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Georgia Addiction Treatment Center Staff

At Georgia Addiction Treatment Center, each staff member brings a combination of education, training, professional certifications, and hands-on experience. We approach treatment from a variety of disciplines and therapeutic modalities, allowing us to create a truly comprehensive, individualized treatment plan.

Many of our staff members are in recovery themselves, and are excited to share the fulfillment they have found with you. We are real people in recovery, we have been where you are, and we are excited to help each individual find long term recovery.

cody

Cody Moniz

Director of Family and Alumni Services

What drew you to working in the substance treatment field?

One day my mentor asked me a question. He said, “what would you like to do with your life?” After a week of deliberation I came back to him and replied, “I think I’d like to help people.” That simple question put me on the path of working in the field of recovery. As a person who is in recovery myself, I feel that my own personal journey puts me in a unique position to help others who are just like me.

What makes Georgia Addiction Treatment Center stand out?

We look at every individual who comes into this facility as just that, an individual. We do our best to try to work in the parameters of how to best suit every individual’s needs. We look at everybody for what they are, which are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

They say that if you love what you do you never work a day in your life! I love everything here, from the residents who bring their own unique flair to the table, to my clinical team, who make every day a fun and new experience!

keniesha

Keneshia Brown, MS

Primary Therapist

What drew you to working in the substance treatment field?

I’ve known from an early age that God has a special anointing over my life. I’ve always had the desire to help those who are unable to help themselves. My passion for substance abuse and mental health goes beyond just calling this a career. I took at this profession as a ministry.

What makes Georgia Addiction Treatment Center stand out?

Our dedication to our clients’ well-being.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I believe nothing beats the feeling you receive from making a difference in someone’s life. I enjoy getting to know the parts of people that may make others cringe. I enjoy challenging individuals to discover the why in their what. My purpose in life is to help those who are afraid to admit they need help due to the uncomfortable reality that it may bring. I would say giving my clients hope is the most gratifying part of my career.

maxine

Maxine Haynes

Client Care Coordinator

What drew you to working in the substance treatment field?

After struggling with substance abuse, one of the important responsibilities in my process in recovery is giving back to others who struggle with the same dilemma. I believe experience is the best teacher and as an example of how treatment saved my life, my goal is to be that beacon of hope that potentially saves someone’s life.

What makes Georgia Addiction Treatment Center stand out?

Compassion and empathy displayed by our staff are some of the most prominent characteristics which set our facility aside from others. The dedication, support, and teamwork given to clients reflect the outcome of their experience during their time with us.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Watching someone enter our facility completely broken and hopeless, becoming willing to participate in bettering themselves, witness growth, change, and continuous abstinence is the most rewarding part of my job.

marc

Marc Wiltshire

National Director of Alumni and Family Programming

What drew you to working in the substance treatment field?

I was able to create a life of recovery at 22 years old and it is what gave me my life back. Working to bring anybody who walks through our doors the opportunity to do the same brings me joy.

What makes Georgia Addiction Treatment Center stand out?

The extensive knowledge about the disease of addiction and alcoholism and the understanding each staff member has makes Georgia Addiction Treatment Center stand out. Coming into work is a different atmosphere we feel we give the best opportunity for a person struggling to learn and live while assimilating back into the family dynamic as well as being significant members of the community and workplace.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

There are countless rewards that come often daily. Being able to see someone come in one day and completely change the landscape of their life is a blessing to witness, but I think the connections made along the way and getting to know families and being a support in treatment and beyond is the most rewarding experience to be a part of.

debbie

Debbie Ray, LPC, CPCS

Clinical Program Director

What is your full name, title, and the location you work out of?

Deborah Ray (will be Weatherford in a month). LPC, CPCS. I am the Clinical Program Director at GATC.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Warren, Ohio but raised in Warner Robins, GA because of a move with the Air Force.

Where did you go to school? Collegiate degree? What was your focus of study?

University of Georgia for a degree in Psychology and State University of West Georgia for a Masters in Community Counseling. My career has been focused on adolescents and addiction for the last 16 years.

What is your passion for working in the treatment field? (You can share your own recovery story, or you don’t have to disclose)

I started at Talbott Recovery to learn more about addiction. However, during my journey, I realized how close to home it was for my immediate family.

What do you do for your job? List a few responsibilities.

Work on the curriculum, train therapists and interns, and make sure charts are complete, accurate and compliant.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love working in addiction and with families. It’s wonderful to see alums come back, and the promises coming true.

Anything else you want to include in your bio?

I have two kids, 19-year-old Haylee and 16-year-old Braden. I love everything that fall has to offer—cool mornings, festivals, and college football—Go Dawgs. I am getting married soon, so I will also have the cutest stepson on the planet named Baker.

kimberly whitner

Kimberly Whitner, NCC, LAPC

Primary Therapist

What drew you to your work with substance abuse?

People begin using drugs and alcohol for many reasons, but no one uses them with the intent of developing a problem. Addiction causes a whirlwind, sucking in family, close friends and communities. Extending a hand to someone in addiction can be so far-reaching that you could change the life of that person, their family, friends, or community.

What is most meaningful about your work?

What is most meaningful when working with my clients is partnering with them in the commitment to work towards long-term sobriety. It is most rewarding to see the despair melt from their faces to be replaced with the glow of hope, pride, and excitement for their future!

What about your facility stands out?

Here, I have witnessed lived transformed and hope restored. Clients receive treatment in a structured, therapeutic environment that exudes a culture of family orientation, which is a breeding ground for change.

Robyn Goodart, BA, CADC-T

Primary Therapist

What drew you to working in the field of substance use treatment?

I was personally drawn to the field of substance use treatment because of the effect that addiction has had on my life and on my family. There is a need for more understanding about the disease of addiction and a direct need for more support for those who suffer and their families. I feel that this field is one that has been slow to grow in so many ways and the more people who band together to support it the better off it will be in the future.

What makes Georgia Addiction Treatment Center stand out?

GATC stands out because of the individuals who come together each day to make this amazing place run smoothly and those who put their hearts into their work with the clients each day.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

By far the most rewarding part of my job is working directly with the clients and their families. Connections with people is one of the greatest parts of life.

Mahogany Ellis, LPC

Regional Clinical Director

What is your full name, title, and the location you work out of?

Mahogany Ellis LPC, Regional Clinical Director GA

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a small suburban town outside of Chicago called Elgin, IL. Go Bears!

Where did you go to school? Collegiate degree? What was your focus of study?

I am a proud HBCU Grad of Fisk University, where I studied Psychology. I have a Master’s in community counseling from Argosy University.

What is your passion for working in the treatment field? (You can share your own recovery story, or you don’t have to disclose)

My passion for this field is really in helping people. Helping others when they lack the skills, resources, or insight on how to begin healing.

What do you do for your job? List a few responsibilities.

I lead and oversee the clinical program for GA. I provide mentor, supervise, and provide trainings for staff.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Working with the staff, helping them grow so they can be better with the clients we serve.

What do you think sets Amatus apart from other treatment centers?

The staff! Hands down, our staff’s skills and ability to relate to our clients is unmatched.

andrew widota

Andrew Widota

Director of Operations

What is your full name, title, and the location you work out of?

Andrew Widota, Director of Operations for both Georgia Addiction Treatment Center and Atlanta Detox/Atlanta Center for Mental Health.

Where did you grow up?

Monroe Township, New Jersey.

Where did you go to school? Collegiate degree? What was your focus of study?

Monroe Township High School/Middlesex County College (Criminal Justice)-not complete.

What is your passion for working in the treatment field? (You can share your own recovery story, or you don’t have to disclose)

My passion in this field stems from my personal experience with addiction. My clean date is January 8th, 2015. Multiple treatment stays are part of my personal journey, so I strive to operate facilities based on client care, and help as many people as humanly possible.

What do you do for your job? List a few responsibilities.

Handle day-to-day operations of both facilities. Work hand-in-hand with clinical staff to promote exceptional client care.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is being able to help people who are struggling with similar issues to what I dealt with in the past.

What do you think sets Amatus apart from other treatment centers?

The difference between Amatus and other centers is the communication and structure between all facilities. When transitioning levels of care, the process is smooth and seamless.

Anything else you want to include in your bio?

I have extensive training in clinical, medical, and operational compliance. I was trained for three and a half years by a consulting company that focuses strictly on healthcare/behavioral health.

Dr. James Craig

Medical Director

What is your full name, title, and the location you work out of?

James Christopher Craig. I do the medical directorship for Atlanta Detox, Atlanta Center for Mental Health, and Georgia Addiction Treatment Center.

Where did you grow up?

South Fulton County, Atlanta.

Where did you go to school? Collegiate degree? What was your focus of study?

I went to undergrad at Emory University in Atlanta, where I was a Biology major. Then I went to Medical College of Georgia and got my medical degree.

What is your passion for working in the treatment field? (You can share your own recovery story, or you don’t have to disclose).

The first part of my career was during active addiction. I became a family medicine physician and was moderately successful, despite my best efforts at times. When I went into treatment, I was taken care of by addiction medicine physicians. When I left treatment, I started working on becoming an addiction medicine professional.

What do you do for your job? List a few responsibilities.

Basically, head-to-toe care. I assess addictive disorders and decide on detox regimens if necessary, as well as any co-occurring disorders. I also help guide recovery modalities, whether it’s 12 steps, CBT, trauma therapies; I don’t initiate any of those therapies, I just decide whether they’re appropriate and then guide them in the right direction.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Having a patient identify that they’re not alone. Addiction is a disease that grows in isolation, so the therapeutic value of one alcoholic helping another is without parallel. Having a patient see that they don’t have to continue to keep doing things over and over and expecting different results—and that the loneliness doesn’t have to part of the disorder.

The medical is pretty cut and dry; there are certain things you do medically that are just accepted. But the greater part is leading them in a direction to get deeply adherent to a recovery program.

What do you think sets Amatus apart from other treatment centers?

What I’ve seen is that they understand the great nature of this thing. One of the problems right now in the mental health and addiction field is that there’s not a lot of evidence-based standard of care. You can have two people with the same disorder; one goes to one treatment center and one goes to another, and they could potentially receive vastly different care. That’s a problem.

Let’s say two people have coronary artery disease—they’re going to receive the same care, down to the milligram of medication. Why isn’t that the case with something we know is a brain-based disorder? It’s because there are still strongly held false beliefs about the way to treat it.

When I stuck my toe in the water at Amatus, I saw that they really do care about the standard of care. As a scientist—not just a person in recovery—if we’re not talking about numbers, we’re not talking about reality. I need to know that the facility I’m with cares about that, and from what I can tell Amatus does.

Anything else you want to include in your bio?

I have two books. Being a Drug Addict: Other Secrets of Life is published under my name. The second, Push Down and Turn: Under and Above the Influence, is published under my pen name, Kiffer Cole, M.D.

Besides that, not so much—everything springs forth from sobriety. Everything else is just a wonderful extraneous detail.

Lequawn James

MSN, APRN, AGNP-C

Coming Soon!

Justine Irizarry, CADC-T

Office Manager

Coming Soon!

Maybelle

Therapy Dog

Maybelle was a rescue after being a breeder dog for her first year and a half of life. She is now a certified therapy animal and spends her days comforting and playing with the clients and staff at GATC. Maybelle has yet to meet anyone she didn’t immediately love. The presence of an animal during therapy enhances the therapeutic alliance and reduces anxiety during treatment.

Ruthie Mae, Emotional Support Coordinator In Training

Therapy Dog

Coming Soon!

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