Leadership

Lisa Rachmuth, LMSW: Program Administrator

Lisa Rachmuth is the Program Administrator of the New York City Elder Abuse Center. She was previously the Deputy Director of NYCEAC’s MDTs. She manages the day-to-day operations of NYCEAC’s existing MDTs and is spearheading the expansion of the MDTs to all five boroughs. Prior to joining NYCEAC, Lisa was the Director of Clinical Initiatives and Programming for NYC’s Human Resource Administration’s Office of Domestic Violence.  Through these two positions, Lisa has worked with systems, communities, and individuals affected by and dedicated to Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse. Lisa holds a Master in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.  She has 27 years of social service experience, with a particular expertise in child abuse, intergenerational abuse, domestic violence, and housing initiatives for individuals and families.  In addition to her years of clinical and administrative experience, Lisa is an experienced workshop curriculum developer and presenter. Lisa is also an Adjunct Professor at The Silberman School of Social Work and a board member for an organization called Evenfooting. To contact Lisa, click here.

Mark Lachs, MD, MPH: Chief Medical Officer

An internist and geriatrician, Mark is the Irene and Roy Psaty Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College and Co-Chief of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, and the Director of Geriatrics for the New York Presbyterian Health System. Both a clinician and researcher, Mark has conducted numerous studies of elder abuse outcomes and epidemiology, and he is principal investigator of the largest longitudinal study of elder abuse victims which was funded by the National Institutes on Aging. His many accolades and awards include a Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholarship (the country’s preeminent career development award in Geriatric Medicine), a National Institutes on Aging Academic Leadership Award and the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse Rosalie Wolf Ward. A co-author of the American Medical Association’s Diagnostic and Treatment Guidelines on Elder Abuse and Neglect, he has testified before congress on matters related to aging, served as a consultant to the World Health Organization on an international screening study of elder abuse, and been a member of a congressionally mandated National Academy of Sciences Panel convened by an order of congress to address the training needs of health care professionals in domestic violence. Mark mentors junior faculty in the area of elder abuse and neglect, and maintains an active geriatric medicine practice in New York City.  In September 2010, Penguin Viking published his book Treat Me, Not My Age: A Doctor’s Guide to Getting the Best Care as You or a Loved One Gets Older. (www.treatmenotmyage.com). To contact Mark, click here.

Yuichi Seki, MBA: Finance Manager

Yuichi

Yuichi Seki is the Finance Manager at NYCEAC. He has over two decades of extensive experience in financial forecasting, reporting, and analysis as well as strategy and business development.  His primary responsibilities are providing leadership and direction for staff and managing budget development, planning, reporting, and contracts as well as overseeing the internal systems. Throughout his prior 20-year tenure at a Global Fortune 500 company, he managed venture capital portfolios, developed business plans, and manage financial matters in the technology, aerospace, entertainment, machinery, energy, and healthcare industries. He holds a Marketing degree from Columbia University and an MBA in Economics from Rutgers University. To contact Yuichi, click here.

Administrative Staff

Asia Skerrett: Administrative Assistant

Asia Skerrett is NYCEAC’s Administrative Assistant. Asia assists NYCEAC’s programs with their operational, financial, and administrative support needs. She previously worked as a Health Educator for Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health conducting outreach efforts and working with organizations serving vulnerable populations. She also has volunteered in Muizenberg, South Africa where she assisted teachers with daily lesson plans and helped to design individual teaching methods for children with learning disabilities. Asia received a B.S. in Health Education and Promotion with a focus on Community Health from Lehman College. To contact Asia, click here.

Elder Abuse Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams (EMDTs) Staff

Tina Janssen-Spinosa, JD: Program Manager

Tina Janssen-Spinosa is NYCEAC’s Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team (E-MDT) Program Manager. In this capacity, Tina manages the E-MDT teams, works with city and state stakeholders, conducts outreach, represents NYCEAC at community meetings and events, and creates goals and processes to advance strategic initiatives.

Prior to joining NYCEAC, Tina worked for the New York Legal Assistance Group where she provided guidance and assistance with the probate and administration of estates, Art. 81 Guardianships, Art. 17-A Guardianships, and assisted clients with a wide variety of planning instruments.  Tina also acted as a legal case consultant for the Manhattan E-MDTs where she counseled to aid in the prevention of Elder Abuse and promote Elder Justice. Tina has conducted hundreds of presentations and trainings and is a seasoned public speaker and outreach facilitator.

As E-MDT Program Manager, Tina uses her legal knowledge, training, and experience to focus on the protection of the most vulnerable and advance the eradication of elder abuse.

Tina obtained her Master’s in Private Law from the Faculté de Droit et Sciences Politique Université Cote D’Azur (France) and her Foreign Trained Lawyer Certificate from Brooklyn Law School. To contact Tina, click here.

Aileen Aylward, MSW, MPH: Program Coordinator

Aileen Aylward is the Program Coordinator for the Manhattan and Bronx Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams (E-MDT). In this capacity, Aileen leads E-MDT meetings and consults on elder abuse cases with community-based, health care, and governmental organizations. Aileen previously worked as a research coordinator with UNC’s Department of Emergency Medicine, where her team focused on a range of topics in geriatric health. She looks forward to collaborating with professionals from across the city to find innovative solutions to the challenges faced by vulnerable older adults. Aileen completed her undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary and received a Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, through their dual MSW-MPH program. To contact Aileen, click here.

Leigh Goulbourne: Technical Assistance Program Coordinator

Leigh is NYCEAC’s Technical Assistance Program Coordinator. Leigh coordinates the development and implementation of quality-control strategies for coordinators across the state to ensure that the MDT system is equitable, trauma-informed, and successfully collaborative. In her free time, Leigh volunteers at Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Sexual Assault Advocacy and Intervention Program where she supports survivors of abuse and human trafficking and trains incoming advocates. Leigh’s background in victim advocacy lends itself to consistently prioritizing the narrative of the survivor. Leigh received her B.A. in Neuroscience and Gender Studies from Dartmouth College. To contact Leigh, click here.

Jaime Guzman, MSW: Program Coordinator

Jaime Guzman is the Program Coordinator for Brooklyn and Queens Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams (E-MDTs). Jaime leads E-MDT meetings and consults on elder abuse cases with community-based, health care, and governmental organizations. Jaime comes to NYCEAC with over 10 years of Social Work experience working with children, adolescents, families, and older adults. As a former Program Director for a congregate supportive housing program at Henry Street Settlement where she worked for 13 years, Jaime gained experience in child preventive services and Medicaid-managed programs.  In addition, through her work with Health Homes, which assists vulnerable adults in the five boroughs, Jaime is also trained in multigenerational family theory focusing on the three generational model and Bowen Family systems theory. Jaime holds a Master’s in social work from The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. To contact Jaime, click here.

Jess Hofmann: Program Assistant

Jess is one of NYCEAC’s Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team (E-MDT) Program Assistants. In this capacity, Jess provides administrative support to the E-MDT Coordinators and the E-MDT program by assisting with planning, developing, and coordinating elder abuse E-MDT meetings in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Jess also provides administrative support for the state-wide E-MDT Peer Leadership Group (PLG).

Jess gained a thorough working knowledge of MDTs through her prior work at Cooke School and Institute, a non-profit that founded schools catering to children from K-21 with learning and developmental disabilities, where she collaborated with specialists to develop plans for her students to thrive. Jess annually volunteers and fundraises for the Lupus Research Alliance (LRA) and the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) and volunteers as a Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line when she’s not attending academic programs.

Jess received her B.A. in Human Development from SUNY Empire State College and her M.A. in Psychology, with a concentration in Educational and Health Psychology, from Touro University Worldwide. To contact Jess, click here.

Alexus Jones: Program Assistant

Alexus Jones is one of NYCEAC’s Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team (E-MDT) Program Assistants. Alexus provides administrative support to the E-MDT Coordinators and the E-MDT program by assisting with planning, developing, and coordinating elder abuse E-MDT meetings in Manhattan and Queens. Alexus refined her administrative skills while serving as an Office Administrator at an outpatient physical therapy rehabilitation center. In her free time, Alexus volunteers with various non-profit community-based organizations and plays an active role by participating in neighborhood clean-ups, assisting the homeless, and raising money for shelters. Alexus received her B.S. In Public Health with a concentration in Health Systems Administration and Policy from Montclair State University. To contact Alexus, click here.

Debbie Lightbody, LMSW, JD: Program Coordinator

Debbie Lightbody is the Program Coordinator for the Staten Island Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team (E-MDT). Debbie leads E-MDT meetings, collaborates with government agencies and community-based organizations to address issues of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation, and provides civil legal case consultations for all five boroughs of New York City. Debbie comes to NYCEAC with more than 18 years of experience working with older adults. As the former Senior Director of Constituent Services and Social Work within the New York City Council, Debbie assisted in developing and leading a constituent services team that effectively addressed the social service needs and quality of life issues for the constituency, including preventing evictions, obtaining benefits for constituents to eliminate food insecurity, and connecting individuals and families with community supports and resources. As a SIFI Certified instructor, she has supervised and educated MSW students preparing to enter the social work profession. Debbie is currently an Adjunct Field Advisor and Field Instructor at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Debbie earned her Juris Doctor, Master of Science in Social Administration, and Certificate in Gerontology at Case Western Reserve University. To contact Debbie, click here.

Ayana Mortley: NYCEAC Training Coordinator

Ayana Mortley is the Training Coordinator for the NYC Elder Abuse Center (NYCEAC)/Weill Cornell Medicine. She collaborates with team specialists to design, facilitate, and coordinate workshops, training institutes and conferences related to NYCEAC’s programs, elder abuse, and geriatric medicine. She also conducts outreach to internal and external constituents to build NYCEAC/WCM’s elder justice network. Ayana developed a passion for elder justice during her time as a social worker for the Human Resources Administration Adult Protective Services program, where she developed and facilitated intervention plans for high-risk vulnerable adults. Ayana received her M.Ed in Adult and Continuing Education and Education Technology from Rutgers University, and B.A. in Sociology from Wesleyan University. To contact, click here.

Karen Webber, CPA, CFE, EMDT Forensic Accountant Consultant

karen-webberKaren Webber is a forensic accountant dedicated to assisting law enforcement, attorneys, not-for-profits, government agencies, and other organizations with financial exploitation investigations. Karen participates on several Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams (E-MDTs) across New York State, from the Finger Lakes to New York City.  She consults on cases, reviews thousands of financial documents, and reports her findings to the E-MDTs and law enforcement, providing expert testimony as required for various court proceedings. Karen consults with professionals throughout the United States and abroad to develop conference presentations and other training materials for those charged with the prevention, detection, and intervention in financial abuse cases. Karen started her practice in 2009 and earned an M.S. Forensic Accounting degree from The College at Brockport, State University of New York, in 2010. 

EMDT Case Consultation Unit

TBD, Elder Abuse Clinician

 

 

 

 

 

Medical Staff

Veronica LoFaso, MD: Medical Director and Geriatrician

Ronnie is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital within the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. She provides geriatric medicine consultations to NYCEAC’s multidisciplinary teams, serving to help the teams evaluate and respond to the myriad medical issues that are presented to them. In addition, she has developed and conducted numerous elder abuse trainings for a variety of institutions throughout the greater New York City area and beyond. Ronnie has presented at national conferences, has conducted workshops on a broad range of topics related to elder abuse, and has managed cases of elder abuse in New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Geriatrics out-patient practice as well as in the homebound population as Former Director, Home Visit Program in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Caitlin Snow, MD, MBA: Geriatric Psychiatrist, Queens EMDT

Caitlin is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine. She graduated from Weill Cornell Medicine, and completed her General Psychiatry Residency at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, followed by her Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship at NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry. In addition, she received an Executive Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. Her academic interests include elder abuse, financial decision making in the aging brain, palliative care, medical student and resident education, and integration of mental health into primary care settings.  In addition to her work with NYCEAC, she is involved with medical student and psychiatry resident education, and maintains a private practice in New York City.

Katherine Goettsche, MD: Geriatric Psychiatrist, Bronx EMDT

Katherine is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine. She graduated from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, completed her General Psychiatry Residency at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, followed by fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry. Her academic interests include elder abuse, geriatric depression, managing transitions in late life, and healthy aging. In addition to her work with NYCEAC, she maintains an outpatient practice in geriatric psychiatry at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Westchester Division where she is also involved in the education of fellows in geriatric psychiatry.

Dina Patel, MD, MBA, Geriatric Psychiatrist

Dr. Dina Patel is a board-certified adult and geriatric psychiatrist dedicated to healthy aging, cognitive concerns, and mood symptoms in late life. She has a special interest in elder abuse and a passion for teaching.  As a consultant to the New York City Elder Abuse Center and The Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, she performs elder abuse outreach and training to medical communities in NYC, participates in Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams (EMDTs), and provides case consultations when needed. She trained in adult psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine while serving as chief of medical education. She then completed her fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine/New York-Presbyterian Hospital before founding Gramercy Psychiatry. In private practice, she cares for older adults of diverse backgrounds, including homebound seniors through her house call program.

Elder Abuse Helpline for Concerned Persons

Flora Colao, LCSW: Elder Abuse Helpline Service Specialist and Clinical Supervisor

Flora is a therapist and a consultant on the detection, intervention and treatment of abuse and other trauma. She works with children, adults of all ages, and families impacted by crime utilizing trauma treatment modalities. The founder of NYC’s St. Vincent Hospital’s Rape Crisis Program, Flora has written on issues related to crime victimization and prevention, including co-authoring the seminal book, Your Children Should Know: Personal Safety Strategies for Parents to Teach Children. She conducts abuse prevention and intervention workshops in the United States and internationally. Flora received her B.S. and MSW from Adelphi University. To contact NYCEAC’s Elder Abuse Helpline, click here.

Lina Irias, LMHC: Helpline Clinician

Lina Irias is a bilingual, bicultural licensed mental health counselor. She has experience conducting individual, family, and group counseling to people in all age groups and from diverse backgrounds. She has counseled people experiencing many forms of trauma, poverty, addiction, crisis, and mental illness. Lina has also provided biblical counseling through various faith-based organizations. In addition to engaging concerned persons on the helpline, she conducts outreach to Spanish-speaking communities. Lina holds a B.S. in Psychology from Nyack College and an M.S. Ed. in Mental Health Counseling from CUNY Hunter College. To contact NYCEAC’s Elder Abuse Helpline, click here.

Serena Ross, LMSW: Helpline Clinician

Serena utilizes trauma-informed approaches to work with survivors of abuse and other trauma. In addition to her work with NYCEAC’s Helpline for Concerned Persons, Serena has interned at New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Victim Intervention Program where she provided trauma-focused therapy and crisis intervention to individuals impacted by sexual assault, domestic violence, and other crime in the Emergency Department. Previously, Serena has worked with families of children with disabilities in Shanghai as part of her Global MSW program. Serena earned a B.A. from York University and an MSW from New York University. To contact NYCEAC’s Elder Abuse Helpline, click here.

National Elder Abuse MDT Training and Technical Assistance Center

Grace Cheong, LMSW: Program Manager

Grace Cheong is the Program Manager of the National Elder Abuse MDT Training and Technical Assistance Center.  She manages all aspects of programming and day-to-day operations of the Center, working with core partners of the program to provide selected Office of Victims of Crime-funded tribal and non-tribal teams with necessary training and technical assistance to support their growth and development. Prior to joining NYCEAC, Grace worked in various policy and programming roles with the Singapore Ministry of Social and Family Development across a wide range of social issues including domestic violence, child protection, youth development and juvenile rehabilitation. In her last deployment, she was involved in the setup of Singapore’s Adult Protective Service and enactment of the Vulnerable Adults Act to protect Vulnerable Adults. She has also held various teaching and curriculum development roles with the Singapore University of Social Sciences. Grace holds a MS in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work and a Master in Organizational Leadership from Monash University (Australia). To contact Grace, click here.

Khi-Lynn Johnson, LMSW: Lead TA Advisor

Khi-Lynn Johnson, LMSW, as the Lead TA Advisor, provides oversight of the National Center’s expanding technical assistance and training services. For three years prior to this position, Khi-Lynn coordinated and facilitated NYCEAC’s Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island E-MDTs, provided consultations to NYC professionals on complex elder abuse cases, and conducted trainings for professionals and social work students on a range of elder abuse topics. Khi-Lynn gained extensive experience with high-risk elder abuse cases as a social worker for the Human Resource Administration for Adult Protective Services. Khi-Lynn also worked at Urban Resource Institute as a supervisor in their domestic violence shelter. The shelter piloted the People and Animals Living Safely (PALS) initiative program, which recognized the importance of pets as a primary source of emotional support for domestic violence survivors. Khi-Lynn is a 2013 alumna of the Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work. To contact Khi-Lynn, click here.

Phillip Kim:  Program Specialist

Phillip is NYCEAC’s MDT Program Specialist. Phillip assists with the development, coordination and execution of the MDT meetings and provides administrative and clinical support to the MDT Coordinator. Phillip refined these skills previously serving as a Program Assistant for the Injury Prevention Program at the Boston University Medical Campus and as an International Justice and Human Rights Research Assistant for Sargent College. Phillip has also volunteered and partnered with non-profit organizations all around the world and has worked with many different vulnerable groups such as North Korean refugees, Native Americans, and people with intellectual disabilities. Phillip received his B.A. in Health Science from Boston University. To contact Phillip, click here.