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People Counseling Agency is a not for profit community based counseling program servicing Bethpage and the surrounding communities. The program is an out patient facility specializing in Substance Abuse Treatment & Prevention and Family and Children Services.





Mission Statement & History

PEOPLE (B.A.D.A. Inc.) is a community based counseling center specializing in chemical dependency treatment and prevention and family/children's services. The agency was founded in 1971 by a neighborhood coalition which called itself "Bethpage Against Drug Abuse", or B.A.D.A. An initial grant was obtained from the Nassau County Department of Drug and Alcohol Addiction for the provision of a program of services to deal with existing and potential substance abuse/misuse. The acronym B.A.D.A. was changed to stand for the "Bethpage Adolescent Development Association" in 1973 because it was felt that it had a more positive connotation. As the need for services among all age groups became known, the agency became known by the appellation "PEOPLE", so as not to discourage use of our services by adults and families.

Our history demonstrates a steadfast commitment to the problems and needs of the community.  Through supportive care, training, guidance, therapy, and education, we focus to discourage and prevent substance abuse, delinquency, academic failure, school dropouts, depression, anxiety, and to provide counseling to those experiencing difficult life situations.

Our services are offered regardless of race, creed, color, sex, or national origin and seek to provide a holistic approach through cooperation with and referral to schools, vocational agencies, probation and family court, inpatient drug treatment facilities, and other community agencies and service groups. In return, we receive referrals from these sources, which in addition to those gathered from former clients, their family and friends, and community advertising, make up our client base.

We are a community program governed by local residents and working cooperatively with various community systems, including the Bethpage School District, PTA's, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, and others. It is crucial that there be strong ties between the agency and the community, with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors playing an influential role in maintaining these ties. The increasing quality and effectiveness of the agency's services throughout the years has been dependent upon its relationship with the community and have continued to strengthen that relationship.

People’s major source of funding is a contract for substance abuse treatment from the Nassau County Department of Drug and Alcohol Addiction (NCDDAA). This money comes to the NCDDAA through the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). We are also licensed by OASAS to provide chemical dependency treatment and prevention.

Our second largest source of funding is through the Town of Oyster Bay (TOBAY) Department of Intergovernmental Affairs. This funding is targeted to be used to provide services to low to moderate-income families and children. This is a federal grant filtered through the town.

Finally, we a receive a small grant from the state filtered through the Town of Oyster Bay's Division For Youth (DFY).

Our "third-party" funds, which are funds that we must generate in order to meet our budgetary demands, come from client fees, donations, contributions, and fund raising.

The People of PEOPLE

The Board Of Directors

The Board Of Directors is the governing body of B.A.D.A. Incorporate. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that the standards of practice are being followed in accordance to State and local regulations and internal policy and procedures. They are responsible for the fiscal solvency of the agency by approving and overseeing the budget. The Board’s responsibilities include attending monthly board meetings, representing the agency within the community, and being involved in agency functions. The following are the current Board members.

Richard Furrey - Mr. Furrey is a registered pharmacist who holds a B.S. in Pharmacy from St. John's University. Mr. Furrey is a past President of the Bethpage Rotary Club and an honorary member of the Bethpage Chamber of Commerce. He is a registered pharmacist at CVS in Bethpage and a lifelong Bethpage resident.

Phillip O'Connell - Mr. O'Connell is a twenty-year veteran of the Army serving in Korea and Vietnam. He is a retired employee of LILCO. He has lived in Bethpage for over forty years and served as a board member for over twenty years.

Frank D’Andria - Mr. D’Andria is a resident of Bethpage for over forty years and was one of the charter officers when PEOPLE (B.A.D.A.) was established in 1971. Mr. D’Andria is a former Assistant Vice President of Hempstead Bank from 1966-79 and was President of the Bethpage Rotary Club in 1971-1972.

Teri Catapano Black - Mrs. Black is a life long resident of Bethpage and owner/broker of Century 21 Metro Realty in town. She is a licensed real estate broker, holds a Masters of Science Degree in Education for the Deaf, fluent in sign language ,and taught for several years at Mill Neck Manor School. Mrs. Black is currently a member of the Bethpage Rotary Club and President of the Bethpage Community Council.

Carole Ann Catapano - Carole Ann is a active community member and currently serves as a board member and recording secretary for the Bethpage Chamber of Commerce. She is the recording secretary for the Nassau Council Chamber of Commerce and holds the office of Vice President of the Bethpage Community Council. Carole Ann is owner/broker of Century 21 Metro Realty and resides in Bethpage with her family.

Paul Hoffman - Mr. Hoffman has been working in the criminal justice and social services field for a total of more than twenty-eight years. He worked for three-and-a-half years for the NYC Department of Social Services as a caseworker at various jobs including working with substance abusers and child protection services. He has since worked in law enforcement. Since moving to Bethpage in the early 1980's, Mr. Hoffman has been active in community affairs such as the Bethpage Baseball Association, Boy Scouts, Bethpage Community Council, and with PEOPLE.

Dennis Tommasulo - Mr. Tommasulo holds a B.S. in Accounting from the State University of New York College at Old Westbury, and an M.S. in Taxation from Long Island University - C.W. Post campus. Mr. Tommasulo previously held the title of Fiscal Coordinator of Substance Abuse Services for the Nassau County Department of Drug and Alcohol Addiction. Currently, he is developing his own consulting practice.

Matt Silver - Mr. Silver has been active in the limousine industry for over fifteen years and is currently the President of Ultimate Class Limousine and Executive Vice President of the Nassau Suffolk Limousine Association. Mr. Silver is a founding member and a Director on the Board of the Bethpage Chamber of Commerce. The Arthritis Foundation of Long Island is proud to have Mr. Silver on their Board of Directors. Mr. Silver was honored in 1995 as businessperson of the year by the Nassau Council Chambers of Commerce.

The Staff

The clinical staff members are comprised of trained professionals and who specialize in the addictions and family and children services. They are New York State certified social workers and substance abuse counselors.

Bryant Kaplan, CSW, CASAC - Mr. Kaplan has been in the field of drug and alcohol abuse since 1979. In 1984, Mr. Kaplan worked for the Queensboro Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, where he worked extensively in family therapy with abused children. Mr. Kaplan received his Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University in 1985, and has been the Executive Director of PEOPLE since 1989.

Fred Lippman, CSW - Mr. Lippman graduated from Stony Brook with a Masters Degree in Social Welfare in 1987. He has been with PEOPLE since 1987 and has been Program Director since 1992.

Meryl Leff, CSW, CASAC - Ms. Leff has been a substance abuse therapist and family counseling specialist since her graduation from Adelphi University in 1994. In addition to her CSW, Ms. Leff has an MS in Elementary Education and has had seven years of inner city teaching experience.

Colleen LaGreca, CSW - Ms. LaGreca received her Masters Degree in Social Work from Stony Brook in 1987. She became an addiction specialist from Adelphi University. Ms. LaGreca has worked for PEOPLE since 1992.

Eileen Varley - Mrs. Varley has been the secretary of PEOPLE since 1988. Her prior secretarial experience was with a Manhattan law firm and the Sperry Gyroscope Company in Lake Success.

Laraine QuinciMs. Quinci has been the bookkeeper at PEOPLE since 1988 and had fifteen years of prior experience in the field.

William Cushman, CSWMr. Cushman is a CSW and has been employed at PEOPLE since 1992, after completing his internship there. Mr. Cushman is currently employed full time by the Mental Health Association of Nassau County as their Program Manager of Community Living and Director of Development.

Lauryn Brady, MSW - Ms. Brady began working for PEOPLE in July 1995 after completing her graduate internship with us. She has a MSW from Adelphi University.

Stephanie Epstein, MS - Ms. Epstein graduated from C.W. Post with a Masters Degree in Counseling and Development and is a board certified counselor. She is currently employed as a chemical dependency counselor at Huntington Youth Bureau and is a staff therapist/HIV Coordinator at PEOPLE.

Irene Philips, MS - Ms. Philips graduated from CW Post with a Master Degree in Mental Health Counseling. She recently went back to school and became a certified NY State Guidance Counselor. and is employed as a Kindergarten teacher for a private school in Queens. Ms. Philips has been working at PEOPLE since 1995 as an intake assessment worker and staff counselor.

Neil Somerfeld, CASAC - Mr. Somerfeld has been an addiction counselor since 1990. He recently completed his studies to become a certified social worker. He has been with PEOPLE since June 1998 as a group facilitator and individual counselor.


Services Offered

Chemical Dependency Services

Our program offers services for those who are either substance involved or those who have had substance use impact negatively on their lives.

Our services include recovery and relapse groups supplemented with individual and family counseling on a continuous basis. In addition, we offer a twelve-week drug and alcohol education series highlighting the numerous issues surrounding addiction.

PEOPLE incorporates the twelve-step philosophies, makes referrals to inpatient facilities and hospitals and offers vocational and legal guidance.

Family and Children’s Services

Our program is designed to target families with problems around mal-adaptive behaviors of children which include poor academic performance, truancy, drug and alcohol experimentation, acting out behaviors, parent-child conflicts, physical and sexual abuse, children of alcoholics, children of divorce, depression and single parent family issues.

We offer family, couple, and individual counseling as well as child and adolescent groups. We also offer parenting workshops which encompass child and adolescent development, effective communication and coping skills, and stress reduction exercises. We provide quality assessments and referrals and stay in close contact with parents, school, and other referral sources.

Prevention Services

This program focuses on drug and alcohol education, offering a variety of services to children, adolescents, parents, and community organizations. Services include workshops, seminars, adult education, films, in-school presentations, an Open House, participation in community events, and a diverse positive alternative program.


Appointments, Fees, Hours, & How to Contact Us

If you decide to utilize our services, you will go through an intake and assessment procedure and then be admitted to our program if appropriate. If you are unsure if the services we provide will meet your needs, we provide and initial free consultation.

PEOPLE is a not-for-profit program that is funded in large part by state and local sources, therefore, fees are reasonable and based on ability to pay. Most major insurance coverage is accepted. All prevention programs are free.

Our Hours are as Follows:

Monday -Thursday: 10:00 AM - 9:30 PM

Friday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

How to Contact Us:

Phone: 516-433-5344

Fax: 516- 433-5067

Pager: 516-529-1585



Upcoming Special Programs/Workshops



A Free Workshop

Are you currently involved in an unhealthy relationship with a spouse, child, parent, friend, or sibling? Is this person drinking too much, using drugs, abusive, or neglectful? Is your happiness and sense of self worth dependent upon the actions of this person? If your answer is yes, you are not alone and this workshop is for you!

*Understanding why we stay

*Increasing knowledge of outside support systems

*Identifying the roles in the relationship

*Tough love vs. Enabling

*Fear and safety issues

*Effect on other family members

*Coping with feeling of powerlessness and depression



From South: Take the Southern State Parkway to 135 North (Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway), Exit 28N. Take 135 North to Plainview Road, Exit 9. Exit ramp, come left under overpass, bear right at next fork to Cherry Avenue. Right onto Stewart Avenue.

From North: Take the Long Island Expressway to Exit 44S (Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway), 135 South.  Take 135 South to Broadway/Bethpage, Exit 9. When you come off ramp, turn right.  Continue to fork in road and bear right onto Cherry Avenue.  Continue on Cherry Avenue.  Right onto Stewart Avenue.

Helpful Resources

American Council For Drug Education - The American Council for Drug Education is a substance abuse prevention and education agency that develops programs and materials based on the most current scientific research on drug use and its impact on society.

National Families in Action - National Families in Action is a national drug education, prevention, and policy center based in Atlanta, Georgia. The organization was founded in 1977. Its mission is to help families and communities prevent drug abuse among children by promoting policies based on science.

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) - administers the nation's most comprehensive system of services for substance abusing populations. Each day, about 120,000 New Yorkers receive treatment for alcohol and/or drug addiction from OASAS-licensed programs. Services are delivered through a network of over 1,200 community-based providers. OASAS also directly operates thirteen addiction treatment centers around the state. In addition to treatment services, thousands of people benefit daily from prevention initiatives carried out by OASAS-sponsored or licensed prevention programs.


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