Alana Sasaki is the Medical Director and founder of Kai Shin Clinic. The clinic has been open since June 2016, following the unfortunate passing of Prince, Minnesota’s Music Legend. Dr. Sasaki found it disheartening that it was difficult to seek help for those battling addiction here in Minnesota. This propelled her to found and establish Kai Shin Clinic.
Dr. Sasaki attended John A Burns School of Medicine, the University of Hawaii, and then went to the University of Minnesota St Joseph’s Family Medicine Residency. Following this, she accepted a position on the MICD inpatient unit at St Joseph’s Hospital as an attending addiction specialist. Dr. Sasaki worked with Allina Health, where she was the lead addiction physician with oversight and development of the addiction medicine (detox unit) at Mercy Hospital, Unity Campus. In Dr. Sasaki’s time at Allina, she was instrumental in designing the OTP (Opioid Treatment Program and consulting for their outpatient addiction medicine clinic).
Kai Shin Clinic continued to expand, and therefore she decided to leave her hospital position and focus on the development of the Kai Shin Clinic. She is a fellow in the American Society of Addiction Medicine and a diplomate of both the American Board of Addiction Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. Dr. Sasaki has extensive experience managing all continuums of care in addiction, from the most complicated detoxes, inpatient and outpatient services. She is a highly competent and compassionate physician who seeks to heal and “meet her patients,” where they are currently in their recovery while guiding with sound medical practices.
Roger Laroche, MD is a triple board-certified psychiatrist specializing in adult psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, and addiction medicine. He completed Medical School at the University of Minnesota in 1987, a Psychiatry residency at Mayo Clinic in 1991, and an Addictions Fellowship at Mayo Clinic in 1992.
He relocated to Bradford, PA, to become the medical director for the state’s first Dual Diagnosis (MICA) Unit for the Regional Medical Center’s Psychiatry Department. Over the next 20 years, he established the region’s early: hospital-based Opiate Treatment Program; Intensive Outpatient Addiction Treatment Program; and a Center of Excellence designation for the Psychiatric and Addictions hospital units.
Returning to the Twin Cities, he joined Allina Health as the system-wide medical director for Addiction Medicine. He developed an OTP/Suboxone program, an outpatient Addiction Medicine Clinic, an Addiction Medicine Unit, and a hospital protocol to manage complicated alcohol and opiate detoxifications.
He’s involved with the American and Minnesota Societies of Addiction Medicine and resides in St. Paul, MN, enjoying sports events and family time with his wife and four kids.
Cindy Morey is a licensed clinical health psychologist. She has experience with medical, mental health, and substance abuse populations. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota and received her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology. She is board certified in Clinical Health Psychology. She has been practicing as a Clinical Psychologist for over 15 years. Dr. Morey also earned her MBA in Healthcare Management in May of 2017.
Dr. Morey is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). She has led training in Motivational Interviewing within her organization and throughout the community. She specializes in health psychology, geropsychology, mental health, substance use, management, consultation, and supervision. She has been an instructor in the Integrated Behavioral Health program at the University of Minnesota since January 2015. Her work in inpatient and outpatient mental health and addiction has made her passionate about recovery. She enjoys helping patients make positive changes they want to make in their lives.
In her free time, Dr. Morey enjoys traveling and the theatre. She can often be found spending time with her family and participating in their activities.
For over 6 years, Nicole Solberg had been serving her community’s primary care needs as an experienced Family Practice Physician. She has enjoyed caring for patients of all ages, and in all stages of life; personally getting to know them through a holistic approach.
Throughout her journey as a Family Physician, Dr. Solberg has had the unique opportunity to help patients with all aspects of their health, including addiction. Witnessing their journey first hand inspired Dr. Solberg to focus her career on Addiction Medicine.
Dr. Solberg is a board certified Family Practice Physician. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2013, completed her residency at the University of Minnesota St. Joseph’s Family Medicine Residency in 2016, and has been helping patients ever since. It is her goal to be a guide and an advocate for her patients, providing individualized care on their road to recovery.
In her spare time, Dr. Solberg enjoys riding her motorcycle, playing the violin, and spending time with her family – which she affectionately calls the “zoo” with 2 cats, a dog, her son, and her husband.
Megan Simonet was born and raised in northern Minnesota. She moved to Saint Paul to attend the College of Visual Arts and earned a BFA in painting. While working in a group home for young adults with disabilities, she developed an interest in medicine, particularly mental health. She then returned to school and eventually enrolled in the physician assistant program at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, MN.
While in school, she developed an interest in addiction after seeing how addiction permeates all areas of medicine and affects people from all walks of life. She joined Kai Shin Clinic in January of 2020 and enjoys being able to impact her community positively.
When not working, she loves spending time with her husband, family, and friends. She also loves painting, cats, and house plants.
Laura is a south Minneapolis native and attended The University of Minnesota for her undergraduate degree. In 2009 she earned her Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Western University of Health Sciences in California. During her training, Laura spent several months working in Addiction Medicine in Los Angeles and was able to witness firsthand the life changing impact of this new field. Laura has also spent time working in Urgent Care and Ophthalmology which has given her a large breadth of medical knowledge. She was excited to join Kai Shin clinic in 2021 and return to the rewarding work she had discovered during her training.
During her free time Laura enjoys playing softball, skiing, attending concerts, and boating up north with her husband and three children.
After serving in the U.S. Navy as a Persian-Farsi interpreter for 6 years, David McGehee graduated from Bethel University (Saint Paul, MN) with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.David joined Kai Shin Clinic in November 2021. He was drawn to Addiction Medicine to help individuals from all walks of life treat their addictions and mental health issues and continue them on their path to recovery.
Outside of work, David enjoys playing the piano and juggling.
Meagan completed her undergraduate degree at University Wisconsin-La Crosse. She studied and graduated with her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from Albany Medical College in New York in 2015.
She worked in Family Medicine for a number of years but found herself gravitating towards Mental Health and Addiction Medicine and started working at a Methadone Clinic and in Correctional Medicine where she found her true passion. After almost 10 years she decided to return to the midwest but continues to work in a field she cares about.
Brianna Schneider completed her undergraduate studies in biology and psychology at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota and graduated with a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.
Throughout both her undergraduate and graduate studies, Brianna found her passion in mental health. She has always enjoyed encouraging and collaborating with each patient to reach their goals and become the best version of themselves. After witnessing how addiction impacts all areas of medicine and individuals from various backgrounds, Brianna became passionate about creating a safe and welcoming environment in efforts to support all those affected. She joined Kai Shin Clinic in 2022 and is excited to make a difference in her community.
Andrew Forsgren was born and raised here in the Twin Cities. He graduated from Bethel University, where he played football and club hockey, in 2011 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Minor in Athletic Coaching. He then graduated from the Bethel University Physician Assistant program’s inaugural class in 2015.
Prior to joining Kai Shin Clinic, Andrew worked as a Physician Assistant in the fields of Emergency Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery. He was drawn to the field of Addiction Medicine after witnessing patients’ struggles with addiction to both illicit and prescription drugs in his previous positions. Andrew strives to help patients break free from the grip of addiction.
Outside of work, Andrew enjoys woodworking, sports, Star Wars, and spending time with his wife and their pets.
Andrea attended Gustavus Adolphus College for her undergraduate studies in Chemistry and Biology. She attended Rocky Mountain College for her Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies. As a provider in the field of addiction medicine, she collaborates with physicians and other healthcare providers to improve the health and wellbeing of patients with substance use disorders. For some people with substance use disorders, the relationship with the drug can eclipse all other relationships, leading them to push away family, friends, and caregivers. She believes establishing a strong partnership with patients improves their outcomes and allows for greater control over one’s circumstances.
Andrea has a diverse background having previously specialized in general surgery, orthopedics, and urology. The field of addiction medicine was appealing because you see firsthand how treatment improves the lives of patients. Caring for patients with substance use disorders has become the most meaningful part of her clinical experience.
When she is not treating patients, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, and participating in outdoor activities including snowboarding, biking, kayaking, and camping.
Jordan graduated from the University of Cincinnati with an undergraduate degree in psychology and received a master’s degree from the Hazelden Betty Ford School of Addiction Studies. He has worked in the field as an LADC for many years, serving both teenagers and adults. His first professional position involved working with teenagers at the Anthony Louis Center. Jordan has always enjoyed working with people that want to better their lives.
Seeing the need for additional services in the metro, he decided to found Evergreen Recovery in St. Paul. Evergreen specialized in high-intensity outpatient treatment, with sober lodging. Jordan worked to develop Evergreen into a success. He then took a position as The Manager of Addictions for Hazelden Betty Ford Tribeca 12. This position allowed him to experience the field of addiction in a completely different capacity and allowed him to work at some of the best treatment centers around the country.
Jordan started with Kai Shin Clinic in November of 2019, where he helped develop and open the outpatient program.
Andrew Johnson has a broad scope of practice that prospered by working with diverse populations in various settings and studying at various higher education institutions. He is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. He earned a BA in Psychology and a BS in Community Psychology while attending St. Cloud State University. After graduating from St. Cloud State in 2009, he started working with children in a secure residential treatment center. Andrew returned to school in 2011 and obtained his Chemical Dependency Certificate at Fond du Lac Tribal Community College. He earned his Master’s in Social Work at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
He worked at an agency with mental health services targeted toward impoverished populations, medication-assisted treatment, crisis intervention services, outpatient chemical health treatment, and residential treatment for adults with SPMI.
Andrew enjoys time at his family’s lake home in Duluth, caring for his dog, designing, landscaping, and other home-owner-related projects.