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 Stephen to seek solace of an unusually potent nature. He started to use heroin, and by age 18 was in full addiction.
Around this time, Stephen’s grandmother read an article about Dr. Daniel 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 Yohays 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 Gehrig'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, Stephen 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. Stephen held the NYS Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) credential for many years and now after forty-six years working in the field of substance abuse treatment, he holds the prestigious honorary designation of Counselor Emeritus.
Don Gasparini, Ph.D., M.A., CASAC
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Don is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ACI since June 2017. Don received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Manhattanville College, his Master's degree in counseling psychology from New York University, his Doctoral degree in developmental psychology from Yeshiva University in NYC, and he is a New York State Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC).
Don has worked since 1988 in the field of counseling and psychology at various chemical dependency and mental health treatment programs in New York and has taught counseling, psychology and research methods in graduate and undergraduate programs at a variety of colleges, universities and educational programs since 1996. He developed, directed and taught CASAC training programs for healthcare professionals and developed and taught NYS curriculum to graduate students at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY. He taught psychology classes to undergraduate students majoring in behavioral health and nursing degree programs at Dutchess Community College.
Don began his career as a counselor in psychiatric hospitals, homeless shelters and in behavioral health treatment programs at hospital-based programs. He was quickly promoted into supervisory and senior management positions overseeing inpatient detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient treatment, opioid treatment, crisis center and jail-based treatment programs for those suffering from the disease of addiction and other mental health disorders.
Domenick Pusateri, M.P.A., CASAC
Chief Operating Officer
Domenick Pusateri, M.P.A., CASAC joined the ACI team as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) in June, 2017. Domenick obtained his undergraduate BA degree in Sociology from Queens College CUNY and attended LIU/CW Post where he received his M.P.A. in Health Care Administration. He is a New York State Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) and has worked in the Chemical Dependency field since 1991, for both freestanding and hospital based treatment programs. Domenick also served as the Director and Instructor for a NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) licensed 350 hour CASAC training program for many years.
Raymond Matthews, MPA
Chief Financial Officer
Raymond Matthews is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at ACI. He was the CFO at ACI from 1994 to 2011 and ACI is fortunate that he returned in 2017. Raymond received his BBA in accounting from St. Francis College in Brooklyn and his MPA from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.
Christopher Alcazar, LCSW
Chief Program Officer
Christopher has more than 23 years of experience in behavioral health settings, with 15 years in an executive management role.
Christopher pursued a career in the social service field immediately following his undergraduate studies, after being offered his first full time job as a counselor working with the homeless. He grew to love the work and appreciated the feeling of being able to make a difference in people's lives. He attributes his success as a leader to his ability to build productive relationships, utilizing a strength based approach to connect well with others.
Christopher has a Master's degree in Program Administration and Clinical Practice from the Hunter College School of Social Work. He is an accredited LCSW, a 2015 Fellow of the highly esteemed Aspen Institute in Colorado, and a 2014 participant of the prestigious American Express Leadership Academy.
Special Assistant to the President
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
Dr. Smith is the medical director for ACI. Dr. Smith’s experience is vast, having worked in internal medicine for many years. A Bronze Star recipient, Dr. Smith served as a United States Army Captain in the Medical Corps in Vietnam. Dr. Smith oversees the medical department at ACI and acts as a direct medical provider for the patients served in the inpatient detoxification and inpatient rehabilitation programs.
Charisse Ebreo, LCSW
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.
Asa Scott M.A., CASAC
Senior Clinical Director Outpatient Services
Asa Scott, M.A., CASAC is ACI’s Senior Clinical Director of outpatient services. Asa graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with an MA in Forensic Psychology, was a member of Phi Eta Sigma member and was a Macaulay Honors Scholar. She is also a NYS Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC).
With a career as an advocate for social justice that spans many years, Asa works tirelessly and passionately with clients at ACI to develop and achieve their individual goals while encouraging others to improve their life and the world around them. She has extensive experience in working with a full spectrum of behavioral and mental health issues from sexual, gambling and chemical dependency disorders to addressing emotional deregulation and day to day struggles of individuals and couples. 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 specialty treatment populations.
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 has strong roots in her community, serving as an Advisory Board Member of Kingsborough Community College in addition to other community groups.
Ximena Rice, R.N.
Ximena Rice, R.N. is the nursing director at ACI since November 2017. Ximena received her LPN at the NYC Department of Education, her RN at LaGuardia Community College and she is currently working on her BSN at CUNY-School of Professional Studies. Ximena has a rich history of nursing experience, both administratively and clinically in a variety of settings.
Teresa Pica, LCSW
Inpatient Clinical Director
Teresa Pica, LCSW is the Inpatient Clinical Director since November 2017. Teresa oversees the inpatient detoxification and inpatient rehabilitation programs at ACI. Teresa received her BA in political science at Manhattanville College, her MSW at NYU and her SIFI certification at Columbia University. Teresa brings many years of administrative and clinical experience as a social worker in a variety of healthcare settings.
Stacey-Ann Stanley, LPN
Director of Operations and Patient Care Coordination
Stacey-Ann Stanley is the Director of Operations and Patient Care Coordination for ACI’s inpatient services. Stacey-Ann received her nursing degree from the NYC Board of Education Adult Practical Nursing Program. Stacey-Ann has many years of experience working in various healthcare facilities. She oversees the operations of intake and admissions for ACI’s inpatient detoxification and inpatient rehabilitation programs for chemical dependency treatment.
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 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.
Naiylah Warren, MFT
Marriage and Family Therapist
Naiylah is a license eligible clinician trained in the mental health discipline of Marriage and Family Therapy. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Philadelphia University and her Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy at Long Island University. Naiylah specializes in treating individuals, couples and families impacted by mental health, substance use, and relational conflict. Additionally, Naiylah works with families impacted by intimate partner violence, substance use, and mental health in an attempt to increase the functioning of the family unit. She is on the front line of removing the stigma of mental health/substance use in communities of color and works hard to assist her clients with feeling empowered in their recovery. She has worked with ACI for over two years utilizing an eclectic array of treatment modalities to fit client needs.
Breanna Kircher, LCAT-LP
Creative Arts Therapist
Breanna is a limited permit holder in Creative Arts Therapy currently working towards her license. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from West Chester University and her Master’s in Creative Arts Therapy from Pratt Institute. She has worked with mentally ill, chemically addicted, and developmentally disabled adults, as well as children and young adults suffering from emotional stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma. Breanna currently works with a trauma-informed approach in order to recognize signs and symptoms of trauma, appropriately respond, and work towards resisting re-traumatization. She employs strength-based strategies in order to increase self-esteem and self-awareness while incorporating mindfulness practices in effort to help process experiences and decrease symptoms of distress. With a person-centered approach, she is able to view each patient as a unique individual with independent ideas, plans, and treatment goals. Breanna incorporates creative arts therapy in an effort to engage patients in an alternative form of counseling, by allowing the art and materials to help patients express their thoughts and feelings in a visual manner in order to better reflect on the self. The creative process is used as an authentic and direct route of expression which allows for a range of emotional expression.