Meet Our Senior Staff
History: Founded Cooperative Home Care Associates, a worker-owned home care agency in the South Bronx affiliated with ICS, and PHI, a national policy organization that works to improve the lives of people who need home or residential care by improving the lives of workers who provide that care.
Honors: Widely regarded as one of the most successful social entrepreneurs of his generation. He is a past recipient of the Business Enterprise Trust Award for Social Responsibility for “courage, integrity and social vision in business.” He also has been recognized as an “Outstanding Social Entrepreneur” by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, created by the founder of the World Economic Forum.
Extracurricular: Published author
Where have I seen you before: Chairperson of PHI Board of Directors; Chairperson of the Board of Cooperative Home Care Associates; frequent presenter at policy meetings in Albany and Washington.
Why ICS? “I wanted to create an organization that arranged and paid for a wide range of essential health and social services for its members. I wanted those services to be provided in ways that the members wanted, to the best of our ability and within our financial resources. I also wanted to create a vibrant social community where people could be themselves and valued for it. Independence Care System is and always will be a work in progress, but we have achieved a lot.”
Chief Operating Officer
History: 25 years of experience in health care, including community health and AIDS education.
Where have I seen you before? Director of Legislation and Health Policy, Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, New York, NY.
Why ICS? “My commitment to the work of ICS is due to the organizational mission of supporting people to live independently in the community. My passion comes from the opportunity to work with a phenomenal group of people who share a commitment to the same mission and vision for ICS.”
Chief Financial Officer
Stats: Certified Public Accountant
History: More than 20 years of public and private accounting experience.
Why ICS? “ICS gives me the opportunity to express my personal values and utilize my professional experience to assist others. As the son of a police officer, a value I developed growing up was to assist and ‘stand-up’ for individuals in need. The challenge of coming up with innovative ways to balance my personal values of assisting others with the financial interests of the organization makes ICS an exciting and challenging place to work.”
Senior Vice President, Care Management
History: Created the ICS Multiple Sclerosis Program in 2007; recognized by the National MS Society as a “Center of Excellence in Long-Term Care.”
Stats: MS-Certified Nurse (MSCN); recipient of a John Dystel Nursing Fellowship from the National MS Society.
Extracurricular: On the MS Society’s NYC-Southern NY Chapter Clinical Advisory Board and Governmental Relations Committee, and on the National MS Society’s Federal Activism Council and Long-Term Care Committee; published author.
Why ICS? “I was drawn to ICS after seeing the health inequalities that existed for those who were physically disabled. After ten years, I have seen how successful ICS is at addressing those inequities for people with disabilities and for senior adults, and I am so grateful to be a part of the work ICS does.”
Harry K. Bonsu
Senior Vice President, Administration
Where Have I Seen You Before? Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for Safe Space, New York, NY.
Extracurricular: Member of the Regional Board of Directors of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., an international community service fraternity.
Why ICS? “The wonderful thing about ICS is each day offers an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Having the privilege not only to provide services for, but also to work with our members has made me realize that the limitations that we place on ourselves are not physical; they are mostly mental.”
Words to live by: “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”—Maya Angelou
Director of Independent Living Services
History: Long-time disability rights activist working for equal access and independence for people with disabilities.
Where have I seen you before? Worked in Rehabilitation Medicine for more than 30 years. Was the Administrator of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and Founding Executive Director of Westchester Disabled on The Move, an independent living center in Yonkers, NY.
Extracurricular: Founder of American Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities, a major national disability rights organization in the 1970s and 1980s.
Why ICS? “ICS has offered me the perfect opportunity to combine my life’s experiences and my passion for promoting the rights of people with disabilities to have choices about how and where they want to live.”
Lisa M. Feliciano
Vice President, Human Resources
Stats: Professional Human Resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute; Member of the Society for Human Resources Management.
Extracurricular: Candidate for Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business.
Why ICS? “One of the contributions I bring to ICS through my work is making sure that the new people hired are a good fit for the ICS culture and that our staff feels comfortable and happy. It is easy to do this at ICS because it is an organization that is genuinely committed to its mission and positively impacting our members with its worthwhile work. This creates a work environment that is welcoming and rewarding, like no other I have ever experienced. I consider myself fortunate to practice my profession in this unique organization.”
Director, Behavioral Health Unit
Stats: Licensed Certified Social Worker
Where have I seen you before? 25 years specializing in work with individuals who experience physical disabilities as well as mental health issues.
Why ICS? “My commitment to ICS stems from my commitment to the philosophy that physically disabled and aging adults ought to be able to live quality lives in the community and from my belief in the importance of the emotional support ICS provides to people with physical disabilities, senior adults and those who take on the task of trying to provide care to their loved ones.”
Vice President, Community Relations
History: 20 years of experience working with and on behalf of people with disabilities.
Where have I seen you before? Director of Advocacy, Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (EPVA), New York, NY.
Why ICS? “I get to help and learn from our amazing members every day. I am surrounded by kind, smart, thoughtful people who roll up their sleeves and work with passion and practical common sense to make our little corner of the world a better place.”
Kerri O’Neill Lopez
Vice President, Management Information Systems
History: 15 years of experience in the healthcare field, both in Operations and Information Technology.
Where have I seen you before? Director of Operations for the Long-Term Home Health Care Program of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.
Why ICS? “ICS has a great staff of people who care about what they do and inspire you to work hard. I appreciate that ICS is a relatively young and small organization, which allows us to be flexible and adapt in the ever-changing healthcare industry. There is never a dull moment working here!”
Senior Vice President, Rehabilitation Services
Where have I seen you before? Director of the Seating and Mobility Program at the Center for Rehabilitation Technology at Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, NY.
Stats: Physical therapist and Master Clinician.
Extracurricular: Internationally recognized expert and speaker on seating and mobility issues; 1995 RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America) Fellow Award; produced videotape series, “Spending or Investing – Funding Assistive Technology”; published author
Why ICS? “I found an organization that did not require that I ‘justify’ what people needed; rather, ICS values what I offer our members and welcomed me to be part of a revolution—supporting people to live independently in the community!”
Vice President, Advocacy and the Women’s Health Access Program
History: 40 years fighting for the rights of people with physical disabilities to live at home, in the community, as independently as possible.
Where have I seen you before? Executive Director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled in NY.
Stats: Director, ICS Breast Cancer Screening Project for Women with Physical Disabilities, honored as 2010 “Grantee of the Year” by the Greater NYC Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Why ICS? “ICS is a place that allows me to be an activist on disability issues, to address women’s health care, to improve community-based, long-term care services for people with disabilities from the inside. I could not ask for a better job.”
Director, Paraprofessional Services
History: Working in home care for more than 25 years, making sure that home health aides have the kinds of jobs they need, with excellent training and fair pay, so they can provide the highest quality service for our members.
Where have I seen you before? Manager of the Patient Service Department at Cooperative Home Care Associates.
Why ICS? “My greatest strength is the ability to listen with compassion when someone is in need. Being first at Cooperative Home Care Associates and now at ICS has allowed me to help a lot of people. ICS is home to me.”
Director, Wound Care Unit
History: Board-certified wound care nurse with more than 15 year of experience working with individuals with acute and chronic wounds.
Why ICS? “Working at ICS has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career. Our program improves the quality of life for our members by providing services that support healing as well as by implementing interventions to prevent the development of skin breakdown.”
Words to live by: “They may forget your name but they will never forget how you made them feel.”—Maya Angelou
Where have I seen you before? A Family Medicine trained, HIV Medicine Board-Certified Specialist, Dr. Walker is a graduate of Cornell University and Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Walker is passionate about working in communities with marginalized populations where there are health care access disparities and has done so for the past 20 years.
Extracurricular: Provides continuity of care to the homeless community and runs an HIV clinic for homeless individuals in NYC.
Why ICS? “This year after a family member sustained a physical disability, I was able to help this person see that they could live an independent life with the right supports because I have seen it happen at ICS. From this experience, I was able to understand the meaning of Care in Independence Care System’s name. It is the member-centered care that makes ICS so unique and helps our members to have the highest quality life they can.”