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 many leadership roles within the NASW-NJ Chapter including the Children’s Committee, Continuing Education Committees, Unit Chairperson for Camden, Gloucester, Salem County, Treasurer and 2nd Vice-President, former co-chairperson of the NASW-NJ Committee on Diversity and Cultural Competency, and current member of the Continuing Education Committee. Gil also serves on many local committees focusing on the needs of children and families. Gil first began working for ECF in 1998, initially as a Caseworker. As ECF’s Senior Case Manager Gil assists in the guidance and supervision of the Caseworkers in direct partnership with the ECF Director.
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.
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.
Allison Kanarek, LCSW

Allison Kanarek, LCSW

Caseworker

Allison Kanarek is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of New Jersey and holds an MSW from New York University. Allison has extensive clinical experience working with children, adolescents, and their families. Allison has worked in a hospital setting on an inpatient psychiatric unit for children ages 5-17, provided in-home therapy services to children and families who were in need of support and therapy, and now currently works as a School Social Worker in an alternative high school setting in Union County. Allison enjoys spending time with her friends and family and her hobbies include running, traveling, and eating sushi! Allison is extremely excited to be working with the families who are involved with the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation.
Ilene Langweil, LSW

Ilene Langweil, LSW

Caseworker

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.
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.
Renai Kraytem

Renai Kraytem

Caseworker

Renai is a licensed social worker in the state of New Jersey working with children and families. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Andrews University in Michigan and a Masters in Social Work from from Hunter University in New York. She loves working with her ECF families, which give her a sense of hope and the power of resilience.

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.
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.

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

Joann Passantino
Executive Director

Central Regional Center

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

Barbara Kobel
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

10 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

Patricia Brussel
Northern Regional Director

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