Activating First Responders Post-Traumatic Growth

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Responders First Wellness Program

Feel free to contact us with any questions, inquiries, or to schedule an appointment. 

Responders First is Located One Hour North of Tampa, Florida

Responders First Hernando County Florida

Email: Call (352) 585-0626


Monday - Friday

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Board of Directors

Jesse Diaz-Franco Chair



Jesse has a total of 35 self-employed years in the Ceramic Tile industry and 45 years as a musician. He majored in social work and minored in psychology, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor in Social Work in 2016 from Saint Leo University. His six months internship with the Coalition for the Homeless of Pasco County provided him with the opportunity to work with the non-profits R.O.P.E. Center, and the Samaritan’s Project.  He received his Master in Social Work Advanced Clinical Practice in 2017 from Saint Leo University. He melded his long belief in positive psychology along with his passion for music in designing a unique music group experience through drumming for the Veterans Alternative week long AWP during his eight months master’s program internship. His leading the music group for two years and six months along with his role as the Outreach Coordinator with the Veterans Alternative has provided him with an incredible non-profit experience. Jesse is an Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) practitioner.  He has served 18 years as the Worship Leader at Christian Church in the Wildwood, Weeki Wachee. His other passions are his family and teaching martial arts, having earned his 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and green belt in Kenpo.

Gus Guadagnino Vice-Chair



Gus has served as School Board Member since 2012. He also has 50 years of experience as a successful businessman and has owned 8 companies in 5 different industries. Gus has and continues to serve his community with over 25,000 hours of volunteer leadership on such organizations as:
K9P4P board of directors 
Veterans H.E.A.T Factory 
H.C. Education Foundation
P/H Early Learning Coalition
Chamber of Commerce
Hernando County Blood Bank
The Dawn Center
Sheriff’s Y.E.S. Program
Sheriff’s Charities Board
The Arc of the Nature Coast
PHSC Foundation
Technology Engineering Committee
Big Brother/Big Sister
Take Stock In Children
Hernando County YMCA 
Oak Hill Hospital community Advisory Board
Suncoast Technical Education Center
American Cancer Society
Light House for the Blind
Hernando Adult Education
H.C. Tourism Council
Economic Development Council
H.C. Manufacturer’s Assoc.
American Heart Assoc.

Sam Walton Business of the Year
Chamber Small Business Award
Commissioners Business Recognition Award
Florida Commissioner of Education Award (Twice Awarded)
Distinguished Businessman of the Year Award

Debra Mims Secretary/Treasurer


 Debbie Mims is an assistant Professor at Saint Leo University. She earned her doctorate degree from Northcentral University researching Forensic Investigators’ Perceptions of Animal Assisted Intervention during Investigations of Child Sexual Abuse. Dr. Mims is a retired Mounted Police Officer and is the Therapy dog liaison for the Tampa Bay Region 5 Critical Incident Stress Management Team. She has published and presented at local, national and international conferences and has published in journals and books on a variety of topics related to animal assisted therapy and crisis response.