SKIP of New York

Leadership

Margaret Mikol, Executive Director & Co-Founder

Margaret pic for siteMargaret Mikol discovered her life’s mission was to help families of medically fragile children when her son Christopher and daughter Julia were both born with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID). Christopher, born in 1976, died in the hospital four months after his birth. Julia, born in 1978, spent the first years of her life in a hospital intensive care unit. But Margaret and her husband Yves were determined to give Julia a childhood and bring her home. In 1981, the Mikols made history when they became the first family in New York (and the second in the United States) to bring home a child on life support.

The impact of having Julia at home was so rewarding – and so beneficial for Julia’s health and state of mind – that they were determined to help other families. And so in 1983, the Mikols established SKIP of New York as a 501 (c)(3) to offer advice and support for parents of medically fragile children.

Since co-founding SKIP with her husband Yves, Margaret has been involved in every aspect of the organization, from operations and administration to finance and programs. She is also a tireless champion for the children SKIP serves, interacting with insurers, hospitals, nursing agencies, therapists, school districts, counselors, teachers, medical equipment companies, and more to get all SKIP children access to the services they need.

Margaret is one of the country’s leading experts on home care for children with medical complexities, and over the past thirty years, she has advised on key initiatives undertaken by federal and state government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for Persons with Disabilities, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Assembly Committee on Home Care, the New York State Consumer Health Care Council, the New York State Planning Council, the New York State Physically Handicapped Children’s Program and the New York State Academy of Medicine. Margaret has also served in an advisory capacity to private sector organizations such as the Hospital for Special Surgery and the University of Chicago. She is frequently called on to serve as an Expert Witness for Family and other Courts to describe the care requirements for children with special health care needs.

For her tireless work on behalf of children with complex medical conditions and developmental disabilities, Margaret is in demand as a speaker at leading medical and governmental conferences and she has received numerous awards and appointments, including: Achievement Award from the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (2008), Children’s Award from Child Magazine (2003), and from Governor Pataki recognition for the Dr. King Healthy Community Expo (2001). Most recently, Margaret was invited to join the Advisory Board of the newly created New York State Health Homes and DSRPS Committees governed by the Affordable Heath Care Act.

Margaret has authored many articles and resource guides, including The Parent Manual, Transition from the Hospital Environment to the Community, The Cost of Caring for a Child in the Community and The Role and Function of a Case Manager for Children with Disabilities.

Margaret began her career as an elementary school teacher in Washington, D.C. and, subsequently, became Head Teacher at The American Nursery School in Paris, France.

Leadership Team

SKIP of New York has a compassionate team of professionals focused on serving the needs of the medically fragile children SKIP cares for.

  • Margaret Mikol – Executive Director
  • Elena Boerum  – Director of Human Resources/Operations
  • Beth Hammond – Supervisor Buffalo Office
  • Barbara Vanherreweghe – Supervisor Rochester Office
  • Colleen Mahoney – Controller and Finance Director
  • Dr. Robert Zelhof – Director of Clinical Assessment
  • Richard Walsh– Director of Home & Community-Based Services Waivers (HCBS), Policy & Compliance Officer
  • Mary Mulvey – Director of Programs, Care at Home (CAH) and Early Intervention (EI)
  • Elizabeth Beeby – Director of Early Intervention (EI)
  • Kelly Ann Valentino – Director of Programs – Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC)
  • James Moran – Government Relations Consultant