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Our Team

ACI staff is comprised of a diverse set of clinicians, medical professionals, and administrators whose primary focus is centered on quality patient care. Our staff is committed to assisting our patients in achieving recovery by adhering to the ACI mission of quality care above all else.

Stephen J. Yohay

President/Chairman of the Board

Born and raised in the Bronx, Stephen graduated valedictorian from DeWitt Clinton High School at age 16. At seventeen, a fateful automobile accident changed the course of his life; losing his wife-to-be and witnessing her decapitated form led the young Yohay to seek solace of an unusually potent nature. He started to use heroin, and by age 18 was in full on addiction.
 
Around this time, Yohay's grandmother read an article by Dr. Casriel, a New York Psychiatrist who had extended his private practice to include a dozen beds for the private non-state funded treatment of young addicts whose families were in a position to afford such care. Through special arrangement with Dr. Casriel, who was moved by Stephen's mother's plea, "am I not as entitled as a rich person to see my son live?,” the Yohay’s got their son admitted, though the treatment still ate up the family's life savings.

His resolve to find a cure for his condition manifested early and was rewarded with successful completion of his treatment. Stephen had so impressed the staff with his precocious grasp of substance abuse theory as well as an infectiously personable nature that he became Dr. Casriel's personal protégé as a counselor trainee. Through hard work and devoted attention to the clients, Stephen rose to become clinical director by 1975.

Dr. Casriel was tragically struck down by Lou Gherig's disease (ALS) in 1983. Stephen, by this time a principal of the company, envisioned a significant expansion of the treatment center, and moved it to a larger building at its current home on 57th Street.

Having assembled a cast of talented managers, Yohay built ACI into the premier facility for substance abuse treatment in the New York area, currently standing as the oldest private facility for such treatment in the country. As president and principal shareholder of ACI, Stephen now oversees treatment of 6,000 patients per year. He expresses gratitude at his fortune in having been able to transform such adverse youthful circumstances into a thriving healthcare facility giving a second chance to so many individuals who suffer from the disease of alcoholism or substance abuse.

Lee Weiss

Chief Executive Officer

Donna Mae DePola

Executive Vice President

 

Howard Field

Chief Operating Officer

Howard came to ACI in 1995 after attending Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn majoring in Mechanical Engineering and then spending 23 years working in “corporate America” as the Regional Operations Manager of a national retail chain, the General Manager of a national professional photo-finishing company, and the Vice President of Operations of a national telecommunications provider.

He is humbled, honored, and feels privileged to be able to apply his acquired skill set at ACI where his efforts ultimately benefit the population we serve and has played an integral role in the success of ACI.  

 

 

Clive Smith, MD

Medical Director

 

 

 

 

 

Charisse Ebreo, LMSW

Compliance Officer

Charisse is a licensed social worker practicing at ACI as the Director of Program Operations and Regulatory Affairs. She obtained her B.A. in Sociology with a Minor in Political Science from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2007, and received her Master in Social Work from New York University (NYU) in 2011. Her passion for this field continued as she obtained her Post Master’s Certificate in Clinical Approaches to Addiction from NYU in 2013, and her Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) Certificate from Fordham University in 2014.

As she has been working in the mental health field for seven years, she has experience working with multiple populations (sexual assault and domestic violence victims, senior citizens, severe and persistently mental ill consumers). She specializes in chemical dependency, sexual orientation and gender identity issues (NYU LGBTQ Safe Zone Certified), and has a strong understanding of the challenges of cultural assimilation.

She believes everyone has an opportunity to make change in their life regardless of the situation and that ACI can be that beacon of hope to help those struggling to find recovery.

Amy Sirken, LMHC

Deputy Director of Programs

 

 

 

 

 

Asa Scott MA, CASAC

Senior Clinical Director & Administrator of Program Development

With a career as an advocate for social justice that spans 15 years, Asa F. Scott works tirelessly and passionately with clients to develop and achieve their individual goals while encouraging others to improve their life and the world around them.

Asa F. Scott has a MA in Forensic Psychology with specialty in Social and Deviant behavior and addictions. She is also a Credential Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor certified by OASAS. She has extensive experience in working with a full spectrum of behavioral and mental health issues from sexual, gambling and substance use addiction to addressing emotional deregulation and day to day struggles of individuals and couples. Asa has successfully facilitated the recovery of many addicted individuals and assisted couples and families in revitalizing their lives. Asa utilizes multiple evidence based practices in her clinical interventions; however, she describes herself as a “cognitive behaviorist” specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectic Behavioral Theory, and Schema Therapy. She is most passionate about her work in the LGBTQ, criminal justice, and adolescent programs, as a trainer, as well as direct care provider.

In addition to her clinical practices, Asa has an interest in examining the role of macro-level factors, including policies and neighborhoods that may create and sustain race/ethnic disparities in antisocial behavior, psychopathology, and victimization. Asa's areas of expertise include programs for women and girls, criminal justice issues, social justice advocacy, youth development programs, urban education, and mental health. She is currently the Clinical Director for ACI where she serves as liaison and advocate for over 300 patients seeking assistance at some of the worst times in a patient’s life. Asa's mission has been one of service. She has strong roots in her community, serving as an Advisory Board Member of Kingsborough Community College, and past affiliations and achievements founding member of NYUDL, creator of Debate Assistant Hotline, Advisory Board Member of BUDL, Safe Space Suicide Prevention Team Leader/Community Educator, and writer of biweekly newsletter Heavenly Herald, "Ask Sister Asa".

Asa graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with an MA in Forensic Psychology, was a member of Phi Eta Sigma member as well as a Macaulay Honors Scholar. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Farhanna Zainul, MA, CASAC

Compliance Consultant

Shari Noonan Esq.

Compliance Consultant

Dolores Lopresti

Human Resources

Dolores came to ACI in 2007 after attending Mercy College and has held progressively responsible positions in long term and acute care Human Resources for over 25 years. Dolores’ experience includes employee relations management and policy development in union and non-union facilities. She also serves as management’s representative in bargaining and grievance resolution.

Dolores is committed to ACI’s staff and works with them in developing solutions and delivering services. She stresses service quality and assuring employees are recognized when they are going the extra mile and delivering service excellence beyond the scope of their work.

 

ACI Inpatient Leadership Team

Lee Weiss

Chief Executive Officer

Donna Mae DePola

Executive Vice President

Stacey Stanley, LPN

Director of Operations & Patient Care Coordination

ACI Outpatient Leadership Team

Lee Weiss

Chief Executive Officer

Donna Mae DePola

Executive Vice President

Asa Scott MA, CASAC

Senior Clinical Director & Administrator of Program Development

 

ACI Outpatient Clinicians

Stephanie Perez, CASAC

Stephanie Perez was born and raised in the Lower East Side. She was able to find her career path at the Resource Training Center and obtained her CASAC. She works at ACI to help others who are struggling with addiction. Stephanie is a strong asset to the ACI team as she helps addicted individuals to find hope, guidance and strength. Stephanie is bi-lingual in Spanish and has been an integral part of the bi-lingual program offered at ACI Outpatient.

 

 

 

Sandra Clark, MA, CASAC

Senior Counselor

Born and raised in Norway, Sandra moved to the United States about 6 years ago and obtained her Masters degree in Education at the University of Oslo. Sandra continued her education while living in the states and obtained her CASAC from the Resource Training Center in New York.

Sandra has been working at ACI for 2 years and has over 5 years experience working in the field. In addition to her M.A in Education, she is also certified as a Personal Trainer and Nutritional Counselor by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Prior to coming to ACI, she had worked extensively with harm reduction within the HIV+ population and provided information and counseling on substance use, sexual health/safety. Sandra has utilized her experience in health and nutrition to educate her patients on how to continue living a healthy and sober lifestyle.

 

Locations

“I have been drinking and using drugs since I was a teenager and had no negative consequences until recently when my boss sent me to my Employee Assistance Program due to chronic lateness and absences due to my drug and alcohol use. Thank g-d that they sent me to ACI. When I got there I was really scared. I had never been to detox or rehab. The staff was so caring. When I was on the detox unit I did not feel well and the nursing staff did everything they could to make me comfortable. When I moved on to rehab I loved the counselors. The groups were great and they really understood how guilty and ashamed I felt about my life. I learned that guilt and judgment are not helpful. I learned how to think positively and how to see all that I have to live for. I owe ACI my life. Thank you all!"

-Mike, 27