Meet the Staff
Arturo Taca Jr., MD
INSynergy Medical Director
Dr. Taca founded INSynergy in response for a dire need to provide effective and affordable treatment for motivated persons struggling with addictions.
Dr.Taca brings to INSynergy a wealth of experience in addiction medicine. Dr. Taca is a Diplomate and Board Certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine as well as the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Dr. Taca has been the force behind setting the benchmark of medically assisted recovery programs by establishing the very popular Integrated Neuro-Science program. Before this, he was the former Medical Director of Assisted Recovery Centers of America (ARCA Midwest) and led this program to develop higher standards in treating addictions.
Dr. Taca is one of the few Suboxone Doctors in St. Louis, MO. He is certified to treat opioid dependence in the privacy of his office.
He has been a rich resource for local and national organizations, giving lectures on the biology of addiction and the cutting edge medical treatments available currently.
Before INSynergy, Dr. Taca completed his psychiatric residency training at St. Louis University where he was the Chief Resident of the Department of Psychiatry. He is currently a clinical instructor and continues to teach and supervise residents at the St. Louis University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and St. John's Mercy Medical Center.
Dr. Taca was just voted as President of ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) for the Midwest and still serves as Alternate Director for Region VII.
Dr. Taca also was voted one of the Best Doctors of America in Psychiatry. This distinction is only offered to those physicians who have been selected by consensus of their peers to be included in Best Doctors. Only about 5% of all doctors in the U.S. are honored in this way by their colleagues as the result of a nationwide survey in which doctors cast more than one million votes.
Valerie Taca, MD, FASAM
Medical Director - Vivitrol Program
Dr. Valerie Taca, MD, FASAM, is the Medical Director of the Vivitrol Program at INSynergy. She finished her Internal Medicine training at Forest Park Hospital in 2006 and on currently on staff at MERCY, SSM-DePaul, and Missouri Baptist Hospitals and practices Hospital Medicine.
She is double boarded in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM).
Dr. Taca was recently given the distinction of Fellow from the American Society of Addiction Medicine for her continued work in the field of Addiction Medicine.
Ben Ritter CRACD, SQP, BGS
John (Ben) Ritter is currently the Program Director and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to INSynergy.
Mr. Ritter has been involved with substance abuse counseling since 2005. Mr. Ritter previously worked in multiple drug court programs as site manager, drug court supervisor and counselor. Mr. Ritter has served as President and Treasurer of the Missouri Association of Treatment Court Professionals and has been on the Board of Directors at Gibson Recovery Centers.
Ben is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and has certifications of CRADC and SQP.
Ashley Halker, MHA
Director of Operations
Mrs. Halker brings to INSynergy highly efficient triaging skills, personable attitude and patient focused mindset. Her experience at Mercy Hospital St. Louis has allowed her to understand the comorbid factors that affect substance abuse and mental illness. She has extensive experience assisting patients and families to understand treatment options and showing compassion while a family struggles with substance abuse and mental illness.
Mrs. Halker graduated from Westminster College with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology in 2009 at which time she joined the intake department at Mercy Hospital. Her focus at triage of emergency psychiatric illness and comorbid substance abuse disorders. She completed her Master's in Health Administration from Lindenwood University.
Patricia Kennedy, PHD
Licensed Professional Counselor # 001239
Licensed Marital and Family therapist # 300064
Dr. Kennedy brings to INSynergy experience in individual, marital and family counselor for children, adolescents and adults.
Her specialties include: Multi-problem families, marital conflict, family counseling, meditation, sexual abuse, anxiety, depression, chemical dependency, co-dependency, adult children of alcoholics, parent/child problems, school related problems, grief issues, children and adolescent issues, physical abuse, self-esteem issues, spiritual issues, Christian counseling.
She completed her Ph.D. at University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware-Behavioral Science.
Rick Flanagan comes to us after completing his Associate's Degree in Human Services along with a specialized certificate in Addiction Studies. Addiction counseling is Rick's 2nd career having a long tenure working at Chrysler for 32 years!
Rick completed his Internship for his Addiction Studies program here at INSynergy, and was hired for his outstanding performance.
"I really want to give back to society in a different way and help them overcome their addictions with new and improved treatment solutions that have been available in the recent years".
Rick enjoys "the healthy lifestyle" and is a former Golden Gloves Boxer from Texas, loves to go running and work out with his wife, and loves spending time with his grandchildren.
Jordan Blankmann, RN
Ms. Jordan Blankmann is highly motivated and dedicated to providing excellent services. She has the challenging task of coordinating and monitoring benefits for our practice. She works closely with patients and their insurance companies to understand and communicate these benefits. Jordan is excellent at advocating the need for medications and treatment recommendations with insurance companies. She will use all these skills to triage the needs of patients and their families. She works closely with our Medical Director, Program Director, and counselors to ensure their needs are being met.
Jordan graduated from Chamberlain College of Nursing in February 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.