LISA SCHUMAN, LCSW
Founding Director of The Center for Family Building
LAUREN DONATO, MA, LMHC
Lauren has been helping people live their best lives for fifteen years. Her initial interest in working in the area of fertility treatment came from her own personal journey. Through personal experience, Lauren learned the value of support and guidance during family building. In addition to her graduate degree, Lauren completed a post graduate course in reproductive counseling. She is available for consultation on topics including, but not limited to, fertility treatments, gamate donation, single parent and LGBTQ family building.
CAROLYN BERGER, LCSW
Carolyn has been helping people build families through fertility treatment and adoption for over 25 years. Once her clients become parents, she is available for consultation on issues ranging from disclosing donor or adoption information to young children to coping with the needs of children who have learning differences.
Carolyn provides consultation to fertility clinics, individuals and couples. She counsels people dealing with pregnancy loss through the National Council for Jewish Women.
She is Founding Board Chair of Path2Parenthood and is on the board of Family Equality Council. She is a member of ASRM's Mental Health Professionals Group.
Carolyn is both a biological and an adoptive parent.
ALEXANDRA KARIYANNIS, LMSW
Alexandra values the importance of family and strives to help others cope with the challenges of infertility and/or explore alternative family building options.
Alexandra provides support and guidance to individuals every step of the way, from infertility and pregnancy to parenting support. Within her sessions, Alexandra facilitates a comfortable, non-judgmental environment, where her clients can speak freely about their thoughts, feelings and questions.
Alexandra is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's Mental Health Professional Group. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Social Work from New York University and has extensive experience in child and family therapy.
LORI METZ, LCSW
Lori counsels individuals and couples and provides educational consultations for those building their families through donor conception and surrogacy. She is the author and host of the LIFE (love, insight, fertility and experiences) podcast. Lori runs support groups, workshops, is a fertility advocate, and speaks publicly. She has worked in health care for over twenty years in various settings such as hospitals, home care, health insurance, and patient safety oversight organizations, serving an array of communities.
Her profound understanding of those needing care has allowed her to develop successful strategies for family building journeys. She is currently organizing an initiative to add donor conception and adoption to the medical intake process by replacing the category “other” with donor conception and adoption. The change will encourage more conversations about various forms of family building, take the responsibility of conception off the patient, educate others, and, most importantly, improve health outcomes by reducing unnecessary tests. Lori is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Mental Health Professional Group, RESOLVE the National Infertility Association and a Certified Tele-mental Health Board practitioner.
JEFF LEVIN, LCSW
Jeff is a Clinical Social Worker who has extensive experience in helping intended parents through their family building process. He works with individuals and couples on relationship concerns, preparing for parenthood, and has a specialty in issues specific to the LGBTQ and Jewish community.
Jeff has delivered workshops at family building conferences and worked for many years at New York City's LGBT Community Center where he ran programs for families and created programming for the Center's annual Expo.
Jeff has a Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and is currently participating in post-graduate training in clinical work with couples from the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy.
JENNIFER "JAY" PALUMBO
Jay serves as the Communications Director at The Center for Family Building. She is an award-winning blogger and writer who has been featured in ScaryMommy, Time Magazine, the Huffington Post, multiple websites and online magazines covering topics such as infertility, women's health, pregnancy, dating, parenting, being the parent of an autistic child, fertility treatments and more. As an infertility subject matter expert and women's health advocate, she has been asked to speak at several conferences (CCW, New England Resolve, etc.), and has been interviewed on news outlets such as CNN, NPR, FOX, NBC and BBC.
She currently provides a portfolio of businesses, organizations and individuals with online content, social media, and marketing strategies. She also volunteers for various organizations including the Alliance for Fertility Preservation, Resolve, the National Infertility Association, March of Dimes and Gilda's Club. She is very excited to support Lisa and The Center for Family Building's overall objective's in helping others build families.
Sheila serves as the Community Manager at The Center for Family Building. Sheila had a six-year unexplained infertility journey that involved fertility treatment and loss. A week after her forty-seventh birthday, she welcomed her rainbow daughter into the world, who was conceived using a donor egg. Sheila now supports the TTC and loss community through her This is fertility book series - a collection of real-life short stories, straight from the heart, about the emotional realities of infertility, fertility treatments and loss.