People

//People
People 2017-07-27T17:13:34+00:00
  • WIHD staff members

Executive Officers

Sue Fox, PhD, WIHD President and CEO

SUSAN FOX, PhD
PRESIDENT AND CEO

Dr. Fox joined WIHD as President and CEO in 2016. She previously served as Associate Director and Clinical Assistant Professor at the Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). In this role she managed the organization’s UCEDD and State Core grants, handled human resources and personnel matters, and led strategic planning and implementation of the IOD’s strategic plan. Dr. Fox has been successful in bridging relationships between aging and disability which resulted in the founding of the Center on Aging and Community Living at the University of New Hampshire where she served as Director.

Dr. Fox served as the state director for developmental disabilities services in New Hampshire for five years. Some of her most significant accomplishments in that role were the development of an In-Home Support waiver for children with significant developmental and medical needs; the implementation of New Hampshire’s Medicaid Buy-In program for working adults; and the development of New Hampshire’s first Olmstead Plan. She also has experience in a broad range of community settings providing supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, acquired brain disorders, physical disabilities, mental health, and who are aging.  Her lifelong work has been dedicated to assuring that individuals with disabilities and their families are able to realize their dreams and live full and meaningful lives in their communities.

Dr. Fox has a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership focusing on Special Education Administration from Lesley University and a second Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire, with an emphasis on aging and caregiving.

David O

DAVID O’HARA, PhD
VICE PRESIDENT OF PROGRAMS

Dr. O’Hara joined WIHD as Associate Director in 1987 and served as Acting Director from 1993 to 1994.  He was the Chief Operating Officer from 2008 to 2015, and then acted as Interim President and CEO from February 2015 to June 2016. From 1993 to 2003, Dr. O’Hara served as the Program Director for the Assistive Technology Certificate program in the NYMC School of Health Sciences and Practice. Dr. O’Hara also served as the interim Executive Director of the Virgin Islands, UCEDD in 2004.Dr. O’Hara served on the AUCD Board of Directors for several years. He is the current co-chair of the International Committee and past chair the Interdisciplinary Council. Dr. O’Hara has been a member of UCEDD site visit teams and a consultant to the Universities of Hawaii, Maine, and the Virgin Islands in developing applications to become new UCEDD programs. From 1988-1990, he was the co-chair of the NYS Department of Health, Commissioner’s Advisory Council on Children with Special Health Care Needs. He has served as the chair of grant review panels for the Administration on Children and Families and as a grant reviewer for the MCHB.

Dr. O’Hara has a longstanding interest in the health care needs of children in foster care and was a member of a special task force created by the American Academy of Pediatrics, District II, New York State, which authored a nationally adopted set of standards for health care providers for children in foster care, Fostering Health: Health Care for Children in Foster Care. He has served as a consultant to the Government of Dubai assisting with the planning for the creation of a Center of Excellence for Individuals with Disabilities. Currently Dr. O’Hara conducts research on the health disparities of individuals with intellectual disabilities and the potential of new smart assistive technologies to create better access to more effective health care and improved outcomes. He is currently working to develop accessible models of health education to create functional health literacy for individuals with intellectual disabilities and accessible self-report surveys on patient satisfaction with their health care experience.

Dr. O’Hara has recently been selected as a Health Information Technology (HIT) Fellow by the Office of the National Coordinator of HIT at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. O’Hara was nominated by consultants from the Regional Extension Center on HIT for New York State, based on the innovative work being done at WIHD on accessible patient experience surveys, and health education and health promotion materials for use on smart technologies, such as iPads and Android devices. Dr. O’Hara is one of just 12 fellows selected for 2014-2015.

Marianne Ventrice, CPA, WIHD Vice President for Finance and Administration

MARIANNE VENTRICE, CPA
VICE PRESIDENT FOR FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION

Marianne Ventrice was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Westchester Institute for Human Development (“WIHD”) upon the organization’s spin off from Westchester County Health Care Corp. in 2005. Ms. Ventrice has led WIHD through the initial phases of an independent organization and continues at the helm as the Vice President for Finance and Administration as WIHD continues to grow and develop both existing and new program initiatives. She has amassed over 25 years of experience in the accounting and finance field and obtained her Certified Public Accountancy license in 1991. Prior to her tenure with WIHD Ms. Ventrice was the Manager of Fiscal Operations for Westchester County Health Care Corp, Controller for the Home Care Division of the Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn and Queens, and an Audit and Assurance Manager at the Big 4 accounting firm KPMG LLP. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Manhattan College.

Board Members

The role of the Board is to ensure that WIHD acts in accordance with its mission through meaningful oversight of operations and policy guidance in a way that assures integrity and effective management without leading to board involvement in WIHD’s day-to-day activities. Board members are elected for three-year terms, with officer elections held annually. The Board meets at least every other month, with several special focus meetings during the year.

Pamela Thornton, WIHD Board of Directors Chair

PAMELA THORNTON
CHAIR
Pamela Thornton is the Director of the Chappaqua Library and has been in the information profession for over 30 years. She has served on the boards of the Westchester Library Association and the Public Library Directors Association. Her past experience included working with at risk youth in New Rochelle. Ms. Thornton has a BA in French from Montclair University and an MLS from Indiana University.

Walter Fowler, WIHD Board of Directors Vice Chair

WALTER FOWLER
VICE-CHAIR

Walt Fowler is a lifelong resident of Westchester County, and a small business owner who has been a long-time volunteer for several non-profit organizations dedicated to individuals with disabilities. Prior to serving on the Board of Directors, he was a member of the WIHD Community Advisory Committee for approximately twelve years. When WIHD became independent in July 2005, Mr. Fowler was a founding member of the board and Treasurer during the transition to independence.

David M.C. Stern, WIHD Board of Directors Treasurer

DAVID M.C. STERN
TREASURER
David Stern is the President of Stern Consulting, a healthcare management consulting firm. Mr. Stern counts among his clients a wide range of healthcare practitioners and investors. He has served as a guest lecturer in management and healthcare economics at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Middlebury College and Vanderbilt University. Mr. Stern earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in economics from Yale College.

William Frishman, WIHD Board of Directors Secretary

WILLIAM H. FRISHMAN, MD
SECRETARY
Dr. Frishman serves as Chairman and Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College, and is currently a co-principal investigator of the federally-funded Women’s Health Initiative. He has served as an investigator in multiple NIH studies, and been the recipient of many national awards for excellence in teaching, as well as the Medical Humanism Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Catherine Funk, WIHD Board of Directors

CATHERINE FUNK

Catherine Funk retired from a career in publishing more than twenty years ago, to raise her three children.  As a life-long Westchester resident, Ms. Funk has been very involved in volunteer work in her community, including the local pre-school and public school, Girl Scouts, and her church.  She and her husband founded a not-for-profit organization, American Friends of Enlace, to improve education outcomes in Guatemala.  In addition to serving on the Board of WIHD, and American Friends of Enlace, Ms. Funk is a mentor and graduation coach in the Yonkers public school system through the organization, Yonkers Partners in Education. Ms. Funk holds a B.S. in Psychology from Tulane University.

Traci F. Gardner, MD, WIHD Board of Directors

TRACI F. GARDNER, MD
Dr. Gardner is the agency pediatrician for two programs at The Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, NY. The first is the TRAC program which keeps minors who are awaiting immigration status decisions. The second is the SILP program which provides housing and living skills for older youth who are homeless or transitioning from Foster Care. Dr. Gardner is the District Medical Officer for the Valhalla Union Free School District in Valhalla, NY. She is also an Associate Clinical Professor at New York Medical College and a practicing Pediatrician in White Plains, NY.

Vera Halpenny, LCSW, WIHD Board of Directors

VERA HALPENNY, LCSW
Vera Halpenny has been an advocate and supporter of individuals with various levels of ability for over 30 years. She has been actively involved with WIHD for over 12 years as an Advisory Committee member and as consumer of its services for many more.  She has served on the Community Services Board of Westchester county since 2007 advocating for services for individuals with I/DD. She was an adjunct professor at Iona College, teaching social work. Currently she is Senior VP of Talent Development at YAI, spearheading a Diversity and Inclusion process and working with Emerging Leadership Team to manage the succession plans for the executive level.

Fern Juster, MD, WIHD Board of Directors

FERN JUSTER, MD
Dr. Juster is the Senior Associate Dean for Admissions and Chair of the Committee on Admissions at New York Medical College (NYMC). She is a senior member in the Department of Pediatrics at NYMC where she holds an academic appointment as Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics. Dr. Juster is an attending on staff at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. As a practicing pediatrician, Dr. Juster is focused on the needs of underserved children, particularly children with chronic medical and psychiatric disorders.

Monica Sganga, WIHD Board of Directors

MONICA SGANGA
Monica Sganga is Director of a privately owned property management company.  A resident of Westchester since 1990, Ms. Sganga has a strong volunteer history in the community and schools in her home community of Edgemont and currently volunteers as a mentor with the Yonkers Partners in Education.  Ms. Sganga earned a BS in Business Administration from Miami University.

Kehli Harding Woodruff, WIHD Board of Directors

KEHLI HARDING WOODRUFF
Kehli Harding Woodruff is a Speech and Language Pathologist. She works with children with developmental delays and disabilities. Her honors include being selected as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in policy studies, being selected to attend Harvard Divinity School Summer Leadership Institute in Community and Economic Development, serving as a member of the Brown University Alumni Class Leaders (ACL) Board of Directors and being selected as a trainee in Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) class of 2015. Kehli obtained her BA from Brown University, MPP from the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, MS in Communication Disorders from Mercy College and bilingual extension in Spanish for Speech and Language Pathology at Columbia University.

Community Advisory Committee

The WIHD Community Advisory Committee is appointed by the Board of Directors for their knowledge and dedication, and includes individuals with disabilities, family members, representatives of State protection and advocacy systems, developmental disabilities councils, state service agency directors, local agencies, private nonprofit groups concerned with providing services for persons with developmental disabilities, and other individuals with expressed interest in the field. Appointment terms are three years. Every other year, the Committee elects a Chair and Vice-Chair for a two-year term. The full Committee meets regularly at least four times per year, and the Executive Committee meets more frequently as needed.

Lyn-Marie Pilgrim, MBA, Chair
Rich Laine, Vice-Chair
Chris Bevilacqua
Debbie Buny
Sheila Carey
Armand D’Amour
Karla Diaz

Elizabeth Dwyer
Jill Faber, Esq.
Julie Keegan, Esq.
Alice Kenny, MS
Simone Lawrence, RN
Nick Lombardi
Liz Marcus, MA

Jesse Millman
Michael Orth, MSW
Angela Picardo
Melvyn Tanzman, MSW
Joan Volpe

Program Directors

Stephanie Bader, PhD, BCBA

STEPHANIE BADER, PHD, BCBA
Director of Behavioral Psychology Program

Naomi Brickel, MSEd

NAOMI BRICKEL, MSEd
Director of Community and Family Education

Liya Caiazzo, PT, MPT, MBA

LIYA CAIAZZO, PT, MPT, MBA
Regulatory Compliance and Quality Improvement Officer

Karen Edwards, MD MPH

KAREN EDWARDS, MD, MPH
Vice President for Education, Training and Research
Co-UCEDD Director
Director of LEND Program (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities)

Marilyn Klein, CCC, SLP

MARILYN KLEIN, CCC, SLP
Director of Speech and Hearing

AnneBeth Litt, MD

ANNEBETH LITT, MD
Director of Medical Services, Primary Care

John Maltby, MS

JOHN MALTBY, MS
Director of Community Supports and Services

Danielle McFadden, PHR

DANIELLE MCFADDEN, PHR
Human Resources Manager

Izel Obermeyer, OT

IZEL OBERMEYER, OT
Director of Assistive Technology

PATRICIA PATRICK, DRPH
Director of Research

Suzanne Peretz, MSEd

SUZANNE PERETZ, MSEd
Director of Early Childhood Direction Center

Patricia Seagriff, DDS

PATRICIA SEAGRIFF, DDS
Director of Dental Services

Trupti Rao, PsyD

TRUPTI RAO, PSYD
Co-Director of Psychology Training

Barbara Stein, MAT

BARBARA STEIN, MAT
Director of Early Intervention

Patricia Towle, PhD

PATRICIA TOWLE, PHD
Co-Director of Psychology Training

Dainelle Weisberg, LCSW

DANIELLE WEISBERG, LCSW
Director of Child Welfare Services
Director of Children’s Advocacy Corner (CAC)