Santé Center for Healing

Top Docs 2021 - Melissa Pennington, DO, FASAM, CEDS
Photo by Penny Whistle Photography

By Meredith Knight

Long before 2016 when she came to work at Santé Center for Healing, Dr. Melissa Pennington was familiar with the established addiction treatment leader and its unique approach.

“I’d had experience in other clinical treatment settings where my patient time was limited by the administration,” she said. “However, minimized interaction isn’t in the best interest of the individual I’m treating. They’re often struggling with more than one issue, and most of them have trauma in the past that’s triggering their current behavior. Each person is unique and needs treatment tailored specifically to them. I knew there was a better way to achieve recovery, and from everything I knew of Santé, I knew it’s where I wanted to serve.”

As Santé’s medical director for more than six years, Dr. Pennington has been able to tailor care to each unique client—and their family—affording them the time and resources they need for as long as they need. A board-certified addictionologist, board-certified psychiatrist, and certified eating disorder specialist, she couldn’t be prouder of Santé’s mission of long-term recovery. Over the past 25 years, the Santé staff has helped thousands of individuals struggling with chemical dependency, trauma, behavioral health, eating disorders, and process addictions, such as problematic sexual behavior and gambling, to achieve healthier, happier, more productive lives.

Santé Center for Healing sits atop one of the largest hills in Denton County with over 16 lush acres of walking paths, scenic decks, and a lake. Interior spaces are warm and inviting and include a gym with a personal/group trainer, a cafeteria with an on-site dietitian, special meditation and conversation areas, and scenic vistas throughout.

Each of Santé’s clinical staff members have masters degrees, extensive experience, and further training in trauma resolution techniques such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), motivational enhancement therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. All Santé staff share the philosophy that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, even if they’ve engaged in hurtful behavior in active addiction. The medical staff stays abreast of pharmaceutical assistance research. Clients can additionally experience neuro-feedback, a drugless method for retraining the brain to function in a more balanced and healthful way.

Many addiction treatment facilities limit care to 30 days, but the average stay at Santé is 45 to 65 days—or as long as the client requires. Success is gauged by goals achieved, not merely days on the calendar. As part of ongoing aftercare, clients can participate in area transitional living and/or Sante’s outpatient clinic, which provides services for both mental health and substance abuse, including individual therapy, and psychiatric services, including medication management.

Santé Center for Healing provides individual and group support and education for clients’ families with clinicians devoted solely to family outreach.

Part of Santé’s 25-year legacy is work and success with licensed professionals (physicians, lawyers, nurses) and their professional advocacy groups, coordinating care with the goal of personal and professional recovery.

Find out more and take a virtual tour at


914 Country Club Road
Argyle, Texas 76226
(940) 464-7222

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