Wellspring Center for Prevention

Promoting the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities
through the prevention of addiction-related problems across the lifespan.

Administrative Staff

Executive Director/CEO

Ezra 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 Ezra.Helfand@WellspringPrevention.org.

Lizette 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.
Lizette Fallon, BSDirector of FinanceLizette.Fallon@WellspringPrevention.org
Lauren 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 Balkan, MSW, LCSWDeputy Director – PathwaysLauren.Balkan@WellspringPrevention.org
Helen 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 Varvi, M. Ed., CPSDeputy DirectorHelen.Varvi@WellspringPrevention.org
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 Mejia-BachardeAccounting and Training CoordinatorLissette.Bacharde@WellspringPrevention.org

Our Staff

Heather Ward, MSW, LSW, CPS
Heather studied sociology at Wingate University. After graduating in 2006 with her BS, she returned to New Jersey where she attended the social work program at Rutgers University; Heather graduated in 2008 with a Masters in Social Work (MSW). In 2012, Heather received her Certified Prevention Specialist credentials. She has worked as a supervisor for the ARC of Middlesex County’s after school programs and a case manager for co-occurring consumers in a partial care facility. Heather has been working at WELLSPRING since 2009. She prepares and presents educational programs directly to students, parents, and community groups. She presents the agency's school-based primary prevention programs as well as staffing the information/referral helpline at multiple community and organizational events.
Heather Ward, MSW, LSW, CPSCoordinator of School and Family ProgramsHeather.Ward@WellspringPrevention.org
Mara Carlin, BS, CPS
Mara graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1999. She began work as a SPARK counselor for the New York City Board of Education from 1999-2002, where she provided prevention programs to students at Sheepshead Bay High School. She was also the peer leadership advisor through the SPARK program where she helped high school students facilitate conflict resolution. In 2002, Mara joined the agency as the REBEL Coordinator, New Jersey’s Youth Anti-tobacco movement. She then began to present school based prevention services and transitioned to a Prevention Educator, and soon after became the Education Coordinator for the agency. Mara left the agency in 2008 to stay home with her 2 sons, and returned full time in 2015 and is currently the Coordinator of Coalition and Community Programs.
Mara Carlin, BS, CPS Coordinator of Coalition and Community ProgramsMara.Carlin@WellspringPrevention.org
Nicki Francis, BA
Nick Francis joined Wellspring in 2015. She is multi-certified in evidenced-based prevention strategies and proficient in best practices for community-level change. She is an 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. She has proven ability in research, and writing and evaluating grant funded programs. Nicki is a trainer for agency programs and after school prevention group programs for middle school students. She continues to develop and implement professional development programs for school faculty on the topic of social media influence. She also delivers presentations on a variety of topics at school assemblies, to school educators, parents and administrators, and to healthcare professionals.
Nicki Francis, BACoordinator of Program and Professional Developmentnicki.francis@wellspringprevention.org
Anna Pepe, MSW, LCSW
Anna is working with teens from Carteret High School. Anna supervises program Clinicians both at the high school and middle school. She oversees the Girl Talk program, and the Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club.
Anna Pepe, MSW, LCSWClinical Supervisor - PathwaysAnna.Pepe@WellspringPrevention.org
Mallory Stufsky, MSW, LCSW
As the SUN, Mallory 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. Mallory obtained her Masters of Social Work in Licensed Clinical Social Worker from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mallory Stufsky, MSW, LCSW Substance Abuse Navigatormallory.stufsky@wellspringprevention.org
Jeanne Neuwirth, MSW, LSW
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 through the PATHWAYS program.
Jeanne Neuwirth, MSW, LSW Clinician I - PathwaysJeanne.Neuwirth@WellspringPrevention.org
Karen 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 BoatengOffice Manager - PathwaysKaren.Boateng@WellspringPrevention.org
Karolyn Estevez, BA
Karolyn is a graduate of Rutgers Universityy where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. At Wellspring, Karolyn facilitates evidence-based prevention curricula in County schools and the various communities the agency serves.
Karolyn Estevez, BAYouth Development Specialist - Pathwayskarolyn.estevez@wellspringprevention.org
Lisa Lussier, LSW, MSW
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.
Lisa Lussier, LSW, MSW Clinician -PathwaysLisa.Lussier@wellspringprevention.org.
Melisa Damcevska, BS
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.
Melisa Damcevska, BS PreventionistMelisa.Damcevska@wellspringprevention.org
Gina-Marie Miraglia, BA
Gina is a graduate of Rowan University. At Wellspring, Gina facilitates evidence-based prevention curricula in County schools and the various communities the agency serves.
Gina-Marie Miraglia, BAPreventionistginam@wellspringprevention.org.
Jenna Lynn Bonstein, BA
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.
Jenna Lynn Bonstein, BA PreventionistJenna.Bonstein@wellspringprevention.org
 ShaRonda R. Amon, BA
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.
ShaRonda R. Amon, BAPreventionistShaRonda.Amon@wellspringprevention.org
Cathy Cardew, MSW, LSW, CPS
Cathy facilitates evidence-based prevention curricula; provides information and referral services, and carries out special projects as assigned.
Cathy Cardew, MSW, LSW, CPS PreventionistCathy.Cardew@WellspringPrevention.org
Hugh Wallace
Hugh possess over 18 years’ experience in the substance use field. Hugh facilitates evidence-based prevention curricula in County schools.
Hugh WallacePreventionistHugh.Wallace@wellspringprevention.org.