about us

 
 
 

who we are

Located in East Harlem, the Center for Comprehensive Health Practice (CCHP) integrates high quality primary care, substance use treatment, behavioral health and supportive services all under one roof, in order to provide family-focused, affordable, community healthcare.

At CCHP, we are “your family’s home for a lifetime of care.” We believe in comprehensive family-focused care as an invaluable tool in improving the health and well-being of our patients.

 

Our Vision

That individuals and families residing in and around East Harlem will maintain overall health and well-being through high quality medical care integrated with behavioral health services.

 

Our Mission

The Center for Comprehensive Health Practice, Inc. (CCHP) will provide accessible community-based treatment that integrates primary health care with substance use and behavioral health services for all children, adolescents, adults and families residing in East Harlem and the greater New York Community.  Our approach creates a lasting health-care partnership between patients, families and professionals.

Our values

 
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our history

Leading the way in community mental health treatment, Dr. Richard Brotman founded the Center for Comprehensive Health Practice (CCHP) in 1960. Following the passage of the Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963, CCHP staff established the Division of Community Mental Health at New York Medical College, and played a crucial role in the development of the nation’s first federally funded community mental health center at Metropolitan Hospital Center.

From its very beginning, CCHP carried out cutting-edge research in substance use treatment, primary care and supportive services. Beginning in the 1970’s, CCHP incorporated interdisciplinary primary care into its model, with physicians and clinicians from multiple disciplines working side-by-side to address both the medical and psychosocial issues affecting each person. Through this model, our providers and counselors recognized the importance of case management needs, such as vocational services to enhance successful substance use treatment and integrated these services into our treatment model.

In 1990, CCHP was incorporated as a separate not-for-profit community health center currently located within Metropolitan Hospital Center.

 

Our Approach to Care

To best serve our patients, we use a community health, team-based approach to provide individuals and families with an array of specialty services. Our extensive team of social workers, pediatricians, nurses, internists, family practitioners, psychiatrists, playroom teachers and vocational counselor all work together to address the physical, emotional and social needs of our patients and their families.

 

access

Our services are available to anyone regardless of one’s race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or ability to pay. We gladly accept Medicaid, Medicare and most private insurances. We also offer an income-based sliding scale.

From its very beginning, CCHP carried out cutting-edge research in substance use treatment, primary care and supportive services.
 
 

Our team

 
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Chief Executive Officer

Susan M. Ohanesian, ACSW, LCSW-R, CASAC

 

Susan joined CCHP as our Chief Executive Officer in 2016. Before she came to CCHP, Susan worked at Palladia one of the largest nonprofit, multi-service agencies in New York City, as Vice President of Residential Services. She spearheaded the organization’s first Department of Social Services, launched a homeless shelter program, and grew it from none to five separate shelter operations. She also designed the first outpatient drug treatment program that became one of the main pillars in the agency. She has served as the Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Daytop Village and the Deputy Director for Mental Health and Substance Use Services at the Guidance Center of Westchester.

Susan has a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, a BA from University of Connecticut, and post-graduate certificate in Social Work Administration from Hunter College. Susan is a published author who has delivered dozens of presentations involving women’s issues, substance abuse, psychiatric and addictive disorders, homeless concerns, therapeutic community matters, and aftercare planning and treatment. She was recognized by the New York State Association of Substance Abuse Providers with the Women’s Leadership Award in 2009 for “exceptional accomplishments as a premier leader in New York State and nationally on behalf of chemical dependency programs.”

 
 
 
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Chief Medical Officer 

Mariely Fernandez, MD

Dr. Fernandez graduated from the Ross University School of Medicine in 2003 and completed her residency at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center.  In 2007, she completed her Pediatric Residency at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY, serving as Chief Resident in her final year. Following her training, she joined CCHP and became our Chief Medical Officer in 2012.She is board certified in Pediatrics and Addiction Medicine. She has a special interest in childhood obesity and community pediatrics. Dr. Fernandez is bilingual in English/Spanish.

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Chief operating Officer 

Annie Mendelsohn, LCSW

Annie has been in the field of behavioral health for almost 20 years. She served as the Chief Operating Officer, Site Administrator, Clinical Supervisor and an intake coordinator, as well as provided group, family and individual therapy at CCHP for the past 15 years. Prior to joining CCHP, she was a forensic interviewer for victims of childhood sexual abuse. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill and specializes in substance abuse, mood disorders, PTSD, and trauma.

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Chief financial officer

Thomas Nicolich

 

  

 
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Director of Development & Communications

Michelle Gadot, MS

Michelle came to CCHP after receiving her Master's in Urban Policy Analysis and Management, from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at the New School. She has over ten years of experience in development, communications and program management working in the nonprofit health sector. Prior to joining CCHP, Michelle obtained experience in community health while working at the William F. Ryan Community Health Network in New York as a Planning Associate and Program/Community Relations Coordinator.

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Director of Human Resources 

Danielle Nembhard

Danielle Nembhard serves as CCHP Human Resource Director. Danielle is a United States Navy Veteran with over twelve years in the Human Resources field. Ms. Nembhard brings expertise in compliance, diversity, reward and recognition, talent acquisition management, employee and labor relations, information systems and organizational and professional development to help CCHP grow and thrive.

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Director of ECDC

Thea Obstler

Thea first came to the Early Childhood Education Center at CCHP, shortly after having her first child in 1997. She then trained to become a parent educator and has been teaching ECDC classes since 2005. Thea went on to become the ECDC director in 2017. She has a BA from Colorado College and a graduate degree in business from the Thunderbird School of International Management. Prior to working at CCHP, Thea worked in International Advertising including stints in Frankfurt, Germany and London, England.

 
 
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associate director of operations

Perly Moise

Before Perly came to CCHP, he worked as a Contract Coordinator for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. He has a bachelor’s degree in business, management, and finance from Brooklyn College.

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Nursing Director 

Alex Katsevman, RN

Alexander joined CCHP in 2018 as the Nursing Director, focusing on the PCMH transformation and quality. Prior to CCHP, Alex worked for Village Care of New York as the DSRIP RN Supervisor. He worked with large PPS’ towards efforts in reducing hospitalizations and costly ED visits. Alex also has inpatient experience at skilled nursing facilities as a Unit Director. He graduated from CUNY’s Hunter and Kingsborough colleges. He possesses a degree in Nursing as well as an undergraduate degree in Psychology.

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Site Director - MMTP  

 Rachel Heyman, LCSW

Rachel joined CCHP in 2008 as a Senior Counselor. She has since been an Intake Coordinator, a Program Supervisor and is now the Site Administrator for the the Methadone Maintenance Treatment Programs. Rachel specializes in addiction services, mood disorders, and children and adolescents. She received her undergraduate degree at Binghamton University's School of Education and Human Development and her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice.


 

  


 
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Program Manager, FESP

James McBride, LCSW

James is a clinical social worker who specializes in addictions and trauma. He joined CCHP as a FESP counselor working with clients through individual and group therapy, then became Program Supervisor, and is now our Program Manager for the Family and Employment Services Program. He earned a Master's of Social Work from Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work.

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Program manager - PAAM  

Liliana Villar-Durrani, LCSW-R, CASAC

Liliana first came to CCHP in 1997. She has over 26 years’ experience working as a substance use specialist. She has a Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University, and is a certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor. She was also a clinical psychologist in her native country, Peru, before coming to CCHP.

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Program manager - ECP/map

Robin Mitchell, CASAC, MS

Robin has worked in methadone maintenance for over 10 years, with experience in counseling and program management. She worked at Lafayette Medical Approachbefore coming to CCHP. Robin has her CASAC, along with a Master’s in Education from CUNY, Staten Island and Master’s of International and Intercultural Management from the School for International Training in Vermont.

 
 
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Nursing Supervisor, MMTP

Yvonne Green, RN, MPA

Yvonne joined the CCHP team in March 2018. Yvonne has worked in the field of Mental/ behavioral health for over 15 years. For 10 years, she served as the Site Director at Einstein/Montefiore Division of Substance Abuse MMTP. In 2016, she became the Supervisor of Nursing at The New Jewish Home Lifecare. Yvonne earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lehigh University and a graduate’s degree in Public Administration from Metropolitan College of New York.

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Manager of Billing & Reimbursement

Violet Stern

Violet comes to CCHP with experience in billing and collections, specifically in outpatient treatment programs. She has a degree in Liberal Arts from Staten Island College.

 
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Program Supervisor - ecp/map 

Jasmine Williams, LMSW, CASAC-T

Jasmine started working at CCHP as a MAP counselor in 2017. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology at City College and obtained her Master's degree in social work at The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Jasmine has also obtained her CASAC-T with the goal of obtaining her CASAC in the near future.  Prior to working at CCHP, she has worked with children and families as well as patients with mental illness and substance use disorders. During her time at CCHP, Jasmine has been promoted to MAP/ECP lead counselor and is now the MAP/ECP Supervisor.

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Program Supervisor, FESP

Julia Jarrold, LCSW

Julia came to CCHP in 2015. She previously worked as a Counselor and Lead Counselor on the FESP Team. Julia received her undergraduate degree at Hamilton College and her Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University.

 
 
 

Board of directors

 
 

Board Chair  

Miki Kapoor, MBA, MPH, President & CEO, Verana Health

 

Miki Kapoor is an operational executive with twenty years of exclusively healthcare experience. He has a fifteen-year history of scaling businesses through building high-performing management teams, knowing the realities of healthcare intimately, and creating a culture of results. He is currently President & CEO of Verana Health, the developer of a cutting-edge platform for life science innovation that utilizes regulatory-grade specialty data sets . Mr. Kapoor has also previously served as the Global Head of both Strategy and the Global Payer / Provider Division at IMS Health, Senior Expert for McKinsey & Company, the Global Head of Health Systems at the Clinton Foundation, and a senior investment banker in the healthcare industry.  He has an MBA and MPH from Yale University, is a Fulbright Fellow, and serves on the boards of several healthcare organizations.

 

Secretary

Sara Stone, Freelance Retail Design Projects

Sara Stone is an artist and designer. She has been a long standing community volunteer and leader, with experience in communications, program development and fundraising. Her dedication includes working with The New York Junior League (NYJL), MOMA, The Museum of Art & Design, Lacoste School of the Arts in France, St. Luke’s School, Catskill Mountains Junior Golf, and a fire department auxiliary in the Catskills. At the NYJL, where Sara has volunteered for over 20 years, she chaired and co-chaired multiple committees and served on the board as a manager and vice president.  It was her involvement with NYJL that led Sara to CCHP, when she was asked to chair a committee to work with our Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC).  Several years later, Sara herself joined ECDC with her son. She is also a director of The Stone Family Foundation.

 
 

Hansel Arroyo, MD, Director of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine, Institute for Advanced Medicine & Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital


 

Ben Kusmin, Esq, Associate, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP

Dr. Hansel Arroyo concluded his training in psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital while concluding a psychoanalytic fellowship at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. He concluded his fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine at The Mount Sinai Hospital, where he specialized in the treatment of patients with chronic medical conditions and HIV/AIDS. Dr. Arroyo’s career has focused on providing mental health services to under-served and marginalized populations. He is the Director of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Institute for Advanced Medicine, Director of the Transgender Psychiatry Fellowship and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Arroyo is board certified in Psychosomatic Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology.

 

Ben Kusmin is an attorney, practicing commercial litigation at Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP in New York City.  He handles complex breach of contract cases involving intellectual property license agreements, and is an adjunct faculty member at Brooklyn Law School.  Earlier in his legal career, Ben gained substantial experience representing homeless families and criminal defendants in pro bono matters. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ben worked as a mechanical engineer and lived in Istanbul, Turkey for a number of years.  Ben graduated from Johns Hopkins University and Boston University School of Law

 
 

Donna Lazarus, Esq, Special Counsel, Associate Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Donna Lazarus is an attorney practicing in the areas of employment law and education law.  She is a Special Counsel at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP where she has worked for over a decade.  She handles employment discrimination , harassment, and employment-related policies for corporate and other clients.  She also works with a broad range of educational institutions, specializing in independent schools, advising them on a variety of legal matters including board liability, student discipline, learning and other disabilities, admissions, contract, and litigation issues.  Donna is a graduate of Binghamton University and New York University School of Law. 

 
 

Andre Nelson, MPA, Project Manager, Division of Community & Population Health, New York-Presbyterian Hospital



 

Jessica Wurwarg, MS, Director of Energy Management and Sustainability, NYC Department of Transportation

Andre Nelson is a Project Manager within the Division of Community & Population Health, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH).  He has been with NYPH for 7 years, and additionally has served as an Analyst within the IT and Finance areas.  His experience in these positions and the NYPH system have given him a broad understanding of healthcare.  Prior to making a career switch to Healthcare, Andre served as a Financial Services Analyst for various Financial Institutions on Wall Street.  Andre holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Marketing from Drexel University, as well as, a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on Healthcare Administration from Pace University. Andre is strongly focused on positively changing healthcare outcomes for the most underserved communities in NYC; and as a (former) longtime resident of East Harlem, he is insistent on helping his community improve their quality of life through improving healthcare policies and stronger community advocacy.

 

Jessica Wurwarg is the Director of Energy Management and Sustainability, at the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), leading the agency’s sustainability and greenhouse gas reducing programs.  She teaches about international food and water policy and urbanization at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs.  With a background in practice and research in urban policy and planning, focusing on food and sustainability, she worked as Managing Director of the Food Policy Center at Hunter College's School of Public Health; Chief of Staff of External Affairs at DOT; Urban Planner at the World Bank, working on sustainable urban development; and in a number of areas at NYC's Department of Housing Preservation and Development including disaster recovery and resiliency, affordable housing development and food policy. In 2016 Jessica received the McCloy Fellowship on Global Trends through the American Council on Germany and visited Germany looking at urban policies on sustainability.  Originally from New York, Jessica has a Masters from the London School of Economics’ Cities Programme and a Bachelor’s degree, with Honors, from Brown University. She also teaches classes about cheese and wine

 

Providers

 

The following information will help you select your preferred healthcare provider at CCHP. We practice together to provide a wide range of health care services for children and adults. Please see call the Front Desk at 212.360.7893  if you have any questions or would like to switch providers.

 
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Mariely Fernandez, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Fernandez has been at CCHP since 2007. Dr. Fernandez graduated from the Ross University School of Medicine in 2003 and completed her residency at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Addiction Medicine. She has a special interest in childhood obesity and community pediatrics. Dr. Fernandez is bilingual in English/Spanish.

Sharon Chu, MD, MPA, Family Practitioner

Sharon came to CCHP in 2018. She graduated from SUNY Downstate Medical Center with her medical degree and masters in public health. She completed her residency training at Lancaster General Health in Lancaster, PA. She is board certified in Family Medicine. She is also certified as a HIV specialist by the American Academy of HIV Medicine. She has a special interest in HIV care and prevention, family and maternal health, preventive medicine, and addressing health disparity. She is multilingual in Urdu, Hindi, Spanish and English. 

Anna Renkiewicz, MD Internist

Anna came to CCHP in 2012. She graduated from the Medical University of Gdansk in Poland in 2003 and completed her residency at Lutheran Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Renkiewicz is board certified in Internal Medicine and has a special interest in Hepatitis C, Addiction Medicine, neurophysiology of addiction and holistic medicine. Dr. Renkiewicz is bilingual in English/Polish.

 

Jozefa Cheman, APRN, FNP-C, Family Nurse Practitioner

Jozefa is originally from Buffalo, New York and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University at Buffalo School of Nursing. She came to CCHP over 8 years ago as CCHP's Nursing Director and HIV Care Coordinator. She started started a few core programs at CCHP including its Diabetes Prevention Program and the Hepatitis C Treatment Program. In 2018, Jozefa graduated from George Washington University with high honors and joined our provider team as a Nurse Practitioner.   

Rahel Eyassu, MD, Internist

Rahel joined CCHP in 2014. She graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1996, where she also completed her residency. She has a special interest and is board ccrtified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Eyassu is bilingual in English/Amharic.

Aurora Amurao, MD, Pediatrician

Aurora joined CCHP in 1993. She received her medical degree from Far Eastern University in Manilla, Philippines in 1974 and completed her residency in Pediatrics at Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center in the Bronx in 1989. Dr. Amurao is bilingual in English/Tagalog.

 

Lorraine Tosiello, MD,  HIV Specialist

Lorraine came to CCHP in 2008. She graduated from New York Downstate Medical Center in 1981 and completed her residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Tosiello is board certified in Internal Medicine. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a certified HIV provider by the American Academy of HIV Medicine.

Darryl Smith, MD, Psychiatrist

Darryl came to CCHP in 2017 as a Psychiatrist. He went to Duke University and graduated from Michigan State University in 2008 with a medical degree. Dr. Smith completed his residency at Howard University and received a child fellowship from Harvard University - Boston Children’s Hospital. He is board certified in General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He has a special interest in Autism and processes involved in learning. Dr. Smith is bilingual in English/Spanish.