Below you will find a list of our staff and board members. Please click a person's name if you would like to e-mail that person. You are also welcome to call our drop-in center at (410) 523-1694 during operating hours. We are happy to help. 




Mary Chirico

Program Director

 Mary Chirico has been working as a Peer Support Specialist since 2009 and in June 2015 became the Program Director at Hearts and Ears. After a long struggle with mental health and addiction issues Mary has dedicated herself to helping others on their road to recovery. Educated in both Psychology/Sociology and a certification in Case Management from theCommunity College of Baltimore County, Mary is also agraduate of the Shapiro Training and Employment Program (STEP). She is a registered member of International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) and holds current certification a Wellness and Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Facilitator.



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Ken Jiretsu is the Peer Support Specialist at Hearts & Ears. As a Transman in the LGBT community, Ken is very involved in advocacy and helping to address issues of discrimination and violence against transgender individuals in Baltimore City. He is currently working to obtain his general studies degree at CCBC Essex and is planning to transfer to a four year university to pursue his degree in Allied Health & Human Services. He is also an entrepreneur & artist in the LGBT community and a single father of four special needs young adults.


Laura Haas, BSN

Board President

 Laura Hass has been Hearts and Ears board president for three years. Previously a registered nurse at Sheppard Pratt Health Systems Laura Haas has a great deal of expertise in the treatment of mental illness. With a degree in Nursing from York College of Pennsylvania Laura is positioned to provide Hearts & Ears with a great deal of insight into the potential treatment of its members.






Board Vice President

Tony Wright, a consumer advocate who has served as Executive Director of On Our Own, Inc.  since 2004. He has expanded the organization to include 6 consumer-run behavioral health self-help centers throughout Baltimore city and county regions. Tony has augmented the On Our Own mission and vision which has served as a national model for peer operated centers, not only in Maryland, but across the country.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of Behavioral Health System Baltimore, Inc., Tony has served as board member and Chairman of the Maryland Disability Law Center Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Mental Illness, The Integrated Care Advisory Council, On Our Own of Maryland, Inc. Chairman of  Baltimore County Bureau of Behavioral Health Advisory Council, Hearts and Ears Board of Directors, Main Street Housing Board of Directors and the Mental Health Association of Maryland Board of Directors. Tony is also an artist in his spare time and operates a consumer operated art studio and gallery in the Baltimore area. 

Jason Saunders

Board Treasurer

Jason Saunders has been member of Hearts and Ears since 2015. He has a Masters of Arts in English Literature and Language from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania where he double majored in American History and Africana Studies. He is also a graduate of the Phillips Academy Andover. Jason is currently working as a marketing and advertising professional at a local firm but he hopes to man his own agency in the near future. He is especially interested in the potential for digital media to advance social justice initiatives and to advocate for progressive values.