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Board of Directors

Connie Lillas

President

Connie Lillas, PhD, MFT, RN is the Founder/President of NRF Global Communities with a background in high-risk maternal-child nursing, family systems, and developmental psychoanalysis. She is a National Graduate Zero To Three Leadership Fellow and a Court Team Liaison for a birth to five-year-old Fostering Family Partnerships pilot promoting child welfare reform in Los Angeles. Connie has a full-time private practice, specializing in dual diagnosis across both developmental delays and mental health concerns. In addition, she trains communities locally, nationally, and internationally on the Neurorelational Framework (NRF, 2009) based upon her co-authored book—Infant/Child Mental Health, Early Intervention, and Relationship-Based Therapies: A Neurorelational Framework for Interdisciplinary Practice, which is a part of the W. W. Norton Interpersonal Neurobiology Series. This Series, begun by Dan Siegel is currently edited by Allan Schore.

Carole Anne Hapchyn

Secretary

Carole Anne Hapchyn is an infant psychiatrist who has provided assessment and treatment for infants and young children (under age 5) and their families for 27 years in Edmonton, Alberta. Dr. Hapchyn is the Medical Lead of the Autism Clinic at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital (GRH) and provides consultation for infants and preschool children with complex developmental challenges. She is Co-Director of the ElmTree Clinic – Nurturing Young Minds, an outpatient mental health clinic for infants, young children and their families. She is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Alberta and has supported the training of developmental pediatricians and child psychiatry trainees as well as clinicians of all disciplines. Carole Anne is a past president of the Alberta Association for Infant Mental Health, a society for the education of clinicians and advocacy for infant mental health in Alberta. Dr. Hapchyn discovered the NRF in 2010 and is a Neurorelational Framework Trainer/Mentor.

Cassandra Joubert

Treasurer

Dr. Cassandra Joubert is Director of the Central California Children's Institute, and Professor in the Department of Public Health. She received the Doctor of Science degree in maternal and child health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, and the Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and child development from Howard University. She also received a graduate certificate in infant-parent mental health from the University of Massachusetts-Boston's satellite program in Napa, California. Her primary interests are promoting the well-being of infants and toddlers through positive and nurturing parent-child relationships, and training parents and practitioners who work with very young children. She is the principal author of a family memoir that discusses racial/cultural influences on children's mental health.

Hiram Fitzgerald

Board Member

Hiram E. Fitzgerald is Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University. He is president of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, a member of the Executive Committee of the Council on Engagement and Outreach of the Association for Public and Land Grant Universities, a member of the Board of Directors of Transformative Regional Engagement Networks, and a member of the Academy for Community Engagement Scholarship task force. Fitzgerald is past president and executive director of both the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health and the International Association for Infant Mental Health, and for 16 years (1992-2008) served as executive director of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. He has been associated with the Michigan Longitudinal Study of Family Risk for Alcoholism over the Life Course for 25 years, is a member of the Steering Committee of the Early Head Start National Evaluation Research Consortium, chairs the MSU Wiba Anung EHS/HS research team monitoring work force development and early childhood education in partnership with the Intertribal Council of Michigan, is a member of the Native Children’s Research Exchange, and is a member of a variety of interdisciplinary research teams focusing on evaluation of community-based early preventive-intervention programs in Michigan.

Kristine Gose

Board Member

Kristine Gose has been an Early Interventionist for 25 years -- working with individual children, families, teachers, and students. The doctoral work she has completed is in neuropsych and she has a strong interest in the bio/psycho/social perspective in human development.

In the recent years Kristine has been qualified at the "Expert" level of the DIR/Floortime Model of Intervention by the Interdisciplinary Council on Development Learning (ICDL). Its principals and practices are central to all of her interventions with children and families and are central to her teaching in the college setting as well. Currently, Kristine is on faculty at Fresno City College. There, she coordinates the Early Intervention Assistant Certificate Program. She also serves as a consultant for WestEd's Center for Prevention and Early Intervention. Privately, she consult with school districts and agencies, regional centers and early childhood settings and classrooms, supporting teachers in inclusive practice. Kristine provides the Floortime intervention for individual children and families.

Miles McNall

Board Member

Miles McNall, Ph.D. is the Director of the Community Evaluation and Research Collaborative (CERC) at Michigan State University. Miles has 17 years of experience with the evaluation of health and human service programs. He coordinated the evaluation of HIV prevention programs for young men at the University of Minnesota Medical College and guided the development of client outcome monitoring systems for agency programs at Catholic Charities of Chicago. At the CORE Center in Chicago, he evaluated HIV/AIDS care and substance abuse treatment programs and coordinated the agency's healthcare quality improvement efforts. Since joining the faculty at MSU, Miles and his colleagues have conducted evaluations of comprehensive community initiatives, school-based health centers, and intensive home-based treatment services for children with severe emotional disturbances. More recently, Miles has been involved in the evaluation of systems change initiatives, including efforts to transform early childhood systems in two Michigan communities. Miles has been a member of the Michigan Association for Evaluation (MAE) since 2006 and joined the MAE board in 2010.

Jessica Richards

Board Member

Jessica Richards, MS, MSW, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in providing therapeutic services to young children and families. She is endorsed in CA as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist. Jessica uses relationship and brain-based modalities for comprehensive treatment. Jessica has been trained in Child-Parent psychotherapy, a relationship and play-based therapy with a strong evidence-based foundation for the treatment of trauma and family stressors. Additionally, Jessica uses the Neurorelational Framework (Lillas, 2009) for an integrated approach. Her specialized Dual-Masters education provides an advanced foundation in applied child development. Jessica's collaborative approach includes other disciplines (speech, occupational, educational, etc). Jessica is a skilled reflective practice supervisor (RPF II) and trainer. She delivers dynamic and integrated training for the early education and intervention community. Jessica is passionate about working with families and children and loves the work she does!

Laurie Thomas

Board Member

Laurie Thomas completed her undergraduate work at Western Washington University, where she was selected as the Outstanding Graduate in Special Education. She has her Masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education and holds a post-graduate certificate in Infant Parent Mental Health from University of Massachusetts, Boston (Napa Program). Laurie served as the Part C Coordinator-Early Intervention Manager for the State of Alaska for two years and as a regional program director and developmental specialist in Alaska for twenty-two years prior. She is currently the Part C Early Intervention Administrator for the State of Washington’s Department of Early Learning.

Gail Trujillo

Board Member

Gail Trujillo is a doctoral student in the Infant and Early Childhood program at Fielding University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood/Special Education and has been working in the field for over 30 years. She currently works as a program coordinator for a Part C program in Sitka, Alaska. Gail is a founding member of the Alaska Infant and Early Childhood Association (AK-AIMH) and is Endorsed® as a Level III Infant Mental Health Specialist. AK-AIMH is one of 23 state infant mental health associations that belong to the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health®. The Alliance provides multiple ways for state associations to make use of shared resources in areas of research, training, sustainability, and the promotion of infant mental health principles and practices. Gail is currently mentoring with Connie Lillas as a trainer in the NeuroRelational Framework (NRF) for Alaska, one of the NRF Global Communities.

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