Dr. Alex Kudisch, MD, DFAPA – Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Kudisch serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Origins Recovery Center. Dr. Kudisch is Board Certified in Psychiatry with a specialty focus in both adult and child psychiatry. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is professionally affiliated with numerous hospitals in Texas. Dr. Kudisch has extensive experience treating the chemically dependent and dual diagnosed patient in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Psychiatry at San Antonio. In addition, he holds Appointments at the Texas Medical Association Committee on Medicaid and the Uninsured, also the Department of Family Health Services Ad Hoc Committee on Psychotropic Medications Oversight in the Foster Care System, and the Commissioners Round table. He is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at Tropical Texas Behavioral Health. Dr. Kudisch maintains a private practice in McAllen, Texas and is passionate about spending time with his family, traveling abroad, exercise, art and golf. Professionally, he advocates strongly for increasing Mental Health Care Access in South Texas.
Dr. Greg Johnson, MD – Staff Physician
After graduating with honors from the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Johnson went on to receive his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC), San Antonio, TX. He has since distinguished himself throughout Texas, highlighted by such positions as Emergency Room Director at Columbia North Hills Hospital, Occupational Medical Director at Medi-Center Bryant, Chief of Staff at the Lillian M. Hudspeth Memorial Hospital, Sonora, TX, and most recently as Medical Director of the Emergency Care Center, UTHSC at Tyler, TX. He is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine, a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and has been a Medical Review Officer since 1998. Dr. Johnson is affiliated with numerous professional organizations, both regional and national, including the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Academy of Family Practice. As a lecturer he has presented several times for the Texas Medical Association on Physician Health and Rehabilitation, to the East Texas Family Practice Association, and for Grand Rounds in regard to the review and update of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, as well as on Street Drugs and Neuroanatomy, a topic on which he published a paper for the Family Medicine Digital Resource Library. His commitment to service on behalf of both UTHSCT committees and UTHSCT affiliated hospital committees is shown through his participation on, amongst others, the Trauma Level 4 Committee, the Ethics Committee and the ETMC/EMS Committee. Having spent much of his career performing in emergency care environments, Dr. Johnson is a perfect fit for attending to the care required during all stages of addiction recovery for our clients here at Origins. From the intense initial detoxification phase, through early post-acute withdrawal symptomology, and preparing for the longer term heath requirements of those recovering from addiction to a variety of chemical influences, his ability to quickly diagnose and react to the physical changes taking place in those experiencing life without chemical influence, often for the first time in years, is vital to a safe and healthy physical recovery. In his spare time Dr. Johnson and his wife, Becky, love to take advantage of the great outdoors through a variety of recreational activities; hunting, fishing, wind-surfing, just to name a few.
Beverly Skloss, RN, MSN – Director of Nursing
Prior to becoming full time at Origins, Beverly was our Senior Nursing Consultant, and brings to us a wide range of experience and training. She completed her graduate work at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, earning a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialty in psychiatric nursing, mental health, and substance abuse. She has over 24 years of dedication to nursing, with extensive experience in administration, leadership, and management. This includes 12 years in Behavioral Health/Addictive disorders involving detoxification and other inpatient and outpatient services for those with dual diagnosis. She served 17 years of this time at Valley Baptist Health System with her most recent experience being Director of Education. In addition to her work here at Origins, Beverly serves as Adjunct faculty for the Professional Nursing Program at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen, and has recently served 6 years on the Texas Board of Nursing Advisory Committee for Education. She continues this role as a nursing school survey consultant. Beverly is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing as well as being the President of the Board of Directors for the Rio Grande Valley Council, a non-profit agency that provides substance abuse education, prevention and treatment services for schools and communities in South Texas. In her own words “Living on South Padre Island, working for the ultimate addictions treatment center, and working in the field I love the most is my life’s dream that has become reality.” Beverly loves walking on the beautiful South Padre Island beaches, boating, and spending time with her family.
Emma L. Gavito, DDS – Consulting Dentist
Graduate of the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston, TX. Resided in Houston for a number of years practicing general dentistry, both as an associate dentist and in private practice. Moved “back home” in 1995 and has been in practice since then in South Padre Island. She opened a second location in Brownsville in January 2011. Member of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association,and the Rio Grande Valley District Dental Society. Life outside of dentistry includes exercise, fishing, hanging out at the beach, and spending time with her “extended” family.
Emma R. Romero, BA, MPA-C – Physician Assistant
Emma received a BA in Biology with an associated minor in Psychology from the University of Tex Pan American, Edinburg, Texas. If someone had told her in PA school that she would be working in rehab on South Padre Island she would never have imagined it. Working in this field just sort found her, and she hasn’t looked back or once regretted it. She had always felt something was missing while she worked in other specialties prior to coming here at Origins, and now realizes that recovery work is her true calling. It provides moments when her patients are often eager to take a minute away from their routine, and just have a down to earth conversation not only about medical issues, but about hopes and dreams that they aspire to in the future. She can see the potential in each patient when they first arrive at Origins, often with no hope whatsoever, knowing that they have hit rock bottom. Over time, as they get physically stronger and regain a healthy connection to their environment, she watches as they realize that as long as they are willing and have an open heart, the future is theirs for the taking. Her reward is witnessing this transformation, as both the physical and psychological metamorphosis touches her life and reminds her how each day is a gift. Emma still continues her education and is working on getting a specialty certification as a PA in Psychiatry.
Laura Martinez, BS – Neuroplasticy Paraprofessional
Laura Martinez serves as the Neuroplasticy Paraprofessional for Origins Recovery Center. Laura received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience and Pre-Medicine from Texas A&M University. While there, Laura spent four years examining the effects of chemical dependency in the Neuroscience research labs. She has a passion for providing supportive guidance to individuals and help battle their addiction through brain plasticity. Laura loves the outdoors and being with nature. In her free time, she enjoys fishing, hunting, surfing, spending time with family, and traveling.
Alexandra Brotzman, CARN, RN – Nurse Manager
Alex is a registered nurse who graduated from the Medical University of Ohio in 2007 and worked as a Medical/Surgical RN in Ohio prior to relocating to south Texas, where she worked as an ER nurse for three years before coming to Origins. Alex is very enthused at having the opportunity to work with the chemically dependent and she finds it very gratifying to be able to follow the clients of Origins from admission to discharge, witnessing first-hand the amazing process of recovery. She is constantly amazed at the transformation clients undergo and how they quite literally come back to life during their stay at Origins.
Jessica Rankin, RN – Hannah’s House Charge Nurse/Staff Nurse
Jessica graduated from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas in May 2010. Much of her early career has been spent at Memorial Hermann Hospital (now Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas) in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit as a CVICU-ICU RN, caring for patients fresh out of bypass or other Cardiothoracic/vascular surgery, as well as other critical care patients of a cardiac nature. This included time managing ICU patients with needs ranging from ventilators, to septic and a variety of other post-surgery conditions requiring constant monitoring and responsive attention. As a nurse with Origins she gets to watch the fruit of her labors as her patient’s health grows from day one to their last, monitoring each step of their progress to becoming healthy and addiction free individuals. Being able to see the entire journey is extremely satisfying to Jessica, something which makes working here a truly rewarding experience.
Liz McDermott, PMA – Professional Medical Assistant
Liz has come a long way from from her roots in south New jersey. After graduating from the Harris School of Business as a Medical Assistant, she went on to attend community college before deciding to move to Texas “looking for better job opportunities.” She found a perfect place to put her education to practice here at Origins. In her own words, “I like working in this field because it makes me feel good knowing my help really matters and is appreciated.” She has always wanted to work for a company where the staff actually care about their job and want to make a difference, something she feels she has found in the Origins Family of addiction recovery specialists. Through the opportunity to help struggling addicts and alcoholics during both the initial phase of physical recovery, as well as the steady progression through all of the intermediate stages necessary to regain their health in mind, body and spirit, Liz has found addiction nursing to be particularly rewarding. Watching the clients grow from despairing and physically broken addicts, to hopeful, healthy addiction-free individuals is something not everyone has the privilege to watch from beginning to end. Her future plans include a desire to go back to school so she can further her nurses training. Given the chance, Liz really likes to travel whenever she can, but she also has two black labs who keep her plenty busy outside of work.
Chelsey East, LVN – Shift Nurse
Chelsey is a recent graduate of the Vocational Nursing Program at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen, TX and she is presently taking courses with plans to further her nursing career. She is very excited to have the opportunity to work with substance abuse patients and to witness their amazing physical and spiritual transformation. She enjoys the positive atmosphere, dedication, and teamwork present within the Origins family, believing that you should embrace and overcome each challenge with grace and humility. That there is something new to learn each and every day.
Jennifer Gordon, RN – Shift Nurse
Jennifer translated her love of helping others into a degree from the University of Texas at Brownsville and quickly earned certification as a registered nurse. Her 11 years of experience as an RN, including 7 years working as an ER nurse certified in Radiology, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Trauma Nursing Core Curriculum, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support, allow her to quickly analyze and respond to the particular needs of clients going through the various stages of alcohol and substance abuse recovery. Although she originally began working at Origins as part time staff, she found working with the chemically dependent in the recovery setting so gratifying she is now a dedicated full time employee. Aiding and following the progress of her clients has proven to be a rich and extremely rewarding experience for Jennifer, and she feels blessed to be an integral part of the Origins family.
Daena Joya, LVN – Shift Nurse
Daena recently graduated from Texas State Technical College in Harlingen, Texas, where she received her LVN degree. She brings her experience working in Home Health and private duty nursing to Origins, knowing that here, she has the opportunity to continue that work and learn even more from the best recovery health providers available. Her energy and sincere desire to help our patients change, from the unhealthy lifestyle of addiction to a strong one which they will be able to maintain and grow from, are what make Daena an integral part of the Origins medical team. It gives her great satisfaction to know what she does here helps people that come us broken in body and spirit, become healthy and able to face a future free of addiction.. She truly loves watching the amazing transformation of those she cares for and is proud to be part of the process that makes it possible.
Maggie Rangel, LVN – Shift Nurse
Maggie Rangel graduated from the University of Texas at Brownsville and has been an LVN for 21 years. It was while working at McAllen Medical in the Psychiatric Unit where she cared for many addiction patients that she decided she liked this type of work. Her work experience includes 9 years of mental health and substance abuse nursing, 2 years at a Methadone Clinic and 2 years as a staff nurse at a correctional facility. At the Doctoral College and Renaissance Behavioral Center she lead patient education groups and taught a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) class. Maggie has also been a nurse within a retirement community and supervisor for a nursing home. She has found that other work does not allow the opportunity to see the whole transition from sick to healthy, as is possible working with those going through the addiction recovery process. That is what makes working in the chemical dependency field her true passion. Maggie currently works part-time at an area detox facility in addition to her time at Origins, and hopes to one day become an RN. In her off time, Maggie enjoys running, shopping, and spending time with her family.
Karla Romero, LVN – Shift Nurse
Karla’s decision to go into nursing was driven solely by a desire to help people in need of medical care to get better, and at first she could do just that as her nursing duties were mostly involved with pain management. Here at Origins, however, the nursing staff plays a dual role of not only dealing with the physical health of each patient, but their mental health as well, which is a major factor when caring for people recovering from addiction. Karla really likes watching the more complete health picture present in the addiction recovery process, and how the person changes physically and psychologically in the course of treatment. She finds that the opportunity to see such dramatic improvement in both areas of health is more gratifying than when she was involved solely with pain management. This new phase of her professional experience will only serve to make her a better nurse, and what she learns here will prepare Karla well, as her next goal is to become an RN and continue to grow in the health care industry.
Lauren Hyden – Staff Nutritionist
Lauren Hyden is a Degree Certified Nutritionist. Lauren is passionate about nutrition and is always striving to enhance and develop her knowledge in the field. She has experience in individual and group counseling, addressing such issues as diabetes, weight control, eating disorders, and general nutrition and wellness. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from Texas Tech University and continues her education in the field.