Management Team

Rick Pliszka

CEO

Rick Pliszka, CEO, joined PRIDE Institute following a substantial career in finance & business leadership. He joined PRIDE in 2007 as the facility’s Financial Controller and eight months later assumed the role of CEO. Rick has applied his general industry background to Pride, developing & implementing structures and processes that have strengthened our practices and helped our programs grow.

Through this, he has become a beloved, long-term leader for the Institute, known for his warm smile and heartfelt laughter; positive response to community needs; and a general fearlessness in attempting new programs for the clients, such as our Smoking Cessation Program, Adolescent IOP and Professionals Program.

To help reinforce PRIDE in LGBT substance abuse treatment & mental health care, Rick has implemented new programming that has created a more structured and intensive experience for clients. Programming changes now include Family Programming, Mental Health Services, and our nationally renowned, Sexual Health Program.

Under Rick’s leadership, PRIDE has seen increased staff safety; reduced client risk; an entire facility update making for a comfortable & contemporary environment to live and work; all while successfully completing multiple regulatory surveys. This has resulted in PRIDE more than tripling in size within the past 7 years.

To support our out-of-state clients who might need a less intensive level of care, Rick recently established an Intensive Day Program/PHP with LGBT lodging, one of two in the nation, which houses up to 8 clients less than a mile from the residential treatment center. The Spring Hill property is located in a quiet, wooded, residential neighborhood, boasting a large, updated kitchen, outdoor deck & many more amenities.

Rick’s ultimate mission has been to hire a highly trained & skilled staff who can help our clients lead happy, healthy lives as proud LGBT people. With this in mind, he has implemented treatment programs that will assist persons in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes for long-term recovery.

At PRIDE, being LGBT has been the norm for over 28 years. Rick has ultimately supported the institution in offering our clients the hope to overcome addiction and live the life they want.

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Rick Pliszka

Rick Pliszka

CEO

Todd Connaughty, MA, LADC

Director of Clinical Services

Todd has been employed with PRIDE Institute in various roles since 2006, and in his current role as Director of Clinical Services since 2012. He received his Bachelors of Science degree in Addiction Counseling from Metropolitan State University and his Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from St. Mary’s University. He is also certified to provide supervision to alcohol and drug counselors through the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy of Minnesota. Todd is passionate about his work with the LGBTQ community and strives to help clients create a life in recovery that brings them meaning and purpose. Additionally, Todd enjoys working with alcohol and drug counseling interns and mental health practicum students, assisting new clinicians to become adept in working with the LGBTQ community.

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Todd Connaughty, MA, LADC

Todd Connaughty, MA, LADC

Director of Clinical Services

Jennifer Rae Hackney, RN, BSN, PHN, BSW

Director of Nursing

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Campus, with licensure as a Registered Nurse and Public Health Nurse. After graduating from Nursing School, she worked in Pediatric Home Care with medically-fragile children. Jennifer then worked for nine years at a large, local non-profit organization with multiple programs serving individuals with mental illness and other brain disorders, the majority of the time as the Director of Nursing of the organization’s Home Health Agency, which served 350+ individuals in the Twin Cities Metro area, assisting them in maintaining their independence. Prior to starting at Pride Institute, Jennifer spent seven years with Cigna Behavioral Health as a Crisis/Triage Care Manager, assisting with nationwide crisis calls and hospital authorizations for individuals with mental health, substance abuse disorders, and Autistic disorders. Her career in Social Work included working primarily with individuals with a dual diagnosis of developmental disabilities and mental illness. Jennifer’s areas of particular interest are OCD, Suicide Education, and a passion for mental health and chemical health advocacy. She resides in the metro area with her legally-married partner, daughter, two dogs and two cats.

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Jennifer Rae Hackney, RN, BSN, PHN, BSW

Jennifer Rae Hackney, RN, BSN, PHN, BSW

Director of Nursing

Ann Leible, LPC, MA

Utilization Review

Ann received her MA degree in Mental Health Counseling and is NBCC certified and licensed as a Professional Counselor in the state of Minnesota. She has been working at PRIDE Institute since November 2001 with special expertise in assessment and utilization review.

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Ann Leible, LPC, MA

Ann Leible, LPC, MA

Utilization Review

Angi Scott, BA

Director of Admissions

Angi has been with PRIDE Institute since 2010 and is eager to help struggling individuals access care. She has over 7 years of personal, long-term sobriety, while having extensive experience working within the recovery community. In addition to working for PRIDE, she is earning her Bachelor’s degree in Human Services at Metro State University. As a member of both the LGBT and Recovery communities she brings a unique perspective, knowledge-base and experience to our potential clients. Angi is known for her ability to help our incoming clients feel comfortable and understanding, when it comes to all aspects of their treatment stay. She is a true advocate for clients at PRIDE Institute.

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Angi Scott, BA

Angi Scott, BA

Director of Admissions

Brianna Nichols

Business Office Manager

Brianna came to PRIDE Institute after a lengthy career in the mortgage industry where she worked as an Account Manager for an appraisal management company. Brianna discovered the good work PRIDE does through a friend who recommended her to PRIDE for her initial position in Medical Records in April 2013. From there she graduated to Billing/Collections and now to her current role as Business Office Manager. Her previous experience working closely with clients, vendors and teams, along with her previous managerial experience, has prepared her well for her current role with PRIDE.

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Brianna Nichols

Brianna Nichols

Business Office Manager

Jerri Sandstrom

HR Manager

Jerri has over 20 years of progressive human resources experience, including roles in the hospitality, manufacturing, commercial real estate development, construction, architectural and engineering, and property management industries. She is excited to be part of the PRIDE family and particularly values the opportunity to directly observe how every member of the PRIDE staff positively impacts the lives of our clients. Jerri holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Human Resources, from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She earned (and has maintained) her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. Jerri’s strategy is to attract into PRIDE the most qualified and compassionate people who can successfully interact and work with the *best employees ever*, who are already lending their great talents to PRIDE. She ensures that all are provided with a safe, productive work environment with the tools and resources to enable us to help clients overcome addiction and achieve sobriety. Simply stated, her strategy focuses on achieving and maintaining organizational excellence by attracting and keeping the best people.

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Jerri Sandstrom

Jerri Sandstrom

HR Manager
PRIDE Institute » 14400 Martin Dr » Eden Prairie » MN 55344
Call Now: 800-547-7433

Physicians are on the medical staff of Pride Institute, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Pride Institute. The facility shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.

Model representations of real patients are shown. Actual patients cannot be divulged due to HIPAA regulations.