Our Addiction Treatment Team in Los Angeles, California


JD Kalmenson CEO of Renewal Health Group

JD Kalmenson

CEO, Founder

JD Kalmenson is the Founder and CEO of multiple behavioral healthcare companies in Southern California and Arizona.

Among these is Renewal Health Group, a family of comprehensive addiction treatment centers, Montare Behavioral Health, a dynamic brand of mental health treatment centers, and Zenith Behavioral Health, a collection of high-quality psychiatric hospitals and adolescent treatment facilities.

In addition to these responsibilities, Kalmenson hosts a bi-monthly podcast for Montare Media called Discover U, which highlights complex mental health and chemical dependency issues in interviews with industry professionals, experts, and renowned authorities in various behavioral health fields. The podcast is available on all platforms.

Always interested in broadening and deepening the industry standard, Kalmenson is the creator of a cutting-edge diagnostic tool for chemical dependency issues called “Discovery Model.” He is partnering with Yale University to assess its efficacy.

Kalmenson is a Yale Chabad Scholar, a skilled facilitator, teacher, counselor, and speaker, who has previously provided chaplain services to prisons, local groups and remote villages throughout the world. His diverse experience as a rabbi, chaplain, and CEO has inspired his passion and deep understanding of the necessity for effective mental health treatment and long-term sobriety.

Elliott Liebhard

Elliott Liebhard

CFO, Founder

Elliott Liebhard is one of the founders and chief financial officer of a family of behavioral healthcare companies that includes Renewal Behavioral Health Group, Montare Behavioral Health Group, Zenith Behavioral Health, Trellis Recovery, and Conscious Health and Wellness Centers. Elliott provides leadership and oversight for building financial infrastructure, and strategic financial planning. With his vision, these organizations have achieved a high level of care, infused with values of empathy, authenticity, and purpose. 

Marlon Rollins

Marlon Rollins, PhD, LPCC, LMHC

President, and COO Renewal Health Group

Marlon Rollins, PhD, LPCC, LMHC is a member of the California Hospital Association, and a licensed therapist with more than 15 years of experience in mental health, dual diagnosis and addiction treatment management. He has served as CEO and COO at some of the largest psychiatric hospitals and addiction programs in the state of California.

In his role as COO and President of Addiction Services with Renewal Health Group, Marlon supports leadership to align operations to meet organization goals. He also advises on strategic planning with the CEO and CFO to help enhance program services.

Dr. Rollins is the author of Healing the Impoverished Mind: Building Resilience Through Adversity. He is a suicide loss survivor of his sister Amber who was a nurse and battled addiction. He dedicates his work to honor her memory of caring for others. He is a board member of United Survivors International. He has also served as a BIPOC mentor with the American Association of Suicidology, and is a member of the Steering Committee for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Dr. Rollins is passionate about enhancing quality of life and well-being through high quality care. As an ordained minister, he uses his faith and experiences to inspire others to seek healing.

Marlon enjoys hiking, photography, drawing, and working out for self-care.

Stephanie Rosten

Stephanie Rosten

VP of Admissions

Stephanie Rosten is the Vice President of Admissions at Montare Behavioral Health and Renewal Health Group. Her personal journey of recovering led her to find her calling in the field of behavioral health treatment.

Stephanie’s passion for helping others began as a dependency technician while she was attending College of the Desert. Her role as a case manager inspired her clients to return to school and seek gainful employment through her own actions. Stephanie received her CADAC credentials from The Center for Addiction Studies and Research.

As a leader, Stephanie encourages her team of 15 admissions counselors to meet clients where they are and provide the support they need to begin their journey towards recovery.

Stephanie Rosten also oversees the community Veteran departments for the RSVP program, Resilient Star Veterans Program. Through this program, Stephanie is committed to providing comprehensive mental health treatment to veterans struggling with a variety of mental health disorders. Her leadership and dedication to this program have helped to create a safe and comforting atmosphere for veterans seeking mental health treatment.

Dr Heather Wong

Dr. Heather Wong

Associate Medical Director

Dr. Heather Wong, DMSc, MPAS, PA-C, CAQ-Psych is a Doctorate level Physician Associate who has been working in Addiction Medicine and Psychiatry for more than five years. Prior to her work in Addiction and Psychiatry, she worked in Family Medicine at a local FQHC clinic. Heather initially worked as a Biomedical Engineer developing medical devices, but found her passion in working directly with patients. She transitioned to practicing medicine in 2017. She has specialty certifications in Psychiatry, as well as being fluent in Spanish.

She enjoys working with all clientele, but does specialize in working with POC and the LGBTQAI+ community. Her passion lies in helping patients find their reasons for being, renewing their health, and honoring their path and who they want to be.

Faridah Gonzalez LVN

Faridah Gonzalez, LVN

Regional Director of Nursing

Faridah A. Gonzalez has been practicing as a Licensed Vocational Nurse for the past 13 years. Initially, Faridah worked for a Non-Profit Community Health Center, where she provided community outreach and chronic health education to patients. Her first hand experiences at the Community Health Center made her realize she had a passion for helping those struggling with addiction, so she decided to help in a more direct manner. In 2014 she focused her career on working in Substance abuse and dual diagnosis recovery treatment. It wasn’t until 2017 that she found her home with the Sanctuary Treatment Center. Faridah started with the company as a Lead Nurse and though hard work, determination and commitment to the betterment of patients and staff, she rose to become the Executive Director for Renewal Health group. Today, she leads a team of clinical, medical, and patient support staff. Faridah promotes a vibrant culture of growth and support, ensuring that all staff members are set up to succeed. She is a fierce advocate for ensuring that the medical and mental health needs of her clients are met.

Erin Thorley

Executive Director

Amy Crichton

Amy Crichton

Executive Director: Phoenix Rising Recovery Center

Amy Crichton is the Executive Director and founder of Phoenix Rising Recovery Center. Amy brings 20 years of experience in the field of addiction and recovery to this position. During her recovery from her own addictions, she developed a passion for working with other addicts. She worked in non-profit-criminal justice therapeutic community style treatment for over 10 years and in the private industry since. Amy has helped set up and design many programs in the recovery field as well as helps guide compliance for facilities in California. Designing Phoenix Rising was not only a vision but an accumulation of experience in multiple modalities and treatment styles to form a unique environment to start the journey to choosing life. Amy believes that every single person truly has the ability to not only recover but create a fulfilling and productive life. She believes that providing an environment that is authentic, compassionate, and innovative creates a foundation of healing, strength, and growth.

Dr Darren Lipshitz

Dr. Darren Lipshitz, MD

Darren Lipshitz, MD brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team.

Originally hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Lipshitz’s family immigrated to the United States during his childhood, and he became an American citizen in 1985. His academic journey led him to the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology. Driven by a passion for helping others, he then pursued his degree in Medicine at the esteemed Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

After enduring four chilly winters in Wisconsin, Dr. Lipshitz sought the more favorable climate of Northern California. There, he completed his Residency in Family Medicine at the UCSF-affiliated program in Salinas. Following his residency,  he ran a successful solo, private practice in Sausalito, CA, serving as the trusted “town doc” for numerous families across various demographics. From affluent communities to underserved populations, Dr. Lipshitz’s dedication to providing quality healthcare was evident.

Driven by the desire for new challenges and personal growth, Dr. Lipshitz relocated to Southern California, where he now joins our team at Renewal Health Group. In 2015, he became Board Certified in Addiction Medicine, further enhancing his ability to address the complex physical and social issues often associated with addiction. Despite his specialization, Dr. Lipshitz continues to view patients through a primary care lens, ensuring comprehensive and holistic care for all individuals under his care.

For the past eight years, Dr. Lipshitz, has been treating patients in various detox and residential treatment facilities across Los Angeles County. His dedication to understanding each patient’s unique needs and providing personalized treatment plans has positively impacted countless lives. Patients can trust in his expertise and unwavering commitment to their well-being.

Outside of his professional endeavors, Dr. Lipshitz, enjoys spending quality time with his four-legged, furry companion, Billi, exploring the beautiful beaches and parks of Los Angeles. When he’s not busy diagnosing and treating, you might find him indulging in a good book at a coffee shop or embarking on an adventure along a scenic hiking trail.

Operation Directors

Melissa Sidnam, MA, SHRM-SCP

Melissa Sidnam, MA, SHRM-SCP

Director of Human Resources and Operations

Since joining Renewal in 2016, Melissa has held positions in admissions, counseling, and program management. In her current role as Director of Human Resources and Operations, Melissa’s emphasis is on alignment of the human resources function with the strategic goals of the organization. She specializes in employee management and relations, policy/procedure development, regulatory and legal compliance, management training and coaching. A native Californian who grew up in the Bay Area, Melissa received both her BA and MA in Psychology from Humboldt State University and Certificate in Addiction Studies from Diablo Valley College. In 2021 she achieved the SHRM Senior Certified Professional Certification. Melissa is a firm believer that our employees are our greatest assets and a workplace can only flourish when everyone feels valued, respected and accepted.

Karl Kirsch, LMFT, LAADC

Karl Kirsch, LMFT, LAADC

Clinical Director Phoenix Rising

Karl Kirsch is an LMFT and LAADC with 20 years experience in the helping professions. He specializes in treating individuals with mental health and addiction issues. Mr. Kirsch is the Clinical Director at Phoenix Rising Recovery. In this role, he directs program content and implementation, along with the supervision of clinical staff. Karl maintains a strong working relationship with educational institutions and provides a stable platform for the practical training of student interns. Karl has held counselor, therapist, and management positions throughout his career. He is an active member of CAMFT. He is grateful whenever a client has a positive shift in behavior and achieves a greater sense of happiness and satisfaction with their own lives and relationships. Karl has supervised many interns and associates who have gone on to licensure themselves. Mr. Kirsch is a family man with a wife and two young daughters. He is an active community member, an avid runner and cyclist, and when not with his family, he can be found hitting the trails or pavement.
Denise Cooney

Denise Cooney

Clinical Director for Sanctuary Treatment Centers

Denise Cooney is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 22 years of experience working in mental health, dual diagnosis, and addiction and recovery treatment. She is the Clinical Director for Sanctuary Treatment Centers, the Los Angeles based SUD program within Renewal Health Group. Denise found her calling in the field of addiction and recovery in 2014 after spending the first part of her career working with children in the foster care system as a Clinical Director for a community-based organization. Having the benefit of bringing forth her own recovery as a once active member of Alanon, Denise offers compassion for the families as well as the addicts. Denise leads a team of clinicians, case managers and counselors. She has had the joy of watching over half of her AMFTs complete their hours and become licensed under her supervision. She brings forth not only a vast amount of clinical knowledge, but a leadership style that encourages her staff to grow, process deeper the needs of the client and provides a positive and relationally based supervision style.
Madlen Pashinian Foroughmand

Madlen Pashinian Foroughmand

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Clinical Director for Renewal Sobriety IOP EMDR and Trauma Focused Therapist

Madlen Pashinian Foroughmand is a Licensed Marriage, EMDR Therapist and Family Therapist, who has been working in the Mental Health field since 2012. Madlen has a broad range of training and experience with Anger Management, Emotional Focused Therapy, Grief Focused Therapy, Trauma Informed Therapy and Domestic Violence Advocacy.

As the Clinical Director of Sanctuary Outpatient Program, she and her team have created a unique, wrap-around program for patients struggling with substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, and difficulty integrating back into society.

Madlen has trained, supervised, and supported upcoming Associate Marriage and Family Therapists, along with the staff associated with the program, in order to create a cohesive, safe, and family-like environment.

Madlen is a strong believer in utilizing compassion, empathy, and ethics in everything that she does for the company, and makes client care a top priority.

Madlen is also a private practitioner who treats clients in her private practice focusing on trauma and relationships. Additionally, Madlen is an adjunct Professor at her Alma Mater, Pepperdine University, Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

She also enjoys exercising, spending time with her family, and gratitude practice.

Kathy Rosales, LVN

Kathy Rosales, LVN

Director of Nursing Phoenix Rising

Admissions & Marketing

Lara Frazier, MBA

Lara Frazier, MBA

VP of Digital Marketing

Lara Frazier is the VP of Digital Marketing at Renewal Health Group. Lara has over twelve years of experience in the behavioral health industry, and over twenty years of experience in marketing. Lara holds a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing from Pepperdine University. Lara oversees all digital marketing efforts and manages all aspects of digital marketing campaigns for Renewal Health Group. She is incredibly passionate about mental health treatment and addiction awareness and is well known in the digital recovery space for writing and speaking about these topics. Lara also Co-founded one of the number one publications and websites for addiction recovery, which Mark Zuckerberg praised “as a place for people affected by addiction to come together.” In her free time, Lara enjoys being in nature, hiking, and cuddling with her pet pig.

Christian McLaughlin

Christian McLaughlin

Director of Business Development

Hailey Livingston

Hailey Livingston

National Director of Business Development

Cindy Wofford Admissions Director

Cindy Wofford

Admissions Director

Mrs. Wofford is a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor, holds a CADC-II and ICADC. Mrs. Wofford has 16 years in the field of Drug and Alcohol Treatment serving diverse populations.

Mrs. Wofford has extensive experience in Admission and Marketing, her experience started as a Case Manager at a drug and alcohol treatment center in Orange County, CA. From there Mrs. Wofford went on to work at a Non-profit facility in Santa Ana, CA, which population included State, County and Federal incoming clients. Mrs. Wofford also worked with the VA and Indian funded Tribes out of San Diego. From there, Mrs. Wofford worked for a 500-bed facility, where she facilitated over 200 incoming clients a month.

Over the years, Mrs. Wofford has had the opportunity to work with very diverse populations and has experience with Insurance Policies, Admissions and Intakes, as well as Case Management areas. Mrs. Wofford started as a Case Manager and has worked her way up, and over the past 11 yrs has been an Admissions/Marketing Director. She has been able to establish and maintain contact throughout the addiction community across the United States. Mrs. Wofford has an impeccable reputation in the field of addiction with other partnering facilities in the Orange County area.

Mrs. Wofford’s drive and passion keep her on her feet at all times. As she says, “Addiction does not have a time”, and works diligently to help the struggling addict and/or alcoholic to find hope and long-lasting sobriety. She truly helps each individual to find the best-suited treatment center and continues to maintain contact with these individuals before, during and after treatment. “It is my honor and privilege to know and serve this population.”

Nate DeFreitas

Nate DeFreitas

Business Development Director


Renee Baribeau

Marketing & Brand Manager

Renee Baribeau is an innovative marketing leader with over 10 years of experience in delivering exceptional marketing campaigns, content, and collateral for Behavioral Health Organizations. As a results-oriented and collaborative professional, she brings expertise in brand management and social media engagement. With a keen attention to detail and a decisive leadership style, Renee has made significant contributions as a Marketing Director at Renewal Health Group, Montare Behavioral Health, as well as in her role as Regional Business Development Manager at Michael’s House Treatment Center.

Throughout her career, Renee has demonstrated her skill in brand development, particularly in the multi-facility behavioral healthcare start-up sector. She has successfully improved and enhanced brand image through focused marketing campaigns and professional networking efforts to support outreach. Renee has also played a pivotal role in coordinating well-coordinated campaigns, events, and public relations strategies, including the premiere Behavioral Health Conference, Emerging Themes in Behavioral Health at UCLA, in 2022 and 2023. She has worked closely with creative teams to generate dynamic marketing content and communication tools for promotional campaigns, contributing to the overall success of the brands she has managed.

Monica Montoya

Monica Montoya

National Clinical Outreach Specialist

Loren Hauck-Kwas

Loren Hauck-Kwas

Regional Outreach Specialist

Olivia Rigatti

Olivia Rigatti, MHCL

Regional Outreach Specialist

Olivia has dedicated her career to both regional and national behavioral health care organizations. Her passion for behavioral healthcare and advocating for appropriate behavioral health treatment for individuals has driven her career in marketing and business development.With a Master’s Degree in Health Care Leadership from Friends University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Georgia State University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Behavioral Economics from the University of Nottingham, Olivia has honed her healthcare focus to help those struggling with substance use disorders, eating disorders, and primary mental health disorders. Advocating and educating within the behavioral health field and for individuals is Olivia’s passion and allows her to keep growing personally and professionally.When Olivia is not working, she enjoys spending time with her partner, traveling and snuggling with her cat Smoothie. 

Jill Macellaro

Jill Macellaro

Alumni Coordinator

As Alumni Coordinator for Renewal Health Group, Jill applies her experience, expertise and passion for helping people by strengthening and building community. After coming to terms with her personal struggles with addiction, she decided to enter the field of substance abuse and mental health.

Jill holds a B.A. degree in Business Management from Farmingdale State College. Her previous work and background in the field of Public Relations and Marketing has enabled her to spearhead and oversee various alumni services and events. 

Jill’s calming, caring and empathetic demeanor is a great fit for encouraging and developing fellowship among client’s who successfully completed treatment at Renewal Health Group’s many substance abuse facilities. 

Austin Cooper SEO Renewal Health Group Rehab Centers

Austin Cooper

Director of SEO & Web Development