Meet Our Clinicians
Gabriela S. Asch-Ortiz, MS, LCAT, MT-BC, is a Board-Certified Music Therapist and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, and PhD candidate in Music Therapy at Temple University. She serves a variety of in-patient and out-patient areas, including antepartum, NICU, oncology/hematology, cardiology, intensive care, and PACU. As a clinician, she has developed a broad clinical background that includes work with children and adults with a range of life threatening medical and surgical conditions, mental health needs, end-of-life and bereavement, neurodevelopmental disorders, and trauma. In addition, she has extensive experience with addressing vicarious trauma, burnout and the effects of workplace trauma for medical caregivers. These experiences have contributed to her cultural-relational lens of music therapy theory and practice. She takes a stand against racism and discrimination, working to remain culturally humble, anti-oppressive, equitable, and intersectional while working within these systems. In addition to her clinical experience, Gabriela contributes to the music therapy community through professional service and scholarship. She has been selected to serve on multiple national and regional committees for the American Music Therapy Association. Her current doctoral research explores the therapeutic alliance in medical music therapy with Latinx patients and families. Her larger scholarly research and focus includes theoretical understandings of environmental music therapy, music therapy pain management, music-centered music therapy, critical race, and intersectionality. She presents widely on the topics of relational music therapy, ecological perspectives, cultural responsiveness and anti-oppressive practices.
Susanne M. Bifano, MPS, LCAT, ATR-BC, MSEd, is a New York State Licensed Creative Arts Therapist/Psychotherapist and Board-Certified Art Therapist. Susanne holds both a Masters in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute and a Masters in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Miami. Her experience spans various settings, such as special education programs, shelters, Department of Juvenile Justice, preventive care and foster care, in-patient psychiatry, pediatric hospitals, and she is an Adjunct Graduate Art Therapy instructor. Susanne is committed to deconstruct Art Therapy pedagogy and its oppressive practices and has co-presented internationally on mental health and urban poverty and co-authored articles on the use of Art Therapy with clients in urban poverty, and the need for increased integrative therapies for medically-complex and psychosocially vulnerable populations. Susanne provides evidenced-based groups for healthcare staff, targeting burnout, compassion fatigue, moral distress, and trauma exposure response and has presented globally on this topic. Susanne recognized that symptomatic pain in children and young adults with chronic and life-threatening illnesses is prevalent, and its management is an integral part of care. As a result, Susanne and Dr. Dan Tsze, an Emergency Medicine physician, are the recipients of the American Art Therapy Research Award. They are studying the Effectiveness of Art Therapy Interventions for Adolescent Pain Management in the Pediatric Emergency Department. Susanne is the only Art Therapist at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, and serves all units of the pediatric hospital and outpatient clinics.