Find Your Act Early Ambassador

Act Early Ambassadors expand the reach of the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program and support their respective state’s work toward improving early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, including autism.

Since 2011, professionals with medical, child development, developmental disability, special education, and early intervention expertise have been selected to

  • Serve as a state or territorial point-of-contact for the national “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program;
  • Support the work of Act Early Teams and other state/territorial or national initiatives to improve early identification of developmental delay and disability; and
  •  Promote the adoption and integration of “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” resources into systems that serve young children and their families.

See how Ambassadors and others across the nation are promoting early identification of delays and disabilities using LTSAE.

View the contact information below to connect with your state or territory’s Ambassador!


Tish MacInnis
Coordinator of Family and Community Partnerships
Alabama Partnership for Children (APC)


Carmen Wenger
Program Director
Help Me Grow Alaska


Megan Wills
Director, Children and Family Services
Easterseals Blake Foundation


Alan Mease
Arkansas Medical Director


Fran Goldfarb
Director, Community Education
Family Support Discipline Director
University of Southern California
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Michele Rogers
Executive Director
Early Learning Institute


Eileen Auer Bennett
Executive Director
Assuring Better Child Health & Development

Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands

Jennifer Eilleen Castro
Program Manager
Northern Marianas College
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities


Bethanne Vergean
Early Childhood Specialist
UConn Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities


Yetta Myrick
President/Executive Director
DC Autism Parentsexternal icon


Brittany Powers
Project Coordinator
Early Childhood Autism Initiatives
University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies


Alexandra Goldberg
Program and Training Manager
Help Me Grow Floridaexternal icon


Jennie Couture
Director of Practice and Support Services
Bright from the start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning


Jeffrey Okamoto
Faculty, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician
University of Hawaii


Melissa Crist
Director of Programs and Human Development-Idaho STARS
University of Idaho
Center on Disabilities and Human Development


Rachell Swanson-Holm
Family Navigator Coordinator, Regional Autism Assistance Program
Regional Autism Assistance Program, Child Health Specialty Clinics, Division of Community and Child Health, Stead Family Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine icon


Stephan Viehweg
Associate Director
Riley Child Development Center
Indiana LEND


Peggy Kemp
Technical Assistance Provider, Kansas In-service Training System (KITS)
University of Kansas Center on
Developmental Disabilities


Christine Hausman
Content Coordinator
Child Care Aware
University of Kentucky, Human Development Institute


Fiona Ritchey
Developmental Screening Coordinator
Louisiana Department of Health


Nancy Cronin
Executive Director
Maine Developmental Disabilities Council


Sunyoung Ahn
Senior Policy Associate/Assistant Professor
Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development


Kate Barlow
Assistant Professor
American International College icon


Kara Hart
Family Supports and Services Analyst
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services


Jennifer Hall-Lande
Psychologist/Research Associate
University of Minnesota


Leslie La Vergne
Parent Navigator; Trainer
The Institute for Disability Studies


Alicia Curran
LEND Family Faculty, Research Grant Coordinator, ECHO Autism Expert Panelist
University of Missouri


Marcy Hanson
Nursing Instructor
Montana State University


Kerry Miller
Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Munroe Meyer Institute


Debra Vigil
Co-Director & Clinical Training Director, NvLEND, State Team Leader NvLTSAE, Director UCAN
Nevada LTSAE, University Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment, Associate Professor UNR Dept. of Speech Pathology
www.nevadaactearly.orgexternal icon

New Hampshire

Jennifer Doris
Family Support Systems Specialist
State of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Developmental Services

New Jersey

Deepa Srinivasavaradan
Family Resource Specialist and SPAN ACA Project Coordinator
Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey

New Mexico

Gloria Bonner
Child Health Program Manager
New Mexico Department of Health

New York

Melissa Passarelli
Director of Programs
Docs for Tots

Romina Barros
Medical Director, Trauma Services
Rose F. Kennedy Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center
Montefiore Medical Center

North Carolina

Rebecca Edmonson Pretzel
CIDD Associate Director; CIDD Director of Services; Psychologist
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities

North Dakota

Hilory Liccini
Assistant Director for Program Management
North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University


Deanna Kropf
Program Manager, Nisonger Early Learning Program
The Ohio State University


Bonnie McBride
Associate Professor, LEND Faculty
University of OK Health Sciences Center
Development of Pediatrics


Sherri Alderman
Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician/AAP Chapter Child Care Contact
Oregon Pediatric Society
Act Early Oregonexternal icon


Shelley Chapin
Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network’s Early Intervention Assistance

Puerto Rico

Nancy Nieves Muñoz
Children with Special Medical Needs Division
Puerto Rico Department of Health

Rhode Island

Rebecca Hughes
Early Intervention Consultant
Family Service of Rhode Island
(401) 450-5791

South Carolina

Lorraine Cragan-Sullivan
Help Me Grow South Carolina, Developmental Screening Coordinator
Help Me Grow South Carolina

South Dakota

Lisa Sanderson
Project Director
Family to Family Health Information Center
South Dakota Parent Connection


Toni Whitaker
Associate Professor Pediatrics
Developmental Pediatrician, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities


Laura Kender
Chief of Early Childhood Services
My Health My Resources of Tarrant County

US Virgin Islands

Karen Harris Brown
Associate Director, VI UCEDD, University of the Virgin Islands
Speech-Language Pathologist, Schneider Regional Medical Center


Janel Preston
Early Intervention Autism Specialist
Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University


Janet Kilburn
Child Development Coordinator
Vermont Department of Health, LLSW


Deana McGuire Buck
Early Childhood Content Leader
Partnership for People with Disabilities,
Virginia Commonwealth University


Stephanie Orrico
Child Development Coordinator
Within Reach


Kris Barnekow
Infant Family Specialist & Assistant Professor
University of Wisconsin


Wendy Warren
ECHO Project Coordinator
Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, University of Wyoming

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