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Meet the Staff

Medicare Rights is a close-knit team dedicated to ensuring that older adults and people with disabilities get the quality, affordable health care they need. Get to know the Medicare Rights team.

Frederic Riccardi
Fred Riccardi serves as the President of the Medicare Rights Center. As Vice President of Client Services, Mr. Riccardi oversaw all of Medicare Rights’ client programming, including its national helpline—which handles around 20,000 questions each year—and developed and implemented a variety of successful programs with diverse partners, including two new ombudsman programs for New Yorkers with specific health care needs. For over a decade, he has been a lead Medicare advocate nationally, helping Medicare beneficiaries and families access and afford their care and advising professionals on how to better serve their clients. He has collaborated with an array of stakeholders to help inform federal and state health care policy and is a frequent spokesperson on Medicare issues in major media outlets. Mr. Riccardi is also a lecturer at the Columbia University School of Social Work.
Maxwell Arnaud
Coordinator of Volunteers & Outreach
Max joined the Medicare Rights Center in 2022 as Coordinator of Volunteers & Outreach. He comes from an arts literacy background, where he adapted children’s books into plays and integrated the arts into the common core curriculum to enact new educational strategies in New York public schools.

Max graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and History, and an MFA in Acting from West Virginia University. Max has a long standing commitment to helping underserved communities develop critical literacy skills, and is renewing that commitment in the field of healthcare advocacy. In his free time, Max enjoys music, movies and drinking coffee.
Derek Ayeh
Coordinator of Education & Policy
As Coordinator of Education & Policy, Derek Ayeh helps develop educational materials, including many resources on integrated care for both New York and national audiences. He also writes a quarterly, policy newsletter for New York advocates and beneficiaries. Much of his work is concerned with researching and understanding the various integrated care options available to dually eligible individuals. Derek is a graduate of Columbia University with an M.S. in Bioethics and The University of Chicago with a B.A. in Religious Studies. He is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University. In his free time, Derek has published essays and hopes to publish fiction in the future.
Marcin Bednarz
Director of Information Technology
Marcin Bednarz graduated from the College of Staten Island (CUNY) with a B.S. in Computer Science and previously worked as an Administrative Assistant and a web store Administrator. Mr. Bednarz was born and raised in Poland.
Rachel Bennett
Senior Vice President
Rachel Bennett joined the Medicare Rights Center in 2005 as a Development Associate. As Senior Vice President, Rachel oversees Medicare Rights’ foundation relationships, federal grants, strategic planning, and educational work. She previously worked at the Youth Service Opportunities Project, initially as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, and as a consultant with the Blacksmith Institute, the National Physicians Alliance, the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance, and others.

Rachel earned a B.A. in English from Grinnell College, with highest honors and election to Phi Beta Kappa, and also studied at Trinity College Dublin through the University of Iowa and in Ecuador through the University of Minnesota. She is a poet and runner and loves being outdoors.
Julie Carter
Counsel for Federal Policy
Julie Carter is Counsel for Federal Policy in the Washington, D.C. office, where she helps set and advance Medicare Rights’ advocacy agenda. Julie plays a large role in developing administrative comments and in effectively communicating the organization’s policy goals. She acts as chief liaison to multiple stakeholder coalitions, and to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education. Before joining Medicare Rights in 2016, Julie was a Health and Aging Policy Fellow with a placement at the Administration for Community Living as well as a fellow with Justice in Aging. She has a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in English and History, and a J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She is a passionate fan of baseball, reading, data, poetry, and good Mexican food, which is nearly impossible to find in D.C. Julie is admitted to the California bar.
Mitchell Clark
Director of Digital Strategy & Communications
Mitchell Clark is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Political Science and a Minor in Philosophy. Mr. Clark is a former volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club of America in Athens, GA, and is passionate about public service.
Michael Conte
Senior Software Developer
Michael Conte graduated from Pace University in 2015 with a B.S. in Computer Science. He previously interned at the Medicare Rights Center in 2013 as an IT Associate. Much of his work includes development and maintenance of various Medicare Rights web pages as well as the development of specialized web tools.
Lindsey Copeland
Director of Federal Policy
Lindsey Copeland is the Medicare Rights Center’s Director of Federal Policy. Based in the Washington, D.C. office, she is responsible for developing and implementing a health equity-driven advocacy agenda that is informed by the organization’s experience helping people with Medicare navigate emerging and systemic access, affordability, and coverage issues. She and the federal policy team elevate these challenges, and the solutions the Medicare Rights Center supports to address them, for policymakers, stakeholders, and the press. Through this work, Medicare Rights seeks to protect, strengthen, and improve the Medicare program, as well as the health and economic security of older adults, people with disabilities, caregivers, and families.

Prior to joining Medicare Rights in 2017, Lindsey oversaw federal advocacy and governmental affairs for several national nonprofits that focus on health and aging policy, including one of the nation’s largest networks of health and human services providers and the association representing directors of state agencies on aging and disabilities and long-term services and supports. Lindsey holds a B.A. in English and Political Science from Hollins University and a J.D. from the University of Richmond School of Law. She is admitted to the Virginia Bar.
Shea Corti
Senior Education Associate
Shea Corti joined the Medicare Rights Center as an Education Associate in 2020. She produces new print and e-learning content, develops educational toolkits and trainings, and implements online learning features. She works in collaboration with the Education department and legal counsel to ensure that these educational resources are both consumer-friendly and legally accurate.

Prior to joining the Medicare Rights Center, Shea was a public elementary school teacher in Los Angeles and worked at an EdTech startup focused on mental health. She is dedicated to equitable, empowering learning experiences and quality healthcare for all. Shea holds a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Education from Stanford University.
Giovanni Florez
Director of Enrollment & Community Engagement
Giovanni Florez joined the Medicare Rights Center in 2015. As Director of Enrollment & Community Engagement, Giovanni leads Medicare Rights’ low-income enrollment operations, working to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries gain access to cost-saving benefit programs. Giovanni also coordinates the New York State Medicare Savings Coalition (NYSMSC), an alliance that brings government agencies and advocates together in dialogue and provides a forum to review the latest information on implementing health care programs for Medicare beneficiaries with limited incomes. Giovanni also coordinates Medicare Rights’ membership with the Community Health Advocates (CHA), a New York State network composed of community-based organizations that works to promote access to quality and affordable health insurance for all New Yorkers.

Giovanni has a B.A. from Montclair State University and an M.P.A. from John Jay College. Prior to joining the Medicare Rights Center, Giovanni worked in the office of the New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On his off time, Giovanni enjoys jogging, watching and playing futbol (aka soccer), and eating.
Addy Fowle
Client Services Associate
Addy Fowle joined the Medicare Rights Center in October 2021. As a Client Services Associate, Addy works with counsels beneficiaries on the Medicare Rights Center’s national helpline, assists low-income beneficiaries with benefits, and provides counseling and casework as a part of Medicare Rights Center’s membership in the Independent Consumer Advocacy Network. Her professional passions include working with those dually eligible for the Medicare and Medicaid programs and counseling clients on Long-Term Services and Supports.

Addy graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2019 and received her M.S. in Health and the Public Interest from Georgetown University in 2021. Prior to her time at the Medicare Rights Center, Addy worked as a Medicaid and CHIP Research Intern at the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, where she focused specifically on state-level Medicaid policies and gained an interest in public health insurance programs in the United States. In her free time, Addy enjoys going on long walks and playing with her dog, Moby.
Patricia Jia
Education Associate
Patricia Jia joined the Medicare Rights Center in 2021. As an Education Associate, she develops training materials and leads presentations to educate consumers and professionals about Medicare. She also provides client counseling through weekly shifts on Medicare Rights’ helpline. Patricia is committed to nonprofit work that serves communities by making complex information accessible.

Previously, Patricia was a communications associate at the Center for High Philanthropy in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. in Communication from the Annenberg School and an M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership from the School of Social Policy and Practice. In her free time, Patricia enjoys taking a long walk or subway ride while drinking milk tea and listening to music.
Christina Juste
Client Services Associate
Christina Juste joined the Medicare Rights Center in July 2022. As a Client Services Associate, Christina assists beneficiaries on the Medicare Rights Center’s national helpline, aids in the supervision of the Medicare Rights Center’s volunteers, and provides counseling and casework as part of the Medicare Right Center’s membership in the Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN).

Before joining the Medicare Rights Center, Christina graduated from Barnard College with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies. During her studies, she provided wellness counseling to a majority woman & non-binary community and advocated for diversity, equity, and inclusion. In her free time, Christina enjoys spending her time with her cat, knitting, and trying new restaurants in New York City.
Richelle McLean
Operations Coordinator & Executive Assistant
Richelle McLean is the Operations Coordinator and Executive Assistant to the President. Prior to joining Medicare Rights Center she was an administrator at New York University and The University of Melbourne in Australia.

Richelle has a BS in International Trade and Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked in the garment industry in NYC for several years. Richelle is passionate about how fashion impacts our environment.
Ellen Minton
Associate Director of Operations & Finance
Prior to joining the Medicare Rights Center, Ellen Minton was an Account Executive at Alcatel-Lucent, where she was responsible for the marketing and sales of telecommunications equipment. She joined Medicare Rights as a volunteer in March 2011. She has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from New York University.
Sarah Murdoch
Director of Client Services
Sarah Murdoch joined the Medicare Rights Center in 2014. As Director of Client Services, Sarah oversees programmatic operations of the Client Services Department. This includes the national helpline; Medicare Rights Center’s participation in state ombudsman and technical assistance programs such as New York’s Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP), Community Health Access to Addiction and Mental Healthcare Project (CHAMP), the Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN), and Community Health Advocates (CHA); and Medicare Rights Center’s volunteer and intern program. Previously, Sarah served as the Helpline & Volunteer Coordinator, managing helpline counselors who work directly with beneficiaries to advocate for access to care, services, and benefits available through Medicare and Medicaid.

Sarah has a B.S. from The University of Chicago and an M.S.W. from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining the Medicare Rights Center, Sarah worked at Catholic Charities Senior Services in Chicago, coordinating community-based services and home care for older adults. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys baking, hiking, and sharing time with family and friends.
Tim Murray
Director of Operations & Finance
As Director of Operations & Finance, Tim is responsible for the coordination of finance, human resources, facilities, and shared work with the Information Technology staff. This work sees Tim leading budgeting and financial reporting efforts, overseeing an annual audit, managing Medicare Rights’ benefits package, recruiting and supporting staff, and ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

Tim has a long career in managing all aspects of business, starting as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa working as an advisor for the Botswana International School of Music. After receiving an MBA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Tim worked variously at a computer consulting firm, with software developers, for stockbrokers on the New York Stock Exchange, and for an international student exchange program operating in partnership with 60 countries.

Tim lives in Manhattan and enjoys having access to the many cultures and cuisines the city has to offer. He is an avid collector, loves animals, and has a cat named Reggie.
Teniola Olafuyi
Senior Client Services Associate
Teniola Olafuyi joined the Medicare Rights Center as a Client Services Associate in October 2021. As a Senior Client Services Associate, Teniola counsels Medicare beneficiaries and supervises volunteers on the Medicare Rights Center’s national helpline, provides enrollment assistance to low-income beneficiaries, and provides counseling and casework assistance as a part of Medicare Rights Center’s membership in the Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN).

Prior to her joining the Medicare Rights Center, she interned at a healthcare consulting firm in Washington D.C. and interned at both the NYS Department of Health and Agriculture to understand how policies and programs are implemented. Teniola received her B.S. in Public Health and B.A. in Political Science, along with an MPH degree and Certificate in Maternal and Child Health from the School of Public Health at the University at Albany (SUNY). In her free time, Teniola enjoys attending concerts, roller skating, exploring new places, and trying different restaurants in New York City
Sailendra Nath Sarker
Administrative Assistant
Sailendra Nath Sarker has been an Administrative Assistant at the Medicare Rights Center since December 1997. Prior to this position he worked for Asiatic American Technologies for one year as an Administrative Assistant and worked as a designer and news composer for a newspaper for three years. He graduated from Monroe College with a B.B.A. in Computer Information Systems.
Lily Schmidt-Swartz
Client Services Associate
Lily Schmidt-Swartz joined the Medicare Rights Center in August 2022 as a Client Services Associate. As a Client Services Associate, Lily assists beneficiaries on the Medicare Rights Center’s national helpline, provides supervision to Medicare Rights Center’s volunteers, assists with benefit enrollments, and conducts outreach to eligible individuals. Lily is passionate about helping individuals safeguard their rights to public medical services.

Prior to working at the Medicare Rights Center, Lily spent two years at the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)’s Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program (EFLRP), where she assisted low-income New Yorkers with accessing Medicaid and Medicare services. During her first year in NYLAG-EFLRP, Lily served as an Avodah Service Corps Member. In her second year, she moved on to work in the ICAN portion of the unit, where she guided Medicaid members with their Managed Long Term Care issues.

Lily is earning an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She holds a BA from Brandeis University.
Casey Schwarz
Senior Counsel for Education & Federal Policy
Casey Schwarz joined the Medicare Rights Center in 2011 as Client Services Counsel. Today, as Senior Counsel for Education & Federal Policy, she helps deliver accessible and accurate education materials to Medicare beneficiaries and the professionals who serve them. She also advances Medicare Rights’ policy goals through the administrative rule-making process and supports Medicare Rights’ close working relationship with legislators and their staff. When Casey is not working, she enjoys exploring in the outdoors with her children and knitting without them. She is personally and professionally committed to reducing inequity and injustice.

Casey earned her law degree, magna cum laude, from New York University School of Law, where she was elected to Order of the Coif. She earned her B.A. in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University. She is admitted to the Bars of New York and Maine.
Rachel Shuman
Program Coordinator
Rachel Shuman joined the Medicare Rights Center in 2018. As Program Coordinator, she coordinates the Medicare Rights Center’s membership in two New York State programs: Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN) and Community Health Access to Mental Health and Addiction Program (CHAMP). Rachel counsels Medicare beneficiaries on their coverage options with a focus on dual-eligibles. She advocates for access to medical services, including home and community-based services, durable medical equipment, mental health care, and substance use treatment.

Rachel is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) with a degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work and a B.A. from Barnard College. She is a certified social work field instructor and supervises MSW student interns. In her off-time, she enjoys yoga, playing with her two cats, and cooking.
Beth Shyken-Rothbart
Senior Counsel for Client Services & New York Policy
Beth Shyken-Rothbart joined Medicare Rights Center in 2013. She is Senior Counsel for Client Services & New York Policy, which allows her to further her commitment to helping people navigate complex government systems as well as make efforts to improve these systems. In her Client Services role, Beth serves as a resource to Medicare Rights staff, supporting their counseling and client work assisting Medicare beneficiaries, professionals, and caregivers. Beth oversees Medicare Rights’ participation in the Independent Consumer Advocacy Network, New York’s ombudsman program for people with Medicaid managed long-term care needs. Beth also works directly with clients advocating on their behalf to ensure access to necessary health care services and prescription drugs. In her New York Policy role, Beth works to further Medicare Right’s goal to advocate for older adults, people with disabilities and people with limited incomes in New York State. Beth’s advocacy focuses on improving integrated care for New Yorkers who have both Medicare and Medicaid.

Beth received her J.D. from CUNY School of Law. She has an M.Ed. from DePaul University and is a proud graduate of University of Michigan. Go Blue! Prior to her legal career Beth was an elementary school teacher in Chicago.
Elizabeth Stasiak
Associate Client Services Counsel
Elizabeth Stasiak joined the Medicare Rights Center in July 2021. As Associate Client Services Counsel, she provides counseling and casework assistance to people with Medicare, their caregivers, and the professionals serving them regarding Medicare eligibility, enrollment, coverage, administrative procedures, appeals, low-income programs, Medicaid long-term care services and supports, and coordination of health insurance benefits. Elizabeth also provides support to clients and staff who are troubleshooting complicated Medicare and related health insurance issues on Medicare Rights’ national helpline. Her professional interest and prior experience lie in health care settings and advocating for underserved populations.

Elizabeth received her J.D. from New York School Law School in May of 2021. She graduated magna cum laude from Stonehill College, where she earned her B.A. in Healthcare Administration. She is admitted to the New York Bar.
Allison Stillerman
Senior Client Services Associate
Allison Stillerman joined the Medicare Rights Center as a Client Services Associate in 2021. Allison supervises volunteers on the Medicare Rights Center’s national helpline and provides support to Medicare counselors across New York State as part of the Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP). She also works directly with clients through casework and assistance with low-income benefits and enrollment.

Prior to joining Medicare Rights Center, Allison managed a salary negotiation training program for women through the New York City Economic Development Corporation and also worked in the offices of the New York City Mayor and Comptroller as a policy researcher. Allison has a BA in history and political science from Hunter College and loves exploring new parks in the city.
Norman Weintraub
Enrollment Specialist
Norman Weintraub is an Enrollment Specialist for both the Extra Help and Medicare Savings Programs. He is a member of ReServe, a program that connects experienced retired professionals with public service opportunities. He joined the Medicare Rights Center in December 2005 after employment with the Department for the Aging in New York City. Born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, he is a true native New Yorker.
Emily Whicheloe
Director of Education
Emily Whicheloe joined the Medicare Rights Center in 2015 to pursue interests in adult education and nonprofit work. As Director of Education, she oversees the development of Medicare educational materials for consumers and professionals, manages training programs for Medicare counselors throughout the country, and fields questions from Medicare beneficiaries during weekly helpline shifts. She uses her background in social sciences to approach research and writing from multiple perspectives, and she comes to the Medicare Rights Center with a passion for social justice and the belief that everyone should have access to healthcare.

Emily graduated from Vassar College with a major in Anthropology and minor in Hispanic Studies. In her free time, she enjoys taking photographs and exploring New York City by bike.
Joe Baker
President Emeritus
Joe Baker is currently the President Emeritus of the Medicare Rights Center and served as its President from June 2009 to May 2019. He served as a member of The National Quality Forum’s Measures Application Partnership Coordinating Committee after previously serving on the Dual Eligible Beneficiaries Workgroup. Mr. Baker also had two terms as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Health Care Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education. He is an Adjunct Professor at the New York University School of Law, where he taught a class on implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Previously, he was the Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services in New York State under Governor David A. Paterson, where he was instrumental in developing Medicaid reforms and a proposal to extend health coverage to younger New Yorkers. Mr. Baker served as Assistant Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services under Governor Eliot Spitzer, after having directed the Health Care Bureau under Spitzer when he was attorney general of New York. Mr. Baker was Executive Vice President of Medicare Rights from 1994 to 2001, and prior to that was Associate Director of Legal Services for Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Mr. Baker graduated from the University of Virginia’s School of Law.
Delores Bowman
Senior Client Services Associate Emerita
Delores Bowman works on appeals cases involving health service denials, and also counsels professionals who have Medicare questions. Ms. Bowman retired from Chase Bank in 1999 after 30 years of service as a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist. She joined the Medicare Rights Center as a volunteer in September 1999.

Board of Directors

The Medicare Rights Center’s Board of Directors is comprised of distinguished individuals with diverse professional backgrounds and a shared commitment to ensuring that older adults and people with disabilities can access the affordable health care they need.