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SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Health Center
STAR Health Center (SHC)
Michelle Melendez, MS, LCSW, CASAC
Ms. Melendez is the Behavioral Health Director of the STAR Program. She holds Master's degrees in Guidance and Counseling and Clinical Social Work. She has also been a NYS Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor since 1999. She has worked as a clinician and administrator in various out-patient programs for adults and their families. Her research and clinical interests is in the areas of PTSD/Trauma and substance abuse, particularly among women.
Sanford Herman, MD
Dr. Herman has provided psychiatry services in the SHC since 1997. He is board certified in both psychiatry and neurology and has specialty training in substance abuse. From 1999 he completed a fellowship in substance abuse and neuro-psychiatric aspects of AIDS at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Ramaswamy Viswanathan, MD, DSc
Dr. Viswanathan is a psychiatric consultant to the HIV Program. He is also the Director of the Psychiatric Consultation Service at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. He is Board Certified in Psychiatry, Internal Medicine, Psychosomatic Medicine, Forensic Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry. His research interests are in the areas of anxiety, coping skills, and medical ethics.
Miranda Chakos, MD
Dr. Miranda Chakos is a board certified psychiatrist who completed her training in Psychiatry at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in 1992. She is an attending psychiatrist at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center since 2002 and has provided psychiatric consultation services in the SHC since 2004. As a psychiatric consultant in the SHC she is part of the effort to bring integrated HIV clinical, mental health, psychosocial, educational services to clients at the program. Dr. Chakos has specific expertise in the treatment and research of schizophrenia and in women's mental health issues.
John Barbiero, LCSW
Mr. Barbiero has been involved in the provision of mental health services since 2001, including individual counseling, family therapy, group work, trauma counseling and crisis intervention. Mr. Barbiero worked with the SHC from 2003-2007 in the role as a psychiatric social worker. After a year doing work with oncology patients at Bellevue Hospital, we are fortunate to have him back at the SHC in 2008 in his new role of Senior Counselor. Mr. Barbiero holds a master's degree in social work and is a NYS licensed clinical social worker.
Peggy Noël, LMSW
Ms. Noël has provided social work services to individuals and families since 2001. She joined the SHC in 2007 as the coordinator of STAR's Supportive Counseling and Family Stabilization project. She currently provides both individual and group counseling for patients receiving care in the SHC. Ms. Noël has a specific interest in substance abuse and the mental health needs of adolescents. She holds a master's degree in social work and is a NYS licensed master social worker.
Terrie Stewart, LMSW, CASAC
Ms. Stewart has been involved in the treatment substance abuse since 1998 and joined the STAR Health Center in 2009. Ms. Stewart has addressed the substance abuse and behavioral health needs of children, adolescent and adult populations in varied settings including in-patient psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, in-patient detoxification, out-patient and substance abuse treatment. Ms. Stewart completed undergraduate studies at Bernard M. Baruch in Industrial Organization Psychology. She received her MSW from Fordham University and has held a New York State social work license since 1993. She received her Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) credential in 2003. Ms. Stewart is bilingual English/Spanish.
Lori Hurley, LMSW, MPH
Ms. Hurley is the newest member of the SHC Behavioral Health Team. She is an experienced therapist in the provision of individual, couples, group and family counseling and has also served as director of several HIV service programs. Immediately prior to joining SHC, Ms. Hurley worked for over 3 years as a family therapist with CAMBA's HIV Programs.
Jaqueline Phillips, BS, CASAC-T
Ms. Phillips joined the STAR Health Center as a Behavioral Health Case Manager and works with patients to encourage engagement and retention into mental health and substance use treatment. Her extensive work with the mentally ill and with those contending with substance abuse has been across the treatment spectrum; she has worked with the geriatric population, adults and adolescents. Her formal education extends from Boricua College to her current pursuit of the Master in Social Work degree through Adelphi University. She is a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) Trainee. Ms. Philips was born and raised in Panama and is fluent in Spanish.