Full Service Community School Health Center
Denise Hajjar, M.S. Health N Wellness Services, LLC
– 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 for over 9 years. 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. Through the years 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 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’ compassionate and caring Treatment Coordinators and Clinical Staff. Seven Clinics! And the past few years have welcomed School 9/ Charles J. Riley by offering Counseling Services to our incredibly strong Syrian Refugee Families. This year we are pleased to announce the opening of John F.Kennedy High School Complex and School 2.
PEDIATRIC SERVICE PROVIDERS:
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. Dr. Razzak also maintain a pediatric practice: Woodland Park Pediatrics and offers his Nurse Practitioner as well to do ‘Health Center Round’ on Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays throughout our district Community School Health Centers.
Cecilia Chan MSN, FNP-BC
– Behavioral Health Team –
Melissa Elliott, LCSW/ Behavioral Health Director
Melissa Elliott, LCSW CGP
Melissa Elliott is the Director of Behavioral Health at the FSCS Health Centers. This is my eighth year at the Health Centers 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 and this year NYU.
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, LCSW
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 school 15 and the New Roberto Clemente this year! She is looking forward to a productive and meaningful year for everyone.
Sandy Johnson, LCSW/ Supervisor
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. Sandy is working with the students and families at the Frank Lautenberg school and with be a clinical supervisor of members of our team this year!
Esther Pierre, LSW
Esther Pierre, LSW, BA received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and her Master of Social Work from New York University. Esther has clinical experience in a variety of settings, such as mental health agencies, community health centers, correctional programs and families in crisis. Although Esther works effectively with adults and families, she carries a passion for working with children, adolescents, and young adults, that society has deemed to be “at-risk.” Esther specifically work with those clients who are facing trauma, depression, low self-esteem, anger, communication problems and family dysfunction. She strives to create a safe, open, and judgement-free environment for each of her clients by providing positive psychotherapy with passion and empathy.
Esther is an advocate for seeking help when in need and commend her clients for taking the first step in their healing and growing process. Esther aims to build and restore a sense of self and confidence within her clients and provides them with helpful tools that can be used to overcome future situations. Esther is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and is continuously seeking ways to gain knowledge to better aid her clients. Esther is also a certified School Social Worker.
Silvia Henriquez, LSW
Silvia Henriquez is a Licensed Social Worker and received her Master in Social Work from Rutgers University in 2016. Silvia worked as an intern at Full-Service Community Schools Health Center and is excited to have joined the team in 2018. Silvia has worked in various clinical settings, most recently Unaccompanied immigrant/Refugee Children in Transitional Foster care. Silvia has had previous supervisory experience in foster care, outreach and preventative programs in NJ and NYC. Silvia will be working at the Napier Academy and Sen. Frank Lautenberg schools this year!
Dominique Focazio, LSW
Hi! I’m Dominique and I am a Licensed Social Worker. I received my Master’s in Social Work from NYU. I am so happy to be here! My areas of practice have been primarily in direct practice, working individuals as well as leading support groups. My favorite population to work with is late adolescents and young adults. My experience has been in both outpatient clinics in New Jersey and counseling centers for the State University of New York. My areas of focus have been anxiety/ depression, identity development, the LGBTQ population, and personality disorders. My certifications include Mental Health First Aid and Dialectal Behavior Therapy. My home is the new behavioral health center at JFK High School, a place to go when life “happens.”
Alex Miles, LAC
My name is Alexander Miles, I’m a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and New Jersey Board Certified Licensed Associate Counselor. I graduated from Kean University’s CACREP Accredited Counselor Education program in June, 2015. I have an undergraduate degree from the New York State University of Buffalo in Social Science (BA). I have worked in the behavioral health field for over fifteen years and spent the majority of my work experience with New York City’s Department of Human Services; Administration for Children Services. I enjoy working with various populations but especially providing clinical therapeutic services to early, middle and late adolescents. My therapeutic approach is eclectic and encompasses various therapeutic philosophies. I believe in Health and Wellness and support the mission of the Full Service Community School Health Center. I am looking forward to helping educate the inner city community about healthy social, emotional and behavioral lifestyle choices. I am excited to be a part of the Health N Wellness Services family.
– Behavioral Health Interns – 2019 -2020-
Hello! My name is Sam Chen, and I am a second-year Social Work Intern from Rutgers University. I received my Bachelors in Psychology from Binghamton University in 2018, and have worked extensively with kids K-12 as a substitute teacher and camp counselor from places as close as New Jersey and as far as Taiwan! As an intern, I provide individual and group counseling for students at Paterson School 5 and John F. Kennedy High School. I’m passionate about supporting young people so they can reach their full potential, and am excited about the work we’ll be doing together this year!
Hi! My name is Zoe Zschack and I am currently completing my Master of Social Work at Columbia University. I am in the Advanced Clinical Practice track, with a specialization in Health, Mental Health, and Disabilities. I currently intern at schools 5 and 2 and I love the work done by FSCS! I am passionate about helping others and being able to create a positive learning environment. My hobbies include reading, hiking, and trying new foods!
Ghalia Zelfo is the social work intern at Full-Service Community Schools Health Center. She is currently a graduate student at Rutgers’s University School of Social Work. Ghalia is passionate about working with youth and young adults and empowering them to be the best versions of themselves.
Hello everyone! Jessica is currently a second-year Social Work Intern at Rutgers University with a specialization in child and adolescent wellbeing. In 2018, Jessica received her Bachelors in Psychology from William Paterson University. As a social work intern, Jessica has the pleasure of providing individual and group counseling for the students of Paterson School 15 and New Roberto Clemente in an environment where they feel welcomed and safe. Jessica is committed to helping children reach their full potential. Jessica is looking forward to enhancing her skills to serve the children and families of Paterson.
Nutrition & Wellness Educators
Taylor Weber, MS
Hello! My name is Taylor Weber and I am the Nutrition and Wellness Educator here at FSCS Health Center. I received my Master’s Degree in Nutrition Education and Food Science from Montclair State University in May 2019 and I have a bachelor’s degree in Public Health from William Paterson University. My home is in John F. Kennedy Educational Complex and School #2, but I provide services in all of the FSCS Health Center schools. My areas of practice include providing educational events, individual and group education to families and children. I worked as an intern last year and I am thrilled to be back joining the FSCS Health Center family. I am so happy to be sharing my passion with the Paterson Community because I truly believe that food can heal the whole body!
– 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 of 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 6 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. I have been with Health n Wellness/Full Service Community School Health Center since 2015 and did my internship at OASIS, A Haven for Women and Children.
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 began working at the School 5 Full Service Community Health Center as a treatment coordinator in 2015. 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 began in 2015 and continue my passion for helping families. Before this position, I worked as a translator for Social Services and New York Hotels prior, I 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 Full Service Community School Health Center, Room-105. I’ll be honored to meet you all!!
Masuma Begum, School 5
Hi! I am Masuma Begum, the Treatment Coordinator for School 5. I am from Bangladesh and I received my high school diploma in USA. I am bilingual and can read and write English and Bangla. I have a beautiful child. I worked as the Treatment Coordinator a few years ago and am really glad to join the FSCS Health Center staff again in 2018. I am happy to help all the families and children here at School 5 with their health care needs.
Brenda Clark, JFK High School Complex
I am Brenda Clark, the Treatment Coordinator for The Full Service Community Schools Health Center at John F. Kennedy High School since April of 2018. I was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States at the age of four. Both, the USA and the Dominican Republic have been my home throughout my life. This has given me the opportunity to experience great cultural diversity. I have a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Montclair State University and aspire to obtain a Teaching degree in the same Subject. My experience as a Treatment Coordinator has been one filled with thrill. To help students and their families make their journeys a bit less difficult, gives me immense gratification every day. I am beyond thankful for the team of professionals that work by my side to make this a better Community for our future adults.
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 Center 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. I have been a part of this Full Service Community School Health Center Family since 2018!