Advisory Board

Kim Ainis, M.Ed., Davis Facilitator
Kim Ainis is the Director of the Chicago Reading & Dyslexia Center, which she founded in 1991. She has been teaching students with learning differences for more than 30 years, and has worked with clients both in the United States and abroad.  She specializes in dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, Aspergers and autism. Her clients are all learning able, they just don’t learn the way they are typically taught.  They are the Apple Macs in a PC system.  Kim helps them do what the PC system wants in the way they learn.

Adriana Bernal
As a Senior Community Care Partner for Hudson River Health Care Inc. and a former Community Relations Coordinator of Hudson Health Plan, Adriana has helped hundreds of residents in Rockland County, New York gain access to quality medical care. As a representative of a health care organization, she has forged strong relationships with local organizations and county agencies, improving the health of Rockland’s residents by promoting healthy programs and creating partnerships. Additionally, Adriana serves as a Board Member at One To One Learning Program, Jornaleros Humanitarian Project of Rockland, Faith in Action Ministry and is a member of the Latin/Hispanic Health Collaborative. Adriana also serves as a liaison with numerous community-based organizations, including the Rockland Immigration Coalition, which address issues of concern to immigrants, as well as the Rockland County Department of Health and local hospitals. Adriana received her Bachelors in Business Administration in Colombia and is pursuing a Bachelors degree in Marketing/Communications here in the U.S.  She is the proud mother of three: a son, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter.

Alice Burton, MHS
Alice Burton is the founder and President of Burton Policy Consulting, LLC, where she helps public and private sector clients navigate the opportunities and challenges of health reform implementation.  In her 20 years of health policy experience, Alice has served as the Chief of Staff to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and served as the Program Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Coverage Initiatives, where she worked with state policy leaders throughout the U.S. to develop policy initiatives to expand health insurance coverage. Ms. Burton has a Masters in Health Science from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.

Elana Fine, LCSW-R
Elana Fine is a social worker with nearly thirty years of experience as a clinician and program director. She is experienced working with families, couples, veterans and people with psychiatric disorders. She has extensive experience in non-profit, government and hospital based care.  Elana is committed to helping people reach their full potential.

Peter Freedman, MFA
Peter Freedman is an expert in the field of universal information design, with a focus on making the web more useable for the elderly and those with low vision. HIs research in this area has been partially funded by the Markle Foundation, and has been presented in both the United States and Japan. In addition, he is a web designer and developer whose clients have included Maclaren, Time Warner, and ING. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Rhode Island School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College.

Paule V. Joseph PhD, MSN, CRNP, RN, CTN-B
Dr. Joseph completed her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently doing a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Health. Dr. Joseph has a Master’s Degree in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Dr. Joseph conducted her dissertation project at the laboratories of Dr. Danielle Reed and Dr. Julie Mennella, leaders in chemosensory biology, at the Monell Chemical Senses Center the . In addition, she obtained an AAS in Nursing at Hostos Community College and a BSN from the College of New Rochelle. Prior to this, she worked as a clinical nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital and at Columbia Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Hospital in New York City. Dr. Joseph has practiced nursing in the areas of Rehabilitation Medicine and Gastrointestinal Medicine and Surgery. She has been a member and leader of several national nursing and non-nursing organizations and served as co-chair for the metabolic special interest group of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics. Dr. Joseph’s research interest focuses in health disparities, genetics, symptom management and gastrointestinal disorders. Dr. Joseph was a University of Pennsylvania Fontaine Fellow ’11 as well as an NIH NINR Summer Genetics Institute Fellow ’12 and NIH Summer Fellow ’13. She was awarded the highly competitive Johnson & Johnson-American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship for 2013-2014 and re-awarded in 2014-2015 cycle.

Matthew Kelly, MPH, PhD
Matthew Kelly completed his public health training at Columbia University, where his studies focused on historical and ethical issues in public health and medical practice. He is currently conducting interdisciplinary research through Columbia’s Departments of Sociomedical Sciences and History. His research interests include the history of AIDS in New York City, the history of public health protest and activism movements, and the complex power dynamics that have historically existed between public health professionals and the members of the public they are charged with protecting. Matthew is additionally interested in issues of free speech as they pertain to public health campaigns, and has coauthored a NEJM Perspective piece on the interpretation of commercial speech in the context of US anti-tobacco legislation. In addition, Matthew is Co-Principal Mentor and COO of Individual U., LLC., a company dedicated to academic and executive function remediation. He is also a member of the Steering Committee for the Joint Atlantic Seminar in the History of Medicine. Matthew completed his undergraduate training in Biology and Biomedical Ethics at Brown University.

Andrew Pleasant
Andrew Pleasant’s interest in communication, literacy, and social change started while working on his parents’ small-town weekly newspapers. That early inspiration underpins his ongoing professional practice and research in health literacy, science, risk, and environmental communication, and social marketing.

Andrew joined Canyon Ranch Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity, in May 2009 ( Andrew is responsible for advancing the role of health literacy across Canyon Ranch Institute activities, including in current partnerships and programs, as well as in planning future activities. He also leads all research and evaluation activities at Canyon Ranch Institute, and is the program manager for numerous Canyon Ranch Institute partnerships. Andrew is also engaged in developing new programs and partnerships.

Andrew has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and technical reports, and is co-author of the book Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action (2006). He is also a member of the scientific committee of the Public Communication of Science and Technology Network, represents Canyon Ranch Institute on the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy, and serves on the Food & Drug Administration’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee.

Wendy Rothstein, JD, MPH
Wendy Rothstein is a lifelong advocate for social justice and health equity.  She has over 10 years experience as a not-for-profit development director and fundraising consultant for various New York City 501(c)(3) organizations, primarily focused on human services.  She has a particular interest in mental health and the rights of people with psychiatric disorders.  Wendy has sat on several boards and advisory boards, and served on the Surrogate Decision Making Committee for the New York State Commission on Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabled.  She does extensive volunteer work, which has included pro bono estate planning for GMHC’s legal clinic.

Wendy holds an MPH in Health Planning and Management from CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, a JD from Brooklyn Law School, an MFA in Painting from Hunter College, and a BFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts.  She is, to say the least, eclectic, and lives in New York City with her rescued greyhound and chow mix.

Roxsonne Simms, MS
Roxsonne Simms has worked at Visions Services for the Blind since 1997. She has a Master’s of Science degree in Special Education with an emphasis on Severe Multiple Disabilities. Prior to working at Visions, she worked as a substitute teacher with the New York City school system with severely disabled children. She is totally blind, and has raised three children as a single parent. As Social Caseworker at Visions at Selis Manor, she provides counseling and support for teens and adults with vision loss, through support groups, advocacy, resource materials, benefits, and Braille instruction. Because of her first-hand experience with discrimination from the general public, Ms. Simms helps her clients advocate for themselves to assist the public and family members to understand  the individual needs of people with disabilities.