Continuum of Care, Inc.’s mission is to enable people who are challenged with mental illness, intellectual disability, and/or co-occurring substance use disorder, to rebuild a meaningful life and thrive in the community.
Patti Walker, MSW
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Walker has been the lead executive at Continuum of Care, Inc. for 40 years. During her tenure she has directed the development of the Agency into an integrated provider of residential services for persons with mental illness. These services encompass a wide array of programs designed to meet the acute needs of the individuals as well as provide residential support programs and case management services. This growth is evidenced by the development of over 40 statewide residences operated by the Agency with more than 750 persons employed to service individuals with disabilities.
During the most recent decade, Ms. Walker led the Agency in developing programs for dually diagnosed clients – persons suffering from mental illness and intellectual disabilities. Under her direction, specialized services for persons with autism have become a major focus for the Agency.
Ms. Walker holds a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University. She began her career in the human service field working with intellectually disabled individuals in both the residential and vocational setting. Ms. Walker serves on the Community Services Network Leadership Group of the Connecticut Mental Health Center and served for many years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Regional Mental Health Board servicing the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation.
James Farrales, LCSW, ACSW
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Farrales has been serving on the executive management team of Continuum of Care for the last 24 years. Key to his role at Continuum is the clinical and programmatic support of the staff for all of the Agency’s mental health programs. Mr. Farrales has successfully secured many grants that have led to new programs contributing to the expansion of the Agency's services. He has also developed Continuum's Quality Improvement program, Medicaid Rehabilitation Options (MRO) initiative, Medicaid Waiver programs, Corporate/HIPAA Compliance, and staff development and training programs. Under Mr. Farrales’ strategic leadership, the Agency has developed a comprehensive program hiring persons in recovery who use their own lived experience to help others through internship and training opportunities leading to a career in human services.
Mr. Farrales has a long history of working collaboratively within a network of agencies in the behavioral health sector. He is a current member of the Greater New Haven Coordinated Access Network (CAN) Task Force, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) of the United Way of Greater New Haven, and the Advisory Board of the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project. He has served as co-chair of the Greater New Haven Regional Alliance to End Homelessness, co-chair of Greater New Haven Opening Doors, as well as chairperson of EFSP.
Mr. Farrales is committed to professional development of the Agency’s employees and has supported Continuum’s active role in providing the ideal field placement for many of the area’s universities and colleges. Many bachelors and postgraduate students intern in the Agency's programs to fulfill their academic programs. These interns contribute a great deal of professional expertise as they enhance the quality of Continuum’s services. Mr. Farrales holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor's in Public Health. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.
Angela R. Westwood, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Westwood is the newest member of the Continuum leadership team. Prior to joining Continuum, Ms. Westwood held similar leadership positions in three area not for profits over the last 30 years. During her career she has worked tirelessly to develop affordable housing in the state, and consulted with various non-profits to help programs stabilize their operations. She has had the privilege of working with some of the most committed mission driven non-profits specifically around homelessness and basic needs. She is pleased to continue her work on these issues with the dedicated staff of Continuum.
While at Continuum, Ms. Westwood lends her talents and expertise to many areas, including Strategic Planning, Financial Analysis, Policy Development and Deployment, and Problem Resolution. Her evaluation and advice on the impact of long range planning, introduction of new programs/strategies and regulatory action, allows her to participate in the development of the organization's plans and programs as a strategic partner. Through her involvement with leadership and the Board of Directors, Ms. Westwood provides strategic financial input and leadership on decision making issues affecting the organization. She and her team have reviewed and updated policies and procedures, and have put new processes that improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the organization into action.
Ms. Westwood's passion for issues of poverty have led her to work with incredible state and national leaders, specifically on the issue of basic needs. She is the past Board Chair of The Diaper Bank of Connecticut and a former volunteer with the National Diaper Bank Network.
John Cahill, MD, PhD
Chief of Behavioral Health
Dr. John Cahill has 15 years of experience in community psychiatry across both the UK and US healthcare systems. He is interested in designing and implementing person-centered systems of care for individuals dealing with severe and persistent mental illness. Care in minimally restrictive environments and with minimum effective medication dosing. Coming from a bi-cultural and immigrant background, he strives to approach his work from a place of cultural humility and respect for lived experience.
John completed his residency at Yale, followed by fellowship training in advanced psychopharmacology and psychotic disorders. He has a PhD in translational methods in psychiatry and experience in health informatics, which he applies to his work in building Learning Healthcare Systems. He is board certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine and teaches at the Yale School of Medicine and School of Nursing.
Detrie M. Antunes, MS
Vice President of Human Resources
Ms. Antunes has been employed with Continuum of Care, Inc. since 2003 and has over 25 years of experience in Human Resources Management. She provides strategic consulting to Continuum’s executive management team and works to create and recruit a diverse workforce by ensuring compliance with the Connecticut Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, in addition adhering to state and federal labor laws. She works to promote a healthy work environment by ensuring the organizational mission is upheld by providing effective communication throughout the agency.
Ms. Antunes is responsible for the oversight of the Human Resources and Payroll Departments which employ over 750 employees. She manages the Payroll Department by ensuring controls are in place to produce accurate payroll and timely submission on a bi-weekly basis. She is the liaison to labor counsel and ensures the monitoring and implementing of applicable human resource federal and state requirements, conducts investigations and mandatory trainings, maintains records, and represents the organization at hearings. She is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and a graduate of Dale Carnegie’s Leadership Management Program. Ms. Antunes holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resource and Organizational Management.
Monica O'Connor, MBA
Vice President of Facilities Management
Ms. O'Connor has been employed at Continuum of Care, Inc. for 18 years. She is responsible for the maintenance oversight of Continuum’s 40 residential and 2 commercial properties. She is the agency liaison for all development projects such as property searches, new construction, and HUD developments. Ms. O'Connor works collaboratively with multiple city and town departments such as Public Health, Livable Cities Initiative, and Fire Marshall Departments.
Ms. O'Connor is responsible for the oversight of the Continuum Facilities Management (CFM) work crew, an innovative program that provides Continuum residents with employment opportunities and training while assisting the Agency in maintaining its properties and/or programs. Under Ms. O'Connor's management, CFM has been able to expand its services to other local not-for-profits by providing landscaping and moving services.
Deborah Cox, MS
Vice President of Fund Development and Marketing Communications
Ms. Cox has been with Continuum of Care since 2015 and continuously works on strengthening Continuum's brand and positive identity in the community to strategically market and raise awareness about Continuum’s compelling mission and uniquely comprehensive services. She works to raise significant funds to help support and expand the organization’s services so that more individuals may be helped, stabilized, and diverted from homelessness, institutionalization or hospitalization and live in the community.
Ms. Cox has more than 30 years of diverse management experience. Immediately prior to joining Continuum, she served as the Director of Development and Community Relations at St. Vincent’s Hospital. She has also worked at Xerox, Pitney Bowes, Dun and Bradstreet, and has served as the Director of Economic Development for the Town of Trumbull. In addition, Ms. Cox owned a management consulting business where she helped organizations develop and implement strategic plans and enhance their team and leadership capacity.
Ms. Cox holds a Master’s Degree in Organization and Management, with a specialization in leadership. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is past President of the Trumbull Rotary Club.
David Ostrom, LCSW
Vice President of Quality Improvement, Clients’ Rights and Corporate Compliance Officer
Mr. Ostrom joined Continuum of Care in 2011 as the Director of Quality Improvement and became Vice President in 2016. His department ensures Continuum’s programs maintain high quality-based standards following the Agency’s mission while offering a sense of respect and dignity to the people Continuum serves. The Quality Improvement department has a robust internal quality system that assesses the appearance and environment of Continuum homes, reviews the level of care and support provided to persons served, addresses areas in which the Agency needs to improve, ensures contract and compliance targets are met, and provides a variety of in-person and web-based education and training resources for all direct care and administrative employees.
Under Mr. Ostrom’s leadership, Continuum’s Mental Health Services (MHS) programs successfully received their first three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in 2012 and have maintained such accreditation to date.
Mr. Ostrom also serves as the Agency Clients’ Rights Officer co-chairing the Resident Advisory Council and visiting programs to speak with residents about their needs and aspirations and how Continuum may support them in achieving their ambitions to enhance the lives of each resident.
Mr. Ostrom has over 20 years of experience with working with and advocating for people with mental illness. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. He is currently a CARF surveyor, and served in the past as a surveyor with Clubhouse International and as a member of the Northwest Regional Mental Health Board.
Gretchen Richardson, LCSW
Vice President of Clinical and Program Operations
Ms. Richardson has worked for Continuum for over 20 years. She directly oversees three Mental Health Services divisions for programs that require specialized funding: Young Adult Services, Mental Health Waiver, and Long-Term Services. Much of her role requires that she develop new programs and find diversified payer sources for sustainable revenue. Additionally, she works with client families to create individualized care plans. Ms. Richardson also helps hospital patients further recover and rebuild their lives by moving them from hospital care to Continuum programs when there are openings.
Ms. Richardson got her start in developing programs for Continuum in her initial role as director of the Crisis and Respite program. While there, she helped to establish Continuum’s Connecticut Offender Re-entry Program (CORP) and the Housing Resource Coordination program, shaping the Crisis programs into what they are now. She also guided the expansion of Young Adult Services, the evolution of Long-Term Services from a one-person consultation to 7 houses, and the growth of Mental Health Waiver to a nearly $2 million program.
Ms. Richardson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her Bachelor’s in psychology, with a concentration in sociology, and her Master of Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and on the Football Board of Directors for the Wallingford Vikings youth football league.
John Labieniec, LCSW
Vice President of Acute and Forensic Services
Mr. Labieniec has been working for Continuum of Care's Acute and Forensic Services since January of 2004. He now oversees the growing division which has expanded from New Haven into Bridgeport and Norwalk. The Crisis programs have become a critical necessity in their communities and have grown a reputation of excellence in serving the most vulnerable and at risk populations. Mr. Labieniec's commitment to recovery, client centered care and collaboration has developed a model of care that has now gained recognition across the state.
Under Mr. Labieniec's leadership, the crisis program model has expanded into working with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Commercial Insurance. He has also helped to develop and expand the Forensic Division into a multilayered continuum which now services clients state wide.
Mr. Labieniec is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds a Bachelors in Sociology and an Associates in Criminal Justice. He continues to be an advocate and a voice for those who are often stigmatized and forgotten. In the spirit of no longer being anonymous, he is a living example of long term recovery and change.