Caring Staff

Restore features a multidisciplinary team of certified addiction treatment professionals, psychiatrists, licensed therapists, interventionists and coaches that staff our world-class treatment centers and living quarters. Our goal is to help those struggling with addiction and other mental health disorders achieve lasting recovery. We like to say our job is removing any barrier that is in the way of clients getting better!


Nicholas Russi
Executive Director

Nicholas, our Executive Director,  has worked in the substance abuse and mental health field for the last 19 years. He is personally motivated and driven by his own life experiences, and almost two decades of Substance Abuse work, to provide the highest level of client care to those we serve. Nicholas joined the Restore Health and Wellness team in 2021, and since that time has worked with the team to create a safe and healing environment for those we serve here at Restore. His desire to help people live a substance free life, free from the grips of addictive disorders and crippling mental health problems, has become his life work and a passion that he commits himself to day in and day out. Today Nick oversees all departments at Restore Health and Wellness, and he is excited to create a community here that inspires growth and promotes healing. He currently holds licensure in the state of California as a licensed AOD counselor and certified clinical supervisor.

Dr. Akashdeep Gill, MD
Medical Director Psychiatrist

Dr. Akashdeep Gill is a board certified psychiatrist practicing in the Los Angeles area specializing in both addiction and general psychiatry. He has had the opportunity to train and practice in multiple clinical settings across the Los Angeles area including UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Olive View County Hospital and the Veteran Affairs medical centers. Personally, he has worked with and feels comfortable with patients from a variety of backgrounds and history.

His beliefs reflect his understanding that mental illness and addiction can be extremely difficult and painful. He acknowledges and understands that not everyone is the same and that a comprehensive diagnosis and flexible treatment plan are important to successful recovery. He believes in comprehensive care with a focus on the integration of evidence based pharmacology and psychotherapy specific to patient needs. Currently he works with Restore Health and Wellness Center as the staff psychiatrist.

Following graduation from Kent State University, he received his medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University. He then completed his Psychiatry Residency at the UCLA – San Fernando Valley Program and graduated from the UCLA – Cedars Sinai Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship.

Aliza Vayngurt

Aliza completed her undergraduate degree at The University of San Francisco in 2014, with a major in Political Science. After school, she had her own experiences and exposure to the world of Addiction and Substance Abuse, and she discovered her passion when given the opportunity to work in the field and help other addicts like herself. She joined the Restore Health and Wellness Team in 2021 because she wanted to help people find the same solace that she had found in her own recovery. Ms. Vayngurt has been working in the Substance Abuse field for three years and is currently working towards becoming a Certified AOD Counselor. Before her role as The Director of Operations, she had the opportunity to explore various areas within the industry including but not limited to Case Management, Compliance, and current Operations. She is avidly working towards expanding her knowledge and experience in treatment. She states, “When I was in the grips of this disease I couldn’t see a way out, and that kept me sick and hopeless, but I want to let other people suffering from this disease know that there is a way out and there are people willing to help them find their hope again”.

Jeffrey Lynch
Lead Case Manager

Jeffrey Lynch is a CADC II certified drug and alcohol counselor in the state of California. Jeffrey credits his success largely due to his exploration into mindfulness. Learning to live in the present moment was a powerful tool in helping propel him in his own recovery. He is currently enrolled in UCLA’s Training and Mindfulness Facilitation Program, after completing the Intensive Practice Program. It is his hope to acquire as many tools as possible to give back to others, especially those within the recovery community, or simply those who wish for the freedom he has found within his own practice. He currently serves his community by leading weekly Mindful Fullness Relapse Prevention sessions and providing One on One Mindfulness teachings with clients.

Lawrence Barragan
Case Manager

A North Carolina native, Lawrence relocated to the Los Angeles area after completing treatment at Restore in 2018. Returning to Restore in 2020 as a Behavioral Health Technician, Lawrence then moved into position as Intake coordinator, before becoming a Case Manager. Having already obtained his RADT, he is currently pursuing his CADC and Associates in Addiction Studies at Los Angeles Pierce College. Active in the local recovery community, he has come to see LA as home. Passionate about sharing the gifts of recovery, Lawrence has worked with many who suffer from addiction, encouraging them to "trust the process".   He believes in a mind, body, soul approach and has a philosophy of changing everything from the ground up. This approach encourages therapy, regular exercise, and 12 step support groups.

Jeff Rothman
Case Manager

Jeff started his journey with Restore Health and wellness as a technician. He has now taken on the position of case manager. Jeff enjoys helping clients find their passion and guide them through their own journey of recovery.  Jeff brings empathy to his clients and meets them where they are at when assessing their needs.

Rick Hagaman

Rick Hagaman has provided his elite fitness and wellness services to individuals and corporate groups since 2006. He has utilized this success and experience along with over 18 years of active recovery to create the Recoveryfit program. “Early on, I was lucky enough to realize just how essential fitness and exercise was to my recovery. Sometimes it was the only thing between me and a drink. I developed this unique program in an effort to share the gift of fitness with others suffering from addiction who are searching for tools to stay clean and sober.

Recoveryfit is an expertly crafted group fitness program presented in alignment with the 12 Steps and 12 principles of recovery. This innovative program elevates the emotional well-being of clients through exercise; consequently, increasing the chances of long-term recovery from addiction. Recoveryfit centers on the often-neglected PHYSICAL COMPONENT of recovery by providing the valuable tool of fitness to people struggling through the early months of the recovery process.

Safe and effective exercise is universally beneficial for all who do it; however, Recoveryfit’s comprehensive fitness program is especially beneficial to those individuals recovering from addiction:

  • Produces endorphins (similar to drugs)
  • Partially replaces cravings for drugs and alcohol
  • Exercise may reduce withdrawal symptoms
  • One can start developing healthy habits to replace ones which have been destructive
  • Feel better and look better; increasing your self esteem
  • If I have low self-esteem, my mind tells me I might as well drink
  • Exercise can slow down the alcoholic mind for a period of time
  • Creates a special bond and camaraderie within the group

Clients experience recovery at the physical level through this one-of-a-kind exercise program, creating a paradigm shift not only for recovery, but also for fitness and exercise.

Dan Surico
National Outreach Director

Dan Surico was born and raised in Long Island, New York. After his own personal struggles with addiction, Dan relocated to across the country to start his journey through recovery in 2013. Over the past seven years, Dan has gained a well-rounded background in a variety of facets in the treatment industry including sober living management, admissions, community outreach and national account management. Dan joined the Restore Health and Wellness Center family in 2020 with the title of National Outreach Director. His goal is to assist those suffering from this disease and their families in any way he can.

Donny Barth
Director of Admission

With 10 years of personal recovery and 7 years of industry experience, Donny is a strong believer in the transformative nature of sound clinical treatment experience. Donny struggled with substance abuse through high school, college, and afterward, putting his family and loved ones through unimaginable stress for years. Today Donny has a passion for educating families and loved ones of the co-occurring struggles that addicts and alcoholics face, as well as addressing and coaching them through codependent relationships to help empower loved ones to draw healthy boundaries and set up a path for long term success. Donny believes real success stems from addressing underlying issues- that substance abuse disorders are merely a symptom of a larger problem, and that access to quality clinical care is the foundation of that recovery.

Natanya Ross
Southern California Outreach

Natanya has been working in the field of addiction for the last 12 years. Natanya brings enthusiasm and dedication to her work that is unparalleled to many we have seen. Through her kindness and warmth, she has the ability to connect with clients and their families on a level where they can relate to her story, and feel safe with her guiding them through the process of entering treatment.  Natanya started at a very young age as a child actress and through her struggle in her own addiction found a passion for working in the field of treatment. At Restore, Natanya approaches her job with compassion and love and tries to always come from the heart space that has allowed her the opportunity to help as many people as possible. In Natanya’s own personal life she is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous and sponsors many people in that community and well as being the founder of San Fernando Valley's Feed The Homeless which is a service organization that provides hope and a meal to those suffering and in need. As of 2018 Natanya serves on the executive board of WAAT (women’s association of addiction treatment) as the director of social media and co-founded the Golden Thread Women’s empowerment group. Natanya continues to strive towards growing with Restore and strengthening her skills not only as the Southern California Outreach representative but as a member of the Restore community.

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