Meet Our Founders
Russell Chertok, LCSW - Founder & Executive Director
Russell Chertok is a New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare from Stony Brook University, and his Master’s Degree in Social Work, with a concentration in Contemporary Social Issues, from Columbia University.
Russell has dedicated the past 13 years of his life to working with the elderly, disabled adults, homeless families, the addicted, mentally ill and victims of abuse and domestic violence. Some of his experiences includes working in an inpatient and drug detoxification center, and providing clinical and case management services. He has also spent time working within an assisted living facility providing counseling services to residents, and has performed the role of Program Supervisor for a mental health housing program, overseeing an Apartment Treatment Program for severely and persistently mentally ill adults. Russell has worked in various Emergency Family Shelters, providing direct services, and overseeing program development.
Russell created Visiting Counselors of New York, LCSW, PLLC (VCNY) in 2014 after his work with a healthcare provider showed the lack of available in-home services offered to individuals. Russell hopes that by making affordable and quality services more accessible, more people will accept assistance, gain greater control over their lives and reach their greatest potential.
Marissa Vicari, LMSW - Director of Children and Family Services
Marissa Vicari is the Director of Children and Family Services at Visiting Counselors of New York (VCNY), where she is responsible for program development, implementation and oversight.
Marissa is a New York State Licensed Master Social Worker. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from The State University of New York at Stony Brook. Over the course of her 10-year career, Marissa has worked with children, adolescents, adults and families in individual and group settings. Marissa is experienced providing play therapy, talk therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy for children and adolescents suffering with mental health issues, behavioral disorders and trauma.
In addition to her clinical experience, Marissa also has a wealth of knowledge related to case management services. Some of her prior roles included supervisor of an intensive case management team, where Marissa trained and supervised staff and oversaw a program that regularly serviced over 400 individuals suffering with mental health conditions. Marissa has also spent time working on a medical management case management team that oversaw the care to hundreds of medically fragile individuals.