2017 START National Training Institute

2017 START National Training Institute banner featuring the theme: Cultivating Hope through Strength-Based Practices and the conference dates April 30-May 2, 2017 in Rye Brook New York

The 2017 SNTI took place April 30-May 2, 2017 in Rye Brook, NY. Thank you so much to everyone who joined us.

Download a Certificate of Attendance


7:00 pm - 9:00 pm | OPENING SESSION*

START Talks: Community Building Through Stories of Hope

Sunday night’s opening session is an opportunity for SNTI attendees to come together to begin the Training Institute with “START Talks”. This session will feature START team members from across the country.


8:30 am - 9:00 am | WELCOME 

Joan Beasley, PhD, Director, Center for START Services; Kate Bishop, MA, Director of Program Development/OPWDD Division of Person Centered Supports

9:00 am - 10:00 am | KEYNOTE

“Strength Spotting”
Dan Tomasulo, PhD, MFA, MAPP,  Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education, Columbia University, Teachers College, University of Pennsylvania

This keynote will highlight how mental health providers can use strength-based treatment interventions that nurture themselves—and those they work with.  This includes the latest developments in the field and an extended question and answer period on application of the research in the field.

10:15 am - 10:35 am | UPDATE

National Advisory Council Update
Eileen Elias, MEd Disability Services Center Consulting Director, JBS Consulting

An overview will be provided of the START National Advisory Council and its role in helping START enhance its services and support its sustainability.

10:35 am - 12:00 pm | MD PANEL DISCUSSION

Searching for the Magic Bullet: The Evidence Base for Psychopharmacologic Treatment
Lauren Charlot, PhD, LICSW, Clinical Director, NC START East, National START Consultant;  Robin Friedlander, MD, FRCPC, Clinical Head, Neuropsychiatry Clinic, BC Children's Hospital; Leslie Smith, MD, Medical Director, ArkSTART; Jennifer McLaren, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Medical Director, NH START; Jarrett Barnhill, MD, DFAPA, FAACAP, Medical Advisor, National START Team; 

Our expert panel will discuss the nature of our current evidence base for the treatment of psychiatric disorders with psychiatric agents. When drugs are reported to be effective for specific psychiatric conditions, how confident are we that these conditions are valid entities? What are some of the current controversies regarding our diagnostic classification systems? Some implications of applying the findings from randomized clinically controlled trials with psychoactive drugs will be presented, with discussion about the role of clinical judgment.  Alternatives to the more traditional view of psychiatric medications as treating disorders will be offered. Our discussants will address implications for the treatment of people with IDD and mental health disorders.

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm | BREAKOUT SESSION 1 

Strand A: Positive Approaches & Cultural Competency

Wrong to Strong:  Applying Positive Psychology to the field of IDD

Dan Tomasulo, PhD, MFA, MAPP,  Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education, Columbia University, Teachers College, Faculty Associate Professor, New Jersey City University; Andrea Szucs, LMSW, RDT, AHRC of New York City

Specific evidence-based positive interventions drawn from positive psychology and positive psychotherapy have been incorporated into the field of intellectual disabilities with promising results. Techniques for clinical and direct service staff, as well as modifications used in Interactive-Behavioral Therapy will be demonstrated and shown as part of this presentation.

Strand B: Children & Families

Understanding Conscious Discipline
Kim Hughes, MEd, SLA, National Certified Instructor, Conscious Discipline

Conscious Discipline® leads parents, teachers, administrators, staff and employees through a process that promotes permanent behavior changes in both adults and children. The paradigm of change is from a traditional compliance model of discipline, relying on lower brain center approaches of threat and force, to a relationship-based community model that relies on higher-order thinking skills. Experience how this extraordinary model educates adults by establishing an understanding of brain development. Once a basic knowledge is established, Conscious Discipline then draws out the relationships between brain development, learning and behavior, using this information to deliver specific ways to create safer, more caring and more responsive environments for schools, homes and workplaces. 

Strand C: Networking & Capacity Building

Increasing Capacity, Ability, and Involvement in Learning: Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
Joan Beasley, PhD, Director, Center for START Services; Dave O’Neal, MS, Project Facilitator, Center for START Services; Pratima Musburger, JD, MPH, Director, Project Laulima; Michelle Kluttz, BA Program Director, NC START West; Luke Reynard, MBA, Program Director, Tarrant County TX START

An overview of the PLC process and how it can be implemented will be provided. In addition, presenters will highlight the types of PLCs developed to partner across systems and disciplines in building capacity in local communities. Presenters from New England, Hawaii, North Carolina and Texas will describe their unique systems and how the PLC process was applied to meet their professional learning goals.

Strand D: Psychiatry & Primary Care

Autism Spectrum Disorders and Common Comorbidities
Karen L Weigle, PhD, Associate Director, Center for START Services; Jennifer L McLaren, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

The most common comorbidities with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) will be discussed, and how each presents in persons with ASD will be described. We will discuss psychopharmacologic treatment options to target these comorbidities. 

Strand E: Health & Well-Being

Striking a Balance: Plan Your Workday with Intention & Wellness in Mind
Angela Green, LCSW, Clinical Director, ArkSTART; Liv Salvador, MA, Program Director, VA REACH 2/ Easter Seals UCP of NC & VA; Valarie Tetreault, MA, Team Leader, NH START

How close are you to burn out? Do you look forward to your workday? Striking a Balance is an interactive workshop designed for Case Managers and Care Coordinators to develop a more balanced approach to the work we do. This workshop will explore ways to plan our work days mindfully and create a healthy work environment designed to promote an overall sense of well-being. The training will feature positive psychology and focus on the mind-body connection and reframing daily challenges that steal our joy. We will explore the importance of a healthy work-life balance and discuss real strategies to achieve that balance.

2:30 pm - 3:45 pm | BREAKOUT SESSION 2

Strand A: Positive Approaches & Cultural Competency

Honoring the Humanity of Those We Support
Karyn Harvey, PhD, Assistant Executive Director, The Arc Baltimore; Jason Tuell, MSW, Resource Center Clinical Specialist, NC START Central, National Team Member; Lisa Wolfe, MSW, LCSWA, Program Director, NC START East

This workshop will explore ways in which we can use positive psychology techniques when working with individuals with IDD. We will explore the application of trauma informed care, the power of positive regard, acceptance, the “joining” approach, and cultural competency. The use of these alternative approaches will be described in the context of training direct support professionals as well as working directly with individuals with IDD.     

Strand B: Children & Families


Strand C: Networking & Capacity Building

MH/IDD Learning Games: Creative Ways to Enhance PLC Learning
Joan Beasley, PhD, Director, Center for START Services; Jillaine Baker, LCSW, Program Director, NC START Central; Maryann Howard, RN, Team Leader, NYSTART Region 3; Laurie Hoagland, MS, Team Leader, NYSTART Region 3; Luke Reynard, MBA, Program Director, Tarrant County TX START

As a follow-up to the Session 1 discussion on Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and promoting multi-disciplinary learning opportunities, this session will explore ways to use creative, engaging, and positive strategies to enhance traditional learning and training forums.  Presenters will demonstrate how learning games have been used to support learning topics covered in PLCs including traditional gameshow models like Jeopardy, Password, and the Match Game as well as newly developed games to promote the development of skills and knowledge. 

Strand D: Psychiatry & Primary Care

So Many Roads: Irritability in Individuals with IDD
Lauren Charlot, PhD, LICSW, Clinical Director, NC START East, National START Consultant; Robin Friedlander, MD, FRCPC, Clinical Head, Neuropsychiatry Clinic, BC Children's Hospital

Aggression is the most common “chief complaint” when both children and adults with IDD and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are referred for an emergency evaluation. Irritability, in turn, is the most commonly reported underlying feature when severe challenging behaviors, especially aggression, occur. Longitudinal studies of children with chronic irritability demonstrate specific outcomes related to later psychiatric disorder. However, similarly designed investigations of children with ASD and other IDDs are lacking. In this presentation, we will examine assessment and treatment of individuals with IDD who require urgent care related to irritability, including some discussion of challenges to differentiating irritability and anxiety. An algorithm for addressing irritability will be reviewed and case examples presented to illustrate key points and questions.

Strand E: Health & Well-Being

The Health and Happiness Connection: The Role of the START Therapeutic Center in Health & Wellness Promotion
Andrea Caoili, LCSW, Director of Quality Assurance, Center for START Services; Ashley Painter, BA, Clinical Therapeutic Home Director, VA REACH 1/Easter Seals UCP; Caitlin Sestokas, MSW, Resource Center Director, NY START Region 1; Steve Tuzo, BS, Resource Center Director, NC START East

Wellness is not simply the absence of illness but rather is defined as a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full mental and physical potential. A focus on health and wellness promotion for individuals with IDD is often undervalued and instead a strong emphasis is placed on both physical and mental illness/concerns. This presentation will focus on how the promotion of positive wellness and happiness approaches, including healthy eating, movement, and stress management, can lead to enjoyment, a decrease in challenging behaviors, and positive outcomes in the overall well-being of individuals with IDD. Specific activities, strategies, and tools used at the START Therapeutic Resource Centers will also be discussed and shared with participants.

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm | POSTER SESSION*

This exciting opportunity for all START programs to share what they have learned is a key part of our annual Training Institute. Posters presented from representatives of START programs in: Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Virginia, and Texas. Posters will demonstrate the effective analysis and application of data gathered from SIRS (START Information and Reporting System). Posters will be judged and award recipients will be announced at the Awards Dinner on Monday evening.


9:00 am - 10:00 am | KEYNOTE

Berkshire Hills Music Academy Troupe: Sharing Our Unique Strengths and Abilities Through Music
Troupe Members: Tori Ackley, John Libera, Justin Scott, Marco DiSantis, Etienne Perley, Sasha Harvey, Tim Connor, Franklin Nichols; Introduction: Karen Carreira, Director of Music and Music Vocation

Berkshire Hills Music Academy offers both day and residential programs to students between the ages of 18 and 30 years old with intellectual/developmental disabilities; some with a secondary behavioral health diagnosis. All of the Troupe members are graduates of the program. Music is used to help students achieve non-music goals such as developing vocational, communication, and social skills. Going beyond entertainment, a concert by the Troupe breaks down barriers and stereotypes as it testifies to the unique gifts of young adults with special needs. In addition to their musical performance, the Troupe members will speak about their lives to give depth and even more power to their presentation.

10:15 am - 11:45 am | PANEL DISCUSSION

START-ing With More Outcomes: SIRS in Action
Joan Beasley, PhD, Director, Center for START Services; Andrea Caoili, LCSW, Director of Quality Assurance, Center for START Services; Lauren R Charlot, PhD, LICSW, Clinical Director, NC START East, National Consultant & Trainer, Center for START Services; Ann Klein, MA, SIRS Manager, Center for START Services; Diane M. Jacobstein, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Senior Policy Associate, Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development/UCEDD

This presentation will provide a review of research and development in our work toward evidence-based practices. A summary of findings from past to present will be provided.

12:45 pm - 2:00 pm | BREAKOUT SESSION 3

Strand A: Positive Approaches & Cultural Competency

Cultural Competence: Implications for the START Program
Tawara Goode, MA, Director, Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence

Cultural competence is widely recognized by policy makers, researchers, and health and human service providers as an essential approach ensuring quality, reducing disparities, and promoting equity by improving access, utilization, satisfaction, and outcomes in services and supports. While the evidence suggests the efficacy of this approach, particularly in health and behavioral health care, many within these fields continue to struggle with the full integration of cultural competence into their policies, structures, practices, and procedures. This workshop will explore a conceptual framework for cultural competence, and examine its relevance for services and supports for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

Strand B: Children & Families

Understanding Mental Health Diagnosis in Children with IDD: Implications for Treatment
Jarrett Barnhill, MD, DFAPA, FAACAP, Professor & Director, Developmental Neuropharmacology Clinic, UNC Chapel Hill; Jill Hinton, PhD, Clinical Director, Center for START Services

Developing effective interventions and treatment for children with IDD and behavioral health issues can be challenging. There are symptoms, which cut across several diagnoses, as well as historical and environmental factors that can impact a child’s presentation. Effective treatment begins with diagnostic clarity and assessment from a bio-psycho-social perspective. This session will provide an overview of common mental health diagnoses in children and present factors to consider for effective evaluation and assessment.

Strand C: Networking & Capacity Building

Newest START Services: Where They Are, Where They Are Going
Luke Reynard, MBA, Program Director, Tarrant County TX START; Kristal Garcia, QMHP-CS, Team Leader, El Paso TX START; Angie Francis, BS, NY START Statewide Coordinator; Bob Lincoln, LMSW, MBA, CEO, County Social Services, Iowa START; Roberto Blanco, MD, Assistant Professor, UNC School of Medicine, Medical Director, NCSTART Central; Anne LaForce, MA, Project Facilitator, Center for START Services, Clinical Director, NCSTART Central

This session will provide an overview of new initiatives in innovative approaches to development and implementation of the START model. While program development always maintains fidelity to the START model and philosophy, different locations have been able to develop programs that fit into their unique systems to meet their needs.

Strand D: Psychiatry & Primary Care

Psychopharmacology: What is New in the Field?
Karen Weigle, PhD, Associate Director, Center for START Services; Leslie Smith, MD, Medical Director, ArkSTART; Sherm Fox, MD, The Sovner Center, START National Consultant

In this age of neuroscience and pharmacology, we are seeing psychopharmacology agents coming to market with familiar and different receptor profiles that could be advantageous in treating patients with complex profiles. The problem many of these agents have is they lack the data in double blind, placebo controlled, and adequate power analysis. Given that there are very few medications with the indication for use in individuals with IDD/autism spectrum, we have to explore areas by pushing outside the envelope. This session will explore what might be possible, theories of how the benefits could be realized, case examples of where we have seen benefits and where we have not, and exploration of possible risks both known and theoretical.

Strand E: Health & Well-Being

What the Health Are We Doing About Wellness?
Dave O’Neal, MS, Project Facilitator, Center for START Services; Karen Luken, MS, Consultant, Easter Seals UPC and Arc of NC; Erica Thomas, MS, Health Educator, DDA Health Initiative, Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development/UCEDD

Health and wellness knowledge, skills, and strategies are essential to maintaining physical, mental, social, self and emotional well being. This presentation will explore some of the existing models and curriculums available and describe modifications and lessons learned in utilizing them in various settings. Effective, creative ways of teaching important topics will be demonstrated. Participants will examine their own health values and how to turn those interests and strengths into teachable segments. Elements learned can be used in schools, residential programs, mental health centers, resource centers, day programs, and anywhere you have the potential to promote health.

2:15 pm - 3:30 pm | BREAKOUT SESSION 4

Strand A: Positive Approaches & Cultural Competency

Linguistic Competence: What it Means for Individuals with IDD and Their Families
Tawara Goode, MA, Director, Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence

Ensuring linguistic competence is a necessary and effective way to communicate with diverse individuals, families, and populations. This workshop will provide a conceptual framework and definition of linguistic competence, delineate their relevance for the START Program, explore the implications of linguistic competence for within the context of intellectual and developmental disabilities, and offer concrete approaches to ensure linguistic competence in policy and practice.

Strand B: Children & Families

Lessons Learned from Parents of Children, Youth, and Young Adults
Diane M. Jacobstein, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Senior Policy Associate, Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development/UCEDD; Robin Hickey, BS, Program Planner, NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council; Kathy Honeyman, MSW, LCSW, Private Clinical and Health Coaching Practice

This session will provide participants with tools to enhance effectiveness with families. After an interactive exploration of concerns voiced by parents in START programs, important systems issues and inequities will be highlighted that shape families’ lives across the country. Two parents of young adults with significant disabilities will talk about strengths, difficulties and sources of resilience gleaned through their own experiences and offer positive tools for supporting parents, based on their many years of professional work with other families. Resources will be provided for START personnel and for the parents they work with.

Strand C: Networking & Capacity Building

Building Systems of Care Through the Linkage Agreement Process
Robert Scholz, MS, LMHC, Project Facilitator, Center for START Services; Susan Morris, MSW, RSW, Morris Consulting; Sharon Cyrus-Savary, PhD(c), LMHC, Program Director, NY START Region 4 Richmond-Kings; Cynthia Hill, LMSW, Program Director, NY START Region 3

The purpose of linkage agreements, five (5) strategies for developing the agreements, and suggestions to maintain currency will be discussed. Samples of linkage agreements from several START programs will be reviewed to demonstrate how the process of achieving agreement can assist with addressing relationship challenges and promote improved collaboration across systems of support on behalf of persons served. Small group discussions will provide an opportunity for participants to apply the strategies to actual situations.

Strand D: Psychiatry & Primary Care

Psycho-Pharmacology in Pediatric IDD: The Struggle to Practice Evidence-Based Medicine in an Evidence-Limited Environment
Robert B Christian, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, UNC School of Medicine

The state of the evidence in pediatric psycho-pharmacology as it relates to the pediatric IDD population across medication classes will be reviewed. This session will also provide detailed information on possible benefits and common risks in most frequently used medications as well as common sense guidelines for safe and effective evaluation and treatment of psychiatric co-morbidity and/or severe behavior challenges. Clinical examples will be used to illustrate the real world challenges and barriers to ideal practice and how these barriers can be mitigated in team care.

Strand E: Health & Well-Being

Interventions for Sensory Integration and Using Apps for Relaxation
Juli Braswell, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist, Willow Creek Women’s Hospital; Jeni Yielding, BS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist, Milestones Pediatric Therapy for Early Intervention; Alyce Benson, LCSW, Associate Project Facilitator, Center for START Services

This session will recognize components of sensory processing and their impact on performance in life activities at different ages. Participants will learn strategies for integrating a sensory diet into school, home, and work. This session will also identify apps for mindfulness exercises, deep breathing, and calming activities that can be used in a variety of settings.

3:45 pm - 4:30 pm | Closing Session

“Strength Spotting” Wrap-Up
Dan Tomasulo, PhD, MFA, MAPP, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education, Columbia University, Teachers College, Faculty Associate Professor, New Jersey City University

Closing Remarks
Joan Beasley, PhD, Director, Center for START Services; Jill Hinton, PhD, Clinical Director, Center for START Services

2017 Research Posters

ArkSTART’s Model Clinic: Pioneering a Design for Change
ArkSTART: Whitney Emerson, LPC, CRC; Angela Green, LCSW; Ginny Reding, MS, LCP, LAMFT

Assessing Community Service Systems: A Critical First Step In Developing Accessible, Appropriate and Accountable Services for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Mental Health Needs
The Center for START Services: Ann Klein, MA

Assessment Results Indicate Positive Outcomes for Individuals Accessing START Tarrant Services
TX START Tarrant County: Linda Kurland, MS, CCC-SLP; Hannah Bednar, LMSW; Megan Wilcox, MSW; Kirk Broome, PhD

Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children Ages 6-17 NYSTART Richmond Kings Review of Children Being Served
NY START Region 4 (Richmond-Kings): Ebony Medas, LMHC; Sharon Cyrus-Savary, LMHC; Madeline Rosensweet, LMSW

Expanding I-START Services and Reducing Service Outcomes Through the Use of the START Model and SIRS Data 
Iowa START: Tiffany Liska, BA; Lynn Phillips, BSW; Jessi Kettenacker, BA

From START to Finish
VA REACH Region 2: Mojgan Pourmand, PsyD; Laura Phillips, MSW

Impact of Crisis Admissions at the START Resource Center on Subsequent Crisis Service Utilization
VA REACH Region 1: Katherine Howell, LCSW

Implementation of In Home Therapeutic Supports with Children and Adults
NY START Region 1: Caitlin Sestokas, MSW, MOAL

Measuring Change in Access, Appropriateness, and Accountability of START Services Using the Family Experiences Interview Schedule
The Center for START Services: Luke Kalb, MHS; Andrea Caoili, LCSW

Medication Side-Effects and Medical Problems of Individuals with IDD and Behavioral Health Challenges Admitted for START Emergency Resource Center Services 
NC START East: Lauren Charlot, PhD; Priscila Hilligus, MS, MSW, LCSWA; Jennifer Ritchie, RN; Latoya Ross
NC START West: Anne Doucette, PhD

Multiethnic NYC and NY START: Service Selection as Mediated by Ethnic Group
NY START Region 4 (Tri-borough): Riddhi Mehta, MA; Erin Murphy, MEd; Ros Burton-Robertson, PhD; Katy Stratigos, MD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma-Informed Mental Health Services in a Sample of Active NY START Region 3 Clients
NY START Region 3: Amy Cohen Anneling, PhD; Cindy Hill, LMSW; Laurie Hoagland, LMHC

Primary and Secondary Intervention: Supporting Individuals in New Hampshire to Divert Emergency Room Use and Psychiatric Hospitalization
NH START: Barb Drotos, LICSW; Val Tetreault, BS; Bev Richardson, MEd

Promoting Wellness with Yoga Practice for People with IDD/MH 
Keith Beasley, Certified Yoga Instructor

Using the Recent Stressor Questionnaire (RSQ) to Identify Trends in Child Referrals
NC START Central: Anne LaForce, MA, LPA; Jason Tuell, LCSW-A

The 3 A’s of the El Paso START Program in Motion
TX START El Paso: Kristal Garcia, LMSW

An Evaluation of Outcomes for Children and Transitional Youth Enrolled in NC START West
NC START West: Anne Doucette, PhD, LPC, Christy Prophete, MS, Ann Klein, MS

Art at START: Creativity, Teamwork, Love of learning, Kindness; the Secondary benefits of an Art group with our START group
NC START East: Lisa F. Wolfe, LCSW, Steve Tuzo, BA, Latoya Ward

Strengthening Community Inclusion via Case Conceptualization and Use of Five P’s/Biopsychosocial Case Conceptualization Tool
NY START Region 3: Amy Cohen Anneling, PhD, Jenny Ayers, LMSW, Jennifer Calandra, BA, Jen Ostrow, LMSW, Magen McMahon, LMSW

Technology and Training: A multi-modal approach for training DSPs serving individuals with IDD and co-occurring behavioral health needs in community based settings
Center for START Services: Andrea Caoili, LCSW, Beth Grosso, BA, John Dickerson, Rebecca Scherpelz

Highlighting inclusion to improve quality of life and decrease systemic stress
NY START Region 1: Deborah Connelly, MSeD, Heather Currier, MS-CAT, Maya Hu-Morabito, MA, Tanya Kelly, MSeD, MHC-P, Alicia Mitchell, BA

Enhancing Wellness for Individual’s with Co-Occurring Diagnoses Through the Use of the HRST and START Assessment Tools
NC START Central: Maggie Robbins, MA, LCAT, RDT, Cathy Kluttz-Hile RN, BSN, MA, CDDN, Anne LaForce, MA, LPA, Jason Tuell, LCSW, QP

Impact of family satisfaction and natural supports on intensity/ frequency of behavioral health symptoms in individuals with I/DD living with family in the community
NY START Region 5 Long Island: Alyse M. Scura, LMHC, Denise Bronzino Donowitz, PhD

Lived Experiences of Mexican-American Immigrant Families Caring for an Individual with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
TX START Tarrant County & El Paso: Hannah Bednar, MSW, Kelly Land, Angelica Garcia, Dean Pye

Medical & Mental Health Conditions of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) with and without Down Syndrome (DS)
Center for START Services: Karen Weigle, PhD, Lauren Charlot, PhD, Calliope Holingue, MPH

Experiences with the Mental Health Service System of Family Caregivers of Individuals with an Intellectual/Developmental Disability referred to START
Center for START Services: Calliope Holingue, MPH, Luke Kalb, PhD, Joan Beasley, PhD, Anne Klein, MS

Center for START Services Fiscal Year 2018 START National Program Outcomes
Center for START Services: Andrea Caoili, LCSW, Beth Grosso, BA

Congratulations to the 2017 START Award Winners!

William I. Gardner Award

The William I. Gardner Award is the highest honor given by the Center for START Services. Each year, we recognize national leaders who have promoted social justice and significantly improved the lives of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health.

  • William I. Gardner Award - Deborah Dorfman, JD

START Award Winners

  • START Clinical/Medical Leadership Award - Jennifer McLaren, MD, NH START & Leslie Smith, MD, ArkSTART
  • START Program Director Award - Liv Salvador, VA REACH, Region 2
  • START Coordinator Award - Boniface Nyangau, TX START, Tarrant County
  • START Team Leader Award - David Schlesselman, NY START, Region 1
  • START In-Home Supports Award - Renee Potter, NY START, Region 1
  • Care Coordination Award - Christy Pruess, Vaya Health
  • START Network Partner (Adult Services) - Angie Francis, New York State Office for People With   Developmental Disability
  • START Network Partner (Children’s Services) -Diane Jacobstein, PhD, Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development/UCEDD 
  • Special Recognition Awards
    • Bob Lincoln, Iowa START
    • Dan Tomasulo, PhD, Columbia University, Teachers College