STAFF AND CONSULTANTS
Gizane Indart, Executive Director
Gizane is a bilingual and bicultural professional with over 20 years of experience working with traumatized children and their families. Gizane is a ChildTrauma fellow at the ChildTrauma Academy under the direction of Dr. Bruce Perry. She is a seasoned public speaker and trainer, presenting locally, nationally and internationally on the impact of abuse and neglect in early development, attachment difficulties in children exposed to maltreatment, and sexualized behaviors in children. Gizane is a contributing author to The Web of Meaning, by Gail Ryan and Associates (1999 Safer Society Press), writing on the short-term outcomes of sexual abuse. Gizane has served on the Kempe Children's Center Perpetration Prevention Study Group since 1992; she is also a member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, the Advisory Counsel for the Colorado Coalition of Adoptive Families and the Women's Foundation of Colorado Program Committee.
Lucy Ana Aviles, Pro Bono Bilingual Child & Family Therapist
Lucy Ana is a pro bono bilingual therapist who works with the Spanish-speaking families who comprise a quarter of DCAC's caseload. She comes to DCAC whenever she is needed at times that best meet the needs of the children and families. Lucy Ana is a highly experienced psychologist with expertise in working with child victims of sexual abuse and those traumatized by witnessing homicide or extreme domestic violence.
Jodi L. Byrnes, Director of Programs
Jodi came to DCAC in 2010 with 12 years of experience as a senior social caseworker with the Denver Department of Human Services. At DDHS, Jodi worked with at-risk and fractured families, with a key focus on assessing the safety of children and determining their need for treatment, in-home supervision, or out-of-home placements. Jodi brings to DCAC an extensive knowledge of community resources as well as long-term relationships with law enforcement, court, and health and human service professionals throughout the metro area. She is a licensed professional counselor.
Kristen Chamberlain, Child & Family Therapist
Kristen is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 10 years of working experience with traumatized children, adolescents and their families. She is a seasoned professional in the areas of trauma, young children, attachment, parent-child relationship and family dynamics. Prior to joining DCAC, Kristen worked as Child and Family Therapist in a child placement agency with children of all ages who experienced severe, and often times, chronic trauma, abuse and neglect. More recently, she has worked with a diverse population of children and adults, addressing issues such as substance abuse, domestic violence, divorce, personality disorders, and mental illness. Kristen joined the DCAC team in 2010 and has been renewed in her passion for working with traumatized children, especially the very young, 2-6 years old. She embraces the opportunity to focus treatment around developmental and attachment issues that can be an overlooked need of children receiving services. DCAC is very pleased to offer Kristen as a provider with great depth of experience, passion for the mission, and an ability to work with diverse populations of clients, caregivers and systems.
Angela Davidson, Program Director
Angela is a bilingual, bicultural therapist with more than eight years of direct clinical experience in working with traumatized children and their families. Special areas of interest for Angela are: early childhood development, the impact of trauma on the developing child and the effects of immigration on young children. At DCAC, Angela has played a major role in supporting the growth of DCAC's Spanish-speaking caseload. She has also been a lead player in the development and expansion of the successful pre-school pilot program, "Denver Safe from the Start," which focuses on at-risk children and families.
Catherine Ann Hay, Child and Family Therapist
Cathy is a Master's level marriage and family therapist with extensive experience in working with child and adolescent survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. She also specializes in working with children who have special needs or severe emotional disturbances, as well as with youth caught up in the criminal justice system. While pursuing her master's degree at Pepperdine University, Cathy worked as an intake specialist and therapist with the Coalition to End Family Violence in California where she became expert in crisis management and meeting the immediate needs of mothers and children traumatized by violence.
Jessica Gershwin, Child and Family Therapist
Jessica joins the DCAC team in September 2014. Jessica Gershwin joined the DCAC team in August 2014. She is a bilingual child and family therapist who has over 10 years of experience working with children, teens, and families. Before starting at DCAC, Jessica spent the last six years in urban schools, first as an ESL teacher in East Harlem, then as a bilingual therapist at a school-based health clinic in Manhattan, and finally as a K-8 school counselor in Northeast Denver. With master's degrees in education and social work and specializations in childhood trauma, attachment, and group work, Jessica is thrilled to put her skills and experience to use at DCAC. Jessica is also a registered yoga teacher for children and adults, and she regularly incorporates mindfulness, breath-work, and movement in her work with clients. She strives to create a compassionate environment where each person can experience a sense of unconditional belonging, self-discovery, and healing.
Kim joined the DCAC team in Oct. 2014 with over 11 years of experience serving children and their families. Kim graduated from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO and received a B.S. degree in Psychology and Sociology. She began her career working for the Missouri Division of Youth Services. During her time at DYS, she worked with juvenile females providing mentoring, supervision and support towards the youth's goals for their future and lives. Kim then joined the Springfield CAC in 2005. She worked as a Forensic Interviewer, Child Advocate, Program Manager and State Trainer. While at the Springfield, MO CAC, she gained experience with interviewing children, testifying in various court proceedings, building team relationships and providing education and training for other professionals in the child abuse field. She is dedicated and passionate about helping children and is excited to join the DCAC team.
Lucero Herrera is a bilingual case manager who works with the Assessment and treatment team at DCAC. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and is devoted to working with high risk youth in the Denver area. Ever since High School, Lucero sought out volunteer opportunities to work with children. At that time, she volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club. In college, Lucero volunteered as a mentor at Excelsior Youth Center where she helped youth become self-sufficient and build social and emotional skills. At the same time, she interned at the Community Reentry Project as a Women's Reentry clinician. Her empathy and compassion, along with her gained experience allows her to make significant contributions to the welfare and growth of the families and children we serve.
Raquel Hernandez, Bilingual Victim Advocate/Intake Coordinator
Prior to joining DCAC in 2007, Raquel worked as a victim advocate intern with COVA (Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance), the Westminster Police Department and Project Safeguard. Raquel is the bilingual case manager for Access to Health. Raquel assists clients, siblings, and families of DCAC clients as well as other eligible children and families in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties enroll in Medicaid and CHP+. Raquel also works with the Treatment and Assessment staff completing therapy intakes. Raquel specializes in bilingual, bicultural support for Spanish-speaking families.
Agustin Leone, Bilingual Prevention Specialist/Program Coordinator
Agustin was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the United States at the age of 2. He majored in Health Promotion at Colorado State University with minors in Business Administration and Spanish. He joined our prevention team in June of 2011 and before working as a prevention specialist, Agustin interned with the prevention teams access to health program. Besides working with at-risk youth his professional interests are public health and disease prevention.
Emilia McGinn, Bilingual Case Manager
Emilia joined our team in September 2014. She is a bicultural case manager who received a B.A. in Psychology from George Mason University. Prior to working with DCAC, she volunteered with local community nonprofits focused on helping families. She has a strong commitment to mitigating the impact of abuse and mistreatment on children, as well as helping families develop strategies for resilience. She is a member of the American Psychological Association.
Mandy M. Rigg, Fundraising Consultant/Grantwriter
Mandy has worked with the Denver Children's Advocacy Center since 1993 and she takes great joy in having participated in its incredible growth and development. Mandy has worked with nonprofit organizations since 1990 when she joined the Colorado Nonprofit Association. She spent six years at the association as editor of Nonprofit Colorado and director of information services. After that she helped to build a start-up publishing company for nonprofit grantseekers (headed up by Richard Male, founder of the Community Resource Center) where she was editor for five major grant guides-New York, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Mandy became a consultant in 2000 and has since worked with many Colorado, national and international nonprofits-but DCAC is like family!
Meagan Rohde, Bilingual Child and Family Therapist
Meagan graduated with a master's degree in social work from the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver in 2013. As she was a bilingual intern with DCAC during the fall semester, she was already well along on the learning curve, and was able to quickly relieve the pressure on our treatment caseload. Meagan's background and experience make her ideally suited to working with the vulnerable families at DCAC. As a bilingual intern with Denver Urban Scholars, she led weekly psychoeducational groups for middle-school students, while also coordinating communication between them and their parents, teachers, and mentors. For the Kempe Center's Fostering Healthy Futures study, she conducted extensive at-home interviews with parents, children, and young adults. Meagan has a passion for this work as evidenced by her extensive volunteering for domestic violence and homeless agencies in the U.S., as well as her work with orphaned children in Ecuador and Mexico.
Maya Oyarbide-Sanchez is a bilingual, Master's level therapist with a strong dedication to advocate for trauma survivors and, in particular, survivors in immigrant populations. While still living in her native Wisconsin, Maya spent two years working as a bilingual domestic violence advocate. As an advocate, Maya supported Spanish-speaking families as they rose from crisis to seek independence and safety. It was this experience that ignited Maya's passion for trauma work. While completing her Master's degree at Northwestern University, Maya continued her trauma focus and worked with the Mental Health and Human Rights clinic. Here, she collaborated with local attorneys to offer ongoing therapy and psychological evaluations to immigrant families seeking asylum or facing deportation. Having moved to Colorado in 2013, Maya feels honored to be a part of the DCAC team where she relishes the opportunity to continue honing her expertise by offering culturally competent, trauma-informed care.
Dulce Solis, Bilingual Forensic Interviewer
Dulce Solis has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine it with her passion for working with children and families. She moved to Colorado in 2001. While attending college, she volunteered as a parenting time supervising specialist with Family Tree, which soon offered her a paid position at their Adams County site. She spent a year coordinating supervised child visitations, coaching parents on how to provide a safe environment for their children, and helping families overcome the trauma of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Amber Stead, CPA, Finance & Operations Director
Amber joined DCAC in 2014 with eight years of accounting and finance experience. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2006 and obtained her CPA license in 2011. Before coming to DCAC, Amber worked as an audit manager with EKS&H LLLP, Colorado's largest public accounting firm. During her tenure there, she specialized in the nonprofit and healthcare industries, working with a wide variety of organizations including hospitals, mental health facilities, physician groups, and in-home health agencies. Her experience includes financial audits and reviews, OMB A-133 audits, internal control assessments, and financial performance reviews. Amber is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Colorado Society of CPAs (COCPA), and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).
Jerry Yager, PsyD, Director of Programs
Dr. Jerry is a Clinical Psychologist with more than 25 years of experience in the assessment and treatment of traumatized children and adolescents. He specializes in working with adolescents who exhibit self-destructive behavior and have severe mental illness such as clinical depression, bipolar mood disorder, post-traumatic distress disorder and psychosis. Before joining DCAC, Jerry was the Executive Director of the Denver Children's Home, which shares a mission with DCAC to provide high quality mental health care for low-income children whose problems would otherwise go undiagnosed and untreated. Jerry received his Doctorate in Psychology from Nova University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Colorado. He is a ChildTrauma fellow with the ChildTrauma Academy, and conducts professional training in Colorado and nationally.
Anne DePrince, PhD. - Research Director Psychology, University of Denver
Pat Federico - Community Relations Consultant
Paul Smith - CPA
Kathryn Wells, MD, Medical Director - Denver Family Crisis Center - Denver Health Medical Center; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics - University of Colorado
Beth Croucher - Special Projects
Lauren Hellerstein - Special Projects
DCAC relies on grants and donations in order to provide no-cost assessment and treatment services to children in need. We need your help. Make your donation today.