Coalition Staff and Members

Coalition Staff

Joel Torres, CHES, ADAPT Senior Coordinator, is a graduate of Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a Masters in Public and Organizational Relations at Montclair State University. Joel is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) with over six years of experience in community organizing, outreach, advocacy, and grassroots campaigns. He has also worked with municipal health departments and non-profit organizations to bring programs and services to under-served, low-income members of the community.

Along with being ADAPT’s Senior Coordinator, Joel is the community liaison for the Eastern Region of Essex County, which includes Newark, East Orange, Belleville, Bloomfield, Nutley, Glen Ridge, and Montclair. In addition, he sits as a Policy Advisor for ADAPT’s Policy Workgroup, which facilitates the planning and implementation of local- and county-level advocacy campaigns on priority issues. Contact Joel at 973-323-3907 or

Jaclyn Lagasca, CPS, ADAPT Project Coordinator, has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from New Jersey City University and a Masters in Social Work at Rutgers University. Jackie has previously worked with Coalitions, community organizing, and prevention services in Hudson County. She has also been trained by Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and is well-versed in the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) Model used by ADAPT.

Along with being the Project Coordinator, Jaclyn is the community liaison for the Southern Region of Essex County, which includes Orange, Irvington, South Orange, Maplewood, Millburn, and Livingston. In addition, she is the Youth Advisor for ADAPT’s Youth Leadership Workgroup. As the Youth Advisor, Jaclyn works with local youth to develop regional- and county-level Youth Leader groups, plan and implement environmental strategies and awareness campaigns, and create public awareness campaigns to educate the local community. Contact Jaclyn at 973-323-3906 or

Lisa Joseph, ADAPT Regional Organizer, is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Throughout her college career, she served as a peer educator on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness servicing the various student organizations on campus. Lisa previously worked for ADAPT as an intern where she created and administered a prevention program for parents on prescription drug awareness. She is also trained in the nationally recognized program Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (CMCA) to reduce youth access to alcohol by changing community access and practices.

Along with being the Regional Organizer, Lisa is the community liaison for the Western Region of Essex County, which includes, West Orange, Roseland, Essex Fells, Verona, Cedar Grove, Caldwell, North Caldwell, West Caldwell, and Fairfield. In addition, she is the Training Advisor for ADAPT’s Training Workgroup, which provides training’s for Coalition members, local community members, and various stakeholders throughout the county. Contact Lisa at 973-323-3903 or

Victoria Joseph, CHES, ADAPT Prevention Educator, is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Victoria has served as an Alcohol and Drug peer educator for Rutgers’ Health Outreach Promotion and Education department providing information, training, and education to students to help them make informed, responsible decisions regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. She has also served as a youth educator for the Cancer Institute of New Jersey’s Youth Educator Badge Program providing elementary and middle school-aged students with information and education regarding tobacco and cancer. Contact Victoria at 862-438-1862 or

As ADAPT’s Prevention Educator, Victoria works with local partners to decrease prescription drug abuse and misuse in college-aged individuals and the older adult (over 60 years old) population. She also works to educate local vendors to prevent sales of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 19.


Coalition Members

These are just a few of ADAPT’s members throughout Essex County:

Ming Montello, Prevention Specialists at Barnabas Health, Institute for Prevention

Gail Barry, Municipal Alliance Coordinator for Millburn Municipal Alliance Committee

Rosanne Bornstein, Municipal Alliance Coordinator for Verona Municipal Alliance Committee

Daniela Gould, Coordinator for Strengthening Families of Essex (SFOE) Program at Family Connections

John Christadore, Essex County Municipal Alliance Coordinator for the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

Jane Hecht, Municipal Alliance Coordinator for Livingston Municipal Alliance Committee

Carla Helb, BCLPC, SAC, MAC, CART, CSW, private practice in North Caldwell and Student Assistance Counselor at West Orange H.S.

Andy Kafel, Master Probation Officer at New Jersey Probation Services, Essex Juvenile Unit

Amanda Picone, Manager of School Based Programs for Family Connections, Inc.

Susan Ridley, Ph.D., Community Services and Director ofLivingston Youth and Community Services (LYCS)

Robert Roe, Health Officer and Dept. Head for Maplewood Health Department/ Maplewood Municipal Alliance Coordinator

Eric Rowles, CMCA Trainer, Youth Leadership Institute and President, Leading To Change