Matthew Fallico, MSW


NYDOH Liaison

Mr. Fallico is a Health Program Coordinator with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Office of Drug User Health. His main duties include providing technical assistance to incorporate buprenorphine prescribing more broadly, so that individuals have access to buprenorphine at a range of settings including primary care clinics, harm reduction programs, federally qualified health centers, correctional health facilities, emergency departments (EDs), OB/GYN settings, housing services, and other community-based organizations. Mr. Fallico also oversees operational tasks at state operated COVID-19 testing and vaccinations facilities in the downstate region. Prior to working for the NYSDOH, he was the Opioid Program Manager for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System and oversaw implementation and program planning related to opioid prevention and treatment initiatives. Mr. Fallico received his Master’s in Social Work at Arizona State University with a concentration in program planning and community practice.

Lexi Hoff


NYDOH ITS Developer

Lexi Hoff is a software developer at the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and a main developer on the MATTERS platform. She recently graduated from the University at Albany with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Aside from the MATTERS platform, she has also contributed to the state’s COVID-19 response: Lexi helped develop the COVID-19 school survey, which records daily COVID-19 statistics from schools across the state. In her spare time, she enjoys singing and composing music.

Emily Payne, MSPH


NYDOH Epidemiologist & Data Evaluator

Emily Payne is an Epidemiologist with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Office of Program Evaluation and Research working primarily with data related to opioid use and overdose. Some of her main duties include managing, analyzing, and disseminating data from the MATTERS program through creation of data presentations and dashboards. Emily has five years of experience as an epidemiologist with expertise in chronic disease, communicable disease including COVID-19, and maternal and child health (MCH). Prior to joining the NYSDOH, Emily worked as an epidemiologist at both state and local health departments in Colorado. Emily obtained her Master of Science in Public Health degree focused on MCH and epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2017.

Emma Furlano,  MD


Capital Region Physician Liaison

Emma Furlano is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Albany Medical Center. Prior to attending medical school at Stony Brook University, she completed her undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and served as an emergency medical technician in the Albany area. She graduated from Albany Medical Center’s emergency medicine residency program and completed a medical toxicology fellowship at NYU/Bellevue Hospital. Her interests currently include opioid use disorder treatment, medical education, and prehospital medicine.

Heather Lampmon


Capital Region Coordinator

Heather Lampmon, is the Director of Special Projects at Catholic Charities Care Coordination Services. Heather has been working in the Human Service  field for 20years. Heather started her career as a small business owner/operator of a NYS LIcensed Daycare for 14 years working with children from 6 weeks of age until 14 years of age, also working for Albany, Washington,and  Warren County ARC working with people with developmental disabilities. Heather has had a few roles in the last 6 years with Catholic Charities, starring with outreach and engagement, then case management, Supervisor, and now Director of Special Projects. Heather enjoys reading and spending time with family.

Eric Rodriguez

CNY Regional Care Coordinator

Eric Rodriguez serves as the MATTERS Network Regional Care Coordinator for Central New York (CNY), stationed at ACRHealth. Mr. Rodriguez is passionate about the work he does, and worked at ACRHealth for two years as a Syringe Exchange Coordinator before transitioning into his current role. Eric is a Family Life and Recovery Peer Advocate, Harm Reduction specialist, a Narcan trainer, and serves on the Oneida Opioid Task Force. Eric Rodriguez also has experience working with the Utica Human Trafficking Court, Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center, and has various volunteer and work experiences in care coordination, harm reduction, and linkage to care. Mr. Rodriguez is currently working on an Associates Degree for Chemical Dependencies to obtain his CASAC-T and will be graduating May 2022. Eric Rodriguez have dedicated his life to helping those that are stigmatized by society for their substance use disorders because of lack of education and awareness.

Michelle McDonough


Finger Lakes Regional Care Coordinator

Michelle McDonough is the Consumer Relations Specialist for Trillium Health’s Harm Reduction program. They recently completed their Bachelors in Social Work at The College at Brockport. Michelle has experience working with the homeless population in Rochester, as well as with serving the LGBTQ+ community as an educator. Michelle is an avid harm reductionist, advocate, and activist. In their spare time, Michelle likes to knit shawls and take long walks with their husband.

Sarah Santos


Hudson Valley Regional Care Coordinator I

Sarah received her BA in Psychology from SUNY New Paltz. Her outreach and advocacy are informed by the principles of harm reduction. She has years of experience serving people who use drugs as well as those without homes. Prior to her current role she worked with Hudson Valley Community Services as a peer navigator for the syringe exchange program in Poughkeepsie and Kingston, NY.

Jessica Ward


Hudson Valley Regional Care Coordinator II

Jessica Ward is originally from Putnam County, NY. She has studied in the region earning an Associates Degree at Westchester Community College and a Bachelor of Science from Mercy College. Jessica works at the Buffalo Urban League of Westchester County as a Program Coordinator, where she promotes access to and education surrounding harm reduction in her region. This includes Narcan (Naloxone) Training, syringe exchange programs, and connection to local peer supports.

Elissa Miles

Long Island Regional Care Coordinator

Elissa Miles is the Linkage Coordinator at Community Action for Social Justice (CASJ); she coordinates CASJ’s Drug User Health Hub, and Long Island-regional NY Matters program. Elissa is a Credentialed Alcoholsim and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) and in her position she provides syringe exchange and harm reduction education, and is responsible for connecting participants to detox, substance use treatment, and other medical and mental health services. She works with participants to identify their own goals, and assists in achieving them. Elissa received her BA from The New School for Social Research, and CASAC through Suffolk Community Colleges Addiction Studies Program.  Elissa has 20 years of experience of management in media, hospitality, and human services before making a commitment to health care and harm reduction services.

Bianca Deno


North Country Regional Care Coordinator

Bianca is deployed at the Alliance for Positive Health in the North Country Region, where she also serves as a Harm Reduction Care Coordinator. Bianca attended SUNY Plattsburgh and Clinton Community College, earning her a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Certificate in Alcohol & Substance Use Counseling. Although new to the team, Bianca has worked in the substance use field for about 5 years; she started her career in the residential living setting at a halfway house and has served as a substance use counselor for three years. Bianca’s goal is to help clients work towards better overall health and is passionate about working with folks that are striving for sobriety.

Kurt Kleefeld


Southern Tier Regional Care Coordinator

Kurt Kleefeld received his BA in Education and Leadership from Marietta College and MEd in Organizational Leadership from Keene State University. He taught in private and public schools for 17 years before changing gears to human services. Kurt has been a Program Manager for adults with developmental disabilities, mental illnesses and substance use disorders and is now serving as the Regional Care Coordination Program Manager for Southern Tier AIDS Program.  Kurt is passionate about the role of leadership in service and service learning.

Nakia Fears

WNY Regional Care Coordinator

Nakia Fears is the Referral Coordinator at Evergreen Health. The Referral Coordinator is responsible for comprehensive coordination of low-threshold access to medication assisted treatment at Evergreen Health to increase the amount of individuals linked to the program and provide the necessary support to keep them engaged. They collaborate with and support team members to ensure a low-threshold, patient focused approach to care. As part of the essential functions of the role. She has years of experience working with people who use drugs. She has been with Evergreen Health for 6 years. In her various roles she has worked with the homeless, HIV positive, LGBTQ population.