These are just some of our many caring team members:

James

CEO

As CEO and owner of The First Step Health Foundation Inc., I put the safety and well-being of our patients and staff above all else. I never forget that we are dealing with people’s lives, and I spend much of my day obsessing over how we can improve, as there is always room for improvement in any organization. I also recognize that sometimes the smallest things can make a huge impact in a client’s day – whether it is the comfort of our form-fitting mattresses so that our clients can have a good night’s sleep, to ensuring that our staff gives frequent smiles to our clients and notices anything that could be made more comfortable for our clients, to offering encouraging words throughout the day.

Lachaune

Director of Operations

I started my exposure to the community as a professional bail bonds agent for over 14 years and noticed that a lot of the people I was releasing from the jail had an underlying addiction. I always wished there was something I could do or some way I could help in changing their lives. My grandmother struggled with addiction, which I noticed in my early childhood. I believed this is what helped guide me to the field of addiction. I developed a passion for working with and helping those seeking recovery. I eventually got in the field of substance abuse as a Behavioral Health Technician and immediately took on a caring, loving and understanding approach to the field. My years of experience and dedication helped me build real world results to better lives for both the clients and their families. When I’m not working, I love to travel.

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

Lily

Director of Nursing

In the Nursing field since earning her RN in 2013, Lily has a passion for the care and treatment of the patients placed under her supervision. Earning her Bachelors in Nursing in 2017, she has continued to strive for better patient care through constant self-improvement and the furthering of her knowledge base. Raised in Miami, Florida, Lily enjoys running in her spare time as a natural way to de-stress.

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein

Justin

Nursing Supervisor

I was born in the great city of Chicago and raised by an outstanding single mother who always instilled in me the importance of being kind to others. Nursing is one passion of mine because there is no greater feeling than being able to help another person. Working with people who struggle with addiction is a passion of mine because I lost my grandfather to alcoholism. Remember the darkest hour is just before the dawn, don’t give up!

Dexter

Clinical Director

Dexter comes to First Step Health Foundation with extensive experience in substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. He started his career in Human Services and Counseling in 1999. Dexter graduated with a Master of Arts in 2005 from NJCU. He also furthered his education and gained extensive experience in behavior modification and dual diagnosis through the counseling of adult incarcerated offenders. He is also a Master Level Addiction Professional (MCAP), Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist (CCTP), Certified Criminal Justice Addiction Professional (CCJAP), Certified E-Therapist (CET) and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ICADC). Dexter promotes a holistic approach to treatment and places the client as the central point of focus.

“The client is bigger than the addiction and is not defined by the addictive behavior in the recovery process.”

Christina

Therapist

Christina holds a Master of Arts in Art Therapy, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, Dance Movement Therapy Intern.

She attained her Masters of Arts in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) known as one of the most influential programs in North America and internationally. Christina works from an Expressive Arts Multi-Modal approach. She has professional dance experience, writes poetry, performs spoken word and has experience in drama/acting. She uses her many talents and abilities and integrates all of her art interests within her Art & Dance/Movement Therapy practice. Christina has been accepted into the 92Y Harkness Dance Center’s Alternate Route Dance Movement Therapy program in New York. She is in the process of becoming a Registered Dance Movement Therapist in addition to obtaining her License in Mental Health Counseling in the state of Florida. She uses the multi-modal approach to provide a safe, non-judgmental setting to facilitate personal growth and healing. Christina believes that this process fosters release, self-understanding, insight and awakens creativity and transpersonal states of consciousness.

Michael

Outreach and Director of Business Development

Business Development at First Step Health Foundation.

Having many run ins with addiction at different points in my life, I developed a passion to provide a solution. Addiction is malicious, destructive and life threatening. I became a professional combating addiction in 2012. I work hard and vigorously and managed to reach hundreds of addicts with a solution. Over the next 5 years from 2012, I’d fine-tune my skills and become a Director able to train new employees and educated those who follow the work of helping addicts. As a Director I helped 2 start up companies and also managed a marketing team of 40. Through all of my work, I am proud to be a part of First Step Health Foundation and happy to call it home. We at First Step care and want to be beside any addict attempting their First Step towards recovery.

Catherine

Outreach and Business Development

I am Catherine Daniels. I am a woman in recovery who has struggled with addiction and also work in treatment. I have a passion and love for helping others in need who suffer from addiction. I know how hard it is to let the drugs and alcohol go, but I also know how great life is when you do let them go. There is help and we at the First Step Health Foundation are here to help !

Adam

Outreach and Business Development

I am Adam, on the First Step Health Foundation Outreach Team. I work with clients to help get them into the facility. I help coordinate with our therapists for individualized aftercare and discharge plans of each client. I assure safety measures are being met to help ensure effective treatment. I also maintain close relationships with South Florida’s top providers in the healthcare and treatment industry. I am proud to work at First Step Health Foundation, where clients are treated with respect and dignity. I work with each client individually and help them with every step. I believe in treating the whole person with knowledge and support.

Arnesia

Behavioral Tech (BHT) Supervisor

Arneisia came to First Step Health Foundation as our Behavioral Health Technician Supervisor. She assigns daily shift tasks, trainings, and scheduling for the BHTs and ensure the compliance of these tasks. Arneisia has been in the field for 5+ years and enjoys helping others. Having a few bumps in the road as a troubled teen, she completed a 2-year substance abuse therapeutic community program, which gave her a deep understanding of the recovery process. She has first-hand knowledge of what truly works and is able to empathize with the client. Arneisia completed Addictions Academy as a Certified Recovery Coach, and this gave her the ability to guide and support a person in recovery from addiction and help prevent relapses.

When asked what sets First Step Health Foundation apart from other facilities, Arneisia says “I love the fact that our facility is truly about the client and their recovery.”

Michael

Senior Behavioral Tech

Hello, I’m Michael, one of the great behavioral health techs here at First Step Health. I am a single parent of a beautiful nine-year-old girl named Malisia. I love lazy Saturday afternoons at the pool and Sundays filled with Pittsburgh Steelers football, but my passion is to help the still sick and suffering addict to recover…