About Us

Disaster Psychiatry Outreach (DPO) mission is to alleviate suffering in the aftermath of disaster through the expertise and good will of psychiatrists.  After the initial wave of an acute response is over – DPO volunteers step in to assist with education and services of treating the invisible wounds of psychological trauma. 

To fulfill our mission, DPO responds to catastrophes and provides education and training in disaster mental health to a range of professionals in the healthcare, public health and emergency management sectors.

We:

  • Organize volunteer psychiatrists who provide immediate mental health services in the aftermath of disasters in conjunction with government and private charitable organizations;
  • Develop and implement educational programs, training, and referral mechanisms, and;
  • Develop research and policy in the field of disaster mental health.

DPO’s activities are guided by its vision to prevent the development of mental illness after disaster.  Disaster Psychiatry Outreach is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in good standing.  All donations are tax deductible in full or in part.

Staff:

Amy

Amy Carol Wolff, Managing Director

Amy has been working with Disaster Psychiatry Outreach in various capacities since 2010. Amy works to coordinate response missions, trainings and events and is available as a point of contact for anyone that has any questions or concerns. Amy holds her MPA in Non-Profit Management from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and has worked in the non-profit space for over 10 years.

Board:

Sander Koyfman, M.D., President

Dr. Sander Koyfman is a board certified psychiatrist, currently working as the Behavioral Health Medical Director of EmblemHealth. He also serves as the President of a New York based non-profit relief organization Disaster Psychiatry Outreach. He has served as a Medical Director of Adult Inpatient Psychiatry at Kings County Hospital and Director of Consultation and Liaison Service and Treatment Resistant Depression Treatment Program at New York Methodist Hospital. He graduated from New York University and the State of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine and completed his psychiatric training at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.


Grant Brenner

Grant Brenner, M.D., Vice-president

Dr. Grant H. Brenner’s extensive private practice includes psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, crisis management, traumatology, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). He is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and the New Jersey Medical School and he completed his psychiatric residency at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. He holds academic appointments at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine Beth Israel Medical Center and the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology. He co-edited and contributed to Creating Spiritual and Psychological Resilience: Integrating Care in Disaster Relief Work (Routledge: 2009).


Dr. Javier Garcia

Dr. Javier Garcia

Javier Garcia completed his undergraduate education at Brown University. He graduated from the State of New York Downstate College of Medicine and completed his residency training at North Shore/Long Island Jewish Hospital. He is certified in EMDR, and has done additional training at William Allenson White Institute. He is currently working at Richmond University Medical Center in the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) and the outpatient Department where he works as a mentor for first and second year psychiatry residents.


Anand Pandya, M.D.

Anand Pandya, M.D., Treasurer

Anand Pandya is a co-founder of Disaster Psychiatry Outreach and a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded researcher on the predictors of depression in survivors of disasters. He has won numerous awards for his work in the field and is a co-editor of two award-winning books on Disaster Psychiatry. He serves on the board of directors of the Menninger Clinic in Houston and he has served two terms as President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-National.) He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on disaster psychiatry and mental health advocacy. Dr. Pandya serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Psychiatric Practice and serves as a frequent reviewer for many other journals and for NIMH. He is the Chief of Psychiatry at LAC+USC Medical Center (the largest public health provider in Southern California) and the Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine.


Linda Paradiso

Linda Paradiso is a psychiatric nurse practitioner and board certified nurse executive, advanced level.  A graduate of Hunter College and College of Staten Island she has over thirty years of psychiatric nursing experience. She is the recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Contribution to Professional Nursing Award — Sigma Theta Tau International, Mu Upsilon Chapter.  She has authored and co-authored several articles and book chapters related to psychiatric nursing practice and performance improvement.  Most recently she presented at the American Nurses Credentialing Center national conference.

Till recently, Linda served as the Associate Executive Director of Behavioral Health Nursing at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York.


Advisory Board:

Diane Ryan

Diane Ryan

Diane Ryan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in trauma, critical incident response and disaster mental health. She is currently the Mental Health Specialist for the American Red Cross in Greater New York.

Diane has served in leadership roles at local and national disasters including floods; hurricanes; tornados and multiple mass casualty transportation incidents; including the World Trade Center attack and Super Storm Sandy. She provided post- traumatic stress treatment to civilian and uniformed service personnel affected by the WTC attacks.

Diane has provided consultation services and developed training programs for the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United Nations Emergency and Preparedness Support Team, Magen David Adom in Israel, and the American Red Cross National Headquarters. She led the development of the health/mental health/spiritual care response protocol for the 2009 New York City Office of Emergency Management Family Assistance Center Plan for mass casualty incidents.

Diane has presented on trauma and disaster nationally and internationally. She recently presented on the American Red Cross Response to Super Storm Sandy and the Sandy Hook school shooting at the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies International conference in Bologna Italy. Diane has taught at undergraduate and graduate social work programs and has published on many topics related to disaster mental health. Diane maintains a psychotherapy practice with offices in Great Neck and Manhattan.


Rachel Ramos

Rachelle H. Ramos, MD

Dr. Rachelle H. Ramos, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, presently maintaining a Psychotherapy and Psychopharmacology private practices in Roslyn and Manhattan specializing in Eating, Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity, Anxiety and Mood Disorders.

She holds an academic appointment of Clinical Instructor at New York University- School of Medicine. She taught community Psychiatry to NYU residents in training reaching out to shelters and homeless populations in NYC. Her volunteer work includes mental health consultant at Head Start Program schools in Brooklyn and Queens since 1995, American Red Cross 9/11, and Disaster Psychiatry Outreach since 2004.

She functioned as a Clinical Research Associate at Cornell and Columbia University. Rachelle authored/ co authored numerous articles and book chapters on Sports Endocrinology, Eating, Mood and Cognitive Disorders.

She presented original papers at the International Congress on Eating Disorders and at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting on Metabolic Syndrome.

Rachelle finished her Bachelor of Science Majoring in Psychology at the University of Santo Tomas and Medical School at Manila Central University. She completed her Residency training at North Shore University Hospital NYU School of Medicine and after graduation worked as Attending Psychiatrist at the Long Island Jewish Hillside Hospital Geriatric and Mood Disorders Unit.

She held the position of Unit Chief at the Power Day Treatment Program at Bellevue Hospital. Supervised NYU Residents both in Psychotherapy and medication management. Rachelle received further trainings at the William Alanson White Institute’s Program on Eating Disorders, Compulsions and Addictions and New York University’s Psychoanalytic Psychodynamic Psychotherapy program.


Contact us:

Disaster Psychiatry Outreach
231 15th Street, #6B, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Phone:  646-867-3514
info@disasterpsych.org