Evolutions Treatment Center offers multiple levels of rehabilitation care for alcohol, drug, and mental health difficulties. Our primary addiction treatment program revolves around a 30-day stay at our luxury addiction treatment center located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.




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Meet the Team

The Evolutions Senior Management and Clinical Teams:

Gedale Fenster

As both Founder and CEO of Evolutions Treatment , Gedale draws on more than 20 years of diversified leadership experience spanning multiple industries, from real estate  to business development.He has also established a network of  over 200 000+ active followers thanks to his series of daily and weekly online lectures. He counts it a great honor and privilege to serve the clients and families who come through our doors. That enthusiasm to serve our clients sets the tone for all that we do here at Evolutions Treatment Center.

Jennifer Tiech LMHC

Clinical Director

Jennifer Tiech is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She is also a Qualified Supervisor for the state of FL supervising interns to obtain their licensure. She has worked in the field of substance abuse and mental health disorders for 30 years. Jennifer have a passion for helping people and helping them to succeed in changing their lives. 

Leon Melnitsky

Primary Therapist

Leon Melnitsky earned his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Florida Atlantic University and his Master of Social Work from Barry University. He graduated from Barry University with 4.0 GPA on the Dean’s Honor List. He is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers. He served as the social media chair for the NASW Palm Beach Unit from 2015 until 2018 and was awarded Social Work Student of the year in 2017. He provided workshops on topics ranging from “Enhancing Skills and Challenging Assumptions: Working with the LGBTQ Community” to “Integrating Social Media in the Social Work Profession.” Struggling with his own journey through addiction provided Leon with special knowledge and insights. He has worked in substance abuse treatment since 2013 in various positions ranging from Alumni Liaison to Lead Clinical Therapist hence truly understanding the full continuum of care the clients need. Some of his expertise includes: client assessment, individual/group addiction counseling, spiritual counseling, crisis intervention, conflict resolution, and sober living community development. He believes that change happens when you get into the individual’s heart and spirit through creating an atmosphere of nurture, compassion, and support. 

Mario Stefan M.D.

Medical Doctor

Joel Wertheimer MD MS

Chief Medical Officer

Medical Director / Psychiatrist

Joel Wertheimer is triple Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, American Board of Addiction Medicine and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists.

Dr. Wertheimer has worked in the addiction industry for 10 years and has a passion for guiding and assisting patients on their road to recovery. His interests include the emotional and biological links between the mind and body, and a compassionate approach to treating patients needs. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Wertheimer carefully listens to the concerns and challenges of his patients. He believes in developing a comprehensive plan of treatment which is a collaborative effort between doctor/patient and treatment team. Through this deliberate process, each patient is provided a plan uniquely tailored to their specific needs and lifestyle.

Dr. Wertheimer earned his Medical Degree at Sackler School of Medicine, with a Master of Science Degree in Physiology and Neurobiology from New York University. He did his residency training at University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. He has worked in many capacities in various institutions including NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, Long Island College Hospital, Maimonides Medical Center, St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Center (New York City). 

Cheryl Emery


Cheryl earned her Master of Science Degree with Honors from Georgia State University. She additionally earned her credential as a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP) upon moving to Miami.  She specializes in complex addiction and developmental trauma. Cheryl excels in helping highly resistant clients including young adults and families affected by the disease, as well as its aftermath.

Cheryl believes that the disease of addiction is a family disease and affects the entire system. She feels that recovery needs to be fostered on a systematic level for it to be lasting. She has spent many years as a family therapist and multi-family group leader working to educate each family member on how the disease can affect each relationship in insidious ways. She is most passionate about inspiring and empowering each family member to become enthusiastic about working a program of recovery.

Fran Kranz, L.PN., CD

Staff Nurse

Fran Kranz started her career in 1977 as a hospital medical/surgical nurse. In the mid 1980’s she entered the field of addiction treatment working with methadone patients, first as a dispensing nurse and then as Clinic Coordinator. Fran has also worked as a nurse in a detox hospital as well as with two PHP/IOP programs.

Jackie Glass

LCSW Psychotherapist

Jackie Glass LCSW is a Licensed Psychotherapist, and Qualified Supervisor of Interns.  She has practiced for over 20 years as an Individual, Family and Group Psychotherapist in various psychiatric and dual diagnosis treatment programs.  She has also served as the Director of a Family Weekend Program for 15 years, educating and supporting family members of loved ones suffering from the pervasive effects of addiction and dual diagnosis issues.  Jackie is a Primary Therapist at Evolutions and continues to serve as a Clinical Supervisor of Masters and Doctoral Level Interns sitting for licensure in her private practice. 

Daimi Cruz


Elizabeth Flores,


Elizabeth is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She provides clinical counseling to clients at all levels of care. Elizabeth is
a native Floridian who has worked as a Psychotherapist and Clinical Director
in Florida treatment and mental health centers for over 10 years. She received her Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Mental Health Counseling from NOVA Southeastern University. Her personal and clinical exposure has
provided her with the skills to guide clients to increase their awareness and debunk limiting beliefs that are constructed by their experiences.
Elizabeth is passionate about being in service to others. She wants clients to understand and embody the belief that they deserve to live their most fulfilled lives.

Michelle Goodwin


Michele has worked as a Clinical Therapist  in the field of substance abuse/ mental health for 22 years. She  has also worked in higher eduction teaching Psychology, Public Speaking and Freshmen studies for 10 years. 
Michele believe’s  that family is one the most essential pieces in treating individuals with addiction and promoting recovery for the entire family, working with various family programs over the years. She also endorses patients completing the full continuum of care to fully develop coping skills needed to maintain sobriety.
Michele supports  many non profits in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and West Virginia that promote finding resources for families and children who have been impacted by addiction.
Michele has also been working on her book “ Never in a Million Years” real stories about the lives of those who have  been impacted by addiction as well as breaking the stigma of addiction, and providing hope for those struggling with addiction, highlighting the personal stories of overcoming addiction .
Michele works as a therapist in the Detox Facility  as well as facilitating groups in the Intensive Outpatient Program at the Fort Lauderdale office.

Zachary Freedman

Admissions Coordinator

An Admissions Coordinator here at Evolutions, Zach helps our clients by explaining our available programs and screening insurance to help best place our clients within them. He also actively builds rapport, trust, and relationships with clients and their families. Zach received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida, and has been in the substance abuse treatment field for over four years.

Born and raised in West Palm Beach, Zach has witnessed the struggles of addiction firsthand and is passionate about what he does, which largely contributes to why he loves helping his clients. Zach is also an active member of AA and attends meetings regularly. When he isn’t working with his clients helping to facilitate admissions, Zach channels his love for music as a journalist for liveforlivemusic.com, where he provides write-ups on albums and live music sets. He considers himself a music connoisseur and sees live music regularly.

Kellie Moon

Admissions Coordinator

I was born in Hawaii and raised in the suburbs in Pittsburgh PA.

after graduating high school several of my friends and a I decided to relocate to Florida. I  started going to school and working with children in Foster Care. Most of the children were placed in the system because their parents were struggling with addiction and some children were born addicted themselves.

I knew than that I wanted to do something to help stop this vicious cycle. I then went to nursing school to pursue my career in the medical field I learned very quickly that it just wasn’t for me and wanted to do something that I was passionate about and being an Al anon myself I started working in  MH SA Treatment  and Recovery where I have the opportunity to help families live happier and healthier lifestyles. Here I am 20 years later with  hundreds of  success stories and still thriving to have hundreds more

Adam Gilreath

Admissions Coordinator

Adam was born in San Antonio, Texas and moved to South Florida in 2008. Clean and sober since 2013, Adam is an active member of NA and has been working in treatment for the past 6 years. From initial screening, to determining appropriate level of care, to verifying insurance, Adam empathetically walks patients and their families through the admissions process. Adam is a trained interventionist and Family in Recovery coach. For many years he worked with youth in the community and is still an active member of the Jewish community. Recently engaged, Adam enjoys spending time with his fiancé and in his spare time loves watching Netflix and playing video games. 

Kristina Martinez

Case Manager

Kristina has years of experience in case management working with those who struggle from substance abuse and mental health. Her love and passion for the recovery community comes from her own personal testimony. As  Case Manager, Kristina is a welcoming face with a warm and compassionate smile attending to all patients needs. She is able to provide support during difficult time for not only the client’s but their loved ones. In addition to managing the client’s external issues, she also guides them with aftercare planning, and assist with applying for supplemental nutrition assistance program. Kristina works closely with the administrative, clinical, and medical departments to ensure all needs are met for each individual patient.

Paul Apanowicz

Housing Director

Paul Apanowicz graduated in 2010 from Wilmington University with a B.S. in General Studies and a concentration in Marketing.  Through his own personal experience and testimony, Paul was led to pursue a career in helping others receive the best care possible during early rehabilitation.  Paul started out in the treatment field in 2016 and has focused on growing in understanding and effectiveness with helping those afflicted with mental health and substance abuse disorders.  Paul focuses on ensuring patients experience a comfortable, safe, and stable living environment and strives to continue to keep patient care as a top priority.

Crystal Lopez

Human Resources

Robert Keiser

Director of Business Development

Robert Keiser has been in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health field for about 10 years and is also in recovery.  His passion for helping people nationwide is unprecedented. He started as an admissions coordinator in 2009 and worked his way to Director of Admissions in 2013. After a couple of years he has moved on to Business Development. Being in recovery from substance abuse , he has exceeded and strives for individual patient clinical care.

Krystal Fulti

Intake Coordinator

Krystal has been in recovery for five years and has broken the cycle of addiction in her own family. She uses her experience to help clients move forward in their own recovery journey and offers guidance through this new chapter of life. As intake coordinator she greets clients that are coming into treatment with us and shows them through the beginning process of recovery here at Evolutions Treatment Center.

Elena Scotto

Director of Housing Fort Lauderdale

Jennifer Walls

Admissions Coordinator

Jennifer Walls is currently in recovery after

coming from North Carolina and completing a treatment program. She volunteered with patients for over a year before coming to work at Evolutions as Alumni Coordinator. Today she works with patients and their families to help them through the process of recovery by building relationships  and following up with them. She coordinates alumni events and meetings. She also facilitates groups and shares her experience, strength and hope to the next addict or alcoholic coming to treatment.

Going through my own trials and tribulations from addiction to recovery, I want to make a difference in our society one day at a time. Taking my passions to help people and put in play at Evolutions has given me the ultimate opportunity to make a difference. I have Extensive experience with community leadership and addictions counseling with a wide range of training through the Florida Certification Board and JACHO. Keeping patients safe is my goal as they are in an atmosphere of recovery and learn to cope with life terms effectively.

Michelle Guedj


Nicole Portilla


Nicole is a compassionate understanding nurse who has worked in substance abuse since the beginning of her career. She has dealt with the heartache that addiction brings throughout her own family. Nicole is caring and patient and understands and provides the nursing care that her patients require.

Rick Kaplan

Behavioral Health Tech

Rick Kaplan has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Miami in Behavioral Studies and a Juris Doctor from the Nova University Shepherd Broad School of Law. He has been Clean and Sober more than twenty two years and has many years of experience in addiction administration and treatment. He is committed to being of service in the recovery of the clients of Evolutions.


 We look forward to helping you start your recovery journey.

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Do you need to contact a certified addictions counselor right away?

Call us 24/7 at 866-771-7091 or use our confidential contact form and we will contact you from our facility as soon as possible.

*Note that we are not a call center, but an actual treatment facility.