Leadership Team

“I could see that Heritage Lane is staffed from end to end with people that did a specific thing as opposed to one staff member who is responsible for a whole gamut of things.”

Rolly (Family Member)

“We are very pleased with your staff. We know our brother gets the kind of care and understanding that is appropriate for his situation.” 

Jenny (Family Member)

“I have a family member who had to stay at Heritage Lane and they had a wonderful experience here. The staff was very friendly and educated on the needs of the residents.”

Brittani (Family Member)

“My brother has lived here almost 7 years. It can be extremely difficult to find an appropriate residence for a seriously mentally ill family member, where they feel safe and comfortable. This facility provides onsite medical and psychiatric care, as well as specially trained caregivers. Our family knows the owners and staff very well. We are included in my brother’s staffing’s and feel our voices are heard. Thank you Heritage Lane.”

Leslie (Family Member)

“I very much like Heritage Lane Behavioral Assisted Living. Their specialty is behavioral issues and the staff is wonderful. All the psychiatrists and psychologists are patient. Everybody seems to be very happy working there. They like coming to work and interacting with the residents. I can’t say enough about this place. They work in a positive manner. They have different age groups there, and my brother is more comfortable there.” 

Charise (Family Member)

“I have a family member who is staying at Heritage Lane, they have been in other facilities before. But Heritage is by far the best one. They are on top of my brothers activities and are very concerned with his safety. While being there he has been able to do several activities where in the other places this was not an option. Some of the activities include going to a Diamond Backs game, going to the movies, taking them to Walmart each week. They also get to help choose what is on the menu. The staff is very friendly and cares about the needs of their residents. They have also been very helpful whenever I have a question or a concern. They respond to my e-mails and I feel like I can communicate better then any other place my brother has been.”

Nancy (Family Member)

“The greatest gift I got from Heritage Lane was changing that role from caregiver to brother.  I can enjoy him like a brother again.”

Doug (Family Member)

Reed Gunnell

Owner, Executive Director

Mr. Gunnell is the original founder of Heritage Lane and comes with years of experience in post-acute care and behavioral health. As a former nursing home and post-acute care administrator, he has the professional skills to employ, train and manage the right individuals to carry out the important mission at Heritage Lane Behavioral Assisted Living.

It is his passion to care for those who suffer from mental illness. To offer a higher functioning environment whose premise is based on goals and positive reinforcement. Mr. Gunnell believes in offering a less restrictive environment to all of Arizona residents who are placed in restrictive settings where if given the opportunity could live and thrive in a less restrictive community. Mr. Gunnell is also passionate about self-worth and where that comes from. When one is dependent upon others for most things, underlying mental health related issues become forefront and the lives of those in support can also be negatively affected. In contrast, achieving something with little support from others, gives all of us a sense of accomplishment. We have an increase in will and a desire to repeat it. This is the absolute focus of Heritage Lane’s program and the passion of Mr. Gunnell. Residents of Heritage Lane Behavioral Assisted Living have individualized plans that help them achieve small objectives with positive reinforcement systems. As a result, behaviors begin to modify and life quality improves while feeling a sense of purpose in a broader community.

Dr. Lana J. Peterson, PMHNP, Psychiatric Program Director

Dr. Lana J. Peterson, DNP, PMHNP, MSN, BSN, MA, RN

Owner, Psychiatric Program Director

Dr. Peterson is a highly respected psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) and doctorate of nursing practice (DNP). Dr. Peterson is the founder of Heritage Lane’s successful Milieu Therapy model and has worked in post-acute and long term care settings as…

a CNA (certified nursing assistant) and gained a love for the elderly very early on. She first became licensed as a CNA at the age of 15. Dr. Peterson continued her education and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Gerontology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Continuing on with a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University and a Master’s of Science in Nursing Arizona State University. Finally, received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice with psychiatric focus from Rocky Mountain University. She is a licensed Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Arizona. Dr. Peterson also has over 20 years of experience treating Arizona residents who suffer from mental illness related diagnosis and disorders and her practical hands-on experience is vast. She is an expert in psychopharmacology with extensive knowledge and experience in drug-to-drug interactions and how these psychotropic medications affect the mind and body in the treatment of mental disorders. She is also a co-founder of the behavioral program at Heritage Lane Behavioral Assisted Living and currently employed as the Psychiatric Program Director. Dr. Peterson manages all prescribed psychotropic medications, writes all individualized resident behavior plans, meets with residents regularly in person and provides all behavioral focused monthly training to the employees of Heritage Lane.

Jennifer Cassaday, LPN

Clinical Nurse Manager

Jennifer Cassaday is an accomplished Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) with over 16 years of nursing experience. Originally from Missouri, Jennifer moved to Arizona in 2012 to pursue her passions. She has spent her career in nursing caring for others in long term care.

Jennifer has a true passion for patient care and loves nursing. Her number one goal is the health and safety of the residents of Heritage Lane. She approaches the residents with the knowledge that she has gained from years of skilled care and has a unique insight to clinical management. She is an example to all she comes in contact and can truly lead by example having worked side by side with medication technicians and caregivers. In her down time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and attending musical concerts. We are truly fortunate to have such a dedicated nurse as a member of our team.

Sam Hewson

Business Development Director

Sam Hewson is a graduate of Arizona State University with a masters in organizational leadership from Regis University. He brings 15 years of healthcare business development experience in various long term care industry sectors including skilled nursing, assisted living, independent living, pharmacy, hospice, home health, DME, lab, and radiology.

Sam is a consummate gentleman who is highly successful in his efforts to help others who experience grief and trial from all aspects of the healthcare life cycle. Sam is a leading industry expert in bringing high profile groups and organizations together in a unified fashion to improve the care delivery systems of today.

Sam is a former qualifying Olympic swimming athlete with impressive credentials of contributions to all swimming athletes, facilities and programs across Arizona and Colorado. Sam enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, hiking, or a quiet early morning on the back patio watching the sunsets on the 17th hole.

Sophia Gomez, CPC

Business Office Manager

Sophia is a tremendous asset to the organization and brings over 20 years experience in the healthcare industry specifically Long Term Care. She is CPC, ICD-10 and ICD Behavioral Health certified by the AAPC with strong claims processing experience.

Sophia has owned her own business managing remote offices responsible for accounts receivables, payables, credentialing, contracting and patient practice. She worked for United Healthcare for 10 years as a Provider Relations Manager over a 3 state territory and a team of 15 reps. She was instrumental in consult and implementation of Medicaid and Medicare products in new markets. She helped in the monitoring of compliance for AHCCCS program contractor requirements for continued network participation. She loves quiet living in remote areas and enjoys spending time with her husband and son. She is a great team player, with a strong will to help others and a great fit to this organization.

Durrell Pierson

Dietary Supervisor

Durrell is a chef with several years of experience in Southwestern cuisine, and he brings that expertise to Heritage Lane as the Dietary Supervisor. Durrell strives to maintain high food standards for our residents, bringing ingredients and dishes from all over the world to plates here at…

Heritage Lane. He loves to try out new cooking techniques on classic dishes, and encourages his team to think outside the box when preparing items. In his free time, Durrell enjoys spending time with his son, playing music, and auto racing.

Dusty Miller

Environmental Services Director

Mr. Dusty Miller brings several years of apartment maintenance and compliance experience with a special focus on life safety. His talent in building and construction make him a versatile asset in long term care. He can fix any building problem that confronts him.

Dusty is meticulously detailed in compliance logging and ensuring all environmental systems are functioning at optimal levels for safety. He is organized and thoughtful to ensure Heritage Lane remains a safe place for residents to live and employees to work. The buildings are kept clean and always maintaining high curb appeal. Dusty has a unique ability to lift the downed spirit with a positive comment or healthy humor. When he isn’t out fixing something, you’ll find him gardening or relaxing next to a pond or lake with a fishing pole in hand.

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“I have a family member who had to stay at Heritage Lane and they had a wonderful experience here. The staff was very friendly and educated on the needs of the residents.”

~Brittani (Family Member)

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