Empowering Choice, Creating Opportunities

Innovative Resources for Independence


Gilbert Louis, Ed.D.

Executive Director

QUEENS VILLAGE, NEW YORK, April 2018 – The Board of Directors of IRI, a nonprofit that supports people with developmental disabilities, announced today that Gilbert Louis will become the next Executive Director, effective May 7, 2018. Outgoing Executive Director Raymond J. DeNatale will retire on June 30 after 17 years at IRI.

“The Board wishes to thank Ray for his years of service and many accomplishments,” said Gael Monteil, President of the IRI Board of Directors. “We wish Ray a well-deserved rest and a happy and healthy retirement.”

As a champion of individuals with autism and intellectual or developmental disabilities, DeNatale presided over IRI’s steady growth. During his tenure, the agency expanded to 23 group homes. DeNatale guided the merger of Independence Residences, Inc. and Queens Parent Resource Center. The merger in July 2016 brought to fruition a three-year affiliation between the two nonprofits, which pooled their resources in the face of changes in managed health care.

Dr. Gilbert Louis held several clinical and administrative positions in the human services field. He worked at The Institutes of Applied Human Dynamics, Inc. (IAHD) for 28 years and spent the last 15 as its Associate Executive Director. Dr. Louis has taught psychology at St. Joseph’s College for the past 20 years and doctoral-level research methods and statistics classes at St. John Fisher College for the past few years. He is a sought-after speaker and has been a regular presenter at NYSACRA, YAI, and MSC statewide conferences, as well as those sponsored by The Bronx and Manhattan Developmental Disabilities Councils.

For the past 15 years, Dr. Louis has served on the board of directors at Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC). He participated in a work-group of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), which was charged with developing a value-based payment model as the field moved from a fee-for-service system to Medicaid managed care and was the senior researcher for the training guide for care managers which will be published this spring by OPWDD.

Dr. Louis earned a Bachelor in Business, Management and Finance and a graduate degree in Psychology from Brooklyn College. He received his doctorate in education from St. John Fisher College.

His favorite quote by Warren Bennis sums up his leadership philosophy: “Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right.”

Elizabeth Corrigan, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer

Meet IRI’s new Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Elizabeth Corrigan. Dr. Corrigan has been in the field for over 28 years, having held a number of clinical and managerial positions. Most recently she completed 20 years as Director of Adult Day Services at IAHD, where she managed to support 500 people in multiple sites. She has also worked as the Research Director at MNY.

Dr. Corrigan earned her doctorate from New York University (NYU) in counseling psychology. She is a licensed psychologist whose command of managing complex systems and clinical best practices will be key in rekindling IRI's abilities to provide effective and kind supports. Dr. Corrigan is directly responsible for all service delivery operations.

Todd Pinkus, MPA, MA

Chief Financial Officer

Todd Pinkus joined IRI as Chief Financial Officer on July 30, 2018. Todd holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from The University of Texas, a Masters in Aging and Long Term Care from the University of Southern California (USC) and a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from New York University (NYU). Mr. Pinkus has worked with the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the Department of Aging. He has also worked with the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA), to improve their systems and processes for investigating Medicaid fraud and over payments. He also has connections with the New York Integrated Network (NYIN) for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities where he held the position of Director of Operations.

Most recently, Mr. Pinkus was the Executive Director of Meaningful NY (MNY), a Fiscal Intermediary (FI) agency in the OPWDD system providing community habilitation, employment opportunities, and other supports to over two hundred individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Mr. Pinkus is a talented finance executive whose discipline, system thinking, and in-depth knowledge of accounting processes will be critical as we move IRI forward.

Susan McGrath

Director of Quality Assurance and Chief Corporate Compliance Officer

Susan McGrath is IRI's new Director of Quality Assurance and Chief Corporate Compliance Officer. She is a graduate of Queens College and an experienced quality assurance professional with over 20 years of experience.

Ms. McGrath has held positions such as Director of Social and Family services, Director of Clinical Services, and over the past 10 years was the Director of Quality Assurance and Chief Corporate Compliance Officer at IAHD.

Ms. McGrath’s mastery of the governing DOH and OPWDD regulations and their applications, her expertise in incident management and emergency readiness, and her ability to "gentle" teach make her a highly effective trainer and reliable team player.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Proloquo 2

What is it? A fully customizable communication application that interfaces with smart phones and tablets. The app is programmed with picture/icon representations of words and common phrases that the user can string together to communicate a thought.

How does it help? This is an indispensable communication aid for non-verbal individuals

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Telehealth Services

How does it work? Individuals can have their vital signs taken right in their homes. The information is digitally recorded providing personalized biometrics that help detect medical conditions earlier based on trended data. This service also provides virtual intervention between nurses and individuals using a smart tablet.

How does it help? Medical staff is more knowledgeable about patients’ care in between visits. These services also greatly reduce hospitalizations therefore also reducing the number of disruptions for individuals in their homes.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Pulseox Monitor

How does it work? Remotely monitors oxygen levels of individuals with respiratory issues. Allows nurse to monitor the oxygen level remotely.

How does it help? Helps to remotely monitor blood oxygen levels and send an alert to the nurse if levels are imbalanced.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

GPS Watch

How does it work? Individuals can travel safely and unsupervised. Individuals simply wear the watch that communicates to an app used by IRI staff.

How does it help? This technology prevents individuals from getting lost. Staff can also see where individuals are without having to be there in person.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Home Sensor Technology

How does it work? A suite of interactive sensors is outfitted on kitchen appliances and above doors. If an individual, living in their own apartment, turns the stove on, then exits the kitchen, IRI will get an alert. If the individual leaves the house at an unusual time, we will also be alerted.

How does it help? This provides un-invasive oversight. Individuals can live independently with confidence. It also reduces the need for in-person staffing.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Medication Wheel

How does it work? This simple device alerts individuals when a medication dose is due, then opens to dispense medication. If the medication is not taken or the wheel is not closed properly, IRI will be alerted.

How does it help? For those individuals living in apartments or homes, they can now take medication without staff intervention.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Samsung Galaxy Tablets

How does it work? There are many existing applications, and new ones being developed every day that are targeted to assist disabled individuals in enhancing their abilities

How does it help? Allows us to use a variety of online applications that support the abilities of the users

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Amazon Echo

How does it work? Wirelessly controls lighting and other devices through voice commands.

How does it help? Helps individuals who are otherwise unable to manually operate devices to do so independently.

On The Leading Edge of Technology

Pressure Pads in Beds

How does it work? Allows the staff to monitor bed time routines when people are in and out of bed with a remote monitor; a notification goes to remote staff person when a person has gone to bed and if they get up during the night for an extended period of time.

How does it help? Helps ensure safety by sending staff an alert when an individual is out of bed during the night.

Innovative Resources for Independence is formerly Independence Residences, Inc.

112-40 Francis Lewis Blvd., Queens Village, NY 11429
P: 718.805.6796 :: F: 718.805.6798 :: info@in-res.org