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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops established the National Review Board during their meeting in June of 2002. The functions of the Board were revised slightly and reconfirmed in June of 2004. The purpose of the National Review Board is to collaborate with the USCCB in preventing the sexual abuse of minors in the United States by persons in the service of the Church.
Special Report of the National Review Board to the Body of Bishops on the Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Church
On Tuesday, November 13, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' independent lay advisory panel on the protection of children and young people delivered a special report to the body of U.S. bishops regarding the abuse crisis in the Church. In an address to the bishops who have gathered in Baltimore for the annual fall general assembly, National Review Board Chairman Francesco Cesareo, Ph.D., outlined key reforms and urged action. The report calls for broadening the scope of the Charter on the Protection of Children and Young People to include bishops; the publication of complete lists of credibly accused clergy in all dioceses; improving the audit process; and enhancing accountability for bishops regarding cases of abuse.
*No report was provided in 2016.
Dr. Francesco Cesareo, Chairman, is president of Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts. He holds a doctorate in Late Medieval/Early Modern European History from Fordham University. He also was a Fulbright Scholar and studied at the University of Rome and Gregorian University in Rome. He has been president of Assumption College since 2007, and has held both faculty and administrative positions at several Catholic colleges and universities, including Duquesne University, Pittsburgh; John Carroll University, Cleveland; Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, Connecticut; and St. John's University, Jamaica, New York. He serves on several boards including the Board of Visitors of Worcester Academy, the New England Center for Children, and the Adopt a Student Committee for the Diocese of Worcester. He also served on the Seminary Advisory Board for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Amanda Callanan, Director of Communications for the Claremont Institute, has occupied several positions in the communications field—including digital and broadcast development for The Heritage Foundation, public relations for Fortune 500 clients at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, corporate branding and strategy with a boutique agency in Baltimore, and direct-response marketing for the National Association of Corporate Directors' educational events and programs. She attended Loyola University in Maryland, is married and resides within the Archdiocese of Washington.
Garry E. Hall is a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral who currently chairs the review board of the Archdiocese of the Military Service and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He is also the CEO and president of the Association of the United States Navy, in Washington. He holds a bachelor's degree in marine engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, and an MBA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He was designated a naval aviator and served 35 years on active duty. Operating in helicopter squadrons throughout the Pacific, he commanded two squadrons, the capital ship USS Tarawa, an expeditionary strike group, and was commandant of the Eisenhower College of National Security and Resource Strategy at National Defense University. He spent his entire Navy career operating in and managing risk.
Howard Healy is Senior Partner at Di Renzo and Bomier Law Firm in Neenah, Wisconsin. His main practice is litigation. When theIndependent Review Board was created in the Green Bay Diocese, Mr. Healy was the first Chair. He continues to serve on the Board as the Chair. He is also a Trustee at St. Margaret Mary Parish and the Finance Chairman of St. Mary's School System. Previously, he served as Member of the Finance Committee at St. Margaret Mary, the Chair of the St. Mary's System School Board, and as a participant and Chair of the Green Bay Diocese Board of Education. Mr. Healy is a graduate of Marquette University and Marquette Law School. He is married to Eleanor and has 8 children.
Suzanne Healy was the Victims Assistance Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from 2007 through 2016. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with experience in private practice and as a high school counselor. Healy also has 18 years of business management and strategic planning experience with AT&T Pacific Bell. Healy has a BS in Psychology and an MS in Counseling, M.F.C.C. option, with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential with Advanced Specializations in School Counseling and Child Welfare and Attendance Services, both from California State University at Los Angeles. Healy was an Executive Board Member of the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health Faith Based Advocacy Council, and a Committee Member for Los Angeles City Attorney Office Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium in Los Angeles from 2008 – 2016. In 2016, Healy received the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Department of Health Affairs Excellence Award. She is married with two adult children and currently volunteers as a counselor.
Stacie LeBlanc is the Executive Director of the New Orleans Children's Advocacy Center and the Director of the Audrey Hepburn Children at Risk Evaluation (CARE) Center of Children's Hospital in New Orleans. She began her career as a child abuse prosecutor and is the former chief of the Felony Child Abuse Division in Louisiana. LeBlanc obtained a master's degree in Early Childhood Development and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University New Orleans. She designed two educational programs, Teens, Sex and the Law, and Painless Parenting, and has trained an average of 8,000 people annually on these and other mandatory reporting programs. To battle child abuse, LeBlanc developed a social media campaign, Dear Parents, and launched No Hit Zones at Children's Hospital and its subsidiaries to raise awareness of the harms of corporal punishment, which is the most prevalent risk factor for child physical abuse. She has been recognized for 11 successful legislative amendments and named the Champion for Children for Policy and Legislation by Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. She has received a Victims and Citizens Against Crime Lifetime Achievement Award, the FBI Directors and Community Leadership Award, Outstanding Prosecutor Award, recognition as Catholic Graduate of the Year and City Business' Health Care Hero Award. LeBlanc is currently the President of the Louisiana Alliance of Children's Advocacy Centers and the Vice President of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC).
Dr. Christopher McManus is the owner and President of CP & RP McManus, MD, Ltd where McManus practices Internal Medicine in the Diocese of Arlington, VA. He is active in the Northern Virginia Guild of the Catholic Medical Association and is a charter member and current leader for Privia Medical Group. McManus was a professor for Georgetown University Medical School from 1998-2006 and has served as a Physician Advisor for Quality Resource Management. McManus served his residency training at the University of Vermont and received his degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He currently serves on the Arlington County Executive Board and has previously served as President of the Arlington Medical Society. Other volunteer activities for McManus include serving at the Arlington Free Clinic, volunteering in the Medical Reserve Corps for the Arlington County Health Department, and local service to his home parish. He has been married for over thirty years, has four adult children, and enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.
D. Jean Ortega-Piron was appointed Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in October 2011. Prior to that appointment, since 1996, Ms. Ortega-Piron had served as the Statewide Legal Guardian for all foster children in Illinois until her retirement in 2013. In that position she was the court appointed legal guardian of all abused and neglected children committed to DCFS and was responsible to the court for the well being of the children. While fulfilling her responsibilities as the legal guardian of 100,000+ children in Illinois during her tenure, she also served as a policy formulating executive manager. Ms. Ortega-Piron was able to spearhead reform for that responsibility and create an Office of the Guardian, which advocated for the wards of the state at the executive level of that child welfare agency. From1994 until 1996 she served as the Executive Assistant to Governor Edgar’s Special Counsel for Child Welfare Services where she was responsible for coordinating and overseeing implementation of policy, plans and initiatives relating to Juvenile Court reform. Ms. Ortega-Piron holds a Bachelor’s degree from Rosary College/Dominican University and a Juris Doctorate degree from IIT/Chicago Kent College of Law. She is married, has two sons and is the proud grandmother of two.
Eileen Puglisi held the position of Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Young People in the Diocese of Rockville Centre where from 2003-2014. Her prior work history involves director level work at various Psychiatric Centers in New York, including Deputy Director of the Queens Children's Psychiatric Center. Puglisi received a Professional Degree in School Psychology from St. John's University in New York and an M.S. in Guidance and Counseling from Hunter College in New York. She has direct experience as a psychologist and is an avid golfer.
Theresa Simak is an Assistant State Attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida. She has been with the State Attorney's Office since 2003 and was made a Division Chief in 2009. Simak has spent most of her career focused on the prosecution of sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence offenses. She is active in the community of Jacksonville and serves as chair of the University of Florida Child Protection Team Community Advisory Council and serves on their Operations Advisory Council. Simak currently serves on the State Forensic Interview Protocol Task Force to help develop a standardized protocol for forensic interviews of children suspected of having been abused. She also works closely with the sexual assault and domestic violence centers in Northeast Florida to include Hubbard House, Quigley House and the Women's Center of Jacksonville. Simak received the Mayor's Judicial Victim Advocate Award for outstanding service to victims in 2014 and received the State Attorney's Office Distinguished Service Award for dedication and outstanding performance in 2015. Simak is married, and she and her husband have three children.
Jan Slattery served as the Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth in the Archdiocese of Chicago from 2003-2015. Previously she was the Director of Ministry in Higher Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Prior to working in the Archdiocese, Slattery was an administrator at Loyola University Chicago. She has been a consultant for various religious denominations on child abuse prevention and has been a frequent presenter on child abuse prevention. She gave a presentation on pornography at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2012 and is co-author of Conversations, a program that addresses loneliness and life issues in diocesan priesthood. She was a member of the USCCB Higher Education Committee and Chairperson of the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators. While Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, she partnered with the Children's' Advocacy Center in Chicago and Prevent Child Abuse America to further awareness of child abuse. Slattery currently serves on the Review Board for three religious communities. She has an MA in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Loyola University Chicago.
Ernest Stark currently serves as chair of the review boards for several religious communities including the Augustinians, Carmelites, Passionists, and Benedictines and is a member of the review board of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. He has served as a teacher and administrator in Catholic secondary schools and colleges for fifty years. He was a member of the review board of the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, for ten years, serving as chair for eight of those years. He holds a master's degree in education from St. Mary's University, Minnesota, and a master's degree in theology from Manhattan College, New York. He has pursued additional studies at Northern Illinois University, and he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for summer study at the University of Notre Dame.
Donald Wheeler has more than forty years of public and private sector experience in managing investigative, audit and forensic resource to resolve complex issues of fact and law. Currently, he is Senior Investigator with the law firm of Hunton & Williams, LLP and previously was the Regional Director of its Turnstone Investigative Group in Washington, DC. Prior to entering the private sector, Mr. Wheeler held various senior management positions with the Office of Special Investigations, U. S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), including Deputy Director of Investigations, and Acting Director. Mr. Wheeler began his federal law enforcement career with the U. S. Department of Labor where he held a number of positions in its Organized Crime and Racketeering Program, including Special Agent In Charge of field offices in Chicago and Cleveland. Mr. Wheeler is a cum laude graduate of Michigan State University where he earned the Bachelor of Science degree in Police Administration and Public Safety.
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