anthony m. hassan, Ed.D, LCSW
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & PRESIDENT
As the inaugural President and CEO of the Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), Dr. Hassan leads and executes the strategic, operational, and financial direction for the $275M Network which is tasked with carrying out the establishment of 25 mental health clinics nationwide. These clinics are designed to improve the quality of life for post-9/11 veterans and their families by focusing on improving mental health outcomes, especially those associated with post-traumatic stress, through high-quality, accessible mental health care. In addition, he leads all efforts to advance the field as a learning mental health system through funded research initiatives and training programs that improve care within the Network and set CVN up to serve as a model for others.
Hassan is a veteran of the United States Army enlisted and Air Force officer with 30 years of experience in military behavioral health, serving as a military social work officer, leader, clinician, and academic. He served during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 on the first-ever Air Force combat stress control and prevention team embedded with the Army. He also led the largest military substance abuse and family advocacy programs in the Pacific. These programs were recognized as benchmark programs and training sites for all other Pacific bases. Hassan’s last military assignment was at the U.S. Air Force Academy where he served as the Deputy Department Head, Leadership Directorate, and led the only graduate-level degree program at the Air Force Academy for top-tier Air Force Commanders.
Prior to CVN, Hassan served as the inaugural Director and Clinical Professor of the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. During his tenure at CIR from 2009-2015, Hassan was instrumental in the exponential growth of the school’s military social work program and community-based research on veterans and military families. Dr. Hassan’s former military and academic roles have positioned him to develop strong relationships with the most senior levels of leadership in the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Washington, D.C. Hassan holds a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Florida.
Alice Kim, MA
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
As Chief Operating Officer, Kim oversees the operations and administration of the Cohen Veterans Network and all of its programs and initiatives.
Prior to joining the Cohen Veterans Network, she was the Director of Operations at the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. Kim oversaw the day-to-day operation of CIR and managed several large research projects funded by the Department of Defense to enhance the competence and capacity of civilian behavioral health care providers working with military populations. Kim also led the development of numerous cutting-edge programs such as an online training platform for behavioral health professionals, virtual avatar trainers for evidence-based practice and clinical skill, observed structured video examination (OSVE) for military clinical skill assessment, and inter-professional education using military-focused standardized patients. Throughout her career, she has worked for numerous major research initiatives focused on behavioral health care, community development, social welfare, and education. Kim received her BA from the University of Chicago and her MA from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration.
Paul J. Wood
Chief External Affairs Officer
As Chief External Affairs Officer and a member of the leadership team, Wood is responsible for setting overall communications strategy for Cohen Veterans Network and oversees communications, marketing, social media and public partnerships.
Prior to joining Cohen Veterans Network, Wood was a partner at Ketchum, a top three global public relations firm, where he held a variety of roles focused on client leadership, practice leadership, client experience and growth. He has expertise in using strategic communications programming to drive organizational outcomes. While at Ketchum, Wood developed cause and public education campaigns for Michelin, Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, The New York State of Health and other clients.
Prior to Ketchum, Wood worked for other leading agencies such as Burson-Marsteller and Fleishman-Hillard in both the US and Asia. His work on behalf of clients has been recognized through numerous awards programs including PRSA Silver Anvils, PR Week, Global Sabre Awards and others. Wood is also a frequent speaker/commentator on disruption and communications.
Wood received a BA in English from The University of California at Irvine. He also is certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, NETWORK SYSTEMS
As Senior Vice President, Network Systems, Collins is responsible for the implementation and integration of a network-wide Electronic Health Record system and leveraging meaningful data at the network, clinic and client level.
She has worked with the veterans community for nearly a decade, most recently serving as the Chief Operations Officer for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), a leading veterans group for post-9/11 veterans. As COO, Collins managed all finance, human resource, legal, and technology infrastructure operations, as well as played a key role in organizational and programmatic development.
Collins received her BA in sociology from Rollins College.
Carl J. Marucci
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, ADVANCEMENT
With more than twenty-five years of fundraising experience in diverse arenas, Marucci joins Cohen Veterans Network to coordinate the organization’s fundraising efforts to sustain, advance and endow the Cohen Clinics across the nation. With particular success in structuring comprehensive development efforts, including developing major gift, annual giving and planned giving programs, along with prospect research, high level special events, capital campaigns, and board development, Marucci has led fundraising efforts for local, national and international organizations.
Prior to joining CVN, Marucci coordinated the successful capital campaign at Northwell Health’s Peconic Bay Medical Center on Long Island’s East End. He also served as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, New York City. Marucci also served as Executive Director at CCS Fundraising, one of the most comprehensive and widely recommended fundraising firms in the world, providing on-site fundraising counsel and campaign management services to leading non-profit institutions in the academic, healthcare, civic human services, religious, and cultural arenas.
Marucci’s diverse experience encompasses a spectrum of non-profit organizations, from coordinating American Idol’s “Idol Gives Back” Campaign to leading the Vatican’s Path to Peace Foundation here in New York City. In addition to his responsibilities at the Vatican Foundation, Marucci served as a member of the Vatican’s diplomatic staff at United Nations Headquarters in New York City, covering the U.N.’s Third Commission addressing human rights issues around the world. While in that position he planned the historic visit of Pope John Paul II to the United Nations.
Crystal Shelton, DSW, LCSW-C
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, SPECIAL INITIATIVES
As Senior Vice President, Special Initiatives, Shelton is responsible for the development and day-to-day oversight of Clinical Programs including clinical training, telehealth, clinical innovations, intern and scholars’ programs and works directly to support each clinic to have the clinical resources and expertise necessary to provide the highest-quality clinical services to our veterans and military families.
Following a 2-year post-graduate fellowship at Johns Hopkins, Shelton served as an active duty social work officer in the United States Navy. During her time in uniform, she worked with infantry marines and combat instructors at the Marine Corps School of Infantry offering evidence-based interventions in the clinic and out in the training field. Shelton has worked closely with military leadership on multiple Force Preservation Counsels in an effort to build and sustain psychological readiness. In her final tour, Shelton was part of team that built and led the first-ever mental health clinic at the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, where she provided clinical care for the USMCs most wounded, ill and injured.
Shelton received a BA in English from San Francisco State University and an MSSW from University of Texas, Austin, School of Social Work.
Jerry Altieri, Jr., MS
VICE PRESIDENT, NETWORK GROWTH
As Vice President, Network Growth of the Cohen Veterans Network, Altieri reports directly to the CEO to ensure strategic growth of the network. Some of the major tasks include research and oversight for the development of future clinic city and partner selection, business venture valuation, complex project management, and preparation of reports.
Prior to joining, he was a Vice President at Point 72 Asset Management, L.P. where he assisted in the development of the firm’s trade surveillance platform and trade auditing functions. Altieri is a former Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he investigated national security matters for seven years. During his time at the bureau, he was detailed to the Department of Justice and assigned to the executive order task force implemented by President Obama to conduct a comprehensive review of the individuals detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Altieri saw assignments to the New York Division, the High-Value Detainee Team, and coordinated closely with the U.S. Department of Defense.
Altieri is a veteran of the United States Army and the Army National Guard with 12 years of experience serving as an infantry non-commissioned officer. He was deployed to Ramadi, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005 to 2006.
Altieri received his BA from Norwich University – The Military College of Vermont and has obtained an MS in Applied Business Analytics Management at Boston University.
Aaditya Bhat, MS
VICE PRESIDENT, DATA SCIENTIST
As the Vice President, Data Scientist, Bhat will acquire data from internal and external data sources; build systems to maintain and leverage insights from collected data; design data collection systems and strategies that optimize statistical efficiency and data quality. Also, he will monitor integrity and completeness of data, support clinic staff and leadership in obtaining missing or additional data, and ensure data errors are addressed.
Bhat is a data enthusiast with experience in Data Science and Data Engineering. Over the years he has built and maintained Data Systems in diverse industries such as Manufacturing, Finance and Technology. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Mumbai University and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from Northeastern University.
Todd Dias, MS
VICE PRESIDENT, DATA ANALYTICS
As Vice President, Data Analytics of the Cohen Veterans Network, Dias manages a database and reporting system for information collected at each clinic regarding structure, process, and patient-reported outcomes in order to foster a culture of rigorous, patient-centered care; discovery; and continuous systemic improvement.
Previously, he was Manager of Informatics and Statistics for the Perinatal Data Center at the March of Dimes Foundation, where he gained more than a decade of experience working with maternal and child health data. His work provided key guidance to the foundation and contributed to the mission to reduce premature birth and improve birth outcomes for all women and children.
Dias received his BA from Marist College and his MS from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Anthony Guido, MPA
VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNICATIONS & PUBLIC RELATIONS
As the Vice President of Communications & PR for the Cohen Veterans Network, Guido is responsible for raising awareness of Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics in the communities the network serves, media campaigns to de-stigmatize mental health care among veterans, and managing relationships with national stakeholders and partners.
He most recently was the Director of Communications at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum where he oversaw daily media relations activities. He played a lead role in the communications initiatives around milestone moments such as the May 2014 opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and the September 2015 visit of Pope Francis to Ground Zero.
Guido previously served as Director of Communications at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, leading media efforts around the issues of hunger and poverty in the state. Guido earned a BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MPA from Rutgers University.
VICE PRESIDENT, HUMAN RESOURCES & ADMINISTRATION
As a VP of Cohen Veterans Network, Longo oversees all of the General Office Management and Administrative needs in addition to assisting with the day to day Finance and HR issues.
She brings almost 20 years of Administrative experience to Cohen Veterans Network, supporting groups in excess of 50 people in her prior role.
Longo holds a BS in Finance from Sacred Heart University.
VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS
As Vice President, Moynihan is responsible for developing and managing network-level projects to support the growth of the CVN network and it’s initiatives.
She brings over 10 years of non-profit experience to Cohen Veterans Network, recently serving as Director of Special Projects at the March of Dimes Foundation. In that role, she was responsible for managing and executing all aspects of the foundation’s national conferences, trainings and events, as well as managing the foundation’s military initiative, Mission: Healthy Baby.
Moynihan previously served as Director of Special Events at the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, leading their annual Winter Wish Gala which raised $1.95 million annually. Moynihan studied English Literature and Dance in her native England, graduating from Havering College.
VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE
As Vice President, Samuels is responsible for managing all accounting and day- to-day financial operations from monthly reporting, annual audit as well as assisting with forecasting and budgeting processes and regulatory compliance filings and requirements.
Samuels most recently was the Controller at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for three years where she managed the monthly financial close process, annual audit and played a vital role with the implementation and merging of all local affiliates into one consolidated Society.
She previously worked eight years at The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as the Accounting Manager responsible for the monthly close, financial reporting and all states regulatory compliance filings. Throughout her career Samuels has enjoyed mentoring her team. Samuels graduated from Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business with a BBA in Accounting.
Caitlin Thompson, Ph.D.
VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
As VP, Community Partnerships at Cohen Veterans Network, Dr. Caitlin Thompson is responsible for establishing and maintaining critical national and local collaborations between CVN and public-private partners.
She was most recently Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Suicide Prevention, leading VA’s integrated public health approach to suicide prevention. She was responsible for the Office’s vision and mission, including the development of VA suicide prevention policy initiatives, education for Veterans and health care providers about suicide awareness and prevention, and dissemination and implementation of assessment and treatment strategies across the Veterans Health Administration. A licensed clinical psychologist, Thompson directed VA’s epidemiological and clinical research in suicide prevention and is recognized internationally as an authority on Veteran suicide prevention. Prior to her work in the VA Suicide Prevention Office, she spent five years as the clinical care coordinator for the Veterans/Military Crisis Line.
Thompson has a BA in music from Brown University and an MEd and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia.
DIRECTOR, NETWORK SYSTEMS
As Director of Network Systems, Anderson is responsible for assisting the Vice President of Network Systems in the implementation and integration of a network-wide Electronic Health Record system. Anderson has previous experience working in non-profit organizations providing social and human services. Anderson previously worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer increasing wraparound services to children and families in New Haven, CT. Prior to joining Cohen Veterans Network, Anderson was an analyst for a regional human services provider. In this role, Anderson provided project management expertise in the rollout and system administration of an electronic documentation system.
Anderson graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Psychology and is currently attending Fairfield University for her Masters in Public Administration.
Heather L. Chiarello, MA
DIRECTOR, EXECUTIVE OFFICE
As Director for the Executive Office, Chiarello assists the CEO with advancing various projects and initiatives across the network. Chiarello is also responsible for assisting the Central Office with the development and day-to-day oversight of Program Evaluation including monitoring and evaluating various components of the network, its clinics, and processes.
Prior to joining the Cohen Veterans Network team, Chiarello was a staff member at the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In that role, she worked with committees of experts on numerous consensus studies throughout the National Academies and most recently staffed studies focusing on military and veteran population health. She has worked on Congressionally-mandated studies sponsored by both VA and DoD concerning service members and veterans of all eras on topics such as mental health, exposure issues, and healthcare treatment and services.
Chiarello graduated magna cum laude from Central Michigan University in 2007 with a BS in political science accompanied by a concentration in public administration and a minor in legal studies. She obtained a Master’s degree in sociology with a focus on military sociology in 2014 from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Claire Lawless, MSW
DIRECTOR, QUALITY ASSURANCE
In her role, Lawless oversees the quality assurance arm of Clinical Programs at CVN, ensuring clients receive high-quality, client-centered care through continues quality improvement initiatives. Lawless also oversees case management service integration for all Cohen Clinics, as well as after-hours support through Vets4Warriors.
Prior to joining CVN, Lawless served at the Senior Veteran Transition Manager for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America’s Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP), providing individualized case management and advocacy for veterans and their family members. Lawless lead on the national scaling of RRRP, implemented a national effort to introduce Mental Health First Aid to the veteran community, and advocated on Capital Hill for improved mental health services for veterans. Lawless has previously worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Los Angeles, Volunteers of American Los Angeles, as well as the American Red Cross of Northern Indiana as a AmeriCorps volunteer.
Lawless received her BA from the University of Notre Dame and her MSW from the University of Southern California.
Stephanie Renno, MA, DSW, LCSW
DIRECTOR, TRAINING & CLINICAL PRACTICE
Stephanie Renno is the Director of Training and Clinical Practice at the Cohen Veterans Network where she oversees the network-wide training of clinical evidence-based practices and processes and works directly to support each clinic in delivering state of the art clinical services to our veterans and military families.
Dr. Renno has worked in both government and not-for-profit sectors providing and overseeing mental health services for veterans, service members and their families. At the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), she provided clinical treatment, and oversaw implementation of innovative evidence-based programming for substance use disorders in addition to serving as a Master Trainer and consultant for evidence-based practice training roll outs. At the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Renno piloted a program combining DoD and VA resources to provide mental health care to active duty military and their families at Fort Detrick in Maryland. Prior to joining the Cohen Veterans Network team, Dr. Renno was a clinician at the Road Home Program at Rush University Medical Center providing an intensive outpatient model of PTSD treatment to veterans.
Dr. Renno received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Illinois, her master’s in social work from the University of Chicago and her Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.
DIRECTOR, RCM & BILLING OPEATIONS
As Director of RCM and Billing Operations, Philip oversees all aspects of clinic third-party insurance billing. This includes contracting clinics with insurances, credentialing clinical staff, overseeing EHR configuration and providing finance trainings with clinics.
Previously, Philip worked with multiple national EHR vendors Cerner and Netsmart as RCM Specialists and Finance Consultants. While working with the current EHR vendor, Netsmart, Philip was the lead finance consultant on over 30 successful implementations and worked directly with over 160 different clients across the country in addition to developing best practice documentation.
Philip earned a Bachelors degree in Business Management from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. Philip currently lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
As the Controller of Cohen Veterans Network, Williams is responsible for the overall financial and accounting operations of the company and supports the Vice President, Finance and Compliance.
She has over 15 years of accounting experience in varied industries and in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to joining Cohen Veterans Network, she was the finance manager of the Canada Vertical at Exela Technologies.
Williams is a Certified Public Accountant in Connecticut. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy from the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City, Philippines.
Kristin DiMauro, MBA
SENIOR STAFF ACCOUNTANT
As the Senior Staff Accountant, DiMauro is responsible for supporting the Controller in the overall financial and accounting operations of the company.
She brings over 20 years of experience in the accounting profession. Prior to joining Cohen Veterans Network, she was a senior accountant at AllianceBernstein where she supported the revenue and asset under management reporting of the firm.
DiMauro graduated from Pace University with a MBA in Financial Management and a BBA in Accounting.
Alisa Breetz, Ph.D.
SENIOR MANAGER, CLINICAL PRACTICE
As Senior Manager, Clinical Practice, Dr. Breetz provides assistance and guidance for network-wide clinical practice initiatives, including evidence-based practice and measurement-based care to support the delivery of clinical care to our veterans and military families.
Following residency training at Duke University Medical Center, Breetz worked for seven years as a clinician and clinical supervisor in a private group practice where she specialized in the delivery and dissemination of evidence-based practices, particularly Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE). During that time, she also served as an adjunct instructor of psychology at American University and presented invited clinical trainings at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Harvard Medical School/ Massachusetts Mental Health Center. She brings expertise in suicide prevention and trauma treatment and additional experience working with veterans at the Washington, DC VA hospital and with service members at Andrews Air Force Base and the US Naval Academy.
Dr. Breetz completed her BA in cognitive science at Brown University and her MA and PhD in clinical psychology at American University.
SENIOR MANAGER, MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
As Senior Manager of Communications and Marketing, Elise Harte focuses on working to expand the reach of the clinics to increase care to veterans and their families, as well as de-stigmatize mental health issues.
Harte has experience working in the marketing and event industry for a variety of businesses and non-profits specializing in outreach growth, events, fundraising and traditional marketing campaigns.
Harte graduated from University of Colorado at Boulder with a BA in Psychology.
Danielle Besuden, MSSW, LICSW
MANAGER, CLINICAL PROGRAMS
Besuden serves as a Manager of Clinical Programs to assist clinics across CVN with clinical quality assurance and clinical quality initiatives.
As a licensed clinical social worker, Besuden has worked in a variety of settings providing outpatient and community-based care. Besuden’s clinical work has focused on complex trauma, depression, and anxiety. Additionally, Besuden has completed quality assurance work within the community mental health setting, working to improve practices to support a better client experience.
Besuden received her BA in Sociology from Brown University and her Master of Science in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin.
MANAGER, TELEHEALTH OPERATIONS
As the Manager of Telehealth Operations, Jeff is responsible for the advancement, oversite, growth and overall operations of the organization’s Telehealth program.
Prior to joining CVN Jeff served as Operations and Technology Manager for Nemours CareConnect, one of the largest pediatric telehealth programs in the nation. He was responsible for the day to day telehealth operations and all aspects of telehealth technology. Jeff brings more than 16 years of healthcare operations and technology experience.
Jeff is a veteran of the United states Army, serving as a Communications Non-Commissioned Officer for 12 years. During his service, he deployed on numerous occasions. He currently serves on the Telehealth and Innovation Steering Committee for the State of Delaware and previously as an Advisory Board Member for Vidyo Inc.
Barnello studied as an Emergency Medical Technician and Criminal Justice Administration and is a Certified Video Engineer and Advanced Certified Telemedicine Coordinator.
Revenue Cycle Manager
As the Revenue Cycle Manager, Foster is responsible for implementing and overseeing the revenue cycle process for all the clinics within the Cohen Veterans Network, including analyzing and implementing revenue cycle processes, third party billing and supporting CVN finance teams. In addition, she manages on-site training and improvement initiatives.
Foster has over 20 years’ experience in Revenue Cycle Management for the health care industry. Prior to joining CVN she was the RCM Manager at Harford Healthcare, were she over saw the day to day RCM operations for Home Care, Hospice and Private Duty.
Foster studied Business Administration at Central Connecticut State University.
Kendra Miller, MA
Manager, Training & Clinical Practice
Miller is a graduate of Bowie State University of Bowie, MD where she received her Masters in Human Resource Development. She prides herself on her passion for people development, process improvement, and training to CVN. Before joining CVN, Miller has had a number of roles supporting agencies such as: US Agency for International Development (USAID) , the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and the State Department. She has almost 10 years of experience in business administration, human resource, and providing support for Humanitarian and Disaster relief response. Through this experience she has been as able to identify operational needs, developed innovative solutions, and enhance the overall culture of each organization.
Daniel Dahlman, MSW, LCSW-C
MANAGER, CLINICAL PROGRAMS
As a Manager of Clinical Programs, Dahlman works with clinics across the CVN network in support of CQI initiatives and sustaining high-quality care for veterans and their families.
As a licensed clinical social worker, Dahlman has worked in a variety of clinical settings providing community-based, outpatient and acute inpatient care. Prior to joining CVN, Dahlman supported the development of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA). In that role, he developed therapeutic programming focused on resilience, peak performance and mental health awareness to support NGA’s veteran population.
Dahlman received his Bachelor’s from Boston University and his Master’s in Clinical Social Work with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Margaret Ostrander, MS, RD
MANAGER, CLINICAL PROGRAMS
Ostrander serves as a Manager of Clinical Programs to assist with clinical quality assurance across the network of CVN mental health clinics.
Ostrander brings over 10 years of clinical experience working in both Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers and the private sector. Prior to joining CVN, Ostrander most recently served as the Nutrition Support Team Coordinator at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. In that role, she provided clinical care for medically compromised veterans as well as established formal performance improvement activities and facilitated updates in policy and procedure.
Ostrander received her BS in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her MS in Clinical Nutrition from New York University.
MANAGER, HUMAN RESOURCES & ADMINISTRATION
As the Office Coordinator for our District of Columbia office, Rotili provides office management support to our secondary location. He also provides administrative and operational assistance to the Clinical Programs team, including our telehealth and learning management systems.
Rotili has provided office management expertise across a wide range of office settings. Most recently he served as an office manager at several locations for Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, where he oversaw all on-site administrative, operational, and scheduling needs to facilitate the organization’s services to clients with learning disabilities. Rotili also served as an administrative and data coordinator at Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services, where he was responsible for streamlining their reporting processes and assisting the non-profit’s work with the local homeless population.
Rotili received his BA in Sociology from Saint Mary’s College of Maryland.
As Media Manager of Communications & Marketing, Phifer is responsible for developing and delivering on earned media strategy and outreach to help raise awareness and understanding of the Cohen Veterans Network brand and service offering.
Prior to joining Cohen Veterans Network, Phifer was the Senior Account Executive for Thompson & Bender, a leading public relations, advertising and marketing agency in Westchester County, New York. Her clients included organizations in the nonprofit, retail, hospitality and higher education sectors as well as companies focused in the areas of assisted living/senior care, tourism, development, real estate and law. During her time there, Phifer garnered successful national, regional and local media coverage for her clients and was named a 2016 Business Council of Westchester “40 Under 40” Rising Star. Prior to Thompson & Bender, Phifer was the Public Relations Program and Editorial Manager for Major Accounts at Engage 121, where she created and managed editorial campaigns for franchise and direct sales companies throughout the country. Phifer also has extensive background in journalism, having held the role of reporter for print news publications including The Journal News (Gannett), as well as The Westchester County Business Journal and The Fairfield County Business Journal.
Phifer received a BA in history, with a concentration in journalism, from the State University of New York – Purchase College.
In her role as Clinic Communications Manager, Sullivan works to develop and deliver on social media, earned media and outreach to help raise awareness and understanding of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics in the communities the network serves.
A two-time New York Emmy Award winner, Sullivan’s background is in broadcast news and TV. She began her career at CBS News Productions in which she assisted in the production of shows for The History Channel and Discovery. From there Sullivan went to “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” where she researched questions for the nationally-syndicated game show. She then spent a decade at PIX11 News in which she served in a number of roles within the newsroom including assignment editor, writer, producer and supervising producer. After which she moved to NBC’s “The Meredith Vieira Show”, where she produced a variety of content including human interest stories. Prior to joining CVN, Sullivan served as vice president at a NYC based public relations firm overseeing communications campaigns for a portfolio of clients including a national non-profit and global consumer products company.
Sullivan graduated from Fairfield University with a BA in Communication and a minor in Film & Television.
As Operations Manager, Geslien supports the Operations Department with developing and managing network-level projects to support the growth of the CVN network and it’s initiatives.
Geslien comes with experience in non-profit organizations. Prior to joining Cohen Veterans Network, she was an analyst for a local human services provider. During this time she led and supported multiple projects including preparing for and achieving CARF re-accreditation, creating a quality assurance program, and implementing mobile devices for visit verification of personal care services. Prior to this, she supervised several workforce development locations that provided career coaching services.
Geslien graduated from the University of Bridgeport with a BA in Psychology and Human Services. She is currently pursuing her Project Management Certification.
As Operations Manager, Erica Begin supports the Operations Department with developing and managing network-level projects to support the growth of the CVN network and it’s initiatives.
Begin comes with experience in non-profit organizations. Prior to joining Cohen Veterans Network, she was a Human Resources Manager as well as a Human Capital & Recruitment Specialist for local education and human services providers. In her previous career experiences, Begin provided crucial, cross-departmental support like managing the employee lifecycle from beginning to end, launching employee engagement and retention initiatives, overseeing benefit and payroll administration, reporting data and maintaining compliance on organizational, state and federal levels, assisting all levels of staff with work-related needs, and ensuring the overall satisfaction of all internal and external stakeholders.
Begin graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a dual Bachelor’s degree in English and Religious Studies.
Kathryn Porta, MBA
Sr. EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT & MANAGER, HR & ADMINISTRATION
As the Senior Executive Assistant at Cohen Veterans Network, Porta serves as the primary support for the CEO and COO, as well as the entire CVN team.
She brings nearly a decade of experience working as an Executive Assistant for C-level executives, across multiple industries. Her most recent experience was assisting the CEO and CRO at buildOn, a global non-profit organization headquartered in Stamford, CT.
Porta has a BS in Education and Psychology from Western Connecticut State University and an MBA from University of Phoenix.
Prasanna Joshi, MS
SENIOR DATA ANALYST, NETWORK SYSTEMS
As Senior Data Analyst, Joshi works closely with the Data Scientist to gain actionable insights from data. He uses machine learning methods to highlight interesting patterns in the data that help decision making across the organization. He also uses statistical analysis techniques to help identify various process improvement opportunities
Joshi is experienced in Data Science, Process Improvement and Supply Chain Management and has applied his skills in industries such as Finance, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing and Technology. Joshi received his Master’s of Science in Operations Research from Northeastern University and his Bachelor’s in Production Engineering from Pune University.
Juan De Dios Infante
COORDINATOR, NETWORK SYSTEMS
As the Network Systems Coordinator, Infante supports the Network Systems department in the implementation and integration of a network-wide Electronic Health Record system.
An aspiring HIT professional with a background of over five years in a FQHC. He played a lead role in implementing new versions of Centricity’s Practice Solution at a Community Health Center based in East Harlem. Juan has done work with process improvement, form development, workflow revision, data reporting, and project management.
Infante is studying Computer Information Systems at Monroe College.
COORDINATOR, NETWORK SYSTEMS
As the Network Systems Coordinator, Gaita supports the Network Systems department in the implementation and integration of a network-wide Electronic Health Record system.
With 3 years of EMT experience under her belt, Gaita comes from a clinical background. She worked in the Emergency Room at Stamford Hospital where she assisted with various cases including traumas, PAMI/STEMIs, psych etc. Gaita later transitioned into a role working hand in hand with a Family Practice doctor prior to joining CVN. As a granddaughter of two veterans (Army and Navy) and a cousin of three Marines and an Airman, Gaita is extremely passionate about the CVN initiative.
Gaita attended Salisbury University where she received a degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Biology.
MANAGER, NETWORK SYSTEMS
As the Network Systems Manager, McCowen supports the Network Systems department in the implementation and integration of a network-wide Electronic Health Record system.
She brings previous experience from other health organizations such as project management, clinical research, quality improvement, and patient safety. Prior to joining CVN, McCowen gained experience at an array of hospitals such as Yale New Haven Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. She was also responsible for mastectomy product management in a boutique shop that provides care for breast cancer patients and survivors.
McCowen graduated from Providence College with a BS in Health Policy and Management and a minor in Business.
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
Nicole Meek serves as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator where she manages social platforms, designs creative collateral, and develops digital campaigns to connect military families to Cohen Clinics nationwide. Prior to joining the Central Office External Affairs Team, Meek led CVN Marketing and Communications strategy in Philadelphia at the Cohen Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania.
As the granddaughter of a Coast Guardsman, daughter of a Marine, and spouse to an active duty Airman, Meek is deeply committed to serving veterans, military spouses, and their families. She has worked with several other veteran service organizations and published research in the area of military family wellness during deployment.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona and completed a Communications Design Certificate at University of the Arts.
As Facilities Coordinator, Wallace supports the Operations Department with the management and maintenance of CVN’s national network of outpatient behavioral health clinics. He additionally works in conjunction with the Network Growth Department in identifying future clinic locations, and the Finance Department in the development of facility budgets.
Wallace joins CVN with prior experience in property management and construction. Most recently, while at PL Walman, he organized and managed project accounts and budgets. Prior to that he held an internship at Exeter Property Group where he worked alongside the acquisitions team and assisted property managers with daily operations and inspections.
He is a graduate of Connecticut College with a BA in Economics.
Chris Malvagna, M.B.A.
Coordinator, Communications & Marketing
As Coordinator of Communications & Marketing, Chris Malvagna is responsible for developing and maintaining Cohen Veterans Network internal and external brand and communications. He assists in and facilitates special projects, events, and pilot programs.
Prior to joining the CVN team, Malvagna worked in guest relations for the Ritz Carlton as well as freelance graphic illustration. As an Air Force Veteran, having served 4 years active duty, deploying multiple times to Africa and the Middle East, Malvagna possesses an intimate understanding of and passion for veterans’ care. He continues his service in the Air National Guard as a Security Forces member and Non-Commissioned Officer.
Malvagna received both his B.B.A. in Business Management and M.B.A. in Strategic Management from Pace University in New York.