Loni Cervone, LMHC, CAP, QS

Clinical Director

She / Her / Hers


Loni Cervone, LMHC, CAP, QS received her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Florida Atlantic University. As a clinician, Clinical Director and Qualified Supervisor, with 20 years experience; Loni has found it rewarding to serve a diverse population while working in different settings-including in New York, California and Florida.

Loni can honestly say that she has found fulfillment in helping clients to address solutions to personal life challenges, overcome struggles and trauma, and go on to find peace and serenity in their lives. She believes that we all have the power to create personal change. Her therapeutic approach integrates complementary methodologies and strategies to create a trusting relationship with clients.

With, compassion, validation, and empowerment, she works holistically, helping individuals discover their essential truth. She celebrates the special aspects of each client here at Inspire Recovery.

Jaki Neering, LCSW

Program Director / Primary Therapist / Trauma Specialist

She / Her / Hers

Jaki Neering Inspire Recovery LGBTQ Addiction RehabJaki Neering, has a loving & progressive approach working with the LGBTQIA+ community. Jaki graduated from Barry University in 2016 with a Master of Social Work degree. She is currently a Registered Clinical Social Work Intern and will soon be a licensed therapist. Jaki believes in the power of trauma-informed interventions, which recognizes human vulnerability but focuses on finding strengths, resources, and capacity for healing and recovery by promoting factors that will enhance a person’s resiliency.

Through her inspirational approach, Jaki has a passion for empowering marginalized populations. She is devoted to serving the LGBTQ population while on the journey of self-discovery, self-love, and long-term sobriety. Jaki assists individuals in finding their voice and advocates for self-expression. Additionally, Jaki believes in the transformation of recovery and is passionate about helping others find their truth.

Erin Dowling, MS, RMHCI

Primary Therapist

She / Her / Hers

Erin Dowling Inspire Recovery LGBTQ Addiction RehabErin has been working in the field of substance abuse since 2010 and is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and a Certified Practitioner in Rapid Resolution Therapy.

Erin obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and a Master's of Science in Counseling Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Erin utilizes a client-centered approach to empower clients to overcome their personal obstacles and develop a life that's worth living. Using a combination of evidence-based interventions, such as CBT, Motivational Interviewing and DBT, Erin assists her clients in making changes necessary to look toward the future with excitement and hope. Erin approaches each client as the unique individual they are and creates a safe, non-judgmental environment to explore any issues that may be keeping you from moving forward in life.

Shirley Ingram, MA, LMHC, MCAP

EMDR Specialist/Trauma Therapist

She / Her / Hers

Shirley Ingram Inspire Recovery LGBTQ Addiction RehabShirley Ingram, MA, LMHC, MCAP, is most passionate about the field of therapeutic professions, which she has over 25 years of experience in. A lifelong Floridian, she is highly skilled and dedicated to helping individuals overcome trauma and struggles with the debilitating effects of mental health illnesses and addictions. Shirley is driven by a genuine desire to help others to find inner peace and harmony. Shirley specializes in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy.

EMDR is a worldwide recognized effective treatment for trauma. EMDR Therapy is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. It is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from other treatment approaches, that are skillfully employed that helps the mind heal from psychological trauma. Click here to learn more about this powerful trauma-recovery technique. 

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Dr. David Hu, MD

Psychiatrist, Medical Director

He / His / His

Dr-Hu-Psychiatrist-at-Inspire-Recovery-LGBTQ-Addiction-Treatment-CenterDavid Hu, M.D. was born and raised in New York. He attended New York University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Medical degrees. Dr. Hu completed his residency training and served as Chief Resident in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Miami. Dr. Hu is dual board certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. Dr. Hu has been practicing psychiatry and addiction medicine in a variety of settings for more than 15 years and is excited to work with Inspire Recovery and serve the healthcare needs of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Danara Nelson, APRN

Family Nurse Practitioner

She / Her / Hers

Danara Nelson, APRN at Inspire Recovery, LGBTQIA+ addiction treatment center

Danara Nelson is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over six years of experience working in the field of addiction medicine. She received her Master’s Degree in Nursing at NOVA Southeastern University, Bachelor’s Degree at Florida Atlantic University and an Associate’s Degree in Nursing at Palm Beach State College. She is currently pursuing her post master’s in psychiatric mental health nursing to become a board-certified PMHNP.

Danara was born and raised right here in Palm Beach County. Her passion for nursing grew from working for over a decade in an HIV/AIDS organization in this county providing housing and other social services. She also conveys her previous work experience in many areas including internal medicine, pediatric home health, skilled nursing, ALF and telemetry/medical-surgical units. Danara is grateful and excited to provide quality healthcare services at Inspire Recovery for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Lia Bigelow, MA, CAP, LPC

She / Her / Hers

Utilization Review

Inspire-Recovery-Lia-Bigelow-LGBTQ-TherapistLia Bigelow has over 20 years of diversified experience in the fields of Human Services, Information Technology, and Higher Education. She has administered program planning and oversight, counseling, organizational development, and systems consulting. Lia has a Master’s of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Rosemont College and a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.

She has directed a variety of drug and alcohol programs throughout the Philadelphia Region which encompass diverse populations including members of the LGBTQIA+ community, mothers with children, chronically homeless men and women, adults with co-occurring mental health disorders, and formerly incarcerated men and women.  

Mrs. Bigelow’s proudest achievement thus far in her career was the development and opening of the first inpatient drug and alcohol program exclusively for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in the country. Through this ground-breaking program, not only are program participants able to get appropriate and affirming care, but for many who were homeless upon admission they were placed in permanent independent living upon program completion. She continues to provide consulting for treatment centers with an emphasis on competency training for providing clinically relevant and culturally affirming care to members of the LGBTQIA+ communities.

Group Facilitators

Carmen Dragan, RDN, LDN

Licensed Dietitian / Nutritionist

She / Her / Hers

Carmen is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist, Board Certified as a Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition, Certified LEAP Therapist (dealing with adverse food reactions), and is Enrolled in an Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy Certification Program. Carmen graduated from Florida International University, Magna Cum Laude. Her vast experience places her in a unique position to teach a comprehensive amount of nutrition information in an easy to understand way. She feels that nutrition and food are at the center of a healthy lifestyle. Carmen strongly believes that food has a quintessential role in health. She enjoys teaching people that healthy food is delicious and fun.

Carmen engages her students through a variety of methods that include active participation, the creation of recipes and food demonstrations. When Carmen is not busy teaching and helping her patients to better health, she enjoys spending time with her family, riding her wave-runner, gardening, and reading. She is passionate about everything related to food. She loves to cook, bake, and sprout vegetables and beans. Most importantly, she likes to eat her exquisite menu creations.

Maryann Elberth, DSW, LCSW

Group Facilitator

She / Her / Hers

Maryann Elberth, LCSW, DSW at Inspire Recovery, LGBTQIA+ Addiction Treatment Center

Dr. Maryann Elberth has over forty years of experience in the treatment of individuals with chemical dependence including psychiatric, detoxification services and administrative positions.

As the Director of Special Programs for Daytop International, Dr. Elberth provided training on treatment interventions in countries with developing responses to drug and alcohol abuse. She co-authored the GROW curriculum presented in Brazil and Guyana and which has become the foundation of a developing women’s program in Georgetown. The GROW Curriculum Series provides the basis for several curricula on a gender-responsive training program.

Dr. Elberth has authored several articles on substance abuse, has presented numerous papers in conferences and professional meetings internationally.  She is the recipient of the Pauline Zischka Social Worker of the Year Award, Molloy College, 2004. Dr. Elberth received her Bachelor of Arts from Molloy College, 1972, Masters in Social Work, Adelphi University, 1975, Post Master’s Certificate in Clinical Practice, Doctorate in Social Welfare, Adelphi University, 1992. She moved to Lake Worth, Florida in 2018 to enjoy the sunshine and continuing her work in the treatment of addiction.

Mindy Appel, LCSW, ACSW

Group Facilitator

She / Her / Hers

Mindy Appel, Substance Abuse Professional at Inspire Recovery, LGBTQ+ Addiction Center

Mindy graduated from Tulane University and completed her Internship at Tulane Medical Center. With over 20 years of experience, Mindy is a qualified clinical supervisor and also has a SAP (Substance Abuse Professional) Certification.

Mindy’s specialty is in treating addiction, relapse prevention, mental health issues, trauma/PTSD, anxiety, grief and loss, as well as eating disorders. She is clinically trained in family systems, experiential training, psychodrama, as well as EMDR. Mindy utilizes evidence-based interventions specifically CBT, DBT, and Motivational Interviewing.

Mindy seeks to help people find inspiration and strength to transform their lives with confidence. She sees the importance of working from a strength-based and affirming approach to help empower people to regain connection with mind, body, spirit.

Sue Neering, LMT

Meditation Group Facilitator

She / Her / Hers

Sue Neering Inspire Recovery LGBTQ Addiction RehabSue Neering is an Integrative Therapist and Educator, licensed in Massage Therapy, a Certified Reiki Master / Teacher and Certified Hypnotist. Sue is also a Transformational Life Coach. Sue’s integrative approach includes Inner Child work and the Law of Attraction. Additionally, Sue is a Certified FirstPlay® Educator —teaching parents storytelling combined with a gentle touch to foster attachment and bonding.

She specializes in practicing Integrative Therapies within the Addiction Recovery Community. Integrative Therapies includes, but are not limited to, Meditation, Guided Imagery, Intuitive Guidance, Breathing Exercises, and Reiki / Energy Work. At Inspire Recovery, Sue leads our clients in mindfulness groups. She approaches therapy with her original and compassionate style. She offers unconditional support while providing a safe atmosphere for clients to explore self-awareness and self-love. Mindfulness meditation is an integral tool in the recovery process. Sue is a masterful teacher of the art. 

Jodi Neering, LMT

Group Facilitator

She / Her / Hers

Jodi Neering, LMT, Breathwork Practioner at Inspire Recovery Jodi Neering is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Breathwork Practitioner honored to facilitate holistic health and recovery. She provides a unique combination of specialized breath and bodywork for integrating stress and processing trauma at a cellular level. These cutting edge therapeutic techniques regular the nervous system and inspire transformation through self-awareness. Jodi is lovingly committed to enhancing well-being by offering tools and practical action steps which create new neural pathways and empower the individual.

Brian Ritter, BA

Tai Chi Group Facilitator

He / Him / His

Brian Ritter Inspire Recovery LGBTQ Addiction RehabBrian Ritter is a sincere healer who uses medicinal moving meditations to help people live up to their full potential. He is a Tai-Chi Certified and Gamma Breath Certified practitioner who has been practicing Tai Chi, Qi Gong, breath work and meditation for the last 11 years and teaching these practices for the past four years. Brian graduated from the University of Central Florida, UDF, with a degree in psychology. His gift comes from cleverly crafting groups which inspire and deliver synergistic elements and profound wisdom.

Administrative Staff

Donna Weinberger

CEO, Founder

They / Them / Theirs

Donna-Weinberger-Inspire-Recovery-LGBTQ-Addiction-RehabDonna is dedicated to remaining at the forefront of healthcare for LGBTQIA+ individuals by challenging age-old traditional systems. Donna encourages their staff by providing continuing education to commit a standard of care for the LGBTQIA+ community with addiction & mental health issues that have not been seen before. Through case studies of experiences, Donna and their staff educate hospitals & treatment facilities throughout the country.

Donna received their Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Florida Atlantic University and went on to independently become proficient in web programming and marketing. Donna spent 10 years working in print and web media for the behavioral healthcare industry, developing a strong alliance and passion to aid the recovery community, specifically serving a gender spectrum providing a safe space for transgender folks & others within the LGBTQIA community.

This profession in behavioral healthcare has connected Donna to many local and national treatment centers and formed the catalyst for Donna to open a center that could focus on helping members of the LGBTQIA community in recovery. As a part of the LGBTQIA community, Donna is concerned about the well-being of their peers and ensuring that anyone who wants to recover from addiction has a safe space to grow.

Joyce Matera

National Outreach Director

She / Her / Hers

Joyce Matera is a Certified Recovery Coach Trainer and Recovery Coach, certified by CCAR. Joyce has been an active member of the recovery community for the past 32 years. Joyce has been an impelling representative of the LGBTQ community, serving as a Board Member of LAMBDA North, a 12 step clubhouse for the LGBTQ community. She is an active member of NALGAP and WIN “Women in Network.” Ms. Matera, along with Inspire Recovery, is an effective affiliate of Compass Business Alliance and many pride organizations.

Working in the treatment field for the past five years, she has brought considerable awareness of the plight and difficulties that the LGBTQ community has experienced in the world of treatment and recovery. Prior to her recent passion in the field of recovery treatment, she had a 21-year career in finance and insurance. 

George Lydon

Admissions Coordinator

He / Him / His

George received his Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communication from Boston’s Emerson College in 2000 and relocated to South Florida in 2001. After thirteen years working in the luxury retail sector in Palm Beach, George wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and has been working in the field of treatment center admissions since 2015.

As a founding member of Voices of Pride, the local gay men’s chorus, he is well ensconced in the LGBTQ+ community. At Inspire Recovery George oversees admissions from outreach to assessments.

Paul Zilber

Clinical Coordinator

He / Him / His

Paul Zilber Inspire Recovery LGBTQ Addiction Rehab Gay Male Admissions Director

Paul has an extensive background working with LGBTQ people, predominantly, LGBTQ youth. Paul sat on the board of New Jersey's largest civil rights organization for five years, where his main mission was to assist with the bullying epidemic sweeping the nation. The passion Paul has for his work includes a compelling testimony he provided before the New Jersey State Legislature—which helped pave the way for the strongest anti-bullying legislation to ever be passed. His burning desire for helping others is also shown from the seminars Paul conducted with high school staff and students on the importance of inclusiveness.

Paul has worked in the ever-evolving world of addiction for three years—with his momentum still in full swing. His life revolves around the ethical treatment of drug addicts and alcoholics seeking a better future.

Click here to learn more about Paul in a little interview we conducted.

Shawn Pennestri

Human Resources & Recovery Advocate

He / Him / His

Shawn Pennestri, Human Resources at Inspire Recovery, LGBTQ Addiction Treatment Center

Shawn joined the Inspire staff in 2019, after relocating to South Florida from New York.  Having worked in a family business for 11 years, Shawn brought that work ethic with him, when he became part of the team.   His unique brand of humor adds to the mix of the Inspire community, and the work he does in Human Resources.