Board of Directors

Meet the Board of Directors of New Yorkers for Patient & Family Empowerment.  Note:  We define “family” to include the key support persons and loved ones in the patient’s life, as determined by the patient.

Larry Shapiro, President and Director.  Larry Shapiro is an Associate Director for Program Development at the Rockefeller Family Fund. Prior to joining the Rockefeller Family Fund in 2000, he directed the environmental programs of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) from 1988 through 1999, with a special emphasis on environmental health issues. Among his successes are campaigns to promote recycling and persuade then New York Governor George Pataki to require promulgation of what at the time were the most effective power plant emission standards in the country. He also serves as president of the board of the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and has expertise in good government issues.

Chris Meyer, Treasurer and Director.  Chris Meyer is a policy and advocacy consultant who served for many years as Vice President for External Affairs and Information Services at Consumer Reports and its public policy and advocacy arm, Consumers Union, where he oversaw the national organization’s development, advocacy and external relations activities. Prior to his promotion to Vice President for External Affairs and Information Services in 2006, he was Senior Director, Public Policy and Advocacy for Consumers Union. Before joining Consumers Union, he served as Executive Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), New York State’s largest consumer, environmental, health and government reform organization. In this position, Mr. Meyer developed expertise in a range of public health issues, such as lead poisoning prevention, drinking water safety and tobacco control.

Susan Scheer, Secretary and Director.  Susan Scheer is the author of several in-depth reports on health and social services issues, and was a 1994 recipient of the Sloan Public Service Award. She currently serves as Assistant Director for Policy & Research at the New York City Comptroller’s Office and is President of the Disabilities Network of New York City. Prior to this, she was Director of the Columbia University Office of Disability Services. She also served as Assistant Deputy Advocate in the Public Advocate’s office, where she developed a successful federal civil rights complaint to overturn discriminatory policies in the Access-a-Ride transportation program (a program she had originally helped implement to provide transportation for people with disabilities).

Bettina Damiani, Director.  Bettina Damiani is a policy and advocacy consultant with special expertise in the important link between social justice and jobs. She served for many years as the Project Director of Good Jobs-New York, which seeks to ensure that development projects benefit their host community by providing good jobs for local residents and by designing its facilities to be consistent with and beneficial to the community ‘s goals. Through her work with Good Jobs-New York, she helped found the Liberty Bond Housing Coalition, which advocates for the use ofpost-9/11 financing tocreate affordable housing for moderate and low-income New Yorkers. She has a background in community organizing and progressive public relations.

Geoff Boehm, Director.  Geoff Boehm is a practicing attorney admitted in New York and New Jersey who provides counsel to tax-exempt organizations regarding incorporation, corporate governance, tax-exempt status, and strategic advocacy.  He has over two decades of experience working in the public interest in many capacities, including management, legislative drafting, litigation and community organizing.  He served as program director and senior attorney to NYPIRG, legal director at the Center for Justice and Democracy, staff attorney for NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund/Legal Momentum, and staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society’s Brooklyn Office for the Aging.  He also has taught as an adjunct professor in the Political Science department at Yeshiva University.

Suzanne Mattei, Director.  Suzanne Mattei is former Executive Director of Patient & Family.  She served for four years, producing in-depth reports on hospital visiting policies, safe lifting and moving in healthcare, and safe staffing.  She was appointed to and served as a health consumer advocate on the Department of Health’s Safe Patient Handling Work Group to help develop guidance documents for hospitals and nursing homes to comply with the new Safe Patient Handling statute.  Ms. Mattei currently serves as General Counsel for the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.  In the past, she served as Regional Director for the New York State Department of Environmental Protection, and as Assistant Deputy Advocate in the office of the New York City Public Advocate.

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