Center for START Services National Team



Joan B. Beasley, PhDPicture of Joan Beasley
Director, Center for START Services
Director, National Research Consortium on Mental Health in IDD
Research Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire

Ph.D., the Florence Heller School  for Advanced Graduate Studies in Social Policy, Brandeis University
M.Ed., Northeastern University
Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Dr. Joan Beasley, is a Research Associate professor, Director of the Center for START Services, and PI of the National Research Consortium on MH-IDD. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University, and a Master’s degree in Community Mental Health Counseling from Northeastern University. Dr. Beasley is  author of the START program, first implemented in 1988, and has worked to promote inclusion for all in the development of effective services for people with disabilities and their families for more than 35 years. START was cited as a model  in the 2002 US Surgeon General’s Report on mental health disparities for persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities and in 2016 START was identified as best practice at the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. START is researched and peer reviewed as an evidence based practice.

Top Signature Strengths: Creativity, Hope, and Fairness


Karen Weigle, PhDPicture of Karen Weigle
Associate Director

Ph.D., Child Clinical Psychology, West Virginia University
Licensed Psychologist in the state of Tennessee
Co-Founder of the Chattanooga Autism Center

Dr. Karen Weigle is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience working with people with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities and their families. As the Associate Director of the Center for START Services, she facilitates program implementation, provides expert training and consultation services, and conducts research. Dr. Weigle is also a founder of and clinician at the Chattanooga Autism Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She has extensive experience working as part of an interdisciplinary team and in several medical specialty clinics and wards, and has provided assessment and intervention services in a variety of contexts including in-home, school-based, clinic-based, agency-based, hospital-based, and community crisis response. She has previously directed or co-directed programs that provide services spanning East Tennessee and oversight of a large number of service providers. Dr. Weigle has experience in training family practice and medical specialty residents, special educators, community-based services providers, families, Early Intervention Specialists, and laypersons. Her teaching experience varies from undergraduate psychology courses to special education graduate-level seminars.

Top Signature Strengths: Love and Leadership


Picture of Jill Hinton

Jill Hinton, PhD
Clinical Director

Ph.D., Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Licensed Psychologist in the States of North Carolina & Virginia
Chair of the NC Developmental Disabilities Practice Improvement Collaborative

Jill Hinton, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years of experience working with people with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and mental illness. As the Clinical Director of The Center for START Services, Dr. Hinton  provides consultation and training to START teams across the country and facilitates a monthly practice group for START program clinical directors. She currently serves as Project Manager for New York and is actively supporting the NY Region 1 team, as well as providing support for the implementation of NY START in Regions 4 and 5.

Top Signature Strengths: Perspective, Fairness


picture of Luke Reynard

Luke Reynard, MBA
Director of Operations

MBA, Economics and Analytics, University of Texas Permian Basin
BA, Psychology, Texas State University

Prior to joining CSS, Luke served as the Chief Officer of Disability Services at MHMR of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the original director for the Tarrant START team formed in 2013, and served as Program Administration for the Tarrant team from 2017 until joining us here at the Institute on Disability in Concord, NH. He has a Masters degree in Business Administration, a Bachelors degree in Psychology, and has worked in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for 15 years, serving in a variety of leadership roles. 


Picture of Andrea Caoili

Andrea Caoili, LCSW
Director of Quality Assurance & Research, Center for START Services
Director of Operations, National Research Consortium on Mental Health in IDD
Adjunct Professor, University of New Hampshire

M.S.W., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of North Carolina

Andrea is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 10 years of experience in field of social work. She specializes in serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health conditions. Andrea has experience in practicing and training other clinicians in crisis prevention and intervention, systems theory and systemic consultation, the use of positive psychology approaches and effective treatment of mental health issues for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Andrea  has worked with the START program since its inception in North Carolina in 2009. She has held positions with in the program including START Coordinator, START Clinical Team Lead as well as NC START Clinical Director.

Top Signature Strengths: Love, Judgement, and Perspective


Jennifer McLaren, MDPicture of Jennifer McLaren, MD
Chief Medical Advisor, Center for START Services
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Medical Director, New Hampshire Bureau of Developmental Services

MD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Jennifer McLaren, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed a residency in adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Dr. McLaren’s clinical practice focuses on caring for children, adolescents and adults with autism and neurodevelopmental disabilities. She serves as the director of the Autism Program and the director of the Developmental Disabilities Clinics at Dartmouth and provides educational opportunities for medical students, residents, and continuing medical education focused on caring for people with developmental disabilities.



Picture of Jarrett Barnhill

Jarrett Barnhill, MD
Medical Advisor

M.D., Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association
Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

L. Jarrett Barnhill, MD, is a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and founding director of the UNC Program on Neurodevelopmental Psychiatry. Dr Barnhill was the 2008 recipient of the Frank J Melanoscino Award from NADD and the 2012 Melanoscino award from the American Psychiatric Association. He played a major role in the development of the Diagnostic Manual for Intellectual Disability (DMID), serving on the International Advisory Board and section coordinator for the section on Childhood and Adolescence. He is a co-editor of the Diagnostic Manual-Intellectual Disability-2. Dr. Barnhill served on the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.



Picture of Bob Scholz

Bob Scholz, MS
Director of Resource Center Services

M.S., Mental Health Counseling, Salem State College
Licensed Mental Heath Counselor in the State of Massachusetts

Bob joined the Institute on Disability in 2011 after working as the Director of Residential Services for a large human services company in Massachusetts. Bob has worked to develop cutting-edge residential services to individuals with significant medical and mental health disabilities as well as developing unique services focused on end of life care for individuals with Downs Syndrome and dementia. Working closely with Dr. Joan Beasley in Massachusetts, Bob was instrumental in the development and operation of the first START Services model in Massachusetts, and would later help to operate the Sovner Center a community mental health clinic specializing in progressive treatment for individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental health issues. Bob brings over 25 years of human services, clinical, and supervisory experience to the Institute on Disability.

Top Signature Strengths: Kindness and Leadership



Picture of Anne LaForce

Anne LaForce, MA
Director of Therapeutic Coaching

M.A., Clinical Psychology, North Carolina Central University
B.A., Psychology, Kent State University

Anne La Force is a clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience working with adults, adolescents and children with developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health disorders.  As a Project Manager and Director of Therapeutic Coaching, Anne provides consultation and training to START teams across the country and facilitates monthly practice groups for Therapeutic Team Leaders and Clinical Directors.  Anne has experience in practicing and training other clinicians in crisis prevention and intervention, implementation of positive psychology approaches, assessment of biopsychosocial factors and trauma informed care practices.


Top Character Strengths:  Love, Fairness, Leadership


Picture of Ann Klein

Ann Klein, MA
Director of Evaluation and Outcomes

M.A., Human Services Administration, Rider University
B.A., Political Science and German, University of Michigan

Ann joined the Center for START Services in 2013 after working as the Director of Outcomes and Evaluations for a System of Care network in Cincinnati, OH. Ann has over 12 years of experience in the mental health and developmental disabilities service systems in both Ohio and New Jersey, including work on a government advisory council on disability issues and work on a New Jersey Governor’s Initiative program to help prevent the institutionalization of children with multiple disabilities. Her experience is mainly in the area of program outcomes and evaluation, but also includes work in program development, licensure compliance and quality assurance activities.

Top Signature Strengths: Love and Judgement


Picture of Beth Grosso

Beth Grosso, MSW
Training Coordinator

Beth joined the Institute on Disability in 2015 after working as the Case Management Supervisor at a New Hampshire Area Agency serving individuals with developmental disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and behavioral health needs. Previous to her position as CM Supervisor, Beth became a certified START Coordinator and served as the START Team Leader for the New Hampshire START Program at Community Bridges. Beth has presented at the annual START National Training Institute as well as at serveral NADD (National Association for the Dually Diagnosed) conferences. Beth has experience in the coordination of services within the field of mental health & intellectual/developmental disablities, training development and delivery, systems development, and leadership.

Top Signature Strengths: Humor and Kindness



Project Facilitators & Trainers


picture of Dan Baker

Dan Baker, PhD
Associate Project Facilitator & Trainer

PhD, Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota

Dr. Dan Baker serves as a Project Facilitator & Trainer at the Center for START Services and as the Positive Supports Compliance Specialist with Quality Assurance and Disability Compliance Services at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. At MDHS, Dr. Baker is involved with the design, development, and monitoring of treatment programs to align with the Positive Supports and a person-centered culture. Dr. Baker's clinical focus is on positive behavior support, models of community and educational support, transition services, and mental health services for people with disabilities.


Jillaine Baker, LCSW
QA and Training Project Coordinator

Jillaine Baker is a licensed clinical social worker with over 12 years of experience working with individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities in various capacities. Prior to joining CSS, she was the Director of NC START Central and prior to that, a coordinator with the North Carolina team. Jillaine has experience practicing and training within the field of Mental Health and IDD, with emphasis on crisis response, systemic collaboration, positive psychology and program development. She also holds a Master of Theological Studies, where she focused her research on theology and disability. In her spare time Jillaine is trying to begin a L’Arche community in North Carolina. This is a worldwide organization that provides intentional community living for individuals with and without I/DD.

Top VIA Strengths: Honesty, Love, Leadership

Picture of Alyce Benson

Alyce Benson, LCSW
Associate Project Facilitator

MSW, BSW, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Tennessee

Alyce Benson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 18 years experience working with adults, adolescents, and children with developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health disorders.  She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Ms. Benson specializes in working with individuals who present complex behavioral, medical, and psychological issues, and has extensive experience working in numerous community-based settings and with numerous interdisciplinary teams. She has provided seminars at both national and international conferences for NADD and AAMR.  She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and National Association for the Dually Diagnosed. 

Top Signature Strengths: Hope and Fairness


Picture of Angelica Garcia

Angelica Garcia
Associate Project Facilitator

BS, University of Texas at El Paso

After earning her Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2015 at the University of Texas at El Paso, Angelica joined the El Paso START Team as a START Coordinator. In 2017 she became the Texas START El Paso Clinical Team Leader and lead crisis intervention specialist. She is committed to supporting individuals with IDD and mental health needs by providing training on IDD for the El Paso community, cultivating hope for individuals, families, and systems in crisis, and enhancing the quality of life for people with MH/IDD.

Top Signature Strengths: Spirituality, Hope, and Perspective.


picture of Kristal Garcia

Kristal Garcia, LMSW
Associate Project Facilitator

MA, New Mexico State University
Licensed Master Social Worker, Texas and New Mexico

Kristal Garcia is a Licensed Master Social Worker in the state of Texas and New Mexico. She received her master’s degree from New Mexico State University in 2013. For over a decade, Kristal has worked to promote quality mental health services for people with IDD/MH and their families. Currently, she is the Clinical Director for one of the two Texas START Programs, El Paso, Texas. In 2018, Kristal received the START Clinical Team Leader Award from the Center for START Services at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability UCED. In addition, Kristal is the Clinic Manager of IDD Crisis Services at Emergence Health Network where she employs evidence-based practices to promote quality outcomes for people with disabilities.



picture of demetral grigley

Demetra Grigley
Associate Project Facilitator

Demetra Grigley is the Assistant Director of NC START West who supports all team members in any way possible while also building the capacity of the system by providing trainings and linkages. Demetra is an original NC START West team member who has had the opportunity to grow as a professional in multiple roles throughout the years with the START team. Demetra had many opportunities to be a part of many firsts with NC START. North Carolina was the first state to implement START services state wide. The first coordinator to be certified and the opportunity to be a part of the first endeavors as a job coach for newly hired START coordinators. Before joining the START team, Demetra spent five years providing direct care and leadership roles in residential settings with adults who had an Intellectual Developmental Disability and mental health needs. Identifying and obtaining PERMA in individuals lives unknowingly at the time.


picture of Maya Hu-Morabito

Maya Hu-Morabito
Associate Project Facilitator

Maya Hu-Morabito joined the Institute on Disability in 2020 after participating in the launch of START supports in New York State. Prior to the introduction of START in her area, Maya worked in the field of Developmental Disabilities, beginning her career as a Direct Support Professional and gaining more experience as a Care Coordinator and Senior Program Manager for Self Directed Services. As a part of the START network, Maya achieved her START Coordinator Certification and has applied this understanding of bio psycho social assessment and positive psychology approaches to guide her as Region 1 NYSTART Director. All of these experiences have given her a deep appreciation for the positive outcomes from people caring about other people.


Picture of Luke Kalb

Luke Kalb, PhD
Chair, START Research Committee
Chair, National Research Consortium on Mental Health in IDD

Ph.D., Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloombert School of Public Health
M.H.S., Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloombert School of Public Health
B.A., Psychology, University of Baltimore

Luke is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuropsychology and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. He also serves as Co-Chair of the START research committee.  Dr. Kalb’s research focuses on improving mental health outcomes among vulnerable populations, with a particular focus on youth and individuals with a developmental disability. His primary research interests involve understanding the phenomenology, epidemiology, and treatment of mental health crises. His research portfolio also extends to assessing the effectiveness of community-based mental health programs, psychometrics and measure development, developing methods to address selection bias, and use of health information systems and emerging technologies to improve clinical care and research methodologies. 



Picture of David O'Neal

David O'Neal, MS, LMHC, MHP
Project Facilitator

M.S., Psychology, Western Washington University
B.A., Psychology, University of Washington

As a Department Manager of Specialized Services at Sound mental health in Seattle, WA, I manage all IDD services and agency wide Vocational Services. Our Community Networks Program consists of a 30 person, interdisciplinary staff team involved in the provision of mental health, vocational, chemical dependency, solution based systemic problem solving, and case management for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Monitor, facilitate and fulfill contracts with county and state divisions of mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities. Our Vocational Team, SoundWorks, is integrated into all mental health clinical teams and those 10 individuals oversee Supported employment for all SMH clients.

Top Signature Strengths: Zest and Social Intelligence


picture of Christy Prophete

Christy L. Prophete, MFT
Associate Project Facilitator

M.S., Marriage & Family Therapist, NOVA Southeastern University
B.S., Family, Youth & Community Sciences (F.Y.C.S), University of Florida

Christy is a Marriage & Family Therapist with over 10 years of experience working in the mental health field. She is informed in evidenced based practices including Cognitive-Behavioral therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. She is also trained to practice in several therapy approaches including individual, family & group therapy and is versed in in-depth biopsychosocial assessments. Christy joined the START network in February of 2017 as the START Therapeutic Coaching Team Leader for NC START west team. She has worked passionately to develop the START therapeutic Coaching branch in the North Carolina western region. To ensure a successful collaboration during the program growth, Christy has and continue to train and educate team members, coaches, and families on fundamentals of the STC program. Christy uses her unique and creative leadership techniques based on positive psychology practices to effectively serve families and team in the mental health and IDD community.

Top Signature Strength: Leadership, Creativity, Gratitude

Operations Staff


Picture of Mary Ann Allsop

Mary Ann Allsop
Senior Program Support Assistant

Over the past 15 years at the Institute on Disability, Mary Ann has served as a conference coordinator, and Assistive Technology Project Support, and currently as Senior Program Support for the Center for START Services. Prior to joining the IOD, she spent 13 years working in the Concord public school system in New Hampshire as a paraprofessional. 

Top Signature Strengths: Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, Kindness



Picture of Lindsay Allsop

Lindsay Allsop
Communications Coordinator

Lindsay joined the Center for START Services at the IOD in 2016. As communications coordinator, she develops and implements the Center’s communication and marketing strategies. 







Picture of Anne Marie Ashford

Anne Marie Ashford
Senior Program Support Assistant

M.B.A, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
B.S., Business Administration, Providence College

Anne Marie joined the Institute on Disability in September of 2017 in a part-time capacity as an Event Coordinator for RENEW and is now a Senior Program Support Assistant for the Center for START Services supporting national quality assurance and training initiatives. Prior to the IOD, Anne Marie spent thirteen years at a large insurance company in Human Resources and Claims. For the past fifteen years, Anne Marie was self-employed as both a marketing consultant to small businesses and a private piano instructor.

Picture of Diann Kashulines

Diann Kashulines
Contract and Finance Administrator

Diann Joined the IOD in 2010 as a part-time adjunct managing IOD’s fee for service contract billing. As the demand for the IOD’s Consulting Services expertise grew, Diann’s breath of work experience in Contract Administration, Financial Reporting and Reconciliations and General Accounting (Receivables and Payables) was a perfect fit for the growing role. Among other positions, Diann served as a Commercial Construction Lending Contract Administrator and Property Manager in the Mortgage and Banking Industry, held several Financial Reporting and Finance Administration positions in the Private Sector, Sales and Corporate New Business Development in the Hospitality Industry, in addition to working as an Independent Contractor providing Bookkeeping services.

Top Signature Strengths: Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, Creativity, and Judgement


Picture of Shannon Wedge

Shannon Wedge
START Online Events & Website Coordinator

B.A. English Education, University of New Hampshire

Shannon joined the Institute on Disability in 2011 after working in educational assessment for a decade. Prior to the IOD served as a coordinator at an early childhood literacy program for NH Reads through Americorps*VISTA and was a paraprofessional & co-teacher for a special needs preschool/kindergarten in Wakefield, NH. She earned a BA in English and Teaching from the University of New Hampshire.

Top Signature Strengths: Creativity & Judgment