Meet our Benefits Counseling Team

Meet Our Benefits Counseling Team


 

BForsythe

Brian Forsythe, B.A., Senior Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) 

Brian Forsythe earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Lowell. He was certified as a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) in 2001 by Virginia Commonwealth University and is a certified Tilting at Windmills trainer.

Prior to his current role, Mr. Forsythe’s background includes nearly 30 years of experience in all aspects of vocational rehabilitation and special education including a Special Needs Teacher at Bay State Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Facility in Billerica, MA, and supervisor, supported-work counselor, vocational evaluator, job placement coordinator and program marketing specialist for the Merrimack Valley Goodwill Industry in Lowell, Mass.

Mr. Forsythe worked for 11 years as a Regional Coordinator for Resource Partnership, an organization responsible for the placement of qualified job candidates with disabilities into competitive employment. He conducted job seeking skills workshops, and provided ongoing support to Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission job club members. Under the direction of an Employer Advisory Committee, he outreached and developed job postings from area employers. Additionally, Mr. Forsythe provided a wide range of in-house training programs for local employers, including but not limited to “Tilting a Windmills” which is a nationally recognized disability awareness training program. In addition, he consulted with local employers on issues of hiring, promoting, and retaining employees with disabilities and the interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2001, Mr. Forsythe was originally certified as a Benefits Specialist, now known as a Community Work Incentives Coordinator, under a grant from the Social Security Administration. He worked as a Benefits Specialist for seven years prior to joining UMass Medical School.

Contact Information:

Brian Forsythe, CWIC
Phone: (508) 856-2513
Fax: (508) 856-6607

Brian.Forsythe@umassmed.edu

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 BLee

Barbara Lee, B.S., Senior Community Partner Work Incentives Coordinator (CPWIC)

Barbara Lee earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Boston University. She was certified as a Community Work Incentives Coordinator in 2007 by Virginia Commonwealth University and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Spina Bifida Association of Massachusetts.

Ms. Lee brings extensive experience to her current role as a Senior CWIC at UMass Medical School’s Center for Health Policy and Research. Prior to her current role, Ms. Lee’s background includes over 15 years working for human services organizations where she has served in a myriad of roles including benefits and career counseling, information and referral services, and conference planning and execution.

Prior to her employment at UMass Medical School, Ms. Lee worked at Resource Partnership, an organization that assisted people with disabilities with their job search and transition to employment. In that capacity, Ms. Lee worked with individuals at various provider agencies including the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and One-Stop Career Centers. She received her certification in Work Incentives Planning and Assistance while at Resource Partnership.

Prior to working at Resource Partnership, Ms. Lee worked as an Administrator for RESOLVE, a National HelpLine located in Somerville, Massachusetts that provides information and referral to couples seeking fertility specialists and answers to medical questions related to infertility treatments and options. In that capacity Ms. Lee’s responsibilities included consumer education and support services, and training and recruitment of HelpLine staff and volunteers. She also coordinated and administered the member-to-member contact system for consumers, online chats, and writing and revising guidelines for host and moderator. She was also instrumental in the planning and implementation of all national events for the organization.

Contact Information:
Barbara Lee, Sr. CPWIC
Phone: (508) 856-2659
Fax: (508) 856-6607

Barbara.Lee@umassmed.edu

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MLongo

Marjorie Longo, B.S., Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC)

Marjorie Longo earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Special and Elementary Education from Wheelock College. She was fully certified as a Community Work Incentives Co ordinator (CWIC) by Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014.

Prior to her employment at UMass Medical School, Ms. Longo’s background features a wealth of experience in Program Directorship, Special Education, Retail Management, and in Vocational/Educational Counseling.

For the past fifteen years and functioning in many different rolls within Riverside Community Care, Ms. Longo has been dedicated to assisting the employment and educational needs of persons with severe and persistent mental illness. As an employee of Riverside Career Services she ultimately achieved the position of Program Director. In this capacity she collaborated with various provider agencies including the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, One-Stop Career Centers, the Department of Developmental Services, as well as other institutions and agencies. Ms. Longo has provided ongoing assistance to individuals, employers, partner providers and educational institutions – not only upholding program integrity but honoring client choices as an integral part of her services.

Contact Information:
Marjorie Longo, CWIC
Phone: (508) 856-8585
Fax: (508) 856-6607

Marjorie.Longo@umassmed.edu

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WSianoWinnie Siano, Community Work Insentives Coordinator (CWIC)

Winifred Siano attended Elms College with a concentration in Paralegal studies. She was certified as a Community Work Incentives Coordinator in 2014 by Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ms. Siano’s background features extensive experience in Mental Health, Job Development and Advocacy. She has over 10 years’ experience working in mental health in both an inpatient setting, as well as a Clubhouse environment. As an Employment Specialist at Tradewinds Clubhouse in Southbridge, MA (a program of Human Resources Unlimited), she worked closely with community employers and members to find the right employment match. As a result, the employers gained dedicated, dependable employees -- and the members experienced job satisfaction and longevity, as well as the joy of being valued.

Ms. Siano’s advocacy has led the way in:

  • Proposing a photo I.D. fee waiver for persons with disabilities seeking employment
  • Coordinating a successful job fair held at the clubhouse where employers from the community participated and as a result, several members were hired.
  • The development of the Southbridge Employment Collaborative where many programs in the area united, built relationships and together addressed the community’s employment obstacles.
  • Transportation initiatives by participating as a member of the WRTA Regional Planning Commission and addressing the transportation barriers encountered by many disabled job seekers. Consequently, public transportation hours in the area were extended.
  • Peer events where members encouraged other members in their pursuit of employment with in-depth Q&A.

Ms. Siano desires through her role as a CWIC to help persons with disabilities view the complex world of their Social Security benefits with a better understanding that work is definitely possible.

Contact Information:
Winifred Siano, CWIC
Phone: (508) 856-8349
Fax: (508) 856-6607

Winifred.Siano@umassmed.edu

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Stephanie Major

 

Stephanie Major, Data Entry Clerk II 

Stephanie Major is the primary administrative support person for the Work Without Limits Benefits Counseling and the Administrative Employment Network Teams. Stephanie also provides administrative support to the Massachusetts Area Health Education Center (AHEC) department. 

Contact Information:

Stephanie.Major@umassmed.edu

 

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