About us at Avenir Behavioral Health Center in Surprise, Arizona.

Our Team

Avenir Behavioral Health Center was founded upon our desire to provide seniors experiencing a mental health crisis with the same level of care we would want for members of our own family. Each day, we meet this goal by partnering with an exemplary team of executives, managers, and staff, who all share in the same vision, mission, and philosophy that have made Avenir a senior care leader. At Avenir Behavioral Health Center, we treat your loved one like they’re our family.

Avenir Behavioral Health Center

(623) 432-9218

16561 N Parkview Place Surprise, AZ 85374

Our Leadership

  • Peter Muhlbach, Chief Executive Officer 
  • Peggy Ulland, President of Operations 
  • Richard Cote, Executive Director 
  • Ana Minke, Director of Nursing 
  • Nicole Zuccaro, Business Office Director 
  • Lori Frazier, Business Development & Marketing Director 
  • Juan Balderas, Executive Chef, Director of Culinary Services 
  • Raul J. Rodriguez Sora, MD, Medical Director 

Our Mission

To provide exemplary acute psychiatric services consisting of individual and group therapeutic care in a comfortable, calming, and soothing environment.

Our Vision

To become the Phoenix area’s leader in providing high-quality acute psychiatric services to our geriatric population.

Dr. Rich Cote - Management Executive at Avenir Behavioral Health Center in Surprise, Arizona

Dr. Richard Coté

Executive Director

Dr. Coté is a talented and highly organized management executive with 40+ years of experience in various industries, most recently in behavioral healthcare. He has a demonstrated record of leadership with proven success in building and managing relationships with peers, co-workers, clients, and the general public. He is a creative and highly motivated self-starter with strong initiative and work ethic. He graduated from the US Air Force Academy with a BS degree in Aeronautical Engineering and spent the next 22 years in the US Air Force. During that time, he completed a Masters and Ph. D. in the area of exercise physiology. Upon his retirement, he became the Dean of Academic and Student Affairs for Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, SC. He followed that with a stint in healthcare as the Director of Industrial Rehabilitation for HealthSouth (now Encompass Health) in St Louis. Dr. Coté has spent the last 18 years in behavioral health. He has held various positions ranging from Director of Quality to VP of Operations. For 7 years he worked for a management/consulting company overseeing acute adult and geriatric behavioral health units in hospitals. Most recently, he was the Assistant Commissioner for Substance Abuse Services for the State of Tennessee.

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez Sora at Avenir Behavioral Health Center in Surprise, Arizona

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez Sora

Bio Coming Soon. 

Lori Frazier - Director of Business Development at Avenir Behavioral Health Center in Surprise, Arizona

Lori Frazier

Director of Business Development

Lori Frazier serves as The Director of Business Development for Avenir Behavioral Health Center. Her primary role is to build relationships in the community with professionals and organizations and to educate about Avenir Behavioral Health Center's programs. Lori comes to Avenir with over 10 years experience in Business Development, Marketing and Management within the senior industry. She has held previous positions in Behavioral Health Hospitals, Hospice, Home Health and Senior Placement Services. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a Bachelor's Degree from Arizona State University.
When she is not working, Lori is spending time with her husband Aaron and her two daughters, Madison and Alexa.

Ana Maria Minke at Avenir Behavioral Health Center in Surprise, Arizona

Ana Maria Minke, MBA, RN, BSN

Director of Nursing

Holding degrees in Nursing, Economics, and Banking and Finance, Minke is an experienced nursing management professional with two decades of experience at hospitals and behavioral health units nationwide. Born and raised in the Philippines, she applied her management skills to the health care industry on arriving stateside in 2000, later earning RN, BSN and MBA degrees from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va. Her health care experience spans the pharmacological, surgical, coronary and psychiatric disciplines. For the past five years Minke has served as nursing director at behavioral health units ranging in size from 13 to 100 beds, providing hands-on nursing care as well as financial and administrative oversight. Above all she strives to create a safe therapeutic environment in an adequately staffed, efficiently run, financially viable unit.

Take a Virtual Tour

Flip through our photos and learn more about the care environment at Avenir Behavioral Health Center. Contact our professional and caring team today to schedule your private, in-person tour.