Since 1973, we have been dedicated to empowering residents of Adult Care Facilities (ACF) in New York City by empowering their pride, purpose, and self-determination. Whether they choose to continue living in an ACF, would like support for learning skills for daily living, or are interested in moving to a place of their own, we provide resources and programs to improve their lives and care.
Geoff Lieberman, Executive Director
The mission and promise of CIAD has been my lifelong career. I was hired as the organization’s nursing home organizer in 1983 and became its Executive Director in 1986. What has always sustained me, and the organization, are the residents: their strength, dignity and determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I am lucky to have found this calling and to work alongside the residents, former residents, and CIAD’s dedicated staff and allies through these many years. Before joining CIAD, I was a Borough Supervisor for the NYC Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. Among my outside affiliations, I am a Board member of the Long Term Care Community Coalition and served for many years as its President.
Sherletta McCaskill, Training Director
I joined CIAD in August of 2018. I have been a social service and social justice worker in NYC for more than thirty years. I had worked with homeless and disadvantaged populations, but I had never worked with residents of Adult Care Facilities (ACF). Although I knew my calling was to defend those who are disenfranchised, I did not understand how badly this population was treated until my first day at an ACF. I knew the moment I walked in the door that the work of CIAD was paramount to the health and well-being of the residents and that our presence was indispensable in helping residents gain their dignity and maintain their personhood. Working with CIAD is my master’s class in service. No one else does what we do!
JK Canepa, Adult Home Organizer
Working with adult home residents and our peers has been an honor. I began my tenure with CIAD as Adult Home Organizer in 2006. I’ve gotten to know people who have overcome the odds to step up to help their fellow residents out of a sense of compassion and caring and watched them become leaders. It takes bravery and heart to do that, especially when faced with the resistance, indifference, and disrespect that often prevails in the homes. Working with this organization has opened my own heart and mind as well.
Michael Callaghan, Deputy Director
I am delighted to be the newest member of the CIAD team joining the staff in January of 2023. I have a long history in nonprofit leadership and advocacy with vulnerable communities. I hold a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. My role supports the day-to-day operations of the organization so that we can advance effective empowerment of, and advocacy with, ACF residents, while maintaining a high standard of nonprofit best practices.
Board of Directors
President of CIAD Board of Directors
I have a rare form of cerebral palsy and several chronic health problems. I was a self-employed insurance broker for 30 years before a stroke landed me in a nursing home. When I was elected Vice President of the Resident Council there, I was introduced to CIAD and their staff and benefited from a CIAD resident council training course. Over a ten-year period, CIAD supported me in the process of moving to supportive housing. In 2013 I began a Peer Advocate and then interim Board President in 2019 and Elected to a full term in 2020 and then again in 2022. CIAD makes dreams come true. I am living proof. (Read Bob’s extended story on the Residents Page.)
Vice President of CIAD Board of Directors
My history with CIAD spans over twenty (20) years. As a resident of an Adult Care Facility for over five years, I experienced first-hand the advocacy and empowering work of CIAD staff. Joining CIAD changed my life and showed me the importance of Advocacy! I attended Policy Committee meetings and joined the Media Team. In 2004, I won the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Inc. (NYAPRS) Frances Olivero Advocacy Award for my advocacy work done on behalf of adult home residents. In 2006, with the support of CIAD I was able to move to my own apartment. I have been living independently ever since.” (Read Gary’s extended story on the Residents Page.)
CIAD Board Member At Large
Sylvia has been on the Board of Directors since 2017. She has been involved with nonprofits for much of her life focused on supporting those with developmental disabilities. She is pleased to add her efforts to the work of CIAD as a resident living in an Adult Care Facility.
Christy has been a powerful voice for human services programs and consumers through leading non-profit organizations and member associations for over twenty years. She is passionate about creating strong and healthy individuals and thriving communities. Having previously worked for the Friends and Relatives of the Institutionalized Aged organizing Nursing Home Family Councils, she collaborated on many efforts with CIAD and later joined the CIAD board in 2008.
Board Member at Large
“I have been involved with CIAD for 40 years and joined the board in 2008 once they determined they would add nonresidents while the majority were residents or former residents”. Ann specializes in long-term care program development, with an emphasis on culture change, quality improvement and creating a culture of retention for staff in nursing homes and home care. Now a consultant to CaringKind (formerly Alzheimer’s Association, NYC Chapter) she has worked to promote innovative, comprehensive palliative care programs for people with advanced dementia. For several years she was Associate Director of the Office of Long-Term Care at the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, NYC’s municipal hospital system. Earlier, as Planning Director for the Village Nursing Home AIDS Project, she helped develop the first AIDS adult day health program in the country. She was a founding board member of the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (now Consumer voice), and of Music & Memory, and has published numerous articles and book chapters on various long-term care issues.
CIAD Peer Advocates are essential to our mission of serving those in New York City’s Adult Care Facilities. Because they are our clients, they are uniquely qualified to teach and mentor their fellow residents in living independently. It also makes it easier for residents to ask questions because they know the Peer Advocates have had similar experiences.
Valerie Hall, Peer Advocate, ACF Resident
“I greatly dislike being patronized and not being treated with dignity. I became a Peer Advocate in 2017 to help educate my peers on how to advocate for themselves.”
Tyrria Higgins, Peer Advocate, ACF Resident
“I have worked as a Peer Advocate since 2016. I lament the lack of choices offered to residents in Adult Care Facilities and work to expand opportunities for self-determination. I enjoy helping my peers because I understand their experience.”
Deborah Hunter, Former Resident and Peer Advocate
“I started my journey with CIAD in 2018. I was a resident at Wavecrest Adult Home for 11 years. In 2019, being a member of the O’Toole Class Action, I was able to move into the community, in my own apartment. It has been a blast. CIAD has given me the opportunity to teach Independent Living skills to my fellow brothers and sisters who still reside in Adult Homes. We are all entitled to know our rights, and to become independent. We know that CIAD will assist us with any problem that we may have when we need to file a complaint with the Department of Health, and Mobilization For Justice. I hope that I will be able to continue to grow and gain more knowledge with CIAD.”
Ruberto Rodriguez, Former Resident and Peer Advocate
“Working with the Residents in Adult Care Facilities. CIAD helps with the rights of each resident. We do independent living skills training, and support line help.”
Diana Vila, Former Resident and Peer Advocate
“As a 59-year-old Hispanic woman with a disability, I have worked as a Counselor and Adjunct Professor at LaGuardia Community College for 20 years. My retirement worsened my disability. I was hospitalized, and a fire landed me in my first Adult Home. There I was miserable and mistreated. I lived in the second Adult Home for 12 years. I joined the Resident Council and took office as the Vice President and later the President. I became very familiar with CIAD’s efforts to advocate for residents’ rights. They helped me understand my role in the RC, and I learned how to help others assert their rights. As a result, we fought for and made strides in improving the quality of food and the quality of life at this home.
I started training and working for CIAD as a Peer Advocate while still living in the home. I was able to utilize my skills running independent skill training, called Taking Control. During COVID, we could not run the workshops, so we began a Support line to continue our advocacy efforts. Following the interruptions from Covid19, we will renew the independent skill training workshops and I will help lead the charge. I am now living in the community thanks to CIAD’s support. (Read Diana’s extended story on the Residents Page.)