THE WINGATE ADMISSIONS TEAM
Christopher Black, BSN RN
Director of Admissions
Chris had his first experience of wilderness in high school. He signed up for a week long survival course in the Escalante area of Utah. He loved it so much he did it the following year as well. His sister was sent to a wilderness program in Arizona where he was introduced to wilderness therapy. He signed up and ended up walking the trail for 6 years.
Chris brings a diverse array of knowledge from his experience in the world of Residential Treatment of emotional dysregulation, eating disorders, addiction/recovery and hospital settings. He has been an integral executive team member in many programs.
He has been the person to create systems and processes to enhance the organizational infrastructure. Chris spends much of his time in the mountains, canyons and lakes of Utah. His love for outdoor adventure, in his words, ‘fills my soul.’ He is often found rock climbing, trail running, canyoneering, skiing, snowboarding, motocross, and boating.
Humanitarian service has been important and a focus for him when given opportunities. He has ran a clothing donation program for immigrant families for over 12 years. He tends to these communities offering medical assistance as needed. He finds value in service and giving to those who could use someone looking out for them.
Education has been a constant in his life. He continues to obtain multiple degrees; physical science, psychology and nursing. He is working towards obtaining his license to prescribe with a doctorate in Family Medicine and Psychiatric care. He has a desire to create reform and share his philosophy with medication management.
Paula L. Riggs, MA
Paula L. Riggs has spent more than a 15 years working with at risk youth and families in multiple environments. She is an experienced Admissions Counselor and Director in therapeutic middle schools, high schools, as well as young adult treatment facilities and Outdoor Wilderness programs.
Paula's patience and true concern stem from real-life experience identifying and articulating specific therapeutic needs of struggling youth and adults. Her passion is working with families in crisis, directly with parents, adolescents and young adults, helping them heal their lives. Paula's return is reuniting families and being instrumental in restoring health and abundance to their lives. She describes her work as living in a life raft pulling families in, rowing safely to the appropriate shore.
Paula is the proud mother of two grown boys one in the Coast Guard the other a Merchant Marine anytime she gets to spend with them is cherished. She spends her free time with friends and family hiking or riding her horses, always with a phone strapped to the saddle, never too busy for a family in need.
Greg Hitchcock, M.Ed., PPS
Partner / Director of Outreach
Greg's multi-faceted professional background provides excellent preparation for service as Director of Outreach at Wingate Wilderness Therapy.
Greg has been an educator, executive and entrepreneur in the behavioral health and addiction treatment space for over twenty years. He founded and/or directed a number of successful programs that have taken him from the tent to the boardroom. As a nationally sought-after consultant, Greg has had the opportunity to envision and launch therapeutic programs in Honduras and Russia, present seminars and workshops at national conferences, and help numerous therapeutic programs grow in quality and enrollments.
Greg has a Bachelor's Degree from Houghton College with a double major in English and Recreation and a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Redlands. This educational background combines with extensive field and administrative experiences in the Wilderness Therapy field to provide strong, dynamic leadership while retaining a grassroots sensitivity to both participants and their families.
When Greg is not busy with Wingate he enjoys boating, backpacking and skiing with his wife Charlene and his three children Kaden, Jackson and Tristan. Greg is also an avid mountaineer and fly-fisherman.