Meet Our Caseworkers

Gilberto Velasquez, MSW, LSW

Gilberto Velasquez, MSW, LSW

Senior Casemanager

Gilberto Velasquez, MSW, LSW is a graduate of Rutgers University. Since 1990, he has served in numerous progressive leadership roles within the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)-NJ Chapter, and is an active member of the Continuing Education Committee. Gil also serves on many local and statewide committees focusing on the needs of children, families and diverse communities. Gil first began working for Emmanuel Cancer Foundation in 1998 as a caseworker in the Southern Region. Presently, as ECF’s Senior Case Manager, Gil works in partnership with the other case manager and the ECF Executive Director in guidance and supervision of the organization’s caseworkers and helping with policy development. Gil also works for the New Jersey Judiciary System as a Division Manager. 

Ilene Langweil, LSW

Ilene Langweil, LSW

Casemanager

Ilene Langweil is a certified social worker with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Monmouth University and a Master’s in social work from Temple University. She has been a social worker for over 20 years with experience in long term care/discharge planning, Medicaid/Medicare managed care, people with developmental disabilities and mentally-ill chemical abusers. Ilene has been with ECF since 2003 and loves working with the kids who have cancer and their families in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties. In her supervisory role at ECF, Ilene also enjoys assisting with case management oversight.

Eileen Appelbaum, MA, LAC

Eileen Appelbaum, MA, LAC

Caseworker

Eileen Appelbaum received her Bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education from Brooklyn College in NY and then taught elementary school. She went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from The College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ. She currently holds a license as an Associate Counselor in the state of NJ. Eileen feels that her role as a Caseworker with the children and families in the Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties adds another dimension to her life.

Cindy Barerra, MSW

Cindy Barerra, MSW

Caseworker

Cindy Barrera has a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and a BA in Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her graduate studies concentration was in Health, Mental Health and Disabilities. Cindy has worked as a Medical Assistant and Phlebotomist since 2004. This experience lead her to further her education and skills with individuals in a clinical care setting. Her goal is to serve, give back to her community and advocate for those who need it most.

Rebecca Levy-Cruz, LCSW

Rebecca Levy-Cruz, LCSW

Caseworker

Rebecca graduated with a Master’s Degree from Wurzweiler School of Social Work and holds a post- master’s certificate in palliative and end of life care. She began her clinical work with children in the foster care program, followed by serving as a medical social worker at Lenox Hill and NYU Hospitals on various medical floors including hematology/oncology/ and transplant units. Rebecca currently works part-time as a psychotherapist for long-term care residents in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her family.

Elisheva Davidoff, MSW

Elisheva Davidoff, MSW

Caseworker

Elisheva Davidoff is a New Jersey native who received her MSW from Rutgers University School of Social Work, where she was a Violence Against Women and Children certificate student and a 2017 Graduate Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. During her time at Rutgers, Elisheva served as a community liaison on the Graduate Student Association and was nominated for the Outstanding MSW Student Award. Elisheva has experience working with children with critical health concerns and physical disabilities as well as grieving children and families. She has been a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate for over four years and spent time as a volunteer EMT and a forest firefighter. In her free time, Elisheva enjoys reading, taking hikes with her dog, and being outside.

Tara Devine, LAC

Tara Devine, LAC

Caseworker

Tara Devine is a Licensed Associate Counselor with a masters in School Counseling from Hunter College. Tara has been working with children, adolescents and young adults for 20 years, and specializes in helping at-risk youth. She loves working with children and families in need.

Kelly Dyckman, MSW

Kelly Dyckman, MSW

Caseworker

Kelly Dyckman is a Licensed Social Worker and has an MSW from Rutgers University and a BA in Psychology and Gender and Women’s Studies from Villanova University. Kelly has worked with both adults and adolescents in the mental health field and is currently a clinician in an outpatient psychiatric program. Kelly and her family have been supporting ECF for years and she is thrilled to be on staff as a caseworker for families in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Deborah Halpern, MSW

Deborah Halpern, MSW

Caseworker

Deborah is a graduate of The School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers and has a B.A. in Psychology from Case Western Reserve University. Deborah has had experience in providing support and resources and being an advocate for patients and families coping with a diagnosis of cancer. She has worked in the patient and family services departments at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Cancer Society in New Jersey. Deborah has worked with staff from the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation and is excited about now being a part of their casework team.

Jennifer Koehler, MSW

Jennifer Koehler, MSW

Caseworker

Jennifer Koehler has an MSW from Rutgers University and a BA in psychology from Rowan University.  Jennifer has eighteen years of experience working with children, adolescents and their families with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency.  Her experience also includes working at the county crisis screening center and providing counseling to adolescents.

Ana Martinez

Ana Martinez

Caseworker

Ana Martinez earned her Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. She has worked in a school setting as an outreach worker, an advocate, and at-risk support staff, providing services in both the home and school for the students and their families. In addition, she has worked as a visiting coach for the county, assisting at risk families. Ana is bilingual in English and Spanish. She enjoys traveling and spending quality time with her family and friends. Ana is excited to join the ECF team.

Michele Miller, LPC

Michele Miller, LPC

Caseworker

Michele Miller is a Licensed Professional Counselor in NJ and a Certified Diplomate with the American Psychotherapy Association. Since 1998, she has worked with hundreds of children and families providing counseling, advocacy, and emotional support for ECF. She also maintains a private counseling practice in West Orange.

Amy O’Connell, LSW

Amy O’Connell, LSW

Caseworker

Amy O’Connell is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of NJ. She has been a Caseworker in Middlesex and Monmouth counties since 2004. She holds an MSW from Temple University. Her work experience includes employment at The Division of Youth and Family Services as well as in a hospital as a Medical Social Worker.

Tara Quinlan, LSW

Tara Quinlan, LSW

Caseworker

Tara is a graduate of Rutgers University and has a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Tara is also a Licensed Social Worker in the State of New Jersey. Tara has both professional and personal experience with individuals with cancer diagnoses. Tara has experience in mental/behavioral health, community, and medical social work as well as providing case management, counseling, support, and advocacy. Tara’s interest and passion involves working with children and helping families in need. Tara is very excited to be able to serve the pediatric population through the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation.

Denise Rodriguez, MHS

Denise Rodriguez, MHS

Caseworker

Denise Rodriguez earned her Master’s degree in Human Services with a Concentration in Counseling from Lincoln University, PA. Denise has worked with children and families in a school setting providing counseling, case management and serving as an advocate. In addition she has worked in providing intensive in-home services to parents of youth at risk of being placed. Denise is bilingual and fluent in Spanish. Denise enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, as well as traveling and baking when her time permits. She is extremely excited to be joining the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation team and looking forward to working with the families.

Erin Swetits, LSW

Erin Swetits, LSW

Caseworker

Erin Swetits is a licensed social worker who graduated from Rutgers University. She has been working in the field of social work since 2005. Her background includes working with children and families in a school setting, a private practice, and a hospital setting. She possesses a certification in case-management which translates to a strong understanding of the healthcare system and community resources available to her ECF families.

Caitlin Yanowitz, LCSW

Caitlin Yanowitz, LCSW

Caseworker

Caitlin Yanowitz earned a BA degree in Psychology from Rutgers University and a Masters degree in Social Work from New York University. She holds a Clinical Social Work License (LCSW) in the state of New Jersey. Caitlin has worked in several healthcare settings with a main focus on children, adolescents and adults dealing with chronic and serious illnesses. Caitlin is equipped with the training and experience to successfully help ECF children and their families cope with their pediatric cancer diagnosis and effectively support them through this time.

Contact us by email by clicking button below,
or by phone at (908) 322-4323

Follow Us

ECF has helped me tremendously with the support of my Caseworker, Eileen, as well as the volunteers with the holiday wish lists and in making sure Ty had a wonderful birthday every year. And when times were really hard, ECF helped out with meals and food. I don’t think I would have made it through without having to talk to someone who understood. Thank you ECF

Theresa Godfrey, Ty’s mom

Where to Find Us

Headquarters

67 Walnut Ave
Suite 107
Clark, NJ 07066
(908) 322-4323
Fax: (732) 943-7529

Joann Passantino
Executive Director

Central Regional Center

67 Walnut Ave
Suite 107
Clark, NJ 07066
(908) 322-4323 x17

Barbara Kopel
Sr. Central Regional Director

Southern Regional Center

451 Beech Avenue
Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097
(856) 853-4803

Mary Ann Sullivan 
Southern Regional Director

Eastern Regional Center

1710 Highway 71
Suite 2
Wall, NJ 07719
(732) 282-2324

Rosemarie Contreras
Eastern Regional Director

Northern Regional Center

174 Paterson Avenue
PO Box 212
Midland Park, NJ 07432
(201) 612-8118

Inessa Rome
Northern Regional Director

The Emmanuel Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. All donations to the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation are tax-exempt to the extent allowed by law.  

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