Daniel Garza, MD is a psychiatrist at the Michael Callen- Audre Lorde Community Health Center, the first primary care facility for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population in the United States. Since 1998 he has been the original psychiatrist for Callen-Lorde’s Health Outreach to Teens (HOTT) Program a primary care clinic servicing youth ages 13- 24. He is the psychiatrist for the SCO Family of Services agency providing consultation and treatment for their LGBTQ foster group homes in the New York City area. He teaches regularly at both the local and national levels on adolescent mental health, commitment law, the health of racial and sexual minorities, and substance abuse.
Dr. Garza is on the faculty of the NYU-Langone Medical School of Medicine and works as the Medical Director of the Assisted Outpatient Treatment program for the borough of Queens at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He in private practice in Manhattan and is a volunteer examiner for Physicians for Human Rights Asylum Network providing evaluations for immigration proceedings.
DANIEL GARZA, MD / BOARD CHAIR
Dr. KIein served as Chief of Service at Heights-Hill Mental Health Service, and then Deputy Director of Inpatient Operations at South Beach Psychiatric Center. She currently works as an Associate Professor of Social Work at Ramapo College where she teaches in their Social Work program. She earned her M.S.W. from the University of Buffalo, and a Master of Public Health and Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work from NYU. She
has authored and co-authored numerous articles and book chapters on the Rainbow Heights Club, stigma and mental health policy.
EILEEN KLEIN, Ph.D. / TREASURER
Mr. Woram lives and works in the local Brooklyn community. He has worked as a Senior Research Associate at Columbia University and as a consultant to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, including its investigation of Three Mile Island in 1979. Since 1980, he has been self-employed as a consultant to the nuclear industry, and in computer and software services. He also offers pro bono technical assistance to Heights-Hill Mental Health Service South Beach Psychiatric Center Community Advisory Board on database design and maintenance.
MIKE WORAM / BOARD MEMBER
Dr. Ritholz is a subject matter expert in LGBT issues such as mental health recovery, aging and trauma. A graduate of New York University, she has held leadership positions at Hetrick Martin Institute, working with LGBT youth; Interfaith Medical Center, managing a large staff to help adults with serious mental illness; Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders (SAGE), transforming the social service department to better help LGBT older adults age in place; the Urban Resource Institute, providing clinical supervision for staff working with families in a domestic violence shelter, and most recently Health First, identifying gaps in behavioral health quality management for a large managed care organization. Currently residing in Bedford Stuyvesant, Dr. Ritholz has lived in Brooklyn since 2001.
SUZY RITHOLZ, LCSW-R / BOARD MEMBER
Natasha is a clinical psychologist in private practice. She has worked throughout the state and local mental health systems serving New York City residents. She is honored to support the mission and serve the members of Rainbow Heights Club with her fellow board members.
NATASHA STOVALL, Ph.D. / BOARD MEMBER
Samantha Franklin has over a decade of experience working at philanthropic and capacity building organizations. Most recently, she served at L+M Development Partners as Director of Community Investment. At L+M, she coordinated with various stakeholders and institutional partners to bring programs and resources to NYC communities through grant making and other CSR. Prior to working at L+M, Samantha was a Program Officer at Johnson Family Foundation (New York City, NY), a Project Manager at Jobs for the Future (Boston, MA) and a Junior Capacity Building Specialist at the Harm Reduction Coalition (NYC). She also served on the advisory boards of the Brown Boi Project (Oakland, CA) and Third Wave Fund (NYC) and participated in various collaborative efforts with philanthropic groups that include Funders for LGBTQ Issues, New York Women's Foundation, North Star Fund, and Queer Youth Fund."
SAMANTHA FRANKLIN, MSW / BOARD MEMBER
Staff and Board
Rainbow Heights Club Staff
Christian Huygen has served as Executive Director of Rainbow Heights Club since 2002. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from The New School for Social Research. Dr. Huygen began working with LGBT consumers over in 1995, as a volunteer at an AIDS hospice in San Francisco. His research interests include autobiographical and social remembering, consumer satisfaction, and quality of life. Before he came to New York City to become a psychologist, he was an actor, writer and playwright; his play Waiting for Godette, starring Justin Bond, was produced at Theater Rhinoceros in 1993. He co-authored articles on Rainbow Heights Club for the journal Best Practices in Mental Health and the anthology Community Mental Health: 21st Century Challenges.
Kevin Garrity is the Deputy Executive Director. Kevin came to Rainbow Heights in 2005 with a long history of for profit and not for profit corporate development and management. He has helped guide many organizations to sustainability through funding diversification and administrative capacity development both on the staff and board levels. Kevin also represents Rainbow Heights Club in Albany and at NY City Hall, where he advocates for more and better access to services for our community.
KEVIN GARRITY / DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Randy Killings, CASAC-T, New York Certified Peer Specialist, Director of Peer Services, earned his CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) diploma from the Outreach Training Institute in Queens, New York. He is also a graduate of the Howie the Harp Peer Advocacy Center. Randy is a resident of Brooklyn, New York, living with his partner, and has been in the Human Services field for eight years. Randy has experience working with autistic children and with homeless populations. Randy’s hobbies are dancing, modeling and playing handball. Randy’s goal is to enter into social work in the future because he loves to assist people, who like him, live with a mental illness. Randy identifies as a gay man and is proud to be working with LGBTQ people who live with mental illness.
RANDY KILLINGS / DIRECTOR OF PEER SERVICES, CERTIFIED PEER SPECIALIST
Eddie Hardaway is the Director of H.C.B.S. & contract services who works with both LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ people living with diagnosed mental illness to support their goals and nurture their independence. Eddie knows that every person has the capacity for happiness and the ability to work to reach their goals. Eddie believes that the work he does helps put people closer to living a life that helps them have self value and become a contributing member of their community. Eddie has worked with children, adults and families impacted by mental illness and developmental delays which has rewarded him with tremendous joy seeing folks become aware of their self worth and overcome obstacles. Eddie is a licensed master Social Worker, trained in trauma informed, recovery oriented, integrated, and person-centered care. He’s also the recipient of numerous awards including the NYS one year residency scholarship award to the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. He hold a Master’s degree in Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College of New York.
EDDIE HARDAWAY, LMSW / DIRECTOR OF HCBS & CONTRACT SERVICES
As the Director of Community Engagement, Parker works to engage and expand the Rainbow Heights Club member base, and to train mental healthcare providers on why LGBTQ identities matter and are integral to care. Parker is a proud gay trans man living with a mental illness, and he knows firsthand that the LGBTQ community can take better care of each other than institutions can. He believes that community care has the power to move people from struggling individually to maintain their mental illness towards living in recovery, together. Parker is currently an MSW student at Columbia University School of Social Work, graduating in May 2020.
Danny Brito is the Community Engagement Coordinator and a New York Certified Peer Specialist at Rainbow Heights Club. Danny arranges the many guest visits and events we have at Rainbow Heights Club. He is an advocate for helping to remove the stigma of mental illness. Danny is a native New Yorker, a freelance artist and a lover of nature. In his spare time Danny enjoys art, movies and raising turtles.
DANNY BRITO / COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR
Monica Amey is a NYS Certified Peer Specialist. Lives in Brooklyn with her partner Monica graduated from Argus Community Inc. Monica also is a graduate from Howie The Harp. She completed her internship here at Rainbow Heights Club and was hired fulltime as the lead Peer Specialist. She has an affinity for the population at Rainbow Heights and wants to positively contribute to Mental Health in the LGBTQ Community.
MONICA AMEY / PEER SPECIALIST
Felix "Flex" Barbour is a Peer Specialist Intern from Howie The Harp and will graduate in October 2019. Flex is from Philadelphia, PA and moved to Harlem in 2012 where he worked as a veterinary technician until 2017. Flex is a compassionate person who strongly believes in recovery as a possibility for everyone, no matter the circumstances. He is an approachable alternative nerd interested in crafting, roleplaying, singing and advocating for therapy animals.
FELIX BARBOUR / CERTIFIED PEER SPECIALIST
Carlnell Frazier is a New York State Certified Peer Specialist. He is a graduate of Howie The Harp, where he studied to be a Peer specialist. He has a sufficient lived experience to provide excellent services for people with mental health and substance issues especially for those who identify as LGBTQ persons working towards wellness within. He has experiences working at institutions such as inpatient clinic, and outpatient clinics. He provided services to those in need of help. Additionally, he has experience with people who experienced with incarcerations seeking services to start their recovery path to wellness. With all that said, he looks forward to dedicating himself to provide services for the members of Rainbow Heights Club.
CARLNELL FRAZIER / PEER SPECIALIST
A graduate of Howie the Harp, she was inspired to transition to the human services field after a career in financial services as a direct result of positive interactions with an experienced, caring Peer Specialist. The support and education she received from them was enlightening and a major contribution to her wellness. The level of acceptance and community shown sparked a desire to provide the same for others.
SANDRA CROWL / CERTIFIED PEER SPECIALIST
Tanisha Lumpkin is an intern and a current student attending Howie the Harp Peer Advocacy Center. She has completed all 13 core modules in the Academy of Peer Services pending state certification. Tanisha finds it important to advocate for her peers and see to it that everyone is treated fair and just. She takes pride in working with others like herself living with a mental health diagnosis. Harm reduction and self-wellness are used daily in her personal life. She enjoys Karaoke, team building exercises, conversations that makes one think and can be goofy at times. Tanisha plans to continue her education in mental health and human services so that she can continue her success in wellness and provide adequate service to others.
TANISHA LUMPKIN / PEER SPECIALIST
Cesar Munoz is a New York Certified Peer Specialist at the Club. He is from Ecuador and studied at the Institute for Career Development. He is passionate about the mission of Rainbow Heights Club. The hospitality from the staff and members has made him feel at home. He says: "Now, whatever other people say, I trust myself, I feel secure about who I am. People here are confident and respectful. I've learned so much here. Everyone here gets a second chance. No what issues you have faced in your life, you have a chance to relax and make a positive contribution to society. Rainbow Heights Club is helping people do just that.
CESAR MUNOZ / CERTIFIED PEER SPECIALIST
Mark Pelipiche enjoys volunteering at Rainbow Heights because it helps him have something positive to do each day. It makes him feel good to give back to the community and have a sense of purpose and something to look forward to. Some of Mark’s tasks at Rainbow Heights are food handling, prepping meals as well as assisting staff and new interns with cooking dinner for our members. Mark states, “Coming to Rainbow Heights puts me at ease. I can always look forward to having extra support from staff and my peers.” Mark also enjoys listening to music and playing with his two small dogs Pepper & Julie.
MARK PELIPICHE / VOLUNTEER
Sunny Rivera, New York Certified Peer Specialist, is a Peer Specialist at Rainbow Heights. Sunny has worked in the social services field for almost three decades. Her previous experience has covered a diverse range of areas such as providing mental health services and helping children with developmental disabilities. Sunny later expanded her skill set to include substance abuse treatment and has been involved with recovery work for over a decade. Sunny is particularly interested in helping support clients who are re-entering into society after periods of incarceration. She would like to combine her knowledge of substance abuse and recovery to help individuals maintain their well-being and decrease recidivism rates. Sunny is grateful to Rainbow Heights for the opportunity to further her knowledge and capabilities as a mental health counselor.
SUNNY RIVERA / CERTIFIED PEER SPECIALIST
Bernadette Young is a Peer Specialist at Rainbow Heights Club and brings skills developed at Howie The Harp Advocacy Center to the Club. She is a fun, energetic, and understanding person. Her hobbies are reading, writing, listening to music, and comic book collecting. She loves giving back to those in need with advice and being able to meet them where they are. She looks forward to continuing to work with all the members.
BERNADETTE YOUNG / CERTIFIED PEER SPECIALIST
After an injury on the job stopped Chris from doing the physical work that he used to do, He realized there was something he could still do. Chris decided that giving back to a population of people that is often neglected or forgotten about was something he was passionate about. "I like helping people find their voice".
CHRIS ARROYO / PEER SPECIALIST
Brian Buryakov is a Mental Health Counseling Intern. He is currently working towards his master's degree in mental health counseling at Baruch College and hopes to provide quality mental health services for LGBTQ+ individuals in his career as a counselor. Brian was born in raised in The Bronx, NYC. His passions are baking sweets, watching films, and taking care of animals.
BRAIN BURYAKOV/ MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR INTERN
Shan Perry is a Peer Specialist Intern from Howie The Harp. She has completed all thirteen core modules in the Academy of Peer Services. She also graduated from ASA College for Excellence. She worked in the West Village where she stayed for over thirteen years because of the historic representation and presence of the LBGTQ+ community. Shan is a free spirit and humanitarian and believes that all people deserve a chance at recovery. Shan looks forward to advocating for her peers.
SHAN PERRY / PEER SPECIALIST INTERN
Iveth is a bisexual female who has been in recovery for over ten years. With the help of professionals and her own research and yoga, she has been able to maintain her mental health recovery. Iveth is a Howie The Harp intern and feels Rainbow Heights Club provides a judgment free space where people are treated with equality and respect. Iveth goal is to show people that recovery is possible. “I want to be the person I needed when I was in recovery”.
IVETH LUGO / PEER SPECIALIST INTERN
Sarah Artzie is a Peer Specialist Intern from Howie The Harp. Her hobbies are exercising, listening to music and dancing. Sarah is a high school graduate with college experience and has completed approximately 400 hours at Howie The Harp internship program. Sarah loves working with people and loves all types of animals, especially panda bears. She resides in Manhattan with her roommate. Sarah is looking forward to providing services here at Rainbow Heights Club.
SARAH ARTZIE / PEER SPECIALIST INTERN
Brandon Brown is a Mental Health Counseling Intern who is working on his masters to be a licensed Mental Health Counselor. He has ideations of continuing his education so he can get his doctorate in Psychology. Playing video games, going out to eat with friends, and listening to music are his favorite hobbies. Born and raised in the Bronx, he has hopes to advocate for those who are LGBTQ+ as a member of the community and wishes to use whatever platform he has to aid those who are mentally ill.
BRANDON BROWN / MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR INTERN
Dani is a Mental Health Intern from Hunter College, finishing their last semester in the Counseling program. They enjoy caffeinated beverages, challenging the gender binary, and the color purple. Dani’s primary goal in mental health is to work with LGBT+ youth, by encouraging them to work on their wellness and to pursue their dreams. Dani hopes to inspire others and to make the world a better place for all.
DANI VALBUENA VALDERRAMA / MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR INTERN
Alaina Ables is a Mental Health Counseling Intern from LIU Brooklyn. She is originally from Philadelphia but NYC has become her 2nd home. Alaina graduated with a Masters in September and has a passion for working with the LGBTQ population because most of her friends identify as part of the community. Alaina has a passion for working with people with mental illness because she knows what is like to receive therapy as a child and adolescent. Alaina has also interned with organizations who help with the homeless population in NYC. In her free time Alaina enjoys going to Comedy Shows, finding unique shows to binge on Netflix, and connecting with people!
ALAINA ABLES / MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR INTERN
Bryce is happily completing an internship at Rainbow Heights Club after finishing their courses at Howie The Harp. Bryce has spent a lot of time in the theatre, both acting and designing and in the service industry. Someday Bryce hopes to combine theatre with the peer services they provide.
BRYCE JENSON / PEER SPECIALIST INTERN
Kadijah Archer joined Rainbow Heights Club to expand her growth and learning spectrum. Kadijah has a Bachelor’s of Science from John Jay College in Criminal Justice. She spent three years working at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center as a Financial Coordinator. Kadijah also spends time volunteering at Friends of Island Academy, mentoring young women who were incarcerated at Riker’s Island. Kadijah enjoys working withing the community and continuing her journey. She enjoys writing, sketching and listening to different kinds of music. Kadijah also enjoys State Parks and Museums.