Our Staff

Our staff is always available to make your visit to Gilda’s Club Westchester enjoyable and beneficial. If you have any questions, please e–mail us at info@gildasclubwestchester.org or click on a staff person’s name to send an email.


Sarah started at Gilda’s Club Westchester in 2020. She has been in the roles of Oncology Social Work Manager and Program Director before becoming the Executive Director in 2022. Prior to working at Gilda’s Club Westchester, Sarah was the Clinical Supervisor for a community mental health program. Sarah is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who received a Masters of Social Work Degree, with a concentration in Clinical Social Work, from Rutgers University. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Seton Hall University.

Deborah is an experienced development and fundraising professional with demonstrated history with annual giving, major gifts, capital campaigns, stewardship, and cultivation. Her career in fundraising began twenty years ago as the Director of Alumni Relations at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT. Prior to her start at Gilda’s Club, Deborah worked at Sacred Heart Greenwich for the past ten years as the Annual Fund Director providing leadership and strategic direction for parent, alumnae and other constituency fundraising efforts. Deborah has a BS from SUNY Albany in Human Biology and a MS from Georgia State University in Sports Administration, Sports Management and Events.

Clare joined Gilda’s Club in May 2023 as a Social Work Intern. She is currently earning a Masters of Social Work with a clinical concentration from Syracuse University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Purchase College. Clare has previously worked as a Therapeutic Recreation Leader serving the geriatric population, particularly those diagnosed with dementia. She is passionate about helping others reach their full potential. Clare is eager to work with the members of the organization!


Tammy joined Gilda’s Club in 2022 as an Oncology Social Worker; she provides individual counseling, facilities support groups, and completes intake visits. Tammy earned her MSW with a concentration in gerontology from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Tammy is a seasoned social worker having worked in both in-hospital as well as outpatient medical settings and geriatric care management. She has extensive experience working as part of an interdisciplinary team providing individual, family, and group therapy often focusing on adjustment to illness and loss while advocating for patients. Tammy received a post –Master’s certificate from New York University in Palliative and End of Life Care. 


Judy Freeman began working at Gilda’s Club in June of 2002, following a seventeen-year career at Columbia University School of Social Work. Judy is responsible for managing Gilda’s Club Westchester’s calendar of monthly activities, including social and health and wellness programs. Judy also coordinates lectures and workshops facilitated by physicians, authors, health and wellness experts and community-based organizations. Judy maintains relationships with over 200 physicians, nurse practitioners, dietitians, social workers and wellness experts who provide their expertise through our lectures and workshops which connect individuals with cancer, and their family members, critical information that assist with decision making and quality of life. Judy graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in Secondary Education.


Brianna joined Gilda’s Club in January 2022 as a Social Work Intern. Brianna is currently earning her Masters of Social Work with a concentration on mental health from Simmons University School of Social Work.  She also holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Health Studies from The University of Rhode Island.  During her time in undergrad, she was involved in providing Home Based Therapeutic Services to children who have special needs.  Brianna enjoys working with Gilda’s Club members, and is interested in helping individuals impacted by cancer find the supports that they need. Brianna has transitioned from Social Work Intern to Program Assistant. She is happy to help out the organization on a broader scale in this new role.


Kristen joined Gilda’s as the Development Coordinator in February of 2020. She works in all areas of the Development Department including fundraising event coordination, social media management, donation processing and community advocacy. Prior to this position, Kristen has past experience in marketing, public relations, nonprofit event planning, packaging design and textile manufacturing. After 5 years working in apparel industry management, she realized her true passion was helping others and she returned to non-profit development at GCW. Kristen graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Communications and Marketing.

Samuel joined Gilda’s Club in May 2023 as a Bilingual Oncology Social Worker; he provides individual counseling, facilitates support groups, and completes intake visits. Samuel earned his MSW from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. Samuel has worked extensively with immigrant populations providing social service support to recently arrived immigrants in legal proceedings including ensuring a trauma informed approach to service provision. He has extensive experience working as part of an interdisciplinary team to promote positive adjustment and community integration through individual intensive case management and group support with a focus on response to traumatic events.



Aileen joined Gilda’s as the Special Events Manager in May 2019. She coordinates all fundraising events and other special program events at Gilda’s Club Westchester. Prior to this position, Aileen was responsible for implementing Gnosis, Gilda’s database system which enables us to track members, allows them to sign up for classes online, and enables staff to use ADAPT reporting. Aileen has lead and participated in many successful fundraising events for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. She has also volunteered in the clinic at Pet Rescue in Harrison NY, assisting in the vetting and adoption of hundreds of rescue animals. Aileen graduated from The University of Vermont in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree.


Andrea joined Gilda’s Club Westchester in 2018 as an Oncology Social Worker before becoming the Program Director in 2023.  Andrea earned her MSW with an individualized concentration on health and mental health from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Andrea has worked in both in-hospital and outpatient medical settings with experience in oncology, primary care, transplant, and emergency units for both adult and pediatric populations. She has extensive experience working with a diversity of populations in the community mental health setting, providing individual, family, and group therapy. Andrea has received specialty training in CBT, DBT, substance use, trauma, chronic-disease management, and bereavement support.

Jen joined Gilda’s Club Westchester in April 2023. Jen is a certified Child Life Specialist. A Child Life Specialist is a pediatric health care professional who specializes in working with children and teens, at their age level, to help them cope with a medical crisis or loss. Child Life Specialists take family-centered approach to make sure that all needs are met. Jen graduated from Providence College in 2001 with her Bachelor of Science in Education and Special Education. She then graduated from Bankstreet College in 2004 with her Master of Science in Child Life. She became certified as a Wonders and Worries Provider in 2021.



Essie began working at Gilda’s Club Westchester in 2002 and is often the first point of contact for new members Essie coordinates new member meetings and is responsible for overseeing the monthly informational mailing to members and the surrounding community. Essie keeps the Community Bulletin Board updated with current information and travels to hospitals, medical offices and libraries to distribute information on programs and services. Essie manages the volunteer program and the online calendar. Additionally, Essie volunteers at White Plains Hospital. A graduate of Mandl The College of Allied Health, Essie previously owned Modern Hardware and Paint/Essie’s Chocolate.


Debbie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who joined the staff at Gilda’s Club Westchester in 2017, after having been Youth Programs Manager and Director of the Newark Clubhouse for Gilda’s Club Northern NJ. Debbie’s expertise includes counseling and facilitating groups for those impacted by cancer, and providing supportive counseling, bereavement counseling and psychotherapy to individuals, couples, families, children, teens, and groups in both mental health outpatient centers and home settings. Debbie is a graduate of Duke University and completed her Masters in Social Work with honors from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service.  

GCW Support Group Facilitators

Debbie Vincent, LMSW, LSW

Tammy Black, LCSW

Liz Barnett, LCSW

Mandy Dold, LCSW

Christine Paletta, LCSW, MD

Lydia Ecker, LMSW

Eileen Schmidt, LCSW

GCW Program Facilitators

Scott E. Weiner:  Ph.D. in Philosophy; CH (Certified Hypnotist)

Mimi Leibman:  Ph.D.

Elizabeth Hughes: MAH; MLS

Margaret Matsumoto: Director of Teacher Training, Tai Chi Foundation

Nancy Kardon: M.A. Psychology; M.A. Dance therapy; CIYT certified Iyengar Yoga teacher      C-IYAT certified Yoga Therapist

Diane Midollo:  200-hour YTT – LifePower Yoga; 200-hour YTT – Gokul Yoga; Yoga4Cancer Teacher Training

Vinodray Shah: MD

Claudia Gukeisen: MA, CAHC, RYT 500, Board Certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Certified Mindful Grieving Facilitator, 500hr. Kripalu Ayurvedic Yoga Teacher

Carolyn Tylenda: Usui Reiki Master, Level 2 Diploma in Integral Sound Healing, 1 on 1, Multi-Instruments, Mindfulness Meditation, 100 Hour Training Program, Level 111 in Animal Reiki, Certified Crystal Healer, BA in English and a Masters in Elementary Education

Carole Geithner: LCSW

Patty Wenig: Certified 500 Hour Yoga Instructor

Joyce Maron: Certified 300 Hour Yoga Instructor with additional yoga certification for Seniors

Lori DeGiorgio, PhD: Certified Reiki Master/Teacher; Certified Energy Healer

Pamela McKenna: Certified PT and YTA