The Center has convened a group of fellows (see bios below)
comprised of clinicians and providers who work directly with
victims of violence and trauma. This group serves as a kind of think tank
for the Center, helping to inform our four major areas of focus—programs, training, research
and policy—with particular regard to how to frame our work using the Sanctuary Model.
David Dan, a licensed clinical social worker, has worked in public sector mental health for more than twenty years. He received his MSW from New York University and has worked in clinical practice, supervision, program development and large-scale systems initiatives. He was involved in the implementation of Community Behavioral Health in Philadelphia and the Enhanced Services for Children initiative through the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) Prevention Division. He has served as clinical director of several agencies, where his work has focused on promoting resilience theory and integrating trauma-informed care into community settings. He has trained and published widely on addictions, family therapy, and organizational change, including a recent featured article in the Psychotherapy Networker
reflecting on his career in community mental health. He currently works with Friends of the Children, a national mentoring program for youth, and consults with, among others, DHS, Resources for Human Development, Community Care, and the Sanctuary Insitute
Rabbi Nancy Epstein is Associate Professor of Community Health and Prevention at the Drexel University School of Public Health and a rabbi who has worked as a chaplain at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s trauma bay and emergency room. Her public health work has spanned over 30 years, and she has held leadership positions in health policy and legislation, advocacy, community organizing, public health education, and program development. Her work has covered a diverse range of topics, including access to health care for underserved communities, hunger and nutrition, oral health, health insurance and patient's rights, physical and mental disabilities, and sustainable agriculture. She served as a staff director in the Texas Legislature, a public interest lobbyist, and as a consultant on health and human services policies to state-elected officials, legislators, health departments, medical and dental schools, community-based organizations, and national foundations. She worked extensively with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Voices: Health Care for the Uninsured initiative. Rabbi Epstein received her Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters and rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in human development from Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She is the author of Aching Teeth and Vanishing Dreams: The Dental Problems of Philadelphia's At-Risk Children and Youth: A Needs Assessment and Blueprint for Action.
Joseph F. Foderaro, LCSW, BCD, received his MSS degree from Bryn Mawr School of Social Work in 1976 and served as Program Director and Co-Founder of the Sanctuary programs from 1980-2001. He also co-founded the Alliance for Creative Development, a multidisciplinary private practice and management company, where he conducted a private practice between 1980 and 2001. He has been a field instructor and supervisor for the Bryn Mawr School of Social Work, the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work, and the Marywood School of Social Work. He currently has a private practice in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, serves as a management consultant for CommunityWorks, and as a consultant to the psychiatric inpatient program at Lancaster General Hospital. With Sandra Bloom and RuthAnn Ryan, he recently co-authored a group manual titled S.E.L.F.: A Trauma-Informed Psychoeducational Group Curriculum and has been training staff from domestic violence shelters, parenting programs, and homeless shelters in the use of this curriculum.
Dr. Kenneth V. Hardy is a Professor of Family Therapy in Drexel’s School of Nursing and Health Professions. Prior to joining the faculty at Drexel, Dr. Hardy was a Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Syracuse University in New York, where he also held administrative positions as the Director of Clinical Training and Research and the Chair of the Department of Child and Family Studies. In addition to his academic appointment, Dr. Hardy is also Director of the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships in New York, New York where he maintains a private practice specializing in working with at-risk children and families. Dr. Hardy provides training and consultation to a host of organizations. His clients have included the Children’s Defense Fund, the New York State Office of Mental Health, the Washington, D.C. Superior Court, the Syracuse City School District, the Menninger Clinic, Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center, Philadelphia's Department of Human Services, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, and Family and Children’s Services of Washington, D.C., Nashville, Louisville, and Minneapolis. He has published a variety of articles and book chapters and is the co-author of a book by Guilford Publications, entitled, Teens Who Hurt: Clinical Interventions for Breaking the Cycle of Youth Violence.
Kirk Heilbrun is currently Professor and Head, Department of Psychology, Drexel University. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1980 from the University of Texas at Austin, and completed postdoctoral fellowship training from 1981-82 in psychology and criminal justice at Florida State University. His current research focuses on juvenile and adult offenders, legal decision-making, and forensic evaluation associated with such decision-making. He is the author of a number of articles on forensic assessment, violence risk assessment and risk communication, and the treatment of mentally disordered offenders, and has published five books in these areas.
Elizabeth Kuh, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist working in several settings in the Philadelphia area. She is in private practice, is clinical director of an in-house mental health service team in a charter school, and provides trauma-informed psychiatric services in a residential treatment center for children and families. She has studied trauma from theoretical, clinical and systems perspectives for the past 15 years.
Ruth Ann Ryan
Ruth Ann Ryan is a board-certified Clinical Nurse Specialist and a founding member of the Sanctuary Programs
in the Philadelphia area. She has served as Program Director and senior clinician of the Sanctuary Programs. Along with her colleagues, she developed the SELF Model of trauma recovery, which has been implemented in treatment settings for children, adolescents and adults in many locations in the United States. She and her colleagues authored a SELF Psychoeducational curriculum that is in use in a number of different settings employing the SELF Model. Ruth Ann is a graduate of Georgetown University. She received her graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and has over 30 years of experience in the mental health field. She currently maintains a psychotherapy practice in the Philadelphia suburbs where she specializes in the treatment of psychological trauma. Ms. Ryan is a consultant to social service agencies and treatment facilities throughout the country on Sanctuary and SELF principles and practices.
Sandy Sheller, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, art therapist, and family therapist working as Coordinator of Divisional Mental Health Training for the Salvation Army of the Greater Philadelphia Area where she practices, trains staff, and supervises graduate therapy interns from surrounding universities and colleges. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Creative Arts Therapies in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University and serves on their Advisory Board. She has been an expert panel member, guest lecturer, and trainer in trauma, children’s behavioral health, attachment issues, and homelessness for a number of educational institutions, professional conferences, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration (SAMSHA). Sandy is an author of peer reviewed articles in academic journals. In 2007, she received recognition for exemplary and dedicated service to homeless families from the House of Representatives and Senate of Pennsylvania. In addition, Sandy received The Others Award from the Salvation Army, in recognition of extraordinary dedication and service to the lives of others. Sandy earned her Master’s Degree in Creative Art Therapy from Drexel University’s Hahnemann Creative Arts in Therapy Program, and Post Master’s Certificate in Couples and Family Therapy from Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions.