Our Team

Cathy Samuels, MSILR

Program Director, PACT SPF-PFS Grant, YES Community Counseling Center

Since 2004, Cathy Samuels, MSILR has worked to reduce youth substance use and develop the efforts of community coalitions across Nassau County in East Williston, Farmingdale, Glen Cove, Levittown, Manhasset, Massapequa and Roslyn. Cathy has successfully administered and written federal and state prevention grants under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports. Cathy has also developed and implemented multiple social marketing prevention campaigns (Parents Who Host Lose the Most, Alcohol & Teens Don’t Mix, Secure Monitor & Dispose, and Kids & Weed Don’t Roll Together) as well as evidence-based programs (SBIRT, Teen Intervene, Alcohol Training Awareness Programs) and educational initiatives. Cathy created and produced Prevention through Connection, a community based television series providing parent prevention education across the Town of North Hempstead. Cathy earned a Master of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University & Baruch College and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University at Albany/SUNY.

Hillary Alvarez, MPH, CHES

Prevention Coordinator, YES Community Counseling Center

Over the last 4 years, Hillary Alvarez has cultivated her skills as a public health professional working in various roles involving the health and wellbeing of communities. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), and has worked in the prevention of Breast Cancer, Sexual Assault, and Injury. Clinically, she worked as a medical assistant for Planned Parenthood and has experience in health communication, administration, needs assessment, and evaluation. Hillary earned a Masters of Public Health degree from Stony Brook University, and a Bachelors in Community Health from the State University of New York at Cortland.

Kathleen Coletta, LCSW-R

Prevention Social Worker, YES Community Counseling Center

Kathleen Coletta, LCSW-R is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working at YES Community Counseling Center since 2008. A graduate of Adelphi University with her Masters in Social Work, she is certified to perform evidenced-based programs including Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, BASICS and Active Parenting. Kathleen has over 12 years clinical experience working with individuals, families and groups  impacted by addiction. In 2020 Kathleen joined the YES Community Counseling Center’s prevention team to train professionals in evidenced-based prevention programs. Prior to working at YES, Kathleen provided counseling and case management services to families and veterans facing homelessness in a community-based housing program. In addition, she has helped families cope with grief and loss through her work at the Hospice Care Network.

Marguerite Grabarek, Ph.D.

Lead Epidemiologist

Since 2009, Marguerite Grabarek, Ph.D. is affiliated with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) in its Chapel Hill, NC office. She is currently working as lead evaluator for PACT’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) and Partnerships for Success (PFS) PFS grant funded by SAMHSA. In addition, she is lead evaluator for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBB) SPF-PFS Rx Grant. Marguerite is also part of a team with Al Stein Seroussi and Dave Currey for the State of Idaho’s PFS grant and with Al on the SafeVoice NIJ funded project with the state of Nevada. She previously worked with PIRE teams on the LTBB, SPF, TIG and PFS grants, the State of Nevada on their PFS and Safe Schools Healthy Students grants, and New York’s SPF and PFS grants. Prior to her work with PIRE, Marguerite served as the evaluator on several federally funded domestic violence prevention grants, and taught community organizing and evaluation at the Universities of Michigan and Indiana.