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Currents - Sept./Oct. 2012 Message from the President
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Message from the President


The Voice of Professional Social Work


Martha Adams Sullivan


As I begin my term of office as your President, I am eagerly looking forward to engaging you, the members, in addressing the pressing issues affecting our clients and our profession. The issues are many and very significant. However, we are up to the challenge of addressing them. The 9,000 members of the NYC chapter reflect extraordinary knowledge and talent; in this respect, I consider us well resourced.

As social workers, we know the importance of engagement in the process of change. This is an important time for each of us to re-think our engagement with our profession as well.

The focus of our work will be multifaceted; it will be important that the Chapter remain viable by assuring that members find the Chapter attentive, responsive and relevant to your interests. Certainly, efforts will continue to grow membership - the other 9,000 New York City social workers who are not members represent potential resources yet to be engaged. It will also be important to maintain efforts to work effectively with the NYS Chapter and with National NASW. There are numerous critical issues affecting our profession that must also be addressed: licensing and the attendant ramifications for a workforce with a sufficient number of well-trained social workers to serve New York City residents: loan forgiveness; working conditions; and, most assuredly, client advocacy issues. In a recovering yet still weak economy, New York City residents, especially the poor and oppressed, are increasingly vulnerable to unemployment, housing instability or homelessness, food insecurity, and/or struggling to access appropriate, culturally competent mental health and health care services, education and social support services.

All of these issues and more can be addressed through collaborations and partnerships with you, our members. Are there issues related to the profession or the clients we serve that you believe are not being addressed? Or perhaps you have a perspective on an issue that needs to be raised? Chapter leadership and chapter staff want to hear from you. Call us or email us a ‘one liner’ to start. A single sentence about your concern will be a great way to initiate our conversation.

Of course, we welcome and encourage you to work with us on the many Committees, Task Forces and Interest Groups currently active at the Chapter. Two new Committees are in development: 1) Social Workers in Government and 2) Spirituality and End of Life. If you are interested in either of these committees, join us for an exploratory meeting on Thursday, September 20th at 6-8 p.m. at the Chapter office. Please RSVP to

Committees, Task Forces, and Interest Groups are ‘easy access’ – you are welcome to come and explore. I must take this opportunity to thank the leaders and members of these groups (see below) for their work. If you are interested in meeting them, visit our website, where you will find a welcome from each of them with information on how to contact them.  

It is important to note that strengthening your engagement with the profession can happen right in the organization in which you practice or teach. What professional opportunities or client needs in your agency/school or field of practice that need to be voiced? Is there one person who is not a member to whom you can speak about the benefits of membership?

Speaking of highly-engaged social workers, if you are not already aware, I am delighted to share with you that Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, has been appointed as the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University. I am sure I speak for the Chapter in expressing our tremendous pride in her groundbreaking appointment. Dr. Hendricks is a past President of Chapter and her participation in numerous other Chapter activities has been invaluable. This year, Dr. Hendricks is serving as Chair of the Awards Committee. Congratulations, on this well-deserved post!

Our dedicated Board of Directors, elected by you to be your voice, stands ready to hear from you and listen to your concerns. The Chapter is fortunate to have a diverse Board that reflects wide array of social work practice, academic and policy experience. I particularly would like to welcome the new Board Members.

You are aware that NASW has a process for developing policy statements on a host of Social Work issues. Along with chapters across the nation, NYC Chapter members elected to the Delegate Assembly raise a voice to represent New York City’s perspective on these issues. Many thanks to our current delegates, and again, a hearty welcome to the new Delegates.

Again, I am optimistic about what we can accomplish. The Chapter stands ready to work collaboratively on issues. We look forward to hearing from you.



NASW-NYC Committees and Co-Chairs

Louis A. Burns, MSW, CASAC Addictions Committee
Madelyn Miller, PhD, LCSW Disaster Trauma Committee
Elise Feuerstein Karras, LMSW, CSW-G, ACSW
and Carolina Hoyos, LMSW
Gerontology Committee
Giovanni K. LaDuke, LMSW, CASAC
and Mark Miller, LCSW
 LGBT Committee
Wayne Orlowitz, LMSW, ACSW
and Ricky Cosenza, ACSW, LCSW
 Nursing Home Committe
Elaine Congress, DSW, LCSW
and Helen Rehr, DSW, ACSW
Pioneers Committee
Lynne Spevack, LCSW Private Practitioners Group
Joan Serrano Laufer, ACSW, LMSW
and Roschel Holland Stearns, MA, LMSW
Susan Cohen, DSW, ACSW Social Workers Advancing the Human Animal Bond
NASW-NYC Task Forces and Co-Chairs
Jennifer Elliott, LMSW Task Force of Social Workers of African Descent
Susan Wong, LMSW
and My-Lan Tran, MSW, LCSW
Asian American Social Work Task Force
NASW-NYC Interest Groups
(For more information about these newly-formed groups, please refer to the piece in this newsletter)
NASW-NYC New Professionals
NASW-NYC New Supervisors Peer Support Group
LMSW Practitioners Group


NASW-NYC Board of Directors
Martha Adams Sullivan, DSW, LCSW-R
Executive Director, Fordham-Tremont CMHC; VP, St. Barnabas Hospital
Gwendolyn Butler, LCSW
First Vice President
Psychotherapist in Private Practice
Thomas Sedgwick, LCSW
Second Vice President
Director of Social Work, NYU Langone Medical Center
Third Vice President
Doctoral Student/Director, New York University/Trinity Place
Joseph Girven, LMSW
Executive Director, James Lenox House Association and Carnegie East House
Nancy D. Miller, LMSW, ACSW
Executive Director/CEO, VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired 
Nancy Andino, LCSW  Patient Navigator Coordinator, William F. Ryan
Community Health Center Network 
Andy Benejam, LCSW-R, MPA Director of Social Work Deptartment, Bronx Lebanon Hospital 
Ravi Bhasin, LCSW-R  Senior Level Social Worker, International Center for the Disabled 
Linda Lausell Bryant, MSW, ABD  Executive Director, Inwood House 
Mary Jane Cotter, Esq., LMSW, ACSW  Court Attorney to the Honerable Carol R. Sherman, Bronx Family Court 
Kalima DeSuze, MSW, MPA  Field Instructor, Undoing RacismTM Internship Project; Independent Consultant
Holly Fancher, LMSW, MSEd  Licensing Specialist, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College 
Beth Finkel, MSW  Manager of Outreach, AARP 
Alicia Fry, LMSW  Case Management Supervisor, Services Now for Adult Persons (SNAP) 
Ella Harris, LCSW-R  Advanced Psychological Services, Private Practice 
Edward Ma, MSW  Board Member: Community Board 2, Manhattan; Chinese American Planning Council (CPC); and New York Downtown Hospital
Susan Moritz, LCSW  Associate Director, Project OHR, Met Council 
Cristina Perez, LCSW  Social Work Supervisor, Metropolitan Jewish Health System 
Elizabeth Rogers, LCSW Site Supervisor, The Children's Aid Society/Bronx Preventive Services
Gail Siegal, LCSW Social Worker, Jewish Home LifeCare
Samira Saei BSW Student, Mercy College
Ricardo Torres, MSW Director of Family Services, Westhab, Inc.
Frances Wong, LCSW, ADS Administrative Director, Asian Health Institute, NYU Langone Medical Center


NASW-NYC Delegate Assembly
Marianne Ardito, ACSW, LCSW Assistant Director, Clinical and Family Services, YAI
Derek Brian Brown, LMSW, RYT  Doctoral Candidate/Coordinator of Career Services, Fordham University 
Alma J. Carten, PhD  Associate Professor, New York University
Christiana Best-Cummings, LMSW, PhD  Senior Advisor for Child Welfare Policy and Training Implementation, ACS 
Kalima DeSuze, MSW, MPA Field Instructor, Undoing RacismTM Internship Project; Independent Consultant
Alicia Fry, LMSW Case Management Supervisor, Services Now for Adult Persons (SNAP)
Lorraine Gonzalez, LCSW Program Director, Children’s Defense Fund – New York
Mary Pender Greene, LCSW-R, CPG, ACSW Psychotherapist, Career/Executive Coach, Organizational Consultant, Professional Speaker
Aminda Heckman, LCSW Field Education Coordinator, Mercy College
Natania Kremer, LCSW Director, Early Childhood Support Services & Admissions, JBFCS Child Development Center
Vincent Lau, MSW Research Analyst, Vera Institute of Justice
Rosa Bramble Weed, LCSW-R Private Practice, Advisor, Columbia University School of Social Work



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