Consultant, Lead Evaluator
Frank Guida is a psychologist, trained at the University of Chicago. Through a role as SAE’s lead evaluation director for many years, he has overseen several Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-funded grants and mentored the team through excellent growth. For many years, he was a psychologist at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Community Mental Health Center, where in addition to practicing psychotherapy, he conducted epidemiological studies of pathological gambling and was on the staff of the Research Diagnostic Project funded by NIDA and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Ashawnda Fleming, PhD
Consultant, Grants Program Manager
Dr. Ashawnda Fleming is the Chief Executive Officer of A. Marie Fundraising and Development Consultants. She possesses more than twenty years of nonprofit management experience. Dr. Fleming has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychological Foundation and the Executive Director of the Hetrick Martin Institute New Jersey. She has also served as Chief Development Officer to national nonprofits including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Prevent Child Abuse, and First Candle/SIDS Alliance. She is a skilled fundraiser with proven ability to raise significant revenue, both cash and in-kind, by masterfully communicating the essential mission of an organization. Her efforts have raised millions.
Her career of service began in the late 1990s when she was appointed to the position of Vice President of Clinical Compliance for the largest substance abuse and mental health provider in the Mid-Atlantic region, which included managing a staff of 150. She has written, secured and supervised national research initiatives funded by the National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Justice.
Dr. Fleming served as a working member on the Campaign for Mental Health Reform with the late Senator Kennedy and other national legislators. The Campaign was instrumental in passing the National Mental Health Parity Act of 2008. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University. In 2018 Dr. Fleming was selected as 1 of 10 National Fellows by the New York Women’s Foundation. The Fellowship entitled: “Leading the Way: Building the Pipeline of Women of Color Leaders in the Social Sector” represented a capacity-building and leadership initiative designed to support the efforts of women of color who are emerging leaders working in the field of social services in the United States.
Dr. Fleming holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from The American University in Washington, D.C., a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Thomas University in Miami, FL, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL.
Fern Zagor, LCSW, ACSW
Consultant, Behavioral Health
Fern Aaron Zagor has a distinguished career of more than four decades serving in senior management capacities in behavioral health and human services. In August of 2012 Ms. Zagor became the President/CEO of the Staten Island Mental Health Society. On January 1, 2019, under her leadership, SIMHS was acquired by and merged into Richmond University Medical Center where Ms. Zagor became the Executive Director of SIMHS, a division of the hospital. SIMHS is considered a leader and pioneer throughout New York City, State, and the nation in providing diverse mental health, substance use, developmental disabilities, early childhood education, and related services for children and families. On July 1, 2019, Ms. Zagor left the hospital to start her own consulting firm, Fern Zagor Consulting LLC. Leveraging her “lived” experience, she specializes in organizational and systems change; mergers and acquisitions; behavioral health integration; program, staff, board, and grants development; and leadership mentoring and training. She is an acknowledged leader in the development and implementation of multiple coalition and community building initiatives targeting health and educational disparities. Ms. Zagor was an Adjunct Professor at the Adelphi University School of Social Work, where she taught for 25 years. She received her Master of Social Work Degree from Adelphi University.
Brian Baldwin, LCSW
Consultant, Clinic Operations
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.
Rhonda Bohs, PhD
Consultant, Director of Evaluation & Quality Assurance
Rhonda Bohs, Ph.D., has over 25 years of experience in conducting research and program evaluation including serving as the lead evaluator for multiple SAMHSA-funded initiatives. Additionally, Dr. Bohs has served as Site Investigator activities in the NIDA Clinical Trials Network and as Co-Principal Investigator on a P20 Research Center grant in collaboration with Florida International University and funded through the National Center on Minority Health Disparities. Dr. Bohs received her M.S. degree in Research and Ph.D. in Applied Experimental Psychology with an emphasis in Social Psychology from Saint Louis University. She has conducted research and program evaluation in health disparities, as well as program evaluation in hospital, community mental health centers, health departments, community based organizations and business settings. Throughout her career, Dr. Bohs has developed an expertise in implementing and evaluating programs targeting special populations, hard‑to‑reach populations, and in developing and implementing systems of care strategies within community based organizations and integrating behavioral and primary health service delivery systems.
Susan M. Bowler, PhD
Consultant, Children and Families
Susan Bowler has extensive experience in policy/program development and implementation in state child welfare, juvenile justice and children’s mental health agencies. She was the Project Director and Principal Investigator on three Children’s Mental Health (System of Care) Initiatives targeting children under 21 with serious emotional disturbances. Dr Bowler has led strategic processes that integrated services across child welfare, children’s behavioral health, and juvenile justice for the highest risk children and adolescents and their families. Most recently, Dr. Bowler has been a leader in system wide reform in the state of Rhode Island as they seek to fully integrate economic development, employment support, and clinical/social services in a single plan to assist the highest risk youth to succeed in the market economy.
Mary Ann Castle, PhD
Consultant, Research and Evaluation
Mary Ann Castle is a social anthropologist with 25 years experience conducting applied research and evaluation (quantitative, qualitative, participatory, self assessment). She also conducts program design/management, strategic planning, grant writing, and technical assistance to a variety of organizations. Her areas of expertise are reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, substance use, and youth. She has worked in Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, India and with diverse communities throughout the U.S.
Consultant, Instructional Technology
Andrew Golembeske is an instructional technologist with nearly 20 years of experience administering remote educational programs. He has extensive experience incorporating the latest technologies and methodologies of remote engagement within non-profit addiction treatment education, Bio pharm, and for-profit agencies. Mr. Golembeske specializes in the evaluation and implementation of remote engagement technologies utilized by organizations.
Spence Halperin, LMSW
Spence has specialized in developing and writing government grants for 15 years, primarily serving human service, arts and educational organizations in and around the NYC metropolitan area. He has also developed a Quality Assurance methodology called “QA-Plus” that he has brought to health home care coordination programs throughout NYC. As a human services grant writer, Spence has successful applied on behalf of clients for federal, state and government government funds to support many program types including permanent and supportive housing, minority medical services, mental health, substance abuse treatment, health homes, alternatives-to-incarceration, colleges, HIV services, LGBT programs, youth and senior services, food and nutrition, employment and job training, veterans, and many others. Prior to becoming a consultant, Spence was a program director at several social service agencies and for six years he taught social work at Hunter College. He is a NYS Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and a volunteer Mental Health Responder for the NYC Medical Reserve Corps. Spence holds a B.A. from Columbia University; a M.F.A. from Carnegie-Mellon; and a M.S.W. from Hunter College School of Social Work. He has completed all but his dissertation for a Ph.D. in Social Welfare at CUNY Graduate Center.
Les Halpert, PhD
Les Halpert, Ph.D., is an accomplished risk manager in the areas of compliance and regulatory affairs with extensive knowledge of national and state-wide behavioral health trends and funding process. He currently serves as the Chief Executive of a Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization (MCBHO), and has expertise in Medicaid re-design; healthcare provider systems’ transformation; and regulatory requirements. Mr. Halpert’s track record of leading rehabilitation, medical, managed care and behavioral health services related organizations has demonstrated him to be a conceptual thinker and problem solver with strong financial and operations acumen, deploying strategies to grow organizational presence and success, build trust among staff, and create a constancy of purpose to help achieve organizational goals while adhering to the organization’s vision and mission.
Consultant, Healthcare Management
Mr. Hutchinson has more than 25 years of healthcare experience that includes: performance measurement and management; healthcare program assessment and implementation; provider contracting and negotiation; financial analysis and risk assessment; analysis and interpretation; the application of business practices to care management processes. He is founder and managing partner of RPM Health, which provides payer, purchaser and provider clients with business-based solutions to managing the cost and risk of purchasing, provider or consumer healthcare services, working directly with health plans, fortune 500 corporations, public sector agencies and systems, hospitals and physician organizations.
Maria (Sam) Josepher, MPA
Consultant, Health Literacy
Sam Josepher is a grant-writing and organizational development professional with over twenty years of senior executive experience in the nonprofit sector. For seven years, Ms. Josepher has worked to develop communications/ marketing plans, enhance foundation and government funding, and increase donor bases for social services agencies focusing on HIV/AIDS, chronic diseases, reentry services, workforce development and life skills, and youth services. Sam is the Co-Founder and former Deputy Executive Director of Exponents, NYC and curriculum developer of the highly recognized ARRIVE Training a health literacy program with measurable medications adherence outcomes. In her tenure as the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Exponents, Sam successfully managed an annual budget in excess of $ 3.8 million and was responsible for generating over $ 35 million in government and foundation funding. She has served as an adjunct lecturer of New You University School of Philanthropy and Fundraising, Long Island University, and has been invited to present to NYC Planning Groups, a White House Commission, and technical assistance conferences. She has held offices on numerous nonprofit boards of directors. Ms. Josepher received her Bachelor of Science from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn and a Master of Public Administration from the Executive Program at CUNY Bernard Baruch School of Public Affairs.
Joseph Marafito, MS
Consultant, Adolescent, Disability and Substance Abuse
Joseph Marafito is a Community Psychologist with over 30 years of progressive supervisory, program development and administrative experience in both the public and private sectors. He has worked as a clinician, community systems developer in both adolescent and adult services, and as an administrator of community based HCS waiver services. He has expertise in program evaluation, public policy development, fiscal management, revenue enhancement, program development, regulatory issues, residential program management and community outpatient services. He has enjoyed his work with executive and legislative branches of government through policy committees and workgroups advising branch administrators on system development and policy related matters. He also has significant experience serving on policy committees of human services trade associations. Joseph accomplished significant population reduction over a two year period at the beginning of the deinstitutionalization movement in CT; developed an agency in CT that provided community based services and eventually the first supported living program in CT; co-wrote and negotiated substance abuse grants; and expanded a substance abuse residential program serving adults to include adolescents and developed out patient services for both age groups in NY. A sample of recent consultant experiences include the restructuring and quality oversight of a Center for Excellence serving adolescents with co-occurring conditions (ID/DD and MH); and projects with states, disability organizations, health care companies, and private ID/D providers for organizational development, management innovation, reorganization, clinical program reviews and program evaluation. As a consultant, Joseph has completed an environmental scan for a health care organization; produced white papers regarding the inclusion of individuals with ID/D into managed care for long term services for another health care organization; evaluated of a state system’s quality assurance regulations, policies and procedures; researched systems development for children with co-occurring conditions; including research regarding the role of MCOs; and conducted clinical reviews for the implementation of Settlement Agreements.
Frank McCorry, PhD
Consultant, Substance Use Disorders
Frank McCorry is the CEO and President of FAM Consulting, Inc., a consulting practice dedicated to integrated behavioral health services within health care reform. Dr. McCorry previously served as the Director of New York City Operations for the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. His long career in the addictions field has focused on system transformation and integration efforts, most notably in the areas of public health, HIV/AIDS, co-occurring mental health and addictive disorders, quality and performance measurement, health care reform and parity compliance. Dr. McCorry has been the Principal Investigator on SAMHSA, NIH and foundation grants focused on the integration of services for persons with co-occurring mental health and addictive disorders, on HIV/AIDS services and on performance improvement. Dr. McCorry is a founding member and former Chairperson of the Washington Circle, an initiative to develop substance abuse performance measures for use in managed care and public sector settings. He served as co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the National Quality Forum’s National Voluntary Consensus Standards for the Treatment of Substance Use Conditions: Evidence-based Treatment Practices. Dr. McCorry is a former member of the United States Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s National Advisory Council and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Dr. McCorry received his doctorate in Counseling and Human Services from St. John’s University in 1982.
Maria Messina, PhD
Consultant, Public Health
Maria Messina, Ph.D. is a medical anthropologist with nearly 30 years of experience conducting both long- and short-term ethnographic fieldwork, nationally and internationally, with funding from Fulbright, Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Institute of Justice (NIJ). Maria’s areas of expertise range from indigenous healing practices and popular culture in North Africa to public health and ethno-epidemiological fieldwork among a variety of vulnerable populations at high risk for multiple morbidities, i.e., the reception or transmission of HIV/AIDS, other STI’s, and behavioral health disorders. The populations of focus include, e.g., ethnic minority and gender variant young and adult men who have sex with men (Y/MSM); youth at risk for drug use and forensic involvement in a Venezuelan favela, homeless youth in NYC who injected crack; long-term outcomes of adjudicated youth in residential drug treatment in the U.S. and Canada; and homeless, severely mentally ill adults with alcohol, drug dependencies, and/or other co-morbidities. Maria also has extensive experience as a program evaluator of projects funded by The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Gilead Science, The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), and The AIDS Institute.
Eugene Anthony Meyer, Psy.D.
Eugene Anthony Meyer is a clinical psychologist with expertise in health psychology. His 20 years of leadership experience in healthcare span clinical service delivery, research, operations, management consultation, and program development. In addition to his graduate education in psychology, he has a master’s degree in healthcare policy and management from SUNY Stony Brook University, and a master’s level certificate in public health and outcomes measurement from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Meyer has held management and academic faculty positions in several large healthcare organizations including Partners Healthcare, Northwell Health, and the New York City Health + Hospitals system. As a healthcare consultant, his project management and coaching experience includes service line redesign in preparation for managed Medicaid, healthcare transformation (change management, improving outcomes, value-based care), and quality/performance improvement.
Carrie Muchow, Ph.D.
Carrie Muchow, PhD, has successfully completed her doctoral dissertation at the Counseling Psychology program, Teachers College, Columbia University. She completed her M.A. and an Ed.M. in Psychological Counseling at Columbia University and has trained in inpatient, outpatient, and forensic-based treatment settings. She has cultivated clinical experience in the areas of mental health, trauma, and addiction, having served as the Program Manager at the Columbia University Buprenorphine Program and clinical extern at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. Ms. Muchow has clinical experience in the psychosocial treatment of substance use disorders, and her current clinical work consists of neuropsychological assessment and the provision of individual psychotherapy utilizing a range of treatment approaches including CBT, DBT, trauma-focused, interpersonal, and cultural-relational. She currently serves on several research evaluation projects at SAE and specializes in trauma-informed care.
Lisa Najavits, PhD
Consultant, Trauma Treatment
Lisa Najavits developed “Seeking Safety”, a cognitive behavioral approach to the treatment of trauma, which is an evidence-based practice. She provides expert knowledge in clinical psychology, including cognitive behavioral therapy and trauma treatment; addiction treatment; and psychotherapy research on treatment of addiction and substance use disorders.
Consultant, Healthcare Management
Teo Norman is a performance driven healthcare professional with over 15 years of executive leadership experience managing large cap healthcare service delivery portfolios supported by government sponsored programming. Mr. Norman is currently the Associate Vice President of Medicaid Clinical Operations at the UPMC Health Plan, responsible for designing and implementing innovative, person-centered care management models aligned with value-based payment arrangements for over 400,000 members across a continuum of care. Mr. Norman graduated from New York University, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service with a Master of Public Administration in Health Finance and Management, subsequently amassing experience in a variety of health care environments including global academic medical centers, managed care organizations, public benefit corporations, health & human service agencies, and city department of health units. Though the organization has varied, his experience has centered on aligning strategic priorities to metrics-based management operations – leveraging analytics to optimize clinical operations and sustain profitability. Mr. Norman successfully accelerated operating margin performance of portfolios in excess of $60 MM per annum primarily by actively managing associated cost of care structures and market risks forecasted to materially impact operating margin performance.
Bill Panepinto, LMSW
Consultant, Addictions, Program Development
Bill Panepinto has worked in the addictions field since 1967, including positions at Kings County Hospital and several other hospitals in New York prior to his twenty-year tenure with the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). He primarily held Program Development responsibility for a wide range of treatment services, including the addition of addiction treatment to the service package for community health centers in the 1980s, and the co-location of outpatient services in Homeless Shelters for Single Adults and Families in the 1990s. Retired in 2000, Mr. Panepinto began to focus on supportive housing grant writing and program development for individuals and families with addiction issues. In a return to state government in 2007, Mr. Panepinto become the first OASAS Director of Housing Services and was its lead representative in the development of New York/New York III programs for Single Adults and Families, Upstate PSH programs, and the Permanent Supportive Housing component of NYS Medicaid Re-design. Known for developing innovative collaborations among local government, providers, and advocates, Mr. Panepinto’s efforts include the active involvement of individuals in recovery, an emphasis on rural communities of New York, and the development of multi-county service networks, especially in the context of residential treatment facilities and permanent supportive housing projects.
Consultant, Substance & Opiate Use Disorders Treatment, Prevention, Harm Reduction, and Recovery
Gideon Rabino led a multi-disciplinary team of medical and social work professionals in an all-out effort addressing the heroin epidemic followed by the onset of the HIV epidemic plaguing over 400 patients in the South Bronx, for which he and his team were awarded Best Clinic. He then received an offer from NYS OASAS to join their Regional Office team. For 21 of his 32 years with OASAS, Gideon served as Regional Coordinator for NYC and adjacent communities, overseeing small to very large and complex entities, and providing treatment prevention and recovery services in settings ranging from hospitals to residential and outpatient programs to schools and community centers. In that capacity Gideon, under the leadership of OASAS’ Chief Counsel, assisted in the implementation of Parity for NY’s addicted population by ensuring access to behavioral health and referring complaints to counsel’s office and OASAS/ OMH Ombudswoman. He then took an active role in establishing managed-care contracts between substance use providers and managed-care organizations (MCOs). In addition, he worked directly with providers on all aspects of their operations ranging from governance, leadership, fiscal management, capital development, compliance and certification, personnel and legal issues, patients’ rights, emergency preparedness and crisis management which entailed responses to hurricanes, 9-11 and, more recently, the COVID – 19 pandemic. An extremely important aspect of his role at OASAS entailed helping providers identify and adapt best practices to address the emerging opioid addiction epidemic within NYS.
David Steven Rappoport
Consultant, Behavioral Health Grant Writing
David Steven Rappoport is a non-profit professional with more than 35 years of experience. He has secured many millions of dollars for clients including two grants totaling about $70M for the State of Vermont. For many years, he was a Senior Consultant with Millennia Consulting in Chicago. He has served as the Director of Development in an urban community health center system, and consulted with non-profits and philanthropies in education, health care, economic development, and other mission areas. David was the Senior Program Officer of Maine’s largest health care foundation, the Maine Health Access Foundation. There, his responsibilities included design of the initial grant making processes for the Foundation, and subsequent management of grant making for more than 288 awards totaling $21,198,000. He also managed a number of evaluation efforts and engaged in health care systems change work. Earlier in his professional life, as a principal of Development Solutions Group, he worked with clients in thirteen states to develop programs, and wrote applications to HUD, HRSA, and other federal agencies, as well as state agencies. As an administrator of urban community-based AIDS clinical trials, he managed multi-million dollar private and public research contracts, provided overall day-to-day administration of the host organization, and navigated approval processes through Institutional Review Boards.
John Sheehan, LCSW
Consultant, Substance Use Disorders/Adolescents
John Sheehan has over 25 years’ experience as a Social Worker with underserved populations in New York City. This experience includes designing and managing innovative programs for adolescents and the homeless at Outreach Project, Covenant House, Project Samaritan, and Phoenix House. In recent years, as a VP at Phoenix House, John was a member of the state wide committee which created new adolescent OASAS Medicaid Residential Regulations. John also participated in the design and management of a SAMSHA funded aftercare program for adolescents returning to the community from residential drug treatment. He developed and managed an alternative school in East New York for students with behavioral problems.
Emma Marie Thomas, DDS
Consultant, Public Health
Emma Marie Thomas, DDS, is a cross-functional Senior Public Health Professional with over thirty years of experience transforming health care and advancing evidence-based practices at the clinical, academic and federal levels. She has an established history of improving outcomes for vulnerable populations with complex health and social needs by advocating for health equity, integrated whole-person care, and collaborative partnerships. Dr. Thomas is a motivational, hands-on leader and compassionate relationship builder with persuasive communication and creative/agile problem-solving skills. She is a former USPHS Commissioned Dental Officer and Senior Executive Service member. She has experience as an Expert Peer Review Consultant for programs related to the following: DHHS/CDC/HRSA/OASH/SAMHSA.
Bruce Trigg, MD
Consultant, Addiction Treatment Specialist
Dr. Trigg 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.
Kristin Woodlock, RN, MPA
Kristin Woodlock RN, MPA, has over 30 years of experience in State and County government and nonprofits. She has extensive experience in Commissioner positions in New York, including the lead in Children’s Behavioral Healthcare. She has operated inpatient, outpatient and community services for children and co-authored The Children’s Plan.