alice m. forrester, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

BA, Kean University; MA, New York University (1992); PhD, Fielding University (2002)

"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 CEO 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."

the leadership team

Kristen Harris, Esq.

Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel

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

 

"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 on 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."

Melanie Rossacci

Chief Business Development Officer

B.S, Social Work, Saint Joseph University (2001); MSW, Fordham University (2009)

 

“I worked in state government for 19 years prior to coming to Clifford Beers. During my time in state government, I learned of the great work being done with children & families at Clifford Beers and I wanted to be a part of it.  You can feel the dedication and commitment to getting it right for families in every staff member you come across. The vision, passion, and commitment to not only the families we serve, but the organization itself, is one of the many things that makes Clifford Beers a special place.  I feel honored to be a part of the leadership team here and look forward to our continued growth rooted in a strategic vision of continuing to respond to the needs of the families we are privileged to serve.”

Chief Financial Officer

BS, Sacred Heart University; CPA, CT  

"I began my career in the private sector, but about 15 years ago I saw the value of 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."

Naomi Libby, MD

Medical Director

BS, Brandeis University (2005); MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (2012); General Psychiatry Residency and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship, Yale School of Medicine (2017); Board Certified in General Psychiatry (2017); Board Certified in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (2018)

 

"As a psychiatrist, I practice medicine within a "biopsychosocial" framework, which recognizes the equal importance of biological, psychological, and social determinants of health. I joined Clifford Beers because of its commitment to promoting mental wellness not only in individual children and families but in the Greater New Haven community at large. Clifford Beers has a well-earned reputation for innovation in systems of care, and I am privileged to be part of a team of dedicated people who are continuously striving to increase access to care for vulnerable populations."

Christine Montgomery, LCSW

Vice President of Community & School-Based Services

BA, Southern Connecticut State University (1991); MSW, Boston University (1993); LCSW, CT (1996) 

 

"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 supporting 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."

Lauren Weibrecht

Vice President of Outpatient Mental Health Services

Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master’s in Community Psychology

 

"I started working at Clifford Beers with families affected by sexual abuse and domestic violence in 2001.  As I grew in the profession and worked with more children and their families, I was struck by how resilient they were in the face of trauma and other stressful life events. My clinical lens has been through an ecological approach (a person is an individual, but part of families, communities, cultures that are all inter-related). The interplay among those systems and the Clinic's focus on the whole person, whole family care resonates with me. I want to be a part of the evolution of how we look at working with families, focusing on strengths and resiliency. I am committed to this approach to care and believe that the Clinic can support families at times when they are in need."

Trude Piscitelli, RN

Vice President of Integrated Care

Ursuline College, BNS (1994) 

 

"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."

Yohanna Cifuentes, PhD, LCSW

Director of Outpatient Services

BA, Hunter College (1998); MSW, Hunter College (2000); PhD Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Capella University (2013)

 

 

"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 the 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 of 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."

Gerry Baird

Director of Client Access and Mobile Crisis

MSW, Southern Connecticut State University (2005); LCSW (2008)

"Clifford Beers holds a special place in my heart. I believe in the diverse and innovative work we deliver and I enjoy making an impact on people's lives. Clifford Beers goes beyond the communities we serve, and I am honored to a part of that continuation of care. I can't say enough about the staff, as they are kind, compassionate and hardworking -- and it is apparent in their work. Helping families is what we do and being a part of that is why I am here."

Ilaria Filippi

Director of Trauma-Informed Schools

Southern Connecticut State University, BA, MFT, LMFT

"I work at Clifford Beers for many reasons, but one reason that sticks out is Greater New Haven is my community. The community we serve are my neighbors -- the soccer mom, the grandmother picking up her grandchildren from school, or the dad bringing his child to camp. Clifford Beers helps children and families who suffer from bad experiences, and they offer the best skills and practices. I wanted to be apart of that."

Adriana Joseph

Director of Operations

BA, Public Relations & BA, Spanish - Texas Tech University (2006); JD, University of Connecticut (2012)

 

"I've lived and worked in New Haven for the last 10 years and in one way or another, I've always had the opportunity to collaborate with Clifford Beers and the wonderful staff that keep this agency running. I've seen the impact of their work first hand and their investment in helping others. When the opportunity arose to join the team, it was something I couldn't pass up. I was excited to join an organization that reflects my values and commitment to our community."

Rebekka Laskowski

Controller

BS, Quinnipiac University (2009)

 

"I worked in public accounting as an auditor for nine years and I specialized in auditing non-profit organizations. During my time as Clifford Beers’ auditor, I grew to understand just how impactful the work here is. I was excited about the opportunity to not only join the organization but to join the leadership team. It is my hope to take an active role in leading Clifford Beers through their continued growth."

Josslyn DeCrosta-Grindle

Director of Human Resources

BA, Quinnipiac University (2005)

 

"I started working at Clifford Beers in 2015 because its mission of helping children and families is very near and dear to me. The work shows compassion and dedication. It is my main goal to support the staff that serve our community each and every day. While they take care of everyone else, I am committed to taking care of them."

Tirzah Kemp

Director of Community Services & Family Engagement

MS, Albertus Magnus College, (2018) - Organizational Leadership

"As long as I can remember, I have been a student of people; my greatest passion is the community. I am aware that no single approach to supporting children and families is the right approach for every family. However, all families deserve access to all of the supports available to ensure their individual success. Clifford Beers supports this philosophy by infusing a holistic approach along with evidence-based practices into how we support and serve those in need of our services. I also recognized that Clifford Beers for more than 100 years is one of the largest community-based outpatient behavioral health clinics in the nation. By working here, I am able to empower, advocate, motivate, connect, and encourage resilience. To challenge stereotypes and avoid fallacies. As well as fight discrimination, oppression, and injustice, no matter the form. Clifford Beers has allowed me an opportunity to work within a community I am very passionate about as well as work with a group of professionals who are committed to enhancing the well-being and quality of life of individuals who may be impacted by these social disadvantages."

Mikaela Honhongva

Director, Quality Analytics and Research

BA, Yale University (2009)

 

"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 the 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."

Jennifer Cretella

Director of Development

BS, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1997)

"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 the 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 the 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."

Alana Embriano, Psy.D.

Director of Psychological Services

Psy.D., Argosy University in Florida (2010)

 

"I have worked primarily with folks who are under-served, have experienced trauma, and are challenged with multiple stresses.  I have been drawn to community mental health where I can best serve this population.  Psychology is not always a piece of the interdisciplinary puzzle with community mental health and so I am passionate about growing and including this discipline within these settings. I truly believe integrated care is the best way to address the variety of problems people experience to ensure they are receiving the best and most comprehensive quality care in a way that feels most comfortable to them."

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Clifford Beers
93 Edwards Street
New Haven, CT 06511
P: 203 772-1270 
F: 203 772-0051
 www.cliffordbeers.org
with locations throughout Greater New Haven
© 2019