Meet our Staff
- Stefanie Small, LCSW, CMC, Director of Clinical Services
- Aprilynn Artz, NCC, LPC, Quest Camp Director
- Bari Benjamin, LCSW, BCD, Psychotherapist
- Ellie Bruner, MPS, MSW, Program and Resource Coordinator
- Sandy Budd, LCSW, Psychotherapist & Geriatric Care Coordinator
- Claire Burbea, LCSW, Psychotherapist
- Amanda Chamberlain, MSCP, Psychotherapist
- Ari Gildengers, MD , Psychotherapist
- Wendy Levin-Shaw, LCSW, Psychotherapist
- Maria Luczkow, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, Psychotherapist
- Gila Lux, LCSW, Psychotherapist
- Linda Marino, BSW, Critical/Special Needs Coordinator
- Kelli McElhinny, LCSW, Geriatric Care Manager
Stefanie Small, LCSW, CMC
Director of Clinical Services
Stefanie Small is a licensed clinical social worker, a certified care manager, and has recently become the Director of Clinical Services. Stefanie oversees the staff and programming of both the Older Adult and Clinical departments, ensuring that programs and services are delivered to the populations who need them. She collaborates with other departments and organizations on projects and ventures to advance the mission of the agency.
She also works with older adults, providing geriatric care coordination services to JF&CS clients in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Stefanie facilitates the caregiver support group, one of the few non-disease support groups in Allegheny County.
Stefanie speaks to members of the community as part of the Elder Care team presentations on how to talk to one's loved ones about aging, older adult depression and other educational topics that are relevant to her work.
Stefanie holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Barnard College in New York and a masters of social work with a certification in gerontology from University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.
Aprilynn Artz, NCC, LPC
Quest Camp Director
Aprilynn Artz is the director of our Quest summer therapeutic program for youth. She will work with children with diagnoses including attention deficit disorder, chronic anxiety, chronic depression and high-functioning Asperger’s syndrome.
April is a licensed professional counselor who comes to us from Western Psych's Merck program and has many years of experience in working with families and children, especially those with special needs. She has been working with children and their families since 2001 in varying capacities. She worked in the wraparound (BHRS) field for over 6 years as a Therapeutic Staff Support, Behavior Specialist Consultant and Mobile Therapist, and provided support to children in their homes, schools, and communities. She has several years of experience related to designing curriculum for, and running, play-based and therapeutic social skills groups for children on the autism spectrum.
April is an outpatient counselor who utilizes a multi-faceted approach to addressing the needs of children and their families which includes play based, cognitive behavioral, and Gestalt based techniques. She is well versed in the behavioral interventions typically used when working with individuals on the autism spectrum, including discreet trial, verbal behavior, floor-time, and the picture exchange system. April is committed to working with her clients to help them to be as independent and successful as possible.
April is a nationally board certified (NCC) and licensed professional counselor (LPC) who earned her Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Carlow University.
Bari Benjamin, LCSW, BCD
Bari Benjamin, LCSW, BCD has two decades of experience with individual, couples and families dealing with a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety, relationship issues, domestic violence and adoption. With Bari's specialized training in stepfamily therapy, she has helped many non-intact families become cohesive family units. This model of therapy addresses issues such as determining who is responsible for discipline, building strong relationships with one's non-biological children and supporting one's spouse.
Bari also provides support to Family Hope Connection, the foster care and adoption department of Jewish Family & Children's Service, where she leads a group for mothers of internationally adopted children. She also co-facilitates a support group for the Career Development Center. Outside of JF&CS, Bari also maintains a private practice and has experience working with a diverse group of clients.
Previously, Bari worked as a psychotherapist in an outpatient mental health facility.
Bari graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a master's in social work and post-graduate training in psychotherapy. She also completed a master's of art in teaching from the same university. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Step Family Association of America.
Ellie Bruner, MPS, MSW
Program and Resource Coordinator
Ellie has been with JF&CS since 2010 as part of both the Seniors department and the Counseling department. Ellie is responsible for the ongoing coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the Memory Training Program JFCS’s cognitive enhancement program for senior adults. Ellie also works as a Resource Coordinator, assessing individuals with critical needs and connecting them to resources to address issues and achieve stability. She also has clinical administrative responsibilities including clinical intake calls and assignments, data analysis, and quality assurance.
Ellie relocated from New York City, where she was supervisor for the Intake and Assessment Department at the Center for Urban Community Services for four years. She was involved in the start up and development of the department, which serves formerly homeless, mentally ill, HIV/AIDS, and chemically dependent adults in need of supportive housing. In addition, she has worked in a variety of settings, including residential housing for formerly homeless seniors with mental health issues, the Brooklyn VA Outpatient Treatment Program, and in a geriatric long-term care facility. She also worked in the publishing field, and as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader.
Ellie has a bachelor's degree in English and Art History from Allegheny College, a master's of Professional Studies in Creative Arts Therapy from Pratt Institute, and a master's in Social Work from Hunter College.
Sandy Budd, LCSW
Psychotherapist & Geriatric Care Coordinator
Sandy Budd is a licensed, clinical social worker with more than 30 years of social work experience, specializing in geriatrics. As a psychotherapist, Sandy counsels older adults suffering from the many losses and adjustments that can occur in later life. She also provides geriatric care coordination services to Jewish Family & Children's Service clients in the greater Pittsburgh area.
Sandy also coordinates the Pittsburgh Region Holocaust Survivors Program with funds provided by the Jewish Material Claims Conference Against Germany, Inc. She speaks to members of the community as part of team presentations on how to talk to one's loved ones about aging and other educational topics that relate to older adults.
Prior to coming to Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, she held positions in various community based, non-profit, social service agencies.
Sandy received her bachelor's and master's in social work from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin.
Claire Burbea, LCSW
Claire Burbea, a licensed clinical social worker, providing psychological and care coordination services to older adults for more than 15 years. Her psychotherapeutic work with older adults focuses on strengthening their ability to cope with life changes and to maximize their emotional well being.
Claire currently provides psychotherapy services to select older adult clients of Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, while serving full-time as Social Service and Critical Needs Coordinator for the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, a “sister” division to Squirrel Hill Psychological Services. Claire also facilitates a Multiple Sclerosis Support Group.
Claire has been a field advisor for the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work for the past several years, providing training and supervision to a number of graduate students interested in geriatric social work.
Her formal education includes a bachelor's in English literature and education from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, a master's in educational counseling from San Jose State College and a master's of social work from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.
Amanda Chamberlain, MSCP
Amanda Chamberlain, Psychotherapist, is responsible for program development, data analysis, and quality improvement, as well as the provision of direct clinical services to clients. She will be working with the Squirrel Hill Psychological Services staff and the Older Adults unit.
Prior to accepting this position at Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, Amanda joined our staff as an intern with our Older Adults unit. She previously worked for Milestone Centers, Inc. as a Lead Outpatient Care Coordinator. There she provided case management and crisis management services for clients and monitored clinician productivity for the department. Her past experiences have afforded her the opportunity to work with a variety of different populations in both clinical and administrative capacities.
Amanda received her bachelor's in Psychology with a concentration in Forensics from Point Park University and a master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University. She is currently pursuing publication for research completed as a graduate student and is working toward her LPC.
Ari Gildengers, MD
Ariel "Ari" Gildengers, MD: Dr. Gildengers received his M.D. in 1997 from New Jersey Medical School. He completed residency and fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and has been a faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine since 2005, where he is now an Associate Professor of Psychiatry.
Wendy Levin-Shaw, LCSW
Wendy Levin-Shaw, a licensed clinical social worker, has worked for over twenty-five years with individuals, couples and families as they seek to respond to life's challenges. Relationship enhancement, effective parenting, marital conflict and interfaith marriage are some of the varied concerns that Wendy addresses with her clients. In therapy, Wendy uses her extensive training in Family Systems Theory, which recognizes that individuals are deeply influenced by the significant relationships in their lives.
In addition to psychotherapy, Wendy has provided education and support to groups on parenting, bereavement, interfaith couples and adoption. She has been a speaker on a range of topics, including communication, family relationships, and managing the challenges of our daily lives. As an adjunct faculty member at the Western Pennsylvania Family Center, she has authored and presented, "The History of Parent Education from 1850 to 1952." She also co-authored training materials entitled "Enhancing Self-Esteem in Parents."
Wendy is a member of the National Association of Social Workers. She has also been a family therapist for a local community mental health clinic and co-founded a support organization for mothers.
Wendy holds a master's of social work from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Maria Luczkow, MSW, LCSW, ACSW
Maria Luczkow is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked as a psychotherapist for more than 25 years in a variety of clinical settings. She began her career as a children's psychotherapist at a residential treatment facility for severely disturbed children in Chicago, Illinois. After a short time, she moved back to Pittsburgh, where she has worked as a psychotherapist for children, adolescents, and adults at several large private practices.
In addition to her work at Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, Maria is a school-based therapist in the Riverview School District.
Maria received her bachelor's in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her master's in social work from the University of Pittsburgh. She also is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.
Gila Lux, LCSW
Gila Lux is a licensed clinical social worker with experience providing individual, family, and couples therapy in a variety of clinical settings. She began her career as a therapist at The Family Center, an agency in New York City for families affected by life threatening illness and loss. While there, she also participated in an intensive clinical externship program in family therapy with the Ackerman Institute. Gila has worked with individuals and families experiencing challenges with anxiety, depression, trauma related to childhood sexual abuse, family transitions, adjustment to illness and bereavement, and cultural dissonance between family members. Gila is fluent in English and Spanish and has been active in providing counseling services to the Spanish-speaking community both in New York City and here in Pittsburgh. Her work has also included assisting families who were dealing with loss from the World Trade Center tragedy.
In addition to working for Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, Gila volunteers at the Jewish Community Center, facilitating support groups for mothers of newborns and toddlers.
Gila received her bachelor's in social work from Queens College, and her master's in social work from New York University.
Linda Marino, BSW
Critical/Special Needs Coordinator
Linda Marino is a JF&CS critical/special needs coordinator. Linda works with clients with multiple challenges to help them understand the issues they are facing and will connect them with services and programs needed to address their issues and achieve long-term stability.
For adults with disabilities and families who have children with disabilities, Linda provides information and referrals, advocacy and community education and support/training groups for families of adults with disabilities.
Linda is the mother of an adult child who has autism and bipolor disorder. Linda has advocated for those with speical needs in schools and adult systems for 30 years. She co-founded the Midwestern Pa. Chapter of the Autism Society of America and served as president for ten years. She also co-founded Autism Support and Advocacy in Pennsylvania (ASAP), a state coalition that was developed to advocate for children and adults with autism. She also assisted in the development of Westfield, a farm model for adults with autism and mental health issues. In previous positions, she has worked with the homeless population, domestic violence victims and their children and as Children's Coordinator for the Southwestern Pa. Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
Linda holds a bachelor's degree in social work from Slippery Rock University.
Kelli McElhinny, LCSW
Geriatric Care Manager
Kelli McElhinny is a licensed clinical social worker who provides geriatric care coordination services to Jewish Family & Children's Service clients throughout the Pittsburgh area. With her extensive knowledge of community resources, Kelli helps clients access the services they need to remain in their own homes or assists clients in planning for a transition to a higher level of care when necessary.
Before joining JF&CS, Kelli was a medical social worker with Excela Health Home Care and Hospice and UPMC/Jefferson Regional Home Health.
Kelli also previously had a career in marketing communications, working with organizations including UPMC, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Kelli also has owned her own freelance writing business.
Kelli earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Northwestern University and a master's in social work from California University of Pennsylvania.