Date & Time: April 22, 2021 9:00am – 1:00pm
Location: Virtual

Healthcare Disparities in the Age of Covid-19

Some of the realities long associated with United States healthcare system have been magnified in the face of the challenges posed by Covid-19. Among those realities is the existence of significant disparities in our health care system. Members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and the economically disadvantaged, have long lagged in the social determinants of health and have consequently been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 in the United States. While this information is not new, the pandemic has provided us an opportunity to challenge ourselves to have meaningful conversations about this problem. We ought to do that so that we can finally begin to engage in problem-solving processes that would hopefully help to make ours a nation whose healthcare policies are implemented for the equitable benefit of all. This is not just a task for politicians and national leaders, but also for social workers who, according to the NASW Code of Ethics, must always work to improve the lives of those who are marginalized in our society. Therefore, we invite you to join alumni and friends of the Hudson Valley Center of Adelphi University’s School of Social Work at this free continuing education conference that will address the these issues.

This conference will bring together scholars and practitioners to examine some of the lessons that Covid-19 has taught us. We will examine these issues within the contexts of policy and clinical practice. The conference will open with a plenary session where Ms. Julissa Adames-Torres, a social worker practitioner and doctoral candidate will deliver the keynote address titled “A year later: A look at health disparities in the communities we love, live and work in.” Following the plenary will be the three breakout workshops highlighted below:


  • The Discourse on Aging and Covid-19
    Dr. Nancy Morrow-Howell, Washington University in St. Louis, MO
  • The Impact of Historical Trauma on Vaccine Hesitancy
    Dr. Manoj Pardasani, Dean, Adelphi University School of Social Work, New York.
  • Mental Health and Covid Fatigue
    Dr. Tom Quinn and Prof. Nancy Scherlong, Adelphi University School of Social Work, New York

4 CEUs will be awarded to licensed social workers for participating in this conference.

This event is free, but pre-registration is required.


Keynote: A year later: A look at health disparities in the communities we love, live and work in

Julissa Adames-Torres

Julissa Adames-Torres, LCSW, PhD Candidate

Julissa Adames-Torres is a psychotherapist/clinical social worker with over 10 years of experience working with children, adolescents and adults. She provides individual therapy for adolescents, adults and clinical supervision to social workers. Her professional experience has provided her with the opportunity to expand and cultivate a set of culturally humble skills that enable her to implement a holistic approach to practice that includes paying special attention to the impact of intersectionalities.

Ms. Adames-Torres obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from Herbert Lehman College in Bronx, NY and she is currently a doctoral candidate at Adelphi University School of Social Work where she is also an adjunct professor. Her research interests include health disparities within communities of color. Her prior professional roles include being a social manager at Montefiore Hospital in Bronx, NY and Associate Regional Director at Concert Health.

Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD

Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD is an international leader in gerontology, known for her work on productive engagement of older adults. Her research contributes to knowledge about programs, policies and organizational arrangements that maximize the productive engagement of older adults while promoting positive outcomes for the individuals themselves. Her research documents outcomes for individual, families, and communities associated with work, volunteering, and caregiving by older adults. Her interests include the development of the Next Move initiative where older adults are facilitated in transitions to new roles in employment, volunteering or education.

At the Brown School, Morrow-Howell teaches gerontology courses. She also teaches a freshman course on aging, aimed at increasing young people’s understanding about long life and the need for social transformation. As director of the university’s Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging, she promotes gerontological research and education across disciplines and schools.

She has received Washington University Distinguished Faculty Award and the Brown School’s Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2008 and 2011, she was given the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award by Washington University. She was the recipient of the 2011 Career Achievement Award from the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work and of the 2013 Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research.

Manoj Pardasani, PhD, LCSW

Dr. Manoj Pardasani is Dean and Professor at the School of Social Work. Previously, he served as an Associate Provost (Graduate and Professional Schools) and Professor of Social Work at Hunter College in New York, and a Faculty Research Scholar at the Ravazzin Center for Social Work Research in Aging and Senior Associate Dean at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. He has a Master’s of Social Work degree and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University.

He started his social work career in senior centers and that sparked his lifelong passion for the study of senior centers and community-based services for older adults. He has also served as a social worker, and then as an administrator, in a number of organizations serving the homeless, individuals living with HIV/AIDS and individuals diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness.

He is passionate about public policy reforms and his current research is utilized to inform his policy advocacy endeavors in the fields of aging and social welfare. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in professional publications, and has served as a mentor to emerging scholars. His research has garnered over $1 million in grants and has resulted in significant increases in public funding for gerontological social services in New York City and program innovations in senior centers nationwide. At Hunter College, he oversaw approximately $80 million in research and program grants.

In addition to senior centers, Dr. Pardasani has documented the impact of diverse program models among immigrants, refugees and other oppressed groups with reference to HIV/AIDS, chronic mental illness and homelessness. His scholarship, teaching and service have always adopted the lens of social justice and human rights.

He is the recipient of several honors including the Mid-Career Exemplary Social Work Leader Award from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and Fulbright Specialist award. He has taught as a Visiting Professor in China, Germany, Chile and the United Kingdom. He has been invited across the US and to Chile, South Korea, Taiwan and India to share his research on social welfare policies and services for the rapidly aging population worldwide. He is the past chair of the Social Welfare Action Alliance, past president of the Southwestern Social Science Association and the New York State Society on Aging. Currently, he is a 1st Vice President on the NYC Chapter of NASW, as well as a board member of the NY State Society on Aging.

Tom Quinn, PhD, LCSW

Dr. Tom Quinn has more than 37 years of experience in mental health – counseling, chemical dependency, addiction treatment and veterans’ services, including nearly six years with the Dutchess County Department of Mental Hygiene.

Dr. Quinn began his career at the Wassaic Developmental Center serving as Program Coordinator. He then served at the Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center for more than a decade as Rehabilitation Specialist and as Social Worker. He then joined the Dutchess County Department of Mental Hygiene (as it was previously known before merging with the Department of Health to become the Department of Behavioral and Community Health), serving in various roles in the Substance Abuse Clinic, School-Based Treatment Program, Alcohol Outpatient Treatment Clinic and the Mobile Psychiatric Outreach. He also worked for several years for the former St. Francis Hospital’s outpatient mental health and chemical dependency services counseling centers, and served as Director of Clinical Support Services for the Turning Point. Following St. Francis Hospital, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer for Hudson Valley Mental Health. He spent the last decade treating veterans for the Department of Veterans Affairs, first serving as the Program Director for Substance Abuse Services at Hudson Valley Health Care System in Montrose, NY and later as the Team Leader for Combat Veterans Readjustment Counseling Center at the Danbury Vet Center in CT. He has most recently served as Director of Addiction Services for Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital.

Dr. Quinn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Social Welfare from the State University of New York at Albany School of Social Welfare. He also holds a Masters of Social Work from the Adelphi University School of Social Work. He has authored numerous papers for professional publications and presented to a wide range of groups and students on various topics including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Brian Injury and Addiction. He is an adjunct professor at Marist College and Adelphi University School of Social Work as well as the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Train the Trainer Program.

Before his long career in mental health services, Dr. Quinn served in the United States Army in combat engineer battalion of the 82nd Airborne for three years. He also operated a private practice for more than 20 years in Poughkeepsie, providing individual and group therapy including a weekly therapy group with Vietnam veterans in affiliation with a Vietnam Veterans Outreach Center.

Nancy Scherlong, LCSW-R, PTR, CJT, M-S, BA

Nancy S. Scherlong is a writer and an integrative psychotherapist specializing in stress management, trauma, and addictions and has worked in the field of therapeutic writing for over 25 years. She has taught introductory and therapeutic writing for over 25 years. She has also taught intermediate English composition courses while a candidate in an MFA in poetry program as well as has instructed private lessons in creative writing.

Nancy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of NY and CT. She is also a Registered Poetry/Biblio Therapist, Certified Journal Therapist, and an approved trainer in both methods. She is the current co-president for the International Federation of Biblio-Poetry Therapy (IFBPT), one of the six expressive arts credentialing organizations. She provides workshops as well as distance coaching, consultation, and training services. An Adelphi alum (1997) and adjunct faculty since 2008, Nancy also provides online campus advising for Columbia University and is a member of the core faculty of the Therapeutic Writing Institute and on the training staff of Kint Institute. For more about her work please visit Change Your Narrative, LCSW PLLC

For questions, contact Dr. Ohiro Oni-Eseleh or Ms. Debbie Perez.

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