Advisory Council


The Advisory Council provides guidance to the Justice Center in the development of policies, programs and regulations. The Council is comprised of a minimum of 15 members who are appointed for 3-year terms by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Members include service providers, people who have or are currently receiving services, their family members and advocates.  

At least one-half of the members must be individuals or parents or relatives of individuals who are or have received services from programs within the Justice Center’s jurisdiction.


Council Members

William T. Gettman — Northern Rivers Family of Services (Chair)

Norwig Debye-Saxinger — Therapeutic Communities Association

Denise A. Figueroa — Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley

Jason Hershberger, M.D. — Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center

Walter J. Joseph, Jr. — Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie

Jeremy E. Klemanski — Helio Health

Sylvia Lask — Parent

Ronald S. Lehrer — NYS Association of Boards of Visitors

Glenn Liebman — Mental Health Association in New York State

Joseph Macbeth — National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals

Thomas McAlvanah  Interagency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies of NY

Delores Fraser McFadden — Behavioral Momentum Applied Behavior Analysis, PC

Hanns Meissner, PhD — Rensselaer County ARC

Kathy O'Keefe — Pilgrim Psychiatric Center

Judith A. O’Rourke — Parent

Clint Perrin — Self Advocate

Harvey B. Rosenthal — NY Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS)

Mary K. St. Mark — Parent Advocate 

Jeffrey Savoy — Odyssey House

Euphemia Strauchn — Parent, Families on the Move

Robert L. Weisman, DO — Strong Memorial Hospital


Meeting Dates

  • November 19
  • January 21
  • April 22
  • June 24
  • September 23

Advisory Council Recommendations

The Advisory Council is authorized by the Protection of People with Special Needs Act to provide guidance to the Justice Center in the development of policies, programs, and regulations to support the development and implementation of state policies which meet the needs of vulnerable persons and individuals with disabilities in a manner that is respectful of their rights and choices.  All recommendations have been approved unanimously by the Advisory Council.