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.
EILEEN KLEIN, Ph.D. / TREASURER
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.
MIKE WORAM / BOARD MEMBER
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.
SUZY RITHOLZ, LCSW-R / 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.
NATASHA STOVALL, Ph.D. / 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.
SAMANTHA FRANKLIN, MSW / 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."
Staff and Board
Rainbow Heights Club Staff
CHRISTIAN HUYGEN, Ph.D. / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
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.
RANDY KILLINGS / DIRECTOR OF PEER SERVICES, CERTIFIED PEER SPECIALIST
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.
EDDIE HARDAWAY, LMSW / DIRECTOR OF HCBS & CONTRACT SERVICES
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.
PARKER JORDAN, MSW / DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
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 holds a Master's of Social Work degree from Columbia School of Social Work.
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.
MONICA AMEY / LEAD PEER SPECIALIST
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.
SEAN ALEXANDER / CERTIFIED PEER SPECIALIST
Sean Alexander is a New York State Certified Peer Specialist. Prior to joining Rainbow Heights Club staff, Sean completed his internship at the Club and really loved interacting with members and cooking the daily community meals. Sean was drawn to peer work because he enjoys helping people, and he knows the only way people want to listen is if they know you actually understand what they're dealing with. Sean appreciates that his own lived experiences let him relate to other people who are facing similar challenges.
CHRIS ARROYO / 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."
TANISHA LUMPKIN / CERTIFIED PEER SPECIALIST
Tanisha Lumpkin is a graduate of Howie the Harp Peer Advocacy Center. 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.
CESAR MUNOZ / CERTIFIED 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."
SHAN PERRY / CERTIFIED PEER SPECIALIST
After 13 years of working in the LGBTQ community in a variety of ways, Shan Perry pursued peer specialist certification in order to grow her abilities to support people with mental health conditions. She considers this career change an opportunity to do something deeper within the LGBTQ community. Shan wants to help reduce the feelings of isolation that many LGBTQ people living with mental illness experience, and she looks forward to continuing to make connections with others through her work at Rainbow Heights Club.
MARGAUX GALLI / PEER SPECIALIST INTERN
Margaux is a Peer Specialist Intern at Rainbow Heights Club. She has been certified as a Peer Specialist through Howie the Harp Advocacy Center and has obtained provisional certification through New York State. In her free time, she enjoys creative outlets, watching movies, and spending time with loved ones. Margaux believes strongly in normalizing vulnerability and mental health support; transforming our greatest vulnerabilities into our greatest strengths. She seeks to utilize her lived and formal training experiences to assist others in self-advocacy and mental health recovery.
WILLOW PARSONS / PEER SPECIALIST INTERN
Willow is an intern at Rainbow Heights Club seeking her New York Peer Specialist Certification. She is thrilled to be able to work within her community. You can often find her playing guitar, singing, or cooking up something tasty! Willow has a firmly held belief that everyone is deserving of support, regardless of their identity or personal history. In her mental health journey, a few people met her where she was, without judgment, and it made all the difference. She hopes to be that for others.
MARK PELIPICHE / VOLUNTEER
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.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Rainbow Heights Club is temporarily pausing on-site services for members. We are providing support services via telephone from 10 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday.