Leadership Biographies


Mary Beth Quaranta Morrissey, PhD, MPH, JD

mary beth photo Mary Beth Quaranta Morrissey, Esq., PhD, MPH, a health care attorney practicing in White Plains, NY, and an aging and health researcher, holds the appointments of Fellow at Fordham University’s Global Healthcare Innovation Management Center, and Senior Policy Advisor in Health and Ethics at the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center, University of Rochester Medical Center (FLGEC).

Morrissey is Director of the Aging & Health Workforce Development Institute, a collaborative project of the FLGEC, Westchester Public Private Partnership for Aging Services and Collaborative for Palliative Care; President of the American Psychological Association (APA) Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology (STPP); and the STPP recipient of a 2017 APA Public Interest Directorate Health Equity Dissemination Award. Morrissey’s research and scholarship on pain, suffering and palliative and end-of-life care inform and guide her policy practice and advocacy.

She has authored numerous publications in law and peer-reviewed scientific journals, integrating transdisciplinary and critical theoretical perspectives in law, psychology, public health, social work and bioethics. Morrissey serves presently as President of the Collaborative for Palliative Care, New York, President of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and past chair of New York City Bar Association Bioethical Issues Committee. She is a member of the NYSBA Health Law Section and NYSBA Ethical Issues and Public Health Committees; and is past president of the State Society on Aging of New York, past president of the Public Health Association of New York City, and past chair of the Health Law and Reproductive Rights Committee of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York and the Elder/Health Law Committee of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association.

Cornelia Schimert, RN, BSN

cornelia schimert Cornelia has worked extensively in the field of community health nursing and hospice care. She founded and was the administrator of Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam for over 14 years and is the current Director of Community Relations and Business Development for the Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley. For the past several years Ms. Schimert has been a support group leader with the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and has been President of the Northern Westchester Geriatric Committee since 2009.

Bruce Jennings, MA

mary beth photoBruce Jennings, MA, is Director of Bioethics at the Center for Humans and Nature. He teaches ethics at the Yale University School of Public Health and the New York Medical College. He also holds a faculty appointment at the Weill Medical College-Cornell University. He is Senior Advisor and an elected Fellow at The Hastings Center, where he served from 1991 through 1999 as Executive Director.

In 2011 Mr. Jennings was named Editor-in-Chief of the new 4th edition of the Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 5 vols. (Macmillan Reference, forthcoming 2014), a standard reference work in the field of bioethics.

Mr. Jennings has been active in the health policy and end of life care arenas and has published widely on ethical issues in hospital treatment decision making, palliative care, and hospice. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and the Board of Trustees of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State. He is a member of the hospital ethics committee at the New York Presbyterian Hospital—Cornell and at the Sound Shore Medical Center. He is coauthor of the Hastings Center Guidelines on the Termination of Life-Sustaining Treatment and the Care of the Dying (1987); and has recently coauthored a successor book, The Hastings Center Guidelines for Decisions on Life-Sustaining Treatment and Care Near the End of Life: Revised and Expanded Second Edition (Oxford University Press, 2013). He is also co-founder of the “Decisions Near the End of Life” program, an educational and practice change program that was conducted in over 200 hospitals in 20 states from 1990-1996.

He has also been a leader in ethics education in the field of public health. From 2003-2009 he served as member and Chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For several years he has been active in the ethics shared interest group of the American Public Health Association, and in 2010 served as the chair of that group. Among his works in public health are: Ethics and Public Health: Model Curriculum (Association of Schools of Public Health, 2003) and Public Health Ethics: Theory, Policy and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2007).

A political scientist by training (Yale University B.A. 1971 and Princeton University M.A. 1973), Mr. Jennings has written and edited twenty-five books and has published numerous articles on bioethics and public policy issues.

Barney D. Newman, MD

Medical Director Emeritus, WESTMED Medical Group
Retìred CMO , WESTMED Practice Partners

mary beth photoDr. Newman is the Medical Director Emeritus of WESTMED Medical Group (WMG), having retired as medical director in June 2015 after 16 years in the position. WMG is a successful and growing multi-specialty medical practice based in Purchase, NY, with 10 office locations in Westchester and Fairfield counties. Dr. Newman is also the recently retired Chief Medical Officer for WESTMED Practice Partners, a management services organization. He has 28 years of progressive medical management experience including 12 years as Medical Director for Kaiser Permanente in the Northeast. While with Kaiser, Dr. Newman had regional responsibilities for clinical information systems and pharmacy and served on Kaiser’s National Clinical Information Systems Advisory and Interregional Transplant Committees. Dr . Newman has focused his career on organizing physicians in comprehensive delivery systems that are clinically integrated and that deliver high quality care. In 1999, he became the medical director for WESTMED Medical Group and has played a critical role in the practice’s growth and success.

For 30 years, Dr. Newman was an internist in White Plains, NY. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from Milton S. Hershey Medical Center School of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University. He completed an internal medicine internship and residency at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, Bronx, NY. Dr. Newman is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. His hospital affiliations are with White Plains Hospital and Greenwich Hospital. In his years on staff at White Plains Hospital, Dr. Newman has served on the Medical Staff Credentials Committee and has been a member of the Hospital Board’s Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning Committees.

Dr. Newman previously had academic appointments at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and New York Medical College and now has an academic appointment as clinical assistant professor of medicine at Cornell Medical College. He has served on the editorial advisory board for the Permanente Journal and as the managed care editor for Medscape. Dr. Newman was a founding board member of the Lord’s Pantry and now serves on the board for The Westchester Public Private Partnership for the Aging and the Westchester Collaborative for Palliative Care.

He is a member of the American College of Physicians and an emeritus member of the American College of Physician Executives. Dr. Newman is a winner in the Medical Director category for the 2011 National Dorland Health People Awards. Dorland Health is a leading media publisher in the healthcare business information industry.

Policy Task Force Co-Chairs and Advisory Board Vice Chairs

Melissa Lang, DrPH, MPH, MPA, MA
Melissa Lang has over 15 years of senior and CEO-level experience in community-based non-profit health services and is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Gilda’s Club Westchester, an organization that offers psychosocial cancer support to over 4,000 patients and families each year. Dr. Lang brings a range of experience that includes healthcare management, program development, and public policy advocacy. In addition to her current work in the field of psychosocial oncology, her background includes several years of experience in hospice and palliative care, long term care and disabilities, and aging services. Committed to the dual focus of quality of care and quality of life affecting older adults, she served as a New York State Certified Long Term Care Ombudsman and is currently the Vice President, Board of Directors, for The Center for Aging in Place. Dr. Lang actively engages in advocacy and health policy analysis in a variety of settings and serves on several boards and committees addressing issues related to ethics and medical care, cancer treatment and survivorship, end-of-life care, palliative care, family caregiving, services for older adults, and access to health care for vulnerable and underserved populations.

Dr. Lang holds a Doctorate in Public Health, Health Policy and Management, from New York Medical College; a Master’s Degree in Public Health, Healthcare Management, from Columbia University, School of Public Health; and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs. Building on her interest in exploring the legal and ethical issues in medical policy, practice, and research, she completed a Certificate in Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and is currently pursuing a degree in Bioethics at Columbia University.

Alzheimer's Association Hudson Valley
American Cancer Society
Bereavement Center of Westchester
Blythedale Hospital
Cabrini of Westchester
Calvary Hospital
Cancer Support Team
Compassion & Choices of New York
Concept: CARE, Inc.
Dominican Sisters Family Health Service
Edna L. Roker Social Adult Day Care Center
Evercare by United Health Care
Fordham University Ravazzin Center
Gilda's Club Westchester
Health Care Social Workers' Association
Hearthstone Alzheimer Care
Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester
Jansen Hospice & Palliative Care
Jewish Home Lifecare
Keane & Beane, P.C.
Landscapes for Historic Sites
Lawrence Hospital Center
Maria Fareri Childrens' Hospital
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Mental Health Association of Westchester
MJHS Hospice Mollie and Jack Zicklin Residence
Mount Kisco Medical Group
D.E. Nicosia & Associates, LLC
NYMC School of Health Sciences and Practice
and Institute of Public Health
NYU Silver School of Social Work
Northern Westchester Hospital Center
Pace Women's Justice Center
Phelps Hospice
Phelps Memorial Hospital Center
St. John's Riverside Healthcare System
Schervier Nursing Care Center
Schnurmacher Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing
Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester
United Hebrew Geriatric Center of New Rochelle
United Hospice of Rockland
VA Hudson Valley Health Care System
Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley
Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam
Visiting Nurse Services in Westchester
The Wartburg
Westchester Alliance
Westchester County Department
of Senior Programs & Services
Westchester End-of-Life Coalition
Pathways to Care WJCS
Westchester County Livable Communities
Westchester Medical Center
Westchester Public/Private Partnership
for Aging Services
White Plains Hospital Center
The Wartburg
Women's Bar Association of the State of New York
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