Management Team

Dr. Haskell has a Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania. Over the last fifteen years, his focus has been on the design, implementation, and direction of child and adult community mental health programs. Dr. Haskell has served as the clinical and administrative director of several publicly-funded mental health programs in Philadelphia and surrounding communities. These programs have been located in traditional clinics as well as in school-based settings. In 2010, he assumed the role of Director of Social and Psychological Services at Mastery Charter Schools, where he was instrumental in creating its social work and counseling/therapy programs. Prior to assuming the role of Executive Director at JJPI, Dr. Haskell served as the Chief Program and Clinical Officer at Northern Children’s Services.

Dr. Haskell is interested in the application of evidence-based practice in community and school settings, the design and implementation of effective prevention programs, and the use of performance-based data to aid in program improvement.


Dr. Brandi Stewart received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri and began working at JJPI in 2014. Dr. Stewart is a Pennsylvania-licensed psychologist with more than 15 years of experience working with trauma in both survivors of and perpetrators of sexual violence. She has a specialized interest in working with adolescents and young adults who have engaged in sexually abusive behaviors. As Director of Clinical Services at JJPI, Dr. Stewart is responsible for the clinical and administrative oversight of all of JJPI’s treatment programs.

Dr. Stewart has been supervising both pre- and post-doctoral level students for more than 10 years. She has presented talks on various topics within the sexual violence field at conferences at the national, state, and local levels, as well as at many local medical colleges and universities, and many local behavioral health and juvenile justice programs. In addition, Dr. Stewart has been a featured guest on several radio shows, including WHYY’s Radio Times.

Dr. Stewart has been a clinical member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers since 2006. Additionally, she is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association. In addition to her work at JJPI, she has maintained her own part-time private practice since 2006.


Donald Kushon, M.D., received his medical degree and Psychiatry Residency training from the Hahnemann University School of Medicine (presently Drexel University College of Medicine) in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Kushon joined JJPI in 2017 as Medical Director of Adult Services. He is board certified in Adult Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, Addiction and Geriatric Psychiatry.  He has a faculty appointment of Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Drexel University where he maintains an affiliation.  He has worked extensively in General Hospital Consult Psychiatry, Emergency Room Psychiatry and Inpatient Psychiatry.  He served as a Medical Director of the Psychiatric Medical Care Unit at Hahnemann Hospital for several years.   He also has a longstanding Psychopharmacology outpatient practice.   He has been a teacher to medical students and residents for many years and has made numerous presentations and publications on a variety of topics to regional and national audiences. 

David M. Harwitz, M.D., Board Certified Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist, joined JJPI in 2017 as Medical Director of Child & Adolescent Services. He received his medical degree from The Hahnemann University School of Medicine (presently Drexel University College of Medicine) in Philadelphia, PA, followed by training in Adult, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY.  In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks he acted as Child & Adolescent Director of Disaster Psychiatry Outreach, P.C., a non-profit organization which provided mental health services during The City of New York’s crisis response. Prior to his current position, he served as Medical Director of The C.A.S.T.L.E  Children’s Program at Virtua in Camden, New Jersey, a community-based treatment center providing therapeutic mental health services for at-risk children and families.

Natalie Dallard joined the Joseph J. Peters Institute in 2011 as Coordinator of Prevention and Training. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and holds degrees from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus (B.A., Psychology) and from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City (M.A. Forensic Psychology and Forensic Mental Health Counseling).

Before assuming her current role in Prevention Services, Natalie served as a clinician in JJPI’s Youth Safety & Responsibility Program and functioned as the program’s court liaison. She worked intimately with the family court system, acting as a representative of the program at court hearings and as an intermediary between JJPI therapists, the criminal justice and child welfare systems, the Defender Association of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

Prior to her work at JJPI, Natalie spent several years providing therapy and sex-offender-specific treatment to juveniles. As a graduate student, Natalie completed an externship with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the Psychology department at the Metropolitan Correction Center-New York. Natalie blends her background in forensics and her clinical skills in providing treatment for children and adolescents with sexually reactive behaviors and/or adjudication for sexual offenses, child and adolescent survivors of trauma, and adult clients.

Natalie is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy and uses a trauma-informed approach in treating issues related to sexual and substance abuse.


J.P. West joined the Joseph J. Peters Institute in 2002 as Director of Partial Hospitalization Services. J.P. holds a B.A. in Social Work from Widener University and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from West Chester University.

J.P. oversees JJPI’s Partial Hospitalization Program, which serves adults with sexual behavior problems and concomitant mental health and/or developmental disabilities. Prior to joining JJPI, J.P. was Director of Forensic Services at CareLink Community Support Services, where she founded the STAR Program, a residential and day hospital program for adults with mental health issues and who have been convicted of a sexual offense, or who have a history of deviant sexual behavior. The STAR program was among the first programs of its kind in the United States and Canada.

J.P. has presented talks at conferences and additional trainings throughout the United States. She has been a member of the Sexual Offender Assessment Board (SOAB) for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


Paul Heffner, D.S.W, moved to Philadelphia from Sacramento, CA in order to complete his Doctorate in Clinical Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. While in Sacramento, Paul held several leadership roles in the behavioral health field, including serving as Program Director for El Hogar Community Services’ Regional Support Team, a program that provides support to consumers who have addiction and/or mental health challenges that interfere with their daily living.  Dr. Heffner also served on a number of community committees focused on improving the behavioral health system in the Sacramento region. While in Philadelphia, Dr. Heffner has had the opportunity to be an adjunct or guest lecturer for the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Rutgers University-Camden. In his current role as Coordinator of the Outpatient Safety and Responsibility Programs at the Joseph J. Peters Institute, Paul is responsible for the clinical and administrative oversight of a large team of clinicians, case managers, and administrative support staff.


Melissa Gonska, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Marywood University. Dr. Gonska has experience providing treatment and assessment for various client populations in a number of different settings, including counseling centers, inpatient hospitals, outpatient clinics, correctional centers, and community mental health facilities. Over the past five years, Dr. Gonska has provided treatment, student supervision, and assessment in the Safety and Responsibility Program at the Joseph J. Peters Institute as a licensed psychologist. In her role as Coordinator of Youth and Evaluation Services of the Safety and Responsibility Programs at Joseph J. Peters Institute, Dr. Gonska oversees all treatment services provided to youth in the outpatient program and oversees evaluation services in both the youth and adult outpatient programs. In addition to her role at JJPI, Dr. Gonska works as a psychotherapist for a private practice in the Philadelphia area.

Dr. Jessica Shore joined JJPI Survivor Services as a Supervising Psychologist in 2016 and is currently the Coordinator of Survivor Services. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and completed her internship and post-doctoral fellowship at The Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, MA. Dr. Shore has been working with survivors of trauma for ten years and is especially interested in healthy sexual development across the lifespan and on the impact of trauma. She has presented on these topics to various organizations and universities in Philadelphia and Boston, and is one of the City of Philadelphia’s Master Trainers in the PriCARE model. Dr. Shore is trained in and provides several evidence based practices including Prolonged Exposure (PE), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and is the team leader for DBT at JJPI. As Coordinator of Survivor Services, Dr. Shore supervises clinicians and doctoral level students and is responsible for the day to day management of the program.

Dr. Julie Curcio-Alexander is a licensed psychologist who serves as the Evaluations Coordinator and as a Supervising Psychologist in Survivor Services.  She completed her graduate training at Villanova University, Temple University and John Jay College, City University of New York. Dr. Curcio-Alexander provides clinical and administrative supervision of the evaluations team, as well as training and clinical supervision to doctoral clinical psychology students. Dr. Curcio-Alexander is trained in relational, cognitive and exposure-based psychotherapies for trauma-related and mood disorders. She also serves as an expert witness in child sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, child pornography, and child protective services cases, and has been admitted as an expert in PA Common Pleas and Federal Courts. She has published peer reviewed articles and chapters and provides continuing medical and legal education on child sexual abuse investigations, the impact of trauma on children’s development, and children with disabilities who have been maltreated. She is a frequent guest lecturer at the Perelman School of Medicine Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program. Previously, Dr. Curcio-Alexander had clinical and administrative oversight of the forensic evaluation service at the Philadelphia Department of Human Services.