Board of Trustees

Jack Coulehan, MD, MPH

Jack Coulehan, MD, MPH is an Emeritus Professor of Family, Population, and Preventive Medicine, and Senior Fellow of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. As an academic physician, he has taught and written extensively on medical ethics and the humanities in medicine, and co-authored the widely used textbook, The Medical Interview: Mastering Skills for Clinical Practice. In 2012 he received the Nicholas Davies Scholar Award of the American College of Physicians for “outstanding lifetime contributions to humanism in medicine.” His poems appear frequently in medical and literary journals, are often anthologized, and have received awards from the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, the Annals of Internal Medicine, the American Nursing Association, Tupelo Press, Many Rivers Press, and Hektoen International. Jack is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently The Talking Cure: New and Selected Poems (2020).

Maria Basile, M.D., MBA

Physician-Poet Dr. Maria Basile is interested in the Medical Humanities, specifically Literature and Medicine and Narrative Medicine. Dr. Basile is Chief Medical Officer of US Family Health Plan – St Vincent’s. Prior to this she was Assistant Vice President, Medical Affairs and a surgeon in private practice with attending privileges at Mather Hospital-Northwell Health, St. Charles Hospital, and Stony Brook University Hospital. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital. a member of the Suffolk Care Collaborative (Suffolk DSRIP) and has been recognized by the Town of Brookhaven and Suffolk County Legislators as a “Woman of the Year in Medicine.” Maria is a regular contributor to the Poetry and Medicine section of the Journal of the American Medical Association, and her poetry has also been featured in literary magazines. She is a frequent lecturer, presenting topics in Medical Humanities at conferences, empowering her peers to embrace sustainable empathy, trust, compassion, and context, to act as leaders in advocacy for their patients. 

Richard Bronson, M.D.

Dr. Richard Bronson is an accomplished poet and physician. He is currently Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pathology at the Stony Brook University Medical Center, Director of Reproductive Endocrinology in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Dr. Bronson’s undergraduate training was at MIT, where he majored in Molecular Biology. He graduated from New York University School of Medicine (as did his father) with honors and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed his Obstetrics & Gynecology training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology at Pennsylvania Hospital. Dr. Bronson’s poetry has been influenced by his experiences within an inter-generational medical family. He is currently on the Board of the Long Island Poetry Collective, as well as the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association. Dr. Bronson is the author of five collections of poetry. He won the 2003 poetry prize of the American College of Physicians and the 2005 poetry prize of the Institute for Medicine in Contemporary Society. He is on the editorial board of The Pharos of AOA. In 2006, he founded Padishah Press, a small literary press dedicated to the publication of poetry informed by the experiences of illness and healing. Dr. Bronson is the recipient of the Leonard Tow 2015 Humanism in Medicine Award of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. He is one of the founding poets of the Astonished Harvest program in poetry of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care & Bioethics at Stony Brook and is currently the Suffolk County Poet Laureate for 2021-2023.

Steve Gittelman, Ph.D.

Steve Gittelman, Ph.D. is the President and Co-Founder of Mktg., Inc., a market research firm. Gittelman is the author of numerous articles of public and scientific interest. He has written three books on the Vanderbilts, two on William K. Vanderbilt and a third on Alfred G. Vanderbilt as well as a book on J. P. Morgan. He is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Suffolk Country Vanderbilt Museum. Gittelman is a global speaker on research topics, particularly the use of non-probabilistic sample frames in market research. Gittelman obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Geology from the University of Rochester and went on to obtain a Master’s in Zoology from the University of Connecticut. He received a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Connecticut and trained at the American Museum of Natural History.Gittelman has received many honors including The EXPLOR Award and was designated as Long Island’s Socially Conscious Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine.  He has a proven record of community leadership in science education for young adults and among other recognition has been honored by having a new species of Mosasaur from Israel named Haasiagittelmani and a dinosaur from Malawi, Africa named Karongasaurusgittelmani

Jeffrey S. Gould, J.D.

Jeffrey S. Gould is Founder & President of Portable, Inc., an affordable, modular, sustainable housing manufacturer, that mass-produces steel homes in a factory environment.

He obtained his Bachelor of Arts from NYU and went on to obtain a Juris Doctorate. Gould is a member of the NYU Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Center for Sustainable Business at NYU’s Stern College, and the NYU Board of Trustees.Gould has received several awards in recognition of his philanthropic efforts and continues to serve on several boards. Along with his wife, Lenore, he established the 3E Fund to support education, expression, and the environment. 

Mark Nuccio

Mark Nuccio studied Painting and Printmaking with a minor in History, and additional post grad studies in Commercial Art, Product Design, Engineering, Marketing, and Business Promotion. He is the founder of Design Edge Group, a creative product facilitator serving worldwide clients and a primary outsource studio for clients such as Fisher Price, Hasbro, Mattel, etc. Mark is also a partner of DE Global and Buy Product Inc, both divisions of Design Edge. In addition to his business life, Mark has also had a lifelong career in drawing, painting, and printmaking and has exhibited his work widely throughout Long Island, including two shows at the Walt Whitman Birthplace. His painting and prints are in many private collections. The Library of Congress has his woodcut print of Walt Whitman and his print “To the man of war bird” in their Whitman Archive. He has also published his art in various magazines including Fire Island Tides Magazine and Boating World. Mark is also the author of four chapbooks of poetry: Connecting TidesA Winter PrayerThis Broken Day, and Salvaging Hope. He is an active community member and has served as a volunteer for the National Parks Service at Fire Island and has been Vice President of the Fire Island Light House Preservation Society (1999-2018). Mark also enjoys playing traditional folk music and blues, and is fluent in guitar, banjo and harmonica. 

Gwenn A. Nusbaum, LCSW

Gwenn A. Nusbaum earned her B.A. in Psychology from Hofstra University and Master of Social Work from New York University, as well as numerous post-graduate certifications in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, group psychotherapy, eating disorders, addictions, trauma, and recovery. Spanning over 35 years, Gwenn maintained a psychoanalytic private practice in the East Village of Manhattan, from which she recently retired, as well as taught and published in the field of her specialty work with women having histories of childhood sexual traumas. In 2020, Gwenn added WordPaint Coaching & Mentoring services to extend her reach via virtual sessions, to creators and those more isolated in their workspaces. Now she exclusively provides creativity and life coaching, as well as mentoring to anyone wishing to develop their personal and creative lives, as well as projects. Since her youth, poetry has been a mainstay of Gwenn’s life. Her long-term mentorship with the late poet and memoirist, Colette Inez, provided an invaluable opportunity for her to develop as a poet, as does continued engagement with crafts-building workshops. Gwenn’s poems have received a Pushcart Nomination and Honorary Mention. They appear in several on-line and print literary journals including Brief Wilderness, Cumberland River Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Edison Literary Review, Evening Street Review, Passager, Pink Panther Magazine, Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Rattle, Salamander, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Verse Virtual, and Voices de la Luna. She is also the author of the poetry chapbook, “Normal War.” Gwenn is deeply honored to support the “Poets to Come” Scholarship Award as well as delighted to be on the WWBA Board of Trustees, resonating with Walt Whitman’s humanistic values and reverence for the natural world.

Jo-Ann Raia

Jo-Ann Raia has been a resident of Huntington for forty-five years. She has been the Town Clerk for Huntington for over thirty years. Her two children, Diane and Andrew, were raised in Huntington and are graduates of the Town of Huntington schools.  For many of her years as Town Clerk, Jo-Ann has represented Nassau and Suffolk Counties as District Director of the New York State Town Clerks’ Association (NYSTCA), liaison to NYS Department of Health (Division of Vital Statistics) and liaison to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (Disability Parking Permit Division). As Town Clerk, she also serves as Registrar of Vital Statistics, Records Management Officer and Marriage Officer. 

Robert Savino

Robert Savino, Suffolk County Poet Laureate 2015-2017, is a native Long Island poet, Board Member at the Walt Whitman Birthplace and Long Island Poetry & Literature Repository Center. He is the winner of the 2008 Oberon Poetry Prize; and more recently the Town of Islip Italian American Heritage Award for Visual & Performing Arts—Literature (2019)  and the Association of Italian American Educators (AIAE) Cristoforo Colombo Award for Literary Leadership (2019). Robert is co-editor of two bilingual collections of Italian Americans Poets,No Distance Between Us. His books include fireballs of an illuminated scarecrow, Inside a Turtle Shelland I’m Not the Only One Here. Poetry remains a passion for him as well as his role as a mentor. Robert resides in West Islip, with his wife, Sabrina.

William T. Walter, PhD

WWBA Trustee President (1931 – 2020)

WWBA commemorates the leadership and dedication of William T. Walter, PhD. His spirit and joy will forever be reflected in his lasting contributions to the Birthplace and to the legacy of Walt Whitman.

William T. Walter began serving on the WWBA Board of Trustees in 1980 and was Trustee President from 1980 – 1984 and 2010 – 2020. William also served as the Chairman of the Town of Huntington Beautification Council for over forty years. William was the point monitor during the construction of the WWBA Interpretive Center which opened in 1999, working alongside the prestigious architectural firm, Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA). In preparation for Walt’s Bicentennial Celebration in 2019, William was the Project Manager for the Interpretive Center’s Exhibit Restoration Project. Beginning in 2017, William wrote successful grants for Parks & Trails NY and for The Gardiner Foundation, and worked again with RAA and exhibit designers to re-design, update and upgrade the exhibits.