Our Team

Executive Leadership

Nicholas LessaNicholas Lessa, MA, LCSW, CASAC
Chief Executive Officer
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Nick has been in the addiction treatment field for over 30 years. He began his career as a counselor at a therapeutic community on the Lower East Side and today is the CEO and Partner of INTER-CARE, an industry leader in the field of chemical dependency treatment. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Work at NYU and Adelphi University.

He is sought after by the treatment community as a trainer, and is nationally recognized for his seminars on chemical dependency.  He has co-authored two books on treatment, the well received Concise Guide to Mental Health: Substance Use Disorders and his newest book, Living with Alcoholism and Drug Addiction: The Teen Edition.

Nick is known as an innovator and leader to his colleagues, a mentor to his staff and interns, a teacher to his students, a therapist to his patients: a man whose commitment and dedication has made a huge contribution to the addiction field.

Read "Nick's Blog" here.  It's full of insight from decades of experience.

Nick was recently interviewed on WVOX on August 24, 2015, giving his perspective on INTER-CARE's approach to treatment. Click Here to listen to the interview.

Featured on "One Hour At A Time" Hosted by Mary Woods and Jonathan Routhier, Nick highlights the components to look for when searching for an effective outpatient treatment program including facility standards, staffing, services offered, and management. Original airdate: March 21, 2016. Click Here to listen to the interview.

Maria Gross

Maria Rowie Gross
Chief Financial Officer
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Maria Gross has been involved in the addiction field for more than 10 years. She has held several, fiscal directorship positions and today is the CFO and Partner of INTER-CARE.  She has served in both profit and non-for-profit organizations creating budgets, analyzing financials, creating fiscal reporting for government agencies, and leading the development and implementation of various training events and workshops in the addiction community. She is currently volunteering her time to the INTER-CARE Family Foundation that will help individuals and their families affected by the disease of addiction gain access to quality treatment regardless of their financial and insurance status.

Laura Lessa

Laura Lessa, LMSW
Chief Program Officer
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Laura Lessa, LMSW, has held management positions in the private and public sectors for over 25 years and has worked in the chemical dependency field since 1994. As Director of Operations, she is involved in all aspects of program development, training, and management, both clinically and administratively. She oversees the agency’s compliance standards and quality improvement programs, and is the site coordinator for the agency’s internship program. Laura dedicates much of her time to the INTER-CARE Foundation creating treatment opportunities for those who could not otherwise afford it and developing wellness groups and family programs for the INTER-CARE community. She brings her wealth of experience to Chat2Recovery as an operations consultant. Laura has done extensive work with the treatment community on the policy level and has chaired committees to develop professional workshops, conferences, and special events. She is a member of NASW, holds a SIFFI license and is a volunteer with NYC Medical Reserve Corp.

Alessandra Parisi

Alessandra Parisi
Director of Client Services and Business Development
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Alessandra Parisi has been with INTER-CARE since 2007 and plays an integral role in the company’s development and day-to-day operations. She serves as a liaison between all of INTER-CARE’s directors and plays an active role in the marketing department.

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Criminology and Justice, Alessandra’s goals took a turn as she began her work in the health services field. She has learned the inner workings of the addiction treatment field by helping patients, working with insurance companies, and developing working relationships with other members of the addiction community. Alessandra has developed an in-depth understanding of the effects of addiction and the importance of support-based and 12-step recovery. With this knowledge, she strives to support the members of this community and to help INTER-CARE continue to provide quality services to those in need of treatment.

Alessandra has learned that one of the most important pieces of a person’s recovery is a seamless, stress free approach to beginning treatment. In her role as a director she has vowed to make INTER-CARE’s referral process reflect this ideal.

Medical Director

Joseph CasaronaJoseph Casarona, M.D.
Medical Director

Dr. Joseph Casarona has extensive formal training in both psychiatry and neurology and joins INTER-CARE with a 30-year history in the management of addiction psychiatry, Psycho/Neuropharmacology, and neurological disease.  Beside a private practice, Dr. Casarona has been an attending physician at many New York hospitals including St. Clair’s Hospital, Interfaith Medical Center, New York Methodist Hospital and Medical Center, Beth Israel Medical Center, Long Island College Hospital and Downstate Medical Center.

Dr. Casarona is an active member of the American Psychiatric Academy, the American Academy of Neurology, the Brooklyn Medical Society and the Brooklyn Neurological Society.

Management Staff

Anna Hlinka Anna Hlinka
Office Manager
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Anna has been a dedicated employee of INTER-CARE since 2005. She started her employment as an Executive Assistant with INTER-CARE Private Services working with founders, Vince Casolaro and Robert Smith. After the move to INTER-CARE Outpatient, Anna transitioned into the role of Insurance Coordinator and became an expert at navigating the managed care systems and being the point person for all insurance related questions and concerns. Her hard work and dedication to INTER-CARE’s mission has been a continuous trait of Anna’s throughout the years and has allowed her to take on other roles such as her current position of Office Manager at INTER-CARE’s Manhattan location. Anna plays a crucial role to ensure that all clients’ needs are met with the exceptional quality of care that INTER-CARE has prided itself on over the past 25 years.

Jaime-Giacco

Jaime Giacco
Assistant Office Manager, Westchester
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Jaime joined INTER-CARE in 2016 as an Administrative Assistant. Since then her role has evolved to Assistant Office Manager of the Westchester office. Her role involves managing the front desk staff and oversight of the day to day administrative operations. In her time with INTER-CARE she has shown compassion and professionalism with our clients and the addiction community, and serves a vital role within our organization.

Jillian-Farrel

Jillian Farrell, LMHC
Program Coordinator, Manhattan
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Jillian is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) who is devoted to providing support and education to those seeking recovery. Jillian received her Bachelor's degree from New York University and her Master's in Mental Health Counseling from Teachers College Columbia University. Prior to joining INTER-CARE, Jillian gained experience as both a case manager and an assistant clinical director in the outpatient substance abuse setting. Additionally, Jillian engaged in research at NYU’s Neuroscience and Education Lab, volunteered on the National Eating Disorders Association’s helpline, and published a literature review on attachment theory in the adult psychotherapeutic process. Jillian strives to create a safe and warm environment at INTER-CARE.

Senior Clinical Staff

Andrew KurtinAndrew Kurtin, CASAC
Senior Clinician, Manhattan
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Andrew has been with the INTER-CARE family since 2014.  As a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC), Andrew believes in a collaborative and individualized treatment approach combining the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, community recovery supports, and genuine care, respect, and compassion for his clients.  Andrew runs a variety of groups at INTER-CARE, including the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Phase 2 and 3 groups, as well as the Early Intervention Program.  Andrew’s dedication to his work and his fellow clinicians, and his passion for helping others makes him a valued member of the INTER-CARE team.

Martine IsakMartine Isak, LMHC
Senior Clinician, Westchester
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Martine joined INTER-CARE in 2015 and leads the A.M. Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and continuing care program in Westchester, NY.  She began her career in not-for-profit and financial sectors and made a mid-career shift in order to pursue her passion in psychotherapy. She received her clinical training at Mt. Sinai Health System and has developed an expertise in the treatment of substance use disorders and underlying mental health symptoms, including depression, anxiety, trauma and personality disorders. She utilizes evidence based treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, motivational interviewing and dialectical behavioral therapy in group, individual and family modalities. Martine's work is highly interactive and driven by a client-centered, solution and strength-based approach. With compassion and dedication, she connects with her clients to collaboratively confront challenges and achieve goals in order to reach one's full potential.