The Freedom to Begin Again

At Fresh Start Recovery Center, each staff member brings a combination of education, training, professional certifications, and hands-on experience. We approach treatment from a variety of disciplines and therapeutic modalities, allowing us to create a truly comprehensive, individualized treatment plan.

Many of our staff members are in recovery themselves, and are excited to share the fulfillment they have found with you. We are real people in recovery, we have been where you are, and we are excited to help each individual find long term recovery.

dr parveen

Marium Parveen, MD, MS

Medical Director

Marium Parveen, MD, MA, Medical Director at Fresh Start Recovery Center (FSRC), has 22 years of experience working in inpatient and outpatient settings as well as providing consultation services. Dr. Parveen trained in the Psychiatry and Neurology Residency Program of Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC, and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Parveen brings to the team sound knowledge of psychiatric diseases, vast clinical experience working with emotionally challenged patients with co-occurring addiction problems, as well as years of experience in leadership and education. She is caring, compassionate, and ready to meet patients where their needs are.

What is your mission at Fresh Start Recovery Center?

My mission is to treat patients who are suffering from mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders or other causes, and place them in better health status. My goal is to provide patients with tools they can use to free themselves from addictive drugs, increase their insight, and make them productive and valuable members of society. I believe in working in a multi-disciplinary team, harnessing the strengths of a diverse group of individuals of the treatment team that exists at the FSRC. I believe in treating patients with psychotherapy and using pharmacological interventions appropriate to their medical and mental health needs as well as engaging their social supports.

What makes Fresh Start Recovery Center stand out?

I believe in FSRS’s policy of treating patients with the aim of freeing them totally and completely of drugs that are responsible for their addiction and mental health problem. FSRS stands out as a treatment facility because it is a total and absolute abstinence-based program, meaning not relying on any drugs with any addiction potential. FSRC offers patients ways to gradual reentry to society through different programs tailored to individual patient needs.

Most rewarding part of working at Fresh Start Recovery Center?

It is professionally gratifying for me to evaluate new patients knowing these individuals want to pursue abstinence. I admire their enormous inner strength and willingness to come to our program knowing that they will not be prescribed any controlled substances or addictive medication to treat their primary addiction. It is also rewarding to have the multi-disciplinary support of great professionals that FSRC provides.

Sarah Atencio

Sarah Atencio, LCPC, LCADAS

Clinical Director

What is your full name, title, and the location you work out of?

Sarah Atencio, LCPC, LCADAS-Clinical Director at Fresh Start Recovery Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Where did you grow up?

Waynesboro, Pennsylvania (I moved around the country and landed back where I started. Yes, I commute from there!)

Where did you go to school? Collegiate degree? What was your focus of study?

Bachelors of Arts-Human Communication Studies from Shippensburg University of PA. Masters of Science- Substance Abuse & Clinical Counseling from East Carolina University.

What is your passion for working in the treatment field? (You can share your own recovery story, or you don’t have to disclose).

There is nothing more rewarding than watching someone take steps to change their own life. Everyone’s story looks a little bit different, but the human experience is universal. In the eight years I’ve worked in the field, I’ve met hundreds of people I would’ve never otherwise met. Also, you can’t find better coworkers anywhere else. They make work enjoyable!

What do you do for your job? List a few responsibilities.

I will always be a clinician at heart, but my role is more administrative as the Clinical Director. I am responsible for ensuring the integrity of our program, and making sure staff are equipped to be successful in their roles.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Being part of an amazing team! I enjoy being at work because I enjoy the people I am surrounded by. At the end of the day, I hope that I can have a positive impact on the field of addiction treatment and leave it better than I found it.

What do you think sets Amatus apart from other treatment centers?

Because the company is so large, it is rare that we cannot place a client in a facility that meets their needs. If someone needs a service we cannot provide at FSRC, typically we can find another Amatus facility that does. I also think that mental health outpatient programs are hard to find, so I am happy we can provide that in the DMV.

Mindy Navarro

Mindy Navarro

Mental Health Therapist

I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with 13 years’ experience working in inpatient, outpatient, and correctional settings. I am a local Washingtonian and finished my Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling at Bowie State University.

What is your mission at Fresh Start?

My mission at Fresh Start is to treat the whole person in a safe, judgment-free environment. Using a person-centered approach, I want the client to feel secure in the fact that we are working together towards meeting their individual goals.

What makes Fresh Start stand out?

What makes Fresh Start stands out is its dedicated staff that always places the needs of the client above all else. Every person that works at Fresh Start puts their whole heart into their work every day. This is a treatment center where respect, compassion, and empathy are something every client can expect, no exceptions.

What is the most rewarding part of working at Fresh Start?

The most rewarding part of working at Fresh Start is being able to witness the incredible transformations that are taking place within our incredibly strong and brave clients every day.

Norm Friedlander

Norm Friedlander, BA, ADT

Substance Abuse Counselor

Norm is a lifelong Maryland resident who graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland and has an ADT status with the Maryland Department of Health to be a primary substance abuse counselor in a treatment facility. He lives ten minutes from the center with his wife and their daughter.

What is your mission at Fresh Start?

My mission is to ensure that all clients that come to Fresh Start Recovery Center are treated with kindness and respect, and I endeavor to facilitate and maintain a safe and supportive atmosphere that is conducive to their recuperation. I believe in the moral imperative “once a client always a client.”

What makes Fresh Start stand out?

Like myself, much of the staff here is in long-term recovery. We’ve been there and we get it. We believe that the opposite of addiction is connection, and we strive to connect with every person who does an intake.

What is the most rewarding part of working at Fresh Start?

Many of the people who come to us for treatment had never heard of Gaithersburg, MD before, yet often the connection to the center and the local recovery community is so strong that they elect to remain in the area even after discharge. Seeing the light come on in a person’s eyes and the ensuing reawakening of their soul is why I never need an alarm clock to help get my day started. Working here is a privilege and one of the many gifts of recovery.

Meghan Denslow

Meghan Denslow

Director of Operations

I obtained my degree in criminal justice and political science but after starting my journey in recovery I found my passion working in behavioral health. My mission at Fresh Start is to assist the clients with a smooth transition to life after treatment. What makes Fresh Start stand out is the atmosphere, the staff here feels like a family. Since day one, the most rewarding part of my job is to see the light come back to the clients’ eyes and see families reunited.