Alice M. Forrester, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
BA, Kean University; MA, New York University (1992); PhD, Fielding University (2002)
Why I work at Clifford Beers: "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."
Chief Financial Officer
BS, Sacred Heart University; CPA, CT
Why I work at Clifford Beers: "I began my career in the private sector, but about 15 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, 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."
Kristen Harris, Esq
General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer
BS, psychology, Florida State University (1989); JD, Southwestern Law School (1996); admitted to practice law before federal and state courts in CT, MA, NH and CA
Why I work at Clifford Beers: "I was in private law practice for about 20 years primarily representing health care organizations, schools, and private employers. Throughout that time, I volunteered as a parent-adolescent mediator in a community diversion program; represented victims of domestic violence; represented indigent parents in termination of parental rights cases and incapacitated adults in conservatorship cases; and taught classes at community colleges. I realized how much I enjoyed making an impact in people's lives so it was a natural continuation of my career to land at a health care organization that compassionately serves the underserved. Clifford Beers is a special place. People here really care about the families we serve, and it's a pleasure to work here.
Christine Montgomery, LCSW
Vice President of Community & School-Based Services
BA, Southern Connecticut State University (1991); MSW, Boston University (1993); LCSW, CT (1996)
Why I work at Clifford Beers: "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."
Vice President of Strategic Advancement
BS, Hunter College (1993); MS, Hunter College (2004)
Why I work at Clifford Beers: From the first day I stepped into our 93 Edwards Street building, I knew it would be “home”. I am privileged to work with compassionate individuals who care deeply about our children and families. I appreciate the hard work that goes in to looking for innovative ways to better respond to the needs of our families, even in the most difficult health care reform environment. The combination of great colleagues, life changing work and extraordinary outcomes is why I work at Clifford Beers.
Yohanna Cifuentes, PhD, LCSW
Director of Outpatient Services
BA, Hunter College (1998); MSW, Hunter College (2000); PhD Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Capella University (2013)
Why I work at Clifford Beers: "Clifford Beers is recognized in the community as a ground-breaking agency that is seeking to provide new ways of working with families while improving the quality of life for families and community. I joined Clifford Beers because I wanted to be part of an innovative organization that looks at the various factors affecting children and their families. It is also at the forefront in searching for alternative practices to improve the entire system. I was impressed by the holistic approach, the number of programs offered, and the use of so many evidence-based models that reach various populations. The role that I have allows me to contribute to the work that started so many years ago at CB. I'm part of something innovative, but it's innovation in action. There has been talk of whole-family care for years, but Clifford Beers is actually doing it and understanding people in the context of physical health, mental health, home environment, barriers to care -- and everything that impacts a life. The drive and passion for the work at CB is unique."
Director of Development
BS, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1997)
Why I work at Clifford Beers: "I have always had a passion for nonprofit work, spending close to seven years volunteering on countless community events, golf tournaments and road races, as well as assisting with the start-up of a nonprofit as a staff volunteer for two years. So when I decided to leave the corporate sector after 25 years, it was because of that volunteer work that I was drawn to changing career paths and shifting into the nonprofit sector. The innovative work that Clifford Beers is doing is one of biggest reasons I love working here. Being a part of an organization that sees a need, comes up with a plan on how to meet that need, and then creating the program to satisfy that need is such an exciting thing. Working for Clifford Beers I have a feeling of purpose behind the work I do -- that the end result of my efforts helps to make a difference in the lives of the children and families served by the agency."
Director of Trauma-Informed Schools
Director, Quality Analytics and Research
BA, Yale University (2009)
Why I work at Clifford Beers: I came to Clifford Beers after a volunteer experience with adults with chronic mental illnesses. I felt that, while there were wonderful and necessary programs treating adults, we as a community needed to do more to care for children early on. The agency's mission to serve children and families using integrated services and its commitment to recognizing the impact that social determinants have on health fit perfectly with my personal mission. Here, I have found my niche in using data to help improve quality of care. I truly hope that one day I will not have a job because we've ended all trauma, but until that day I feel very fortunate to work with such a wonderful team to provide exceptional care to our community.
Sheryl S. McNamee
Director of Public Affairs
BA, Southern Connecticut State University (1986); JD, Syracuse University (1992)
Why I work at Clifford Beers: Without this wonderful agency, I believe far too many children and families would have no place to turn for help. From providng incredibly intensive care to small life touches, the people who work here have an undeniable impact on real people living real lives in real time. That produces an important ripple effect both clinically and economically. Clifford Beers is truly incredible.
Trude Piscitelli, RN
Vice President of Integrated Care
Ursuline College, BNS (1994)
Why I work at Clifford Beers: I live in New Haven, so I first joined the agency because I wanted to serve the people who live where I live in a really meaningful, community-based way. Since then I've grown with the agency and I was able to help build the Marne Street Clinic where we work with a really underserved population -- those with autism, intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities -- in a comprehensive and whole-family way. I have a cousin with autism, so this work touches me in a very personal way. My hope is that the integrated care we deliver at Marne Street Clinic will become the template by which all organizations deliver care to those with disabilities.
Vice President of Outpatient Mental Health Services