As the Executive Director of New River Wellness Center, Valerie is responsible for the day to day operations and development of the Center. With over 20 years in the addiction (substance use) and mental health field, she is most passionate about providing the utmost professional and compassionate care to clients. She believes that providing high quality care is the result of a well-managed business in coordination with the use of effective clinical and medical interventions. Valerie is responsible for ensuring that New River Wellness Center is a living demonstration of our organizational values: autonomy, respect, and dignity. Valerie obtained her Bachelors in Health Services Administration from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL in 1992 and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Barry University in Miami Shores in 1998.
Director of Clinical Programming
Melissa Miller, BS, MS, MBA, LMHC
Melissa is a second-generation Floridian born and raised in South Florida. She obtained her dual-degree undergraduate degree in English and Business from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fl. Upon return to South Florida, Melissa completed a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Fl. Melissa felt especially connected to the concept of human growth and organization holding several positions in the field of event management. She felt compelled to complete her second graduate-level degree in the field of Counseling due to the enigmatic impact of personal and professional motivators. Melissa completed a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Nova Southeastern University. Melissa excels at providing a nonjudgmental, therapeutic environment conducive for introspective awareness and growth. She is currently trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) focused on the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Moreover, Melissa has worked with both adolescent and adult substance abuse populations. Melissa has held several administrative roles and continues to maintain her clinical judgment as an administrator. In addition, Melissa is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida and specializes in psychotherapy related to addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, and chronic low self-esteem.
Dr. Branislav Stojanovic
Dr. Branislav Stojanovic, Medical Director of New River Wellness Center, is one of the few trained neuropsychiatrists in the United States. Dr. Stojanovic completed his residency training program in General Psychiatry at the University of Illinois – Michael Reese Hospital Psychoanalytic and Psychosomatic Institute in Chicago. Dr. Stojanovic then completed his sub-specialty training program in Neuropsychiatry at the Department of Neuropsychiatry, University of Illinois. Dr. Stojanovic provides a hands-on approach to the treatment of substance use and mental health disorders. He prides himself on his ability to address medical concerns in real time with his daily on site presence at New River Wellness Center. Dr. Stojanovic believes in working with clients in ways to minimize any discomfort and promote overall wellness. He and his trusting sidekick Aga, his dog, are here daily to ensure you, or your loved one, are well cared for while at New River Wellness Center.
Yoga and Meditation
Michele came to the mat at a time in her life when she was seeking to heal her own spiraling health issues. It was these health challenges that brought her to deeply examine the changes that needed to be made and ultimately realized those challenges as gifts which lead her to her dharma – life purpose and passion. It was love at first class and it was from that moment that she began to experience it’s healing power. Michele began her yoga teacher training in 1999 in the Iyengar
and Ashtanga traditions. Shortly afterward she opened her first yoga studio in Staten Island and the second in Brooklyn, NY. Michele has studied with world renowned teachers Dharma Mittra, Shiva Rea, Alan Finger, Richard Freeman, Rodney Yee, David Life, Sharon Gannon and others. Michele is devoted to deepening her knowledge and practice in the Science of Yoga as a lifelong journey.
Michele classes are always rooted in the relationship between breath, body and mind and customizes her classes based on the needs of each person. Her therapeutic work includes clients with multiple sclerosis, cancer, anxiety, depression, PTS syndrome, vertigo and others. Michele’s vision is to empower as many individuals she can with the tools they need for self healing and perhaps guide others to connect with their own life purpose.
Michele is a registered Yoga Alliance teacher with well over 10,000 hours of teaching experience and is certified as an ERYT- 500 holding the designation of Experienced, Yoga Alliance’s highest ranking.
Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist
Maureen Mahoney is a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist who has extensive experience in the field of nutrition, including acute care, oncology, long term care, weight management, wellness, counseling and addiction and recovery. After managing a wellness center in Texas for several years Maureen returned to Florida to focus on helping people struggling with addiction. Over the past decade Maureen has successfully helped clients with a wide range of addictions and challenges. She counsels individuals, teaches classes and conducts seminars. With her skill as a Certified Advanced Life Coach Maureen has worked with people from around the globe to help them progress in their personal lives as well as their businesses. Her clients include best selling authors, Olympic athletes, corporate executives and those eager to pursue their dreams.
Maureen is the founder of the Mahoney Family Fund. She collaborates with other nonprofits to mitigate violence and increase social justice. In 2016 Maureen was presented with a Congressional award for her work in expanding violence prevention programs. Maureen was born and raised in Massachusetts; she holds a B.A. From Boston College and a B.S. From Florida International University in Nutrition & Dietetics. Maureen is currently authoring a book on her transformative journey.
Tami Sue Marazon
Lamp to my feet step study and relapse prevention is a class designed to help women stand on their own two feet and become Victorious over the addictions that have stood in the way of healthy relationships and freedom to become women of integrity.
Our creative and unique approach to reaching our girls and women on a spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical plane is to use props, literature, interaction, music therapy, recovery yoga and meditation. I know personally how addiction can affect not only the individual but everyone who loves them. Our goal here at New River is to create a safe environment in which to heal families one person at a time.
Licensed Acupuncture Physician/Florida
Karen L. Rowe, AP
Karen received her training in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Academy of Chinese Healing Arts in Sarasota, Florida. As a student, she attended a seminar conducted by Dr. Michael Smith, MD who created the NADA protocol used extensively with addicts to assist in their recovery from drugs and alcohol. This early exposure to working with patients in recovery had a profound affect on her desire to help those who struggle with addictions. She graduated from ACHA in December of 2000 and holds a masters in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Since May of 2001, Karen has been licensed by the State of Florida as an Acupuncture Physician and has maintained a private practice in South Florida since 2003.
Dr. Rowe joined the clinical staff at New River Wellness in 2013, offering group sessions to clients one morning a week. Of all the different groups of clients she works with, she finds the weekly morning group the most rewarding, citing their honesty and promise of renewal motivation to help all clients struggling in recovery.