News 12 Covers VCS Annual Meeting

Date: June 27, 2023

Mental health took center stage Tuesday at the annual public meeting for the Rockland-based Volunteer Counseling Services – a nonprofit that provides counseling services and mental health treatment with an anti-racist, social justice mission.

Sarah Goforth to Stepdown as the VCS Inc. Executive Director/Ruth Colón-Wagner to Assume the Helm


Date: June 23, 2022

VCS Inc. Board of Directors today announced that Ms. Sarah Goforth will retire from her current role as Executive Director effective June 30, 2022. Ms. Goforth will be replaced by Ms. Ruth Colón-Wagner as the agency’s new CEO/Executive Director, effective June 21, 2022.

Ms. Goforth served in her current role since August 2013. Before joining VCS Inc., Ms. Goforth served as the Senior Director of Behavioral Healthcare at the Central City Concern in Portland, Oregon. During her tenure as Executive Director, Ms. Goforth played a critical role in expanding VCS’s mission of providing general counseling services and mental health treatment to the underserved segments of the Rockland County community with a social justice, multicultural awareness. Ms. Goforth purposefully raised the agency’s mental health counseling profile by establishing a New York State Office of Mental Health Article 31 outpatient treatment clinic and expanding its general counseling programs to reach the Spanish-speaking community. Ms. Goforth’s foresight, leadership and dedication set the foundation for VCS’ growth for the next 10 years. 

As Ms. Goforth steps down, the VCS Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Ruth Colón-Wagner as the new Executive Director/CEO, effective June 21, 2022. Before joining VCS, Ms. Colón-Wagner was the Director of Training & Development for the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services in Albany, New York beginning in 2014. In that role, Ms. Colón-Wagner was primarily responsible for managing state and national education and training projects for a broad range of behavioral health-related agencies. From 2006 to 2014, Ms. Colón-Wagner served as the Director of Adult Rehabilitation & Treatment Services for the Mental Health Association of Rockland County, Inc.  Ms. Colón-Wagner brings with her insight, experience, enthusiasm, great communication skills and a fresh perspective on delivering behavioral health counseling and treatment. We are fortunate to have found Ms. Colón-Wagner and look forward to a long and successful partnership that will make VCS the model for the delivery of care in the outpatient general and mental health counseling marketplace.

Steven Breen, the VCS Board Treasurer said, “I have worked closely with Sarah on all of the agency’s financial matters over the past 9 years. It has been gratifying working with Sarah. During her tenure, the agency has grown tremendously by instituting new programs that have enabled the agency to flourish. Sarah’s innovative leadership enabled the agency to keep its doors open and provide counseling services to the Rockland County community throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We wish to thank Sarah for steering VCS through some heady times and providing the agency with a springboard into the future. We know that her commitment and passion in whatever she pursues will lead to much success in her future endeavors.” 

Since its inception in 1970, VCS has worked collaboratively with the community to identify and fill gaps in social services with programs in behavioral healthcare, training and advocacy for those most in need.


For more information about VCS Inc. and its services contact:

Ms. Ruth Colón-Wagner, LMSW

CEO/Executive Director

VCS Inc.

77 South Main Street

New City, New York 10956

(845) 634-5729

Rockland County to Donate Surplus Computers

Seven Local Organizations to Benefit

New City, NY, - County Executive Ed Day signed a Resolution authorizing the donation of surplus computers to seven local organizations. Rockland County Division of Purchasing Director Paul Brennan issued a Public Notice and Request for Expressions of Interest for surplus computers which was distributed with the assistance of the United Way of Rockland County.

“This is yet another outstanding initiative put in place by our Purchasing Division and it’s Director Paul Brennan,” said County Executive Day. “This surplus equipment will be of incredible benefit to these organizations and the Rockland residents they serve in numerous ways. I’m proud that after recently upgrading the computers used by county employees, we could provide these computers to organizations in Rockland which could put them to such good use.”

The following organizations will be receiving surplus computers:

Creative Response to Conflict, Inc.  15 Computers
Cyber Rescue/Rockland BOCES 150 Computers
Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center, Inc. 14 Computers
Meals on Wheels Programs and Services, Inc. 5 Computers
VCS Inc. 12 Computers
Salvation Army 100 Computers
Strong Tower Christian Center/Centro Cristiano Torreon Fuerte 3 Computers

The organizations will utilize the computers in the following ways:

  • After school programs, supplemental education and homework assistance.
  • Telehealth visits for clients.
  • School based programs on computer repair and refurbishing the computers to donate to families in need.
  • Job training and community outreach.
  • Providing clients with online access for job searching, resume preparation and communication with potential employers.
  • Administrative support.

The surplus computers hard drives were wiped using software which adheres to U.S. Department of Defense standards.

full article here

Rockland County, NY - VCS Hires First Chief Operating Officer

Liz Alvarado Photo

VCS Inc., a nonprofit counseling and mental health treatment center with a social justice anti-racist mission, just celebrated its 50th Anniversary. While turning the corner to another half century, VCS is proud to announce that Elizabeth Alvarado will be joining the VCS team as Chief Operating Officer on March 8th, 2021.

Elizabeth Alvarado LCSW-R, brings an abundance of skill, experience and heart to VCS. She earned her Master’s in Social Work at Fordham University and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Fordham and The NYU Silberman School of Social Work. 

Ms. Alvarado has been working in New York since 2007 at several health care institutions. She has been a social work supervisor at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Director of Programs at Isabell Home and Community Services, and Director of Social Services at Metropolitan Jewish Health Services to name a few. 

To meet the growing needs of Rockland County’s Spanish speaking community VCS established PUENTES to provide counseling and connections to other programs at VCS completely in Spanish. Ms. Alvarado’s vast array of skills and experience will bring much to bear in furthering the growth and smooth operations of this vital department.

Ms. Alvarado has certification in Gerontology and specialties in: Bereavement, Grief and Trauma, Advanced Care Management, Individual, Couples and Group therapy and Senior Leadership. She is also certified to supervise graduate school, social work interns and is Bi-lingual (English/Spanish).

Services for Older Adults and their Families at VCS offers several support groups, multilingual information and assistance connections, and counseling for older adults – all free of charge while funding is available from the Rockland County Department of Aging. Ms. Alvarado’s leadership, expertise and compassion will facilitate the growth and operations in this essential area of service.

In her new capacity as Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Alvarado will help the senior management team develop and expand the general counseling services of this well-established agency that strives to provide hope and social justice for individuals and families through counseling and community change. She brings a depth of professional skills that will enhance our operational profile and VCS is excited to have her join the team. 

Article in Moving Forward contributed by VCS Executive Director, Sarah Goforth


Team VCS Wins Largest Team and 1st & 3rd Place Runners
at NAMI Rockland 5K Run/Walk for Wellness,
​ Rockland Lake State Park, September 15, 2019

​"CARE for the Caregiver" Article Highlighting
VCS Services for Older Adults and their Families

in the Rockland County Office for the Aging Moving Forward Publication - January/February 2019

Making a Difference
New City Neighbors Features PUENTES
​July 2018


Spotlight on VCS Counseling Services
New City Neighbors Magazine
​July 2016

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VCS Inc. 77 South Main Street, New City, NY 10956
Tel (845) 634-5729 | Fax (845) 634-7839
© VCS 2024