Monte Nido staff consists of industry leaders and experts. Monte Nido’s clinical leadership team oversees our clinical, medical, nutritional and programmatic services at our residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs.
Keesha Amezcua, MA, LMFT, CEDS | Vice President of Clinical Programming
Keesha Amezcua is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Eating Disorders Specialist. She has over 10 years of experience working in the eating disorder field and is trained in EMDR. She has worked at Monte Nido in various roles including Primary Therapist and Clinical Director, and she recently served as the Director of Residential Services. Keesha earned her bachelors degree in Journalism from Texas A&M and went on to earn her masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. Currently, she is the Vice President of Clinical Programming overseeing all Monte Nido & Affiliates programs.
Keesha presents nationally at various conferences including the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) Conference and the ICED conference for the Academy of Eating Disorders (AED). She is co-author of the Dads & Daughters chapter in Carolyn Costin’s book “Your Dieting Daughter” and is a contributor for various articles and books in the eating disorder field. Being recovered herself provides additional passion and purpose for this work.
Melissa Coffin, PhD, CEDS | Senior Director of East Coast Clinical Programming
Dr. Melissa McLain Coffin is a licensed psychologist and a certified eating disorder specialist with extensive experience in the treatment of anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and compulsive over-exercise. Since 2008, she worked at Oliver-Pyatt Centers in Miami as a Clinical Director of residential treatment and eventually moved into the role of Senior Director of Clinical Programming and Development, overseeing adult residential, partial and intensive outpatient programming as well as adolescent residential programs. This role expanded in 2016 as Dr. McLain Coffin became the Senior Director of East Coast Clinical Programming for Monte Nido and Affiliates. She currently oversees Monte Nido residential and day treatment programs as well as Clementine adolescent facilities on the East Coast. She also presents nationally on eating disorders at conferences like the National Eating Disorder Association, the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals and the Multiservice Eating Disorder Association. Her daily work is dedicated to supporting the successful treatment of people working towards a full recovery.
Kelly Souza, MA, PsyD | Senior Director of West Coast Clinical Programming
Dr. Kelly Souza obtained her Master’s of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Doctorate of Psychology from Southern California Seminary. She has been working in the field of mental health for the past 14 years in various settings including residential foster care, a psychiatric hospital, various partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs and outpatient therapy centers. Kelly has worked with various populations; including individuals with eating disorders, children and adolescents with severe emotional disturbances, adolescents on probation, adults with co-occurring mental health and addiction issues, adults with severe psychotic disorders, couples and families. Her clinical background and passion for eating disorder recovery provides a sense of trust and helps foster a safe environment for clients as they begin this path to a happier, healthier life. Kelly has seen how recovery from an eating disorder can restore a person’s entire view of him or herself and allow him or her to become participating members of his or her life. Being a part of this journey with clients is a blessing.
Joel Jahraus, MD, FAED, CEDS | Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Joel Jahraus is well-known and respected for his two decades of specialization in the medical management of patients with eating disorders. A board-certified physician for over 30 years, he is a recognized expert on diabetes and the medical complications of eating disorders. Dr. Jahraus came to us directly from Park Nicollet-Melrose Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he most recently served as Executive Director, with program oversight and direct management of patient care. He has been associated with the Melrose Institute (formerly the Eating Disorders Institute) since 1992. In addition to his experience with hospital-based programs, he also served as Medical Director at Remuda Treatment Centers in Phoenix, Arizona, from 2002 to 2004, where he worked with residential and outpatient levels of care.
Dr. Jahraus graduated from Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, Missouri, and has a background in family medicine. He entered an academic career as Associate Director of the University of Minnesota Family Medicine Residency Program. He then took a position as the Predoctoral Director at the University of Minnesota Medical School. During his teaching career at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Dr. Jahraus received the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award. He co-authored a chapter on eating disorders in Textbook of Psychosomatic Medicine, published by the American Psychiatric Association, and has been featured in various national media, including two public television documentaries on eating disorders. He testified at a United States Congressional Briefing on the need for health insurance coverage for eating disorder treatment. For his outstanding contributions to the field, he received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2011, and was named a Top Doctor of 2013 by U.S. News and World Report.
Molly McShane, MD, MPH | Medical Director
Molly McShane, MD, MPH is a board certified psychiatrist and currently serves as the Medical Director. Dr. McShane practices psychotherapy and medication management for a range of psychiatric conditions including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, panic attacks, substance abuse and eating disorders. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Duke University and her M.D. and Master’s in Public Health from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. McShane completed her psychiatry residency training at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital, and served as Chief Resident. In addition to her work at OPC, Dr. McShane is a psychoanalyst-in-training at the Florida Psychoanalytic Institute, and has completed the Institute’s two year Psychoanalytic Psychodynamic Course.
The prestigious American College of Psychiatrists named Dr. McShane a Laughlin Fellow, which is awarded to ten psychiatry residents nationally each year for outstanding leadership and significant achievements. She was also one of five residents in the nation to be named a Ginsberg Fellow for her leadership and excellence in education. In 2011, Dr. McShane was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors Society. Additionally, she is on the board of the Eating Disorders Coalition and participates in their National Lobby Days in Washington, DC, advocating for insurance coverage for individuals seeking treatment for eating disorders.
Lauren Ozbolt, MD, CEDS, FAPA | Medical Director
Lauren Ozbolt, MD, CEDS, FAPA is a board certified Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who specializes in the evidence-based treatment of mood, anxiety and eating disorders. She currently serves as Medical Director. Prior to joining Clementine, Dr. Ozbolt founded and was the Medical Director of the University of Miami Eating Disorder Program and served as Chief Resident during her training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Miami. She attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City where she graduated Alpha Omega Alpha. Extensively trained in psychopharmacology, Dr. Ozbolt offers a comprehensive personalized approach that is tailored to her patients’ individual needs. Her empathetic and thoughtful approach to care has made her a favorite among teenagers and adults alike.
Dr. Ozbolt’s work and research in the eating disorder field is widely recognized. She is the recipient of the prestigious American Medical Women’s Association Glasgow-Rubin Achievement Citation and T. Byram Karasu Award for Psychotherapy. Dr. Ozbolt presents regularly at academic conferences and eating disorder functions. She has presented at The Annual Symposium for The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) for the past several years and has also been featured on several local TV and radio stations as an eating disorder expert. Additionally, she serves on the Mentor and Outreach Committee for IAEDP and is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (FAPA).
Benaaz Russell, PsyD, CEDS | Director of Admissions
Dr. Benaaz Russell is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorders Specialist. She is the Director of Admissions of Monte Nido and Affiliates. Prior to moving into Admissions, Dr. Russell was the Clinical Director of Casa Verde at Oliver-Pyatt Centers. Dr. Russell received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland. She received her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Argosy University in Washington D.C. She completed her doctoral internship at The Center for Group Counseling in Boca Raton, Florida and her post-doctoral residency at The Renfrew Center of South Florida. She continued on at The Renfrew Center in a variety of roles including primary therapist and IOP team leader. In addition to being in private practice, Dr. Russell has also worked as a primary therapist at The Watershed, and at The Palm Beach Institute’s Eating Disorder Center. She was also the Program Director at The Lukens Institute. Dr. Russell has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders, addictions, trauma, personality disorders, and a range of mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Russell is currently a member of the American Psychological Association and the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP). Dr. Russell served as a Board member of the South Florida Chapter of IAEDP from 2012-2014.
Recovered Staff and Leadership
Monte Nido believes that individuals seeking treatment for eating disorders can become fully recovered. Clients consistently tell us that our philosophy, combined with the fact that they actually get to see and work with recovered staff members, was key in their getting well. Monte Nido’s Founder Carolyn Costin, recovered herself from anorexia nervosa since 1976, has held the position and spoken out openly for over three decades that being fully recovered is possible.
Many clients come to Monte Nido after years of struggling with the illness. They are exhausted, defeated and quite hopeless. They are filled with hope when they see professionals who have made peace with their food and body issues and through modeling prove their eating disorder is a thing of the past. Our staff has confidence in understanding and dealing directly with the eating disorder symptoms while offering hope and inspiration to our clients that they, too, can become fully recovered.