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Currents - Sept./Oct. 2012 Message from the President (copy)
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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 the national organization. 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. New Committees are in development. These 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 interested in meeting them, visit our website, you will soon find a welcome from each of them with information on how to contact them. In the meantime, you may call or email the Chapter.


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, 
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
NASW-NYC Task Forces and Co-Chairs
Jennifer Elliott, Task Force of Social Workers of African Descent
Susan Wong, LMSW
and My-Lan Tran, MSW, LCSW
Asian American Social Work Task Force
Maria Elena Girone, CEO
and Robert S. Schachter, DSW, LMSW
Latino Social Work Task Force
NASW-NYC Interest Groups and Co-Chairs
Chairs TBD NASW-NYC New Professionals
Susan Cohen, DSW, ACSW Social Workers Advancing the Human Animal Bond
Joan Serrano Laufer, ACSW, LMSW
and Roschel Holland Stearns, MA, LMSW


 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 whom you can speak with about the benefits of membership? 

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. Ortiz Hendricks is a past President of Chapter and her participation in numerous other Chapter activities has been invaluable. This year, Dr. Ortiz 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.


NASW-NYC Board of Directors
Martha Adams Sullivan, DSW
Executive Director, Fordham-Tremont CMHC
Gwendolyn Butler, LCSW
First Vice President
Private Practitioner
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 
Lawrence Caplan, LCSW  Clinical Coordinator, CUCS 
Lauren Carrion  MSW Student, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College 
Mary Jane Cotter, Esq., LMSW, ACSW  Court Attorney to the Honerable Carol R. Sherman, Bronx Family Court 
Kalima DeSuze, MSW, MPA  Outreach Coordinator, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) 
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 
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

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. 


NASW-NYC Delegate Assembly
Marianne Ardito, ACSW, LCSW Assistant Director, Clinical and Family Services, YAI

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. 





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