Christina Coons, RN, BSN, PCC, CCM
Christina Coons is a Hudson Valley bred healthcare leader. She graduated Pace University with her Bachelors of Nursing Degree and earned a certificate in Population Care Coordination from Duke University School of Nursing. She has strong management and leadership background for the past 10 years with varied post-acute healthcare delivery operation roles, most notably with Visiting Nurse Service of New York from 2005 to 2016, and currently with United HealthCare, since 2019. She balances transformational and transactional leadership styles to maximize patient and fiscal outcomes. She has been part of multiple projects in defining, implementing, and managing care delivery solutions across various patient populations.
Terry M. Perlin, Ph.D
Secretary Terry M. Perlin serves as Consultant in Medical Ethics at The Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati. He is Emeritus Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Research Fellow at Scripps Gerontology Center, having been a faculty member at Miami University in Ohio from 1975-2009. He has held teaching and research positions at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; Wright State University School of Medicine; and the University of California, San Francisco. Terry received his B.A. in History, magna cum laude, from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History of Ideas from Brandeis University. For ten years he was Ethics Consultant for the American Association of Blood Banks. Terry is the author of Clinical Medical Ethics: Cases In Practice and trains hospital ethics committees in case consultation.
Peter J. Strauss, JD
Treasurer Peter J. Strauss practices trusts and estate law and has a special interest in issues involving the rights of persons with respect to health care treatment at the end of life. He has been included in The Best Lawyers in America (2007 to 2014) and in New York Super Lawyers – Metro Edition (2007 to 2015). Best Lawyers named him “New York City Elder Law Lawyer of the Year” for 2012. Peter is Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School, and director of the Guardianship Clinic, which he founded in 2003. He has written articles for many professional publications, including the New York Law Journal. Peter earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Bowdoin College.
John Blumenreich, MBA, MPH
Director John Blumenreich has 22 years of professional experience within the pharmaceutical industry with subject matter expertise in the development of strategy, policy, and governance. John has a B.S. in Finance, an M.B.A. in Information Systems, and an M.P.H. in Community Health Education. He is a Board member at Jewish Family Services of Central NJ and Temple Emanuel of Westfield, NJ, where he lives with his husband and two daughters.
Marcie Colon, MSW
Director Marcie Colon received a masters degree in social work from Fordum University. She has many years of experience in the health care arena including home care and hospice. While at hospice she developed and implemented a bereavement day camp for children who had a significant loss in their lives. Although retired the camp continues to serve children dealing with grief. Marcie was a member of the ethics committee at a community hospital in New Jersey before moving to New York 8 years ago.
Agapi Ermides, DO
Director Dr. Agapi Ermides is a trained anesthesiologist who has worked in NYC and surrounding areas since 2008. In 2022 she completed specialty training in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and transitioned to hospice medicine full time in Albany, NY. Her holistic approach to healing led her to pursue energy work years ago, and she holds Reiki and Medical Reiki Master certifications. Throughout her career she has also been involved with several international humanitarian efforts, most recently the Refugee crisis in 2017 in Greece. Dr. Ermides has had a long-standing interest for end-of-life work, pursuing end-of-life doula training in 2019. She facilitated virtual death cafes at the onset of Covid-19, to lessen the traumatic impact on people, including fellow healthcare workers. She is a passionate advocate for raising death awareness and acceptance, and engages in conversations on various online platforms. In the future, she envisions running a non-profit where she is able to help people who are isolated and of marginalized communities, have access to a dignified death. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, live music and dancing, yoga and meditation, baking bread and cooking with friends at home.
Melody Madera, MS, MPH, HACP, PHNA-BC
Director Melody Madera was born in Washington Heights, New York City, and raised in Yonkers, NY. She is a first-generation Dominican American Registered Nurse Certified in Advanced Public Health Nursing and a Healthcare Accreditation Certified Professional. Melody has over 15 years of experience as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the public health and hospital setting including direct patient care, continuous quality improvement, regulatory activity, health education, and healthcare management. Melody holds a Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages and a Bachelor of Nursing Science from The State University of New York at Binghamton. In 2012 she graduated with a dual Master’s Degree in Community Health Education and Public Health Nursing (MS/MPH) from Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY), Bellevue School of Nursing, and School of Public Health. Melody began her professional nursing career in 2007 at VNS Health (Formerly Known as Visiting Nurse Service of New York). In 2017 Melody joined NewYork Presbyterian Westchester Hospital (formerly known as NewYork Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital), as the Assistant Director of Regulatory Activity. She remained in the regulatory department until 2020 when she joined Lawrence Community Health Services as the Executive Director. As the Executive Director of Lawrence Community Health Services, she oversees business and clinical operations for Jansen Hospice and Palliative Care, Lawrence Home Care of Westchester, and the Bereavement Center of Westchester. In 2022, Melody was recognized by the Business Council of Westchester as a 40 under 40 Raising Star honoree chosen based on her professional accomplishments, professional affiliations, and demonstrated leadership. Melody is an active member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), founder and board member of the NAHN Westchester Chapter, an Advisory Board Member for Gorton High School's Academy of Medical Professions, and a Yonkers Partner in Education (YPIE) mentor.
Nina Tiger, JD
Director Nina Tiger is a former attorney who lives in Summit, NJ with her husband and two sons. She has worked in Business Affairs at both Viacom and HarperCollins Publishing. Recently, she was the Project Manager of Your Decisions Matter, a four-year community initiative funded by a grant from Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center’s Community Advisory Board. The program encouraged all of us to talk about what matters in our individual healthcare, ideally before a medical crisis occurs. Nina earned her BA from Trinity College in Harford, CT and received her JD from New York Law School. She has served on a number of educational boards and organizations. Nina enjoys giving presentations about health care decision making in her community, facilitating and normalizing this difficult topic for families.