Our board is comprised of a well-rounded group of individuals with a special interest in this area, including mental health professionals, family members of the affected, and dedicated volunteers from our groups who have contributed priceless time to building and maintaining our organization. Click on a board member name to read their bio.
Li Faustino, PhD
David Brody, MD
David J. Hellerstein, MD
Michael McKay, MBA
Director of Operations
Rebecca Finn, MD, MPH
Board Member Bios
Li Faustino, PhD is our chairperson and a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in NYC and Chatham, NJ. She specializes in bipolar illness, caregivers of those who are bipolar, and trauma. She began with MDSG-NY in 1997 as a group facilitator and soon after founded the “Youth Group,” now known as the “GenYZers” group. Under her leadership, that group grew to be the biggest of its kind in the country. Over the years at MDSG-NY, Dr. Faustino has facilitated hundreds of groups, acted as site coordinator, led our phone team and revamped and taught our facilitator training class. She also played an active role as a fundraiser and was the first to institute our paid staff.
Tory Masters, CPS, CPRP spent years as a senior producer and programmer for ABC News and Good Morning America. She then co-founded The Intrepid New Yorker, a corporate relocation consulting firm for expatriates. Currently, she is a certified peer-specialist (CPS) and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP) who works with individuals and families struggling to find a path toward recovery from a mental health disorder. Tory worked for 5 years as a peer specialist at Hands Across Long Island (HALI) a mental health agency that utilizes Personal Recovery-Oriented Services (PROS) to assist individuals with severe psychiatric and substance abuse disorders return to productive lives in their communities. Throughout, she has facilitated and run facilitator trainings and continuing education workshops for MDSG-NY.
David Brody, MD a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City, joined the MDSG-NY board in 2018. His association with MDSG-NY goes back many years when as the chief of the outpatient psychiatry service at Beth Israel, he worked closely with Howard Smith, one of the founders of MDSG-NY, to facilitate access to meeting space and to deliver public lectures on psychiatric medication. Dr. Brody is appointed to the clinical faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai and to the voluntary medical staff of Mt. Sinai Beth Israel and Lenox Hill hospitals. The focus of his practice is medication treatment of psychiatric disorders in adults.
Henry Rudoph Native New Yorker Henry Rudolph’s assumption of the role of MDSG-NY’s director of operations coincided with Covid-19 lock-down of New York City, when, in a week’s time, with his leadership volunteers migrated the organization’s entire weekly schedule of in-person meetings onto Zoom. Subsequently, to meet the mental health demands of individuals well beyond the Tri-State area who have been affected by the pandemic and its protocols, he has spearheaded the addition of three other weekly or bi-weekly meetings to the schedule. Previously a facilitator and site director who joined MDSG-NY in 2008, he draws on the logistics, technology, and customer service skills he honed in patient advocacy, and in the travel and aviation sectors.
David J. Hellerstein, MD David J. Hellerstein, MD has been on the MDSG-NY board since 2009. He has a psychiatry and psychopharmacology private practice in New York and is a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, and a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University.
He specializes in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders and conducts studies on psychedelic drugs as treatments of depression and other disorders at Columbia’s Depression Evaluation Service. He has published many scientific articles on subjects including psychopharmacology, supportive psychotherapy, and behavioral activation therapy.
Dr. Hellerstein has also received national recognition for his literary writing. His books include Battles of Life and Death (essays about medical training), Loving Touches (a novel), and A Family of Doctors (a memoir of five generations of doctors in one family). He writes a blog, “Heal Your Brain” for psychology Today. His 2011 book, Heal Your Brain: How the New Neuropsychiatry Can Help You Go From Better to Well (Johns Hopkins University Press) was praised by Kay Jamison as “a lucid and practical guide to the brain and how it can go awry.”
Michael McKay, MBA came to MDSG-NY through the Friends and Family group and has been the Treasurer for the last 20 years. He also assumed some duties of an unpaid administrator and assembles the bi-monthly newsletter. After 40 years as Director of Finance and Administration for several libraries and visual arts organizations, Michael retired. Michael earned master’s degrees in Library Science and Business Administration.
Rebecca Finn, MD, MPH obtained her medical degree in Cleveland and a Master’s in Public Health in Albany. After completing her training, she then returned to New York City to be closer to her family. She joined The Mood Disorders Support Group, Inc. in 2008, then became a facilitator, and site director and subsequently Vice Chair. As a facilitator she has become a professional peer support specialist using her experience to help others.
Adina Taubman is an actress, a playwright, a teacher, and an activist. She has been a member of MDSG-NY since 2010. She became a facilitator in 2011 and a coordinator for the West Side location in 2014. She received her B.A. in Humanities from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.F.A. in Acting from American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. She is the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre Company. Adina lives with her husband and two daughters in Morningside Heights.
Nathan Maratas arrived at MDSG-NY in 2007 and began facilitating in 2010. A California native who received his B.S. in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, he is an event planner who prides himself on the chic happenings he produces for clients in the fashion and luxury goods industries. In addition to facilitating, Nathan contributes his professional expertise to MDSG-NY by coordinating its end-of-year party as well as the training and continuing education of the organization’s facilitators. He is also an active recruiter of new volunteers.
Carolyn Luciano obtained a BA in Psychology from Hunter College. She joined MDSG-NY in 2015. Due to her strength in interpersonal relationship skills, she assumed the title of Membership Advocate and Volunteer Recruiter. Carolyn greets members as they arrive and has been referred to as “the Lou Gehrig of MDSG-NY” as she never misses a day of volunteering at both East Side and West Side locations.