Our Staff

Our Staff

Wellspring Center for Prevention is fortunate to have a dedicated group of professionals who work together to build healthy communities. Their seamless teamwork insures that our programs and services are of the highest quality. Each staff member is committed to providing the best service, whether answering the help-line, working in various County schools, teaching parents how to help their children, or providing information at a health fair. Which is why every Wellspring staff member plays an important role in carrying the agency’s mission of excellence substance use prevention, education, and advocacy. We are proud of our diverse, engaged staff that is committed to your success.

Executive Director/CEO

Ezra 1Ezra Helfand, BA

As Executive Director, Ezra is the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation. His duties include: Implementing the agency's strategic plan; Planning for program services, staffing, physical resources, and funding;  Monitoring implementation of policies and procedures to assure programs and services are delivered effectively and efficiently; and Establishing and maintaining working relationships with community groups, service providers, government offices, and the media. Ezra also continues to develop print and electronic publications for the Council and manage the agency's web sites and social media efforts. Ezra can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Director of Finance

Lizette 1Lizette Fallon, BS

Lizette manages all financial activities of the organization to insure fiscal stability and timely submission of all required reports to various funding sources. Keeps the Administrative Team abreast of both agency and project level financial information. Prepares all budgets and gathers all data required for full external audit. You can reach Lizette at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Deputy Director – Pathways

Lauren 1Lauren Balkan, MSW, LCSW

Lauren has over 25 years of experience in the Social Services field. Prior to joining the agency Lauren held positions as an Outpatient Program Manager, Director of Patient Advocacy and Director of Clinical Services.Lauren currently provides overall supervision of program services and direct supervision of all staff at Pathways. Lauren also provides counseling services to students at Carteret High School and represents the agency at various local, County and Statewide organizations and associations. Lauren also assists the Executive Director as a member of the management team. Lauren can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Deputy Director

HelenHelen Varvi,  M. Ed., CPS

Helen has been involved in the prevention field since 1990 when she joined the Municipal Alliance in her community as a volunteer. She also held various human resource and training positions in banking and financial services. Helen worked as the full-time coordinator for the Allentown-Upper Freehold Municipal Alliance for eight years, delivering prevention programs for children, parents and community organizations. She joined Prevention First in Monmouth County in 1998 and had responsibility for presenting and managing a number of prevention grants and programs. She currently provides overall supervision of program services and direct supervision of all staff at our East Brunswick office. She delivers agency programs and is an instructor of CPS classes. She represents Wellspring at various local, County and State organizations and associations. Helen assists the Executive Director as a member of the Administrative Team and represents the agency in the Executive Director's absence. Helen can be reached atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Accounting and Training Coordinator

Lissette

Lissette Mejia-Bacharde

Lissette provides support to the Executive Director and Director of Finance and is responsible for the agency’s addiction training courses and general office management. She is also fluent in Spanish. Lissette can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coordinator of School and Family Programs

Heather Ward, MSW, LSW, CPS

HW

This position is responsible for the overall coordination and management of grant-funded and fee for service programs delivered in Middlesex County public and private schools. She prepares and presents educational programs directly to students, parents, and community groups. Heather represents Wellspring at multiple community and organizational events. You can contact Heather at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coordinator of Coalition and Community Programs

Mara Carlin, BS, CPS

Mara

This position is responsible for the overall coordination and management of the Coalition for Healthy Communities and grant-funded and fee for service community outreach programs delivered in Middlesex County. Mara also prepares and presents developmentally and culturally appropriate educational programs and presentations directly to students, parents, professionals, and community groups in various settings; facilitates evidence-based prevention curricula; provides information and referral services, and carries out special projects as assigned. You can contact Mara at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Coordinator of Program and Professional Development

Nicki Francis, BA

Nicki

Nicki is responsible for identifying fee-for-service opportunities and implementing professional development programming in schools, agencies and other professional audiences in both Middlesex and Monmouth County. Nicki is multi-certified in evidenced-based prevention strategies and proficient in best practices for community-level change. Expert in facilitating Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug education presentations, violence prevention workshops; designing prevention curriculum development and making appropriate program modifications to match needs of target population. Nicki can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Clinical Supervisor - Pathways

Anna Pepe, MSW, LCSW

Anna 1

Anna is working with teens from Carteret High School through the PATHWAYS program to serve students who may be at risk where violence or dependence is concerned. Anna supervises program Clinicians both at the high school and middle school. She also oversees the Girl Talk program, an after school recreational group which provides a healthy outlet for female youth to discuss issues that are important to them while receiving peer support. She also oversees and the Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club which provides the students of Carteret High School with a fun and safe space to express themselves and address LGBTQ topics. She  You can reach Anna at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Substance Abuse Navigator

Valerie Wright, LAC

Valerie Wright

Valerie is one of two Substance Use Navigators (SUN) employed by Wellspring. As the SUN, Val provides consultation to community providers, Children’s System of Care (CSOC) system partners, families, advisory groups, and/or governmental entities serving or advocating for youth (under 21 years of age) with substance use challenges and residing in the defined service area. She works to identify, lead, support, and inform collaboration among all youth-serving systems. You can contact Valerie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Clinician I - Pathways

Jelysa Hernandez, LSW, MSW

JH

Jelysa (Jey) is a Licensed Social Worker and will be providing individual, family and group counseling to the students of Carteret high school and middle school. Jey will be working with teens from Carteret High School through the PATHWAYS program and serve students who may be at risk where violence or dependence is concerned.  You can contact Jelysa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Clinician I - Pathways

Jeanne Neuwirth, MSW, LSW

Jeanne

Jeanne is a Licensed Social Worker and will be providing individual, family and group counseling to the students of Carteret high school and middle school. She will be working with teens from Carteret High School through the PATHWAYS program and serve students who may be at risk where violence or dependence is concerned.  You can contact Jeanne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Office Manager - Pathways

KBKaren Boateng

Karen provide assistance to the Pathways Program Supervisor. Guide all activities of office operations to insure efficient work flow. In addition, manage daily sign in sheets and monitor traffic flow to ensure students, faculty and guests are properly directed. Karen can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Preventionist I

Melisa Damcevska, BS

Melissa 1

Melisa is a recent graduate of Rutgers University where she studied Public Health and minored in English. Melisa facilitates evidence-based prevention curricula in County schools. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Preventionist I

Gina-Marie Miraglia, BA

GinaM2

Gina is a graduate of Rowan University where she earned a Bachelors of Arts, Health and Exercise Science, with a concentration in Health Promotion and Wellness Management and a minor in Psychology. At Wellspring, Gina facilitates evidence-based prevention curricula in County schools and the various communities the agency serves. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Preventionist I

Jenna Lynn Bonstein, BA

Jenna

Jenna comes to Wellspring having worked in various organizations that enhance people's lives and help individuals reach and sustain recovery. She is a graduate of Kean University.  At Wellspring, Jenna facilitates evidence-based prevention curricula in County schools. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Preventionist I

ShaRonda R. Amon, BA

Sharonda

ShaRonda is a dedicated professional with 20 years’ experience with at risk children and their families and over 15 years' experience in the field of prevention At Wellspring, ShaRonda facilitates evidence-based prevention curricula in County schools. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Preventionist I - Part Time

Cathy Cardew, MSW, LSW

CathyC

Cathy facilitates evidence-based prevention curricula; provides information and referral services, and carries out special projects as assigned. Cathy can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Clinician I - Part Time -Pathways

Lisa Lussier, LSW, MSW

Lisa Lussier

Lisa is a Licensed Social Worker and provides individual, family and group counseling to the students at Carteret middle school. Lisa serves students who may be at risk where violence or dependence is concerned.  You can contact Lisa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Preventionist I - Part Time

Hugh Wallace

Hugh imageHugh possess over 18 years’ experience in the substance use field. He is dedicated to enthusiastic and dynamic teaching as a means of creating and nurturing a lifelong love of knowledge in children. Hugh facilitates evidence-based prevention curricula in County schools. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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