Despina Vougioukas currently serves as the Director of Vocational Services at the Lower East Side Service Center (LESC) in New York City. Despina is responsible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services as well as Early Intervention Services of 900 outpatient clients and 200 residential clients. Despina has worked with LESC since 1998, and her current responsibilities include Adult Substance Use Disorder Treatment, Opioid Treatment/Medication Assisted Treatment, and Vocational Re-entry.
Despina has over 25 years of work experience in a variety of chemical dependency and psychiatric treatment settings. She currently serves as an advisor on the AVRASA (Association of Vocational Rehabilitation in Alcoholism and Substance Abuse) supervisory panel.
Despina received two Master’s degrees from Columbia University Teachers College: one is in Counseling Psychology, specializing in substance abuse/addiction counseling, and the other is an Educational Master’s degree, specializing in rehabilitation counseling.
Despina is licensed as a Mental Health Counselor, a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and Master Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor, specializing in gambling, and a Certified Brain Injury Specialist.
Her academic experience includes serving as Adjunct Associate Professor at Hunter College, CUNY, and at Brooklyn College.
Despina regularly works as a Vocational Expert for Simmons Grab & Associates, LLC. Her current expertise includes analysis and wage loss earning capacity in her vocational evaluations for personal injury cases as well as determining imputed wage loss for spouses who are under-employed or unemployed in divorce cases.
Despina does presentations on site for LESC and at vocational conferences on vocational rehabilitation, employment preparation services, opioid treatment services, and general chemical dependency treatment services.