Thank you for making the 2019 CP Conference a success!

Everyone who attends our annual conference has one thing in common: They make the lives of people with disabilities better!

This year, we welcomed more than 600 people from every corner of the state to the CP of NYS Annual Conference. They attended nearly 50 workshops, educational sessions, and meetings on issues important to people with disabilities, their families and the people and organizations that provide supports and services.

We recognized and thanked individuals and organizations for their contributions to the field of developmental disabilities at our annual awards luncheon, annual awards dinner and the staff recognition banquet.

In addition to the many staff members at our affiliates who were honored, we also recognized the following individuals for their outstanding contributions to those in our care:

Paul Tudisco (ADAPT Community Network)
Al Felmet Achievement Award

Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky (CP of NYS Board of Directors)
Anthony J. Koenig Volunteer Service Award

Stephanie Knaust (Center for Disability Services)
John R. Horvath Award of Distinction

Jeanne Herbert (Inspire of Orange County)
Daniel Wieder Leadership Award

Muntezir “Monty” Bhanji / Stop & Shop (Queens CP)
Employer of the Year Award

Stephen Healy (AccessCNY)
Natalie Rogers Employee of the Year Award

Pieces of Heart Art Program (Upstate Cerebral Palsy)
Program Innovation Award

Ernestine Gayle (Empower)
Robert Schonhorn Direct Support Professional of the Year Award

Norman Biegaj (Olean Lodge #491)
Elks Award

Otis Armstrong Day Habilitation Program (The Center for Discovery)
2019 IMAGINE NY Art Contest Winner

Click here to see more photos from the conference on our Facebook page.

Looking for a session handout? Click here.

Deadline for National Historic Recognition Project is Dec. 15

This is a a call for nominations to recognize and archive the significant contributions of people who are engaged in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities over the period of 2000‐
This project is a follow up to a National Recognition Project that recognized 36 of the most significant contributors in the field in the 20th Century. Our intent is to create a web‐based archive highlighting the contributions of honorees for the 2000‐2020 period. We feel this effort is critical for the field and should establish a collection that future generations can utilize to build a strong understanding of what happened and who played a significant role. This project is all volunteer-driven and does not require a fee or contribution to apply or to be honored.

Recognition of honorees will include: (a) a certificate as a 2020 Honoree of the National Historic Preservation Project, (b) a lapel pin designating their honoree status, (c) inclusion in a press release, and (d) inclusion in a web‐based booklet describing the contributions of the honorees. Rather than holding a single award event, we are hopeful that these honorees will be recognized at the local, state, regional, or national settings they are most closely aligned with in their work.

The application for nominations can be found here. The nomination deadline is December 15, 2019. No late submissions will be accepted.

Submit by mail: Ed Matthews, CEO, ADAPT Community Network, 80 Maiden Lane, New York, New York 10038
Submit via email:

For more information, contact: Peg Gould, ADAPT Community Network, Chair at or text 917-226-4433

Healthcare professionals invited to Clinical Care Conference on Nov. 15

Healthcare professionals who provide services to people with intellectual/developmental disabilities or are interested in doing so, should join CP of NYS and Medical Directors’ Council for the 2nd Annual Conference on Multi-Disciplinary Clinical Care for Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) on November 15 in Saratoga Springs.

This conference is perfect for physicians, dentists, clinicians, therapists, nurses, and administrators who would like to increase their clinical expertise in treating people with I/DD.

Dr. Stephen Sulkes

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Stephen Sulkes, who has provided primary care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in residential and community settings, and developmental-behavioral pediatric specialty care at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester. Dr. Sulkes will speak about gathering the data healthcare professionals need to provide the best possible care for people with disabilities. Read more about Dr. Sulkes and our other speakers here.

Topics of other sessions include Primary Care and Behavioral Health Integration, Disuse-Osteoporosis Diagnosis and Treatment, Aging, Dementia, Down Syndrome, and more. Click here for the full schedule.

This informative conference will be held on November 15, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 86 Congress Street, Saratoga Springs, NY.

Cost is $100 for Nurses, Medical & Dental Residents, Students; $150 for Physicians, Dentists, Clinicians, and others.

Click here to register. 

The registration deadline is November 8 and seating is limited, so register soon!

Book a room at the Embassy Suites Hotel by October 25 to enjoy a special discounted rate.  (Don’t forget a tax-exempt form if applicable.)

Directions to the Clinical Care Conference:

From the South: Take the NYS Thruway (I-87 North) to Exit 24. Take the Adirondack Northway (I-87 North) to Exit 13N. Turn left off exit. In approximately 4 ½ miles, turn left onto Congress Street. Embassy Suites will be on the left.

From the North: Take Adirondack Northway (I-87 South) to Exit 13N. Take right at exit. In approximately 4 ½ miles, turn left onto Congress Street. Embassy Suites will be on the left.

From the East: Take the Massachusetts Turnpike West to NY Thruway. Take Exit B-1 (I-90 Bypass) to I-787 North for approximately 6 miles to Route 7 West for approximately 2 miles to Adirondack Northway (I-87). Take Exit 13N, turn left off exit. In approximately 4 ½ miles, turn left onto Congress Street. Embassy Suites will be on the left.

From the West: Take NYS Thruway (I-90 East) to Exit 24. Take Adirondack Northway (I-87 North) to Exit 13N. Turn left off exit. In approximately 4 ½ miles, turn left onto Congress Street. Embassy Suites will be on the left.


2019 Clinical Care Conference Speakers



“In God We Trust, All Others Bring Data” presentation materials [PDF]

Dr. Stephen Sulkes attended Boston University for college and medical school. He was fortunate to experience pediatric residency in Syracuse, NY, under Frank Oski. He completed his fellowship in developmental pediatrics (in the era before Boards) at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he had the good fortune to be mentored by Dr. Allen Crocker.

He then followed his wife and US 90 for two tanks of gas and found himself in Rochester, NY, where he has spent the rest of his career.

Steve has provided primary care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in residential and community settings, and developmental-behavioral pediatric specialty care at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester. In 1985, he developed Rochester’s fellowship program in developmental-behavioral pediatrics, initially funded by New York State, then by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) program. A glutton for punishment, he then took on leadership of Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, the Rochester University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), which he now co- directs. These two programs have given him the opportunity to hang out with colleagues from around the country at meetings of the Association for University Centers on Disability, on whose board he has served, and of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry, where he currently serves as President. His research and advocacy passions merge around improving health care delivery for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. When he is not working or thanking the nearest deity for his phenomenal family, he leads the Performance Measures, an ad hoc group of obviously non-professional and under-rehearsed singers of song parodies.



“Geriatric Assessment Clinic” presentation materials [PDF]

Elmar H. Frangenberg, MD, acquired his medical education in Germany, including a neuropsychiatric residency, and his postgraduate training in pediatrics at the Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, and in child neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He entered State Service with the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities and served as chief of medical services of the Monroe Developmental Center until 2003 and has continued as medical specialist 2 on a part time basis as physician member of a multidisciplinary geriatric assessment team. He holds the faculty position of clinical assistant professor of neurology and serves as the on- site instructor for physicians in training of the medical geriatric medicine program, who rotate through the geriatric assessment Clinic for IDD patients.


“Osteoporosis: Diagnosis and Treatment in 2019” presentation materials [PDF]

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Vermont, Dr. Gregg Gerety went to medical school at the Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, NY. He trained in Internal Medicine here in Albany and completed fellowship training in Endocrinology at Yale in 1988. Board-certified in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, he is a past- president of the American Diabetes Association New York State affiliate. Dr. Gerety is particularly interested in management of patients with diabetes and those with metabolic bone disease (such as osteoporosis). He is founder of The Endocrine Group Tour de Cure team which rides every June to raise money to help find a cure for diabetes. When not in the office, Gregg loves to be with his family of four children, riding his bike or skiing.


“Aspiring to Prevent Aspiration Pneumonia for the Disabled Population Through Optimal Oral Care” presentation materials [PDF]

Michele Griguts, DDS, is the Dental Director in the Bureau of Medical, Dental and Pharmacy policy within the Department of Health’s Office of Health Insurance Programs. She started this position in September 2017 after 18 years of practicing dentistry in an Article 28 facility in Albany, New York working with the special needs population. The Bureau’s dental team focus on policies that strengthen the oral health of Medicaid members, especially children, and work to promote access to dental services. Questions about Medicaid Dental Policy and associated questions regarding clinic billing can be directed to the Dental Policy mailbox at


“Primary Care/Behavioral Health Integration” presentation materials [PDF]

Dr. Maria Kansas grew up in the Capital Region, graduating from Bethlehem Central High School, Union College in Schenectady and Albany Medical College. She is a board certified Family Physician since 1989. She specializes in care for individuals and families across the

lifespan, and is passionate about caring for the whole person and helping individuals maximize their physical and mental health.

Since 2014, she has brought that passion to the Center for Disability Services, Center Health Care where they serve patients with and without disabilities. Serving individuals with developmental disabilities has taught her new skills in communication, observation and medical care.


“Aging, Dementia, and Down Syndrome” presentation materials [PDF]

Seth M. Keller, MD, is a board-certified neurologist in private practice with Neurology Associates of South Jersey. He specializes in the evaluation and care of adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) with neurologic complications. He cares for

individuals with IDD both in the community as well as in New Jersey’s ICF/DD centers. Dr Keller is on the Executive Board of the Arc of Burlington County as well as on the board for The Arc of New Jersey Mainstreaming Medical Care Board. Dr Keller is the Past President of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD). Dr Keller is the co-chair of the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices (NTG). Dr. Keller is also the chair of the Adult IDD Section with the American Academy of Neurology.  He is actively involved in national and international I/DD health education as a speaker and webinar and workshop participant. He is a co- author on a number of articles and book chapters relating to aging and dementia in those with IDD. Raised in Philadelphia, PA, Keller received his bachelor’s degree from Temple University, earned his medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine in 1989, and completed his neurology internship and residency at Bethesda Naval Hospital. He also served as a neurologist at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan.


“Dysphagia Evaluation, Preventing Aspiration Pneumonia with Oral Care” presentation materials [PDF]

Marilyn A. Ladewig is a licensed NY speech-language pathologist and a certified member of the American Speech Hearing Association. She has worked at Constructive Partnerships Unlimited (formerly Cerebral Palsy Associations of NYS) for 7 years and has been an SLP for 9 years. She is the clinical SLP at Metro Community Health Center in the Bronx and oversees the speech services in the adult day program. She has experience working in the residential and group home setting overseeing hundreds of patients assessing and managing dysphagia and providing staff education for mealtime protocols. Prior to working in the clinical setting, she worked at the acute care rehab unit at a level 1 trauma center at Orlando Regional Medical Center and completed over 1000 hours of modified barium swallow studies. Marilyn lives in Manhattan with her husband and enjoys traveling, visiting her family in Florida, the weather in September. You can reach Marilyn at or 718-665-6414 x 8768.


“Primary Care/Behavioral Health Integration” presentation materials [PDF]

Dr. Steven Marcal has been with Center Health Care at the Center for Disability Services since 1986. He now serves as the Lead Psychologist at Center Health Care. In his current role, he provides clinical services at Center Health Care, the Center’s adult programs, the Primary Care Department, and St. Margaret’s Center for Children. Dr. Marcal supervises the Center’s In-Home Behavioral Family Support Program and Autism Assessment Family Support grants. Dr. Marcal also has a part-time private practice in Delmar, NY.

Dr. Marcal received his Master of Sciences degree and Certificate of Advanced Specialist in School Psychology from the University at Albany, where he ultimately earned his Doctoral degree in Psychology. Prior to his appointment at the Center, Dr. Marcal was a school psychologist for Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene BOCES and Cairo-Durham School District. Dr. Marcal has spoken at many professional conferences on a range of topics, including: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and Developmental Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Capacity in Developmental Disabilities, and Treating Explosive Behaviors. He will be speaking in October, 2019 at the National Association for Dual Diagnosis Annual Conference in new Orleans, LA, along with Debra Marcal, MS, CAS, on the topic of Mindfulness and Developmental Disabilities.

Dr. Marcal became interested in the problem of ACES because of his long experience working with people with developmental disabilities who have suffered ACES. He has served on the Capital District’s “Think Tank and Action Committee on ACES” and continues to represent the Center for Disability Services on the HEARTS council. He provides regular training at his agency on topics associated with ACES and developmental disability in order to increase knowledge of treatment and increase understanding of this dually affected group of people. A toolkit on this topic, on which Dr. Marcal was the lead author, is available on-line (google using terms “marcal, blog, and toolkit” for the link). Dr. Marcal is a member of the National Association for the Dually Diagnosed, and the American Psychological Association.


“Constipation” presentation materials [PDF]

Marcia Richman is the Health Care Coordinator/Director of Nursing for AHRC, NYC Departments of Residential Services and Home Care. She is a registered nurse, with master degrees in nursing and geriatrics, as well as certifications in developmental disabilities, geriatrics, palliative care nursing, and administration. For over twenty years, she has worked with individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the metropolitan New York area. Her roles with AHRC NYC include serving adults living in residences and the community throughout the five boroughs of NYC, as well as working with families, siblings and staff. She is actively involved in policy writing and committee participation within AHRC as well. She is a member of DDNA and the New York State IDD Nurses Association, and an officer of the local Zone 7 chapter of that group. As part of her daily practice, she has become more keenly aware and concerned about the importance of advance care planning in the lives of those with IDD. Individuals, families and staff are in need of resources, information, education and counseling so they are prepared when life limiting conditions are diagnosed. As nurses present on a daily basis in the lives of those served, they are optimally positioned to begin to help fill that void. Knowledge can be power, and by sharing the knowledge among many, we can empower ourselves to be better prepared to support the chronic issues that arise among aging adults with IDD, as well as the inevitabilities of end of life care for those we serve.


“Common GI Conditions in People With Developmental Disabilities: Dysphagia” presentation materials [PDF]

Zach Rosen, MD, is a Board Certified Family Physician who has served as Medical Director of AHRC NYC for ten years. During this time, Dr. Rosen has been actively involved in medical systems improvement, including the implementation of the first onsite AHRC based, multidisciplinary Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee and as well as an onsite, multidisciplinary, Wellness Committee.

Favoring clinical research-based data, Rosen will be presenting practical clinical and research based guidance for use with the multiplicity of gastrointestinal manifestations found in the people we serve. Information at this conference will be based on data gleaned from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Medical Library, where, as an alum, Dr. Rosen has full and unrestricted access.


“Primary Care/Behavioral Health Integration” presentation materials [PDF]

Dr. Harvey Scherer is a child and adult psychiatrist who has long been a champion for persons with developmental disabilities. He is a graduate of Albany medical college where he also completed his residency, served as chief resident in Psychiatry and completed his fellowship in child psychiatry. He has a long and distinguished career, working as a psychiatrist and administrator for the adolescent unit at CDPC, child psychiatry consultant for unified services, Senior psychiatrist on the adult and adolescent units at CDPC, Founding director of the Child and Adolescent psychiatry Unit at Fourwinds Hospital, Child Psychiatry Consultant at St Catherine’s Center for Children Parsons Center for Children and Families. In addition he has traveled and practiced in New Zealand , served as consultant to numerous community agencies and is an active Board member for the Down Syndrome Resource Center. Dr. Scherer has been a leader and core provider at the Center for Disability Services since 1992 in Albany NY where he provides direct patient care to Adults and Children with developmental disabilities and serves as consultant to Center residents experiencing behavioral and mental health crises.


Dr. Vincent Siasoco is a Board-certified Family Medicine physician, Chief Medical Officer of the Metro Community Health Centers, and serves as Co-Chair of the Cerebral Palsy Associations of NYS Medical Directors’ Council. He has extensive experience in working with patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) across the lifespan. He has previously served as Medical Director for other IDD-focused Article 28 outpatient clinics, Article 16 long-term rehabilitation and behavioral health clinics, and long-term residential programs. He has been involved in all Article 28 clinics attaining NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home recognition and establishing and supervising clinical rotations at his clinics for medical students and residents. He’s the Medical Director of the Alliance for Integrated Care of N.Y., the first Accountable Care Organization with a focus on patients with IDD that was recognized by CMS for having achieved shared savings. He’s a member of the Board of Directors for Mercy Home based in Brooklyn, NY., an agency that provides services for individuals with IDD. He’s a Clinical Director for Special Olympics and an appointed member of advisory committees for OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities).

He received his M.D. degree from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines and obtained his M.B.A. degree from Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y. and is a member of the business honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma.


“Dysphagia” presentation materials [PDF]

Jerry Staller is a physical therapist who is the Division Director of Education and Clinical Services at Jawonio, the Rockland County CP of NYS affiliate. He previously served as the CP of NYS Associate Director of Staff development and Program Director during the Warner Center Program at Willowbrook. He has provided seminars and consultation services to programs across the country on topics of positioning, handling and treatment strategies for children and adults with developmental disabilities.


“Celiac Diseaseand Lactose Intolerance” presentation materials [PDF]

Halina Wojcik is passionate about helping people to improve their health by implementing healthy eating habits and healthy lifestyle. In addition to having a private practice, she has been working at AHRC NYC providing nutrition services to clients with special needs. Previously she worked at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC as a Clinical Coordinator in the Liver Clinic, and at Bellevue Hospital in NYC as Associate Supervising Dietitian in the WIC Program. She obtained her BS in Nutrition and Food Science and Master of Public Health from Hunter College, CUNY.