Pathway to Hope Staff

Lisa Scott, BA, Executive Director

Lisa ScottLisa graduated The University of Northern Colorado in 1999. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Communications. Lisa started in the field of addiction in 2007 and continues her studies in dependence education.

Lisa has worked in almost every position in the treatment industry; including a Behavioral Tech, Group Therapist, Interventionist, Director of Business Development, Chief Operating Officer and now is the Executive Director at Pathway to Hope.

From her own fight with addiction, she understands the intensity of this disease and has seen miracles take place.  There is nothing she enjoys more than spending time with her clients. She resides in Fort Lauderdale with her husband Chris and their three dogs. eMail Lisa


Kyle Serechia, CAC, Program Director

Kyle SerechiaKyle earned his degree as a Certified Addiction Counselor and began working in the field in August 2006.

Kyle has held a variety of positions since that time including Behavioral Tech, Case Manager, Admissions Coordinator, and Therapist. He has been responsible for taking calls from distressed families and addicts, offering them help and direction. His devotion to helping those struggling with addiction often meant answering calls 24 hours a day. During Kyle’s employment with a detox facility, he acted as a primary counselor to every client that walked through the door.

Kyle specializes in conflict resolution, relapse prevention and motivational groups. He is now the Program Director at Pathway to Hope and has helped build this treatment center.

Antonio De Filippo, MD, Medical Director

Dr. Antonio DeFilippo, M.D-ADoctor De Filippo is triple board certified in Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, and Addiction Medicine currently practicing in Broward county Florida. He is active in many areas of the medical industry and is experienced in both treatment and management. He has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry as a consultant and national speaker to the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations.

Doctor De Filippo began his career as a double major at the University of Miami where he achieved a Bachelor in Science with honors. He continued his academic career at the University of South Florida where he earned his medical degree. He returned to Miami to complete his residency training at University of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. Doctor De Filippo currently is an adjunct professor of psychopharmacology at Nova University Medical School. He is fluent in English, Italian and Spanish.

Heather Holder, ARNP

Heather HolderHeather has been a Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner with a specialty in Psychiatry since 1996.

She received her BSN and her MSN from Florida International University in Miami, and is currently completing her studies towards a doctoral degree in Nursing at Barry University in Miami. Heather has worked in the Miami and Broward area since completing her studies in 1996.

She has worked at several area hospitals, community mental health centers, and in private practice. Heather is an Adjunct Professor at Florida International University, and Barry University.
Heather works collaboratively with Dr. Antonio DeFillipo at Pathway to Hope ensuring that the medical and psychiatric services are individualized and comprehensive. eMail Heather

Aimee Payton, LPN

Aimee PeytonAimee first became licensed in Virginia after graduating from Medical Careers Institute of ECPI University. Aimee became licensed in Florida in 2011 and furthered her career as a nurse undertaking further training in psychiatric nursing.

At Pathway to Hope, Aimee works hand in hand with the ARNP and psychiatrist to provide exceptional healthcare services to all clients. Aimee’s ability to work well with others and form meaningful relationships with patients makes her a great fit for the Pathway to Hope family. eMail Aimee

Klaus “Freddy” Castellon, LPN

Klaus CastellonKlaus Freddy Castellon Graduated as an LPN in 2005 from Miami lakes tech. His career in nursing has been dedicated to the field of addiction, psychiatric and mental health. He has honed his skills as a nurse by working the past ten years directly with this community. He continues to strive to provide exceptional service in the battle against addiction.

Freddy enjoys working directly with his clients in helping them achieve their goals on the path to recovery.


Ari Kadem, Ph.D, Psychotherapist

Dr. Ari KademDoctor Kadem received his B.A from St. Thomas University in 1977, an M.A from the University of Miami in 1978 and his Ph.D from the University of Illinois in 1984. He is licensed by the Department of Children and Families, is a registered drama therapist and a certified hypnotherapist. He is a member of the National Center for Crisis Management, the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society and is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. His areas of expertise include: cognitive reframing behavior therapy, psychopathology, family therapy, couples therapy, premarital consultation, domestic violence, anger management, improving self esteem, vocational rehabilitation, addiction counseling and psychodrama.

Tina Saunders, LMHC, Trauma Specialist

Tina SaundersTina Saunders, LMHC received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and then her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Trinity International University. Tina is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Certified Addictions Professional and is EMDR trained. Tina has been in this field more than 12 years, both in inpatient and outpatient settings.

Tina focuses on all general psychological issues, though trauma work, addictions, and relationship conflicts tend to be a majority of her clientele. Tina offers a full integration of cognitive-behavioral, psycho-dynamic, and faith-based modalities.

Jeff Smith, BA, CAC, Primary Clinician

Jeff SmithJeff has a passion for helping others find happiness and a new way of life through long term recovery from drugs and alcohol. Throughout his years in the addiction treatment field, Jeff has served as a Residential Manager, Substance Abuse Case Manager, Group Facilitator and Director of Administration.

Jeff specializes in educating our clients on healthy coping skills, early recovery skills, and relapse prevention. Jeff also utilizes the participation and insight of the clients’ families to support the treatment process. eMail Jeff

Devin Walsh, CAC, Primary Clinician

Devin WalshDevin has been working in substance abuse treatment since 2009. He began as a Behavioral Health Technician in a detoxification center in North Miami. It was there that he learned the essentials about dedicated and compassionate client care. After 15 months as a BHT Devin transitioned to new position as Admission Coordinator for a nationally recognized substance abuse treatment organization where he helped countless people overcome their fears and take that vital first step toward recovery. It was during this time that Devin completed the necessary courses in preparation for his degree as a Certified Addictions Counselor. Devin joined Pathway to Hope in April 2013, and is happy to say that the past months have been the most rewarding since he started in this field. eMail Devin

Rachel Smith, MS, Primary Clinician

Rachel SmithRachel graduated with her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University after receiving a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. With a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, Rachel specializes in relationships and views addiction as a destructive relationship between a person and their drug. At Pathway to Hope, we believe that addiction impacts the family just as much as it affects the addict. Rachel believes that incorporating the family into the therapeutic process is essential to healing and treatment. She strives to mend relationships within the family system, while also helping our client’s improve the relationship with themselves.

Every individual client is unique and deserves treatment specific to their needs. Rachel treats all clients with compassion, dignity, and respect to help clients build and create a solid foundation for recovery and change.

Shannon Nuñez, MA, Primary Clinician

Shannon Nunez

Shannon Nuñez received her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Trinity International University. Shannon is currently working toward her Florida Licensure as a Mental Health Counselor and Certified Addictions Professional.  She has worked as a Primary Clinician in the field of addiction and co-occurring mental health issues since 2008 and has a genuine passion for this population.

Shannon believes that the therapeutic relationship can lead to insights and lasting changes with the client and therefore, she offers an environment that is safe and free of judgment to help the client develop a healthier view of the world and a less distorted view of themselves. Shannon provides structure with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy by helping individuals become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking patterns. She uses a direct and empowering approach to confront deep rooted issues in order for the client to rebuild. Shannon believes in her clients until they are able to fully believe in themselves.

Sara Copeland, MA, Out Patient Clinician

Sara Copeland

Sara Copeland is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in the state of Florida who graduated with a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Trinity International University in 2013.

Sara has been working in the field of counseling for three years now. Before working as the Intensive Outpatient Therapist, she led groups and provided counseling at Fair Oaks Pavilion in Delray, Florida.  Sara’s passion is for her clients to find their true identity, free from alcohol and substances, and to find wholeness through the therapeutic relationship effecting growth and change for a fulfilling future.


Vernon Martin, Family Therapist/ Group Therapist

Vernon Martin

Vernon has been counseling in South Florida over 20 years. He has had experience in addiction treatment including chemical dependency, eating disorders, dual diagnosis, and PTSD. He currently counsels as a consultant specializing in group therapy.

His counseling style engages participants to address issues and situations in a reality-based discussion resulting in practical resolutions conducive with ongoing recovery. His hands-on approach when dealing with clients and families is his way to ensure their stay at Pathway to Hope is a memorable one.  eMail Vernon

Vinny Richards, B.A, Group Therapist

Vinny RichardsVinny is a unique clinician who went from working in Treatment Centers to being a successful independent contractor bringing motivational enhancement lectures and relapse prevention programs to half-way houses and rehabs. He received a BA in Psychology from Queens College. He then went on to further study alcoholism and addictions at the New School.

Vinny has been working in the field twenty years and recently celebrated twenty-eight years of sobriety. A graduate of Wellness, Martin U. recently filmed a documentary on Vinny and it won an award as the best documentary in his school.


Karen M. Gauci, M.P.H., R.D., L.D. Nutritionist

Karen FauciKaren is a registered and licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist with a Master’s degree in Public Health and is currently in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida. She is the owner and president of 2001 Nutrition Services, Inc., a company with the philosophy of providing education, teaching and counseling in all areas related to nutrition. Karen has specialized for over 20 years in the following areas related to nutrition: substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, weight management, chronic disease risk reduction, health promotion and wellness, sports nutrition, pediatrics, eating disorders, and local and national presentations.

For many years, Mrs. Gauci was the nutritionist at the Palm-Aire Spa Resort in Pompano Beach, Florida and worked with many celebrities. She is also the author of the Cookbook, “Delicious Nutritious Spa Recipes from the Spa at Palm-Aire”. A few years ago, Karen wrote a program for large corporations to help lower their health cost entitled “Superitis, A 5 Star Plan for Better Health”.

Jason Usilton, Admissions Director

Jason UsiltonJason oversees the admissions process, acting as liaison between prospective clients and the treatment professionals at Pathway to Hope. He assists in determining the needs of those seeking treatment and works to facilitate an appropriate placement. Working closely with individuals and their families, he is available to answer questions about our treatment program and to address concerns regarding the admissions process.
Jason grew up in southern New Jersey and has resided in Fort Lauderdale since 2008, where he has gained valuable experience in the field of addiction recovery. He is dedicated to helping those who are seeking professional help in overcoming their addictions make a smooth transition into an appropriate treatment facility.  eMail Jason

Gary Pierce, Admissions Coordinator

Gary has been in the recovery field for nearly 2 years now, where he has gained valuable experience in the field of addiction. Gary started his journey as a Behavioral Health Technician, working hands on with clients on a daily basis. Gary grew up in central New Jersey and moved to south Florida in 2012. He specializes in rapport building, which allows clients to relate and feel comfortable throughout their treatment stay.
As the admissions coordinator, Gary is responsible for initial contact between prospective clients and family members. He assists in determining the needs of those seeking treatment and works to facilitate an appropriate placement. Gary is available to answer any questions you may have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. eMail Gary

Richard Falls, Case Manager

Richard FallsRichard has an enthusiastic and passionate approach to recovery. Born and raised in New Jersey, he has been an active member of the recovery community for over 5 years. Richard’s recovery has allowed him the inside look on the disease of addiction, and that can make all the difference when encouraging those new in recovery to give it their all. Richard’s work as case manager allows him to be a part of the client’s treatment process from start to finish, keeping treatment a top priority over all outside matters. Richard specializes in aftercare planning, as well as maintaining with any law enforcement agencies, employers, and/or government agencies as needed.





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