Meet the SeniorBridge New York Team
Ruth Farrago, CMC
Vice President of Operations
Ruth Farrago has over 20 years of experience in health care administration. She was the Administrator of an inpatient and outpatient comprehensive Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Division at Downstate Medical Centers in Brooklyn. She has an extensive background in home care marketing and management having worked for St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers as the Director of Intake and was then the Branch Manager/Administrator at New York Health Care. Ruth was also the Executive Director of Sunrise Assisted Living of East Meadow where she was responsible for the daily operations of the facility, client and family satisfaction, management of the sales and marketing team and coordinated community outreach and events. Ruth has a Bachelors of Science from SUNY College of Oneonta where she majored in Business Economics and she is currently completing a Masters Degree at Long Island University specializing in Gerontology. Ruth has received her certification in Geriatric Care Management (CMC). She is a current member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and the Case Management Society of America.
Karel R. Amaranth, MPH, MA
Regional Executive Director
Karel has dedicated her professional life to the health and well-being of women, children, and the elderly. Her 30-year career in health care has focused her considerable creative and executive skills on a commitment to strengthening vulnerable populations. In addition to directing Bronx-based not-for-profit home care agencies, she has served as executive director for the national Women’s Action Alliance, Victims Assistance Services in Westchester County, New York, and the Butler Child Advocacy Center in the Bronx. Karel firmly believes that health should be accessible to all people, and has worked in many capacities to make her vision reality. Among her achievements, Karel developed Moving Mountains, a project that addresses issues of abuse of children with disabilities who are at very high risk of abuse and neglect. In 2007, Karel was given the opportunity by Montefiore to conduct an intensive study of women’s hospitals across the U.S., where she met with hospital CEOs and staff, and researched the history, services, financial plans, payer mixes and patient demographics of each hospital for a comprehensive report and recommendations. A sought-after guest lecturer, Karel has traveled nationally and internationally to research, advise and speak on child advocacy and has traveled to Canada, California, China, Brazil, Colombia, Finland, and Ireland, among many other locations for conferences. Karel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing and her Master of Arts degree in Fine Arts and Art Therapy. In 2010, she completed a Masters in Public Health, writing her thesis on an innovative project to address global maternal mortality. Her international public health work has included working with a women’s project in Nepal, teaching in Mumbai, India, and consulting on projects in Uganda and Rwanda.
Jerry Biga, MBA, RN, BSN
Director of Client Services
Jerry joins SeniorBridge with more than 30 years experience in the healthcare field, with particular expertise in caring for seniors and HIV/AIDS patients. Most recently, Jerry was Vice President of Residential Services for VillageCare in New York City. Utilizing his breadth of knowledge and experience, Jerry led two nursing homes with 406 beds and an 80-bed mixed-use senior housing facility and acted as team leader for the operational team opening a 105-bed sub-acute rehabilitation facility. Previous work experience includes Director of Nursing and Nursing Home Administrator for VillageCare's Rivington House and Coordinator of HIV Services for Cabrini Medical Center. Jerry began his career in the health field as a Staff Nurse in the ICU department of Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He holds Nursing licenses and Nursing Home Administrator licenses in New York and New Jersey. Jerry received his AAN degree from University of South Carolina, BSN from the University of the State of New York in Albany, and MBA from Baruch College/Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Jerry is professionally associated with the American College of Health Care Administrators.
Odalis Cortes, RN, CMC
Director of Client Services
Odalis is a Registered Nurse who most recently worked in Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Acute Care for the Elderly Unit, where she managed an inpatient geriatric unit that implemented the Hartford Institute’s “Best Practices in Care for Older Adults” guidelines. She was also previously a Home Care Nurse at Mount Sinai’s Home Health Agency, assessing the comprehensive needs of adult and geriatric patients and at Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services, providing case management for both geriatric and pediatric/maternal health patients. As well as earning an Associate Degree in Nursing from Orange County Community College, Odalis obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Lehman College School of Nursing. She gathered data on the prevention of pressure ulcers for a Mount Sinai Hospital study and presented findings on the importance of mouth care in the elderly population at a Mount Sinai geriatric conference.
Eileen Zenker, LCSW
Director of Client Services
Eileen joined SeniorBridge with 23 years' experience as a social work administrator and health care planner. In addition to her role at SeniorBridge, she teaches Ethics to the second year Medical students at NYU and serves as a Mentor to a Social Work fellow at the NYU School of Social Work. Prior to joining SeniorBridge, she worked at NYU Langone Medical Center, responsible for leadership and management of the social work Department at Tisch Hospital and Rusk Institute. Earlier, Eileen was Assistant Director of Social Work at Beth Israel Medical Center where she developed the Continuing Care Management Unit, responsible for discharge planning. Prior to that, Eileen worked as Senior Health Care Program Planner Analyst at the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, working as internal consultant to 11 municipal hospitals and 4 long-term facilities in the HHC system. She earned a Master's degree in Social Work at the Hunter College School of Social Work, and completed a certificate in Bio-Ethics at Montefiore Hospital. Eileen has presented papers at many conferences and professional meetings on elder care, discharge planning and bioethics.
Regional Director of Professional Relations
Adam brings more than 9 years of marketing and customer service experience throughout the New York area. Prior to joining SeniorBridge, Adam held multiple positions at Sunrise Senior Living, and most recently served as Area Sales Manager and Regional Director of Sales and Marketing, responsible for all aspects of the hiring and training process. He also served as Executive Director responsible for overall leadership, management and community success as well as Director of Community Relations where he developed strong community relationships and educated residents and families on programs. Adam attended the University of Miami in Florida and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Motion Picture Production and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing.
Julia Hollander Campbell
Director of Professional Relations
Julia's strong network and reputation among financial, legal and health professionals is grounded in a track record of results-driving, effective leadership and a compassionate understanding of the trials and tribulations families navigating elder care face. Her deep financial experience includes 15 years as a business owner of Corporate Security Resources, Inc. serving businesses and high net worth individuals and a 15 year career in banking with roles including Vice President and Unit Manager with BNY Mellon's Private Banking Group and management consulting positions with Irving Trust Company, KPMG, and the American Bankers Association. Her experience with chronic disease and caregiving includes more than a decade as an active member of Alzheimer's caregiver support groups. Julia is also active in community service roles and serves as Vice President of Education and Business Development and Governance Board and Executive Committee member of the Financial Women's Association of New York. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.
Marsha Flowers, MSW
Director of Professional Relations
That Marsha Flowers' unique career path took her to the doors of SeniorBridge was perfect. Her professional background integrates social work and sales and marketing. She is a psychiatric social worker with extensive, diverse experience that encompasses safe hospital discharge planning, family counseling on effective communication with relatives with dementia, and leading story-telling groups with Alzheimer's patients. Prior to joining SeniorBridge, Marsha held the position of Sub-Acute Social Worker at Jewish Home and Hospital. She was a Geriatric Social Worker at Schulman and Schachne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and held the position of Senior Account Manager for Wilson Learning Company, where she was responsible for selling and managing major training and development projects. She graduated from the University of Texas and earned her Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.
Director of Professional Relations
With more than 20 years experience in elder care, healthcare, sales, marketing and management, Vicky has a deep commitment to providing quality client service to families and community members. Prior to joining SeniorBridge, she served as Director of Sales and Marketing at Prospect Park Residence assisting residents and families through the admissions process, cultivating relationships with community organizations and implementing marketing plans. Previously she served as Sales and Marketing Representative for Esplanade a senior residence facility in New York City, Front Office Manager at the Holiday Inn and Group Sales Manager at New York's famous Circle Line sightseeing boat tour. Vicky earned an associate in science degree in Travel and Tourism from Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York.
Barbara E. Katz, MA
Director of Professional Relations
Barbara joined SeniorBridge in 2006 as the Director of Recruitment and is now Director of Professional Relations. Before joining us, she was a Recruiter of clinical and nonclinical staff at the Hospital for Special Surgery and clinical staff at St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers in New York City. In her diverse career, Barbara has also been Placement Manager for an IT company, Training Manager for a graphic arts/advertising company, and Manager of Education and Training at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. Previously, Barbara taught third grade at The Dalton School. Barbara obtained her BS in Psychology/Communications from Montclair University and an MA in Curriculum Design from Long Island University.
Minerva brings more than 6 years of healthcare experience to her role as Transitions Coordinator. Prior to joining SeniorBridge, Minerva served as a Nursing Assessment Scheduler at Visiting Nurse Association of Central New Jersey where she scheduled nursing assessment visits on behalf of insurance companies, trained new schedulers on procedures and protocol and attended to calls from field staff, providers and insurance members. Other career highlights include assisting with all-day care functions and performing office duties as Customer Service Rep & Administrative Assistant at Almonte Family Daycare and managing the homecare provided by HHAs for an average of 130 patients as Medical Coordinator at Personal Touch Homecare. Prior to working in the healthcare industry, Minerva worked in the travel Industry for 12 years at various airlines such as American Airlines, British Airway, AerLingus and Alitalia performing sales, marketing and customer service. Minerva attended the City College of New York, American Airlines Travel Academy and Sanford Brown Institute. Minerva is also fluent in Spanish.
Kay Kennedy, RN, BA
Education and Compliance Manager
Kay brings more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare field. Prior to joining SeniorBridge, Kay served as Director of Training, Education, and Quality Management for Americare Home Care Agency, where she supervised the Education Department staffed by eight nurse educators responsible for training certified home health aides. Kay was also responsible for preparing Americare for accreditation within six months by The Joint Commission, in which they received a score of 100% and passed the NYSDOH licensure audit with zero deficiencies. Other career highlights include the reorganization and re-staffing of the department that audited health programs in hospitals and vocational programs funded by New York City as Director of WeCare for New York County Health Services Review Organization (NYCHSRO) and training executive staff and 200 health center staff in successful quality improvement procedures and as Quality Management Manager at New York University Student Health Center. As an active member in her community, Kay has served as a Board of Directors member and/or officer for six organizations in New York and New Jersey, has been an elected county committee woman in New Jersey for three terms and has been a guest lecturer and panelist at numerous universities and colleges including University of Rochester, Hunter College, John Jay College and Columbia University. Among her accolades, Kay has co-authored multiple publications including an article for Working Women Magazine, and won an award as board president for a citywide coalition in Paterson, New Jersey for smoking cessation in 1990. Kay earned her nursing diploma from Albany Medical Center School of Nursing and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Marymount Manhattan College. Kay holds licensure in the state of New York as a Registered Nurse.
Sheila M. Evangelista, LCSW, CMC
Senior Care Manager
Prior to Senior Bridge, Sheila provided care assessment and counseling for Value Options, a managed care company. Previously, she had been a psychiatric social worker at Holliswood and New York Presbyterian Hospitals. She earned a BA in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and an MSW from the Columbia University School of Social Work. Fluent in Spanish, she participated in clinical research studies at Holliswood Hospital and Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. SIFI course trained from Adelphi University, she supervised social work students at Holliswood hospital.
Hyun Hee "Henny" Chang, RN, CM
Henny brings more than a decade of healthcare experience with a deep commitment for providing client-centered care and family advocacy. Prior to joining SeniorBridge, she served as RN Case Manager/Field Nurse for Grace Healthcare Services in Edison, New Jersey where responsibilities included case managing between 10 and 20 hospice patients in homecare, long-term care and assisted living environments, providing comfort and emotional support to patients and families and managing Home Health Aides. Other career highlights include serving multiple roles at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. As a Clinical Care Technician, she provided hygiene care and assistance with activities of daily living to weak or immobile patients and as Registered Nurse she collaborated with ancillary health care team to optimize safety and recovery of patients. Henny earned her Associates of Science in Nursing degree from University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Nursing at Middlesex County College. Henny holds licensure in the state of New York as a Registered Nurse.
Patricia Charles, LMSW, CMC
Patricia has been a social work professional in nonprofit and philanthropic organizations for the past 30 years. She is a highly skilled care manager, as well as a lecturer and educator. Patricia recently served as Educational Manager in an evidence-based medicine and cultural competency research project for medical professionals at Bronx Lebanon Hospital. For 18 years she was also senior case manager/social worker at Jarvie Commonweal Services in New York, assisting older clients to navigate their environment, healthcare, and life transitions. She has worked as an Adjunct Professor of Gerontology at York College since 1993. Patricia obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Columbia University and a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University, and is a Licensed Master of Social Work in New York State. She is Co-founder of the National Association for African American Social Workers on Aging and is a Cultural Consultant for Oregon Center for Applied Research. Pat has a certificate for completion of training for Article 81 - Court Evaluator and Guardianship Training.
Martine Dobrescu, RN, MSN
Martine began her nursing career at Best Care, Inc. a home care agency where she worked on units of 30-40 beds at a number of sub-acute/long-term care facilities in the New York City metropolitan area, caring for geriatric patients with complex medical needs due to stroke, cardiac and pulmonary diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. She later worked for Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Queens as a staff nurse in the hospital's acute care psychiatric unit, caring for schizophrenic, manic-depressive, chemically dependent and post-traumatic stress disorder patients. Martine attended the Nurse Practitioner Program at Stony Brook University, in Stony Brook, New York, where she received her Master of Science in Nursing with a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialty. She is a current member of the New York State Nurses Association and the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and holds a New York State Registered Nurse license.
Jonathan Fell, MSW
Jonathan brings more than 4 years of experience in the healthcare field with particular expertise in patients dealing with psychosocial and addiction issues. He has a deep commitment for client-centered care and client and family advocacy. Prior to joining SeniorBridge, Jonathan served as a Social Worker with the transplant team at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Throughout his time there he conducted psychosocial evaluations of patients to help determine heart transplant candidacy, facilitated a support group for transplant patients and worked with an interdisciplinary team to provide long and short-term discharge planning for patients. Other career highlights include conducting individual therapy sessions for primarily gay and lesbian clients as Psychotherapist for the Rivers Flow and facilitating a weekly process/psycho-educational group for adult substance abuse clients as Group Facilitator at Delray Recovery Center, an outpatient treatment center. Jonathan is an active member of the community and has volunteered at Children's Home Society where he mentored and acted as a Big Brother for at-risk youth. Jonathan earned both his Bachelor's of Social Work and Master's of Social Work from Florida Atlantic University.
Robert W. Hofman
Rob has been a Geriatric Care Manager for the past 12 years. Since 2000, he has designed and taught exercise programs for the elderly, including balance improvement and fall prevention, both one-on-one and in small groups, specializing in the frail and memory-impaired older adult. He works as an Exercise Specialist for the Elderly, Advanced Personal Trainer and Chi Gong Group Instructor in New York. Rob finds Tai Chi and Chi Gong, combined with regular exercises and breathing very useful for improving overall well being, strength, flexibility, endurance and balance. He earned a Masters degree in Psychology at the State University in Groningen, the Netherlands, is certified by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers and the American College of Sports Medicine. Rob's motto is "fun and functional."
Jordan Neter, LCSW
Jordan brings more than 6 years of experience in the healthcare field as a social worker in a variety of settings including rehabilitation centers, hospitals and treatment centers. Prior to joining SeniorBridge, Jordan served as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Mount Sinai Medical Center in the Rehabilitation Center. While there Jordan was responsible for clinical assessments of patients admitted to the rehabilitation unit, provided ongoing education to patients, families and caregivers and worked directly with treatment team to carry out appropriate discharge plans for every patient. Other career highlights include conducting weekly psychotherapy with survivors of violence as Social Work intern at St. Luke’s Hospital- Crime Victims Treatment Center and providing individual play therapy sessions with emotionally disturbed and developmentally delayed children as Social Work intern/Treatment Coordinator at Joan Fenichel Therapeutic Nursery School. Jordan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Social Behavior from University of California, Irvine and a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work. Jordan is also affiliated with the National Association of Social Work.
Beata Reshetar, RN BSN, MBA
Beata brings more than 8 years of experience in the healthcare field with particular expertise working with the psychiatric, geriatric and dual-diagnosed population and providing palliative and hospice care. Her commitment to excellence encompasses all areas of her work as a Care Manager including strong client care and advocacy. Prior to joining SeniorBridge, Beata served as Assistant Professor for the Mildred-Elley School of Nursing, where she clinically taught and mentored students at a variety of hospitals, implemented programs to help in career-enhancement and developed inventive instructional methods. Other career highlights include assessing and planning patient care as Registered Nurse in the Psych department of Community Action for Human Services and providing Quality Assurance Management as Case Manager/Staff and Patient Development Coordinator for Immediate Home Care. Beata is a member of New York State Nurses Association, American Nurses Association and American Association of Managed Care Nurses. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Adelphi University, certificate in Geriatrics from Harvard University Medical School and her MBA in Management and Leadership from Aspen University. Beata holds licensure in the states of New York and New Jersey as a Registered Nurse. She holds numerous certifications in areas such as Geriatrics Ethics, Stress Management, Surrogate Decision-Making, Infection Control, CPR and BLS. Beata is also proficient in Russian, Hungarian and Ukrainian and can speak conversational Polish.
Laura Stadler, MS, RD
Care Manager Associate
Laura is a SeniorBridge nutrition specialist, registered dietitian and co-author of the chapter "Preventive Nutrition: Public Health Implications" in the text book "The Epidemiology of Women's Health." Through her recent work as a researcher and nutrition counselor at Columbia University Medical Center, Laura has extensive experience tailoring healthy eating plans for individuals and families and working with professional and non-professional staff on nutrition education. Her philosophy is grounded in placing a high priority on enjoying food. Laura is active in the community and has served as a nutrition and food service volunteer at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. She has also volunteered as an advocate for Women's Health Initiative at Albert Einstein College and the Washington Square Community Supported Agriculture as part of the Nutrition and Food Studies Department at New York University. Laura received her Masters of Science in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and completed her training at NYU Medical Center. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists practice group.
Jessica Steinberg, MSN, RN, CMC
Jessica was a Nurse Educator of home health aides at Selfhelp Community Services, Inc, in New York, as well as a Nurse Consultant providing geriatric care management services and healthcare management training of professionals for Care Management Consultants in New York and Boston. Previously, she had been a Staff Nurse in the Maternal Child Health in-patient unit at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, where she educated patients and served as a student and new hire preceptor; and earlier, a Nurse Student Scholar in neurosurgery. A Registered Nurse, Jessica earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing Administration degrees, with honors and academic scholarships at New York University. She is a member of the New York Organization of Nurse Executives. She is certified as a RN in both New York and Massachusetts.
Amy Waldowski, LMSW
Amy brings more than a decade of healthcare experience and her commitment to excellence encompasses all areas of her work including strong client care and advocacy. Prior to joining SeniorBridge, Amy served as a Social Worker for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America where she provided counseling, education and referrals to family and professional caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease via national helpline, facilitated training workshops for local support group leaders and acted as project coordinator for monthly national teleconference for caregivers. Another career highlight includes linking caregivers with services and programs throughout the city as Social Worker for Mount Sinai Medical Center- CAAP Caregiver Resource Center in New York City. Amy started her career in social work at IONA Senior Services in Washington, D.C. as a Program Specialist for their Day Health Center and went on to serve as Program Coordinator and Social Work Assistant/Case Aide. Amy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and her Master’s of Social Work from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.