Theresa Coppla — Interim Executive Director

Theresa has been a supporter of the the work we do at Buddies of NJ for nearly 10 years.  Theresa had worked closely with former administration as an accountant and now has jumped in to keep the work that we do at Buddies of NJ stable and strong until a new director is named.

Michele Machado – Director of Operations

Michele hit the ground running a NJ Buddies.  She gives 100% to her family and has included the people she serves at Buddies and all the communities associated to be part of her extended family.   There was no where else to look when it came down figuring out who was the best person to manage the people who serve our partners in beating HIV.  Her smile and concern make every problem a challenge and many hopes a joy! She works so diligently for those she serves and has not yet had an opportunity to submit a bio for this page.  Her priorities match what she says matters most.

Emil Vitale, LCADC, CCS – Clinical Director

Emil Vitale Emil has been counseling for 17 years. His educational background includes Jersey City State College and Rutgers School of Alcohol and Drug Studies. He trained at the Bergen Pines Evergreen Program, working in both Out-Patient and In-Patient modalities. Emil’s career has included working with DYFS and NJ Parole clients, and he has been the Clinical Director at Redirections, LLC since 2007. Emil is a lifelong resident of Bergen County, and a proud Grandfather of three.

Bruce Moore, CADC, CSW – Substance Abuse Counselor

Bruce Moore Bruce has worked in and around NJ as a CADC substance abuse counselor and certified social worker for the last twenty-five years. He has had extensive clinical experience dealing with diverse treatment populations such as adolescents, MICA, and the chemically addicted homeless. He was first employed by the Bergen County Department of Health in their long-term, inpatient adolescent drug treatment facility (Network) in Rockleigh NJ. He also later worked at the Phoenix Academy program which had replaced that program in the same location. some time later, he then went to work as a Drug Counselor/ Case Manager, for the Bergen County Community Action Program/ Ladder Project for fifteen years. More recently he was employed in the private substance abuse treatment sector by the High focus Center, Intensive Outpatient Program and New Pathways IOP which were both located in Paramus, NJ.

Eric Cabrera – PrEP Counseling & Support

Eric comes to Buddies from a local agency where he case managed clients experiencing sexual violence.  His skills help clients identify issues and barriers to work on in order to achieve their goals.  His resourcefulness helps him identify appropriate referrals when necessary.   Eric wrote curriculum about sexual violence prevention and consent and used it as a resource to educate. Eric now joins Buddies of NJ, Inc. as a trained, certified, and bi-lingual PrEP Counselor.   He helps make people’s lives easier by helping them evaluate risk of infection and whether or not PrEP (PreExposure Prophylaxis) is the best way to prevent HIV infection.   He educated them about the treatment and provides support for those who decide that PrEP is correct for them.  He links them to a prescribing physician and provides client support to help the process be smooth and effective.  Eric has been recognized as one of the best PrEP Counselors due to his dilliegent efforts to keep patients adherent.  Additionally, Eric has taken on the tasks of our social media upkeep monitor and educational outreach serving the community.

Ashley Catala – HIV Counseling & Testing Coordinator

Ashley Catala Ashley came to Buddies in November 2014 as a Part-Time HIV Counselor/Tester then moved up to Full-time HIV Testing Program Coordinator in August 2015.  Ashley has been working in HIV Prevention since 2009 in which she began working at Well of Hope CDC, Inc. Also while working there she worked in the Syringe Access Program as A Harm Reduction Case Manager.  Ashley is a Certified Microsoft Word Specialist.

Debbie Mosley – Housing Case Manager

Debbie Mosley Debbie joins us with over 12 years of experience working as a Housing Case Manager. She has worked with the HOPWA program since its inception in 1993. After a full assessment of need is completed, Debbie’s mission is to help assess all available services to ensure our clients can obtain and retain secure affordable housing.

Marie Hill – Non Medical Case Manager

Marie Hill Marie joined Buddies of New Jersey, Inc. in October 2004 as a Case Manager. She has a Bachelors of Science Sociology from Adelphi University. Over the past 10 years she has worked as an HIV/AIDS case manager, advocate, and outreach worker/educator in Bergen County, New Jersey. As a Case Manager, Marie works with the clients to provide client-centered services that link diagnosed and multiply diagnosed persons living with HIV/AIDS with primary medical care, education, housing, pharmaceutical assistance, and a array a different services.

Abraham Corsino, MS – Non Medical Case Manager

Abraham, Buddies’ newest case manager, comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience.  He has spent 12+ years helping to improve the lives of people with severe and persistent mental illness, as well as other vulnerable and undeserved populations. Abraham is a bilingual professional holding a reputation as a great educator, advocate, and resource gatherer for those in need. He has established good relationships with various social agencies; as it relates to housing, food, transportation, mental health, and substance abuse resources. Abraham has earned both a Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in the area of Criminal Justice/Courts from New Jersey City University.  He continual adds academic acheivment improving his professional competency.  Abraham, outside of work, enjoys spending time with his family and friends having a good laugh, and enjoying all that life has to offer.

Vicky  – Case Manager

Vicky hit the ground running a NJ Buddies.  Her smile and concern make every problem a challenge and many hopes a joy! She works so diligently for those she serves and has not yet had an opportunity to submit a bio for this page.

Kathy Lebron – HIV Testing

Kathy Lebron Kathy joined Buddies in 2014 as an HIV Counselor and Driver for our Mobile HIV Testing Program.  Kathy brings her Case Management compassion and expertise to the front-lines of stopping the virus. Kathy has been working with PLWHA and those affected by HIV since 2010 in Bergen and Passaic Counties. In addition, Kathy has over 30 years experience in Child and Family Services and holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelors Degree in Family and Child Services from Montclair State University.

Marc Dorsey – Medicaid Biller, HIV Counseling and Testing

Marc Dorsey With care and understanding Marc diligently ensures that clients needs are met.

Howard Clark – Transportation

Howard Clark Howie has been transporting clients with class and respect for nearly 20 Years. He is committed to excellence.

Javier Echevarria – Transportation Staff

Joining the staff at Buddies, Javier is enjoying a job where he is helping others and taking the opportunity to learn and understand the needs of our community. Alex is bilingual, has a great personality and is committed to getting everyone safely and comfortably to their designated appointments.

Ray Welsh – Manager: Harrison House; Fundraising & Events

Ray is part of Buddies since 1994 and on staff since October 2009. His 30+ years of service in the local, Catholic Church, HIV & GLBT Communities serve as a great asset in understanding the needs at the Harrison House, S.E.L.F. Support Group, and the Community at large.  He strives to tear down stigma and builds lasting relationships in our community with fundraising and events. Ray is a founding and current board member of the New Jersey AIDS WALK, Inc.; Member of the NJHPG’s Gay Men’s Committee; Consumer Member of Clinical Quality Management Team in the Bergen/Passaic TGA and Commissioned Alternate on the Bergen/Passaic – Paterson HIV/AIDS Planning Counsel.  Ray has a BA-Sociology from William Paterson University.

Robert Sorbanelli – Board Appointed Liaison & Financial Consultant

Robert Sorbanelli Board Appointed Liaison & Financial Consultant

Gilda Michelle Marrero – Administrative Assistant

Gilda provides a new level of competency to the administrative staff.

Alex Flores  – Community Outreach Worker

Alex is a client re-engagement specialist who  helps identify “out of care” patients and smoothly restores competent care in a stigma-free way.

X’Zaviour Johnson – Outreach Worker

“X” is a client re-engagement specialist who  helps identify “out of care” patients and smoothly restores competent care in a stigma-free way.

Elty Chirolde, RN, MCM

Elty comes to us with a well-respected medical history and will bring a high level of care and responsibility to keeping patients in-care, compliant, and healthy!

Susan Vitale, LPN, CADC — Client Advocate, P/T MCM

Susan Vitale Susan has worked with people living with HIV/AIDS in all areas of HIV including medical case management and addiction services. She has encouraged client engagement and retention in medical care by case coordination, advocating for our clients, reducing stigma barriers, counseling treatment adherence, and other support and education. She is an Emeritus Staff