I have included this page since prospective clients need a formal idea of my background and the work that I have done. You will see that most of my experience has been with patients facing a major life changing event. During a crisis there is an opportunity for change and growth to take place. Having a professional to help guide you through your journey can be very therapeutic.
I was the recipient of the New York State Health Corps Scholarship, and I earned my masters degree at Fordham University, Lincoln Center. Working in the community setting in New York City, I visited patients in their homes, emergency rooms, children's hospitals, nursing homes, veteran's hospitals, schools and shelters. This experience along with the proposals and grants that I wrote paved the way for my acceptance into New York University's PhD program.
I worked within the medical model of Early Intervention, seeing infants and children who were in crisis on high tech machines at home. I met with parents, grandparents, and siblings who were on high alert living in the pattern of crisis-hospital readmission-and then back home again.
My years of working with the hospice and palliative care programs taught me to respect and admire the patients and their caregivers from all backgrounds and cultures. I researched their issues, studied them, their attitudes, their concerns and their level of commitment. Looking for solutions to help ease their burden, I was able to write grants and receive the necessary funding to design and implement programs that had a dual purpose: to give caregivers respite, and to provide children and teens with recreation, transportation, support and therapy during a crisis in their family. Over 150 children aged 5 through 18 attended this program each week.
The success that I experienced with this program helped me to plan and execute the first bereavement camp on Long Island for children and their grieving parent to attend. Each camper had a weekend of opportunity to bond with others who experienced the loss of a family member. The campers arrived quiet and shy, and left feeling supported and understood. An unintended consequence that occurred during these weekends was with the volunteers. They reported that it was a life changing event and many felt that they were able to share their experience and empower others.
I attended and participated in the New York City Mayoral Conference: Unplanned Parenthood, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. 1994 and 1995. The results of these meetings were organized and sent to President Clinton. He was then able to integrate the feedback and use it to re-authorize
"The Older Americans Act 2000" which supported grandparents raising their grandchildren.
I work in a mental health clinic servicing clients with a wide range of issues. The clients struggle with anxiety, depression, addictions, medical issues, childhood trauma, veteran's issues, autism, etc. An important issue that surfaces is pre planning for the Intellectually/Developmentally population. I have been a strong supporter and presented in Albany to address the benefits and value of pre planning for those adults who are intellectually and developmentally disabled, living at home with their aging parents. These special needs adults cope much better when their parents and family members are still intact and are able to advocate for their transition into a group home or independent living situation. Their grief is compounded if they have to move to a new surrounding without the support of the person who was guiding and loving them for their entire life.
I work with the elderly population and their caregivers who are contemplating placement or who have already made the transition into an assisted living, nursing home, or considered privately hiring at home for their loved one. Before the decision is made there are many factors to consider. Each family has to assess their support system and financial resources. Each patient has different medical needs, and different styles of coping with anxiety, depression and loss.
At times, this decision has to be made suddenly due to an emergency medical issue, such as a fall, or death in the family. The family struggles with finding the right level of care for their loved one. With proper support and intervention the family can reach a decision that matches their needs and expectations.