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Meet the BFREE Team

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Program Coordinators

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Pamela Reichert-Anderson, MA, RDN, CLC

Project Coordinator

Pamela is a registered dietitian for General Pediatrics at CCMC and is the project coordinator. She has extensive experience with implementing health interventions in various settings. In a similar role on our previous grant, she coordinated training and quality improvement projects in nine pediatric practices to help change their breastfeeding culture. She played an instrumental role in helping Dolan Family Health Center successfully become the first NYS designated Breastfeeding Friendly practice in the Metropolitan region. For this project, Pamela will coordinate all aspects of the project including outreach, provider training, follow-up, assist in implementation and evaluation of operational activities, work closely with project staff to connect organizations and develop strong coalitions, and report any collected data. 

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Henry (Hank) Bernstein,

DO, MHCM, FAAP

Principal Investigator

Dr. Bernstein is a professor of Pediatrics at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. He is involved in a broad range of clinical, educational, research, and advocacy activities and has notably enhanced pediatric clinical practice. He is a published representative of nationally established groups and has directly influenced national policy. In 2013, he created FeedingYourBaby.org, a unique online educational tool available in English and Spanish, to support individualized maternal education, provide guidance, and time management to promote breastfeeding during the baby's first 6 months of life. Dr. Bernstein will oversee all activities, budget, and reporting functions of the grant. 

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Jennifer L. Giordano is the Director of Latch With Love, Inc., East Setauket, NY and Lactation Consultant for Peds First Pediatrics, Medford, NY.   Jennifer is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and known as an expert in the field of lactation management.  She was the Lactation/Perinatal Education Coordinator for St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center and Lecturer/Board Advisor for Prepared Childbirth Educators, Inc. She taught a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor course nationally which focused on preparing hospitals for Baby-Friendly designation and is a member of the Association of Lactation Providers, Long Island, NY.  Jennifer is excited to assist increasing breastfeeding community support as the IBCLC of the New York State Department of Health-Northwell BFREE Grant Team. 

Jennifer L. Giordano,

MS, APRN, FNP, IBCLC

Lactation Consulant

Associate Program Coordinators

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Angela Cabrera

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Sara Popofsky

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Anusha Panjwani

Angela graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology Honors and a minor in Psychology. In the past, she has conducted research on maximizing the photosynthetic efficiency of plants through molecular cloning in efforts to combat food insecurity. Angela is greatly looking forward to working with the BFREE team and collaborating with communities in New York to promote breastfeeding support and education.
Sara graduated from Emory University in 2024 with a bachelor of science in Anthropology and Human Biology. She has previously conducted research on how tango classes improves cognitive functions of people with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive impairments. Sara has also conducted research on how COVID-19 vaccines affect adults who have received solid organ transplants. Sara is excited to join the BFREE team and help educate communities across New York. 
Anusha graduated from Emory University in 2024 with a bachelor of arts in Human Health (Epidemiology Focus) and a minor in Middle Eastern & South Asian Studies. She has previously conducted research on COVID-19 vaccines, novel candidate Zika virus vaccines, and affordable repurposed drugs for metastatic cancer. Anusha is excited to join the BFREE team and work with local community partners on breastfeeding promotion. 
Maryjean Williams
Sandy McCabe
Italia Granshaw

Meet the Lactation Support Group Facilitators

Pat Esposito, RN, BS, LCCE, IBCLC

Pat is a Registered Nurse with a Masters Degree in Health Administration. She has been a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator since 1978 and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 1998. She has guided many couples in achieving their birthing goal and assisting them on their breastfeeding journeys.

Pat retired from her position as Head Nurse in the Labor and Delivery Unit at South Shore University Hospital in 2008, after serving in that role for 20 years. She continues to be employed at SSUH, as a per diem Lactation Consultant. She created the weekly Breastfeeding Support Group at SSUH in 2010 and often facilitates an in-person group on Tuesday afternoons. In addition to that, Pat counsels new moms in the Maternity Unit and facilitates our virtual lactation support groups every Tuesday from 7-8 pm.

When not spending her time working with new families, Pat enjoys gardening, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, and other outdoor activities. Pat relishes her family life, her husband, her 4 grown children and their spouses, and her 10 grandchildren. She feels that the experiences of her own life have aided her in being successful in the many facets of her work life.

Maryjean Williams, RN, BSN, CBC

Maryjean is a mother of three children and one of three siblings and has been serving the community since she was a teenager. She volunteered as a Crisis Counselor for Long Island Crisis Center in the 1990s and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, rising to the rank of Captain in the Army Nurse Corps. There, she earned her "Airborne Wings," received Army Achievement and Commendation medals, and was honorably discharged in 2006. She also attained her Registered Nurse license and worked in the Neurology, Neurosurgery, Traumatic Brain Injury, Orthopedics, Medical/Pediatric/Surgical ICU, and Radiology units.

Since 2013, Maryjean has served as a volunteer leader of La Leche League of Sayville, providing in-person and virtual breast/chestfeeding support. Maryjean has also been the community organizer for the Holistic Moms Network Sayville chapters since 2016, hosting family gatherings, mom night outs, and guest speakers on holistic living and health. In 2016, she was also accredited as the Attachment Parenting International Leader of Suffolk County. It has been a true honor for her to bring families together, troubleshoot parenting skills, teach gentle discipline techniques, and sing songs with the kids. Maryjean is a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor (CBC) currently working for the BFREE team facilitating our in-person and virtual lactation support groups every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at Pronto of Long Island in Bayshore from 12-1 pm. 

 

In addition to her volunteer work, she is a Parent-Child Educator at The Waldorf School of Garden City. There, she provides a nourishing and enriching environment for infants to preschool-age children. She hopes to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, be present for her family and community, and always be kind.

Sandy McCabe, RN

Sandy has been a Registered Nurse for over 28 years. She has hospital experience in Postpartum, Nursery, Labor and Delivery, Cardiac and Medicine. She has been assisting women with breastfeeding for the past 24 years and breastfed her own children. She is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Certified Childbirth Educator. She does home consults and has worked in-hospital performing consults for mothers on postpartum units and for mothers of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  She is currently a Bilingual Provider Partner facilitating our Spanish virtual lactation support groups every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 6-7 pm, answering questions and educating parents about breastfeeding and caring for their newborns.

Jeanne Rosser, BA, IBCLC, RLC

Jeanne is a self-employed board-certified Lactation Consultant in private practice on Long Island. She provides breastfeeding support and education for mother-baby dyads through in-home and office visits. Most recently, she has been facilitating our BFREE team's in-person lactation support groups every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at Sun River Health Martin Luther King, Jr. in Wyandanch from 11-12 pm. She was hired as part of the New York State Contract Tracing Team in 2020. This team was formed as New York State’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.  Before the pandemic, She was contracted as Clinical Director for Allied Breastfeeding Support, a division of Allied Physicians Group. This position also included office hours as an on-staff Lactation Consultant for a pediatric practice with extensive use of electronic medical records.

 

She has a background in corporate lactation support heavily reliant on database use, knowledge of reliable internet sources, and telephone counseling. In addition, she is a long-standing La Leche League Leader who provides twice-monthly breastfeeding support group meetings and ongoing telephone counseling. She was Vice-President, Past President, Corresponding Secretary, and Recording Secretary of the Long Island Lactation Consultant Association.

Paola Duarte
Marta Blanco

Lizeth Villa, BA
Lizeth, a psychology graduate from Colombia, has lived in the USA for several years. Inspired by her own experiences, she is dedicated to extended breastfeeding and advocates for mothers and families, promoting inclusivity. Professionally, Lizeth collaborates with nonprofit, social service organizations, specializing in support for Spanish-speaking communities and translating for Baby Cafés. As a key member of our BFREE team, she empowers mothers with vital resources for a healthy baby and mom life while translating
our in-person lactation support groups every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at Sun River Health Martin Luther King,  Jr.  at Wyandanch from 11-12 pm. Formerly the ambassador for Wyandanch’s breastfeeding-friendly initiative, she is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and outreach.

Italia Granshaw
Pat Esposito
Marta Blanco
Paola Duarte
Jeanne Rosser
Lizeth Villa

Former Program Coordinators

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Anastasia Schepers, MA, RDN, CLC, MS

Anastasia is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master's degree in clinical nutrition. Most of her 35 years in the field have been spent educating youth and parents on making healthy lifestyle choices, focusing particularly on food and beverages.  Anastasia provides a variety of interactive and educational programs in Queens, Nassau, and Western Suffolk under the Kohl’s Cares Keeping Kids Healthy Program, a grant aimed at reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity. Programs focus on including more fruits and vegetables, eating breakfast, making healthy beverage and snack choices, and engaging in physical activity. 

Dawn Kempa, RN, IBCLC

Dawn has served as a RN IBCLC for 22 years and is the project administrator. She has been the CCMC WIC program manager for 14 years has vast experience in supporting under served mothers with breastfeeding. Dawn also serves on a number of committees within Northwell Health to make breastfeeding the norm, which includes making clinical practices and hospitals breastfeeding and baby friendly. For this project, she will utilize her expertise to provide comprehensive staff administrative support, host breastfeeding training sessions, and help staff Baby Cafés®. 

Tari Ajeh, MPH, MS, CLC, CHC

Tari is a public health professional holding Master's degrees in Public Health. She has extensive experience with planning and implementing maternal health interventions for black and brown mothers on Long Island. She played an instrumental role in setting up the Birth Justice Warriors foundation, an educational non-profit dedicated to eliminating disparities in adverse health outcomes for black birthing people in Nassau County. She has also had the opportunity to identify and lead quality improvement programs to improve the quality of care for geriatric populations.

Former Associate Program Coordinators

Tari Ajeh, MPH, MS, CLC, CHC

Tari is a public health professional holding Master's degrees in Public Health. She has extensive experience with planning and implementing maternal health interventions for black and brown mothers on Long Island. She played an instrumental role in setting up the Birth Justice Warriors foundation, an educational non-profit dedicated to eliminating disparities in adverse health outcomes for black birthing people in Nassau County. She has also had the opportunity to identify and lead quality improvement programs to improve the quality of care for geriatric populations.

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