Jonas Coatsworth, CEO & Chief of Clinical Services

Jonas Coatsworth obtained his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the College of Charleston in 1999 and his Master of Arts in Psychology from The Citadel Graduate College in 2003. With a phenomenal background in recovery programs, as well as an extensive amount of experience dealing with opioid addiction, W. Jonas Coatsworth has built over a decade of passionate caregiving into a lifelong passion to aid others. He is a dedicated advocate and caregiver for all of our patients and brings an incredible amount of support to the recovery process.

“I consider it a privilege to be able to share in one’s journey as they enter into a relationship with recovery and to be a part of this impactful time in one’s life. The installation of hope is central in my work in helping to build a therapeutic relationship that is grounded in trust, genuineness, empathy, and understanding which serves as the catalyst to promote change. My experiences in life, clinical practice, administration, and advocacy have guided me to this moment and I am truly blessed with this opportunity to create a program and experience with an excellent team at Hammocks on the Edisto to meet the challenges we all face!”

Katie Carter, Director of Admissions

Katie obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the College of Charleston and her Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling from The Citadel Graduate College. A passionate professional, Katie has over 10 years of experience in behavioral health care in both South Carolina and Pennsylvania. With extensive expertise in additional fields like admissions, administration, and insurance authorizations, Katie is an incredible asset to our team and our patients alike.

“Our patients’ journey to health, happiness, and healing begins with seeking treatment and asking for help. I am honored to be a small part of their path to recovery by guiding them through the admission and treatment process, working together to find the best fit for their unique needs.”

Melanie Knight, Director of Marketing and Business Development

Melanie earned her bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston and called the lowcountry home for over 17 years. She has over 15 years of marketing and development experience, with the majority being specifically in the field of substance abuse and mental health outreach. In this work she realized her true passion and sense of purpose comes from helping others. Her strengths in this role include building authentic relationships within the behavioral health community and being a reliable resource for professionals, families, and potential clients to help them navigate through appropriate paths of care and educate them about Hammock’s scope of services.

Melanie currently resides in Asheville, NC with her husband and daughter with plans to eventually relocate back to Charleston, SC. Her hobbies include outdoor activities, travel, time with friends and sharing joyful interactions with everyone she meets.

“I was immediately drawn to the Hammocks after learning of its opening. I knew of a high need for women’s specific treatment in the area and knew that the outstanding level of clinical work in such a healing and special setting would create truly beautiful outcomes. The Hammocks focuses on doing not only the hard work but the “heart work” to get to the root cause of client’s issues and I am so grateful that I can be a part of sharing the message around services that will transform so many lives.”

Chad Paitl, Director of Facility Operations

Chad obtained his BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from Michigan State University and his MA in Education from College of Charleston. He entered the field of behavioral healthcare in 1990 and has since accumulated over 25 years of experience, working in the areas of Plant Operations, Quality Assurance, Risk Management, Health Information Systems, Utilization Management, Admissions, Patient Advocacy, and Marketing.

“I believe in the strength of faith, hope and love as guiding influences for recovery. I am honored to be part of a great team serving those pursuing recovery, and am eager to assist our residents on their journey through the treatment process and subsequent healing.”

Janie Ilderton, Director of Business Office/Human Relations

I have been working in the hospital business office and patient financial counseling arena for 25 years with the last 15 years in the behavioral health area. I have worked in all levels of care from outpatient to inpatient, and both medical and mental health. With 16 years personal recovery experience I am well aware of the importance of working with patients toward arrangements that will help them and not hinder them in their recovery from the disease of addiction.

“Health and money are two of the top stressors in any person’s life and anything that I am able to do to lessen this stress especially with someone just beginning the recovery journey is the most important aspect of my job. I am especially thankful to be working with the truly caring and talented staff at Hammocks on the Edisto.”

Dr. John Emmel, M.D., Chief of Medical Services

Dr. John Emmel has been actively treating addiction since 1980. He’s a board certified physician in both Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. Additionally, he serves as a Medical Director/Consultant to the SC State Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services. Dr. Emmel’s lifelong passion for helping people engage in active recovery is evident not only in his individual clinical work, but also in his teaching/training of other professionals in the field of addiction.

“The chronic disease of addiction, together with all of its consequences, is the biggest medical problem the country faces. I have dedicated myself to being an integral part of the team of professionals assisting each individual in finding his/her personal path to recovery.”


Dr. Constance Alexander, M.D., Co-Founder/Chief of Addiction and Psychiatry

Dr. Connie Alexander graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine, and completed her residency program in Adult Psychiatry at The Medical University of South Carolina in 1999. She is Board Certified with the American Board of Psychiatry and specializes in addiction medicine and adult psychology. Dr. Alexander combines an incredible amount of experience and knowledge with compassionate care for all of our patients in recovery. This dedication to the process is a true asset.

Dr. Virgil Alfaro, M.D., Co-Founder

Dr. Virgil Alfaro is committed to a 12-Step Recovery Program. He is a founding member of Charleston Neurosciences Institute and has edited and published 7 textbooks and multiple peer-review papers. Hailing from South Texas, he served in the USAF Medical Corps and also worked at Whitman Walker Clinic, an outpatient facility dedicated to the management of HIV AIDS.