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Larry Berkowitz

© Ellen Shub 2012 all other rights reserved

Larry Berkowitz, EdD


Larry is the Co-Founder of Riverside Trauma Center. He has provided direct therapeutic services for over 20 years, supervised for over 15 years, and managed an outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment center for 12 years. His clinical areas of expertise include work with children, adolescents, adults, and families who are trauma survivors and/or suicide survivors. He coordinates and provides trauma response and post-suicide intervention for individuals, schools, workplaces, and communities, and he conducts trainings on suicide prevention. Larry holds a doctoral degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed Psychologist in Massachusetts. He serves as the Co-Chair of the Northeast Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention.

Language:  English

Joanna Hooper

Joanna Bridger, LICSW

Clinical Services Director

Joanna has worked with youth, families, adults, and communities that have experienced traumas in a wide range of settings in the U.S. and abroad for more than 15 years.  In addition to responding to community disasters and providing trainings for the community on trauma, resilience, trauma-informed care, and suicide prevention and postvention, she is also responsible for coordinating Riverside Trauma Center's Trauma and Loss Counseling program. Joanna has an MSW from the University of Michigan with a concentration in Health, and a Certificate in Traumatic Stress Studies from the Trauma Center at JRI. She has training in a range of trauma and loss specific therapeutic modalities.

Languages:  English and Spanish

Sarah Gaer

Sarah Gaer, MA

Suicide Prevention Specialist

Sarah Gaer began working in human services in 1998 in adolescent residential programming. Over the years, she has also worked in the fields of substance abuse, mental illness, developmental disabilities, and forensics. Sarah functioned as both an outpatient and crisis clinician in Springfield, MA. Her clinical interests are concentrated in trauma treatment of Vietnam-era veterans and returning combat veterans as well as women survivors of childhood sexual trauma. She was a Team Leader for the trauma team that responded to the June 1st tornado in Western and Central Massachusetts through a FEMA grant managed by Riverside. As a member of the Trauma Response Team in Western Massachusetts, Sarah responded to natural disasters, homicides, and suicides within the community. She joins Riverside Trauma Center as a Suicide Prevention Specialist with a specific focus on developing initiatives for suicide prevention related to middle-aged men, and will be an active member of the trauma response and community training teams. Sarah is a Master's level clinician and graduate of Antioch New England University. She is trained in Psychological First Aid, Skills for Psychological Recovery, and Rainbow Dance (a program for trauma response with young children).

Language:  English

Jenny Huynh

Jenny Huynh, LMHC

Operations Manager

Since 2004, Jenny has been providing individual and family therapy services in various outreach settings such as homes, schools, parks, grocery stores, and public libraries. She started working at Riverside Community Care in 2008 as a home-based family therapist for Riverside Alternative Youth Service—a town funded home-based family services program. Her position evolved as the program grew and she took on the role of intake coordinator and on-call supervisor. Jenny’s wide range of skills makes her indispensable to Riverside Trauma Center as she develops and manages fiscal systems; implements methods to improve daily productivity, efficiency, and organization; and supports the work of our staff by assisting with trainings, screenings, research and resource development, and critical incident responses. Jenny has a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Suffolk University.

Language:  English

Jim McCauley

James McCauley, LICSW

Associate Director

Jim is the Co-Founder of Riverside Trauma Center, and has extensive experience providing therapy to children, adolescents, and adults. He has managed outpatient mental health clinics and programs for children for more than 20 years. Jim provides support services for those affected by traumatic events, and he has consulted with numerous schools and communities in Massachusetts on trauma responses. He gives consultation and training on postvention services, suicide clusters, and suicide prevention coalitions. He has presented at several statewide and national conferences on these topics. Jim is a graduate of the Boston University School of Social Work, and is trained to conduct psychological autopsy investigations. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology Department at Suffolk University. He is also an Army veteran and has a special interest in services for returning vets. Jim is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).


Languages:  English, American Sign Language

Waheeda Saif

Waheeda Saif, LMHC

Program Coordinator

Waheeda's clinical focus is working with young children and adolescent survivors of abuse as well as adult survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. In addition to providing support services out in the field in response to traumatic events, she is responsible for organizing teams of licensed mental health clinicians as needed to deliver outreach support after traumatic events that have a widespread impact. She conducts trainings on suicide prevention and postvention for people who work with youth and the elderly. She has acted as a Guardian ad Litem for the Florida court system by protecting the rights and advocating for the best interests of children who were part of a court proceeding. She graduated with a degree in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College. Waheeda is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Languages:  Urdu/Hindi, English



Riverside Trauma Center is a service of Riverside Community Care, which is here to make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities in Massachusetts by delivering compassionate, locally-based, integrated behavioral healthcare and human services. Since the 1990s, Riverside Community Care has also helped Massachusetts communities deal with the emotional aftermath of traumatic events. In 2006, Riverside received funding from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health to establish the Riverside Trauma Center. Its mission:  to provide trauma response services to the cities and towns in its core service areas in Eastern and Central Massachusetts. In November 2007, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health gave funds to expand the Suicide Prevention program statewide (with the exception of Boston).

Some of the early community incidents at which we provided services include:

  • The fatal workplace shootings at Edgewater Technologies in Wakefield, MA in December 2000
  • The 2001 bus crash that took the lives of four students from the Oak Hill Middle School in Newton, MA
  • At Logan Airport following the September 11th attacks, assisting the Red Cross in supporting airport employees and the families of passengers on the ill-fated planes that left from Logan Airport


Click Here for a Timeline of the Trauma Center's History


The Riverside-Massachusetts Trauma Response Network

The Riverside-Massachusetts Trauma Response Network was created to help expand the ability to respond to disasters and traumatic events throughout the state of Massachusetts. It uses a mutual intervention model, with Riverside Trauma Center staff training the staff members at new partners to help them develop locally-based response teams. This statewide trauma response network currently includes six agencies:  South Shore Mental Health (Southeastern Massachusetts), Advocates, Inc. (Marlborough- Framingham area), Behavioral Health Network (Springfield), The Bridge of Central Massachusetts (Worcester), the Brien Center (Berkshire County), and Community Counseling of Bristol County. Further partnerships are in development to extend our work around the state.


Riverside Trauma Center
24-hour Crisis Response Line


Riverside Trauma Center is a service of Riverside Community Care, a non-profit organization. Services are primarily funded through the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, donations, and grants. All contributions are welcome and appreciated. Some services may require a fee.


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255 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA 02494
Telephone:  781-433-0672

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