JUDITH STEIN, JD - Executive Director
BRAD PLEBANI, JD - Deputy Director
Margaret MurphY, JD - Associate Director
PAMELA MELISO, JD - Senior Attorney
GILL DEFORD, JD - Director of Litigation
MARY T. BERTHELOT, MSW, JD - Attorney
MARY A. ASHKAR, JD -
ABIGAIL C. SHEEHAN,
TIANA HERCULES, MBA, JD - Attorney
NANCY GIFFORD, JD - Attorney
DAVID LIPSCHUTZ - Attorney
CAROLYN BOYLE, MBA - Administrator
- Assistant Data Manager
MATTHEW SHEPARD, MA - Communications Coordinator
ELLEN LANG, RN, MPH -
Medical Advocacy Consultant
MARCUS TILTON - Senior Consultant
- Medicare Beneficiary Consultant
ALFRED J. CHIPLIN, JR., M. Div., JD - Managing
VICKI GOTTLICH, LLM, JD - Senior Policy
TOBY EDELMAN, M. Ed., JD - Senior Policy
PATRICIA NEMORE, JD - Senior Policy
LARRY GLATZ, M. Ed. - Data Project Director
LISA HALL - Data Project Manager
WEY-WEY KWOK, JD - Attorney
SALLY HART, JD - Senior Policy & Litigation
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Bess Brewer, JD -
Constance Neal, BA
Patrick Proctor, Ph.D.
MARION PLATT, M.ED
Keith Bradoc Gallant,
Rajiv Nagaich, JD
JUDITH STEIN, JD - EXECUTIVE
founded the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. in 1986.
She is currently
the Executive Director. Ms. Stein has focused on legal representation of
the elderly since beginning her legal career in 1975. From 1977 until
1986, Ms. Stein was the Co-Director of Legal Assistance to Medicare Patients
(LAMP) where she managed the first Medicare advocacy program in the country.
She has extensive experience in developing and administering Medicare advocacy
projects, representing Medicare beneficiaries, producing educational materials,
teaching and consulting. She has been lead or co-counsel in federal class
action and individual cases challenging improper Medicare policies and denials.
Ms. Stein graduated cum laude from Williams
College in 1972 and received her law degree with honors from Catholic University
School of Law in 1975. She is the editor and co-author of numerous books,
articles, and other publications regarding Medicare and related issues including
the Medicare Handbook
(Aspen Publishers, Inc.,
updated annually). She is a Past President
and Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a past
Commissioner of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, an
elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), and a
recipient of the Health Care Financing Administration ( HCFA, now CMS)
Beneficiary Services Certificate of Merit. She was
a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging,
representing Senator Chris Dodd, and received the Connecticut Commission on
Aging Agewise Advocate Award
in May 2007.
BRAD PLEBANI, JD - DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Brad Plebani is the Deputy Director at the Center for
Medicare Advocacy, Inc. Mr.
Plebani received his B.A. degree from The George Washington
University in Washington, D.C., his J.D. degree from Brooklyn
Law School in New York, and received a Reginald Heber Smith
Fellowship through Howard University School of Law and the
National Legal Services Corporation.
Mr. Plebani is responsible for assisting the Executive
Director with personnel, budgetary and organizational issues and
in engaging in community outreach efforts with respect to
universal health care coverage and health disparities,
particularly (but not exclusively) disparities affecting the
Latino population. He also assists with overseeing the Center's
project development and advocacy efforts, including general
advocacy and litigation efforts. He has been a frequent
lecturer, around the country, to attorneys, paralegals, and
other professionals regarding Medicare and related issues. He is
co-author of numerous books, articles, and other publications
addressing Medicare coverage and appeals issues including the
Medicare Handbook (Aspen Publishers, Inc., updated annually).
MARGARET M. MURPHY, JD - ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
Margaret Murphy is the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s Associate
Director, located in the Center’s Connecticut office. Prior to
joining the Center in June, 2008, Margaret pursued a career in
trusts and estates at two of Connecticut’s finest law firms,
Cummings & Lockwood, and Robinson Cole. Ms. Murphy has often been
appointed by Connecticut probate courts to represent incapacitated
adults, teaches as an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac Law School,
and has experience supervising lawyers and legal staff. She has
over twenty years of legal experience and is an active member of the
Connecticut Bar Association, having been involved in numerous
training and writing activities. Ms. Murphy has a BA from Mt.
Holyoke College and a JD from the University of Connecticut School
PAMELA MELISO, MPH, JD -
Pamela Meliso is a senior staff
attorney with the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. Ms.
Meliso has successfully handled hundreds of appeals of Medicare
denials on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. She is a member
of Connecticut's Carrier Advisory Committee and is co-chair of the
Medicare subcommittee of the Elder Law Section of the Connecticut
Bar Association. Ms. Meliso is lead trainer for Connecticut's
Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program and is a frequent
speaker on Medicare, due process, and related topics in Connecticut
and around the country. Ms. Meliso is a co-author of the
Medicare Handbook, Aspen Pub. Co. 2003 (updated annually). Ms.
Meliso graduated from Rhode Island College in 1987 and received her
law degree in 1990 and her master's degree in public health in 2006
from the University of Connecticut where she is a member of the
adjunct faculty and teaches a course on public health policy
development and advocacy.
GILL DEFORD, JD - DIRECTOR OF
Gill Deford is
Director of Litigation of the Center for Medicare
Advocacy, Inc. After clerking for a federal district judge, Mr. Deford was
a staff attorney for eighteen years with the National Senior Citizens Law Center
in Los Angeles, California specializing in health law, public pensions, ERISA,
and SSI. From 1994 to 1997, he served as the Director of Mental Health Legal
Advisors Committee, a Massachusetts agency providing legal assistance to people
with mental disabilities. He then worked as a staff attorney with the health law
team at AARP Foundation Litigation in Washington, DC before coming to the Center
in early 1999 to work on national litigation issues.
Mr. Deford graduated cum laude from Harvard
College and received his law degree from the University of Virginia. His career
has focused on federal court litigation and appellate practice, usually
involving class actions or organizational representation.
TERRY BERTHELOT, MSW, JD – ATTORNEY
Terry received her Masters degree in social
work (MSW) from Syracuse University in 1993, after which she
designed, implemented, and then coordinated a Joint Commission
Accredited hospice program in the state of Mississippi.
Finding herself fascinated by the legal and ethical questions
surrounding death and dying, Terry pursued her law degree at the
University of Mississippi. At Ole Miss, Terry interned at the
Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Defense Counsel, and
won the following awards: the Christopher P. Charlton
Memorial Scholarship; the Law Association for Women Award; and the
Outstanding Student Award for Political and Civil Rights.
Terry joined the Center in 2001, after graduating from law school,
cum laude. Currently, as a Center attorney, Terry
provides legal advice and representation to Medicare beneficiaries
who have been unfairly denied Medicare coverage or access to
health care, writes articles for national publications, produces
educational materials, engages in educational outreach activities
with a particular focus on the Medicare hospice benefit, is a
contributing author to the Medicare Handbook, and serves as
co-counsel for federal class action lawsuits challenging improper
Medicare policies. Terry is a member of several
professional organizations, including the National Council of
Hospice and Palliative Professionals, the National Association of
Social Workers, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
(NAELA). She is a member of NAELA's Health Care Special
Interest Group's steering committee and serves on the Regulatory
Committee for the National Hospice and Palliative Care
MARY A. ASHKAR, JD -
Mary Ashkar is
an attorney in the Center for Medicare Advocacy's Connecticut office where
she provides legal assistance, education, and representation on behalf of
Medicare beneficiaries. In this capacity Ms.
Ashkar speaks to beneficiaries and their families and provides representation at all levels of appeal, including
administrative hearings. Ms.
Ashkar is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association Elder Law
Section. Ms. Ashkar is also a trainer for
Connecticut's Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program. She
graduated from the University of Michigan in 1997 and received her law
degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2000. Before
coming to the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Ms. Ashkar practiced law at a
firm in Dubuque, Iowa where she worked in litigation and employment law.
ABIGAIL C. SHEEHAN,
Abigail Sheehan is a staff attorney in the
Center for Medicare Advocacy's Connecticut office. Ms. Sheehan
graduated magna cum laude with high honors from Middlebury College in
2003. In pursuit of a career in public interest law, Ms. Sheehan
attended the University of Connecticut School of Law, where her studies
included elder law and health care law. She joined the Center for
Medicare Advocacy after receiving her law degree with honors in May,
TIANA HERCULES, MBA, JD - ATTORNEY
Tiana Hercules is an attorney in
the Center for Medicare Advocacy's Connecticut office. Ms. Hercules
previously provided legal information and advocacy to low-income
individuals and families, and has served as a clerk in several
private law offices. Ms. Hercules graduated from Connecticut
College in 2004 and received her law degree and Maters in Business
Administration (MBA) from the University of Connecticut in 2008.
NANCY GIFFORD, JD - ATTORNEY
Nancy Gifford is an
attorney in the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s Connecticut office.
Ms. Gifford served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of
Connecticut from 1998 until 2003. During her tenure, Ms. Gifford
prosecuted a wide variety of federal criminal cases, including cases
about health care fraud, tax evasion and crimes against children.
Ms. Gifford served as a U.S. District Court law clerk for the Hon.
Janet Bond Arterton, the Hon. Alvin W. Thompson and the Hon.
Christopher F. Droney. Ms. Gifford graduated cum laude from
the University of New Hampshire and received her law degree cum
laude from Boston University.
DAVID LIPSCHUTZ, JD -
an attorney licensed in California, joined the Center for Medicare
Advocacy’s Connecticut office in June 2010. Prior to joining the
Center, from 2005 to 2010, Mr. Lipschutz worked as a staff attorney
at California Health Advocates (CHA), a nonprofit organization that
provides advocacy and education for California Medicare
beneficiaries. While at CHA, he engaged in Medicare policy work and
provided technical assistance to Medicare counselors and advocates.
He also testified before Congress and the California state
legislature, and was a frequent lecturer and trainer regarding
myriad Medicare issues. From 2003 to 2010, Mr. Lipschutz
co-authored a chapter on Medicare in California’s Continuing
Education of the Bar (CEB) publication California Elder Law,
Resources, Benefits, and Planning. Before joining CHA, Mr.
Lipschutz worked as a staff attorney at the Center for Health Care
Rights, a non-profit agency that provides direct services to
Medicare beneficiaries in Los Angeles County. Mr. Lipschutz earned
his B.A. degree from University of California, Santa Cruz in 1993
and his J.D. degree from University of California, Davis in 1999.
ELLEN LANG, RN, MPH -
MEDICAL ADVOCACY CONSULTANT
Ellen Lang, RN, MPH
is the Medical Advocacy Consultant for the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. in
its Connecticut office. Ms. Lang helps to coordinate the Center's advocacy
efforts, writes about Medicare home health and related topics, and provides
consulting and training services.
Ms. Lang has been a registered nurse for more
than 35 years and has worked in a wide array of specialty areas within the field
of nursing, with a focus on home health care. Ms. Lang was a practicing home
health care nurse as well as the administrator of two home health agencies. She
helped to establish the Infectious Disease Clinic of Norwich, CT. She
graduated from the William W. Backus Hospital School of Nursing with highest
honors and received a BA degree in biology from Eastern Connecticut State
Ms. Lang holds a master's degree in public health
from the University of Connecticut where she authored
The Rising Incidence of Diabetes in the Adult Navajo and a Collaborative
Approach to Health Care Using Traditional and Western Medicine.
She is also the recipient of the Eastern Connecticut State University Alumni
Association Distinguished Service Award, May, 2003.
CAROLYN S. BOYLE, MBA - ADMINISTRATOR
Carolyn S. Boyle
joined the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. as its Administrator
in 1998. Ms. Boyle is a graduate of the Barney School of
Business, University of Hartford, where she received a B.A. in
Management and an M.B.A. She has previously worked as the
Director of Administration for several law firms. Ms. Boyle is
a past president of the Nutmeg Chapter of the Association of Legal
Administrators, and also served as a Regional Officer of that
organization. She is an associate member of the American Bar
Association and a member of its Law Practice Management Section.
SHAUN HARRINGTON - ASSISTANT
Harrington joined the Center for Medicare Advocacy in April 2008 as
Assistant Data Manager, after a distinguished tenure with CT
Tymetrix, a corporate/legal data support company where he earned
multiple honors, including employee of the year. Mr. Harrington
brings to the Center his technical expertise in Windows based
programs, network solutions, and data management, as well as his
experience in client data services.
Harrington graduated from the University of Lowell with a degree in
Business Administration, and is a member of the Legal Electronic
Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) Oversight Committee, an
international, voluntary, not-for-profit organization comprised of
legal industry representatives charged with creating and maintaining
open standard formats for the electronic exchange of billing and
other information between corporations and law firms.
MATTHEW SHEPARD, MA - COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
came to the Center For Medicare Advocacy in 1996, seeking a brief respite from
the education field. Expecting a short-term, uninvolved job, Matt found, upon
getting to know his fellow staff and the work of the Center, that he had no
desire to leave. He has since moved from general office assistance through
supervising a staff of full and part-time documents personnel, interacting with
providers and insurers regarding Third Party Liability issues, to his greatest
editing the Center's written materials,
and managing the Center's electronic media.
Matt is also part of the Center's communications committee.
Matt graduated from Tufts University in 1992 with
a BA in English. He immediately re-enrolled and graduated in 1993 with an MA in
teaching, which explains his love of editing.
MARCUS TILTON - SENIOR CONSULTANT
is a Senior Consultant at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. Mr.
Tilton received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Clark University in
Worcester, Massachusetts and his Masters degree in education from Eastern
Connecticut State University. Following a five year career teaching in the
public schools, Mr. Tilton was an employee of the Connecticut Department of
Social Services from 1980 until 2004. Mr. Tilton was primarily responsible
for seeking third party payment for health services provided under the Medicaid
program. Following his retirement from state service Mr. Tilton joined the
Center staff as a consultant.
Jocelyne Watrous - Beneficiary
Prior to joining the Center in March 2006,
Jocelyne worked for the State of Connecticut as the CHOICES State Pharmacy
Assistance Program (SPAP) Grant Coordinator. As such she was responsible
for statewide coordination of CHOICES outreach, education and enrollment
activities for the new Medicare Part D prescription drug program.
In her previous career, Jocelyne was a Program
Administration Manager with the Department of Social Services. She was
responsible for policy development and technical support to the DSS regional
offices for Connecticut's adult entitlement programs, including long-term care
and community Medicaid, State Supplement and State Administered General
Assistance. Jocelyne also coordinated the State's takeover of the
previously town-administered General Assistance program, implemented the DSS
Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program, developed
regulations and policy for Connecticut's Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Waiver, and
conducted highly successful outreach for the state's Medicare Savings Programs
(QMB, SLMB and ALMB).
Prior to state service, Jocelyne was a social
worker with the Town of Windsor and also coordinated town recovery efforts
following a major tornado that struck in October 1979. In her early career
she also worked in children's protective services.
Jocelyne is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the
University of Connecticut.
ALFRED J. CHIPLIN, JR., JD, M. Div. - MANAGING
Alfred J. Chiplin, Jr.
is a Senior Policy Attorney with the Center for
Medicare Advocacy, Inc. in its Washington, DC office. His practice is devoted
primarily to health care matters, with a concentration on Medicare and managed
care coverage and appeal issues. He is also a specialist in legal assistance
development and services under the Older Americans Act. Mr. Chiplin served as a
consulting attorney with the Consumer Coalition for Quality Health Care and, for
over 10 years, as a staff attorney for the National Senior Citizens Law Center,
where he focused on the Medicare program and on developments in managed care. He
also coordinated Older Americans Act programs for the National Senior Citizens
Law Center, including planning and developing the annual Joint Conference on Law
and Aging (JCLA). He currently serves on the planning committee for the annual
National Aging and Law Conference. Mr. Chiplin is the immediate past chair
of the Public Advisory Group (PAG) of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of
health care Organizations (JCAHO). Along with Judith A. Stein, Mr. Chiplin
is co-editor-in-chief of the Medicare Handbook (Aspen Publishers, Inc.,
Mr. Chiplin received his J.D. degree from the
George Washington University and his M. Div. from Harvard University, and his M.
Div. is from Harvard University. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of
Elder Law Attorneys and a former member of its board of directors, including its
executive committee. He is also a member of the National Academy of Social
Insurance (NASI), and served on its "Medicare and Markets" study panel.
VICKI GOTTLICH, JD, LLM -
SENIOR POLICY ATTORNEY
is an attorney in the Washington, DC office of the Center for Medicare Advocacy,
Inc. where she provides legal assistance, research, consultation, and litigation
support regarding Medicare and employer-sponsored health benefits. Prior to
joining the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Ms. Gottlich was a staff attorney for
the National Senior Citizens Law Center. She conducts seminars and workshops
regarding Medicare and other health-related issues for such organizations as the
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the National Association of Protection
and Advocacy Systems, the national Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform,
and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. Her articles have appeared
in such publications as Clearinghouse Review and the NAELA News.
Ms. Gottlich received her J.D. degree from New
York University School of Law and her L.L.M. degree from George Washington
S. EDELMAN, Ed. M., JD - SENIOR POLICY ATTORNEY
S. Edelman is an attorney in the Washington, DC office of the Center
for Medicare Advocacy. She has advocated on behalf of nursing home
residents since 1977. From 1977 through 1999, she was a staff
attorney with the National Senior Citizens Law Center in Washington,
DC, where she was involved in the development and drafting of the
Nursing Home Reform Law that was enacted by Congress in December
1987. Active in the law's implementation, she represented residents
in a variety of task forces and workshops convened by the Centers
for Medicare & Medicaid Services to address enforcement of federal
standards for nursing facilities.
Edelman was the lead attorney for plaintiffs in Valdivia v.
California Department of Health Services, in which a statewide
class of nursing facilities residents successfully challenged
California's refusal to implement the federal nursing home reform
law. From 1977-1998, she coordinated a study, supported by the
Commonwealth Fund of New York, regarding implementation of the
Nursing Home Reform Law. Since 1999, she has written a monthly
newsletter on nursing home enforcement issues. Ms. Edelman is a
member of the Board of Directors of the Assisted Living Consumer
Alliance. She received a B.A. from Barnard College, Magna cum Laude,
an Ed. M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a J.D.
from the Georgetown University Law Center.
PATRICIA NEMORE, JD -
SENIOR POLICY ATTORNEY
is an attorney in the Washington, DC office of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
Ms. Nemore has been an advocate for older people and people with disabilities
seeking health care for nearly thirty years. Her practice has focused on
Medicare, Medicaid and long-term care, with special emphasis on issues of
importance to those dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.
Ms. Nemore's recent
work focuses on issues affecting low-income Medicare beneficiaries in the
Medicare Act of 2003 and on ongoing issues of state implementation of Medicare
Savings Programs. With two other Center
staffers, she has recently published a report for the Henry J. Kaiser Family
Foundation examining state Medicaid eligibility rules and processes for Medicare
Savings Programs and their relationship to the Medicare Part D low income
Nemore's past work includes two reports, both supported by the
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, on variations in state Medicaid practices
relating to the Medicare Savings Programs.
has engaged in
individual advocacy, class action litigation and legislative and administrative
advocacy at the national level. Before coming to the Center for
Medicare Advocacy in January 2000, she spent twenty years at the National Senior
Citizens Law Center, a legal services back-up center. She graduated from
the Columbus School of Law of the Catholic University of America.
LARRY GLATZ - DATA PROJECT DIRECTOR
Larry Glatz is
the Center's Data Project Director. He is responsible for all of the
organization's information management systems. He designed and implemented the
Center's Medicare appeal and case tracking program. Mr. Glatz serves as the
Center's liaison with contracting entities regarding data and reporting and
assists in the development and implementation of case selection criteria for the
organization's Medicare optimization projects. He works with Medicaid agencies,
fiscal intermediaries, and provider personnel to develop and implement
systematized appeal and data sharing
protocols. He has assisted in
fact development and provided expert testimony in a number of class-action
cases. Mr. Glatz received a Master's Degree in
Education from Harvard University and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
LISA HALL - DATA PROJECT MANAGER
joined the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s Data Unit in
1991 to temporarily assist with a large mailing project. Soon
after, she was hired as the Center’s third, full-time, Data Unit
staff member. With the rapid increase in staff at the Data
Unit shortly thereafter, Ms. Hall’s position developed into that
of Entitlement Analyst/Manager which entailed training, managing
and supervising other staff.
Ms. Hall continued in that position
until 2006 when she became the Assistant Project Manager and
simultaneously assumed a large part of the responsibility of
computer systems management, acting as a key technical resource
for other staff members. Effective July 1, 2008, she became the
Data Project Manager. In this position she is responsible for
the day-to-day operations and supervision of the Center's Data
Unit and its ongoing relations with home health providers,
federal Medicare contractors and state Medicaid third party
liability offices and their agents.
Ms. Hall attended the University
of Maine. Prior to joining the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s
staff, she worked as an administrative assistant to the
Executive Director at Landmark Human Resources, a non-profit
adult daycare facility and workshop for physically and mentally
KWOK, JD - ATTORNEY
Wey-Wey Kwok has been a staff attorney at
the Center for Medicare Advocacy since 2002. She represents Medicare
beneficiaries in appealing coverage denials of home health and skilled nursing
facility care. Previously, Ms. Kwok worked as an attorney with the Legal Aid
Society of Hawaii in Hilo, Hawaii, specializing in family law, public benefits,
and domestic and elder abuse. As a project attorney for the AARP Foundation's
National Training Project, she designed and delivered materials and training on
elder law for aging advocates across the country.
Ms. Kwok graduated magna cum laude from Yale
University in 1991 and received her law degree in 1996 from the Georgetown
University Law Center, where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar.
SALLY HART, JD, MBT, LLM - SENIOR
POLICY & LITIGATION ATTORNEY
Sally Hart is consulting counsel to the Center For Medicare Advocacy, Inc. in
Willimantic, Connecticut, and is located in Tucson, Arizona. She graduated from
Stanford University and Boston University School of Law (cum laude), and
received a Masters in Business Taxation from U.S.C. Ms. Hart specializes in
public health benefits law, particularly the problems encountered by elderly and
low income persons in obtaining Medicare and Medicaid benefits. She has
represented beneficiaries in numerous class action lawsuits that expanded their
rights to procedural protections when health services are denied. She was lead
v. Shalala, 152 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 1998), cert.granted, vacated and
remanded, 119 S.Ct. 1573 (U.S. May 3, 1999), judgment vacated and remanded, 185
F.3d 1075 (9th Cir. Sept. 1, 1999), settlement approved, CIV 93-711 TUC ACM (D.Ariz.
Dec. 5, 2000), which expanded appeal protections for Medicare HMO enrollees
across the country. More recently she represented the Arizona class plaintiffs
in Ball v. Rodgers, 492 F.3d 1094 (9th Cir. 2007), which recognized the
right of HCBS recipients to sue the State Medicaid agency to obtain timely and
reliable home care services.
Marion Platt – Member, Board of Directors
Marion Platt has served on the board of The
Center for Medicare Advocacy since its inception in 1986.
Ms. Platt has been an
advocate for special education services for over thirty-five years
serving preschoolers through adults in Connecticut and Illinois as a
teacher, administrator, professional development coordinator and
consultant. Areas of expertise include special education law and
programming for students on the autism spectrum. In the 1990s she
received a Fulbright Scholarship to live and work in Russia to
develop special education programming in concert with technological
advances. Ms. Platt has been instrumental in the development of
public school programming for minority populations including
specialized training and services for medically
children, pre-kindergarten through age twenty-one students on the
autism spectrum and, most recently, transitional programming for
students returning to public school subsequent to a prolonged
psychiatric or medical hospitalization.
Ms. Platt received her Bachelor of Science degree
in psychology and education, cum laude, Masters in special education
and Sixth Year degree in educational leadership and administration,
magna cum laude, from the University of Connecticut. She is
currently a doctoral candidate at Loyola University in Chicago with
a focus on program design and evaluation. Ms. Platt is a life-long
member of many special education organizations including the Council
for Exceptional Children.
Proctor – Treasurer, Board of Directors
Proctor, a recently-retired career educator, is an Education
Consultant for the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE)
working with high-need school districts in the Education
Commissioner’s new initiative for Accountability and School
past 17 years, Dr. Proctor has served as School Superintendent in
the Windham Public Schools in northeastern Connecticut, and in the
Wethersfield Public Schools, one of Hartford’s first-ring school
districts. Prior to this work, Dr. Proctor served as Assistant
Superintendent in Windham; Director of the State Title I Program and
Coordinator of the School Effectiveness Program at CSDE; Coordinator
and Instructor for the Center for Urban Education-Teacher Education
Program at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst); and English
Teacher and Department Chair at Anacostia High School in Washington
41-year career in education, Dr. Proctor’s primary focus has been on
leading schools and districts toward creation of the organizational
and teaching/learning conditions necessary to improve educational
opportunities and outcomes for children and families, particularly
those most deeply impacted by poverty and racial/cultural isolation.
addition to his service as on the Center for Medicare Advocacy
Board, Dr. Proctor has been an active volunteer in a variety of
professional and community organizations, including the Connecticut
Association of Public School Superintendents (President);
Connecticut Association of Urban Superintendents (Chairperson);
Northeast Superintendents’ Leadership Council (Co-Chair); Regional
Educational Lab at Brown University (Board Member); and The
Connecticut Children’s Law Center (Board Member).
Proctor received a B.A from Rutgers University, an M.Ed. from the
University of Maryland, and an Ed.D. from the University of
Massachusetts. He has served on the Center’s Board since 1995.
Constance I. Neal – SecretarY,
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Connie Neal has been a member of the Center for
Medicare Advocacy board of directors since 1986. She is currently
serving as Secretary. Ms. Neal has served on several boards
throughout the years, including those of Windham Memorial Community
Hospital, Mt. Hope Montessori School, and Altrusa International,
Inc. of Northeastern Connecticut, an association of professional
women and men who volunteer their energies and expertise in projects
dedicated to community betterment. Ms. Neal was President of the
Foundation Board for Altrusa.
Ms. Neal attended the University of Hartford. She has been a
Marketing representative for the New York Telephone Company,
Assistant Director of Marketing and Promotion for American Express
Travel and Leisure, and Director of
Personnel for the Commissioner of Public Services of Springfield,
Illinois. For the past 30 years, she
has co-owned Smith-Keon Jewelers with her husband Bill, with whom
she also raised two sons.
KEITH BRADOC (BRAD) GALLANT,
– MEMBER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gallant is a Partner in the law firm of Day Pitney LLP. His practice
includes traditional trust and estate planning and administration,
special needs and disabilities planning, planning for same-sex
couples and their families, planning for incapacity, and all types
of probate litigation.
Mr. Gallant is the immediate past Chair of the Estates & Probate
Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, and serves on the
executive committee of the CBA's Elder Law Section. He is a fellow
of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a member of the
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a Life Fellow of the
Connecticut Bar Foundation. Since 2005, Brad has been designated by
Worth magazine as one of the top 100 lawyers in the United
States serving individual clients. In 2006 he was named one of "the
top ten" of all Connecticut lawyers by Connecticut Magazine.
Mr. Gallant has litigated a wide variety of matters in probate and
appellate courts, including lost wills, paternity disputes, will and
trust constructions, contested conservatorships and accountings, and
undue influence cases. He has appeared on behalf of clients in more
than seventy-five probate courts as well as numerous Connecticut and
federal trial and appellate courts. He was lead counsel for the
amicus curiae in the landmark Connecticut Supreme Court case,
Department of Social Services v. Saunders.
Mr. Gallant volunteers with numerous organizations that provide
services to persons with special needs. In 1994 the Connecticut
Probate Courts recognized his advocacy on behalf of persons with
disabilities by naming him "Citizen of the Year."
Brad Gallant received a B.A., with Honors, and an M.A. from
Cambridge University, England, where he was a member of Pembroke
College. He received a J.D., cum laude, from the University
of Connecticut School of Law and an LL.M. from the University of
Brad Gallant has served on the Center for Medicare Advocacy Board
BESS BREWER, ESQ. -
President, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Attorney Bess Brewer
is a sole practitioner in Sacramento, California. Her practice is
devoted to litigating Social Security Disability cases at the
federal court level. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Brewer
was Directing Attorney for Northern California Lawyers for Civil
Justice (NCLCJ), a staff attorney with the National Senior Citizens
Law Center (NSCLC) in Los Angeles, and the Executive Director of the
Medicare Advocacy Project, Inc. (MAP, now known as The Center For
Health Care Rights), a non-profit advocacy organization in Los
Angeles specializing in Medicare, Medi-Cal, and related health
Brewer received her J.D. from the University of Michigan School of
Law and her B.A. from Hampton University.
RAJIV NAGAICH, ESQ
Faced with the specter of
caring for a family member suffering the ravages of Alzheimer’s, Mr.
Nagaich left the management ranks of Allstate Insurance to pursue a
law degree, with the goal of understanding how our legal system
responds to the needs of the incapacitated elderly. Out of this
experience and legal education, he has developed a holistic legal
practice focused on elder law and elder care issues that involve
legal, financial and care coordination disciplines.
Mr. Nagaich a past
president of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, a
national organization that promotes the holistic approach of
combining the legal and health care fields in addressing the care
needs of incapacitated and frail individuals. Mr. Nagaich serves on
the board of both the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and
the Washington Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law
Attorneys, and is a member of the Elder Law Section of the
Washington State Bar Association. Mr. Nagaich holds memberships
with the King County Bar Association, the Pierce County Bar
Association and the Southwest King County Bar Association. He has
been an adjunct professor at Seattle University. Mr. Nagaich is a
board member of Washington Elder Care, a nonprofit organization he
helped create that serves the needs of the elderly in the area. He
hosts a weekly call-in radio show that airs each Saturday on KTTH,
AM 770, where elder law and elder care issues are discussed. At a
civic level, Mr. Nagaich is an active member of the Rotary Club of
Federal Way, where he serves on the board and has led international
projects helping the needy.