Board of Directors
The Paige Fraser Foundation’s Board of Directors governs the work of the Foundation and formally meets three times annually. The Board ensures the mission of the Foundation, which is to inspire young emerging artists, with or without physical challenges, to reach their full potential, is upheld. Oversight of leadership, key policies, and finances to ultimately establish a performing arts center and facilitate a safe space for inner-city youths to study dance, theatre, music, art and writing are responsibilities of the Board.
Lesmah J. Fraser, MPS,
LFACHE, NYAM Fellow
Lesmah J. Fraser is the Founder and President/CEO of The Paige Fraser Foundation (TPFF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to inspiring young emerging artists, with or without physical and mental health challenges, to reach their full potential. One of TPFF’s goals is to establish a Performing Arts and Wellness Center in the Northeast Bronx that will create a safe space for young people to study and perform Dance, Theater, Music, Visual Arts and practice Wellness and Physical Arts such as Yoga, TaiChi, Meditation, and Qigong. Ms. Fraser is an avid patron of the arts and has supported and contributed to numerous organizations such as Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, and Visceral Dance, Chicago.
Ms. Fraser, a seasoned healthcare professional and innovative educator with over 30 years’ experience in executive leadership roles, has worked in large NYC public and private healthcare systems as well as with an NYC private university. She is a results-oriented leader and teacher, with proven record of accomplishments, in both healthcare and educational institutions. She is an Adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management at New York University School of Professional Studies (SPS) in the Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS) and a former Director of the Ambulatory Care Network at New York Presbyterian/Columbia.
In 1996, she was the recipient of an NYU Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2008, she received a NewYork- Presbyterian President’s Circle Leadership Award. Ms. Fraser holds a Masters of Professional Studies (MPS) from the New School for Social Research and is a Life Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (LFACHE) as well as a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM). She is the COO/Treasurer of The Leslin Healthcare Leadership Foundation (LESLIN), a nonprofit whose mission is to discover and activate the leadership potential that resides in us all, and is a Board Member of the Bellevue Literary Review: A journal of humanity and human experience.
Paige E. Fraser, BFA
Chief Artistic Officer/ Program Director Dance
Paige Fraser is originally from The Bronx, NYC. She graduated from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. Paige danced professionally with Ailey II, Visceral Dance Chicago, and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. In 2016 she was featured in an INTEL commercial “Experience Amazing.” She is a Princess Grace Award recipient (2016) and Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” (2017). Theatre: West Side Story(Lyric Opera) and The Lion King National Tour.
In addition to being a professional dancer and Scoliosis advocate, Ms. Fraser actively contributes to the community. She has taught workshops all over the world; The U.S., Jamaica, Haiti (Milk Carton on a String) and Europe. She has also collaborated with Cook County Arts Collective to teach dance to incarcerated women in Chicago.
Through (TPFF) Paige has created two programs “Dance is Healing” and the “Spine Series”. These programs offer free classes to the community through dance and spinal wellness. Ms. Fraser is actively learning more about scoliosis and believes in the healing qualities of Schroth Therapy, Chiropractic Care, Floorbarre, and Massage Therapy; all of which help her to maintain consistency in her dancing on stage and live a healthy life. She hopes to guide others to a healthy and pain free life.
Linda C. Lombardi, Ph. D
Chief Operating Officer/ Treasurer
(2020 to Present)
Linda (Lin) C. Lombardi Ph.D. is the Founder/President for The Leslin Healthcare Leadership Foundation (TLHLF), supporting the mission and vision of the organization through strategic business alliances and development.
Lin has over 35 years of experience in public health leadership, in education and training and organizational development. She has held C-Suite and executive level positions and has overseen a broad range of clinical and administrative services. Her work focuses on strategic management and improving the patient and staff experience through building coalitions for change across disciplines, with labor and management, with educational institutions and with community-based organizations.
Her lifelong commitment to continual learning drives change and transformation. Certified in Lean Management, Extended DISC Behavioral Assessment, Lin is an Associate Member of the American Psychology Association, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and holds advanced credentials in Leadership Coaching; she a Master Trainer in TeamStepps as well as holding a vast array of other credentials that enable her to support individual and professional goal attainment.
Committed to developing leaders, Lin is a Board Member of the Explorers, a program for high schoolers considering healthcare as a profession. As a member of the Board of Health Careers Connection, a national program offering opportunities to college students from diverse backgrounds, she has offered internship opportunities for career development. She has acted as mentor and coach, preceptor and liaison for numerous school programs, for national, international students and visitors.
Lin is a respected voice in decision-making and has a keen understanding and ability to forge relationships to reach shared goals. Mostly recently, she was selected by Becker’s, a national healthcare industry publication, as 30 CXOs (Chief Experience Officers) to Know in 2018. She has presented at international conferences such as the Institute for Patient and Family Care (IPFCC) and offered webinars for America’s Essentials Hospitals. With extensive experience in strategic and business management as well as market development, Lin offers insights and sees opportunities in the healthcare field for both entry-level and experienced workers.
She has taught at both the graduate and undergraduate levels for over twenty-five years, is the recipient of the Teaching Excellence from NYU SCPS and holds the rank Adjunct Professor at New York University. Lin is a Fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) and holds a B.A. degree from Herbert H. Lehman College, an M.A from Columbia University, an M.A. from the New School for Social Research, an M. Phil. and Ph.D. from The City University of New York Graduate School and University Center.
Michelle N. Johnson, Esq.
Executive Vice President/Secretary
Michelle N. Johnson, Esq. serves as the Chief Compliance Officer for the Foundation. She is currently Community Healthcare Network's first chief diversity and people officer overseeing diversity equity, inclusion and human resources. She is a New York licensed attorney who has primarily worked in the nonprofit sector specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion, labor/employment law, Title IX, discipline, collective bargaining/union procedures, compliance, investigations, and training/development. Prior to joining CHN, Michelle was the senior director of diversity, inclusion, and community engagement for Westchester Medical Center Health Network, headquartered in Valhalla, NY. She also served as the chief diversity officer/director, employment equity and diversity/Title IX coordinator at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. After serving as a law clerk with the Superior Court of New Jersey and as an associate attorney with a civil defense firm, Michelle spent eight years as senior counsel with the New York City Department of Education.
Michelle earned her BA in American Government from the University of Virginia and her JD from Widener University School of Law-Wilmington, DE. She most recently served as co-chair for the activities and events committee on the New York Advisory Board for the Tri-State Diversity Council, a local chapter of the National Diversity Council. She is also a trustee for Greenwich Academy, a college preparatory day school for girls Pre-K through 12 where she serves as co-chair for the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee. Michelle does public service work within her surrounding communities as vice president/program chair for a graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a service-based organization. She is also a mentor with Judge Judy’s Her Honor mentoring program.
Lawrence Hammond, D.Min
Vice President/Community Development
Lawrence Hammond is a Senior Vice President and Mortgage Officer in the Community Preservation Corporation’s (CPC) New York City Originations division where he is responsible for the company’s lending activities throughout New York City and Long Island. In this capacity he facilitates the growth of CPC’s efforts in providing construction and permanent financing opportunities that seek to reflect CPC’s core mission to stabilize and revitalize communities.
Mr. Hammond joined CPC in 2015 after spending over 30 years with various financial institutions inclusive of Popular Community Bank, Bank of New York Mellon, and JP Morgan Chase Bank. Throughout his banking career, he has continued to demonstrate an ability to cultivate established relationships with leaders in the public and private sectors of business and government. Mr. Hammond earned a Doctorate of Ministry and Masters of Divinity from New York Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Science from Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus). He is married to Primrose Hammond and has three sons and two grandaughters.
Alexia E. Fraser, P.A.
Vice-President/Public Relations & Marketing (2017-present)
Alexia E. Fraser serves as Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing, responsible for collaborating with leadership, employees, stakeholders and community partners, to communicate and ensure understanding of the mission, vision and value of the Foundation are known. Prior to her current role, Ms. Fraser has extensive experience in the arts, as a model, actress and producer. Her ability to engage audiences in pursuit of art fueled her drive to publish a memoir, Memories of Mom, the heartfelt journey of a daughter facing her mother’s mortality. Her work in organizing and managing offices and establishing strong relationships supported her life-long commitment and support of the arts as an expressive force for change, a message she has leveraged to raised awareness about the arts and the positive effect they have on reaching goals and overcoming life’s challenges. Ms. Fraser brings to her current position extensive work history in public-facing positions in sales, management and community-based organizations.
Alex EIingorn, DC
President, Chief Clinical Officer
Dr. Alex Eingorn serves as Vice-President and Chief Clinical Officer and oversees the clinical programs for the Paige Fraser Foundation. He received his Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) Degree in 1986 from New York Chiropractic College and has been in private practice since 1987. He developed a multi-disciplinary approach to healthcare in one of the first integrative healthcare facilities in New York City. Dr. Eingorn is certified in Manipulation under anaesthesia by National College of Chiropractic/Cornerstone Professional Education Seminars, Inc, NC. He is board certified in Scoliosis recognition, classification, treatment, and prevention by International Scoliosis Research Center/Parker College of Chiropractic, Texas.
Dr. Eingorn’s professional memberships and affiliations include: American Chiropractic Association; American Council of Chiropractic Radiology; American Academy of Pain Management; American Association of Spine Physicians; American Academy of Disability Analysts; International Association of Counselors and Therapists. His selected research, publications and professional projects include: New York University Medical Center, New York (1994) - Participated in a Multi-disciplinary Forum - " Low Back Pain - Multi-disciplinary Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment"; Better Health Chiropractic, PC, New York (1994-Present) - Short and long term effects of SMT on ANS using Power Spectral Analysis of Heart Rate Variability; New York Chiropractic College , New York (1996 - Present) - Research Associate, Rationale for Assessing the Effects of Manipulative Therapy on Autonomic Tone by Analysis of Heart Rate Variability. Eingorn, A, Muhs, G. JMPT 1999;22 (3):161-165; Time Life Medical, New York (1995) - Member of Editorial Review Panel on "Low Back Pain". Was Interviewed and Videotaped; Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York (1996-1998) - Complimentary Care Center - Volunteer.
Dr. Eingorn is fluent in Russian and Hebrew and has practiced Martial Arts since 1973: Karate, Kung-Fu, Jiu-Jitsu, Wu-Chu, Chi-Gung
Senior Director of Community Health for the Ambulatory Care Network, New York- Presbyterian Hospital
TPFF Board Member (2022-present)
Andres Nieto has been working for New York-Presbyterian Hospital for over thirty years. Prior to his current position, Mr. Nieto served as Director of Volunteer and Interpreter Services where he started the Volunteer Interpreter Corp, a group of over one hundred volunteers trained as medical interpreters for patients. In his current role as Senior Director of Community Health for the Ambulatory Care Network, he has focused his efforts on disease prevention, health education and creating strong liaisons with community partners. His department provides direct health care, mental health and health education services through the Center for Community Health and Education (CCHE) which operates seven School-Based Health Centers, the Family Planning Practice and the Young Men's Clinic. Some of his most notable accomplishments include launching many community programs including: Reach out and Read, Adolescent Medicine Nutrition Program, Injury Prevention Program, Community Health Workers, a faith-based nursing program and a Healthy Parenting Group. Every year, Mr. Nieto, collaborates with community-based organizations, elected officials, and leads a flu-shot campaign that provides free flu vaccines to senior citizens each year.
Deputy Executive Director, NYC Health + Hospitals | North Central Bronx
TPFF Board Member (2022-present)
Serving as the Deputy Executive Director of NYC Health + Hospitals | North Central Bronx as of May 2021, Mr. Jones is responsible for day-to-day operations of the hospital, supervising staff, cultivating relations with clinical leaders and the community, overseeing work to enhance patient and staff satisfaction, assuring the hospital’s fiscal soundness, and delivering high-quality clinical services that are responsive to community health needs. This role came after holding various leadership positions at hospitals within NYC Health + Hospitals including Associate Executive Director of Outpatient Services, Patient Access & Growth Director and Associate Director of Ambulatory Care. These opportunities come with the continued commitment of positively impacting the public health of our marginalized communities within NYC. Mr. Jones holds an undergraduate degree from the School of Human Ecology at Cornell University and an MPH in Community Health Education from Hunter College, Graduate School of Urban Public Health. While obtaining his MPH, the first true opportunity to serve his communities was presented within NY Presbyterian’s Ambulatory Care Network Community and Population Health. That program was an impactful one serving marginalized New Yorkers from The Bronx, Washington Heights, Harlem and beyond. Mr. Jones continues to support the need for access to quality public health of the Bronx through this new servant leadership opportunity.
Jeffrey J. Varghese, MD
Physician and Scientist
Board Member 2022-present
Jeffrey J. Varghese, MD is an Orthopaedic Surgery Chief Resident at Seton Hall/St. Joseph’s University Medical Center under the mentorship or Dr. Arash Emami, the founder of the University Spine Center and an internationally renowned spine surgeon. Dr. Varghese graduated from the prestigious BA/MD Coordinated medical program via CUNY Brooklyn College and received his Doctor of Medicine Degree from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, Brooklyn, NY in 2018.
Dr. Varghese also dedicated two years at the Hospital for Special Surgery as a spine research fellow under the guidance of Dr. Frank Schwab and Dr. Virginie Lafage, who are giants in the scoliosis/spine deformity world and part of the International Spine Study Group. Dr. Varghese has presented original research at the top spine society meetings both domestically and internationally, including the Scoliosis Research Society and the North American Spine Society. He has coauthored multiple publications in the leading spine journals, invited current concept reviews, textbook chapters, and is a peer reviewer for The Spine Journal. Dr. Varghese’s research focused on complex realignment surgery in spine deformity patients and gait/motion analysis in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. He was awarded the SRS New Investigator Grant for his work on motion analysis in the axial plane after realignment surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and the Scoliosis Research Society’s Thomas E. White Cloud Award for Best Clinical Paper for his work on non-opioid alternative medications in spine surgery.
In addition, Dr. Varghese has trained under Dr. Suken Shah, who is part of the Harms Study Group, board member of the Setting Scoliosis Straight nonprofit organization, and division chief of the Nemours Spine and Scoliosis Center at Nemours/Al DuPont Children’s Hospital. They performed numerous pediatric scoliosis correction cases from congenital to adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and conducted original research on the use of vertebral body tethering as a non fusion scoliosis correction technique with follow up results that were recently accepted into the Spine Deformity Journal.
Outside of the hospital, Dr. Varghese is dedicated to outreach and philanthropic work. He co-founded Mission India, a charitable organization that introduced US students to Indian social and health issues regarding vulnerable youth through one month work-travels to four medically oriented orphanages. He is actively involved in youth mentoring and volunteering in the community surrounding his home church in the Bronx. He was also a co-founder of the Pi-Phi Chapter of the Kappa Sigma National Fraternity at Brooklyn College where he presided as president, enforced procedural policies, and lead the risk assessment team. He continues to mentor aspiring leaders on developing leadership skills and cultural competencies.
After residency, Dr. Varghese will continue his training as a Spine Fellow at the prestigious and historic John H. Moe Spine Fellowship Program at Twin Cities Spine Center in Minneapolis, a fellowship program that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. He looks forward to helping prevent scoliosis/spine deformity with early identification and treatment, utilizing minimally invasive techniques for surgical correction when appropriate, and extending access to scoliosis treatment to marginalized populations both domestically and abroad through outreach programs.
New York-Presbyterian Hospital Administrator (Retired)
Sonia Rouse-Proctor was born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She is a wife, a mother of three, and the proud grandmother of eleven, which has led to her affectionately being called Yaya. Her professional life landed her at New York-Presbyterian Hospital for 43 years, from which she is now retired. During her tenure at NYPH, she held various positions; Receptionist, Clerk, Substance Abuse Counselor, Out-Reach Coordinator, and Ambulatory Administrator.
After retirement she has turned her professional energy into being an active member of her community. She serves as Sergeant At-Arms to the 77th Precinct Community Council Board #8 in Brooklyn and is also actively engaged with the 77th Precinct United Clergy Council. Sonia's foundational roots run deep into her faith. Due to her passion, and diligence she is not simply a member at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY, she is also an ordained Deacon of the Diaconate Board, and a member of the Primetime Ministry, in which she joins a prayer line every day at 7:15 am. Her love for life in itself transcends into her love for the expression of life, more specifically the arts. A former dancer to the sounds of Limbo, Afro-Jazz, African percussion, and Gospel, she continues to share her love for the arts by partaking in EBC's ACTs ministry.
When Sonia does wind down her preferred past times are spent doing so either cooking, reading, listening to music, traveling, dancing leisurely, or most specifically with her grandchildren. As a person who continues to push herself and others around her, her latest venture stems from her unbridled ability to intimately provide herbal remedies to help heal the body naturally, and uplift through food. This is something that can be enjoyed a bit more widespread. That venture as of now has locally deemed her Spicy Yaya, a natural remedy specialist. Her products currently range from hot sauces, to seasonings, to juices. One may ask at this point what does she not do...well that's a question that has still yet to be answered.