Founder and President of Fealgood Foundation
John Feal founded the Fealgood Foundation was founded in the wake of 9/11. The foundation assists First Responders and other people who have been physically or mentally injured as a result of their rescue, recovery and clean up efforts at the WTC site after 9/11. FealGood Foundation (FGF) advocates for First Responder rights.
John Feal and FGF provide financial assistance, medical and legal contacts, and other advocacy needs.
Adrienne Fessler Belli, Ph.D., LCSW
Director, Disaster & Terrorism Branch
NJ Division of Mental Health Services
Dr. Adrienne Fessler Belli joined the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), Department of Human Services, as a Disaster Field Operations Supervisor in 2001, to staff New Jersey's FEMA funded mental health response to the events of September 11th. In this capacity she was a Team Leader for services provided to those affected by the disaster.
She subsequently became Deputy Director of the then recently formed Disaster and Terrorism Branch and was eventually appointed as Director in charge of overseeing and coordinating disaster behavioral health preparedness, response and recovery efforts statewide. She has managed several disasters, including Tropical Storm Irene and Superstorm Sandy, and oversees a program that certifies human services professionals in preparation for disaster response.
Her background includes 30 years of providing health and trauma related mental health services. Prior to joining the Division, Dr. Fessler Belli held the position as the first Traumatic Loss Coalition Coordinator at the Mercer County Office of Mental Health Services. She holds a license in clinical social work and Masters of Social Work from Rutgers University and Ph.D. in Psychology from Walden University.
Mary Fetchet, LCSW
Founding Director, Voices of September 11th (VOICES)
Mary Fetchet is the driving force behind Voices of September 11th (VOICES), an organization she co-founded in 2001 following the death of her 24 year old son Brad at the World Trade Center. Her unique background as a mother of a victim, along with 20 years of expertise as a clinical social worker, shaped VOICES creation of a new paradigm in providing long-term support services.
Using social work practices, she guided the development of programs that provide continuity of care and promote resiliency in the lives of victims' families and survivors. As a family member, she was instrumental in campaigning for the creation of the 9/11 Commission and the implementation of reforms based on their recommendations. Under her leadership, VOICES also created the Living Memorial project, an online digital archive of 70,000 photos and personal keepsakes, which is also a core component of the In Memoriam exhibit at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.
Today, Ms. Fetchet is dedicated to establishing VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience to help communities heal after other acts of mass violence or natural disasters. An expert on the long-term needs of victims and survivors, mental health care, preparedness, and national security reforms, she has made hundreds of appearances on national television and at conferences in the U.S. and abroad, and contributes regularly to print and radio.
Bonnie Gordic, Psy.D
Mental Health Director
Rutgers World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center of Excellence
Dr. Bonnie Gordic is the Mental Health Director at the Rutgers World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center of Excellence (WTC CCE). Dr. Gordic's primary interests include the treatment of trauma, community based mental health, mental health policy, and health psychology.
She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University and holds a Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown. Prior to joining Rutgers WTC CCE, Dr. Gordic worked and trained in inpatient, partial hospital, outpatient and community based settings in New York and New Jersey.
Lori A. Harris, MSW, LSW
Voices of September 11th
Ms. Harris joined VOICES as Program Director in the New Brunswick, NJ office in October 2015. VOICES New Jersey office works collaboratively with the New Canaan office to provide case management services for 9/11 families, survivors, and first responders. In addition to ongoing direct support of those impacted by 9/11, Ms. Harris focuses on building collaborative relationships in New Jersey and expanding social service outreach and educational programs.
Ms. Harris holds a Master's degree in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University. Her clinical experience includes victim advocacy and outreach, substance abuse recovery, and community mental health. She has received advanced training and certifications in the areas of trauma/PTSD, disaster response crisis counseling, grief, sexual assault victim advocacy, and family systems theory. She has an extensive background in social services and not-for-profit management, most notably working in the very early days of the 9/11 response as the first staff member of The September 11th Fund (The Fund). The Fund was created by the New York Community Trust and the United Way of New York City and operated until 2004. The Fund collected $534 million from more than two million donors and distributed a total of 559 grants totaling $528 million. Grants from The Fund provided cash assistance, counseling and other services to the families of those killed in the 9/11 attacks and included the injured and those displaced from their homes or jobs.
A lifelong New Jersey resident, Lori also volunteers as a group facilitator at Imagine NJ, A Center for Coping with Loss.
Monica J. Indart, Psy.D.
Assistant Professor, Rutgers University Graduate School
of Applied and Professional Psychology
Monica Indart is a licensed clinical psychologist who provides an array of clinical and consulting services for crisis, disaster and trauma-related issues. She helped establish and served as co-director of Medecins Sans Frontieres' (Doctors Without Borders) Psychosocial Care Unit, a specialized unit providing support and consultation to humanitarian aid workers.
Dr. Indart has provided consultation, program development, and evaluation, and professional training to the United Nations Secretariat, UNDP, and UNICEF in areas of crisis and trauma response, peer support, staff care and emergency preparedness.. Dr. Indart worked for the New Jersey Disaster and Terrorism Branch from 2001 to 2010; her work included the 9/11 FEMA-funded crisis counseling program, where she specialized in organizing and providing services to immigrant and hard to reach communities. Dr. Indart has volunteered with HealthRight International's Human Rights Clinic since 2002, providing psychological evaluations for asylum seekers, as well as program development, consultation and training services. She has developed and delivered a training for mental health providers in the Ukraine on best practices in survivors of torture treatment services, and has provided consultation to a Syrian medical team developing mental health and psychosocial support services for refugees in southern Turkey. She maintains a private practice, specializing in the treatment of severe trauma, grief and loss, including survivors of torture, suicide and homicide. She has been an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University for the past fifteen years, and is a graduate of that program, earning her Psy.D. in clinical psychology in 1994.
Voices of September 11th
Stephanie joined VOICES in 2007 and is currently the Project Manager and Outreach Coordinator for the CDC World Trade Center Health Program. In her role she coordinates our outreach program and assists responders and survivors in applying for medical and mental health treatment.
For almost a decade, Stephanie has worked on a variety of projects with the 9/11 community of families, responders and survivors, providing case management services, conducting 9/11 Living Memorial workshops and planning the September 10 Annual Information Forum and other special events.
J. Barry Mascari , Ed.D., LPC, LCADC, DRCC
Associate Professor and Chair, Counselor Education Department
Nathan Weiss Graduate College, Kean University
Dr. Mascari is Chair of the Counselor Education Department at Kean University in Union, NJ and is a New Jersey LPC and LCADC and is a NJ certified Disaster Response Crisis Counselor. Mascari has over 30 years of counseling-related experience in schools and outpatient treatment. He was a member and Chair of the NJ counselor licensing board for 10 years and a former President of the American Association of State Counseling Boards (AASCB), NJ Counseling Association, and NJ Mental Health Counselors Association.
He was among the founders of the New Jersey Council on Divorce and Family Mediation, co-authoring one of the seminal works in family mediation. He has appeared on radio and television, including the Sally Show and Soap Talk, as well as 48 Hours on Crack Street and Straight Talk, and a WNET special Teens in Turmoil and numerous other publications and presentations too many to name. He received his Ed.D. from Argosy University-Sarasota, Florida in Counseling Education and Supervision, and an M.S. in Counseling from the University of Bridgeport. More information can be found at: www.kean.edu/~jmascari.
Connie Palmer, LCSW
Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss
Connie Palmer is a licensed clinical social worker who is an experienced teacher, therapist and school counselor with more than thirty years of experience working with youth and their families.
She is currently the Clinical/Training Director for Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss in Westfield, NJ. She presents seminars on various topics such as: grief and loss, resilience, shame, parenting, anti-bullying, depression and anxiety.
Megan Sullivan, MEd, LPC, LCADC
Disaster and Terrorism Branch, NJ Division of Mental Health Services
Ms. Sullivan is a psychotherapist with a private practice in Metuchen, New Jersey. She developed two programs during her tenure in the counseling field – WTC: NJ Recovers, a statewide program to help individuals affected by the 9-11 tragedy struggling with substance abuse and post-traumatic stress issues and ADAPT, a partial day care program for severely and persistently mentally ill patients.
Ms. Sullivan was also one of the pioneers of the WorkFirst NJ Substance Abuse Initiative with the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, the statewide response to welfare reform that began in 1997. In this capacity she assessed and managed treatment for hundreds of clients moving from welfare to work by helping them through substance abuse issues and their transition into the workforce.
Ms. Sullivan is a certified Disaster Response Crisis Counselor, trained in the FEMA and Red Cross models and is currently a part of the Division of Mental Health and Addictions' Disaster and Terrorism Branch that develops contingency planning for the public's mental health needs surrounding various types of emergencies. She serves on the Operations Board of the Disaster Response Crisis Counselor Certification and is one of the trainers for the DRCC curriculum. Ms. Sullivan is a graduate of Villanova University and holds a Masters of Education in Counseling Psychology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She has also trained in marital and family counseling at The Center for Family, Community and Social Justice in Princeton, NJ.
Priyanka Upadhyaya Psy.D
Clinical psychologist/Clinical instructor
World Trade Center Environmental Health Center - Bellevue Hospital
Dr. Priyanka Upadhyaya is a clinical psychologist at the World trade center environmental health center at Bellevue hospital which is one of three clinical centers of excellence dedicated to the integrated assessment and treatment of individuals who were present in the New York city disaster area.
Dr. Upadhyaya provides individual, group psychotherapy, mentors and supervises social workers and doctoral psychology students. She presents on various aspects of trauma informed care at case conferences and seminars, conducts community outreach workshops and in house staff training and education workshops. Dr. Upadhyaya is also part of initiatives to transmit health messages across the survivor and responder population through social media and online newsletters and participates in department wide research initiatives. Her interests and areas of expertise include evidenced based treatment of trauma, mindfulness and meditation, reducing barriers to mental healthcare, post traumatic growth and resilience.
Ken A. Verni, Psy.D
NJ Center for Mindful Awareness
Dr. Ken A. Verni is a Clinical Psychologist and Director of the NJ Center for Mindful Awareness (www.mindfulawarenessnj.com). Dr. Verni's professional work for the past 20 years has been directed towards helping individuals access and use their inner wisdom as a means to experience greater balance and fulfillment in their lives. A long time student and practitioner of mindfulness meditation, Dr. Verni originally trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn from the Center for Mindfulness at Umass in 2006 and he continues to participate in the advanced trainings and supervision offered at Umass for experienced MBSR teachers.
He facilitates time-limited courses in MBSR in private, corporate and clinical settings. He has taught MBSR programs for the United Nations Headquarters in NYC, Google employees at their NYC office and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Dr. Verni received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. He is also affiliated with Rutgers University as a training and consultation specialist providing trainings throughout the state of NJ on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction(MBSR). He currently maintains a private practice in Highland Park providing psychotherapy services to adolescents and adults, as well as mindfulness-based stress reduction programs.
Jane Webber, Ph.D., LPC, DRCC
Lecturer, Counselor Education Department
Nathan Weiss Graduate College, Kean University
Dr. Webber is a Lecturer in the Counselor Education Department at Kean University, Union, NJ and a NJ Licensed Professional Counselor. She is also a NJ certified Disaster Response Crisis Counselor. Dr. Webber was a member of the American Counseling Associaton Task Force for Crisis Response Planning and served on the Advisory Committee for Emergency Preparedness for the 2009 CACREP Standards.
She has written numerous articles and chapters, and co-authored the chapter Healing Trauma Through Humanistic Connection, in the award-winning book Humanistic Perspectives on Contemporary Counseling Issues. She co-edited the ACA Foundation publication, Terrorism, Trauma, and Tragedies: A Counselor's Guide to Preparing and Responding from its beginning after 9/11, and a soon to be published Journal of Counseling & Development (JCD) article analyzing the publication (or lack) of articles on trauma and disaster in counseling journals. She is Guest Editor of the JCD Special Section on Traumatology. Dr. Webber has served as Chair of the ACA Foundation, North Atlantic Region, International Committee, Human Rights Committee, Public Awareness and Support Committee, and President of the NJ Counseling Association. Jane is frequently interviewed on disaster and trauma issues, including National Public Radio and Counseling Today Online. She received the Ph.D. from Seton Hall University, the M.Ed. from The Pennsylvania State University, and the BA from Manhattanville College.
Chauntel Wright, M.P.H., C.H.E.S.
Outreach/Member Services Coordinator
World Trade Center Health Program at Rutgers/EOHSI
Chauntel Wright, M.P.H., C.H.E.S. is the Outreach/Member Services Coordinator for the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program located at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) and Rutgers University. She is responsible, but not limited to, providing benefits counseling to patients; attending outreach opportunities to raise awareness about the WTC Health Program; restructuring the outreach and patient care procedures; and connecting patients to community and state benefits/services.
Prior to joining the WTC Health Program Team, Chauntel was the program coordinator for a non-profit organization that focused on substance abuse prevention for Veterans and Military Families in Putnam County, New York. During this time, Ms. Wright earned a Master Degree in Public Health with a concentration in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion from New York Medical College as well as her Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Health Education certificates. In 2011, she earned her undergraduate dual degree in Public Health and Women and Gender Studies from Rutgers University.
Simultaneously, in her spare time, Chauntel is a community outreach and program development consultant; helping organizations reach target populations and develop various programs. She is also a volunteer for the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps, which is an organization that responds to public health emergencies throughout the state of New Jersey.