FSCS Health Center Consultant: Denise Hajjar, M.S.
– Our Service Providers –
Denise began her journey as Administrator of the Full Service Community School Health Centers and partner to the Board of Education in Paterson over six years ago. Along with her husband, George Hajjar, they began providing Pediatric Services to include a Doctor and Physician Assistants, Dental and Vision Services, Behavioral Health Counseling, and Nutrition/ Wellness Education for parents and guardians. Sadly, George Hajjar passed away in August of 2014 and Denise continued to develop the Full-Service Community School Health Centers in his honor; to carry out their passion to inspire families in Paterson to become educated in preventative health care and render Health Care Services so desperately needed in this inner city. Denise is passionate about the holistic perspective of development for each child. She believes education is half of the equation in order for children to develop intellectually, emotionally, and physically and achieve their hopes and aspirations. She feels extremely privileged to collaborate with the Board of Education in Paterson and to be working with such amazing children and families. She has brought yoga, dance, mindfulness meditation, and hygiene workshops for students in these Full-Service Community School. She appreciates any suggestions from families to further develop the successful outcomes for the students in Paterson. Denise holds a Masters Degree in Holistic Nutrition and is a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She has four wonderful children, a daughter-in-law, son-in-law and 2 adorable grandsons and a granddaughter. She is surrounded by their love and is supported by the Health Centers’ five compassionate and caring Treatment Coordinators and Clinical Staff. Five Clinics! And last year welcomed School 9/ Charles J. Riley by offering Counseling Services to our incredibly strong Syrian Refugee Families.
Dr. Mannan Razzak, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mannan Razzak is a Board Certified Pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP). Dr. Razzak grew up in Paterson and attended Paterson Catholic Regional High School. He attended the University of Notre Dame prior to leaving for early admission in a medical school in Bangladesh. He obtained his medical degree from Bangladesh Medical College and completed a pediatric residency at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School with training at University Hospital and Hackensack University Medical Center.
Dr. Mannan Razzak has worked in four of the five major hospitals in the area as a Pediatric Emergency Room Physician and Hospitalist. Immediately after residency, Dr. Razzak worked at Clara Maas Medical Center as a Pediatric Hospitalist and as a Pediatric Emergency Room Physician at Trinitas Hospital and Hackensack University Medical Center. He has also covered several pediatric practices as a locum tenens provider. Dr. Razzak currently works as a Pediatric Emergency Room Physician at Chilton Memorial Hospital and The University Hospital. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Razzak helps train medical students, physician assistant students, pediatric, family medicine and emergency medicine residents at The University Hospital.
Ifrah Syed, Physician Assistant
Ifrah Syed is a Board-Certified Physician Assistant, who works alongside Dr. Mannan Razzak, a Pediatrician at Woodland Park Pediatrics. Mrs. Syed completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Biology & Basic Medical Sciences at Wayne State University in Michigan and completed the Physician Assistant Program at Mercy College located in Bronx, NY. She began her career working as a PA-C in an Urgent Care Center located in Elizabeth, New Jersey where she found her passion for helping children. She pursued this passion by joining a busy Pediatric Office for two years in Clifton, NJ, working as a primary provider. She is a PA-C at Express Care Medical Group where she started in early 2015 and recently joined our team providing medical services for the Paterson school districts where she continues to pursue her passion to care for children.
Mrs. Syed resides in North Jersey with her husband and two children and knows the importance of staying involved and giving back to her community. She is a member of AAPA (American Academy of Physician Assistants) advocating for Healthcare Reform and preventative care, including vaccinating all children and adolescents and promoting an active and healthy lifestyle. Mrs. Syed is also active in local charity organizations like SMILE, where she is providing medical services for low-income families.
– Behavioral Health Team –
Melissa Elliott, LCSW
Melissa Elliott, LCSW CGP
Melissa Elliott is the Director of Behavior Health at the FSCS Health Center. This is my fifth year at the Health Center and I feel we have created a great program that can help students in our schools individually, with their families and in Groups. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and over the last 25 years of practice, I have worked in schools systems, outpatient mental Health centers, and private practice. I started my training at The Yale Child Study Center, have worked on Child Study teams in two schools. I have been a Certified Group Psychotherapist for over 10 years and apply this knowledge to our groups here at the Health Center. I also have the pleasure of supervising Master level graduate student interns at our program representing Columbia University, Fordham, Ramapo College and Rutgers University.
The FSCS Health clinic benefits all the families who attend our schools. The Health clinic offers all students receiving Behavioral Health services to receive them while they are in the school setting which benefits families with their work schedules and time restraints.
Jennifer Hutchinson, MSW
Jennifer Hutchinson recently received her Master of Social Work from Fordham University. Jennifer worked as an intern for the Full-Service Community Health Center during the 2014-15 school year and is thrilled to be rejoining the community this year as a social worker. Jennifer will be spending most of her time at schools Six and 15 and is looking forward to a productive and meaningful year for everyone.
Sandy Johnson, LCSW
Sandy Johnson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and therapeutic yoga teacher (RYT-200). Sandy received her master’s degree from New York University and her yoga certification from Integrative Yoga Therapy. Sandy worked for Children’s Aid & Family Services as a clinician within their therapeutic group homes and outpatient family services programs. Sandy acts as clinical supervisor and leads therapeutic groups for New City Kids, an outreach for at-risk children and teens, in Jersey City and Paterson. Sandy continues to work with families involved in the child welfare system and maintains a private practice with a focus on the needs of children and families.
This includes behavioral and emotional concerns that may arise as a result of an adjustment to school, divorce, adoption, neglect, abuse and/or loss of a parent or caregiver. Sandy incorporates the practices of mindfulness and yoga into her mental health work in order to promote self-regulation skills, and improved attention and focus. Sandy believes that children may be our best teachers if we take the time to embrace what they have to teach us.
– Interns –
Erika Suarez is currently completing her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. She began her internship in September 2017. Erika obtained her BA in Education from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, VT in 2010. She worked in public schools for four years working primarily with students with behavior and developmental needs. Erika is excited to be joining the behavioral health team in schools 6, 15 and 4 and will be working to counsel students individually and in groups.
Milagros Balboa is currently completing her Masters in Social work from Rutgers University. She began her internship at the Full-Service Community School (FSCS) in September 2017. Milagros obtained her BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Kean University in 2013. Milagros has experience working with children and families as a family services coordinator referring them to services that they might need depending on their circumstances. Milagros is determined and passionate individual and looks forward to her experience with the FSCS community.
Eman Lordi is completing her Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University. This is her first-year internship placement with Paterson School District and Full Service Community Service Schools. Eman is bilingual in Arabic and will be working closing at Paterson Public School # 9 Middle-Eastern Refugee community. Eman has completed her Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in Political Science and Anthropology. In addition, she is a team lead and a certified crisis intervention specialist at Family Intervention Services. Eman looks forward to the positive impact at School # 9 and Full Service Community Service School.
My name is Diana Remache and I am currently completing my Bachelors in Nutrition and Food Science from Montclair State University. Throughout the years as an undergraduate, I have gained a special interest in Nutrition Education & Food Systems. I also have a minor in Public Health, which has given me an opportunity to understand the importance of health disparities within a community. I became interested in nutrition because as an athlete in high school, I was exposed to the importance of nutrition and how it affected the body. Once in college, I was able to understand that there is more to nutrition than just simply eating food. I learned that the foods we eat are sometimes based a lot on religion, culture, and geography. This is where I became a lot more involved in nutrition and wanted to do more to help communities that are in more need. I choose to do my internship here at the Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) to help educate and guide families in regard to the importance of nutrition in their everyday life. I am passionate about my work and look forward to providing my services as well as learning from the community.
– Treatment Coordinators –
Diane Savage, Frank Lautenberg School
Hi, I am Ms. Diane, the Treatment Coordinator for The Senator Frank R. Lautenberg School (formally known has school 6). I am a mother four beautiful children; 2 girls and 2 boys. I graduated from Dover Business Colleges in 2011, with my certification in Medical Billing and Coding. I also have a license in Cosmetologist and Salon owner. I have been the Treatment Coordinator for the past 2 yrs. This has been a plus with all my experience to help the families at Senator Frank R. Lautenberg School.
Nargish Akther, School 5
My name is Nargish Akther. I was born in Bangladesh. I moved to the USA when I was in 6th grade. Moving to a new country and going to a new school was not easy especially when you barely spoke English, but I was very ambitious and hardworking. I never gave up and always tried my best. My hard work paid off when I graduated from William Paterson University in May 2015 with a bachelor degree in public health. I also minored in Psychology. I’m a Certified Nursing assistant also certified in first aid and CPR. I love to learn new things; I believe there’s always something new to learn. Therefore, I like to participate in different programs. Last year, I did my internship at OASIS. Oasis had given me chances to participate in seminars where they teach you about different topics such as preventing sports injuries in schools and medical emergencies. Also, at OASIS I had the privilege of working on nutrition’s idea for children age 5-10 years. I was able to organize lesson plans and activities related to nutrition for the after-school program.
I have always been very passionate about helping others. I believe it’s preeminent to use my education and knowledge in a field where I know I make a difference. I have always worked in places where I’m surrounded by many people with the feeling that my presence actually means something. I enjoy spending time communicating with different people especially when someone comes from a different county. You can learn so much from them. For example, I work in a nursing home, with the aging population. When I spend time with them I feel as if I am actually doing something great. I recently started working at the School 5 Full Service Community Health Center as a treatment coordinator. I’m very blessed to have this job not only because this job provides me with many opportunities to further my skills and knowledge but I believe being a treatment coordinator is a perfect fit for me because I can apply my skills that already are inherent. For example, on a daily basis, I interact with many parents and children, where I am able to use my communication skills and foreign language skills to help them. This position also gives me the opportunity to enhance my computer skills and time management abilities.
Victoria Vargas- Rivera, The Napier Academy
Warm Greetings To All!
My name is Ms. Victoria Vargas-Rivera. I’m proud and humbled to introduce myself as the FSCS Treatment Coordinator for The Napier Academy School #4 Health Center. I am bilingual in Spanish. I previously worked as a translator for Social Services and New York Hotels. I recently finished a year term of services at School #15 for AmeriCorps. where I served gratefully the Community of Paterson! It is s a blessing to be here and to work with a great Health Center team!
I am looking forward to a successful year working with families & children providing great services at the FSCS Health Center! I am here to support and assist the students to meet their health care needs. Please stop by The Community Room-105. I’ll be honored to meet you all!!
Shalika Ulloa, School 15
My name is Shalika Ulloa, I have been with the Full-Service Community School Health Center at School 15 since 2014. I am a mother of four beautiful children and worked as a Dental Assistant for a dental office for about 8 years. I left to attend American Institute to pursue a certification in dental assistance along with other credentials needed in the field of dentistry. Becoming a Treatment Coordinator of a Health Clinic has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Being able to grow a relationship with all the children in the clinic is what I look forward to every day. Whether it is providing services to them or just having them stop in to say ‘hi,’ the children of the Full-Service Community School Health Center have become my children too. My promise is that I will go above and beyond to provide everything that they need.
Jenny Cepeda, New Roberto Clemente
“Life doesn’t make any sense without interdependence. We need each other, and the sooner we learn that, the better for us all.” Erik Erikson
Hello, my name is Jenny Cepeda. I am the Treatment Coordinator for FSCS Clinic at the New Roberto Clemente middle school in Paterson. I was born in the Dominican Republic and I arrived in the United States with my family at the age of 3. My parents came to this country in search of a better financial opportunity and educational system for their children. We have lived in Paterson for over 35 years and we love it. I am a mother of 2 boys who attend the Paterson public school district and I’m very involved in their education. I am Fluent in two languages Spanish and English which I can read, write and translate very well. I have attained two Degrees one from Passaic County Community College for Early childhood education in May 2015, and my most recent degree in December 2017 from William Paterson University with major in Psychology. I enjoy working with children and helping them understand and evolve into the next stage of personal growth.