SAE Continues to Strengthen Substance Use Disorder Team of Experts, with Emphasis on Opioid Addiction

In response to America's growing opioid crisis, SAE assembled a team of leading professionals with addiction treatment expertise in program development and expansion, maintaining regulatory compliance, maximizing revenue, licensing, achieving fiscal efficiency, and measuring outcomes and quality of care. Members of the team also function as content experts to strengthen grant submissions for providers that seek federal, state, and county funding to treat substance abuse. Below are brief descriptions of our team members' level of expertise. We are assisting community providers and government agencies, so let us know how we might assist you.

Our Team

Team Leader Steven Rabinowitz recently retired after 30 years of service at NY State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), where he spent the last 11 years as the Director of Downstate Field Operations, overseeing funding and program services in NYC and Long Island for over 250 substance abuse prevention, treatment, recovery and specialized services provider agencies, and supervised 35 staff associates. Besides his thorough knowledge of fiscal, programmatic and operational issues facing provider agencies, Steve was heavily involved for the last few years with initiatives like managed care, health homes, DSRIP, HCBS, Value-Based Payments, as well as serving as co-leader of a major internal reorganization effort within OASAS.

Bruce G. Trigg, MD, is a public health physician who worked for 23 years with the New Mexico Department of Health, where he was the medical director for the Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Program. He led the effort to implement a public health and methadone maintenance program at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque. Dr. Trigg helped to develop and expand the statewide harm reduction program, including a needle and syringe exchange program, buprenorphine treatment, and overdose prevention with provision of naloxone. Since retiring from the Department of Health in 2011, Dr. Trigg has been the medical director for Opioid Treatment Programs in New Mexico. He has worked with the University of New Mexico ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Program, a collaborative model of medical education and care management, and was on the faculty for physician buprenorphine waiver trainings.

Frank McCorry, PhD, has worked in the field of substance abuse prevention and treatment for over 35 years. His most recent assignments have focused on clinical policy and practice improvement issues, particularly in the areas of public health, co-occurring mental health and addictive disorders and managed care. He has represented OASAS on a joint initiative with the Office of Mental Health on co-occurring disorders, which is based on the “New York Model”, a conceptual paradigm for the treatment of persons with co-occurring disorders and has served as principal investigator for numerous research projects related to his areas of interest. Dr. McCorry is Chair of the Washington Circle Group, a SAMHSA-sponsored initiative to develop substance abuse performance measures for use in managed care and public sector settings, co-Chair of the National Quality Forum’s Voluntary Census Standards, and an Editorial Board Member of Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Dr. McCorry received his doctorate in Counseling and Human Services from St. John’s University.

Brian M. Baldwin, LCSW, has extensive experience in Program Evaluation and Compliance. He has previously worked in the NYS OMH Division of Quality Management and Bureau of Inspection and Certification, and currently heads Baldwin Consultants. During his years at OMH, Mr. Baldwin conducted on site evaluations of most of the inpatient, outpatient and residential mental health programs in the metropolitan area. Baldwin Consultants has provided Comprehensive Program evaluations for inpatient psychiatric hospitals, outpatient mental health and substance abuse programs as well as consultation on medical record documentation and Assessment and Treatment Planning instruments design. Mr. Baldwin also has extensive experience in the substance abuse treatment field as a Program Director with the New York State Drug Abuse Control Commission and as a Consultant developing inpatient and outpatient substance abuse programs, as well as providing Program Evaluation services for Substance Abuse Treatment Programs.

William Panepinto, LMSW, has an over 30-year history of government and consultation experience serving non-profits targeting vulnerable homeless populations and individuals with substance abuse issues. His career has included ten years of treatment experience and 25 years of state government work with OASAS. At OASAS, he brought addiction specialty care to Community Health Centers and NYC Homeless Shelters in the 1980s, and HUD Shelter Plus Care Homeless Permanent Housing grants to NYS communities in the 1990s. Under his leadership as the first Director of Bureau of Housing Services for OASAS from 2007 to 2013, the agency's Housing Portfolio increased from 850 units in NYC and ten other counties, to over 2,200 units in NYC and thirty additional counties. Recently, Bill designed the OASAS New York/New York III Homeless Initiative for Single Adults and for Families, and the OASAS MRT Supportive Housing Initiative.  Since March 2015, he has have worked as the Director of Special Projects, a part-time position for St. Joseph's Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers. His focus has been on supportive housing, residential redesign, and co-location of primary health care and behavioral health care.

Additionally, the team will be supported by the operational, hands-on experience of Shelley Scheffler and John Sheehan.

Shelley Scheffler, PhD, LCSW-R, is an early adopter of the theory and practice of integrated care and has dedicated her career to promoting it in different healthcare and treatment settings. As Vice President of Practice Innovations at Services for the UnderServed, she was instrumental in transitioning the organization to an integrated care model with new initiatives such as the Trauma Informed Care Project, including a Zero Suicide effort, and participation in the SAMHSA learning collaborative to integrate primary care into substance use treatment. Prior to this, Dr. Scheffler was the Senior Integrated Care Specialist at the Center for Excellence in Integrated Care (CEIC), a project was funded by the New York State Health Foundation to promote co-occurring capability in substance use and mental health treatment services throughout New York State. Dr. Scheffler has also provided technical assistance to FQHC's, providing organizational training and detailed outcome analysis. In her career, she has had administrative experience leading case management and substance use services at a large hospital center. She has developed workshops on trauma, substance use, homelessness as well as other social issue topics. Dr. Scheffler has taught at the NYU Silver School of Social Work, the Simmons School of Social Work and the Fordham University CASAC Program.

John Sheehan, LMSW, has focused his 35+ year career serving the substance use and homeless populations including adolescents. Starting his career as an outreach worker, Mr. Sheehan held the position of Vice President at Phoenix House and has held leadership roles at Project Samaritan, Outreach Project, and Bowery Residents Committee, where he served as Deputy Executive Director overseeing Programs for the Homeless Mentally Ill and Chemically Dependent. In addition to his consultant work with SAE & Associates, John has worked with All Souls Church and the 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church to develop social services programs for the homeless. Mr. Sheehan has been honored for his dedication by Phoenix House Foundation and does extensive volunteer work for the MS Society. He is a graduate of Adelphi University with both a Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree in Social Work. He has a Certificate in Non-profit Management from NYU Robert Wagner School. He also has completed trainings recently in Mindfulness and PTSD.