Advisory Board

Riprap has also developed an Advisory Board consisting of professional advisors with outstanding professional credentials in the following areas: social work, physical therapy, pediatric oncology, occupational therapy, neuropsychology, early education and child life therapy.

Jaime Obletz

Jaime is a Licensed and Registered Occupational Therapist who received a Master’s of Arts degree in Occupation Therapy from New York University in 2003. She has worked in pediatrics for over 11 years, working in multiple settings including in and out-patient rehabilitation, hospitals, a special needs pre-school, cancer centers, and in the home. She specializes in infants and children, from birth to 21 years, creating individual treatment session for every child she works with. She is a certified infant massage instructor and skilled in vision and vestibular rehab, sensory integration dysfunction, neurodevelopmental treatment, yoga for the special needs child, therapeutic listening programs, and kinesiotaping. Jaime is determined to make each therapy session fun and meaningful to all children.  Treating a child requires the involvement of the entire family.  Jaime ensures that carry over is possible by working closely with the families and developing a customized plans that meet both the needs of the child and the needs of the family.

Katie Messineo, PT, DPT, PCS 

Katie is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy and is board certified as a Pediatric Clinical Specialist.  She has experience working as a Physical Therapist for over 10 years in hospital, out-patient and in-home settings.  Katie has extensive knowledge on the effects of chemotherapy on physical development in children and expertise in working with medically fragile children.  She specializes in working with infants/toddlers as well as school-aged children.  Katie is trained in utilizing Neuro-Development Treatment techniques, Kinesio-Taping, Yoga for Special Needs as well as assessment and fitting for foot orthotics.  Katie strongly supports therapeutic play to help motivate children to remain physically active despite their limitations.

Robin Sage

Robin has been a preschool teacher for thirteen years.  She is currently in her eighth year of teaching the “IIIs” (three year-olds) at City and Country School in Manhattan’s West Village.  Previously, she taught in New York at the Ethical Culture School and Trevor Day School, and in San Francisco at Children’s Day School.  She also spent time working as the music teacher for several summers at the West Side YMCA day camp.  Robin received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College in 2008. Over the past decade, Robin has attended several workshops on play therapy, occupational therapy, and Emotionally Responsive Practice.  She is dedicated to building a classroom curriculum that supports the social and emotional development of her three and four year-olds.  In addition to working with her preschoolers, Robin is now the mother of a vivacious ten month-old baby girl. 

Laura Tagliareni

Dr. Laura Tagliareni is a licensed psychologist with a specialization in pediatric neuropsychology. She has a passion for working with children and brings extensive experience to her private practice. Dr. Tagliareni works with children and adolescents facing a broad range of developmental delays, learning differences, complex medical conditions, and emotional challenges. In her practice, Dr. Tagliareni focuses on neuropsychological and psychoeducational evaluations and educational guidance and advocacy as well as supervision of postdoctoral fellows.

Prior to focusing on her private practice, Dr. Tagliareni was a staff psychologist and faculty member at the Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at NYU Langone Medical Center. At Hassenfeld, she was Coordinator of Psychosocial Services while maintaining an active role in The Children’s Oncology Group. Dr. Tagliareni completed her predoctoral internship training at the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitative Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, followed by her postdoctoral training in pediatric neuropsychology at Hassenfeld. During her years working and training at NYU, Dr. Tagliareni was involved in numerous research studies and publications, taught undergraduate and graduate courses and supervised doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. She also presented at many national and international medical conferences.

Dr. Tagliareni is currently a consultant for Understood.org, an online resource for parents of children with learning and attention challenges. She is on the advisory board for The Meeting House Afterschool program, a recreational afterschool program that provides a community for children who need help with social-emotional growth and socialization skills, as well as Tech Kids Unlimited, a technology based educational organization for children with special needs. She also runs support groups at the JCC in Manhattan for parents of children with special needs.

Liana Stampur

Liana is a teacher/singer/songwriter/activist and mom. She is graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education. In 2010, Liana alongside Colectivo Katari, was awarded a grant from the Scripps Foundation, which led to Desde Los Sueños: the first bilingual children’s album to be released in Bolivia. She is honored to be working with Riprap Friends.

Julia Leavitt

Julia has spent the past five years serving as a clinical social worker Sinai Hospital’s Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Department. Julia is a graduate of the University of Denver, where she majored in political science and minored in sociology. She received her Masters of Social Work degree from New York University, where she was named as a “Fellow” in the Zelda Foster Program in Palliative and End-of-Life Care.  Working with families and patients to normalize and better understand the hospitalization experience, Julia is passionate about bringing excellent care to her patients, and works with countless organizations to make her patients’ days brighter.  At Mount Sinai, Julia has initiated a support program for pediatric residents in an effort to guarantee the best care for her patients by caring for their doctors. Julia dedicates her time outside of work to organizations that are dedicated to the support of young patients. These include: Camp Hole in the Wall Gang, Ronald McDonald House, and Gilda’s Club, where Julia serves as a Group Facilitator.   Julia is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers (APOSW). Prior to receiving her M.S.W., Julia was the program coordinator for Kidsave International, a non-profit organization that matches older orphaned children with adoptive families. Her duties included community recruitment, host family training, and coordination of host family visits. When Julia is not working, you can find her walking her dog, Stella, in Central Park, taking a Flybarre class, or baking amazing chocolate chip cookies!