Professional Learning Center


Robert Belfort

Mr. Belfort is Partner of Manatt Healthcare Industry practice group. He has broad experience in the representation of healthcare organizations on regulatory and transactional matters. His clients include hospitals, community health centers, mental health providers, insurers, managed care plans, pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, disease management companies, nursing homes and a variety of other businesses in the healthcare industry. He has also worked extensively with provider and health plan trade associations.

Mr. Belfort focuses a significant part of his practice on healthcare regulatory compliance, representing clients in government audits and investigations, structuring transactions to ensure compliance with state and federal healthcare laws and providing advice on fraud and abuse. Mr. Belfort has special expertise in providing advice to clients regarding compliance with HIPAA and other state and federal privacy laws.


Kenneth R. CeriniKen Cerini

Kenneth R. Cerini, CPA, CFP, D.A.B.F.A, Managing Partner, Cerini & Associates, LLP, manages the audit and consulting are of the practice that accounts for approximately 65% of the firms billable hours.  He has had extensive experience working with all types of companies from large publicly traded companies to small closely held companies and nonprofit organizations both at Cerini & Associates and Ernst & Young.

Ken frequently lectures on various accounting issues.  In addition, Ken writes a weekly article spotlighting various Long Island not-for-profit organizations for Long Island Business News and edits several firm produced newsletters, targeted to the healthcare, small business, and nonprofit sectors.

Ema Genijovich

Ema started her career in Argentina and then lived in Mexico and New York. She leads courses on organizational consultancy and family therapy. Currently and for the last three years she has been guest professor and supervisor of the Family Therapy Masters Course in Hong Kong University and has been invited to private family therapy institutes in Taiwan. She is the president of Genijovich Consulting Services, Inc., where she provides organizational consulting services and training programs for private, government and public good organizations.

Ema is an outstanding figure in the field of Family Therapy. She's led courses and was the keynote speaker in institutions worldwide. She was the Education Director in The Minuchin Center. She is affiliated with New York University and Saint John's University. She is a Bachelor in Psychology in Argentina, with post-graduate studies in Group Therapy and Organizational Consultancy in Mexico, and graduated as Clinical Supervisor and Trainer in Family Therapy in The Minuchin Center, New York..

Ira Hammer

Ira Hammer has a BBA in Accounting from the Baruch School of the City College of New York, an MSW from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service and an MBA in Finance from New York University Graduate School of Business Administration. Mr. Hammer is a senior level executive with over 25 years of progressive management experience in healthcare administration and grants management. He has developed and managed grants totaling in excess of $50,000,000 and ranging from $10,000 to $5,000,000. Mr. Hammer has experience as both a grantor for a large public agency in New York City (the New York City Department of Mental Health), and as a grantee for a private hospital system in New Jersey.

Derek Jansen

Dr. Derek Jansen, brings 30 years of experience in community healthcare to Practice Management Associates, ranging from direct care provision to hospital and outpatient administration as the Clinical Director of Adult and Dual Diagnosis Services for a regional psychiatric hospital system.

Derek has been a presenter at national and regional conferences for the National Council of Community Behavioral Health and others. He is a member of the American Association of Professional Coders, the Medical Billing Association of America, the Healthcare Financial Management Association and numerous others. Currently, Derek consults to community mental health centers, primary care associations, FQHC's, state Medicaid agencies, professional trade organizations, and regional hospital groups and individual practitioners regarding practice management, HIPAA contingencies, billing, coding and documentation compliance. Dr. Jansen is author of “Guide to Documentation, Billing and Coding for Clinical Services in Behavior Health” published by NCCBH.

Dale Jarvis

Dale Jarvis specializes in payment and reimbursement system redesign, financial modeling, and business systems design for healthcare purchasers and providers. For over 20 years, as a financial manager and consultant, he has helped healthcare systems identify their strengths and weaknesses, become more efficient, and provide high-quality care to their clients, while maintaining financial viability.




David R. Lloyd

David R. Lloyd, President of M.T.M. (Management, Training and Marketing) Services, LLC based in the Raleigh, North Carolina area brings new healthcare management, training and community relations/marketing initiatives to Community Behavioral Healthcare Organizations nationally. Mr. Lloyd is the author of How to Maximize Service Capacity and How to Deliver Accountable Care that have been very helpful to Community Behavioral Healthcare Organizations nationally. In his books, Mr. Lloyd has developed principles and solutions about how CBHOs can deliver “Best Value” accountable care.

Petros Levounis

Petros Levounis, MD, MA, is the Director of The Addiction Institute of New York (formerly Smithers) and Chief of Addiction Psychiatry at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals in New York City. He is a board-certified addiction psychiatrist and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Dr. Levounis currently treaches at numerous New York colleges and has a private practice.  He has lectured extensively on addiction topics throughout the US and abroad and has been interviewed for numerous TV programs and publications.  His recently published book Sober Siblings is excerpted on Google books.

Bill Schmelter

Dr. Schmelter has more than 30 years of experience in the behavioral health field. A licensed psychologist, his career roles have included therapist, researcher, quality management executive, psychiatric hospital administrator, community services director and planner as the Director of the Long Island Regional Office of the New Your State Office of Mental Health. His professional experience includes the private, not-for-profit and governmental service sectors. He is currently a behavioral health consultant and with the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (NCCBH) as well as with MTM Services Inc.

Jim Sheldon-Dean

Jim Sheldon-Dean is the founder and director of compliance services at Lewis Creek Systems, LLC, a Vermont-based consulting firm founded in 1982, providing information privacy and security regulatory compliance services to health care firms and businesses throughout the Northeast and nationally for more than six years. He is a participating member of the advisory board of the Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL), the Vermont Health Information Technology Plan working group, and the Security Workgroup of the New Hampshire/Vermont Strategic HIPAA Implementation Plan (NHVSHIP). He is a frequent speaker regarding HIPAA and information privacy and security compliance issues at seminars and conferences. Mr. Sheldon-Dean has over 25 years of experience in policy analysis and implementation, business process analysis, information systems and software development.


Michael Swerdlow

Michael Swerdlow has a BA from San Diego State University and a Ph.D from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. Dr. Swerdlow has over 20 years of experience in grants writing and implementation, with an excellent track record in managing the clinical, operation and financial performance of a wide range of behavioral health and social service programs. He has developed numerous community-based outreach and treatment programs, and has published in the area of cross-cultural program design and international mental health. Dr. Swerdlow is certified as a Total Quality Management Trainer.


Dr. Andrew Tatarsky

Dr. Tatarsky has specialized in the field of substance abuse treatment for over 25 years working as a counselor, psychologist, program director, lecturer, advocate and author. His is founding member and past president of the Division of Addiction of New York State Psychological Association; chairman of the Moderation Management Network; and, founding chairman of Mental Health Professionals in Harm Reduction.



Mary Thornton, BSRN, MBA

Ms. Thornton is the president of MTA and its founder. She is a talented and engaging consultant and trainer with significant expertise in mental health rehabilitation reimbursement systems, medical necessity and documentation, coding and reimbursement, and corporate compliance in behavioral healthcare. Ms. Thornton was a member of the consulting teams that assisted in the conversion to rehabilitation option for the states of Illinois, Georgia, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia. She was also the lead consultant on compliance issues for the state of Ohio in its SOQIC project designed to further operational efficiency through standardized documentation and training in medical necessity and rehabilitation option services. She is also a nationally recognized trainer and a featured speaker for many state and national associations of provider agencies.

Laura Travaglini

Laura Travaglini, MA, is Coordinator of the Substance Abuse Programs at Columbia University Eastside and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of dually-diagnosed patients through evidence-based interventions. She is also involved in an NIH-funded research project at Columbia, and holds a certificate as a Motivational Interviewing Network Trainer (MINT) from the renowned Dr. William Miller and his team at the University of New Mexico. Previously, she was Project Director of VISN 3 MIRECC (Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center), which included research, training and evaluation in the use of MI for seven VA hospitals in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area.