Center for START Services National Team
Joan B. Beasley, PhD
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 and Director of the Center for START Services at the UNH Institute on Disability. 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 has authored and co-authored numerous publications in the field of MHIDD, and provides training in the US, Canada and Europe. She serves as co-chair of the Mental Health Special Interest Group of AUCD.
Dr. Beasley is the author and co-founder of the START program, first implemented in 1988, and has worked to promote the development of effective services for people with disabilities and their families for more than 35 years. START was cited as a model program in the 2002 US Surgeon General’s Report on mental health disparities for persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities and in 2016 the model was identified as best practice by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.
Top Signature Strengths: Creativity, Hope, and Fairness
Karen Weigle, PhD
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
Jill Hinton, PhD
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
Linda Bimbo, MS
Director of Program Operations
Acting Director, University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability/UCED
M.S., Management, Lesley University
Linda joined the Institute on Disability in 2003 bringing with her over 20 years of experience in providing direction and support to people with developmental and psychiatric disabilities in the community. Working for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Departments of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (now Developmental Services), and later with non-profit organizations, Linda has provided leadership and vision in the establishment of homes and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. She is a creative thinker, disciplined analyst, and forward-moving manager who can mobilize resources, mediate conflicting interests and achieve strategic visions of organizations and the constituencies they serve. She is currently serving as the Acting Director of the Institute on Disability.
Director of Quality Assurance
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
Jarrett Barnhill, MD
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, recently retired, was a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Dr Barnhill is 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.
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
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
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
Lauren Charlot, PhD
Co-Chair of the START National Research Committee
Ph.D., Developmental Educational Psychology, Boston College
MSW, Simmons College
Lauren Charlot, LICSW, PhD is a Developmental Psychologist, who has been working with individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and severe co-occurring psychiatric disorders and challenging behaviors, for over 30 years. Dr. Charlot is a Co-Chair of the National Center for START Services Research Committee and a member of their national team. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the UMass Medical School and an adjunct professor at Eastern Carolina University. She has published original research, and has lectured widely on a variety of topics related to the care of individuals with IDD (Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities) and ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders) across the United States, Canada and in Europe.
Luke Kalb, PhD
Co-Chair START Research Committee
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.
Anne LaForce, MA
M.A., Clinical Psychology, North Carolina Central University
B.A., Psychology, Kent State University
Anne La Force is the Clinical Director for the NC START Central Program and a member of the National Consultant team for the Center for START Services. Anne is a clinical psychologist with over 17 years of experience in the fields of intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health conditions. She specializes in providing assessment, consultation and intervention services for adults with developmental disabilities and co-occurring behavioral health issues. Anne also provides training and consultation to community-based providers on multiple topics including dual diagnosis, crisis prevention and planning, trauma, and positive behavioral supports.
Top Signature Strengths: Love and Fairness
David O'Neal, MS, LMHC, MHP
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
Mary Ann Allsop
Senior Program Support Assistant
Over the past 11 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 public school system in Concord, NH as a paraprofessional.
Top Signature Strengths: Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, Kindness
Lindsay Allsop Communications Coordinator
M.B.A., Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, University of New Hampshire, est completion 2021
B.S., Art & Visual Culture, Bates College
Lindsay joined the Center for START Services at the IOD in September, 2016. As communications coordinator, Lindsay develops and implements the Center’s communication and marketing strategies. Prior to joining the IOD, Lindsay worked for Wayfair.com in Boston during its start-up years as CSN Stores in the customer service, marketing, and IT departments.
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.
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
Ann Klein, MA
START Information Reporting System (SIRS) Manager
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
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