Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Masterlinks
You are here: Home Mental Health Services Corps Staff
 

Staff

Director
Sonali "Allie" Sharma, MD, MSC

Dr. Sharma is excited to be a part of this innovative and ground-breaking public mental health approach to strengthening the mental health workforce and increasing access to care. As Director of the Mental Health Service Corps since March 1, 2016, Dr. Sharma is responsible for management and oversight of all MHSC activities, both clinical and operational. This role is a culmination of her experiences to date - Dr. Sharma is an adult clinical psychiatrist with expertise in clinical and public psychiatry, public health and programming, & global mental health work as it pertains to the integration of mental health in primary care. Prior to joining MHSC, Dr. Sharma ran a collaborative care program in the Bronx, was Deputy Director and Director of Psychiatric Emergency Services at Lincoln Hospital's Department of Psychiatry and was working in Global Mental Health and responsible at the country level for integration of mental health into primary care. Dr. Sharma's passion and direction has been to serve resource poor settings and high need communities. She is a World Health Organization (WHO) Trainer and consultant.

Dr. Sharma completed her Psychiatry Residency Training at Payne Whitney Clinic at Weill Cornell - NYPH, her Psychiatry internship at UCSF and her medical degree from Weill Cornell College of Medicine. Dr. Sharma holds a Master's Degree in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Economics from UNC-Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she loves to travel, cook, learn languages and spend time with her (adorable) 10month old son, husband and friends.


Acting Medical Director
J. Rebecca Weis, MD

Dr. Weis initially joined the Mental Health Service Corps/ThriveNYC as a Consulting Psychiatrist in Early Childhood Mental Health in June 2016. In that role, she has worked with a variety of ThriveNYC initiatives focused on early childhood and maternal mental health. With MHSC, she has worked in planning and implementation of the pediatric branch. Currently, Dr. Weis is honored to also be serving as the Acting Medical Director for MHSC, overseeing clinical aspects of this innovative program dedicated to expanding access to mental health care for New Yorkers in need throughout the city. Prior to this, she was an attending psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital and on faculty in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. While at Bellevue, she held clinical leadership positions including most recently as the Director of Early Childhood Mental Health. She worked on a variety of initiatives in that position including expansion of early childhood psychotherapy services and collaborative care efforts in the pediatric medical clinic. She also collaborated extensively with the Women’s Mental Health team at Bellevue and provided psychiatric treatment to pregnant and parenting adolescents. Dr. Weis has also been very active in training future clinicians throughout her medical career and currently serves as the Associate Director for the NYU Public Psychiatry Fellowship. This position also reflects her long-standing interest in public mental health. Dr. Weis completed Medical School at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 2000 and then adopted NYC as her home, training in psychiatry and public psychiatry at NYU as well as child psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Although she has now lived in NYC for quite some time, she never tires of exploring the city’s many cultural treasures and experiencing the ethnic and cultural diversity that makes NYC so special.


Senior Operations Manager
Juan Martinez, LCSW

Juan Martinez, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience in behavioral health and program management who joined the program in June 2016.  Prior to joining the Mental Health Service Corps, Juan worked for 18 years at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Most recently, he was the Administrative Director for 3 substance abuse programs in the North East Bronx where he managed a census of over 1100 patients as well as a large multidisciplinary team.  Juan also worked in other programs at Montefiore including Supporting Healthy Relationships - a federally funded Gottman based relationship improvement program; Comprehensive Service Management Program (CSM), a substance abuse case management program and as a therapist in other Montefiore outpatient clinics.

As the Senior Operations Manager, Juan is responsible for overseeing several departments at MHSC including  Human Resources, Training, Quality Improvement and Site Coordination.  He is excited about working in a large Public Health project and hopes to bring his experience in Behavioral Health and program management to ThriveNYC.


Senior Administrator
Rosalyn Rodriguez


Senior Administrator, Rosalyn Rodriguez, comes to MHSC after serving almost 16 years as an administrator for the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia Medical Center. She is passionate about what a program needs in order to efficiently serve its mission and its staff. Since joining the MHSC on May 2nd, Rosalyn has built relationships with staff at our host site, Hunter College, and has learned how to navigate key aspects of assisting a start-up, such as managing procurement, ensuring a safe and functional office environment, and educating incoming staff about what they need to know as part of the Hunter/CUNY family. Rosalyn is involved in all aspects of IT, policies & procedures, office management, and the development of the MHSC website.

She is completely enthusiastic about being a part of the Plan of Action that ThriveNYC is setting forth ensuring New Yorkers can get the treatment that they need and the approach of helping to improve the mental well-being of all in our communities

Rosalyn also has had the unique pleasure of filming the moments when new Corps members are welcomed to the team, capturing the enthusiasm of new staff as they are awarded the soon-to-be iconic orange MHSC t-shirt.


Senior Clinical Manager
Olga Victor, LCSW

As the Senior Clinical Manager for the Mental Health Service Corps, Olga Victor manages and convenes supervising clinicians to assess and address clinical issues at sites and disseminates best practice in respective disciplines. Olga received her MSW from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services. Olga has been in the field for over 20 years and has experience as an administrator of programs in child & adolescent, adult and elderly programs. Most recently, at her previous FHQC organization, Olga was part of the first team to initiate the collaborative care model there, which promoted the integration of primary care with behavioral health services. It’s very exciting to be part of MHSC/ThriveNYC! Looking forward to this new, bold response in delivering mental health services in an effective and holistic manner…..Stay tuned.


Training Manager
Victoria Ward, LCSW

As the Training Manager for the Mental Health Service Corps, Victoria Ward is responsible for overseeing all training initiatives for the Corps members. Victoria received her M.S.W. from the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services, though her interest in the fields of social work and mental health began during her undergraduate studies at Georgetown University, where she majored in Psychology. Victoria has been working in the field for over thirteen years, in settings that include hospitals, homeless shelters, residential treatment facilities, primary care centers, and outpatient mental health centers.

Prior to joining the MHSC, Victoria was a Regional Director of Psychosocial Services of a large FQHC network. In this role, she oversaw the behavioral health delivery in four primary care centers and two outpatient mental health centers, which involved extensive staff supervision and training. Victoria provided Motivational Interviewing trainings to the organization’s staff and students, as well as training and technical assistance to multi-disciplinary behavioral health and primary care providers of partnering and contracting organizations. Most recently, Victoria was a featured manager in the Network for Social Work Management blog series, and provided a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill regarding the benefits of integrated care for adolescents. Victoria is extremely excited to be a part of the MHSC and the future of behavioral health care delivery in NYC.


Quality Improvement Manager   
Penelope Suero

As the Quality Improvement Manager, Penelope will be overseeing the performance management and quality improvement programs of MHSC.  She obtained an MPH degree in global health and epidemiology from Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  She also completed a certificate program in Lean Six Sigma methodology.

Penelope has been in the healthcare field for over 13 years and has experience in hospital operations, regulatory compliance, patient safety and quality of care.  She also worked in public health implementing nutrition-focused public health campaign throughout NYC as part of the CDC – Communities Putting Prevention to Work Program.  For her research project, she worked on identifying barriers to medication adherence amongst high risk HIV positive patient population in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Her experience in the public health field consists of program development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. 

Penelope believes health is a human right and everyone should have access to high quality care.  She joined MHSC to help break down the silos that exist in healthcare.


Site Coordinator Manager
Olufisayo "Jimi" Olawaiye

Site Coordinator Manager Olufisayo Jimi Olawaiye comes from an extensive Project Management background where he held various supervisory and Sr. Management roles on multiple major capital projects in a career spanning over 14 years.

Prior to joining the MHSC, Mr. Olawaiye worked program development, strategic management, process improvement, interface/risk management, and strategic sourcing for corporations like British Petroleum (BP), Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC), and the US Department of Energy on their EECBG (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant) project.

As an EPCM (Engineering procurement and construction management) professional, Mr. Olawaiye holds a B.Sc in Economics and Finance, MBA in international business, Diploma in Sustainability Management from the Colorado School of mines, and M.Sc in Global Energy Management from the University of Colorado Denver, and is no stranger to start up projects. He is also a certified project management professional (PMP).

He is excited to be a part of the Thrive NYC team and looks forward to assisting with this significant project that aims at setting the framework for future accessibility and delivery of mental health services in NYC and hopefully beyond


Human Resources Manager
Brenda Pech-Bitton

As a Human Resources Manager for the Mental Health Service Corps, Brenda Pech-Bitton is responsible for the sourcing, selecting, interviewing and onboarding of MHSC corps members.  Brenda works closely with the MHSC’s leadership team on workforce planning, program coordination development and implementation of human resources policies.  Brenda obtained a B.A from UC Berkeley where she majored in Psychology.  She then worked as a Mental Health Clinician managing a large case load of clients with severe mental illness.  After several years working in that profession she moved to NYC and worked in a staffing firm where she was responsible for developing the social work department. Now, Brenda is thrilled to be part of the MHSC family/team and help the collaborative care model for mental health wellness succeed.

Document Actions
 
Mental Health Services Corps website feedback:
425 East 25th Street, 8th Floor New York, NY 10010
email us
HUNTER COLLEGE
695 Park Ave
NY, NY 10065
212.772.4000