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VNSNY Welcomes Five Visionary Public Health and Financial Leaders to Its Esteemed Board of Directors

As home health care plays an increasingly important role in today’s value-based landscape, the insights and expertise of these proven advisors bring added strength and perspective to a national leader in high quality patient-centered home care.

NEW YORK, NYJuly 8, 2020 – The Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), the nation’s largest not-for-profit home and community-based health care organization, is pleased to announce the addition of five new Members to its Board of Directors. The new Members will join other notable New York leaders now serving alongside Andrew N. Schiff (Drew), M.D., Chairman of the Board.

“We are honored by the commitment these exceptional leaders have made to the Visiting Nurse Service of New York,” says Drew Schiff, whose great-great-grandfather Jacob Schiff was a supporter of VNSNY founder Lillian Wald, America’s first public health nurse. “As we’ve demonstrated throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic, home health care is a critical part of today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape. Each of our new Board Members brings to the table a wealth of experience, dedication to the VNSNY charitable mission and a sharp, forward-looking vision for innovation, flexibility and fiscal strength. We proudly welcome them to the VNSNY Board.”

The new Board Members who recently joined the VNSNY Board of Directors are:

  • Karen Boykin-Towns, President/CEO of Encore Strategies, LLC and Vice Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Board of Directors
  • Donna E. McCabe, DNP, RN, Clinical Associate Professor at the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing and a Fellow of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at NYU Meyers
  • Gayle M. Rosenthal, M.D., Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, formerly with Elmhurst Clinic and West Suburban Hospital Medical Center in Illinois
  • Deborah M. Sale, former Executive Vice President for External Affairs of the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), an affiliate of Weill/Cornell Medical College, and served as Chief of Staff to New York State Lieutenant Governor Stan Lundine in the administration of Governor Mario Cuomo
  • Edward Torres, Executive Vice President, Financial Advisory Team member at Willis Towers Watson and Advisor to Princeton Climate Analytics, Inc.

Karen Boykin-Towns

Karen Boykin-Towns has built a reputation as a visionary and strategic results-driver in complex business and government environments, with demonstrated success in the areas of policy, advocacy, communications and proactive change management. Following an impressive 22-year career at Pfizer Inc., she now serves as President/CEO of Encore Strategies, LLC and Vice Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Board of Directors. Ms. Boykin-Towns holds an MBA from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College of the City University of New York (CUNY), as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. A mother of two girls, Ms. Boykin-Towns is married to former State Assemblyman Darryl C. Towns and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

“Change is ever constant, and I’m excited to be part of VNSNY as it moves forward,” says Ms. Boykin-Towns. “My background can help inform the strategies that will enable VNSNY to navigate the challenges on the horizon from a fiscal perspective, and to leverage its mission and its diversity to be even more intimately involved in the communities it works with.”

Donna E. McCabe

Donna E. McCabe, DNP, RN, is recognized as a clinical nurse expert and master educator in the field of aging, geriatrics, and mental health. She is currently a Clinical Associate Professor at the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing and a Fellow of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at NYU Meyers. Dr. McCabe is a board-certified geriatric nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, with extensive experience caring for older adults with multiple chronic conditions across healthcare settings. As an educator, Dr. McCabe has led curriculum development for nurses caring for an aging society. She is the director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing Undergraduate Scholars Program, and has led programs to enhance the workforce caring for our aging population, including the CareLink Collaborative for Geriatric Clinical Excellence, a partnership between VNSNY, NYU Meyers College of Nursing, and NYU Silver School of Social Work. Prior to joining the NYU Meyers faculty, Dr. McCabe practiced as a nurse at NYU Langone Health and as a clinical nurse specialist and nurse manager at Mount Sinai Health System. She is a past President of the NYU Meyers Alumni Association Board of Directors, having served on the Board from 2010 to 2015. Dr. McCabe received her Doctorate Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University, her Masters in Geriatric Advanced Practice Nursing from NYU, and her BSN from Mount Saint Mary’s College.

“VNSNY is uniquely positioned to lead innovation and industry standards when it comes to providing the best and most compassionate care for older patients,” notes Dr. McCabe. “I look forward to applying my expertise and experience in geriatric nursing to my service on the VNSNY Board, as we support the tremendous work done to help New Yorkers age safely in place.”

Gayle M. Rosenthal, M.D.

Gayle M. Rosenthal, M.D., served as a gastroenterologist at West Suburban Hospital Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois from 1989 to 2008. Dr. Rosenthal then moved on to Elmhurst Clinic in Elmhurst Illinois, where she practiced from 2010 to 2014. More recently, she has been a docent in the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Illinois from 2014 to the present. A resident of New York City the past several years, she received her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan.

“With the increasing use of telehealth, in-home infusions and other advanced capabilities, the amount of care that can now be provided in the home is remarkable—especially on the scale at which VNSNY operates,” Dr. Rosenthal notes. “As a physician in a specialty area that includes a focus on nutrition and supporting the body’s overall healing process, I look forward to bringing that perspective to my role on the VNSNY Board.”

Deborah M. Sale

Deborah M. Sale was Executive Vice President for External Affairs of the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), an affiliate of Weill/Cornell Medical College, specializing in orthopedics and rheumatology, from 1995 to 2014. Ms. Sale previously served eight years as Chief of Staff to New York State Lieutenant Governor Stan Lundine in the administration of Governor Mario Cuomo. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities in the Carter Administration; Special Assistant to Vice President Walter F. Mondale; an executive with Columbia Pictures; and Special Assistant for Health Care Operations for the State University of New York. She also served on the staff of both the Carter/Mondale and Clinton/Gore campaigns. Ms. Sale serves on the boards of The Yard and Public Health Solutions, is an independent director of BlueWolf Health Care Services, LLC, and was a founding member of the board of Eleanor’s Legacy. She attended the Columbia School of Journalism and has a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes College.

“VNSNY is in a very solid position, with an exceptional leadership team,” Ms. Sale says. “People want to be cared for at home if at all possible. The healthcare system has recognized that for quite some time, and it’s now beginning to fully embrace that model. I think there is a real appreciation for the critical role VNSNY has in providing care to people who need it across New York.”

Edward Torres

Edward Torres  is a Structured Reinsurance Broker operating out of the New York City office of Willis Towers Watson, where he is a member of the Financial Advisory team focused on the placement of prospective structured reinsurance solutions and legacy liability transfers. Mr. Torres most recently served as the Director of Capital Markets at PartnerRe, where he developed the company’s insurance-linked securities (ILS) and alternative capital strategy. Prior to that, he was the President & portfolio manager of Baldwin & Lyons Capital Markets, an ILS investment manager based out of Jersey City, New Jersey.  From 2006 through 2008, he was a Registered Principal at Benfield Advisory, Inc., where he focused on originating, structuring and distributing insurance-linked securities. Prior to that, he was a structured reinsurance underwriter from 1995 through 2006, most recently at Platinum Underwriters. Mr. Torres earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and received an MBA in finance from New York University. He holds the CPCU and ARe designations and is an advisor to Princeton Climate Analytics, Inc.

 “Under the great leadership of CEO Marki Flannery, VNSNY is currently transitioning to a more holistic set of solutions for its patients, members and customers,” Mr. Torres says. “This requires investing in new infrastructure and new services in a sustainable way—which is also what insurance companies are focused on. As a VNSNY Board Member, I look forward to drawing on my own experience to help meet this challenge.”

About VNSNY

For over 127 years, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) has been at the forefront of health care innovation and coordinated care management in the home. Serving the five boroughs of New York City and Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, VNSNY is the largest not-for-profit home- and community-based health care organization in the United States. On any given day, VNSNY has approximately 44,300 patients and health plan members in its care, and works proactively to promote their health and well-being by providing high-quality, cost- effective health care to vulnerable individuals in their homes and communities.

In addition to delivering direct health care services in the home, VNSNY also employs sophisticated data analytics and care coordination to manage the full continuum of post-acute care for our patients and plan members. VNSNY’s operations include VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care, which delivers compassionate care coordination at the end of life, as well as an array of community mental health services and a care management unit, VNSNY Care360° Solutions. VNSNY also delivers private pay care management and home health aide services through its Partners in Care business unit, and operates a selection of health plans through its managed care affiliate, VNSNY CHOICE. The Visiting Nurse Service of New York is proud to be the largest home- and community-based care management organization in the New York metropolitan area credentialed with SAGECare Platinum level LGBT cultural competency.

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