I’ve been the Y’s social worker since September 2015. I have spent my entire social work career working with the older adult population. Recently, I realized (much to my chagrin), that I am now a member of that population. Yet, I appreciate the opportunity to meet and be of assistance to so many vibrant, active, and wise older adult peers who continue to contribute to my own personal growth. I had studied Clinical Pastoral Education for 2 years at the Health Care Chaplaincy in New York City to become a chaplain, but I knew in my heart I belonged in social work. I’m grateful for those 2 years, though, because the chaplaincy training came in handy for my later grief and bereavement work.
I’m a graduate of the School of Social Work at Hunter College, and part of my early career was spent at the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging. I worked for several years in their Adult Day Program with people who were experiencing various forms of dementia, and provided support for their families. I spent nine additional years training to develop more expertise in various aging issues, like depression, death and dying, grief, and bereavement. My next venture was as the Director of Social Services at Riverdale Senior Services for 12 happy years. Prior to joining the Y, I worked as the Director of Older Adult Services for Scarsdale-Edgemont Family Counseling Services. I’m a certified field instructor, and an experienced support group facilitator, having worked with family caregivers, paid caregivers, older adults and adult children in transition, developmentally disabled older adults, and with grief and bereavement issues.
I later became a fellow on the Project on Death in America through the Ehrenkranz School of Social Work at NYU. I’m Through my fellowship works, I’ve presented at many national and local aging conferences. One of the most satisfying aspects of my career is serving as a mentor to social work students.
My philosophy is, “I shall pass this way but once; any good that i can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” – Etienne Grellet, Quaker Missionary