Find Your Act Early Ambassador

Act Early Ambassadors logo

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!

Alabama

Tish MacInnis
Coordinator of Family and Community Partnerships
Alabama Partnership for Children (APC)
tmacinnis@smartstartalabama.org

Alaska

Carmen Wenger
Program Director
Help Me Grow Alaska
carmen@helpmegrowak.org

Arizona

Megan Wills
Director, Children and Family Services
Easterseals Blake Foundation
mwills@blake.easterseals.com

Arkansas

Alan Mease
Medical Director of Child & Adolescent Health
Arkansas Department of Health
amease@eqhs.org

California

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
fgoldfarb@chla.usc.edu

Michele Rogers
Executive Director
Early Learning Institute
micheler@earlylearninginstitute.com

Colorado

Eileen Auer Bennett
Executive Director
Assuring Better Child Health & Development
eileen@coloradoabcd.org

Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands

Jennifer Eilleen Castro
Program Manager
Northern Marianas College
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
jennifer.castro@marianas.edu

Connecticut

Bethanne Vergean
Early Childhood Specialist
UConn Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
vergean@uchc.edu

DC

Yetta Myrick
President/Executive Director
DC Autism ParentsExternal
Ymyrick@DCAutismparents.org

Delaware

Brittany Powers
Project Coordinator
Early Childhood Autism Initiatives
University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies
bblument@udel.edu

Florida

Alexandra Goldberg
Program and Training Manager
Help Me Grow Florida
agoldberg@thechildrensforum.com

Georgia

Jennie Couture
Director of Practice and Support Services
Bright from the start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning
Jennie.Couture@decal.ga.gov

Hawaii

Jeffrey Okamoto
Faculty, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician
University of Hawaii
jokamoto@hawaii.edu

Idaho

Melissa Crist
Director of Programs and Human Development-Idaho STARS
University of Idaho
Center on Disabilities and Human Development
mcrist@uidaho.edu

Iowa

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
rachell-swanson-holm@uiowa.edu

Indiana

Stephan Viehweg
Associate Director
Riley Child Development Center
Indiana LEND
sviehweg@iu.edu

Kansas

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

Kentucky

Christine Hausman
Content Coordinator
Child Care Aware
University of Kentucky, Human Development Institute
Christine.hausman@uky.edu

Louisiana

Fiona Ritchey
Developmental Screening Coordinator
Louisiana Department of Health
Fiona.Ritchey@LA.gov

Maine

Nancy Cronin
Executive Director
Maine Developmental Disabilities Council
Nancy.E.Cronin@maine.gov

Maryland

Sunyoung Ahn
Senior Policy Associate/Assistant Professor
Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development
sa1442@georgetown.edu

Massachusetts

Kate Barlow
Assistant Professor
American International College
kate.barlow@AIC.edu

Michigan

Kara Hart
Family Supports and Services Analyst
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
HartK2@michigan.gov

Minnesota

Jennifer Hall-Lande
Psychologist/Research Associate
University of Minnesota
hall0440@umn.edu

Mississippi

Leslie La Vergne
Parent Navigator; Trainer
The Institute for Disability Studies
leslie.lavergne@usm.edu

Missouri

Alicia Curran
LEND Family Faculty, Research Grant Coordinator, ECHO Autism Expert Panelist
University of Missouri
CurranA@health.missouri.edu

Montana

Marcy Hanson
Nursing Instructor
Montana State University
marcy.hanson@montana.edu

Nebraska

Kerry Miller
Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Munroe Meyer Institute
Kerry.miller@unmc.edu

Nevada

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
dvigil@medicine.nevada.edu

New Hampshire

Jennifer Doris
Family Support Systems Specialist
State of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Developmental Services
Jennifer.doris@dhhs.nh.gov

New Jersey

Deepa Srinivasavaradan
Family Resource Specialist and SPAN ACA Project Coordinator
Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey
deepas@spanadvocacy.org

New Mexico

Gloria Bonner
Child Health Program Manager
New Mexico Department of Health
gloria.bonner@state.nm.us

New York

Melissa Passarelli
Director of Programs
Docs for Tots
melissa@docsfortots.org

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

North Carolina

Rebecca Edmonson Pretzel
CIDD Associate Director; CIDD Director of Services; Psychologist
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities
Becky.Edmondson@cidd.unc.edu

North Dakota

Hilory Liccini
Assistant Director for Program Management
North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University
hilory.liccini@minotstateu.edu

Ohio

Deanna Kropf
Program Manager, Nisonger Early Learning Program
The Ohio State University
deanna.kropf@osumc.edu

Oklahoma

Bonnie McBride
Associate Professor, LEND Faculty
University of OK Health Sciences Center
Development of Pediatrics
bonnie-mcbride@ouhsc.edu

Oregon

Sherri Alderman
Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician/AAP Chapter Child Care Contact
Oregon Pediatric Society
sherrialderman23@gmail.com

Pennsylvania

Shelley Chapin
Consultant
Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network’s Early Intervention Assistance
SChapin@pattan.net

Puerto Rico

Nancy Nieves Muñoz
Educator
Children with Special Medical Needs Division
Puerto Rico Department of Health
nancy.nieves@salud.pr.gov

Rhode Island

Rebecca Hughes
Early Intervention Consultant
Family Service of Rhode Island
(401) 450-5791
Actearlyri@yahoo.com

South Carolina

Lorraine Cragan-Sullivan
Help Me Grow South Carolina, Developmental Screening Coordinator
Help Me Grow South Carolina
LCraganSullivan@helpmegrowsc.org

South Dakota

Lisa Sanderson
Project Director
Family to Family Health Information Center
South Dakota Parent Connection
lsanderson@sdparent.org

Tennessee

Toni Whitaker
Associate Professor Pediatrics
Developmental Pediatrician, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities
twhitaker@uthsc.edu

Texas

Laura Kender
Chief of Early Childhood Services
My Health My Resources of Tarrant County
laura.kender@mhmrtc.org

Ramah Leith
State Child Health Coordinator
Texas Department of State Health Services
ramah.leith@DSHS.texas.gov

US Virgin Islands

Karen Harris Brown
Associate Director, VI UCEDD, University of the Virgin Islands
Speech-Language Pathologist, Schneider Regional Medical Center
karen.brown@uvi.edu

Utah

Janel Preston
Early Intervention Autism Specialist
Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University
janel.preston@usu.edu

Vermont

Janet Kilburn
Child Development Coordinator
Vermont Department of Health, LLSW
Janet.Kilburn@vermont.gov

Virginia

Deana McGuire Buck
Early Childhood Content Leader
Partnership for People with Disabilities,
Virginia Commonwealth University
dmbuck@vcu.edu

Washington

Stephanie Orrico
Child Development Coordinator
Within Reach
stephanieo@withinreachwa.org

Wisconsin

Kris Barnekow
Infant Family Specialist & Assistant Professor
University of Wisconsin
krisb@uwm.edu

 

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