake Coordinator

Melanie is our Intake Coordinator and the first person you may encounter at our Massachusetts location. She takes great pride in being warm and welcoming to all of our new clients. She has been in recovery for eight years from opiate addiction and really understands what a big step getting help can be. Melanie came to work for Banyan a year ago eager for the opportunity to work with addicts and help them find peace in society and learn how to live a substance free lifestyle. Melanie understands that addiction touches all walks of life and admires the diversity of the clients she gets to meet daily. Her favorite part of her job is getting to work with people who share the same love for recovery and helping others. She believes that it’s not just about one person getting help, it is extended to the whole family and every life touched. Melanie believes in meeting our clients where they are as well as communicating with the families during the intake process and answering any questions they might have about our facility.

Lauren Connolly

Director of Finance

Lauren was born and raised on Long Island in New York. She attended community college, as well as business school and majored in Business Administration. Lauren began her career in New York City in 1994 where she worked as a Financial Analyst for two of the largest NY Direct Marketing agencies for over 20 years. In 2013, Lauren relocated to Wellington, FL and pursued a career in the treatment industry. Since 2015, Lauren has been the Director of Finance at Banyan Treatment. Lauren works with the clients and their families to help create affordable payment plans for treatment. She assists with cash or self pay clients and helps families navigate through the financial process to ensure they understand their payment options and what is best depending on their situation.

Roberto G Gonzalez

Clinician

Roberto G Gonzalez was born in New York City and raised in the Bronx where he lived and used for over 25 years. There is nothing that makes Rob happier than his family which includes his wife, three children and also his two grandchildren whom he loves dearly. Rob has been clean for 25 years and married for almost 20. He lives a full life full of love and humor amidst those he cares for.

Rob began working in treatment 20 years ago as a guidance counselor for a high school where he worked directly with struggling adolescents. He then began working for various recovery programs where he became a State of Massachusetts Licensed Alcohol Drug Counselor and a Certified Outreach Educator as well as received high risk training. Since then, Rob has worked for several large and established treatment centers which have including working with homeless and incarcerated addicts at a shelter and inside a jail. He uses various forms of proven effective therapy such Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Therapy, Reality Therapy and Critical Thinking. Rob has been in advocacy for many years and has been been on the board with Martha Coakley and Mayor Menino in the construction of a plan to better our society in terms of addict and recovery. He also works directly with the District Attorney’s office and lawyers in Boston, MA fighting for addicts in their recovery process and managing their cases. Those who know Rob all say what a difference he has made in their lives and recovery, changing the course of treatment in and outside of the field, helping addicts seek a better way to live with love, kindness and a large dose of reality.

Elizabeth Thomson

LCSW, MSW

Clinician

Elizabeth Thomson is a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) who received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of South Carolina – specializing in health and mental health. Prior to receiving her Master’s degree, Liz graduated with her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Simmons College in Boston, MA. Liz began her social work career at a recovery high school and her interest and passion for the substance use field took off. She has worked not only on the individual level with client’s suffering from addiction, but has also spent a great deal of her time working to understand and change policy in the state of Massachusetts, as well as working to help support Veterans who have recently returned home.

Liz firmly believes in the importance of individualized treatment plans and treating each client like the unique and important person that they are. Through her work in a variety of different settings, she has had the opportunity to work with clients ranging in age from 14-76 years old and is determined to help each client engage in treatment.

Liz is constantly working to create new groups and give clients a different therapeutic experience then they’ve had in the past. She enjoys using art therapy as a stepping stone- to help clients work through their life experiences in a safe, fun, and challenging way. By utilizing art therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, narrative therapy, and family therapy - Liz delivers compassionate trauma informed care.

Michael Anthony Orlando

BSW, CAC

Clinician

I started in the field 2007 working in a facility that had helped me battle my own demons with drugs and alcohol. It was there that I decided I wanted to give back to others what has been given to me. I had made a lot of money once, now I only want to make a difference. I have worked as Direct Care Staff, then as a Case Manager a various programs working with the Homeless and DUAL diagnosed populations for over the last 9 years.

When the opportunity to be part of Team Banyan was offered to me, I was honored. It is a handpicked staff of some of the best people in the field, and in life. Banyan staff goes the extra mile to help each other and our clients receive the Best Treatment in the world, I wouldn’t want to work anywhere but Banyan now that I’m here and I see and feel the love that is shown our clients.

Jack Kelly

Director of Business Development

Jack Kelly grew up in Charlestown MA, a neighborhood of Boston and graduated from Matignon high school. During his time at Matignon Jack struggled with an addiction to the pain killer OxyContin as a result of a shoulder injury. At 22, Jack entered into full recovery and joined the Ironworkers, Local 7. In 2006, former Mayor Thomas Menino appointed Jack as his neighborhood coordinator for Charlestown, where he served for over 5 years helping residents of Charlestown gain access to varied city services. During his tenure, Jack was elected as a delegate to the Democratic national convention in Denver with 92% of the vote and voted for President Obama for the nomination of the Democratic Party.

After successfully serving the people of Charlestown at City Hall, Jack took a position with Mass General Hospital where he was in charge of developing and managing a grant to reduce rates of HIV, Hepatitis C and STI's (Sexually Transmitted Infections) in high risk communities. After a year of implementing needed innovative reforms in testing policies to serve high risk communities and helping reduce rates, Jack decided to run for an At-Large seat on the Boston City Council. As a result of the historic nature of the Boston Mayoral race, twelve people qualified on the ballot for Mayor and nineteen for City Council At-Large. Jack was one of eight, out of the original nineteen who made it to the finals. Ultimately Jack failed to secure a seat, but garnered over 23 thousand votes city-wide, while also being endorsed by the Boston Globe and Planned Parenthood.

Additionally, Jack has formed a team of software developers to create a mobile App called iRecover App to help those in recovery find meetings and other services related to addiction relying on data and science. Jack also has served and advised Boston District 2 City Councilor Bill Linehan as his Chief Public Health advisor as well as serve as senior advisor to Massachusetts Gubernatorial candidate Joe Avellone and Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley's office.