Board of Directors
Kellie Morgantini, Esq. President
Executive Director and Directing Attorney for Legal Services for Seniors (LSS), a non-profit law firm serving seniors in Monterey County, Kellie has been part of the organization since 1997.
A graduate of Monterey College of Law in 1998, Kellie has been working to prevent elder abuse (physical and financial) and fraud for over 15 years. During that time she also served as Elder Abuse Litigation Director for LSS handling complex civil litigation from inception to court representation in both State and Federal court.
A native of Southern Monterey County, Kellie also has a history in city and environmental planning. She is a current board member of Legal Aid Association of California, the Ag Land Trust, and Association of Environmental Professionals.
Joan Abrams, MA, MPA Vice President
Associate Director of the federally funded Northern California Geriatric Education Center and Campus Planner for the state funded Academic Geriatric Resource Center, both based in the Geriatrics Division at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The goal of these programs is to improve the quality of health care for older adults by providing interdisciplinary education and training in geriatrics for health professions students, faculty and community providers. For 11 years prior to coming to UCSF in 2007 she held a variety of management positions in long term care in the SF Bay Area, including Executive Director in both assisted living and dementia care facilities, as well as positions in skilled nursing and at On Lok. Before moving to San Francisco from New Jersey in 1995, Joan worked in New York City government, including the Community Assistance Unit in the Office of the Mayor, and with the American Journal of Public Health. In addition to CANHR, she is also currently on the board of the California Council for Geriatrics and Gerontology, which promotes quality of life for older adults through enhancing workforce education and public policy advocacy. Joan previously served on the board of Senior Access, a community non-profit organization that provides adult day health services in Marin County. She earned her Masters in Public Administration (concentration in Health Policy and Management) from Columbia University and has a BA from SUNY Buffalo.
Patrick Nakao, Esq., Secretary/Treasurer
An Attorney for Pfeffer & Williams, P.C. since 2009, Patrick is one of two attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants in diverse civil matters including real estate and insurance litigation, contract disputes, trusts and estates, eviction defense, and family law.
Prior to 2009, he was employed as a legal assistant for the same firm since 1999 and, is the only one of twelve State Bar of California Law Office Study Program participants to pass the California Bar in the past six years.
Patrick is a graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. A third generation Japanese-American from Honolulu, HI, he is the second of seven siblings and was born in Tokyo Japan where he lived until age 18. He currently resides in Berkeley, CA, with his wife and daughter.
Patricia L. McGinnis, Director
Co-founder and Executive Director of CANHR, a statewide consumer advocacy organization formed in 1983. A former teacher, Ms. McGinnis received her J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1977. She has been involved with long term care reform issues for over 30 years and has written and lectured extensively on issues such as long term care, financial planning, elder abuse, residents' rights, family councils and the use of restraints in nursing homes. Ms. McGinnis is also on the faculty in San Francisco State University's Gerontology Program.
Ms. McGinnis was named a Gerbode Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley School of Social Welfare in 1991 and was awarded the first annual America's Award by the America's Award Foundation in 1990. Ms. McGinnis and California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform have received numerous awards and recognitions for their nursing home advocacy work over the years including the California Works! Award in 1988, the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform's Advocacy Award in 1998, the National Senior Citizens Law Center Advocacy Award in 1999, the San Francisco Senior Centers’ annual Senior Advocate Award in 2001 and the Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly 2001 National Armand Marquiset award.
Terrence (Terry) Donnelly, MSW
Terry has over 30 years of non-profit experience primarily as an advocate for the elderly. Before retirement, he was the Deputy Director at California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform where he specialized in residential care/assisted living and Continuing Care Retirement Community legislative and policy issues. Other significant aging experience include Coordinator of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in Northern California; Co-Founder and Deputy Director of the National Paralegal Institute, West Coast Division; Director of the Elderly Case Management Program in King County, WA; Aging Specialist for the National Senior Citizens Law Center; and Organizer and Trainer for California Rural Legal Assistance’s statewide Senior Citizens Advocacy Center. He has a MSW from the University of Chicago, where he received an Administration on Aging Fellowship.
He also worked in Taiwan, Thailand, and China and directed an international volunteer program.
Terry lives in a retirement community in Southern California.
Dr. Harvey 'Skip' Davis
Harvey “Skip” Davis RN, PhD, CARN, PHN received his doctorate from the University of California, San Francisco in July 2002. His dissertation was titled: Addiction Severity, Sleep Disturbances, Mood States and Stages of Change in Early Abstinent Opiate Addicts. Dr. Davis has worked various alcohol and drug treatment milieus from community-based to the private sector. He is an Associate Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University and taught Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing and Community Health Nursing. He is currently Clinical Adjunct Professor at Dominican University, Samuel Merritt University and California State University-East Bay.
Dr. Davis was an elected member of the Board of Directors for the International Nurses Society on Addictions for 10 years and has served as board member in the past. Dr. Davis has vast clinical experience in gero-psychiatric nursing. In addition, Dr. Davis has served as a legal consultant. Dr. Davis retired from his clinical practice at MPI Treatment Services at Summit Alta Bates in Oakland, Ca. in December 2013.
Richard B. Hechler, Esq.
Richard B. Hechler is a principal in the Law Offices of Richard B. Hechler, and has been in private practice for over five years mediating/ litigating Elder Abuse, and Trust and Estate matters, after an eighteen month stint working as trial counsel for the San Francisco Police Department, Internal Affairs Division.
Before entering private practice in 2010, Richard was an Assistant District Attorney with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office for over 23 years. As an ADA, from 1999 until 2006, Mr. Hechler was assigned to the Elder Abuse Unit, exclusively prosecuting both physical and financial cases involving elder and dependent victims. He has tried 9 felony and 7 misdemeanor elder abuse jury trials to verdict.
Richard has represented a plaintiff in an EDACPA case against a nursing home, and successfully defended a Trustee accused of mismanagement of a complicated trust involving over three-dozen properties.
Additionally, beginning in 2001, he has taught Elder Abuse courses at University of San Francisco Law School, Golden Gate Law School, and San Francisco Law School, as well as presenting “How Not to Get Scammed” lectures at scores of local Senior and Assisted Living Centers.
Finally, Richard is a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician, and an active member of the Saint Helena Fire Department.
Anne Marie Murphy
Anne Marie is a Principal at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP, where she practices civil litigation focusing on complex commercial litigation, class actions, consumers’ rights and elder abuse (including both financial abuse and nursing home abuse).
Ms. Murphy received her Bachelor of Arts in Science & Technology from Vassar College. She received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. While attending Georgetown, she worked as a Legislative
Assistant in the U.S. Senate.
After graduating from law school, she practiced law in San Francisco, handling a caseload ranging from complex commercial litigation to regulatory approvals of mergers and acquisitions of regulated utilities. She also worked on a pro bono basis for the AIDS Legal Referral Panel.
Ms. Murphy has practiced extensively in the area of elder abuse, handling many notable cases, including jury trials, against nursing homes and those who have taken financial advantage of seniors. Ms. Murphy has also acted as co-lead counsel in a number of consumer class actions which have returned millions of dollars to consumers across the country.
Ms. Murphy is a member of Consumer Attorneys of California, the American Association for Justice, the San Mateo County Bar Association, the San Mateo Trial Lawyers Association, and is a lifetime member of California Women Lawyers.
Ms. Murphy serves on the Board of Directors of Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) and was Co-Chair of the 2010 through 2014 Donald L. Galine Tahoe Seminars, and Co-Chair of the CAOC Class Action Seminar. Ms. Murphy was elected to the CAOC Board of Governors in 2009 and again in 2010. In 2010, Ms. Murphy was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of CAOC, she was then elected to the Board of Directors every year since 2011. Ms. Murphy is the Chair of the CAOC Women’s Caucus.
In 2010, Ms. Murphy was appointed as a Commissioner on the California Commission on Access to Justice.
Ms. Murphy is involved in a number of community organizations in the Bay Area. Among other community activities, Ms. Murphy served on the Board of Directors of Seven Tepees Youth Program, and as the Secretary and is now on its Advisory Board. Seven Tepees is a non-profit serving promising urban youth in San Francisco, which provides comprehensive services to youth from 5th to 12th grade, including mentoring, academic support and college and career counseling.
Darlene Yee-Melichar, Ed. D. CHES
Professor and Coordinator of SF State's Gerontology Program. She received her B.A. in Biology from Barnard College; M.S. in Gerontology from the College of New Rochelle; and M.S. and Ed.D. in Health Education from Columbia University. She received post-doctoral training in Computer Management Systems at Columbia University; and Certified Health Education Specialist by the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing. She is a Fellow of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE); Gerontological Society of America (GSA); AAHPERD's Research Consortium; and Full Member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. She has received many awards for her teaching excellence and service contributions to the campus, community and profession. She has been active in work with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); NIH Advisory Committee for Research on Women's Health (ACRWH) and Research Enhancement Awards Program (REAP); DHHS Minority Women's Health Panel of Experts; etc. Her research interests in healthy aging, long-term care administration, and minority women's health are reflected in 2 books, 90 journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, technical reports; and numerous professional and scholarly presentations.
Page Last Modified:
January 31, 2017