Call us: 866.924.9543

Meet The Team

While all of our clients and their families work directly with one of our care managers, everyone benefits from the rich variety of expertise among the members of our team.

Your Elder Experts is made up of experienced medical social workers who have worked in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, and visiting nurse associations. We have expertise in mental health, family mediation, and community benefits and supports. Our program is part of JF&CS, a well-established human service agency with programs ranging from adoption and early childhood support to extensive programming for people with disabilities and those living with chronic illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Karen Wasserman, LICSW, Director

Karen WassermanBA, Brandeis University; MSW, Simmons College

Karen’s insight into the complicated medical, emotional, and logistical concerns around aging is respected throughout the profession. Karen founded the JF&CS Care Management program in 1999 and has managed its growth into one of the Boston area’s leading Care Management practices. She leads educational programs in the community about elder services, housing, and Care Management; is a nationally certified care manager (C-ASWCM); and is a member of NASW and both the national and New England chapters of ALCA.

Susan Bernat, LICSW, Care Manager, Associate Director

Susan BernatBA, Bucknell University; MSW, Columbia University

Before moving to Boston, Susan was Assistant Director of the Senior Adult Program at the 92nd Street Y in New York City and Assistant Director of Social Work for the New York League for the Hard of Hearing, developing skills in American Sign Language. Susan’s compassion and patience help her manage frail clients with empathy and skill. She is a nationally certified care manager (C-ASWCM) and is a member of NASW and both the national and New England chapters of ALCA.

Patti Fouhy, LICSW, Care Manager

Patti FouheyBA, Boston College; MSW, Salem State University

Patti received her MSW from Salem State University with a concentration in Older Adults and End of Life Care. Working with elders and advocating for their increased well-being and enhanced quality of life has been the focus of her work. Patti has co-facilitated a bereavement support group for young widows and presented a talk on “Communicating Bad News.” Patti previously worked in skilled nursing facilities, Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, and for several hospice organizations. She is a member of NASW.

Harriet Lazarus, LICSW, Care Manager

Harriet LazarusBA, Clark University; MSW, Simmons College

Harriet has worked with elders and families as both a nursing home mental health counselor and as a hospital social worker in facilities throughout Greater Boston. She has extensive clinical experience and worked privately for many years. Harriet’s earlier work in child welfare led her to become a trained mediator under the auspices of Mass Families for Kids and has since completed additional training in elder/family mediation. Both her patient and calm demeanor and depth of skill and experience in dealing with complicated issues make her an effective care manager. Harriet is a member of NASW and both the national and New England chapters of ALCA.

Gail Leichtman, MEd, LSW, Care Manager

Gail LeichtmanBA, Connecticut College; MEd, Harvard University

Gail enjoys helping elders who are in difficult situations and who have many needs. Her strong advocacy and energetic demeanor make her particularly well-suited for managing very complex cases. She sits on the Ethics Committee for Minuteman Senior Services, is a nationally certified care manager (CCM), and is a member of both the national and New England chapters of ALCA.

Pam McKee, LCSW, Case Manager, Low Income Specialist

Pam McKeeBA, MSW, University of Toronto

Pam has more than 15 years experience helping elders. Since moving to Boston, she has worked in assisted living communities, where she coordinated resident care and worked with the elderly and their families on issues related to dementia and end of life care. Pam managed a crisis intervention program for many years and worked with a diverse population, including individuals with disabilities and frail seniors with complex medical and psycho-social needs. Trained originally as a family therapist, Pam’s calm, thoughtful energy and her steadfast advocacy for her clients are ideally suited for helping our clients find the resources they need.

Joanne Peskowitz, LICSW, Care Manager

Joanna PeskowitzBA, SUNY Albany; MSW, Boston University

Joanne was a case manager for the ALS Association, has led expert trainings on both Alzheimer’s disease and domestic abuse in the elderly, and was a founding member of the LGBT Aging Project in Boston. She also has extensive experience in home care and leads caregiver support and bereavement groups. She is a nationally certified care manager (C-ASWCM) and is a member of NASW and both the national and New England chapters of ALCA.

Mary Ruhl, LCSW, Low Income Specialist

Mary RuhlBA, University of Rochester; MBA, Case Western Reserve University; MSW, Salem State University

Mary has been working with elders for years, first as a volunteer and then as a social worker. She received her MSW from Salem State University with a concentration in Older Adults and End of Life Care. While pursuing her MSW she worked at the Belmont Council on Aging and as a hospice volunteer at Hallmark VNA and Hospice. Prior to going back to school Mary volunteered at an adult day health center while working in her previous career as a software project manager. Mary is a member of NASW and the Massachusetts Aging and Mental Health Coalition.

Erin Whalen, CDP, Care Manager

Erin WhalenBA, Providence College

With more than 20 years of experience assisting elders and their families, Erin utilizes her expertise to advocate for solutions and steadfastly pursues quality of life for her clients. Erin’s diverse professional background includes experience in program development, research, family education, and professional training. In her role as a care manager, Erin has helped individuals dealing with the diverse needs associated with aging as well as complex medical issues. Her professional experience includes work with assisted living and long-term care communities as well as noted national organizations including the Alzheimer’s Association and the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Margie Altman, Associate Care Manager

Marjie AltmanBA, The Evergreen State College; EdM Harvard University

Margie Altman is an Executive Coach who partners with her clients to help them live their best life. Her interest in supporting seniors to do the same began when she took care of her own mother and experienced, firsthand, the importance of providing respectful, patient-centered care to each and every situation. As an Associate Care Manager, Margie brings her ability to easily connect with each client and to advocate on their behalf. She is able to shift gears quickly, allowing her to work successfully within the complexities and individuality of an elder’s life. She has a genuine interest in each client and is always available for a shared laugh.

Mary Lang, MFA, LSW, Associate Care Manager

Mary LangBA, Smith College; MFA, Pratt Institute

Mary is an artist and photographer who does associate level care management. She has studied and taught Buddhist meditation for more than 30 years. She teaches workshops and leads a support group on contemplative caregiving.

Marjorie Raskin, LICSW, Intake Coordinator and Care Manager

Marjorie RaskinBA, Bates College; MSW, Simmons College

For almost 30 years Marjorie’s social work experience has included work in home care, hospitals, and nursing homes in Greater Boston. For the past ten years, she has provided information and resources through CJP SeniorDirect, a service of JF&CS offering information and advice on all resources related to older adults. Marjorie’s experiences have given her an excellent sense of the challenges families face and the questions they have. Marjorie brings compassion and empathy to her clients as well as her expertise in identifying and utilizing beneficial community resources.

Begin the conversation with Your Elder Experts today. Contact us for more information at 866-924-9543 or email your questions via our contact us page.
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