Ice Bucket Challenge Progress


Meet Our Care Services Team

The Regional Program Managers perform Care Services to help the Chapter fulfill its mission of patient care, advocacy, awareness, and funding research.  Each has a designated geographic area in the state within which they provide the services and programs across the continuum of care to promote quality of life for people living with ALS and their families in Florida.


Judie Benwick

  Judie Benwick, MSH, MPH, CHES - Regional Program Manager, Northwest Florida | | 888.257.1717 x112

Judie Benwick is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and holds Masters degrees in Health Science and Community Health from the University of North Florida.  She has worked for the Florida Chapter as Regional Care Manager since August 2005, and currently assists people with ALS and their family members living in Northwest and North Central Florida. Prior to joining The ALS Association, Judie was employed as a licensed public insurance adjuster helping medical providers and individuals resolve complex health claim issues. As part of her graduate studies she completed a research internship at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville where she investigated the effects of multidisciplinary ALS Clinic care on the family caregiver experience. 

Judie works with the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson,  Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington


Tiana Deas   Tiana Deas, MS, CRC - Regional Program Manager, North Central and Northeast Florida | | 888.257.1717 x117

Tiana Deas received her Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of North Florida.  Following her graduate studies, she completed her graduate internship with the Brain Injury Association of Florida and later received a permanent position as a Family Support Specialist with the agency.  As a Family Support Specialist, she obtained numerous skills including case management, development and implementation of Individualized Intervention Plans, Personalized Primary Assessments, and community outreach.  Tiana continued her professional development with Florida’s Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation where she assisted clients with various disabilities by improving quality of life through employment and independence.  She also acquired knowledge of disorders affecting the muscle and neurological body systems while completing several graduate courses at the University of North Florida’s Physical Therapy Program. 

Tiana works with the following counties: Duval, Nassau, St. Johns, Clay, Baker, Putnam, Flagler, Marion, Levy, GilChrist, Dixie, Lafayette, Suwanee, Columbia, Hamilton, Union, Bradford, Alachua


[object Object]  Jessica Collins, MBA - Regional Program Manager, Southeast Florida | | 888.257.1717 x122

Jessica Collins received her Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology from Utica College of Syracuse University. Following her undergraduate studies Jessica began her career as a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist with St. Luke’s Home in Utica, NY. Throughout her career as a Recreational Therapist Jessica gained experience working with geriatric, traumatic brain injury, and stroke patients. She completed her Masters of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration from Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL in 2007 and began working as the Florida Chapter Care Coordinator in Southeast Florida.

Jessica works with the following counties: Broward, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie


Heran Sisay  Heran Sisay, MA - Regional Program Manager, West Central Florida | | 888.257.1717 x103

Heran Sisay joined The ALS Association Florida Chapter in January 2005. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Gerontology, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Social Administration. Working as a postsecondary educator in the field of Sociology, Heran acquired teaching and research experience. She completed a graduate internship with Florida’s Area Agency on Aging where she added practical case management and knowledge of state and federal programs, including long-term care services and insurance for older adults and disabled individuals, to her experience. Heran is the Chapter liaison at ALS clinics, facilitates a resource group each month and is the Florida Chapter Care Coordinator for West Central Florida.

Heran works with the following counties: Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and Polk


Patricia Stanco  Patricia Stanco, MHS - Regional Program Manager, Southwest Florida | | 888.257.1717 x110

Before relocating to Florida, Ms. Stanco spent fifteen years in Washington, DC working with national patient organizations, healthcare professional associations and pharmaceutical companies. Her specialties include health policy, advocacy, and grant-writing. She is also knowledgeable about research, clinical trials, and the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) drug approval process. Patti has worked with local non-profits such as the Parkinson Association of Southwest Florida, Inc. Patti holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Northeastern University and a Master of Health Science from Johns Hopkins University. Patti is Chapter liaison at the Lee Memorial ALS clinic in Ft. Myers and is the Florida Chapter Care Coordinator in Southwest Florida, facilitating up to four resource groups each month.

Patti works with the following counties: Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota


MSalgado 4.jpg  Marixa Salgado, MSW - Regional Program Manager, Central Florida | | 888.257.1717 Ext. 109

Marixa Salgado received her Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services in Tarrytown, New York – she has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication with a minor in Theology.  Before moving to Florida in 2004, Marixa worked with the homeless population of men over 35 as a Psychiatric Social Worker and as a Case Management Supervisor, with Volunteers of America in Chester, NY.  Since arriving in Florida, Marixa has worked as a Professor in the University of Central Florida’s School of Social Work as well as with several other non-profit organizations.  Marixa also facilitated Case Management Academy, a training program that was done in collaboration with The Heart of Florida United Way, to train case managers in East Central Florida how to served their clients from a Social Work perspective.  Marixa has served on several non-profit Boards in her community and in June 2014 she became the Florida Chapter Care Coordinator for East Central Florida.  

Marixa works with the following counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia

Camila Arizaga  Camila Arizaga, MSW - Regional Program Manager, Miami-Dade l l 888-257-1717 Ext. 116

Camila was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador.  She moved to the U.S. five years ago to expand her educational opportunities and received a B.A. in Psychology from Kean University.  She attended graduate school at Rutgers University, where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a focus in human services management.  During her field placements, she worked extensively with troubled youth, however her passion lies in working with and for individuals struggling with life limiting illnesses.  Camila relocated to Florida and joined The ALS Association Florida Chapter in November 2016.  She facilitates bilingual support groups twice a month and is the Chapter liaison at the University of Miami ALS Clinical and Research Center.  During her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, traveling, and painting.

Camila works with the following counties: Miami-Dade and Monroe


Sabela Bio   Sabela Rand - Chapter Program Manager | | 888-257-1717 Ext. 113

Sabela joined the Florida Chapter to focus on a range of projects for the organization.  Before joining the team, Sabela worked as a Youth Care Worker at a non-profit organization, Boys Town, where she focused on assessing and monitoring youth’s skill development needs and priorities.  Sabela received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida.  While studying and working, she volunteered at non-profit organizations where she gained experience in research and psychosocial intervention.  During her free time, Sabela enjoys traveling to historic destinations and hiking. 

Sabela manages the Chapter's Equipment Loan Program and Financial Assistance Program