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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Controller

Luis Contreras

Luis comes to CCHP with broad experience in all aspects of accounting, financial, administrative, technology and general operations. He is a foreign licensed CPA and working towards obtaining a New York State CPA license. Luis recently enrolled at Baruch College, working towards a second degree in Finance.

 
 
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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 

Kristina Eloi, MBA

Kristina is an accomplished human resources professional with a focus in human resources administration in the fields of education, social services, nonprofit, and healthcare. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and an MBA in Human Resources Management from La Sierra University and is a Certified Professional in Human Resources Kristina is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management - New York Chapter and the Association of Healthcare Human Resource Administrator of Greater New York.

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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

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 

Patricia McDarby, RN, FNP

Patricia graduated from Pace University with an undergraduate and graduate degree in nursing science. She possesses both an RN and advanced practice nursing license. Patricia has dedicated her nursing career to ambulatory care, including family practice, occupational health, university health services and public health nursing. Before coming to CCHP, she served as nurse manager in community health clinics that shared her passion for providing comprehensive high quality primary health care to low income, uninsured and underinsured individuals.

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Program Supervisor - FESP 

Audrey Sheridan, LCSW

Audrey has worked in various capacities in FESP. First as a Senior Counselor, HIV Case Supervisor and now Program Supervisor. Audrey received her Bachelor's Degree at SUNY New Paltz with a major in Psychology and a double minor in Disaster Mental Health and Evolutionary Studies. She went on to complete her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Hunter College. Prior to CCHP, she worked for an ACT team providing psychotherapy and case management and spent a year in Guatemala working with people in indigenous communities. She is fluent in Spanish.

 
 
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Clinical Supervisor - FESP 

Beth Shuzman, LCSW, CASAC

Beth is a clinical social worker, who first came to CCHP as a Senior Counselor working with clients through individual and group therapy. She earned her CASAC and specializes in addictions therapy. Beth received her undergraduate degree at Boston University and her Master’s in Social Work from Hunter College.

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Program Supervisor - 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 Supervisor - ECP

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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Program Supervisor - MAP

 

Carol Bartos, LCSW, MPH

Carol worked at CCHP from 199 to 2005 8 as a Senior Counselor in the ECP and PAAM programs. She returned after working at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, and at ARTC (now START Treatment and Recovery Centers), in a variety of roles. Carol received a  Master of Science degree in Clinical Social Work and a Master’s in Public Health in the Department of Population and Family Health, which focuses on underserved populations.

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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.

 
 
 

Board of directors

 
 

Board Chair  

Miki Kapoor, MBA, MPH, President, Everyday Health and CEO, Tea Leaves 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 of Everyday Health (NYSE: EVDY) and CEO of Tea Leaves Health, companies with software-as-a-service information technology and analytics platforms. 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.

 

Board Treasurer 

Robert Mercurio, Esq., Partner, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP

Robert D. Mercurio is a graduate of Bowdoin College and Columbia University School of Law and has been practicing law in New York since 1973.  Bob has spent his entire career as a litigator at one firm (and its predecessors), Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP.  His practice has been primarily in the area of complex commercial litigation, responsible for trial and appellate matters throughout the United States in  claims alleging unfair business practices, breach of contract, wrongful termination of employment, product liability and insurance coverage as well as claims arising from the administration of trusts and estates.  Bob also has considerable experience in financial institution employment issues.  He was awarded the Thurgood Marshall Award by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York for his pro bono representation of a prisoner on death row in Alabama. Bob joined the CCHP board in 2011 and was elected to Treasurer of the board in 2016.

 

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 and Behavioral Medicine at the Institute for Advanced Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital

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.

 

Lane Tobias, MPA, Executive Director of Juvenile Justice Planning and Policy, NYC Administration for Children Services

 
 

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

Lane Tobias is the Executive Director of Juvenile Justice Planning and Policy in the Office of Planning, Policy, and Performance (OPPP) at the New York City Administration for Children Services. Prior to this appointment, Lane served as the Director of Planning and Policy. Lane began his career as a community organizer with the Harlem Children’s Zone, and has over 10 years of experience leveraging stakeholder partnerships and fostering a collaborative approach to system transformation. He is deeply committed to improving outcomes for justice-involved youth and ensuring they are afforded the opportunity to become community leaders later in life. Lane holds a Bachelor of Science from Ithaca College and a Master of Public Administration from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.

essica 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

She 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.

Pamela Mahmud, MD, Family Practitioner

Pamela joined CCHP in 2015. She graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana in the Dominican Republic in 2001 and completed her residency at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Mahmud is board certified in Family Medicine and has a special interest in Primary Care. Dr.Mahmud is bilingual in English/Spanish.

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.

 

Leslie Stone, MD, Family Practitioner

Leslie came to CCHP in 2014. He graduated from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2007 and completed his residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest Family Medicine. Dr. Stone is board certified in Family Medicine and has a special interest in Public Health, Preventative Care and Chronic Disease Management.

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.

Sandra Blakney, MD, Psychiatrist

Sandra joined CCHP in 2014 as a Psychiatrist. She graduated from the Drexel University School of Medicine in 1984, where she also completed her residency in General Psychiatry. Dr. Blakney has a special interest in working with woman with trauma and life transition issues.

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.