Our Team


Susan Linback, RN, MBA

District Director
Palomar Center for Behavioral Health


Susan Linback is the administrator who oversees the Behavioral Health service line, with services at all three hospitals as well as the outpatient arena. Susan believes that the first priority for herself and her staff is to be a patient advocate and to model the dignity and respect that every individual deserves.

Susan has more than 25 years of experience in the health care industry – with the last 20 at Palomar Health. She has held clinical, operational, and leadership positions in hospitals, outpatient settings, and community organizations, both public and private. Susan is proud to be an employee of Palomar Health and to be able to provide high-quality behavioral health services to the members of this community. 


Karen Sommerfeld, Ph.D.

Program Manager
Palomar Outpatient Behavioral Health


Karen is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 25 years of experience working with the mentally ill population. Dr. Sommerfeld supervises pre-doctoral psychology interns in the CAPIC-approved psychology intern training program. She and her staff are committed to providing the best quality care for patients struggling with mood disorders, psychosis, personality disorders and addictive behavior problems.


Shelley Korytko, MHA, BSN, RN, PMHN-BC

Inpatient Program Manager
Palomar Behavioral Health Program

Shelley Korytko is the inpatient Program Manager who supervises the nursing, social work, and clinical program staff for the Behavioral Health Unit at Palomar Medical Center Downtown Escondido and the Geriatric Psychiatry Unit located at Palomar Medical Center Poway.

Shelley has 18 years of experience in health care with more than 15 years in behavioral health. Shelley has held leadership positions in the private and non-private sector, including both inpatient and outpatient settings, and has been a proud Palomar Health employee for the past 10 years.


Badalin Helvink, M.D., Psychiatry

Medical Director
Palomar Health Psychiatry Program

Badalin Helvink, M.D. is the Medical Director of the Psychiatry Program at Palomar Health. She completed her residency and fellowship at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, Virginia. After completing her training in Psychiatry with a sub-specialty in Geriatric Psychiatry, she accepted a position at Naples Community Hospital in Naples, Florida. She served as the Medical Director and was elected Chairperson of the Department of Psychiatry in 2007. She remained a member of the Medical Executive Committee through January 2012.

In addition, Dr. Helvink was appointed Assistant Professor for NOVA Southeastern University while building a thriving and successful practice. After eight years in Florida, she accepted a position as Medical Director of the Adult and Geriatric Psychiatric Program at Palomar Health.

Dr. Helvink enjoys traveling and the arts. She has volunteered for the Tibetan refugee community in Dharamsala India under the auspices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She resides in Rancho Santa Fe, CA with her family and dog, Max.



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