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Building Bridges 2019
April 5, 2019
8:30 am-2:30 pm
130 East 59th Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY, 10022

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Conference Moderator

Yola Nash, M.S. Conference moderator, is a TV/Radio and special events host and producer, national speaker on CPR. Currently an on-air personality on WABC Radio, hosting and co-producing her own The Yola Nash Show (#1 Talk Radio Station in the country) and conducting WABC Video show On-Camera Exclusive Celebrity Interviews with A-list celebrities, entrepreneurs, experts, and other world-renowned guests. In her successful career in media she has interviewed high profile guests: Billy Joel; Courtney Love; Priscilla Presley; Barry Manilow; Grammy Award Winning Jazz Superstar Chris Botti, Emmy Award Winning Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson; The Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan; Lech Walesa, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President of Poland; Michael Bloomberg, and James McGreevey, to name a few.
As a producer Yola worked with such stars as: Tom Hanks, Mike Tyson, Robert Redford, Evander Holyfield, Winona Ryder, Fran Drescher, Isabella Rossellini, Tony Braxton, Richard Dreyfuss, among many others. Yola is an accomplished singer (sung for the Pope John Paul II, topped US AC Radio Charts – Top 40.) She is a recipient of a special “Commendation of Heroic Action” from the Governor of NJ, Richard J. Codey for saving a performer’s life.


Daniela Climaco, MA, BCBA, LBA, is a Licensed, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who has been passionately working with children on the Autism Spectrum, their families and communities for over 10 years. Daniela attended Columbia University, Teachers College, and received a Master’s Degree in Intellectual Disabilities and Autism. She then completed her Advanced Post-Master’s Behavioral Analysis Degree at Florida Institute of Technology. She is also a certified General and Special Education teacher for Grades, 1-6. She began her studies and passion for working with children on the Autism Spectrum while studying at Binghamton University and working at the Institute for Child Development, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is dedicated to changing the lives of children and their families with special needs.
Daniela has extensive experience in social skills development and supervised special needs camps, enrichment classes, and social skills groups. She currently is a BCBA in Queens, NY working with multiple children and their families on the Autism Spectrum. Her expertise includes working with verbal and non-verbal clients ages 3-18, in home, school and community settings. Her passion lies in quality of life development. This includes community skills, activities of daily living skills, language development, improving family dynamics, parent training, training other professionals in the field, conducting, scoring and reporting assessments, writing behavior plans, and systematic curriculum building. Daniela is dedicated to enhancing and enriching the lives of children with special needs and their families in order to help them live a more fulfilling life.

Beth Diviney, Ph.D., BCBA, LBA, is a behavior analyst who consults in health care clinics, early intervention centers, schools, homes and other community based programs throughout the New York tri-state area in the USA. Beth received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SUNY at Stony Brook where, under the supervision of Dr. Ted Carr and his graduate students, she discovered the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. She earned her M.A. in Experimental Psychology at LIU, and Ph.D. in Applied Psychology at NYU. Beth is a peerelected Past President of the NYS Association for Behavior Analysis, and Director New Initiatives at icare4autism (International Center for Autism Research & Educationn)
She is a cofounder of the Premier HealthCare Training Institute, serves on several advisory committees and presents at nationally and internationally held professional conferences. Her research and practice focus is on the health and well-being of families, learning, autism and related disorders, and the integration of behavior analysis with parenting, education, medical and dental care.

Allen Finkelstein, DDS, is CEO of Bedford HealthCare Solutions and the former Chief Dental Officer of AmeriChoice/United Health Group insuring over 3.5 million lives in dental government coverage (CHIP/Medicaid). Dr. Finkelstein is a member of the American Dental Association, the Essex County Dental Association and the dental associations of the States of New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. He serves on the New Jersey Dental Medicaid Advisory Committee, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island Coalitions of Oral Health, the Center for Health Care Strategies, American Friends of the Hebrew University New York Board Advisory, the Board of the Children’s Health Project, the Vice Chairman of the Shils Entrepreneurial Education Fund of the American Dental Association, a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, a member of advisory board for Healthy SmilesHealthy Families Oral Health for Children in California’s Healthy Families Program and member of the Board of Advisors for the Children’s Dental Health Project, Washington DC
Dr. Finkelstein is a former Post Preventive Dental Officer at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, receiving the Army Commendation medal for the Preventive Dental Program developed to reduce caries and emergencies for the US Army Dental Corp during the Vietnam War. Dr. Finkelstein served on the Forensic Staff at the New York City Medical Examiners Office after September 11th and currently is an advisor to the New City Department of Health for the New York Cares Health Improvement Program.
Dr. Finkelstein is currently an adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at New York University, College of Dentistry, Senior Advisor for Oral Health Strategies adjunct facility member of the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health AT Still University, a member of the Harvard University School of Dental Medicine Leadership Council, a member of the Global Dental School Alliance and a member of the Visitor’s Board of the Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University. Dr Finkelstein testified before the Domestic Policy Subcommittee on and Government Reform in the United States House of Representatives on “Evaluating Pediatric Dental Care under Medicaid” and advised Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland on the Child Health Insurance Plan Reform Act on dental coverage.

Courtney Haas, Esq. Special Education attorney, is an experienced litigator who practices special education law as a full time attorney with the Law Offices of H. Jeffrey Marcus. She graduated from law school in 2010 with a fellowship in Child Advocacy from Hofstra University and immediately began her career in special education. She practices as a special education attorney representing families all over New York state. In addition to this, Courtney previously received the New York City Teaching Fellowship and taught students with special needs in special education prior to her current practice as an attorney. In addition to being a licensed attorney and former special education teacher, Courtney is a certified special education mediator who has successfully mediated cases between families and school districts.
Courtney’s fate as a special education attorney was sealed in 2012 when her son, Elliott, was diagnosed with a combination of two very rare genetic syndromes. As a mother of child with special needs, Courtney understands the struggles her clients face and the need for support in both the community and school setting.

Dr. Dyan Hes, is Medical Director of Gramercy Pediatrics in New York City and a Director of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She is Board Certified in both pediatrics and obesity medicine. In addition, she serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Hes completed her B.A. in Public Health at The Johns Hopkins University and studied medicine at The Sackler School of Medicine, University of Tel Aviv. She completed her residency in Social Pediatrics at New York’s Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center.
An active advocate for pediatric and adolescent nutrition and weight management, Dr. Hes was honored by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz for her efforts to combat obesity among Brooklyn youth. In 2006, she served as an Expert Witness at the New York City Department of Health Hearing to Ban Trans Fat in Restaurant Food. Dr. Hes is particularly interested in obesity in special needs children.
Dr. Hes has served as a medical expert on CBS This Morning, NBC News, ABC News, CNN, NY1, Inside Edition, and FOX News. In addition to being included in New York Magazine’s 2013 Top Doctors, she was named one of New York’s Top Doctors by Castle and Connolly yearly since 2011.

Zachary Kandler, is a music therapist in New York City. He earned his Master’s in music therapy at NYU Steinhardt, during which he became interested in working creatively with children and adolescents with developmental differences. This led him to begin working at Rebecca School in Manhattan-a therapeutic day school for children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders of relating and communicating. For 8 years as a music therapist at the school, he has worked with a wide range of clients in both groups and individually, as well as with their families and the staff that support them. He earned a post-graduate certification in Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, an approach that harnesses the art of music as a vehicle for positive change in people’s lives. He currently works at the Nordoff-Robbins Center at NYU as a clinician, as well as a supervisor of graduate and post-graduate students in the approach. Zachary has also presented nationally and published articles on topics that include a creative approach to music therapy with a range of clients, including those on the autism spectrum.

Juliet M. Ross, Psy.D., is a psychologist with a psychotherapy practice for adults in NYC. She currently works with adults who struggle with mood, anxiety, self-regulation, and self-fulfillment. In particular, Dr. Ross works with parents of children with disabilities–individually and in a support group–to process their own feelings, consider unique parenting challenges, and access resources. A longtime volunteer with the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders, Dr. Ross received the organization’s 2017 Elizabeth Allen Founder’s Award and joined the Board of Directors in 2018. She advocates for families with complex needs at the individual, community, and national levels.
Dr. Ross has been in practice since 2008, when she finished a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies(NIP). She is a former Production Editor of NIP’s Journal, Psychoanalytic Perspectives. Dr. Ross also completed a post-doc at the William Alanson White Institute and placements at The Baruch College Counseling Center and Georgetown University Counseling and Psychiatric Service. Dr. Ross received a Psy.D. from George Washington University and a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Columbia University.

Dr. Anna Viron, DDS, graduated with Honors from New York University College of Arts and Sciences in 2000. She obtained her Doctorate in Dentistry from the State University of Stony Brook in 2004 and completed residency in General Practice in 2005 at Long Island College Hospital. In 2006, Dr. Viron joined YAI/Premier Healthcare and has maintained her current position as the Chief of Dentistry since 2014.
Dr. Viron has a passion for improving the quality of life for people with special needs, as these families often have difficulties finding quality healthcare. Throughout her career, Dr. Viron has pursued ways to enrich her knowledge and expertise by enrolling in numerous professional courses tailored to treating medically compromised individuals. She undertook a professional path to help patients by providing dental care, as well as by being active in the community and advocating for their rights. Dr. Viron’s background as a Russian immigrant and her fluency in the Russian language has provided her unique opportunities to lend support to families otherwise limited in their access to healthcare due to a language barrier.
Dr. Viron is a proud member of the American Dental Association, NY County Dental Society, Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity and the Russian-American Dental Association. Her passion extends out into the community, where she actively volunteers in many charitable endeavors, including Special Olympics Special Smiles and Give Kids a Smile. It is truly gratifying for Dr. Viron that her work acts as an outlet through which she is able to be a foundation piece that enhances people’s lives through her services for her patients, her patients’ families and the community, as a whole.
When not in the office, Dr. Viron enjoys spending time with her ten-year-old son. Her hobbies include participating in charitable causes, Yoga, visiting museums, attending the opera and enjoying various events NYC has to offer.

Janet Wolfe joined the IDEAL School as its new Head of School in February 2016. Prior to IDEAL, Janet spent 13 years at St. Paul’s School for Girls, a fifth through twelfth grade all-girls day school in Maryland. She began there in 2002 as an English teacher, soon became the English Department Chair and then Academic Dean, and was the Associate Head for Academics from 2011-2016. From 2010-2017, she was also a Trustee of the Online School for Girls, where she served as C hair of the Education Committee and a member of the Finance Committee and w orked to promote the mission, development, and brand recognition of this new s chool.
Janet spent seven years, from 1993 until 2000, as an English teacher at Akiba Hebrew Academy (now Jack Barrack Academy), a coed, pluralistic Jewish day school that prepares future leaders to work for a better world through acts of justice and compassion. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Janet also earned Master’s in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a member of the 2009-2010 Cohort of the NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring Heads, attended the 2016 NAIS Institute for New Heads, and has demonstrated her commitment to professional development through active participation in and presentations at national and regional independent school conferences.

Previous Event
June 1, 2018
Jazz/Broadway Brunch in support of the NYU Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities
Next Event
February 12, 2020
Building Bridges 2020