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 Associate 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.
Elizabeth McInnes, LCSW is the Libertas Center’s Associate Clinical Director. 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.
Sara Wagner, MA, is the Libertas Program Coordinator. She received her Bachelors and Master’s in 5 years from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2017. After graduating, Sara volunteered full-time at The Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights (BCRHHR) as a Refugee Patient Navigator and then worked as the Special Projects Assistant 10 months later. In both of her roles at BCRHHR, Sara assisted refugee and asylum seeker survivors of torture to acclimate to life and the healthcare system in the United States.
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.
Josephine (Jojo) Tong, LMSW, is a Social Worker at the Libertas Center for Human Rights. She graduated from Columbia University with her MSW in the Advanced General Practitioner and Programming track with a specialization in contemporary social issues. During her time at Columbia, she interned at Henry Street Settlement and the Libertas Center for Human Rights (and is excited to be back!) Prior to returning to The Libertas Center, Jojo was working as a clinical social worker at Charles B Wang Community Health Center doing both clinical and quality assurance work for the Social Work Department. Moreover, Josephine has previously interned in the Department of Social Service in Hong Kong as well as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva.
Betsy Miles, LMSW, is a Social Worker at the Libertas Center. She received her MSW in Advanced Clinical Practice from Columbia University School of Social Work. Prior to attending graduate school, Betsy worked at the International Rescue Committee New York Resettlement Office and Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture. During her time at Columbia, she interned at the African Services Committee and Libertas Center for Human Rights. She also served as a fellow with Friends of Kisoro at the Nyakabande UNHCR Transit Camp on the Uganda-DRC border where she provided psychosocial support to Congolese refugees.
Ben McVane, MD is a Board-Certified Emergency Medicine physician at Elmhurst Hospital, an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Libertas Senior Medical Educator. He completed his undergraduate degree in Political and Social Thought at the University of Virginia, his medical degree at Columbia University, and his emergency medicine residency training at Mount Sinai. He has completed additional training on documentation of human rights abuses from Physicians for Human Rights and The Columbia University Institute for the Study of Human Rights. In addition to domestic work with the Libertas Center, he has worked internationally with refugee populations in Greece, Bangladesh, and Mexico.
Megan Monroe is an Intern at the Libertas Center. She received her Bachelors in 2018 from the University of Washington-Seattle in Social Work. Megan is currently studying to get her Masters of Social Work at Columbia University School of Social Work and intends to graduate May of 2020 with a focus on Clinical Practice - Health, Mental Health and Disabilities. In her undergraduate program Megan worked at a Community Mental Health center with clients as a case manager. Upon graduating from the University of Washington, she was hired by the agency full-time. Megan has previously worked with immigrants and refugees in Seattle, Guatemala, Germany and Spain through local schools and Global Visionaries a local Seattle based not for profit.