I was born in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Throughout my formative years and into high school I was a good student and competed in both football and track and field and graduated with meritorious honors. After graduating from high school, I started college (which I subsequently dropped out of due to my addiction to drugs) and worked at a cleaning service company where I worked my way into management within one year. For many years I was able to obtain work as a manager in the services industry, but unable to maintain the job (again due to drug addiction).
Unfortunately, during my early adult years, I experimented with drugs and alcohol and fell victim to the powerful grip of addiction. I tried desperately for over 20 years, to break free from the grip of drug addiction, going in and out of treatment centers and churches, begging “God” for deliverance. My addiction to drugs led me to many years of unemployment, loss of finances, homelessness and sleeping in abandoned buildings and “crack’ houses. I was in and out of jails, shot in the head and stabbed, suffering many other tragic and near-death situations.
Moreover, and most regrettable, my addiction to drugs caused so much hurt and pain in the lives of others. For example, I lost my marriage to my 1st wife (1991) due mostly in part, to my addictive behaviors, which subsequently prevented me from providing financial support to her and my oldest children. Furthermore, my addiction caused major disruptions in all my family and personal relationships, and in the end; I lost my self-respect and self-worth. In the early 2000’s, I had a very powerful spiritual experience (that I know was God) that helped me to surrender and use courage and faith, which subsequently lifted my obsession to use drugs.
After the obsession to use drugs was lifted, I made up my mind to take full responsibility and change my life. I decided to stop blaming others for my failures, my feelings, and my fears. With the help of a few friends in recovery and a mentor, I conducted painstaking and introspective work on myself, made amends to as many people as I could (especially my children and family members), and forgave myself. During the early course of my recovery from addiction, I realized that my past transgressions and addiction to drugs, led me to my true passion and purpose in life, which is to influence, inspire, encourage, teach, and help others suffering from addiction and human developmental struggles.
In my efforts to become more effective at helping others I walked through my fears and went back to school in 2006 and earned an Alcohol and Drug Specialist Certificate from Glendale Community College in 2007 and became a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor by the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California & the California Alcohol and Drug Educators (C.A.A.D.E). In 2007 I attended Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena CA. and earned both my bachelor’s degree with a Specialization in Early Childhood Education (2010) and master’s degree in human development (2012).
In addition, I also completed all the core course requirements in the Marriage and Family Therapy program before changing my major to Human Development. During my years in school, I worked as a clinical director for two different drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. I also worked as a substance abuse counselor at various mental health and substance abuse treatment centers working with adults and adolescents. I obtained certification as a personal fitness trainer and started my own fitness training business. In the spring of 2012, I was accepted to the Chicago School of Professional Psychology where I earned my Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology all the while maintaining a perfect grade point average of 4.0 throughout my entire school process.
Earning my Professional Fitness Instructor and Trainer Certifications gives me a unique understanding of how to emphasize and integrate holistic health to patients. My areas of specialty are administration, psychoeducation, group and individual psychotherapy, family therapy and education, motivational speaking, life skills education, substance abuse counseling, communications skill training, twelve step education, specialized forensic mental health treatment, and health & fitness and nutrition consultation.
I am also the Executive Director of Dedicated Behavioral Health Foundation, a non-profit aimed at providing housing, counseling, and life skills to homeless and ex-nonviolent criminal offenders deserving of a second chance. These important tools will help them maintain housing and cope with daily stressors in a healthy manner and live a self-supporting life.
“Let fear be what it is…but do not let fear determine who you are.” Dr. Keith Marshall, Psy.D., M.A., LAADC, SUDCC-IV-CS,
Family and Addiction Medicine
Dr. Moses Nasser has a double board certification in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. His experience in addiction medicine goes back to when he started meditating in medical school over 20 years ago. The adventure of spiritual growth that followed led to the study and use of holistic healing, music for meditation and healing, guided meditation, and guided imagery, and understanding the deep physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual reasons that we turn to addictive substances and behaviors. This led to a medical weight loss practice where he integrated a complete mindfulness program for emotional eating and food addiction.
Dr. Moses continued to practice Family Medicine, including Osteopathic Manipulation and meditation, and teaching spirituality and natural healing. He also practiced urgent care medicine and created a large-scale mindfulness-based customer service program for a large medical group, training hundreds of health care workers in how to treat patients with compassion and empathy.
Dr. Moses then fully transitioned out of family medicine, urgent care, and customer service to practicing Addiction Medicine. He attained his “MAT” certification (Medication Assisted Treatment) and so prescribes medications for cravings, notably buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex) and naltrexone (Vivitrol). He gained his board certification in Addiction Medicine through the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine. He also underwent a fellowship training to build up his psychiatric skillset (TNT-Primary Care Psychiatry Fellowship), treating clients with addiction for their underlying mental health needs, especially depression and anxiety. He is now the medical director of multiple addiction recovery centers in southern California.
In 2017, Dr. Moses found himself in the midst of a terrible divorce and needing to take the same medications he was prescribing for his patients, but now for his own depression and anxiety. This experience brought a new depth of compassion and empathy for his patients. Thankfully, in October of 2019, he had a spiritual conversion and became radically healed. Now, free of medications, he has gained an even deeper understanding of the nature of addiction in relation to God, including the concepts of forgiveness, guilt, shame, faith, hope, peace, and spiritual power. He is seeing his clients healed and walking in victory and freedom from guilt and shame, making great progress in conquering their addictions, and gaining full possession of the beauty and richness of life that is their inheritance.
Here Dr. Moses describes his approach to care:
“It is imperative that I take the time to listen carefully to every client, for as long as you need, until you feel heard and understood and seen, and until I fully understand where you are coming from, what you need, and what it is that I can offer to help you on your journey of healing. I am a partner with the client; I don’t tell you what to do. We work together to figure out a plan that we are both happy with in moving forward in the healing adventure. I also make sure to explain how each medication works, the possible side effects, and the possible dosages that we can use. I prefer not to overmedicate my clients; I would rather help you find that sweet spot where your symptoms are relieved, but you still feel like you are yourself, and you can function at your absolute best for your family, your work, your friendships, and in every area of life. And as the medications help you to be your best, we must realize that the medications don’t heal you! Healing takes work. So, we will explore, together, what types of healing resources will work best for you, from therapy to fellowships and meetings, and I will encourage you to pursue your healing through those means while monitoring your medications the whole time. In time, as you pursue your healing, you may not need a certain medication anymore! And maybe you will. Either way, I’ll be excited to walk alongside you and take the journey with you! Even as you read this, I declare VICTORY over you! You are a mighty warrior, and you will conquer every addiction that has held you down! You will live a life filled with the abundance and peace that God has planned for you! Bless you!”
Clinical Supervisor and Mental Health Consultant
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Dr Johnson is both a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, specializing in Depressive Disorders. Dr Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Black Studies from the University of California, Riverside.
Dr. Johnson continued to advance his education and earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California (USC) Los Angeles, and his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Clinical Psychology from Cambridge Graduate School of Psychology, Los Angeles California.
Dr. Johnson brings a vast amount of education, experience, and guidance and direction, to Dedicato Treatment Center. In addition to his duties with Dedicato, he is also the President and Head Deacon of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Los Angeles.
Kirsten Winter has been trained in many brain-based modalities, among them EMDR, Brainspotting, and Image Transformation Therapy. These modalities help and support individuals in their healing from trauma, depression and anxiety. She is a very compassionate therapist and works closely with Dedicato clients to support them in their healing recovery. Her core strength is in her almost magic ability to help clients identify old wounds, notice patterns in their lives and begin the work on healing. Kirsten acknowledges that trauma that has been repressed with no conscience memory, is stored in the body and can lead to other challenges. Through the modalities she utilizes she can even help release these traumas from the nervous system and focus on healing. Her work is central to our integrative model of Mind, Body, Spirit, releasing the self from limiting beliefs.
Lilly Marshall was born and raised in the city of Pasadena, California. Lilly knows firsthand the negative ramifications of substance abuse because she grew up the child of an alcoholic father and then watched her husband struggle for many years with an addiction before he got clean and sober. After growing up witnessing and dealing with an alcoholic parent and then watching her husband suffer from addiction Lilly decided that she wanted to work in the field of addictions treatment in a supportive role.
In her efforts to grow and develop Lilly went back to school to Northwest College to earn a Certificate in Medical Insurance Billing, and to the University of Phoenix to earn both her Associate and Bachelors Degree’s in Health Care Administration.
Currently Lilly is the Corporate Secretary and Administrator for Dedicato Treatment Center, handling and coordinating all the administrative and secretarial functions.
Jeffrey was born and raised in the Southern California area. Jeffrey is an avid football fan and enjoys spending time with his children and family. In 2004 Jeffrey suffered severe injuries in an automobile accident which subsequently led him to being prescribed pain medication to deal with the pain from the injuries.
As a result of taking main medications, Jeffrey developed an opiate addiction which placed him on a troubled path. Jeffrey experienced many years of addiction replacing one substance for another attempting to self-medicate. In 2017 after so many of the negative consequences from his addiction, especially almost losing his wife and children, Jeffery surrendered to the recovery process.
Jeffrey’s freedom from addiction and continued work in the 12-step process has given him a passion for helping others who suffer from addiction. Thanks to his growth and development here at Dedicato Treatment Center, Jeffrey has continued his education and is studying psychology.
Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor
Certified Addictions Specialist
After many years of struggling with her own addiction Sheila overcame her addiction and rebuilt her life. As a result of those changes Sheila decided to pursue the necessary education requirements to become certified as an addiction professional under CCAPP, so that she could be better equipped to help others overcome their addictions and rebuild their lives.
In addition, Sheila pursued her education to become an AFPA Certified Yoga Instructor so that she could use other specialized approaches to help people. Sheila shares her yoga practice and her love of the outdoors with clients as a way to connect with their own spirituality and to find their personal center. By including physical exercise and fresh air into her work with clients she is able to help them build structure, discipline and fun into their daily routine. Her goal and her passion are to help clients discover and reach for their personal “best”. Setting goals and celebrating our client’s personal achievements is a core component of her philosophy and a cornerstone of the Dedicato mission.
Case Management and Clinical Support Services
Kalen has been working at Dedicato Treatment Center since 2016. Kalen’s interest and passion to help people who suffer from addiction and human development struggles, came after hearing and reading his father’s traumatic story of addiction, abuse, homelessness, and how he overcame his struggles. In addition, Kalen witnessed a close family member struggle with addiction and mental health issues.
Kalen’s is a State of California, Rio Hondo League, and San Gabriel Valley, High School Track and Field Champion (100, 200, and 400 meter run and the 100- and 400-meter relays). Kalen was also a Basketball All-Star and helped his high school team make the playoffs and compete for a state div 4 championships for three straight years. In addition to his high school athletic career Kalen participated in college Track and Field winning many races in the 200 and 400 meters, and 4x 400-meter relays. His outstanding high school and collegiate sports career have given him a strong work ethic and team work approach.
Kalen earned two Associate Degrees in Psychology and Social and Behavioral Science from Pasadena Community College, and his Bachelor of Psychology Degree from California State University-Fullerton.
Tiffani was born in Simi Valley California. After dealing with a lot of traumas at a young age Tiffani had difficulties coping with life and how to forget the painful tragedies of her past. Despite her early childhood and adolescent struggles Tiffani excelled in school and graduated with double honors in performing arts and academics.
Tiffani stated that her family life growing up was very dysfunctional, and she often felt alone. During her formative years she was often influenced anyone who validated her, even if they were not living a productive life. While in high school Tiffani often hung around people who used drugs and alcohol.
In 2012 Tiffani’s was in a devastating car accident that caused physical injuries that required her to get on pain medicine that she ultimately became addicted to. Tiffani struggled for 10 years with an addiction to pain medicine and ultimately heroin. Her addiction caused her to experience multiple overdoses, being homeless on skid row, and disrupting all her family relationships.
Finally, after many years of fighting what seemed like an unwinnable battle with addiction, she finally surrendered and jumped into the recovery process with the desperation of a drowning man.
After overcoming addiction, Tiffani realized that the pain of her past addiction and struggles with life, could be used to help others who are struggling addiction and life, so she decided to go back to school and become a drug and alcohol counselor. Tiffani attended and graduated from Glendale Community College with a Certificate as a Specialist in Alcohol and Drug Studies.
With 7 years sobriety and a passion for living a clean and healthy life, Yesenia embodies what it means to live a life in recovery. Constantly pursuing new certifications and trainings available for connecting on a deeper level with the clients she meets every day, Yesenia serves as a mentor and coach.
Yesenia not only works full time as a support technician, but she is also a regular volunteer at the Union Rescue in Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood. She also works with HIV patients doing intervention and screening for substance abuse red flags. Yesenia does not shy away from community outreach and working with the most vulnerable populations. She is dedicated to helping our Dedicato clients find their path to recovery by sharing her story.
Clinical Support Services
Karen was born in the City of Arcadia California and raised in the city of Pasadena CA. Karen Graduated from Pasadena high school in 2009. Karen unfortunately started to experiment with drugs and alcohol at a very young age after dealing with some traumatic experiences.
After many years of suffering addiction Karen eventually surrendered to the process of recovery, overcame her addiction, and rebuilt her life. During the process of rebuilding her life Karen became Certified as Nurse Assistant and worked for many years in patient care. Today Karen is in school to obtain her certification to become a drug and alcohol counselor, something she states that she is very passionate about, especially because of her own past struggle with addiction.
Outside of work Karen loves to dedicate her time to her two beautiful children and family and explore positive and purposeful adventures.
Registered Alcohol Drug Technician
Chef and Food Services Manager
Melanie is phenomenal chef who puts caring, love and compassion into the foods she prepares. She also strives to help her clients build a healthy relationship with their body, taking stock of what they put into it and how they feel as a result. Food is love, food is nutrition, and food is medicine. Melanie works with each client while they are in our care to build healthy meal preparation into their daily routine. Taking stock in what we put into our bodies helps to keep us mindful of the relationship between our health and our ability to impact it.
The nutrition program at Dedicato is not just about how great the food tastes (and it does!), it is the foundation of how we remind our clients to love and care for themselves. We are blessed and lucky to have a chef who has such a whole body and mind holistic approach to building nutrition roadmaps.
In addition to our core clinical and administrative staff, Dedicato Treatment Center is dedicated to providing some of the best treatment options available. In addition to the “core” staff highlighted above, we also employ and utilize a number of Licensed and Certified Independent Clinicians for group facilitation and individual counseling.
Dedicato Treatment Center is dedicated to caring, and seriously committed to providing treatment that will enhance our patient’s ability to achieve optimal mental health and recovery from chemical dependency.