About Friedwald

Our mission is to attain and maintain the highest level of trust and confidence...

Our mission is to attain and maintain the highest level of trust and confidence in both our staff and services, by residents, family members, regulatory agencies and the community.

Friedwald Center is committed to each resident’s to deliver the highest level of care through nursing, medicine, rehabilitation and all available means.

Our continual pursuit of innovative, improved services, selection of qualified personnel and the provision of progressive staff training to educate our staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve excellence.

We know that responsibility and accountability are inseparable qualities of an efficient and effective organization.

To this end, conducting ongoing quality assurance monitoring, as a means to measure staff having met their responsibilities and of giving accountability to the public, is integral to our mission.

Working in partnership with residents and their families is our commitment. We respect and celebrate the value and importance of family, regardless of the duration of time that a resident is with us. Friedwald Center’s staff promotes and celebrates the spirit and value of family. We are honored to serve as family surrogates.

Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

Fun, warm & good-hearted people is what you will hear when you ask about the staff at Friedwald. Our staff consists of the best and warmest in their fields. Our priority is always the patient; making sure he/she is not just comfortable, but pampered in every way. From our Director of Nursing to our activities director to our gourmet chefs, our team approach really stands out. We go to great lengths to guarantee your comfort and satisfaction.

Steve Staum

Administrator

Steve Staum is considered the consummate textbook definition of a leader who understands the concept of hands- on front- line management. He wants to hear directly from the individuals in his care, and therefore walks the facility every single morning, listening and empathizing with the residents as well as the staff of Friedwald Center. He then painstakingly ensures that any issues or concerns are promptly addressed, whether they are environmental, clinical or emotional. Steve truly has his “finger on the pulse” of Friedwald, and orchestrates a harmonious atmosphere that is comforting, soothing and positive .

Steve's genuine warmth and compassion is evident in every interaction, and his infectious smile is contagious and sincere. He provides the perfect balance while managing his staff between meticulous oversight of protocol and systems, as well as unwavering encouragement and support. Family members rave about his first-hand knowledge of each resident and what is important to them.

Steve possesses a Master’s degree in social work from Wurzweiler, and utilizes his interpersonal skills and caring personality in his daily work. His open door policy is appreciated, and he always is approachable and available to problem- solve, brainstorm and find solid solutions. He stresses the essential nature of every single employee, no matter what their job description and their assigned tasks.

Steve would do anything for the occupants of FWC and takes great pride in the wonderful accomplishments and successes that occur day in and day out throughout the Center, including dialysis and adult day health care.

Doris Buenviaje

DON

The most effective leaders empower others, motivate and inspire, and lead by example. Our esteemed Director of Nursing, Doris Buenviaje RN, BSN, possesses outstanding nursing skills and leadership qualities. Her vast experience and many accomplishments in the field of nursing enable her to successfully navigate the challenges inherent to her position effectively, efficiently, and professionally. Doris earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. Her thirty one years of experience covers the entire gamut of nursing; ICU, ER, Medical Surgical, Dialysis, Medical Billing, and Geriatrics. Doris sets the bar high for her employees, while recognizing and celebrating their accomplishments, and motivating them to do their very best. Her commitment and dedication to Friedwald Center serves as an inspiration to all, ensuring that we can continue to provide the very best in Nursing and Rehabilitative Care.

Nachman Bronstein

Director of Purchasing may be his official title, but Nachman Bronstein has taken on so much more over the past fifteen years he has been with us at Friedwald Center. A veteran of the Long Term Care industry for the past thirty five years, Nachman’s enthusiasm and dedication to the Residents and their families has only grown with time. Nachman is available 24/7 to address the many and diverse needs of our facility, both large and small. Whether it’s DMEs, office equipment, or holiday gifts for all, Nachman’s got it covered. He is dedicated to ensuring that each and every Resident and staff member at Friedwald has what they need to succeed.
Nachman’s got it covered. He is dedicated to ensuring that each and every Resident and staff member at Friedwald has what they need to succeed.

Michele Cohnen

Dietitian

Excellent nutrition is vital in enabling our residents to sustain a good and lasting recovery. Michele Cohnen ensures that each resident receives a thorough assessment and food plan that is specifically designed to meet their dietary needs and preferences.
A graduate of Brooklyn College, Michele went on to get her Master’s degree in Nutrition from Lehman’s College. Michele’s ability to empathize and understand the unique needs of the Geriatric population ensure that in addition to meeting each individual’s nutritional needs, every resident feels cared for and understood.

Joerlene Drames

Assistant Director of Nursing

Joerlene Drames, ADON, attended the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. She graduated in 2005 and joined our Friedwald family as a floor nurse in 2009, promoted to a Nursing Supervisory position, nurse manager and then invited to join the management team as Assistant DON in early 2020. Joerlene personifies “Never let them see you sweat!” She carries a heavy load of responsibility with grace, capability, and an ever present smile. Joerlene is beloved by staff and residents alike, and of course by her wonderful husband, and her two beautiful children.

Dr. Lisa Ferrara

Medical Director

At the helm of our facility stands Dr. Lisa Ferrara, our esteemed and dedicated Medical Director.
Dr. Ferrara monitors the quality and appropriateness of the medical care provided at Friedwald. Her supervision and regulation of all facets that affect the standard of care provided enable Friedwald to stand proud as a flagship facility exemplifying excellence in rehabilitative and long term care.
Dr. Ferrara’s personal resilience, integrity, honesty, and her ability to communicate effectively with staff and Residents alike, ensure that our high standard of medical care is effectively implemented and consistently maintained.
After graduating UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscatatway NJ, and completing her Residency in UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson in New Brunswick, NJ, Dr. Ferrara began practicing Internal Medicine in 1993 here in Rockland County.
Dr. Ferrara currently practices at Bon Secours-Rockland Pulmonary and Medical Center, with offices in West Nyack, Orangeburg, and Suffern.
She is an Attending Physician at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, NY.
She has been happily married to her husband Joseph for over twenty five years, and they have three lovely children, and an awesome rescue dog named Becky.

Miriam Freud

PDPM Coordinator

Miriam Freud's outstanding dedication shines forth with the excellent performance record she has achieved in all that she has undertaken over the last twenty five years at Friedwald Center. In 1995, Miriam co-founded our first outpatient medical daycare program, which she skillfully directed for ten years. Miriam then rose to the position of Director of Nursing, where her enthusiasm and commitment to excellence spilled over to the nursing staff, instilling the spirit and drive to deliver the high quality nursing care that has become synonymous with Friedwald Center. With a Master's Degree in Nursing, and an unwavering pursuit of the latest information and treatment options available in nursing, Miriam ensures that Residents are secure in the knowledge that they are receiving the highest standard of restorative care available. In her current role as Director of the Administrative branch of our highly acclaimed Nursing Department, Miriam continues to push the limits in providing value-based and effective treatments that are delivered with care and compassion to all of our Residents.

Susan Heller

Director of Rehab

The outstanding success and sterling reputation of Friedwald’s state-of-the-art Rehabilitation Department is a reflection of the professionalism, expertise, and dedication of Susan Heller, PT, Director of Friedwald’s Rehabilitation department since its’ inception in 1975. In 2002, the Rockland County Legislature recognized Susan with the Pride of Rockland County Award for outstanding contributions in health care in the Rockland community. Susan expertly guides her carefully selected winning team of Physical and Occupational Therapists and speech Pathologists to enable our Residents to receive the finest in rehabilitative care. Her extensive knowledge of all spectrums of therapy has enabled Friedwald to maintain its’ excellent ratings and an outstanding reputation in the industry. Susan and her highly qualified team of professionals work tirelessly to support and assist our Residents every step of the way on their road to recovery.

Jimmy Isabelle

Director of Environmental Services

Whether it’s maintaining the necessary compliance in environmental standards, or ensuring that the meticulous sanitary and housekeeping practices at Friedwald are in complete accordance with our strict infection prevention goals, Jimmy Isabelle manages his important responsibilities professionally, effectively, and with the pride of a job well done. His attitude is borne of a desire to help make a difference. His natural talent in space design and construction, together with the pride he takes in accomplishing his goals, earn him the respect and admiration of staff and Residents alike. Despite his busy schedule, his positive energy and team spirit are contagious. He combines an extensive background in the construction industry with years of experience running his own company. Jimmy is constantly seeking out ways to improve our structure to better meet the needs of our staff, and keep Friedwald a safer, cleaner, and more comfortable home to our Residents.

Lori Korevec

Director of Social Service

After graduating from Southern Connecticut University with a degree in Psychology and Sociology, Lori Korevec attended Fordham School of Social Work where she received her MSW. Lori has worked at Friedwald Center since 2004, and became the Director of Social Services in 2013. Her primary role is to serve Residents and their families to ensure their needs are met and their experience is of the highest standard.
Lori credits her parents for instilling in her a deep respect and appreciation for people from all walks of life. Her PhD Dad and Dietician Mom empowered her to embrace a philosophy of caring and acceptance.
Lori works with an outstanding team of Social Workers and Psychologists to coordinate a smooth and successful transition for short term Residents to return to life at home in their communities. She helps simplify the navigation and decision making process from arrival to discharge.
Lori approaches each day of her six day work week with a smile and positivity that comes from loving and excelling at what she does.

Gillian Langbaum

Social Worker

A graduate of the University of New Haven, Gillian discovered her passion for the field of social work during her internship at Rockland Family Shelter. Gillian excelled in her studies at Adelphi University, earning her placement on the Dean’s list, and paving the way for an illustrious career in the field of social work.
Joining Friedwald’s esteemed social services team in 2013, Gillian infused the department with her natural love and caring for the elderly population.
Her dedication to the Resident’s keep her here long hours, but Gillian still manages to squeeze in workouts, reading, and time for her family and friends.

Pearl Lebovitch

Director of Concierge Services

Pearl Lebovitch, MSW, who served as Director of Social Work Par Excellence from 1988-2013, is no less vital in her semi-retired position.
With her exceptional caring, compassion, and warmth, coupled with her professionalism and devotion to each and every resident’s needs, not a day (or hour) goes by that Pearl is not called upon for her expertise.
With her wisdom and keen perception, Pearl has the innate ability to make every Resident feel like Friedwald is their “Home Away From Home”.
With her BA in SW from Hunter’s College, and her Master’s in Linguistics and proficiency in seven languages, Pearl understands the needs of every Resident and “speaks their language”.

Mary London

Director Friedwald Dialysis Center

The beautifully renovated Center for Dialysis at Friedwald, ably Directed by Mary London, RN BSN, brings patient care and comfort to a whole new level.
Mary’s clinical experience and expertise, as well as her devotion to the ESRD patients in our care, allow us to provide lifesaving treatments in a therapeutic and comforting environment to our inpatient and outpatient Dialysis recipients. Whether it’s excellent education, vital family support, clinical expertise, or maintaining a Spa-like environment, Mary utilizes over twenty five years of Nephrology and nursing experience to provide quality care to ESRD patients with sensitivity and compassion. A graduate of St. Xavier University of Chicago, Mary’s forty year career includes both Medical Surgical Acute Care, and is rich in Nephrology experience. Mary and her outstanding team of clinicians, social worker, and dietician, provide each Dialysis patient with the attention and care that enable them to have tranquil and comforting treatments, and an improved quality of life experience.

Marcella Michel

Receptionist Extraordinaire

At Friedwald Center we know that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And what a wonderful first impression Marcella Michel, Receptionist Extraordinaire, makes on everyone who walks into our tastefully decorated front lobby! Her cheerful and friendly greeting both in person and on the phone radiates her genuine warmth and caring. Marcella meets and greets both Residential s and staff alike with enthusiasm and caring concern that makes every day brighter and every step lighter at Friedwald Center. Marcella‘s background as a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant enhances her ability to understand the unique needs and challenges of our Residents and their families. Newly arriving Residents feel their apprehensions melt away as Marcella puts a smile on their faces and hope in their hearts and helps them feel “at home”.

Rachel Minzer

Director of Admissions

Rachel is a vital part of the Friedwald Team. As Director of Admissions, Rachel demonstrates understanding of how placing a loved one can be overwhelming, thus taking the time to interact with the residents and their families. Rachel ensures a smooth transition and that each resident’s needs are met with the utmost care. In her free time, she enjoys activities such as camping, hiking and fishing although her favorite is spending time with her niece and nephews.

Minal Pitre

Assistant Director of Rehabilitation

Minal holds a master’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Bombay. She has practiced physical therapy in clinical, academic and administrative settings since 1986, and has been at Friedwald since 2005.
Minal is responsible for the smooth day-to-day operation of Friedwald’s busy rehab department. She works closely with therapists as well as other departments to maximize every patient’s rehab potential based on their clinical needs. She is a hands-on therapist and excels at addressing patients and families needs.

Ben Roth

Director of Food Services

Ben Roth, Director of Food Services, credits his Grandmother for teaching him the rules of cooking and of living. It was as a young man at her side where he discovered the joy and satisfaction of nourishing others. He honed his skills in culinary school, perfecting the art and developing the talents that launched him on the path of his professional career. Ben has been in the food service industry in healthcare settings for the past twenty five years. The love for what he does together with his attention to every detail are the secret ingredients to every dish he serves. And like his Grandma, when he’s not dishing out mouthwatering food to the Residents at Friedwald, he’s doling out the love to his adorable grandchildren.

Miriam Ungar

Controller

Trekking in from Brooklyn doesn’t put a damper on Miriam Ungar’ s energy and motivation in keeping the financial offices of Friedwald Center running like a well -greased machine.

With her passion for numbers, her problem solving capabilities, and her precision, Miriam comes with the expertise of forty plus years in the industry.

The Friedman family will go the extra mile in importing the talent and quality that serves to maintain their stellar reputation in the industry.

And Miriam Ungar certainly goes the extra mile in upholding that standard.

Gisela Vazquez

Director of Recreation

Gisela Vazquez is a proud born and bred Bronx native. She graduated from Lehman College with a Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation in 1999. She worked as a Recreational Therapist in a health care setting for two years before being promoted to Director of Therapeutic Recreation.
For the past eighteen years, Gisela has been working with the elderly population in the health care field. She joined Friedwald in 2013 as our Director of Recreation. Utilizing recreation and activity based interventions as a medium to address the needs of individuals with illness and disability has enabled Gisela to forge meaningful connections and enhanced the quality of life of our Residents at Friedwald. Gisela encourages individual creativity, and cultivates a sense of accomplishment in the beautiful projects that our Residents proudly display.
Whether baking, singing, crafting, or partying, Gisela keeps spirits soaring and the positive energy flowing through the halls of Friedwald Center.

Hannah Viener

RN/Program Director Friedwald Center Adult Day Health Care

Hannah graduated with honors from SUNY Rockland Community College, in Suffern, NY, where she received her Associates Degree of Science in Nursing.
She joined Adult Day Health Care in 2015 as an RN after several years of experience as a visiting nurse and DON in various adult group homes.
Soon after joining, Hannah moved up to the Director’s position. With her exceptional sensitivity and dedication to person centered care, Hannah has enabled Friedwald Adult Day Healthcare Program to be a model of excellence in providing the highest standard of medical and social support to adults in the community.

Blimy Werner

Director of Adult Day Health Summit Park

Caring and compassion combine with business savvy in our outstanding Director of Adult Day Health Care at Summit, Blimy Werner. Blimy has built a thriving and successful program for adults living in the community literally from the ground up.
The many satisfied participants all attest to the newfound quality of life, and broad range of medical and emotional support this program has provided for them. Blimy credits her mother, a longtime activist and volunteer for the elderly, for planting the seed and instilling in her young heart a passion for community service. Blimy combines her business expertise with her compassionate care, and the result is Summit Adult Day Healthcare, a place to call home for many of our vulnerable community members.

David Zidile

Director of Respiratory Services

The vent unit at Friedwald Center specializes in providing the most highly advanced care and maintenance treatments to our acute and chronic respiratory patients. David Zidile, who has spent the past seventeen years in the field of respiratory and critical care, has applied his advanced knowledge and expertise in the field, and created the highest standard of excellence in respiratory support to our most fragile Residents.
David’s decades of experience in level one trauma centers, and stellar reputation as a volunteer Paramedic for Hatzoloh EMS, has earned him the trust and admiration of our Residents and their family members. In his spare time, David volunteers as a Paramedic, flying critically ill patients all over the world. His expertise in critical care, together with his approachable and friendly manner, make him an integral member of the medical management team at Friedwald.
David ensures that no aspect of care is overlooked. He exudes compassion and care that’s “a breath of fresh air” to the Friedwald respiratory patients to whom he is so dedicated.