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A Forum for LIFE, Inc.

A Forum for LIFE, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) based in Brooklyn, New York. 

Our Mission Statement A Forum for LIFE, Inc. presents a diverse professional development curriculum that places emphasis on the health, safety & well-being of all people.”

Board of Directors & Lead Instructors

Leandro Ramirez, MD  accepted his M.D. from the Iberoamerican University in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Along with dedicated roles in volunteer services like Shriner’s, Operation Walk, and World Pediatric Project, Leandro completed his United States Medical Licensing Exams to acquire Board certification while graduating cum laude. He served as one of the founding members who developed the university’s orthopedics interest groups and served as the student ambassador to welcome the Medical Board of California, whom would eventually provide accreditation to the university as the last of the remaining states to accept international medical graduated from the institution.

As a board certified doctor of medicine, Leandro Ramirez will begin his medical residency in 2018 and is currently completing his masters in health care administration with Walden University. In order to improve his profile for his upcoming residency, Leandro seeks to work as a health advocate and contribute to organizations that can serve to bring ideals of health services into fruition. Having been born and raised in New York City, he plans his future around joining the uncertain yet hopeful health providers, to develop positive outcomes for the populations served.

Adam Johnson, MD - from Southern California, and oldest of 4 siblings. Graduated University California Santa Barbara after doing premed. Always knew I wanted to be a doctor and help others. It brings me the greatest sense of fulfillment teaching others and knowing you might have helped saved a life.

Shama Lalani MD, MPH - American University of Integrative Sciences, St. Maarten School of Medicine, Sint Maarten  Completed Clinical Science Program. Completed two years of clinical rotations in the United states at various medical institutions. Finished various core and elective rotations in psychiatry in the field of child and adolescents, geriatrics and general psychiatry.  

Pictured, to the right, are Edemar Arbuzow, President and Roman Matthews, Chief Executive Officer.


Michell Reyes, FAPIC  - has nearly two decades of experience in the field of Infection Prevention, Microbiology and quality improvement. He is currently an Infection Control Specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He has lectured in the community and nationally on a variety of patient safety and Infection Control topics. He has published several peer-reviewed journals in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) and the Clinical Microbiology Newsletter. He is a Professional Affiliated to Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) and American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Michell Reyes works as a national and international senior consultant with Schlesinger Associat#keting Research Corporation. He is a two-time recipient of the “Star Award” for providing patient efficiency and safety at The Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. He participated in the development of Policies and Protocols to provide care for patients with presumptive Ebola disease. He also worked with Dr. Mark Methner from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The New York State Department of Health Officers and Mount Sinai leadership to develop work flows when taking care of patients with presumptive Ebola disease. He was a vital member in the creation of a state-of-the-art Bio containment Unit to take of care patients with presumptive Ebola disease or any highly communicable disease.

Michell Reyes has a degree in Nursing from Queensborough Community College, a Bachelor of Science in the field of Microbiology from York College of the City University of New York and a Master of Public Health from Walden University.

He has been certified in Infection Prevention and Control (CIC) from the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. since 2008.

Rebecca Pfaffenbach, MA - received two Bachelor of Arts Degrees from American University in Washington, DC concurrently in Psychology and in Law and Society.  She was also a student athlete excelling in Field Hockey and Softball.  During her undergraduate years, Rebecca started her full-time career in the health field working in pharmaceutical development.  Although she began in Sleep Medicine, she moved to Chemotherapy Development for End of Life patients where she stayed for 7 years.  During this time though, her entrepreneurial and travel spirit grew and after receiving her Master of Arts in Psychology in Education from Columbia University in New York City, she moved to Europe.  In Spain, she founded a tour company which expanded into Portugal where she opened a beachfront restaurant.  Upon her return to the United States, her lifelong passion for fitness and nutrition combined with a desire to improve people's quality of life gave birth to This coaching company allows Rebecca to help motivate and teach people the best way to succeed in their health goals by creating solutions to overcome obstacles, designing nutrition plans and fitness plans on an individual level and being a health educator in a corporate setting.  She also shares her knowledge with personal trainers, gyms, and studios so they are able to provide their clientele with a more well-rounded approach. 

Cathy Ward, MD - is a licensed, board-certified pediatrician with 19 years of clinical experience who has been practicing on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for the past twelve years. She graduated from college in 1989 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and received her medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio in 1993. She completed her internship and residency program at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore in 1996. Upon graduation, Dr. Ward toured the country for a year as a traveling pediatrician for a locum tenens company, working with the Amish, the military, teen clinics, and on Indian reservations. She then settled back into a well-respected private practice in Baltimore where she treated patients and served as a mentor for interns and residents at Johns Hopkins Medical School. She moved to New York City in 2001 to continue her career and has now set up her own private practice.

Dr. Ward has been interviewed several times as a pediatric expert by major news media, including NBC, News Channel 4 and Fox5News in New York City. She's has been quoted in Parents magazine, Ser Padres, and HOY newspaper and has given many presentations for local school children and parent organizations. She was honored for seven consecutive years with the "Patient's Choice Award" for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, and also received the "Compassionate Doctor Award" for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. Her research experience includes the "Hot Baby Study- Febrile Infants Less Than Eight Weeks of Age," in 1996.

Dr. Ward was a captain in the United States Air Force. Her passions include sports, animal fostering and rescue, comedy clubs, and playing the drums.

Olga Zbarskaya, PhD is a scholar, administrator, consultant, and internationally published author. Dr. Zbarskaya is an expert in the areas of mental fitness, creative thinking, problem solving, and decision-making. Olga Zbarskaya is the founder and president of the OZCREDO Corporation, which provides consulting, training, workshops, and coaching to help individuals and institutions maximize their leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, everyday performance, mental health, and overall potential. She frequently presents at conferences to contribute to the latest developments in social services. Her presentations cover topics including human services administration, creative thinking, decision-making, effective problem solving, and much more.

Dr. Zbarskaya has been teaching educators, administrators, and licensed professionals since 2000. In addition to publishing dozens of peer-reviewed articles and books, Dr. Zbarskaya has developed curricula for multiple organizations and professionals from diverse backgrounds to enhance their level of success through cortical stimulation and metaphorical thinking, and by making their environment more conducive to creativity.

Olga Zbarskaya’s book Brainstorm! Practice for Unrestricted Imagination and Original Thought (Praeger Books, 2016) offers a scientific framework for the thought that creativity is a dynamic fuel that can power every sphere of life. Dr. Zbarskaya is a member of multiple national and international societies. She is a senior reviewer with the National Organization for Human Services NOHS as well as a highlighted member of the Textbook & Academic Authors Association. Along with being named a Top Tanked U.S. Executive and a Woman Who Sets the Standards from Who’s Who in Professional Business Women, Olga has received the New York Foundling Mission Award, multiple literary awards, and many other professional honors in human services, literature, administration, and other areas.

Melodee Armstrong, RN & Lead MAT Instructor
Charles Smith, ACSL Instructor 

Aspasia Tull is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in New York City. Every day she confronts emergency situations that add to her knowledge and ability to teach others. This is a list of nationally recognized group that she is credentialed by and the components that she teaches.


American Heart Instructor

Red Cross Instructor

ECSI Instructor

ACLS Instructor

Pals Instructor

BLS Instructor

Blood -borne pathogens Instructor

First Aid/Heart Saver Instructor

Sonia Aspah, Registered Nurse & MAT Instructor

Sonia Asaph is a Registered Nurse who is a Community Health Nurse and a lead Medication Administration Trainer. She holds a B.S. in Nursing and a Minor in pharmacy. Mrs. Asaph graduated from the Adelphi University of New York and the Antioquia University of Medellin-Colombia. She has been worked for the Child Care Council of Suffolk and the Center Light Healthcare System of New York.

Sonia provides instruction in English & Spanish and is passionate about the education of society. Her vision is to help others and to work for the well-being of all people.


Our lectures, training programs and workshops:

·         AED (Automated External Defibrillator)

·         Advanced First Aid / First Responder Certification

·         Anxiety, ADHA & Depression

·         Art & Music Therapy

·         Athletic Training & Sports Psychology - Golf & Tennis Lessons

·         Become an Instructor

·         Blood-borne Pathogens (Preventing Disease Transmission)

·         CPR for the Professional / Health Care Professional CPR

·         Child Abuse Prevention & Maltreatment Identification and Reporting

·         Communicate with Tact

·         Conflict Resolution Skills

·         Culinary Arts Training

·         Drug & Alcohol Abuse / Poisoning

·         Early Childhood Nutrition

·         Emergency Medical Responder

·         Emergency Oxygen Administration

·         Empowering Youth

·         Essential Habits

·         Financial Literacy

·         First Aid Training

·         Glycemic Index Table

·         Golf & Tennis Lessons & Clinics

·         Health & Safety Training (15 & 30 hours)

·         How to be Happy / Motivational Speaking

·         How to Communicate with Diplomacy & Tact

·         How to Prepare for an Emergency

·         Infectious Disease Control

·         Just Breathe / Learn to Relax

·         Low Self-esteem in Children

·         Lower Your Cancer Risk

·         Medication Administration Training

·         Mental Hygiene

·         Parenting Skills Training / Positive Reinforcement

·         Pediatric First Aid for Caregivers & Teachers

·         Physical Education / Personal Training / How to Coach Children

·         Professionalism / Leadership

·         Shaken Baby Syndrome & Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

·         Seizures & Epilepsy

·         Stress Management / Seven Things That Keep You Calm

·         Substance Abuse Intervention & Prevention

·         Time Management

Our curriculum is approved by; the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development, the NYC Board of Education, the World Health Organization, the Aspire Registry, the Agency for Child Development, UPK for All and the Archdiocese of New York.

As a 501 (c) (3), A Forum for LIFE. Inc. ( is keenly aware of the economic conditions impacting training, nationwide. In our effort to support, we underwrite a large percent of the cost associated these Professional Development and training programs.

A Forum for LIFE is an Authorized Provider for; the Emergency Care and Safety Institute ( a division of Jones & Bartlett Publishers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, ( American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, ( the National Safety Council, (  the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (  and the American College of Emergency Physicians (

As a Public Charity we bring a new level of affordability. All costs or fees are considered donations and are tax-deductible to the extent the law allows.

We are currently recruiting individuals to join our Board of Directors as well as Advisory Council members. Let us know how A Forum for LIFE, Inc. may be of service.


H. Roman Matthews, CEO          Edemar M. Arbuzow, President