About Catskill Hudson AHEC


Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center’s (CHAHEC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and one of nine partners in the New York State Area Health Education Center (AHEC) System. Catskill Hudson AHEC’s region is comprised of eleven (11) counties, including Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Rockland, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster.

The goal of the AHEC program is to improve access to quality, primary healthcare in medically underserved areas through educational activities designed to recruit, train, and retain community-based healthcare personnel where they are most needed.  Strategies used to achieve this goal include: 

  • Providing educational programs for youth (especially those from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds) that introduce them to a myriad of health occupations through hands-on, engaging activities that encourage them to consider pursuing a health career after graduation;
  • Developing opportunities and arranging placements for future health professionals to receive their clinical training; and
  • Providing continuing education and professional support to health practitioners enhancing their skills in under-served communities.

Our Mission and Vision

Our Mission:

Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center’s mission is to address regional healthcare workforce shortages through education and collaborative community relationships to assist students, career seekers, and health professionals.

Download the general Catskill Hudson AHEC brochure here.

Our Vision:

The vision of Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center is to foster an 11-county region that proactively assesses, develops, and strengthens a diverse and motivated workforce to meet the needs of each individual community.

Our 2017-2018 Annual Report can be accessed here.

Our Staff

Megan Deichler

Executive Director

Photo of Katherine Doyle

Katherine Doyle

Program Manager

Photo of Carolyn Steele

Carolyn Steele

Executive Assistant

Regions Served

Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and one of nine partners in the New York State Area Health Education Center (AHEC) System. Catskill Hudson AHEC’s region is comprised of eleven (11) counties, including:

  • Columbia
  • Delaware
  • Dutchess
  • Greene
  • Orange
  • Otsego
  • Putnam
  • Rockland
  • Schoharie
  • Sullivan
  • Ulster
Additional New York State AHEC partners include:

Bronx Westchester AHEC – www.bwahec.org

Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island AHEC – www.bqliahec.org

Manhattan, Staten Island AHEC – www.msiahec.org

Erie Niagara AHEC – www.erieniagaraahec.org

Northern AHEC – www.northernahec.org

Hudson-Mohawk AHEC – www.hmahec.org

Central New York AHEC – www.cnyahec.org

Western New York AHEC – www.r-ahec.org

Our Board of Directors

(Click on Picture to read Biography)

Photo of William Stamp
William Stamp, MBA

President, Board of Directors

Photo of Ken Steier
Kenneth J. Steier, DO, MBA, MPH, MHA, MGH

Vice President, Board of Directors

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Carol Bouton

Treasurer, Board of Directors

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Thomas G. Nolen, PhD

Secretary, Board of Directors


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New York State Area Health Education Center System - We are a member of the NYS AHEC System.


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Except for materials prepared by other organizations and licensed to CHAHEC or taken from public sources, all text, artwork, graphics and other works of authorship created by or for CHAHEC and made part of this web site, together with the selection, arrangement and presentation of such materials, are protected copyrights of CHAHEC.  Our copyright notice is set forth here:

Copyright (c) 2010 – 2020 Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center, Inc.  All rights reserved.

Megan Deichler, MPH

Executive Director

Megan Deichler joined the Catskill-Hudson Area Health Education Center (CHAHEC) as Executive Director in October 2020. Prior to joining the CHAHEC, she spent years working in a variety of areas of public health, including population health research and health philanthropy.  Most recently, Megan spent several years working with the philanthropic organization, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. While at Helmsley, Megan helped lead the development of a number of grantmaking strategies to improve access to healthcare and essential medicines in low-resource settings. Prior to Helmsley, Megan worked at New York University (NYU) on population health research, on topics including Lyme disease and HIV/AIDS incidence among vulnerable youth in New York City.

Megan brings to the CHAHEC a passion for improving the health of the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our community. Through encouraging local students to consider careers in healthcare and building health systems that are staffed and trained to serve the myriad of community health needs, Megan believes the AHEC system provides an opportunity for lasting improvements to health. Having been born and raised in the Hudson Valley, Megan is delighted to couple her interest in public health with her passion for her local community.  

Megan holds a Master of Public Health degree in International and Community Health from NYU and a bachelor’s degree from Manhattanville College. She volunteers with the Dutchess-Orange region United Way and is a member of its community impact council. Megan lives in the city of Poughkeepsie with her husband and dog, and loves practicing yoga in her free time.

Photo of Katherine Doyle

Katherine Doyle

Program Manager

Kathy worked for many years in New York City’s Investment Banking sector in various office management positions. However, her long-term interest was focused on working for a non-profit organization where she could connect with and grow within its community.  She began working in the Hudson Valley in 2002 and started her employ with Catskill Hudson AHEC in 2004.

Kathy’s duties as Program Coordinator are to create, develop, coordinate, and implement continuing education, training, and K-12 programs.   Programs include the Emergency Responder Leadership AcademyHealth Professions SeminarsNursing SummitScrubs ClubMedical Mind BendersPathways To SuccessWho Done It? Solve the Medical Mystery, and Billy’s Medical Adventures.

As Marketing Coordinator, Katherine’s duties include designing and updating all marketing material and website updates, to name a few.                                                                                       

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Carolyn Steele

Executive Assistant

Carolyn joined Catskill Hudson AHEC in August 2011, bringing with her vast experience in administrative support services and customer service from her years spent at Workscape, an ADP Company, in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Carolyn’s original position with Catskill Hudson AHEC of administrative assistant has evolved into that of Communications Specialist, where she undertakes and directly manages a range of administrative, social media marketing responsibilities and assists with programmatic development content.

Carolyn manages social media campaigns and platforms, provides technical guidance to staff and volunteers as well as distribution of email communications, news releases, board of director communications, event invitations and newsletters which are vital to Catskill Hudson AHEC’s fulfillment of its mission to develop and strengthen the healthcare workforce in underserved populations of the Catskill-Hudson region.

Carolyn is married, with two grown sons, relocated back to the Hudson Valley after many years away and now resides in scenic New Paltz, NY, where in her spare time enjoys gardening, cooking, crafting and traveling.

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William Stamp, MBA

President, Board of Directors

Marketing, Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning Professional

William Stamp holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing/MIB
Double Concentration from Binghamton University, New York with graduate credits in Health Marketing from George Washington University, MIT, Cambridge, MA and American College of Health Executives.  He attended Juniata College in Pennsylvania, where he received a B.A. in Marketing and Business Administration.  Mr. Stamp’s professional affiliations include Board membership for The American Heart Association of Central New York and The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce.  He is an executive member of the American College of Healthcare Executives as well as the Hospital Association of New York State.  

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Kenneth J. Steier, DO, MBA, MPH, MHA, MGH

Vice President, Board of Directors

Dean & Professor, Touro College of Osteo pathic Medicine

Kenneth Steier earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from SUNY Stonybrook and received his DO from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, NY. In addition, he has also earned a Master’s in Business Administration, Healthcare Administration, Public and Geriatric Health. Beginning with a position as Private Practitioner at Delaware Valley Medical Center in the late 1980’s, Kenneth’s professional medical career spans over 30 years of experience. His professional associations include the Nassau University Medical Center, as well as the University Of Health Sciences College Of Osteopathic medicine in which he served as Chairman of Board of Directors.

Dr. Steier has been published extensively on topics ranging from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome to Update and Review of Blastomycosis. He is currently Dean of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine-Middletown Campus, and Dean of Clinical Education at the TouroCOM in New York City.

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Carol Bouton

Treasurer, Board of Directors

Director of Business Development, The Institute for Family Health

Carol Bouton has over 20 years of experience as a healthcare executive in corporate development, business operations, corporate contracting, and ambulatory care administration.  Throughout her career, Ms. Bouton has worked within a variety of areas defining strategic plans that integrate clinical, academic and financial, and facilities planning.

Her most recent focus has been in managed care contracting and business development.  As Director of Business Development for the Institute for Family Health, she is responsible for negotiating, executing and delivering managed care contracts, and maintaining reporting.

Ms. Bouton is a founding member of Catskill Hudson AHEC.

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Thomas G. Nolen, PhD

Secretary, Board of Directors

Associate Professor and Director of Dual Degree Medical Programs, Department of Biology, SUNY New Paltz

Thomas Nolen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at SUNY New Paltz, where he has been the Director of Dual Degree Medical Programs with the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (BS/DO) and SUNY College of Optometry (BS/OD) since 1998 and served as the campus-wide Pre-health Careers Advisor from 1998 to 2007.  He has 20 years experience advising pre-health career students: ten years at SUNY New Paltz and ten years at the University of Miami.

Dr. Nolen teaches Animal Behavior, Evolutionary Theory, and Neurophysiology.  He actively engages undergraduates, including pre-med students, in his research.  His current area of research involves mathematical modeling of interactions in neural networks.

Dr. Nolen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Aquatic Biology and a Master of Arts in Organismal Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He earned his PhD is in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University and did his postdoctoral work in the Psychology Department at Yale University.  Dr. Nolen was a Grass Foundation Fellow (1986) and a SW Kuffler Fellow (1988) at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.

Dr. Nolen is a founding member of Catskill Hudson AHEC.

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Lawrence H. Bopp, PhD

Board Member

Associate Professor, Department of Natural Sciences, SUNY Cobleskill; Research Scientist, Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Retired)

After serving many years as a research scientist, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Southern Mississippi, and then as an adjunct faculty member at several colleges and universities in Upstate New York, Dr. Bopp became Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at SUNY Cobleskill in 2006.  He has also worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Research Scientist since 1997.

Dr. Bopp received his MS in Biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 1976 and his PhD in Biology from RPI in 1980.  He is the College in the High School liaison at Schenevus Central School, a member of the SUNY Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Group, a member of SUNY Cobleskill’s Strategic Planning Committee, and a member of SUNY Cobleskill’s “Strong Scholarship” Strategic Planning Workgroup.  Dr. Bopp is affiliated with AAAS, Sigma Xi, American Society for Microbiology, and Eastern NY Branch, ASM. 

Dr. Bopp has received several honors/awards, four patents, and has published an extensive number of papers, chapters, abstracts, and other reports.

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Constance Costley, BSEd, MS

Board Member

President NYSAFCSE, Kingston High School

Connie Costley is a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Kingston High School. She has served as the President of the New York State Association of Family and Consumer Science Educators (NYSAFCSE) and is currently the President of the New York State Association for Career and Technical Education (NYSACTE). She brings to this position 29 years of teaching experience having worked previously for Miller Middle School, in Lake Katrine, NY. Her experience encompasses the areas of leadership, and team building. Ms. Costley serves as the chairperson of the Catskill Hudson AHEC Health Careers Pipeline Development Workgroup.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in  Family and Consumer Sciences  Education from SUNY Oneonta and a Masters of Science in Health Education at Sage College in Troy, NY.

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Michele Crespo-Fierro, RN, PhD, MS/MPH, AACRN

Board Member

Clinical Faculty at New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing

Dr. Michele Crespo-Fierro is a clinical assistant professor and the director of the LEAD Honors Program at NYU Meyers College of Nursing. She is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.  She graduated from NYU Meyers’ traditional baccalaureate program and received a Master’s of Science in Community Health Nursing and a Master’s of Public Health in Community Health Education with a subspecialty in HIV/AIDS Nursing from the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing at Hunter College, City University of New York.  She completed a doctorate (PhD) at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.  Her dissertation explored the culture care needs of Puerto Rican women receiving HIV care from Nurse Practitioners in New York City with the intention of bridging culturally-congruent caring and patient engagement practices.

Her areas of interest are HIV care, the social determinants of health, culturally congruent care and linguistically appropriate services, LGBTQ and adolescent health needs, nursing workforce diversity and diverse student support, addressing the STEM pipeline issues for students of color. 

She has published articles, book chapters and presented nationally and internationally on these topic areas.  She is certified in Advanced AIDS nursing care by the HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board.  She is the recipient of various awards, scholarships, fellowships and grants and serves on the Board of the Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center, the Greater New York chapter of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care and as the President of the New York chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

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Daniel Grady, MS

Executive Committee Member

Day Job: President & CEO, Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, Inc.

Daniel Grady earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and received a Master’s Degree from the Hagan School of Business at Iona College. He is the founding President  & CEO of Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, and has guided the organization through its initial opening and Medicare certification. Under Mr. Grady’s leadership, Hospice now provides services to over 1100 patients with an average daily census of 136 patients. He is a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association (NHPCO), as well as Co-Chairperson of the Orange County Long Term Care Council.  In 2010 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development. Daniel currently serves on the Sullivan County Rural Health Network and is a member of the Campaign Leadership Team for United Way of Orange and Dutchess Counties.

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Susan Hoffner, MPH, MCHES

Board Member

Sr. Staff Member in Health Education, Communications, & Planning, Putnam County Department of Health

Susan Hoffner has worked in public health, and healthcare public relations and marketing for nearly three decades. Prior to her current position as a senior staff member in the health education, communications and planning unit at the Putnam County Department of Health, she served in various public affairs and marketing capacities, at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York; and in New York City at Continuum Health Partners, Lenox Hill Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. Her experience is focused on media relations, development and marketing, and publication and special event management. Currently she also serves as an assistant adjunct professor in the department of epidemiology and community health at the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College, where she has taught a course she created on Health Communications in the Age of Social Media for the past two years. As a communications consultant and writer, her clients have included Cornell Weill Medical College, St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners.

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Steven L. Kelley, FACHE

Executive Committee Member

President and CEO, Ellenville Regional Hospital

Steven L. Kelley, FACHE, has been the President and CEO of Ellenville Regional Hospital (ERH) since September 2003.  When Mr. Kelley came to Ellenville Regional Hospital, it was an organization in distress. Under his leadership, the hospital is now a vibrant, financially sound institution. Some of Mr. Kelley’s accomplishments include: the hospital achieving Critical Access Hospital status, construction of a New Emergency Department and a new Physical Therapy Center, significant equipment upgrades in the Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiology Departments, a new Laboratory, the implementation of a Swing Bed/Transitional Care Unit, construction of a $30 million Affordable Senior Housing complex on the hospital’s campus, construction of a new hospital wing to house Specialty Outpatient Services Clinics, and a new state of the art MRI.  In addition, Mr. Kelley has formed a strategic partnership with The Institute for Family Health, one of the largest federally qualified health centers in New York State, which has a site on the hospital campus. This collaboration includes cross pollination at the governance level. Under Mr. Kelley’s leadership, ERH has become a training site for all clinical departments, including The Institute’s Family Practice Residents, medical students, Nursing, Emergency Department Providers, Pharmacists, Physical and Occupational Therapists, Diagnostic Imaging Techs, Phlebotomists and New Visions Program high school students who are interested in pursing a medical career.

In June 2012, the Hospital successfully implemented an electronic health record house-wide and was able to attest to Stage 1 of Meaningful Use at the end of September 2012. This year, we attested to Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. ERH has been recognized by HRSA with 4 national awards for patient safety and medication safety, and by IPRO for Quality. The Hospital is also a leader in New York State in the areas of quality measurement, rural health, and implementing balanced performance (improving quality, outcomes, finances and patient satisfaction) through innovation and execution, as measured and monitored by advanced metrics. Mr. Kelley is regularly asked to share his expertise on these topics at the local, regional, state and national levels.

Mr. Kelley is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, which denotes national Board Certification in Healthcare Management. His community involvement includes a variety of Board and Committee positions, including Treasurer of The Institute for Family Health; President, Catskill-Hudson Area Health Education Center; member of the Executive Committee – Westchester Medical Center DSRIP; member of the New York State Rural Health Council; member, Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) Board of Trustees; Vice President of the Rondout Valley Business Association and member Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State/Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association (NorMet).  Mr. Kelley has also served as past Chairman of the Board of Gateway Community Industries; past Chairman of the Ulster County Board of Health; past Chairman of the Dutchess-Ulster Chapter of the American Heart Association; past Vice President and Treasurer of the Catskill-Hudson Area Health Education Center; and past Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State/Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association (NorMet).

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Susan C. Koppenhaver, MPH

Board of Directors

Director of the Office for the Aging of Ulster County

Susan Koppenhaver received her Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University in Health Policy and Management in 1994.  During this time, she ran the Fishkill Long Term Home Health Care Program (a Lombardi program in Dutchess County), which also had an AIDS Home Care Program and was one of the only Foster Family Programs (at that time) in the State.  She then got her Administrator’s license while running Hudson Haven Care Center, which was also owned by Fishkill Health Center.  In 2000, she left Fishkill Health Center to work for Eden Park Health Care Center in Catskill, and then moved from there to run Eden Park in Poughkeepsie in 2002.   

She spent almost 3 years at Hudson River Community Health as Practice Manager of multiple practices in Dutchess County and most recently worked for Always There Home Care in Kingston, NY as Chief Executive Officer.  Always There is a Certified and Licensed agency serving Ulster and Dutchess counties, where they have Adult Day program.  Currently, she is the new Director of the Ulster County Office for the Aging.   For the last 9 years, Ms. Koppenhaver has been involved with the Caregiver’s Conference sponsored by St. Francis Home Care, the local Alzheimer’s Association, and many other local agencies, and was also involved with the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation on the Healthcare Sub-Task Force. 

Ms. Koppenhaver is one of the founding members of Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center and is currently serving as Treasurer.

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Marc R. Mendelsohn, MPA

Executive Committee Member

Healthcare Consultant

Marc Mendelsohn is an experienced health care administrator with expertise in hospital administration, strategic planning, grant procurement and management, managed care contract negotiation and administration, rural health care delivery, and corporate compliance.  Mr. Mendelsohn has over 3 years of professional experience in healthcare administration and most recently served as the Assistant Vice President Corporate Compliance Officer at Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC), where he served for over 25 years.

Mr. Mendelsohn received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania with honors in History as well as a Masters of Arts in Art History from the University of Wisconsin.  He then went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from New York University with a Master of Public Administration, Health Planning and Administration.

Mr. Mendelsohn serves on the Board of numerous healthcare organizations that act on behalf of Sullivan county residents and is currently the President of the Maternal and Infant Services Network of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster counties.

Mr. Mendelsohn is one of the founding members of Catskill Hudson AHEC.

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Claire Parde, MS

Board Member

Executive Director, Healthcare Consortium

Since August 2011, Claire Parde has served as the Executive Director of the  Healthcare Consortium, a not-for-profit organization that was formed in 1998 to improve access to healthcare and support the health and well-being of people in the rural communities of Columbia and Greene Counties.  In this role, Claire is a member of the Columbia County Community Services Board, the Columbia Greene Addiction Coalition, Assemblymember Didi Barrett’s Human Services Advisory Council, Congressman Antonio Delgado’s Healthcare Advisory Committee, and the Community Advisory Council of the NYSHealth Foundation.  In addition to serving on the board of the Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center, she is also a Director on the boards of Twin County Recovery Services, the New York State Association for Rural Health, and Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Prior to joining the Healthcare Consortium in 2011, Claire coordinated the Community Health and Wellness Programs at Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations of Greene and Columbia Counties, her first job in the region since moving from her native New Jersey in 2007.  She had previously worked on issues of poverty and justice at the Community Service Society of New York and the Urban Justice Center and on food and farm system policy and practice at the Kansas Rural Center and the New Jersey Urban Ecology Program. Claire has an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in Natural Resource Management and a graduate degree from Hunter College in Applied Social Research.   She lives in the Village of Athens in Greene County with her husband and two children, ages 10 and 13.  When she’s not reorganizing the kitchen cabinets, she loves reading in bed, gardening, and needlework.

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Sherry Wyckoff, MPH

Board Member

Regional Practice Manager, Sun River Health (formally HRHCare)

Sherry Wyckoff is a Regional Practice Manager for Sun River Health (formally HRHCare) which is a Federally Qualified Health Center with 28 locations in the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, Long Island.  Sherry covers Dutchess and Columbia counties, overseeing 6 health centers in the region.  Sherry relates to the rural areas she serves because she grew up in Otsego County, graduated from Schenevus Central School and received her Bachelor’s in Science in Business Economics from SUNY Oneonta. 

Sherry previously worked for Bassett Healthcare as a research coordinator at the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health which focuses on preventing and treating occupational injuries and illness in the farming population.  Her work with migrant and seasonal farmworkers lead her to obtain her Master’s in Public Health and focus on the health and community needs of this population.  Sherry currently lives in Hyde Park and enjoys being outside hiking and biking throughout the Hudson Valley region.

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Michael A. Smith, CCO, CCE

Board Member

Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for EverCare, Inc.

Michael has over thirty years in the corporate compliance field.  His background includes compliance integrity in the defense industry; at a non-profit adult care facility as President of their Board of Directors; Chief Compliance Officer at a large regional Hudson Valley skilled nursing facility; and currently serves as the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for EverCare, Inc., a Managed Long-Term Care program serving Orange, Rockland and Dutchess counties.

Michael is a Certified Compliance Executive (CCE) with the Health Ethics Trust (HET), a division of the Council of Ethical Organizations.  He serves on their annual Best Practices Forum Committee and has contributed as a writer, reviewer, presenter and is a three-time recipient of the Certificate of Achievement.

Mike achieved a Fellow designation by the Health Ethics Trust in 2017 for his many years of work in the Compliance industry.  He has written and published over 110 articles on healthcare and business issues; written grants; served on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NYS Health Exchange Committee and been involved with many area organizations including as past president for the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce; on the board various Chambers of Commerce; advisory board member of the SUNY New Paltz School of Business and board member of the Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center.

Michael has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marist College in Business Administration.  Mike is married to his wife, Ann, and they have two grown married children, Laura and Michael both living in the Hudson Valley.

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