Dana Latheef

Dana Latheef joined 1st Step as a clinician at Detox treatment services. Dana has worked in the field of addiction and mental health since 2012. Dana holds a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling and is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

Jeffrey Caparros

Jeff Caparros has been a counselor in mental health and addictions for the past 28 years. He earned his Bachelor’s of Science (BS) degree in the field of psychology and his Certification as an Addictions Professional (CAP). Jeff has practiced counseling in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He has many years of training and experience counseling individuals, couples, families and groups in these therapeutic settings.

Debra Edwards

Debra Edwards brings 25 years of experience in the fields of addiction and mental health to her role as a Clinician at First Step Behavioral Health. Debra holds a Master’s Degree of Arts from Bellevue University, Bachelor Degree of Science from Bellevue University, and Associate Degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling from Metro Community College in her home state of Nebraska.

During Debra’s career, she has managed transitional housing programs, worked as a certified evaluator/DUI instructor, provided prevention and intervention education for the 15 Judicial Circuit Courts diversion program, and has been a sober coach for over 15 years.

Debra’s personal philosophy is that being spiritually connected, having a positive attitude, and serving others is key to a purposeful, successful life. Debra’s passion for her work and the depth and wealth of her experience, is an asset to our clinical team, clients and families she serves.

Jerry Barbarino

Jerry Barbarino joined the 1st Step Behavioral Health team in 2015 as a Primary Clinician. What has attracted Jerry to work at 1st Step is the philosophy of teamwork and the opportunity to put caring for the clients first. Jerry takes a client centered and individualized approach with every client. He enjoys the challenge of working with business-professional clients, treating each person with the highest regard and really focusing on the underlying issues of their addiction. Jerry is a big Bob Dylan fan and stands by the quote, “When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”

brittany polansky

Brittany Polansky

Brittany has been working in the field of addiction and mental health since 2012. Brittany holds a master’s degree in social work and has experience with chemical dependency and oc-occurring mental health diagnoses. She is experienced with various therapeutic techniques, including CBT, DBT, motivational interviewing, and experiential therapy that she individualizes for her clientele. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery. Brittany’s role as the Assistant Clinical Director has allowed her to integrate the philosophies of 1st Step into her daily practice and continue to grow both professionally and personally. She enjoys practicing yoga and spending time with two of 1st Step’s furry mascots, her dogs Maya and Cairo.

Martin Waddington

Martin Waddington has been a part of the 1st Step family since 2011, first as a client and now as a well-respected staff member. Martin’s personal recovery fuels his drive and passion to help clients who are in need. In his first position as a Case Manager at 1st Step Behavioral Health, Martin proved to be a great asset to the team and while continuing his education, he has now taken on the position of Outpatient Clinician. His education and years of recovery experience have given him the opportunity to become a great clinician for our clients in the early stages of recovery. As a transplant from Pennsylvania to Florida in 2011, Martin now calls Palm Beach County home and considers the 1st Step family a part of his own.

“After arriving at 1st Step as a client I immediately understood what a special place it was and am eternally grateful to be able to carry 1st Step’s mission to other recovering addicts in an effort to help them with the same levels of care and compassion that were shown to me.”