Meet the Team

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Administrator Michael Karash, LNHA

Michael is a native to Washington Heights where he studied locally a Yeshiva University and graduated with a MSW, becoming a Licensed Social Worker.

  • As a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in NY & NJ, Michael has almost 20 yrs experience in Long Term Health Care Administration.
  • Additionally, he has served on NYSHFA (NYS Health Facilities Association) Ethics & Standards Committee and was Selected to participate in NYSHFA’s Foundation for Quality Care – Advanced Administrator’s training.
  • Michael is a  member of the Greater NY Health Care Association and a Former Adjunct Professor of Gerontology at Long Island University (LIU).
  • Michael loves sports and serves as a Little League Baseball Coach.
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Saranda Gocaj, Director of Nursing

Saranda practically grew up in Fort Tryon. While still in high school, she started working here as a private duty Home Health Aide. Discovering her passion for the elderly, Saranda became a certified Nurses Aide. She pursued further education to become a Registered Nurse, eventually rising to the position of Director of Nursing.

Saranda’s promotion brought joy to the residents, who enthusiastically applauded her. She is a proactive and energetic individual. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, taking beach walks, and cooking tasty meals.

Renee Fishweicher Fort Tryon Director of Rehabilitation

Director of Rehabilitation Dr. Renee Fishweicher


  • Doctor of Physical Therapy.
  • Renee graduated Hunter College School of Health Sciences in 1978 with a BS degree in Physical therapy and a Masters degree in Exercise physiology/Cardiac rehabilitation  from Queens College in 1995.
  • She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Dominican College in 2012.
  • Renee is a member of the APTA  and participated in APTA task force in Virginia in 2001.


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Melissa Papir, Clinical Dietician

Melissa Papir is a registered dietitian and graduated with a master’s in nutrition sciences from Queens College (CUNY) in 2016. Prior to Fort Tryon Center, she served as the food service/clinical dietitian in Essex County Hospital Center in Cedar Grove, NJ, working with psychiatric patients and assessing their nutritional needs. In addition to her current role as clinical dietitian at Fort Tryon Center, she contributes nutritional education to local newspapers and blogs, fulfilling her entwined love for nutrition and writing. She is also a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and writes for their blog site as well.

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Yamilet Marcial, Director of Recreation

Yamilet Marcial graduated from Lehman College with a BS in Therapeutic Recreation. Yamilet began working at Fort Tryon as a Recreation Assistant in 2019, before being promoted to Director in 2022. Yamilet has a lot of experience working in long term care and did an extensive internship prior to arriving at Fort Tryon.

Yamilet is passionate about providing recreational programs to the residents at Fort Tryon and works together with her Team to provide our residents with activities based on their leisure needs and interests. In the little free time that Yamilet has, she loves exercising, jogging & walking. She also loves traveling.