Our Staff

Randolph Bleiwas, our Executive Director has Master's degrees in Psychology and Social Work, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Certified Brain Injury Specialist, a NYS Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor and a Certifed Hypnotherapist in addition to other certificatons.
He was provided therapy in and run mental health and substance abuse programs in a variety of settings and has extensive experience in TBI, disabilities, trauma and other areas that affect our clients. More importantly, he cares about the people that we serve and wants Beacon Place to make a difference in peoples lives and to be the place where hope never ends.
Dawn Van Doran, is the Program/Activity Director for our Structured Day Program.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education From SUNY-New Paltz and 10+ years working with Adults with Special Needs and TBI.  Dawn has been also working with children with special needs since before college. 

“ I enjoy working with adults with TBI to see the joy in their faces when the learn or experience something new.  I learn every day from them and look forward to coming to program to see and interact with them.”
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Joan P. Higgins, MA, is a Psychologist/ Applied Behavior Sciences Specialist. She has 20 years of progressive experience in Supportive Counseling, Habilitation Programming Analysis, Quality Assurance, Psychometric Testing, and developing and implementing positive behavior support plans.
“I have a Master’s degree in Psychology and have experience providing services to people with neurobiological disorders. I am not only a TBI services provider (behavioral health related services), I am also a TBI survivor.”
Kyle Van Doran is a current student enrolled at SUNY Rockland with a major in Recreational Therapy and a minor in Journalism. She has worked as a volunteer to adults with special needs for over five years.
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Amelia Ruppmann, PhD, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor and Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. A recurrent theme of promoting autonomy has been present during Dr. Ruppmann’s 2 decades of advocating for individuals with disabilities. Her beginning work at a psychiatric inpatient hospital and later in outpatient, residential, and community settings enriches her understanding of mental health, developmental disabilities, and addiction as well as the public and private sector resources available to support individuals in less restrictive levels of care. Steeped in theory, her approach to advocacy, teaching, supervising, and research inform her holistic-minded counseling.  
Keondra Epps is our Service Coordinator for the TBI Medicaid Waiver Program and, when approved, the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Medicaid Waiver Program.

She brings her extensive experience, dedication, committment and passion to help to the people we serve.
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Jean Freer is a Social Worker who provides Community Integration Counseling and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Services.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Jean has been working with children and adults with disabilities in a variety of settings for over twenty years. She utilizes a strength based approach to empower individuals to overcome obstacles, accomplish their goals, and thrive. 
Shelvie M. Pagan, LMSW is our Service Coordinator and Community Integration Counselor for the TBI Medicaid Waiver Program and, when approved, the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Medicaid Waiver Program. She received her MSW from SUNY Lehman College, her BS in Psychobiology from SUNY Binghamton University, and has a Certificate in Disability Studies from the CUNY School of Professional Studies. Shelvie has over 14 years of experience working with people with disabilities, including those who have had a traumatic brain injury. She works from a person centered approach and strives to ensure that people are able to live as independently as possible in the community.
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Kim Pelfrey works in our TBI Medicaid Waiver Program as a Community Integration Counselor as well as Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Specialist. She received her M.A. in Psychology from Marist College and has a wide range of experience in the field. In addition to working with individuals with TBI, Kim specializes in working with people on the Autism Spectrum. She has been providing in home services for over 13 years and is intrigued by the family dynamics. She believes in a multi-modal approach incorporating the different areas of a persons life and focuses on the positive.
Alana Malek received a Bachelor’s degree with a minor in Psychology from Bay Path college. She  went on to graduate with a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Currently a licensed Occupational Therapist in the state of New York with ten years of experience evaluating and treating adults with developmental disabilities as well as seniors with physical disabilities in various settings. She states “I believe in a team approach to provide the best level of care,  maximize independence, and improve  quality of life.”
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Lauren Steinfeld-Cavuoto is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twenty -five years of experience providing therapy to adults and adolescents who are challenged by various issues including traumatic experiences such as abuse, loss, relationship difficulties, school/work problems, illness, and socio-economic/ social justice related issues. In addition to using time tested therapeutic approaches, she incorporates other modalities to help the people she works with to make the most of their inner resources and strengths. She states ​“My approach is integrative, but first and foremost it reflects a collaborative effort between client and therapist. I provide a warm and welcoming environment to ensure the comfort and safety of each person.
Dr. Jeffrey Vallon has a PhD in Psychology and a Masters of Science in Health Care Administration. He has extensive experience providing individual, couples, family and group therapy as well as administering mental health and substance abuse services. Jeffrey has extensive experience with Traumatic Brain Injury and many other conditions. He is a NY State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a member of the National Board of Certified Counselors, New York Mental Health Counselors Association and a  Member of the New York State Alliance of Sex Offender Treatment Providers.
 
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