Meet Our Senior Staff
History: Rick Surpin is the founder of a family of organizations in New York City committed to transforming the quality of the direct care jobs and the quality of care provided to adults with physical disabilities and senior adults. He is the President of Independence Care System, a nonprofit Medicaid-Medicare managed care organization. He is also the chairperson of two affiliated organizations: Cooperative Home Care Associates, a worker-owned cooperative home care aide agency; and PHI a national nonprofit organization which conducts policy research and advocacy and organizational development consulting to support the “Quality Jobs-Quality Care” model in home care and nursing home care. Rick developed an influential blueprint for reform of New York State’s Medicaid-funded home and community based system prior to the State’s commitment to Medicaid Redesign.
Honors: 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. In 2016 Rick was honored as a healthcare visionary by the Center for Medicare Rights.
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. Appointed in 2015 as a Commissioner to the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
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
History: More than 35 years of experience in fiscal management, oversight, and leadership of leading U.S. health care organizations, including a 265,000 member Medicaid and Medicare managed care program.
Stats: Managed a financial turnaround that led to profitability after years of consecutive multi-million dollar losses; coordinated the development of an inpatient hospital service that dramatically reduced inpatient days.
Where have I seen you before? Affinity Health Plan, Carolina Care Plan, Healthplan Southeast, Family Health Systems, Humana Health Care Plans and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.
Why ICS? “The mission of ICS and the commitment of the ICS staff to living the mission while improving the health and quality of life of its members.”
Words to live by: Trust but verify.
Harry K. Bonsu
Senior Vice President, Administration & Member Services
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
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
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.”
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!”
Marilyn E. Saviola
Senior 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.”
Senior Vice President, Care Management
History: Created the ICS Multiple Sclerosis Program in 2007; recognized by the National MS Society as a “Center for the Promotion 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.”
Vice President, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs
History: Recipient of a J.D. from Fordham Law School and a B.A. from New York University; Served on New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team committee on Managed Long Term Care; Author of several reports on dually eligible Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries and ways in which states could streamline eligibility for low-income programs.
Where have I seen you before? As the Director of Education and New York State Policy Director for the Medicare Rights Center. Practicing antitrust and securities law at Ropes & Gray.
Why ICS? “The ICS mission drew me to work here. As someone who was an attorney at an advocacy organization fighting to protect the rights of people with Medicare, I saw that the ICS model helps people with Medicare and Medicaid live and participate in their communities. I also believe that making sure we implement the member protections outlined by the state and federal governments and our own best practices is key to upholding our mission, carrying out our system of care management and supporting community living.”
Senior Vice President, Management Information Systems
History: 15 years of experience in the health care 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 health care industry. There is never a dull moment working here!”
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.”
Where have I seen you before? Vice President for Continuous Quality Improvement at the Institute of Family Health. Medical Director for ABC Health Plan and Continuum Health’s MSO. Medical Director and Associate Residency Director of Bronx-Lebanon Family Practice.
History: Over 20 years of experience in the medical field, exclusively with non-profits. I have served as Chair of the Federal Review panel for Cycle 2 Health Information Extension Center grants under the auspices of HHS/ONC, Office of Health Information Technology. As VP for CQI at the Institute for Family Health, I led the institute towards receiving the highest quality award given by the federal government, The Davies Award.
Stats: Family physician and HIV/AIDS Specialist
Why ICS? “I share the same core values as others that have found their way to ICS. I want to use my experience and balanced approach to help empower our members and their families. I would like to assist in the effort to improve quality of care, satisfaction of care and manage utilization in a fair and just manner.”
Director, Wound Care Unit
History: Board-certified wound care nurse with more than 15 years 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