Mr. Zoellner is the Managing Attorney of Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities (P&A), a state-wide non-profit organization. P&A provides no cost legal representation and advocacy for individuals with disabilities when their disability rights have been violated. South Carolina law authorizes P&A to monitor public and private facilities to protect individuals with disabilities from abuse and neglect. Mr. Zoellner has been an attorney with P&A since 1994. Previously, he worked in a private law firm in Charleston for two years and was in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, US Navy, for twenty years. He received his BA with distinction (economics) from the University of Michigan, where he was selected to the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. He graduated, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School.
Martha Gomez, LMSW
Ms. Gomez is a license master’s level social worker and the therapist for the VOCA HOPE Project at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). She completed her undergraduate coursework at the Limestone College on December 2013 and her Master of Social Work from the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina in May 2017. Ms. Gomez completed her generalist practice internship at the Project Rex at MUSC Department of Psychiatry and her advanced practice internship at the MUSC NCVC. Ms. Gomez has been trained in evidence-based treatment of trauma related mental health issues. Ms. Gomez worked as a Bilingual Patient Navigator for the MUSC Children’s Care Clinic for 12 years; assisting families and providers to communicate and problem solve situations for the benefit of their children. Ms. Gomez worked at MUSC Hospital for 9 years as a Spanish Medical Interpreter.
Jocelyn Ross has been married to Akil for 16 years and is a proud mother of Alyssa (10) and AJ (6). At birth, Alyssa failed the newborn hearing screening and follow up tests confirmed her hearing loss. Alyssa had a progressive hearing loss which started with amplification using hearing aids and continued with cochlear implants. We researched resources and services to help her gain access to hearing so she could speak and learn. Unfortunately, we learned hearing aids are not covered by insurance and these costs can prohibit families from obtaining vital devices. As a result, I founded Let South Carolina Hear to advocate for families in the deaf and hard of hearing community. Our mission is to secure legislation to require insurance to cover the cost of hearing aids. When a need is identified it’s important we as a community support each other. Being a part of SC Hands & Voices is another avenue to help families receive resources and support for all children.
Marcella S. Forrest is married to Mike Forrest and they are proud parents to two beautiful daughters Rachel and Abigail. Rachel (20) is a junior at USC - Upstate and Abigail (14) a 8th grader at TWO Academies located on the campus of Dent Middle School. Abigail failed the newborn hearing screening in one ear at birth and subsequently passed at the follow-up appointment. At her 18-month check-up she missed a couple of milestones and was recommended for further assessments. After numerous assessments and appointments, she was diagnosed for a bi-lateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss and auditory neuropathy. She was fitted with bi-lateral hearing aids and then later cochlear implants. Early in our journey we received support from other families and the HITCH-UP support group in the Rock Hill area. As a result my passion to empower and support individuals and families with D/deaf and hard of hearing children grew. Being a part of SC Hands & Voices is our way of giving back and helping other families advocate for themselves. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Marcella is currently employed with the SC Dept. of Commerce.
Dr. Kate Chappell, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC
Dr. Kate K. Chappell is a Clinical Associate Professor with The University of South Carolina College of Nursing. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing and a Ph.D. in nursing science. As a pediatric nurse practitioner, her clinical faculty role focuses on child maltreatment, including physical exams, multi-disciplinary coordination, and providing trainings for family and individual human service providers, law enforcement, and child protection. Her research foci include sexual abuse prevention, experiential learning addressing health equity, and addressing risk for adverse childhood experiences among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her teaching experience extends across bachelor’s and master’s nursing courses, with a focus on pediatrics. She is a Cockcroft Leadership Fellow, a S.C. Nurses Foundation Palmetto Gold recipient, and a NAPNAP Fellow.
Amy Moseley, MA
Amy Moseley coordinates the activities of the South Carolina Child Well-Being Coalition and manages the oversight of the community coalition and parent advisory work of the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grant and the Empower Action Community Framework for Children’s Trust of South Carolina. She has a bachelor’s degree in counseling and Bible from Southern Methodist College and a master’s degree in counseling from Trevecca Nazerene University. Amy has served children and families in South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee through direct service and program management in the fields of foster care, sexual assault, disability and maternal-infant health. Amy is a certified trainer in protective factors through the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds, and an ACE Interface Master Trainer.
Karen van Bakergem, LMSW
Karen van Bakergem completed her bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Furman University. She received her master’s degree in social work with a focus on micro-social work from the University of South Carolina. Ms. van Bakergem was employed at the Department of Social Services, with Child Protective Services and Charleston/Dorchester Community Mental Health prior to coming to the Medical University of South Carolina. She has particular expertise in neurodevelopmental disabilities. She assisted in the development of a treatment manual for a cognitive-behavioral intervention targeted towards youth with epilepsy and their parents. Ms. van Bakergem also participated in the intervention as a therapist for the parent group. She is a field instructor for the College of Social Work. She has published manuscripts in the areas of school health programs and the cognitive-behavioral interventions for youth with epilepsy and their parents.
Kesha Graham, LISW-CP, ACM-SW, NHDP-BC
Kesha Wall Graham, a North Carolina native, graduated cum laude earning a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), and a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of South Carolina (Advanced Standing). She is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Accredited Case Manager with over 16 years social work experience. Kesha has worked extensively in the field of geriatrics and gerontology (in long term care facilities and mental health) a large emphasis of her career was in the field of hospice care. She currently works as the Manager of Social Work in the Case Management and Care Transitions Dept. Prior to her promotion she has worked as a medical social worker at MUSC in the Adult intensive care units and on the Gynecology/Oncology, ENT and Urology service lines and as an Adult Outpatient Bone Marrow Transplant social worker.
Elizabeth Evans, LISW-CP
20 years of experience of therapy with children and families, with 10 years in private practice in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Elizabethworked as; a certified elementary school social worker, at MUSC outpatient as a Psychotherapist/Clinical Social Worker, community college teaching in partnership with community agencies to support TANF/welfare-to-work initiatives, juvenile court, advanced training for South Carolina forensic interviewing with the Children’s Law Firm, group homes/residential facilities psychotherapy and is presently a full time social worker with MUSC STAR children’s day treatment program, and additionally the sole owner of my 2 private practice corporate locations in the greater Charleston area. Therapeutic Counseling South Carolina, Inc. is an all-female team of fully licensed Therapists (licensed professional counselors, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and herself as LISW-CP), with many clinical backgrounds. In Fall 2019 Elizabeth served as the South Carolina State Captain in Washington D.C. for the National Council for Behavioral Health Hill Day, and met with Senators and Congressmen from South Carolina to support the needs of our state for mental health advocacy at the federal policy level.