Our Team

Staff Spotlight: Yudelka Ramirez

Yudelka Ramirez, Family Peer Advocate

Yudelka Ramirez, family peer advocateYudelka Ramirez began her career with The Child Center of NY in January 2016 as a teacher’s assistant at our Escalera Head Start in Manhattan. She earned her FPA (Family Peer Advocate) Certificate a year later and began her current role as an FPA with The Child Center’s Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative (ECMH)

 Let’s begin with your interesting title! What exactly is a “family peer advocate”? Continue reading

Staff Spotlight: Bianca Ernest

Bianca Ernest, Certified Medical Biller

Bianca is a key Administration staff member in our behind-the-scenes but incredibly important Billing Department, helping to keep up with claims so that the whole agency can function like a well-oiled machine.

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Staff Spotlight: Diane Valente

Diane Valente, LCSW, Assistant Director of The Child Center of NY’s Woodside Clinic

At The Child Center of NY, we want the children we serve to have the support they need to lead fulfilling lives. That means offering them an array of programs that nurture them wholly, despite any setbacks due to poverty, language barriers, or behavioral health. It means being there for kids whose families or cultures have a hard time accepting them for who they naturally are.

Providing safe and nurturing environments in which children can speak openly with peers about the challenges they face is an important part of who we are, so at our clinics, we try to create opportunities for group therapy as well as individualized counseling. Safe Space groups are often the only method by which young LGBTQ clients can learn to cope with the difficulties they face and develop much-needed resiliency to ensure a brighter future. The Child Center employs experienced, culturally competent behavioral health staff to run these groups and often to work closely with parents of participants to ease their transition from therapy to home life.

We recently spoke with Diane Valente, LCSW, Assistant Director at our Woodside Clinic, who created and manages several support groups there.

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Staff Spotlight: Q&A with Social Worker Diego Martinez

Diego Martinez

A Note from Child Center CEO Traci Donnelly: 

I am honored to mark Social Work Month this year by introducing you to one of The Child Center of NY’s many dedicated social workers, Diego Martinez. Diego works in our Jamaica Family Center, guiding clients who struggle with addiction in developing the skills and confidence to find lasting recovery. As you’ll see from this Q&A, Diego represents what is true of just about all the social workers I’ve known (and I’ve known many!): that social work, despite the heavy toll it can sometimes take, is a labor of love. Continue reading

Staff Spotlight: Anderson Sungmin Yoon

Dr. Anderson Sungmin Yoon, DSW, LCSW-R, came to The Child Center of NY in 2003 as a program manager and behavioral health specialist, serving in a variety of capacities — culminating in Dr. Yoon being named the Vice President of Integrated and Value-Based Care last summer. 

Dr. Yoon’s latest project — creating a Family Assessment tool to measure outcomes and connect clients with the full range of services available to them — has been a labor of love, and the accolades for such revolutionary work continue to build. Mayor Bill de Blasio recently appointed Dr. Yoon as a member of The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Substance Abuse Subcommittee and the Municipal Drug Strategy Advisory Council, and in June 2018 Dr. Yoon will join Harvard Medical School’s Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program. Continue reading

Diane Menzel: Through Groups, Individuals Thrive

Diane Menzel

Diane Menzel, in over 15 years with The Child Center, has often utilized her teaching background to better serve clients. At the South Jamaica Clinic, she recognized two challenges: 1) many children facing behavioral health problems have difficulty making friends, and 2) when they are out of school, kids may not otherwise have opportunities to engage with peers. Continue reading

Staff Spotlight: Controller Cheryl Moody

Cheryl Moody is The Child Center’s new Vice President, Controller.

What brought you to The Child Center of NY?

This agency particularly impressed me with the level of service it provides its clients, and especially with its leadership team. In my 20-plus years in the nonprofit sector, I have come to the realization that my heart and passion is here, rather than in the for-profit world. During my initial meeting with Steve and Jaime, I learned that the organization not only had an excellent leadership team, but that the staff also pride themselves in providing the much-needed support to our clients and administrative support throughout the agency. This was later confirmed as I have begun to know my colleagues better, and I’m extremely proud to be among them. I already feel deeply embedded in The Child Center of NY and in ensuring its continued success. Continue reading

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