Our Staff

Alice M. Forrester

Chief Executive Officer

I came to Clifford Beers as an intern nearly two decades ago.  I realized pretty quickly that the Clinic was a special place filled with folks who served children and their families with respect, integrity and compassion. I am honored to be the Executive Director of this very special institution, to guard our Centennial legacy, and to help grow and strengthen it for our next 100 years of leadership and service to the Greater New Haven Community.

Pieter J. van Wattum

Vice President of Medical Affairs/Chief Medical Director

Coming Soon…

Christine Montgomery

Vice President of Clinical and Community Based Services

I am at Clifford Beers because I knew when I first came here in 1995 it would be my professional home, and it has been. I have stayed at Clifford Beers for as long as I have because the work here is very much in line with my own personal beliefs: if given the chance, all children can succeed, and it’s the responsibility of all of us to make sure that children have that chance. I am now in a leadership position, and we have a large staff; their work continues to inspire me. I feel a deep commitment to support the staff in their important work, and when I ask someone how they’re doing I’m not just asking to be polite–I really want to know: how are you doing?! A big part of my job is to make and sustain connections–connections to the work, connections to the families, and connections to the community. It is my privilege to do so.

Michael Riso

Chief Financial Officer

I began my career in the private sector, but about 12 years ago I saw the value in working in nonprofit — in a place where my work can really impact people. I’m particularly drawn to the innovative nature of Clifford Beers Clinic, and the reward in my role as CFO is finding the most financially streamlined ways to help the Clinic meet its objectives of health and wellness in the community.

Rita Paradis

Vice President Business Development

I’ve been in the healthcare industry for a long time in different capacities. Wherever I have been in my career, if a conversation turned to “innovative providers” the name “Clifford Beers Clinic” would come up. So, when I learned of an opportunity with CBC’s integrated care effort, I was certainly interested. CBC’s innovation posture fits nicely with a healthcare philosophy I developed as a nurse practitioner in that I believe we need to look more closely behind symptoms and think holistically. If a child is asthmatic, what’s behind it? Can the patient afford the prescription? What else is going on? That’s where Clifford Beers is going with mental health and integrated care, and I’m excited to be a part of that. I believe my years of practice, the time I spent developing medical education programs, and my 20+ years leading large health plans (both Medicaid and nonprofit) will contribute to the strides the Clinic can make.

Cynthia Rojas

Vice President of Strategic Advancement

If you asked me at the age of 12 what I wanted to do I would have said change the world. Today if you ask me what I do I would say change the world. At Clifford Beers Clinic I have developed a research/outcomes/evaluation infrastructure that helps the Clinic articulate its impact, helps families understand their children’s underlying issues, and helps staff understand the impact they are having on the children and families they serve. The Clinic is a leader in children’s mental health, and it is a privilege to work with such compassionate professionals. I also play a part in telling the stories of our children – many of which are heartwarming success stories. In the end, my work helps support the therapists who do phenomenal work, and being a part of that is a privilege.

Tisa Adkinson

Associate Medical Director, Wraparound New Haven

I learned a lot about CBC and its community approach to mental health issues and to families while at Yale, and I was thrilled to hear of an opportunity to become involved with the Clinic’s newest venture, integrated care. It’s at the forefront of medicine, and it means that we can intimately intertwine physical and behavioral health. I’m very interested in exploring all the ways we can do that, for instance, looking at getting into school-based health clinics where the kids are already receiving mental health services. It’s great to be with kids in environments where they’re most comfortable. That includes homes, too. It’s a real gift to be invited into someone’s home to do this work, and we’re able to glean so much more in these types of environments as opposed to offices. All in all, working at CBC will allow me to be part of delivering the kind of care that will be benefit children and families.

Kitty Champlin

Development Director

I am at Clifford Beers because the work done at the Clinic really speaks to my heart. I have always been interested in kids and the things that can make life better for them, and the work done at the Clinic is just that. The clinicians here really get to the bottom of whatever is affecting the child and set the stage for making each child a success. Clifford Beers Clinic is truly a great place to be.

Ilaria Filippi

Director of Practice Innovation

I am at Clifford Beers because, quite simply, I love the work. I love the families. I love the colleagues. The people who I work with make it worthwhile. In my job, I have the chance to help children and families overcome very difficult challenges; I work with these families to restore a sense of normalcy and develop hope for a better future that was eradicated by whatever trauma they experienced. It is very challenging, but it is also very rewarding. On a daily basis I have opportunities for growth both professionally and personally.

Christine Geraci

Controller

Before working at CBC I was at a publicly traded telecomm company, and it just wasn’t the right place for me.  I have a daughter with a rare genetic disorder that causes developmental and intellectual disabilities, so I know what it’s like to be part of a family facing unique needs and challenges.  I can’t imagine what so many families would do without Clifford Beers!  It’s a real privilege to support an organization that invests in children and families and community.

Kim Jewers-Dailley

Director, Trauma-Informed Schools/New Haven Trauma Coalition

Sheryl S. McNamee

Director of Public Affairs

What Clifford Beers Clinic does is inspiring. With all the Clinic sets out to do — big and not so big — it strives to help others, to promote kindness, and to foster wellness. Just about everything I do is designed to complement those efforts; truthfully, the role is a privilege.

Christine Payne

Director of Behavioral Health Services

Three words: innovation, opportunity, and heart. It starts at the top. Alice Forrester’s vision inspires me to “think outside the box” when it comes to fostering wellness for families with the youngest children. At Clifford Beers Clinic, I’m part of a compassionate team striving to enhance natural supports and meet families where they are most comfortable — at home, at school, at the Clinic, at the pediatrician’s office, or even at the grocery store! With innovation comes opportunity — to listen and respond to the community’s needs, to enhance and develop effective programs for families, and to foster colleagues’ professional growth. That’s why I’m here. Clifford Beers Clinic is at the forefront of community behavioral health because it has heart (just look at the logo!); it’s truly a vibrant place to be!

Jennifer Richmond

Compliance and Privacy Officer

I originally came to Clifford Beers because I wanted to be part of an organization that helped children who suffered from abuse and neglect. That has been very rewarding; as a clinician, I’ve really enjoyed being a part of our many success stories. One in particular is that a former client of mine who I met when he was 9 is now in graduate school pursuing a master’s degree in social work. Now, as the Quality Improvement Manager, an aspect of my job is to provide support in the areas of electronic health records and documentation, and in doing so all staff who work directly with children and families can deliver the highest quality care. The entire Clinic staff is exceptionally professional and is dedicated to empowering our children and families. It is a privilege to be able to continue to work with children and their families as an EMPS on-call clinician, to help staff with their important work, and to be a part of the Clifford Beers mission.

Mark Scapellati

Director of Integrated Care and Business Operations

Growing up in inner city New Britain I saw enough kids go in the wrong direction because they didn’t have anyone to guide their lives.  I was fortunate that I had terrific folks in those critical years.  So, after decades of working in roles where I was heavily involved in Medicaid programs for children, working at Clifford Beers Clinic makes a lot of sense to me.  I’m at a stage in my career where I can give something back and impact real lives.  Working at CBC means I can do something to help prevent young people from making bad decisions with which they might struggle for a long time.  Or, better still, what I do can help prevent a child from making a bad choice in the first place, and that’s a truly fantastic possibility.

Lauren Weibrecht

Director of Clinical Operations

I am at Clifford Beers Clinic because of the exceptional, high-quality work that our staff does with our children and families. I have been here for over 15 years in various positions and programs, and I have stayed because of the commitment the agency has to its families but also because the Clinic is constantly looking for ways to adapt and improve our services. As we start our next 100 years of service to the community, I’m looking forward to being a part of the journey the Clinic is taking to re-examine how we can treat children and their families who have endured trauma.