Dr. Neil H. Strauss is President & CEO of AFAWS and was raised in Beaver County, a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA where he attended the Kiski School for Boys (’93), Saltsburg, PA which is the oldest all-male boarding school in America. He then earned his Bachelor’s in Science in Biology (’97) from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA

In 1999, Dr. Strauss enrolled at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, and then transferred to Barry University School of Graduate Sciences, Miami, FL with the intent to practice in Florida.

 In 2003, Dr. Strauss earned his Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine (DPM) from Barry University where he then completed two years of surgical residency training at West Chester General Hospital in Miami, FL.


Upon successful completion of his residency in 2005, Dr. Strauss joined Dr. Brietstein as his associate and a year later became his partner to form Brietstein & Strauss, DPM, PA. Dr. Strauss is now the CEO and President of the practice and prides himself on his work ethic, approachability and bedside manner. Dr. Strauss lives in Parkland, FL with his family that is a very active community supporter. His hobbies include:Flying full-scale and fixed-wing aircraft,  Radio-controlled aircraft, collecting and shooting firearms, collecting and restoring vintage and modern sports cars and motorcycles, SCUBA, Fly and Saltwater Fishing, and boating.


Board Certifications:

Diplomat, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery

Fellow, American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS)

Diplomate American Board of Wound Management, Certified Wound Specialist (CWS)

Fellow, American Professional Wound Care Association

Fellow, American College of Certified Wound Specialists


Professional Affiliations (Past & Present):

American Podiatric Medical Association

Florida Podiatric Medical Association

Broward County Podiatric Medical Society

American Diabetes Association

American Professional Wound Care Association

Fort Lauderdale Surgical Society

Alexandra M. Andes, DPM, FACFAS, CWS

Dr. Alexandra M. Andes, a partner with AFAWS, was born in Livingston, NJ and was raised in Indialantic, FL. After graduation from Melbourne High School, she attended the University of Central Florida where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Micro and Molecular Biology (2004). 

Dr. Andes enrolled at Barry University School of Graduate Sciences in 2004 and earned a Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine (DPM) in 2008. Dr. Andes completed her three-year foot and ankle surgical residency training at Northwest Medical Center in Margate, FL. Her comprehensive training included trauma such as metatarsal fractures and ankle fractures as well as elective surgery such as bunion and hammertoe correction. Her training also included wound care, and she became wound care certified (CWS) by the American Board of Wound Management in October 2011. She joined the practice in July 2011. 


Dr. Andes lives in Plantation, FL with her husband, Dr. Nathan Vela as well as their two sons, Daniel and Austin. She enjoys traveling as well as spending time with friends and family.

Board Certifications:

Diplomat, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery

Fellow, American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS)
Diplomate, American Board of Wound Management, Certified Wound Specialist (CWS)

Professional Publications:

  • Use of Oasis wound matrix in the treatment of a hematoma induced leg   wound. 
    Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine 
    Volume 1 Issue 4    October to December 2010 ISSN: 2157-9148

  • Neurostimulation: Can it have an impact for painful diabetic neuropathy? 
    Podiatry Today
    Volume 23 Issue 6 June 2010


Dr. Elie Mendelson was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. After graduating from high school, he studied for a year abroad in Jerusalem, Israel. He then attended Touro College in Queens, NY and earned a Bachelors of Science in Marketing. 

Elie Mendelson, DPM, CWS 

After a brief marketing career in Long Island, NY, he returned to college to pursue his love of medicine and earn post-baccalaureate requirements in order to attend podiatric medical school. He then attended the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and earned a Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine (DPM). 


Dr. Mendelson completed a three year podiatric medical and surgical residency training program at Northwest Medical Center in Margate FL, with an added reconstructive rearfoot and ankle surgery component. He became wound care certified (CWS) by the American Board of Wound Management in June 2017. Dr. Mendelson currently lives in Boca Raton with his wife and three children including two daughters and one son. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, and is a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan.

Board Certifications:

Diplomat, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery

Fellow, American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS)

Diplomate American Board of Wound Management, Certified Wound Specialist (CWS)

Dr. Vela is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon who has been practicing Podiatry in South Florida since 2009. He specializes in treating foot, ankle and leg injuries in infants, children, teenagers and adults.

He graduated from Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine & Surgery and completed his residency in foot and ankle surgery at the Bruce W. Carter Veterans Medical Center in Miami, FL. His interests include treatment of complex deformities in children and adults as well as sports related injuries and reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. Dr Vela has served as a team physician for Pembroke Pines Charter High School and Archbishop Edward McCarthy High School. He is an Associate of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery.


Dr. Vela also completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Austin College in Sherman, Texas; and a Masters of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, TX where he was also working on a Masters of Science Education before leaving for medical school. Originally from Corpus Christi, TX, Dr. Vela moved to South Florida to attend Barry University where he met his wife Dr. Alexandra Andes-Vela, DPM who also practices with Advanced Foot, Ankle & Wound Specialists, PA. They live in Plantation, FL with their two sons, Daniel and Austin, and three pets which include two dogs and a cat.


Dr. Vela enjoys being active in his local community and looks forward to continuing that involvement as well as keeping the people of South Florida active and healthy. 

Board Certifications and Affiliations:

Fellow, American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
Diplomate, American Board for Foot and Ankle Surgery

Board Certified in Foot Surgery

Board Certified in Reconstructive Rearfoot & Ankle Surgery

Member, American College of Foot and Ankle Pediatrics

Nathan D. Vela, DPM, MPH, FACFAS

Coral Springs


8100 Royal Palm Blvd, #112

Coral Springs, FL 33065


Telephone: 954.752.1999

Fax: 954.752.8756

Fort Lauderdale


At Imperial Point Medical Center

6405 N. Federal Hwy, #100

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308


Telephone: 954.722.8080

Fax: 954.722.4093

Tamarac (Main Office)


7421 North University Drive, #304

Tamarac, FL 33321


Telephone: 954.722.8080

Fax: 954.722.4093

Fort Lauderdale


Downtown Fort Lauderdale
At Broward General

1625 SE 3 Ave, #723, 

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316


Telephone: 954.722.8080

Fax: 954.722.4093

Cooper City


11011 Sheridan St, # 105
Cooper City, FL 33026


Telephone: 954.306.9200

Fax: 954.722.4093

Broward and South Palm Beach Counties Division

South Broward and Dade Division


AFAWS Podiatrist are on staff at several local hospitals, and hospital-based wound care centers, as well as an outpatient surgical center. Our Podiatrist provided emergency podiatric trauma services at several local emergency hospitals. Our offices are conveniently located in Tamarac FL, Coral Springs FL, Cooper City FL and Fort Lauderdale FL. Our physicians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for outpatient emergencies, hospital-based emergency and non-emergency consults. 

* Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists, PA is a registered DBA for Brietstein & Strauss, DPM, PA

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