Dinali Fernando, MD, MPH is the Medical Director of the Libertas Center. She is a Board Certified Attending Emergency Medicine Physician in the Emergency Medicine Department at Elmhurst Hospital, and an Assistant Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Her public health training focused on immigrant and refugee health. She has received intensive training in trauma care, psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety and somatization, gynecological trauma and obstetrical emergencies.
Matthew Kennis is the Program Director of the Libertas Center. Matthew has worked with torture survivors in Guatemala where he provided psycho-social support and prevented threats and attacks by paramilitary groups against Indigenous communities. He has worked with Amnesty International USA and Human Rights Watch, and consulted for UN Women and Open Society Foundations. Matthew received his MA in Human Rights from Columbia University and was the recipient of a Harriman Institute Research Fellowship and the Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace.
Elizabeth McInnes, LCSW is the Libertas Center’s Clinical Case Manager. She received her MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work, City University of New York, in 2010 where she specialized in Community Organizing. During graduate school, Ms. McInnes worked with the CUNY Law School Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic and a shelter organizing project. She has interned at Amnesty International, and studied, worked and traveled in Central America and Thailand. Ms. McInnes is passionate about human rights work and facilitating accessible medical and mental health treatment for communities in need.
Jacqueline Chiofalo, BS is the Libertas Program Assistant. She received her BS from Boston College in 2013, after which she spent a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. As the Case Manager / Operations Coordinator at Casa Marianella in Austin, TX she addressed the needs of immigrant and refugee adults at the shelter and greater community, case managed multiple residents by addressing their medical, mental health, social, and legal needs, and managed the volunteers including planning individual and group volunteer activities each week.
Walter Fendrich, LCSW-R is a part-time therapist at the Libertas Center. Mr. Fendrich received his MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work, City University of New York in 1997. Through his professional work with the culturally diverse populations at the American Red Cross, Safe Horizon, and the EHC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mr. Fendrich has extensive experience working with immigrants and refugees, providing culturally sensitive counseling for a variety of trauma related mental health issues.
Samuel Belmonte, BA is a Case Manager at the Libertas Center. He received his BA from Hampshire College, where he studied community-based recovery models for Post-Traumatic Stress, specializing in the impact of militarization upon displaced peoples and LGBT individuals.