Advanced Health and Education is proud to introduce the licensed and certified alcohol & drug treatment professionals that make up our our New Jersey treatment team, as well as the rest of our supportive and caring staff. The treatment professionals at our NJ rehab center have more than 40 years of experience in treating addiction and teaching the life-changing habits that can help you live a life free of alcoholism and substance abuse.
Our professionals incorporate all of our rehabilitation services into individualized addiction recovery programs specifically designed for each client.
Our treatment professionals are passionate about working with people in addiction recovery. They use every available resource to design recovery programs that meet our clients physical and spiritual needs. Clients at our NJ rehab center, also have access to alternative therapies that may enhance the rehabilitation process, including chiropractic services, acupuncture, yoga, and exercise programs.
Meet Our Team
Ian Gershman, MBA
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/DIRECTOR OF COMPLIANCE
Ian Gershman came to Advanced Health and Education in September of 2015 with over 20 years of experience in the addiction treatment field. He has worked in every possible milieu from long term residential treatment to hospital based detox to safer dancing and needle exchange initiatives. With experience, nationally and internationally (9 years working in the United Kingdom and two training stints with substance abuse and mental health professionals in Africa) Ian brings a strong world view in his approach to serving clients. With an MBA, an MA in Education and Counseling, a CADC and a Licentate Diploma in Acupuncture, in his dual role as Executive Director and Director of Compliance for Advanced Health and Education, Ian seeks always to create the organizational systems and mentor and encourage individual capacities to provide an elegant and innovative treatment experience for clients. In his own words his goal for making treatment services excellent is “we deal with the clients in front of us, no matter what issues they bring into treatment, and our objective should always be to remove barriers, create access, encourage growth and recognize that resistance is an interpersonal dynamic – not necessarily a characteristic of the persons we serve. Given the right tools and the ability to use them the persons we serve can do amazing things”.
Brian Ostertag, BA, MA, LCADC, CCS
IOP CLINICAL DIRECTOR
As the Clinical Director of our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Brian is responsible for overseeing the care of everyone who attends our IOP.
He holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Liberty University, a Bachelor’s in Addiction Studies from City Vision College, and a Master’s in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University.
Brian is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Certified Clinical Supervisor. During his 12 years working in substance use disorder treatment and behavioral health he also worked for the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM).
Brian says that the most rewarding aspect of his work with Advanced Health’s clients is helping them overcome the challenges they face in early recovery and seeing them break the bonds of addiction.
Lauren Olsen, BS, CADC, ICADC
CLINICAL QUALITY ASSURANCE SUPERVISOR
Lauren is an Assessment Specialist at Advanced Health. She has been working in substance use and addiction treatment for 10 years. Lauren holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Liberty University and is currently working on her Master’s in Pastoral Counseling with a concentration in Addiction Studies at Liberty University. She is both a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and an International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Before coming to Advanced Health, Lauren worked in various capacities for other employers in the addiction treatment field, including Services to Overcome Drug Abuse Among Teenagers, Inc. (SODAT) of New Jersey, Steiniger Behavioral Health (currently, Twin Oaks), and Rehab After Work, a division of Onward Behavioral Health.
Michelle Hague, LCSW, LCADC
Michelle Hague earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rutgers College and her master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor in the State of NJ.
Michelle is an empathic professional who brings 17 years of experience treating Co-Occurring Disorders in adults and adolescents. She has developed and facilitated programming that is instrumental in treating addictions that are exacerbated by underlying mental health disorders and trauma.
Michelle works closely with clients to remove barriers and provide individualized care. She knows that family involvement in treatment is invaluable, and works to empower clients by including families in the recovery process. Michelle brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to AHE and continues to enhance the program through supervision of all clinical staff and clinical program development.
Our Treatment Staff
Caden McMillan, MSW
Caden holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Monmouth University. She is a member of the International Association of Social Work with Groups (IASWG). Before coming to Advanced Health, she interned with the Phillips House at the New Hope Foundation. Caden loves helping clients succeed by empowering themselves, letting them make the changes needed to enjoy what life has to offer.
Justin Croak, BS
Justin has been working in the field since Oct 2013. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. In September he will be working towards his master’s degree in Social Work at Monmouth University. His favorite part of his job is witnessing people transform their lives when embracing recovery
Jackie Luzzo, BA
Jackie is a Case Manager at Advanced Health. She holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Kean University and has completed her coursework to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Jackie has been with Advanced Health since we opened. She has worked with us in several capacities, including a stint as Case Manager for our IOP program. Jackie’s work focuses on our younger clients, which can be hard but rewarding. She enjoys finding ways to help young people realize their potential while they still have their whole lives ahead of them.
Elizabeth Davies, BA
IOP CASE MANAGER/COUNSELOR INTERN
Elizabeth has been working in the addiction field for two years. Her favorite thing to do at work is helping the clients navigate through the difficulties of repairing damage caused by their participation with their addiction. The most gratifying aspect of her job is working one on one with clients in order to help them identify their strengths and begin using them to rebuild their lives. Elizabeth received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware.
Debra McKinney-Hill, BA, CADC
Debra is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and a Human Services Board Certified Practitioner. Debra also holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Social Science from Thomas Edison State College, as well as a Certification in Biblical Studies from Monmouth Bible Institute. Debra has more than 15 years of experience treating addiction and/or mental illness and has worked in various capacities in the Field of Addiction and Mental Health. Debra is the Founder of Overflow Ministry, whose mission is to serve the needs of the people in the community. She is also a Sunday School teacher for adult new members at Good Hope Baptist Church in Asbury Park, NJ. Debra has a very welcoming and helpful approach when dealing with clients, her desire is to empower them to tap into the strength they possess inside and believe they can recover from addiction.
Dina DeFazio, CADC
Dina is a Counselor at Advanced Health and Education. She has been working in the field of mental health and substance use treatment for more than eight years. Dina is a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. She has worked in crisis intervention, treatment of co-occurring disorders, and medication assisted treatment centers. Dina believes that every client holds the key to his or her own success. Being a part of clients’ journey makes all the hard work worth it.
Natasha Johnson, LPN
LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE
Natasha received her Nursing Degree at Lincoln Technical Institute in Edison, NJ. Prior to working at AHE she worked at JSAS (Jersey Shore Addiction Services) as a medication nurse. Natasha also has experience working as an Addiction Services nurse and was as an assistant manager of a group home for 4 years “What I love most about what I do is being part of a team that are helping clients to transition and transform their lives. I love to see how just through small things, like a compliment, an encouraging word, showing compassion or just a simple smile can boost their esteem and confidence. It’s a joy to watch the progress of a client from the time they begin treatment to the difference you can see when they are successfully completing treatment. This is a rewarding field.”
Michelle Burton, MSW, LCADC
Michelle is one of the Primary Counselor’s at Advanced Health. Michelle holds a Master’s of Social Work from Fordham University’s School of Social Work. She is certified by the State of New Jersey as a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Michelle has been working in behavioral health field for more than 14 years. She specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, trauma informed therapy, and grief counseling. She takes great pleasure in helping to guide and empower her clients so that they can make the healthy changes in their lives that are necessary for the recovery process.
Erica Hoffman, BA, MA, CADC, DRCC
Erica is a Primary Counselor with Advanced Health. She holds a Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology and a Master’s in Criminology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Erica is also a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Disaster Response Crisis Counselor. She has been working in the treatment field for five years. Before coming to Advanced Health, Erica held positions as an IOP coordinator and in program development. She enjoys working with people who are finding the path to recovery and learning a healthier way of living.
Barbara L Murphy, CADC
Barbara is a Primary Counselor at Advanced Health and has been working in the field of addiction recovery for more than 10 years. She is registered as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC). Before coming to Advanced Health, Barbara worked at Anderson House, Guided Life Structures, Mountain View Correctional Facility, Damon House, and Leading Edge Recovery. Barbara enjoys working in Advanced Health’s partial care program, where clients get to experience what it’s like to show up for life each day while also participating in a treatment modality that helps them to transition gently into the world outside of treatment.
Ashley Ryan, BS, CADC
Ashley is a Primary Counselor at Advanced Health. She has been working in the substance abuse treatment field for more than five years. Ashley has prior treatment experience working in various levels of care, including IOP, residential inpatient and detox. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Sciences form Thomas Edison State College, and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Ashley is also a Certified Yoga Teacher and a certified Level 1 Reiki Practitioner. Her work in these practices informs her treatment methods, which can be described as “structure meets mindfulness”.
Vernon Swain, Jr., CADC
Vernon is a Primary Counselor with Advanced Health. He is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsel. Vernon has 10 years of experience in the field of addiction services, mainly in the nonprofit sector, and has worked in many treatment levels, including long-term, short-term, medication monitored, and IOP. Before becoming a Primary Counselor, he held positions as a Case Manager, HIV Specialist, and Counselor. Vernon enjoys the challenges and the rewards that come with helping people to make a decision that will have an everlasting effect on their lives, and that will spread to the lives of their loved ones.
Bill VonGlahn, CADC
Bill is a Primary Counselor with Advanced Health and has more than 14 years of experience working with clients with addiction, dual diagnoses (substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders), and chronic mental health conditions. Before joining Advanced Health, he spent time working with the New Hope Foundation, Ocean Mental Health, Preferred Behavioral Health, and the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. Bill appreciates the opportunity his work gives him to help people who feel at their worst to rise up and overcome their challenges.
Debra Riehl, CADC
Debbie is one of our Counselors and has been working in the substance use disorder treatment field for more than nine years. She holds an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Debbie is also certified as a Level I Practitioner of the Reiki Method of Natural Healing. Before coming to Advanced Health, she worked with the Intoxicated Driving Resource Center (IDRC) of New Jersey, Suboxone and Methadone programs, and programs for women through the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). Debbie enjoys the opportunity her work gives her to help creative and intelligent people as they re-introduce spirituality into their lives.
Chris Terry, BA
Chris Terry is one of our Counselor Intern. He holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Iona College and is working toward becoming a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. He has been working in the mental health field for seven years. To Chris, there’s nothing better than watching someone make the progression from when they first get to Advanced Health to when they leave as healthier and happier people.
Janet Woods, LPN, CADC
LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE/CERTIFIED ALCOHOL AND DRUG COUNSELOR
Janet has over 10 years nursing experience working with adults and adolescents suffering with the disease of addiction and other mental health and physical issues. She has worked in every level of care including ambulatory detox, in-patient detox, PHP, IOP and residential treatment. Janet holds a degree is in Human Services/Addiction Studies and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in addition to an Licensed Practical Nurse. This dual certification and licensure allows Janet to provide a unique style of care for the clients of Advanced Health and Education and to share this perspective with the treatment team. For Janet, the most rewarding part of working in this field is watching the client’s transformation as they make positive changes towards their recovery.
Mariana is an Intake and Assessment Specialist at Advanced Health. She has been working in substance use and addiction treatment for 3 years. Marjana holds a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from Felician University and is currently working on her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and her licensure in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. The most enjoyable part of her job is welcoming new clients to treatment and assisting in their transition toward recovery during this difficult time.
Jamie is Advanced Health’s Alumni Coordinator. She is responsible for maintaining our ongoing relationships with the graduates of our programs. Jamie also coordinates alumni-related events and speaking commitments when graduates come back and tell their recovery stories to current clients. She loves getting to watch alumni grow in their recovery, and having the opportunity to be a resource for them when they need help.
SAFETY AND MAINTENANCE COORDINATOR
Brett is responsible for coordinating the day-to-day safety and maintenance matters that keep our facility operating smoothly. He has been working for behavioral health treatment companies for three years. He enjoys the challenge of learning something new every day with his work, and making sure that clients and co-workers have a safe and well operating place to come to each day.
Johannah is part of the team that keeps our facility running smoothly so that we can focus on helping our clients end their addictions. She is in the process of completing her Bachelor’s degree and has tested to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Johannah has worked in the substance use disorder recovery field for three years and believes that if you can help one person in this life than you have served your purpose.
Our Administrative Staff
Candace Kotkin-De Carvalho
Candace is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree and has been working in the substance abuse treatment field for a little more than two years. Candace is working toward becoming a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) through the New Jersey Prevention Network. She enjoys the opportunity her position gives her to see how much clients change from the day they enter Advanced Health to when they graduate one of our programs.
IOP CASE MANAGER/COUNSELOR INTERN
Traci has been working at Advanced health and Education for over a year, and has held various positions, gaining experience in different roles within AHE. Traci is currently working towards her CADC. Her favorite part of her job is interacting with the clients and helping them get back on their feet.
Doug has been working at Advanced Health and Education for a year now and has experience in various positions within AHE. Doug is currently going to school for his CADC. His favorite part of his job is seeing clients complete treatment with hope in their spirits to succeed. Doug is a welcoming face people see when they first come to Advanced Health and Education.
OFFICE AIDE SUPERVISOR
Walter Toby came to work for Advanced Health and Education in 2014. Working almost from the very beginning Toby brings a wealth of life experience which we have been grateful to have him employ now as the Supervisor of the Office Aides and Counselor Intern. In addition to running groups and sharing his experience he ensures that office aides under his supervision provide for the needs of both the persons we serve and counseling staff by managing the movements of clients through the center and to various outside appointments; communicating client needs in a timely manner and monitoring and managing behavior in the center ensuring safety for all while providing a positive environment for recovery. Bringing his own experience to bear he can share with clients and be a true example of walking the path while being a part of their journey in recovery.