Our Staff

Meet the Staff of Pacifica Recovery


Dr. Kenneth Russ, MD

Internist, Primary Care Doctor
Palm Springs, CA

Dr. Kenneth Russ is a caring physician of internal medicine treating patients in the Palm Springs area of California. He is a certified diplomate in the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Russ earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley. He later earned his medical degree at the University of Leige in Leige, Belgium.

Dr. Russ completed the internal medicine residency program at Sinai Hospital-Johns Hopkins Major Affiliate in Baltimore, MD. Patients trust Dr. Russ to treat illness, various weight-related conditions, and addictive behavior. He founded Russ Recovery IOP and the Bariatrics Institute of Palm Springs. He is also associated with rehab facilities, hospice centers, and other health-related institutions. Dr. Russ published The Palm Springs Diet in 2007.


Harry L. Haroutunian, M.D.

Medical Director

Dr. Harry is board certified in both addiction and family medicine. He is an internationally known speaker and authority on topics of addiction and recovery from the disease of addiction; including drug misuse among older adults. He is the author of Being Sober, Not as Prescribed, and co-author of Hijacking The Brain.

Dr. Harry has been featured in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Drew on Call and the Dr. Phil Show.

He and has served as Physician Director of both the professional and residential programs at The Betty Ford Center.

Dr. Harry is currently the Medical Director at Pacifica Recovery as well as the President of Harry L. Haroutunian MD, a Professional Corporation. Dr. Harry is renowned in the field of addiction medicine and continues to use his in-depth knowledge and experience to provide hope and healing for those affected by the disease of addiction.

Dr. Heather Kurera


Dr. Heather Kurera has been a board-certified Psychiatrist since 2010. She became board-certified in Addiction Medicine in 2018. Dr. Kurera’s career has provided her the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including community mental health, residential dual-diagnosis, private practice and corrections programs.

She began her medical career as an active duty officer and physician with the United States Navy in 2003. She then became a General Medical Officer at Camp Pendleton and deployed with her Marine Corps unit in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon returning from Iraq, Dr. Kurera completed her residency training in Psychiatry at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego (NMCSD) and then remained at NMCSD as a Staff Psychiatrist. After serving nine years of active duty service, Dr. Kurera left the Navy at the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was awarded the Master Clinician Award by NMCSD.

Dr. Kurera then went on to work for a non-profit agency in the Los Angeles area that primarily serves women in need of drug and alcohol treatment. The dual diagnosis residential programs of this agency were trauma-informed and allowed their clients to bring their young children with them into treatment. Dr. Kurera was the Medical Director for this agency from 2014-2018.

She has now started her own group practice and continues to work in the field of mental health and addiction with various programs.

Dr. Kurera holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry from Texas Woman’s University. She received her medical education from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas.

Psychology Today Profile

An important part of getting better is finding the right medication or combination of medications. That isn’t always easy. If only there were a simple blood test or an x-ray that would tell the psychiatrist what is going on and how best to treat your condition. Hopefully, one day science will bring us to that point – but for now, psychiatrists must rely on their clinical skills. Part of what I love about being a psychiatrist is getting to know my clients as well as possible so that I can figure out what is going to work best for them. This involves taking a thorough history when we first meet, then meeting regularly for follow-up appointments and actually talking to you about your life – not just about what’s happening with the meds. I send clients for labs, imaging tests or back to their primary care doctors to help rule out medical conditions if it seems like that is what is going on or contributing to the problem. I often will use pharmacogenomic testing as well to help optimize a client’s treatment. I’m excited about the breakthroughs on the horizon for Psychiatry that can bring hope and healing to more and more people.

I’m also board certified in Addiction Medicine. I enjoy partnering with clients to find what will work best for them in their journey to recovery. I have experience working with co-occurring disorders and recognize that psychiatric illness and addiction issues must be treated concurrently. I enjoy finding innovative solutions to complex problems.


Please give us a call at 877-597-5700. It’s 100% confidential and we’re happy to help you with any questions.