Monica Albert Still, RN, BSN
Home Care Quality Consultant
Monica received her nursing degree from Southern Connecticut State University. She began her nursing career at Yale New Haven Hospital. She found her calling in community health nursing and policy making. Through her work she became a patient advocate focusing on Medicare, Medicaid. and insurance coverage of homebased and community health services.
Throughout her nursing career she was a peer mentor for young adults with Spina Bifida and volunteered her time at the Canoe Brook Senior Center. She served on the public education committee of the Connecticut Home Care and Hospice Association. She was appointed to the board of the Connecticut Health Policy Project. Her advocacy for disability justice began shortly after her active nursing career ended. She was a founding member of the Adult Advisory Council.
She continues to work with the Spina Bifida Association of America on their Advocacy Committee, Adult Advisory Council, and Peer Navigator Council. She received the Chair Extended Service Award from the Spina Bifida Association of America in 2019. She serves on the Patient Advisory Board of the Spina Bifida Clinic of UPMC. She serves on the board of Disability Rights PA.
Rob Anderson, MSW
Director of Training, Healthy Relationships Curriculum
Wesley Family Services
Rob is the Director of Training for the Healthy Relationships Curriculum, a program of Wesley Family Services. Rob is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where he obtained a master’s degree in Social Work and has held a variety of positions in specialized education and therapeutic support. Since the curriculum was created, Rob has trained hundreds of teachers and counselors about the importance of teaching hygiene, health education, and relationships to special education students and adults using evidence -based instructional methods.
Janet Arida, PhD, RN, LCSW, CT
Outreach & Education Coordinator
Highmark Caring Place
Janet earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in social work from The University of Chicago, and a PhD in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a licensed clinical social worker and a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling.
Janet is currently a clinician and child grief specialist as well as the Outreach and Education Coordinator at the Highmark Caring Place in Warrendale, PA, where she oversees peer support groups for grieving children and their families. Additionally, in her role as Outreach and Education Coordinator, Janet works to heighten awareness of children’s grief through consultations, presentations, and trainings for professional and community groups. Prior to joining the Caring Place as a staff member, Janet was a clinical instructor and researcher in end-of-life issues in the School of Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh. During her career, she has worked with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of clinical and community-based settings in both the Chicago and Pittsburgh areas.
Dr. Josie Badger
Founder, J Badger Consulting, Inc.
Dr. Badger received her bachelor’s degree from Geneva College in Disability Law and Advocacy, a master’s from the University of Pittsburgh in Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Doctorate from Duquesne University in Healthcare Ethics. In 2014 Josie founded J Badger Consulting Inc. where she provides youth development and disability consulting services for organizations, on transition and leadership development. She is the Director of the national RSA-Parent Training and Information Center technical assistance center (RAISE). She is the Campaign Manager of the #IWantToWork Campaign, to improve the employment of people with disabilities, is a Field Organizer for the Family Care Act that supports paid family leave, and is the developer of TRAIL, a statewide advocacy and lobbying training program. She serves as a board member of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, The Woodlands Foundation, the Mary Grace Hospice Foundation, and FISA.
In 2012, Dr. Badger was crowned Ms. Wheelchair America.
Maryland Department of Disabilities
Carol A. Beatty was sworn in as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Disabilities on March 27, 2015. Appointed by Governor Larry Hogan, Beatty was the former Executive Director of The Arc of
Howard County, a private, non-profit organization which provides advocacy and support services for more than 750 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities along with their
As Executive Director of The Arc Howard County, Beatty was responsible for public policy advocacy at the national, state and local level and the delivery of quality services and supports for over 750
individuals and their families including employment and day services, community living, and family support. In this capacity she managed the agency’s $13 million annual budget and over 300
employees. Prior to her work at The Arc, Beatty served in an executive-level capacity at Alternative Living, Inc., and Bello Machre, Inc., both dedicated to providing quality services to individuals with
Beatty received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and History from Towson University and a Master of Science degree in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. Over the past 20 years, she has received numerous awards for her work on behalf of individuals with disabilities including induction into the Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2012 and selection as one of the Daily Record’s 2013 and 2015 Maryland’s Top 100 Women. A strong advocate for individuals with disabilities, Beatty has given numerous presentations at the annual conference sponsored by TASH-an international advocacy organization which promotes full inclusion and participation of children and adults with significant disabilities in every aspect of their communities. Beatty has a physical disability as a result of having had polio as a child. She resides in Howard County with her husband Ed and has one son who graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Erica Caprini, M.A.,
Psychiatric Mental Health Clinician
The Watson Institute
Erica has over 15 years of experience working with families and students in various settings. She has been a psychiatric social worker for The Watson Institute Friendship Academy for more than ten years. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Social Sciences from California University of Pennsylvania.
Erica taught basic and advanced counseling courses at The University of Pittsburgh for six years in the Graduate School of Psychology and Education. She has vast experience in Family Structural Therapy and working with teens that have a dual diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and co-morbid mental health disorders.
Erica currently serves as a consultant at Upper Saint Clair School District and a psychiatric social worker for the Watson Institute.
Allegheny County Department of Human Services
Erin Dalton is the Director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, which works to strengthen families and communities through a network of social services, care and support. DHS serves over 200,000 people each year through its community-based programs that prevent harm and address needs for family support and child development, developmental supports, senior services, housing, and protection from maltreatment.
Ms. Dalton previously directed DHS’s research and evaluation, planning, and information technology functions. She was recognized for her groundbreaking achievements in integrated data and analytics, including in using predictive risk models to bring critical information to front line staff so they could make better decisions, as well as in the unique information-sharing partnerships she built. Her years of experience in leading systems improvements earned her a reputation for expertise in child protection, housing, and criminal justice systems, as well as being a leader who relies upon community engagement to understand needs and strengths and to design solutions. Her experiences prior to joining DHS, including working for the violence prevention initiative, One Vision One Life, and her six years of work for the U.S. Department of Justice, are fundamental to Ms. Dalton’s sense of what community-government partnerships can accomplish, as well as the racial disproportionately of our systems. Her national-level work for the Rand Corporation, Arnold Ventures, Bloomberg Associates and the Obama Foundation have further broadened her perspective on what government can accomplish for individuals, families, and communities. Ms. Dalton earned a Master of Science in Public Policy Analysis from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy. She is an alumna of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership program.
Conor Dawley, MS, LPC, CT
Outreach and Education Coordinator
Highmark Caring Place
Conor is currently the Outreach and Education Coordinator at the Highmark Caring Place in Erie, where he oversees peer support groups for grieving children and their families. Additionally, in his role as Outreach and Education Coordinator, Conor works to heighten awareness of children’s grief through consultations, presentations, and trainings for professional and community groups.
Conor has worked with children and families in the Erie area since 2004, and has a variety of professional and clinical experiences, including working as a Child and Family Specialist, as well as a Mental Health Services Supervisor. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Level One Trainer in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Conor received his bachelor’s degree in Student Ministry from Geneva College. He went on to receive his master’s degree from Gannon University in Community Counseling.
Conor enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing disc golf, kayaking, and rooting for the Pittsburgh professional sports teams.
Cynthia Domeier, BS
FOCUS Behavioral Health
Cynthia received her BS degree from Towson State University in Sociology. She has 30 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities. She served as a Site Coordinator for The Community Learning Center for at risk students including students with disabilities at Westminster high school in Maryland. During her tenure at Westminster High, Cindy created the Robert P. Hartman Memorial Scholarship at risk students and students with disabilities. She was a Service Coordinator for the AAW in PA and an SSB for FOCUS Behavioral Health.
Cindy is currently the Legislative Liaison for FOCUS where she communicates with legislators about issues facing the adult autism community and the challenges and successes of the current services in Pennsylvania. She continues to serve as an SSB and a Zoom group leader. She serves on the FOCUS Zoom Committee and has been a part of developing the Zoom program for FOCUS.
Jacki is an Educational Consultant at PaTTAN with 25+ years’ experience in the field of education. She co-leads the Middle School Success: Path to Graduation (P2G) State Personnel Development Grant project and the PaTTAN Secondary Transition Initiative. Jacki brings secondary classroom and community-based experience from both public and private education settings.
Dr. Hillary Mangis, NCSP
Hillary is an Educational Consultant at PaTTAN Pittsburgh, where she co-leads the Secondary Transition initiative for the state. She also serves on the School Psychology, Universal Design for Learning, AACHIEVE and Intensive interagency initiatives. Dr. Mangis’ previous work experiences include serving as psychologist for Early Intervention/DART at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.
In addition, she served as contracted school psychologist for West Allegheny and district school psychologist for Carlynton. Dr. Mangis joined the team at PaTTAN in 2017, following service as the Coordinator of Special Education and Student Services for the Carlynton School District.
Lindsey Marshall, BSW
FOCUS Behavioral Health
Lindsey is a Systematic Skill Building Manager for the Western Region of Focus Behavioral Health, a company that values community, integrity and compassion. She is a graduate of McDaniel College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in social work. Lindsey has been working in child and adult Autism services for 5 years.
Lindsey shows dedication to the individuals that she works with and has made it her mission to make services easily accessible and enjoyable, even throughout a global pandemic. Lindsey not only works as an SSB Manager for her region, but in the year 2020, she also added “Zoom Coordinator”, to her job title. Lindsey assists with the planning and organizing of 30+ Zoom groups, three of which she is the host.
Lindsey is aware that during these desperate times, we have needed to take desperate measures, however the importance and quality of the services we provide to adults with Autism, should not be compromised. That is why Lindsey has assisted with adapting services to not only meet individuals where they are at but also where the world is at.
Christine Michaels, MSHSA
NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania
Christine is a mental health administrator with over 30 years of experience in case management and mental health services. She is presently the Chief Executive Officer of NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania, a support, education, and advocacy organization dedicated to helping children, adolescents, adults, and families affected by mental illness.
Ms. Michaels is an accomplished teacher and trainer with experience in curriculum development. She is nationally certified by NAMI as a state trainer for NAMI Family to Family, NAMI Support Group Facilitators, and NAMI Smarts. Ms. Michaels has presented at numerous regional and national conferences and she has served on many community, government, and non-profit boards.
She graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and she holds a master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois.
Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus
As the eldest child of immigrant parents, Dan was the first member of his family born in America. Raised by a single mom from an early age, finances were often challenging. Even so, his family instilled in him a strong appreciation and recognition of the special opportunities America offers. As a result, Dan has made public service an important part of his life. He enlisted in the Army National Guard after high school. While his military service was cut short due to injury, he found another way to engage in service. As a Team Leader in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, he led a team of young people working on community projects across the Mid-Atlantic. Dan earned undergraduate degrees in education and history and became a teacher. He later graduated with a law degree from Catholic University, where he received two community service awards, chaired its public interest auction, and served as executive editor of its communications journal. Upon passing the bar Dan decided to serve the community again as a public defender focusing on juveniles and later as a county solicitor where he worked to make sure kids were safe in their homes and received a proper education.
Dan and his wife Kim moved to Mt. Lebanon where he joined the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter. In 2011, he was awarded the Medal of Merit for his attempt to save the life of a 3-year-old child from a devastating house fire. He went on to be elected as a municipal commissioner, and he has served the community as a board member of such local institutions as Outreach Teen and Family Center, the Center for Theater Arts, Carnegie Library, and the Hollywood Theater in Dormont.
Dan was elected to the House of Representatives in 2013. In previous terms he served as a member of the Education, Labor, Judiciary and Human Services committees and on the following caucuses: Steel, Government Reform, Early Childhood Education, Equality, Autism and Intellectual Disabilities, and Fire/EMS. In 2018 he was elected by his peers to be chair of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation and in 2020 he became Caucus Chair of the Democratic Caucus.
As state representative, Dan has received awards for his advocacy for people with disabilities from Achieva, The Peal Center, the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association, the Pittsburgh Local Task Force, Autism Connection, the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association, and the Arc of Pennsylvania, and he has been awarded a lifetime membership in the PTA and an advocacy award from the United Steelworkers.
Deborah Murdoch, MPH
Jewish Healthcare Foundation
Deborah is a Program Manager at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. In this role, she provides leadership for the Teen Mental Health Programs and the Minority AIDS Initiative. Together with partnering youth organizations, she facilitates the youth advocacy network focused on improved teen mental health services and supports.
Prior to joining the Foundation, she spent eight years working in international public health, including two years as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa and three years in Uganda working on a national HIV and AIDS care and treatment program. Ms. Murdoch earned a BS in Neuroscience from the College of William and Mary and an MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Tracy L. Scanlon, LPC, CT, CEAP
Outreach Teen & Family Services
Dr. Scanlon completed her doctoral work at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit. She received a B.S. in Human Resources Management from Geneva College and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University. She is a licensed professional psychotherapist, a professor of psychology and is certified in thanatology, employee assistance, and critical incident debriefing. Dr. Scanlon is a critical incident responder with the Allegheny County Emergency Response Team, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Allegheny County Police Department.
Dr. Scanlon has been an instructor at CCAC since 2001 and teaches both undergraduate and graduate counseling psychology at California University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Dr. Scanlon is the Clinical Director at Outreach Teen and Family Services in Mt. Lebanon Pennsylvania. She maintains a private practice in the south hills of Pittsburgh with a focus on trauma and loss.
She has spent over 25 years as an advocate examining how negative life experiences, such as trauma and grief impact mental wellness. She has been published in local magazines and newspapers many times and travels regionally and nationally providing disruptive event management consultations to business & industry.
Rachel Schwartz, PhD, BCBA-D
Education Consultant & Trainer
The Watson Institute
Dr. Schwartz has worked internationally creating and supervising programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. Rachel’s work and research interests include enhancing behavior analytic programming across environments and exploring issues related to quality of life including sexual education and choice. Rachel has published original research on these topics in journals such as Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals and Remedial and Special Education as well as presented at national, state, and local conferences.
Rachel currently serves as an education consultant and trainer with The Watson Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Robert “Bobby” Silverstein
POWERS, PYLES SUTTER & VERVILLE, PC.
Bobby Silverstein is a Principal in the law firm of POWERS PYLES SUTTER & VERVILLE, P.C., who has more than 45 years of experience working in the area of disability policy. He also serves as the legislative counsel for the State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED). Bobby initially developed his consensus-building style while serving in various capacities in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, including staff director and chief counsel for the Subcommittee on Disability Policy of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources (currently the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions). There, he negotiated and drafted bipartisan, consensus legislation, and was known as the “behind-the-scenes architect” of more than 20 bills enacted into law, including the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.
Bobby has written several peer-reviewed journal articles and 100 papers and articles on public policy issues from a disability perspective, and he has been the keynote speaker before national and state organizations. He has facilitated training sessions in more than 40 states on various public policy issues and the policymaking process. Bobby is the recipient of more than 10 national awards, including the Distinguished Services Award of the President of the United States.
Bobby earned a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
Youth Outreach Coordinator
Zoe is serving this year as the PEAL Center’s Youth Outreach Coordinator through the PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) fellow program. PULSE invites talented university graduates to partner with Pittsburgh nonprofits for a year of service and leadership. Zoe is a recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College, where she was active in the realm of education and youth mentorship.
She developed the college’s First-Year Experience Program, which supports incoming freshmen in adjusting to collegiate life. She also worked as a Student Consultant for the Bryn Mawr and Haverford Teaching and Learning Institute, collaborating with faculty to maximize engagement and inclusion in campus classrooms. Additionally, Zoe served as a volunteer for the Overbrook Arts Program, providing art classes to elementary school students who would not otherwise have access to art education.
During her time abroad in Leuven, Belgium, Zoe completed an internship with a local high school, educating students on American history and politics and fostering cross-cultural connections. Zoe is passionate about education, accessibility, and LGBTQ+ activism.
Alicia Stone, M.S., C.R.C.
Program Coordinator, CBVE Program
Pittsburgh Public Schools
Alicia is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor who is passionate about inspiring and assisting transition aged youth in reaching their greatest potential. Alicia is currently the program coordinator for the Community Based Vocational Education (CBVE) Program at Pittsburgh Public Schools. In this role Alicia develops and provides vocational preparation and on-site training in both site specific and transferrable vocational skills. In addition, she provides logistical support and management of the program and its students, community partners, and employment specialists. Through her work she strives to help students discover and develop interests and skills that can help to bring happiness and meaning to their lives through work.
Alicia is a published author in the field of psychophysiology and is recipient of the 2017 American Rehabilitation Counseling Association Vision Award. Alicia is currently pursuing her Licensure in Professional Counseling. Alicia balances work life by spending time with her family and friends, reading, traveling, and attending sporting events (especially soccer and hockey).
Youth Empowerment Coordinator
Erin is the PEAL Center’s Youth Empowerment Coordinator and works with the Transition Quality Empowerment Project in partnership with the George Washington University and the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network. As someone living with a disability herself, she is able to use her personal life experience to offer peer mentoring and teach the principles of independent living to the people she supports.
Erin is the Harrisburg area branch leader for the Charcot Marie Tooth Association (CMTA) and brings community resources together to educate and empower branch members. She is also involved with fundraising efforts and is a staff member and travel coordinator for Camp Footprint, a summer camp for youth ages 10-18 living with CMT. Erin has been a champion for the youth-led, youth-driven model and has developed and facilitated youth programming in various roles in her career.
She is a member of the Pennsylvania Community on Transition leadership team and contributes to planning and facilitating transition related activities including the Pennsylvania Community of Practice Transition Conference. What she loves most about the work she does is providing interactive opportunities for young people to learn how to discover the skills and tools they already have to create sustainable change in their communities.
Sherrie Myers Wivell
PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance Inc.
Sherrie has served as the Administrator and a Consultant with the PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance (PATSA) since 2007. She holds a degree in psychology from Millersville University and has extensive experience working with individuals with Tourette Syndrome and other disabilities. Prior to working at PATSA, Sherrie had a great deal of experience working with and for children. She has been a Caseworker for Children & Youth Services, a Program Specialist with Foster Care, a Community Transition Coordinator for the Department of Health, a Preschool Teacher for children with Speech Delays and a Water Safety Instructor for both Easter Seals and the Red Cross.
Over her years at PATSA, Sherrie has consulted at over 500 school and employment meetings and trained more than 250 diverse groups ranging from elementary students to Physicians. As Administrator, she is involved in all aspects of the organization including supervising staff, supporting the Fundraising Committee, planning the yearly Day at the Capital to secure our State funding, writing grants and supervising all program implementation.