About Us

GEORGIA TEAM

 BIOS

Derrick Dufresne, MBPA, Project Administrator

derrickDerrick Dufresne is the Project Administrator for the Georgia Project. As the President of CRA Consulting, Inc. (“CRA”), he has worked in a variety of settings in the field of disabilities. Derrick’s dedication to life in the community for individuals with disabilities has evolved from serving as a unit manager in an institution to running a non-profit that provides residential services in the community to managing projects that close institutions and transition individuals into the community. He has delivered conference presentations, training, strategic board planning retreats, workshops and management consultation to over 80,000 people in 49 states.

He has worked extensively in the closing of residential facilities, transforming systems that support individuals with disabilities to implement best practice, and establishing community wraparound services for individuals who are in crisis. He is also dedicated to teaching and coaching how to pair person-centered planning with individual budgets as part of the implementation of self-determination in a Medicaid environment. His goal, “Changing the System One Person at a Time,” closely reflects his work ethic and focus.

Derrick received a BIS in Social Work from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and a MBPA (in Business and Public Administration) from Southeastern University in Washington, D.C. He also earned a certificate in Management Training from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Sharon Wellman, Workflow Coordinator for CRA

sharonOften called the “Ray Donovan” of CRA, Sharon supports Derrick Dufresne as his personal assistant, and the rest of the CRA team in a variety of situations, seeking creative pathways to support work being done.  Prior to joining the CRA Consulting team, Sharon served the individuals in the State of Georgia for over 20 years, in many unique and challenging settings at the State Hospital, Gracewood, GA.  She has performed administrative duties for AMH, ICF/SNF and Forensics units, she served as the Executive Assistant to the hospital Clinical Director, she has been a manager in Human Resources, and she served as an executive assistant for the Region 2 I/DD Field Office.  Additionally, in the private sector, she was a Relay Operator for the Deaf for AT&T Communications for several years, working her way to a supervisory position there.  She was also elected to serve as a CWA Union Steward during her tenure with AT&T.  She has attended the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta College, and Strayer University, all in Augusta, GA.  Serving the individuals in the State of Georgia, specifically at Gracewood State Hospital, has always been a goal, as she served as a volunteer for Occupational Therapy  at ages 15 and 16, and then worked as a paid Summer Student on the SNF unit at ages 17 and 18.  Being a part of the community transition process for the individuals has been the most rewarding job experience she has had to date, and she is proud to continue serving them.

CLINICAL TEAM

Bryon Dockter, RN, MSA, Director of Clinical Services

bryonBryon Dockter serves as CRA’s Director of Clinical Services. In this capacity, he provides oversight of and direction to an array of CRA’s clinical professionals responsible for identifying and assessing the clinical and behavioral supports needed for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and dual diagnoses to not only live successfully – but to thrive in the community.

Bryon’s professional experience includes executive, middle and project management roles in the acute, long-term, ambulatory, and managed health care settings, and in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) field. He has extensive background in human resources, organizational development, and clinical resource allocation and management. His clinical nursing expertise and experience is principally in senior care and services for those with mental illness and I/DD. As an entrepreneur, Bryon co-founded CareSys, where he served as President, and the Fall Prevention CenterTM as Executive Vice President/COO, providing clinical diagnostic and rehabilitation services in the areas of all prevention, balance care and vestibular rehabilitation.

Bryon holds an associate degree in nursing, and a BS and MS in Organizational Communications and Health Services Administration. He has completed post-graduate study at the Hamline University School of Law in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation, and has studied as a doctoral student in Hamline University’s Graduate School of Public Administration and Management.

Susan L. Barnhart, RN, MS, MAED, LNHA, Community Plan Development Specialist

susanSusan Barnhart works as the Community Plan Development Specialist for the Georgia Project. In this role she writes the Individual Service Plan Narrative and Calculation which is utilized to figure the monetary budget attached to the support needs of the individual; to offer the providers the information that is needed to support the individual to determine if the individual and provider are a good fit for success; to gather information about the person that respects their  personal preferences and gives choices to them; to serve as a basis to write the Transition Plan and ISP, to provide information to train the staff; and for follow-up to see if the support needs are implemented in the home. Susan enjoys this responsibility as it truly reflects her belief that person centered planning should be honored with an individualized, holistic approach.

Susan joined CRA in 2012 and was part of a team in Illinois that successfully closed Jacksonville Developmental Center from 2012 through 2014, transitioning over 120 individuals into smaller homes in communities in Illinois. Susan’s proudest accomplishment, however, is opening a Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) home in Illinois for her son who has disabilities. He lives an integrated life in his home community where he is self-employed and lives a full and meaningful life.

Susan attended University of Iowa and graduated from Franciscan Medical Center with an RN degree. She holds a Masters in Health Science from Western Illinois University; a Masters in Education from the University of Phoenix; and is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in the State of Illinois. She is certified for Person Centered Planning (PCP) as well as a train the trainer for PCP.

Robert Finlay, Psy.D., BCBA-D, Clinical Psychologist-Positive Behavioral Support Specialist

robertDr. Robert Finlay is currently serving as a Clinical Psychologist-Positive Behavioral Support Specialist for the Georgia Project. Among other responsibilities, he conducts initial ICST clinical and behavioral assessments on individuals to be transitioned. He provides psychiatric summary, risk mitigation, psycho-social review and post-transition recommendations. He also provides assessment of and technical assistance and training for residential providers in preparation for transition and post-transition of individuals. 

Rob’s experience in the field of mental health began following his undergraduate education at the University of Florida.  He worked as a Behavioral Healthcare Technician, teacher, and then administrator at an alternative school in his hometown of Naples, Florida.  His graduate training included practica working with adolescents with substance abuse related legal charges and with adult survivors of childhood physical and sexual abuse. Rob earned master’s and doctoral degrees at Nova Southeastern University and received additional graduate-level training in Applied Behavior Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology. He is a licensed psychologist in Florida and Georgia, a licensed behavior analyst in Tennessee, and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral (BCBA-D).

Rob moved to Georgia in 2009, where he was first a Forensic Unit Psychologist and then the Positive Behavior Support Team Psychologist for Central State Hospital in Milledgeville.  In that capacity, he led a team of registered nurses, social workers, behavior specialists, and Forensic Service Technicians tasked with assessment and treatment of problem behavior for individuals diagnosed with ID/DD, serious mental illness, and personality disorders.

Joan Martin, BS, Community Plan Development Associate

joanJoan Martin works as a Community Plan Development Associate for the Georgia Project. In this capacity, she writes ISPNS, provides Quality Assurance regarding ISPNs, and supports and partners with the team as needed.

Joan joined the CRA team in Illinois in 2013 working on the closure of the Jacksonville Developmental Center.  She lives in Glenview, Illinois and has two adult children, each having developmental disabilities. Through parenting her children, working at CRA, and her community volunteer and consulting work, Joan has honed skills and a passion for person centered planning, living and customized employment.  On the Georgia Project, she works on the Clinical Team creating the Individual Supportive Plan Narrative for Transition to Community (ISPN. 

Joan has a BA in Journalism and Marketing from Indiana University.

Rafael Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

rafaelRafael E. Salazar II currently serves as an Occupational Therapy Consultant on the Integrated Clinical Support Team for the Georgia Project. He also serves as a Post Transition Specialist on the Community Team. As a community support specialist, he completes post-transition visits, attends ISP meetings, provides technical assistance to providers, and assists support coordination through the transition process. 

A licensed Occupational Therapist practicing in the State of Georgia, Rafael has worked in a variety of settings focusing on the adult population to include skilled nursing, long term care, subacute rehabilitation, acute care, and outpatient specialty care. Rafael serves on the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy as a Licensed Board Member and has taught as an adjunct faculty instructor at Augusta University in the Graduate OT Program. He previously held a position with the Augusta VA Medical Center, serving in the outpatient specialty clinic as a lead clinician and clinical education coordinator for OT. He has extensive experience treating adult patients with a variety of neurological, musculoskeletal, and cognitive dysfunctions. He is active as a leader in the profession, serving as a volunteer and subject matter expert with NBCOT for item development and enhancement for the national certification examination, and has also been appointed to the Clinical Simulation Committee for NBCOT.

Rafael earned a Masters in Health Sciences and was graduated from Augusta University (formerly MCG) Department of Occupational Therapy in 2012.

Charles Seider, BS, Clinical Support Specialist

charlesCharles A. Seider currently serves a critical role for CRA as Clinical Support Specialist on the Georgia Project. He is the Database Manager, ICST Coordinator, and Quality Manager.

Charles started his career in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Behavioral Health more than 17 years ago in the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. Over the course of his career, he has served in a variety of increasingly more demanding roles as unit behavior specialist, QMRP team leader, training coordinator, Health and Safety Quality Manager and Transition Quality Manager in both the South Carolina and Georgia systems.

Charles has implemented the data driven decision-making process to assist CRA in transition issues, among other things. He creates, assembles, and maintains several key databases. With tact, diplomacy and creative problem solving abilities, he effectively resolves data management issues.

Charles earned a BA in General/Experimental Psychology from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN.

COMMUNITY TEAM

Noelle C. Humphrey, MS, CCC-SLP, Director of Community Services

noelleNoelle currently serves as the Director of the Community Services team for CRA on the Georgia project. She also works as a Speech-Language Pathologist on the Community side. Her primary duties are to provide team leadership, conduct post-transition visits, assist providers and support coordinators with transition activities and community integration, and assist with provider outreach and recruitment, among other things. 

She has over 17 years experience working as a Speech-Language Pathologist in a variety of settings with both children and adults in CA, IL, MO, and GA. Her passion is developing low-tech systems for individuals to enhance their communication abilities to enable them to live as independently as possible and integrate into their communities to bring their own perspectives and talents. 

In addition to her current role, Noelle has worked for CRA since 2012 as a speech-language pathologist and provider liaison. She was part of a team in IL that successfully closed Jacksonville Developmental Center from 2012 through 2014, transitioning over 120 individuals into smaller homes in various communities across the state. In addition, she has been a team member in IL and GA whose focus was/is to assist in the downsizing of several State-operated Developmental Centers and Hospitals. As individuals transition from larger congregate settings to smaller homes within their communities, Noelle collaborates with the individual’s support teams to assist the individual to pursue a full and meaningful life as a contributing member of the community in which he/she lives. Further, Noelle’s focus is in assisting the individual to sustain or develop nurturing relationship with natural supports. 

Noelle earned a B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and her Masters from Southern IL University at Edwardsville, IL.

Mareece Abney, MBA, Housing Consultant

mareeceMareece Abney is CRA’s Housing Consultant for the Georgia Project. In that capacity his responsibilities include assisting with construction scope reviews, assisting providers with contractor selection, and budget evaluations. Further, he coordinates and schedules field construction activities, seeks out prospective properties, oversees the local permit and inspection process, provides quality control inspections and works as a liaison between DBHDD, providers and contractors..

Mareece is a seasoned Construction Manager who has the skills and knowledge to provide exceptional oversight and guidance of construction projects from design to turnover.  Mareece has built over 50 single family homes and has renovated over 45 single family homes.  In addition, Mareece has managed over $40 million in healthcare projects for prestigious hospitals such as Piedmont Hospital, Kaiser Permanente and Grady Memorial Hospital.  Mareece specializes in providing consulting in the areas of scope development, specifications, scheduling, estimating, bid procurement, contract negotiations, project phasing, quality control, cost control, budget alignment, and schedule management.

Mareece received a B.S. in Building and Construction Management from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. He also earned a M.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Operations Management from Strayer University, Lithonia, GA.

Charles Gamble, MSW, Forensic Support Specialist

charles-gCharles Gamble is CRA’s Forensic Support Specialist on the Georgia Project. In this capacity, he performs a variety of services to enable the individual who has transitioned to live successfully in the community, notably reviewing ISPNs; conducting post-transition visits and providing appropriate community resources and technical assistance support; addressing community integration/involvement issues; and helping to resolve issues that may impede an individual’s successful growth in the community.

Charles has over 30 years of experience working with individuals with I/DD, mental health disorders, and the forensic population. His passion to serve underprivileged populations stems from witnessing social and economic disparities of minority groups. In addition, Charles has worked in the capacity as a Quality Assurance Specialist, Services Coordinator, Forensic Case Manager, and Director of Expansion at a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. He has served on various human rights boards in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.

Charles has a B.A. in Community Mental Health and an M.S.W. from Howard University’s School of Social Work.

Matthew McCue, BS, MPA, Transition Specialist

matthewMatt McCue is currently serving as a Transition Specialist on the Community team for the Georgia Project. His duties are extensive but he primarily works with other professionals (providers, DBHDD administrators, Gracewood staff, etc.) and family members of those individuals to assist in their transitions.

Matt has over 40 years of experience in the field of intellectual/developmental disabilities in a variety of positions throughout the U.S. He has served as Director of non-profit and state-operated community programs as well as Superintendent of statewide facilities in Vermont, New Mexico and Arkansas. As Superintendent, he supervised their closures and the placement of over 500 individuals into community based programs. As a consultant, he conducted activities and training in the areas of reducing abuse, neglect and exploitation, active treatment, incident management, regulatory compliance and community transition. He has designed and operated crisis response programs and provided consultation and training regarding such programs. While in Arkansas, Matt assumed responsibility for the Children’s Unit of the State Hospital which closed and arranged for the return of all the individuals to their families or family programs. Immediately before joining CRA in 2016, he served as the Interim Associate Regional Administrator at Gracewood, Georgia where he successfully led the facility out of several immediate jeopardy findings imposed by CMS surveyors.

Matt McCue has a BS in Management of Human Resources from State University of New York at Plattsburgh and his MPA in Public Administration from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He also holds a certificate in Rehabilitation Administration from the University of San Francisco.

Laura Paradowski, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist and Community Support Specialist

lauraLaura Paradowski serves as a registered and licensed occupational therapist on the Clinical Team and a Post Transition Specialist on the Community Team for the Georgia Project. As Community Support Specialist, she conducts post-transition visits, attends ISP meetings, provides provider technical assistance and assists support coordination through the transition process. 

Laura has over 17 years of experience working with children and adults in a variety of settings. She considers herself a community clinician and uses her skills as an occupational therapist to empower children and adults with developmental disabilities to thrive in their daily lives. She has spent a great deal of her career learning and focusing on the area of sensory processing and regulation as it relates to functional performance. Laura brings this unique perspective to her work with CRA with whom she has been partnering since 2012 on projects in Illinois and Georgia. 

Laura has a BS in Occupational Therapy from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

 

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