The Help Me Grow National Team

National Center Staff

Paul Dworkin, MD, Founding Director
Kimberly Martini-Carvell, MA, Executive Director
Sara Sibley, BS, Program Manager
Erin Cornell, MPH, Program Manager for Research, Innovation & Evaluation
Von Jessee, MA, Program Specialist for Research and Evaluation
Sarah Zucker, BA, Program Specialist for Innovation, Collaboration, and Production
Lindsay Haythorn, BS, Administrative Assistant
Joanna Bogin, MS, Senior HMG Consultant

Technical Assistance Team

Marijane Carey, MSW, MPH
Kareena DuPlessis, BS
Rebecca Hernandez, EdM
Lisa Honigfeld, PhD
Marcia Hughes, PhD
Tanika Simpson, MSW
Amy Fine, MPH

National Center Staff

Paul Dworkin, MD, Founding Director
Paul Dworkin is Executive Vice President for Community Child Health at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Founding Director of the Help Me Grow National Center, and professor of pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.  For 15 years, he previously served as physician-in-chief at Connecticut Children’s and chair of the Department of Pediatrics of the UCONN School of Medicine. 
 
Dr. Dworkin’s interests are at the interface among child development, child health services, and child health policy.  He has authored more than 175 publications in the fields of developmental-behavioral pediatrics and general pediatrics.

Dr. Dworkin’s honors include teaching awards, visiting professorships, and named lectureships.  In 1988, he was Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and also Visiting Scholar of Green College in Oxford.  In 2003, Dr. Dworkin received the prestigious C. Anderson Aldrich Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in recognition of achievement in the field of child development.  His vision led to the creation of Help Me Grow, a Connecticut statewide initiative to promote the early detection of children at risk for developmental and behavioral problems and their linkage to programs and services that is currently being replicated in over 20 states.  He was the editor of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from 1997-2002. He serves on the board of directors for several organizations, including the Urban League of Greater Hartford, and was a member of the first entering class of the Academy of Distinguished Educators at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Dr. Dworkin received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed a pediatric residency and fellowship in ambulatory pediatrics with a special emphasis on developmental and behavioral issues at Boston Children's Hospital.  He recently completed study for a certificate in policy analysis from the University of North Dakota.
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Kimberly Martini-Carvell, MA, Executive Director
Kimberly most recently served as Associate Vice President, Programs for The Village for Families and Children in Hartford, CT, where she was responsible for creating and managing prevention, early intervention and treatment programs for families and children.

Before joining The Village, Kimberly served as a child and family development consultant for the United Way of Central & Northeastern Connecticut, and director of the CT Family Development Institute of the Children’s Trust Fund. For the University of Connecticut (UConn), she served as an adjunct professor in the School of Family Studies and manager of the CT School Readiness Implementation Evaluation. 

Kimberly also served on the national Zero to Three Policy Committee, the national Childhood Traumatic Stress Network’s Birth-6 Workgroup, and the leadership team of the Connecticut Parent Educators Network. She was a fellow at the National Council on Family Relations and a master facilitator for the Family Development Credential.  

Kimberly earned a Master’s in human development and family relations from UConn, completing a graduate project that involved the design, piloting and statewide implementation of an infant/toddler teacher professional training program. She earned a Bachelor’s in child development, with a minor in business administration from California State University, Northridge

Kimberly led the National Center's partnership with The Village in the design, evaluation, and dissemination of Mid-Level Developmental Assessment and presented work on MLDA at the 2014 World Infant Mental Health Congress in Scotland.
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Sara Sibley, BS, Program Manager

Sara Sibley is the Program Manager for the Help Me Grow National Center. In this role, Sara manages administrative and financial activities and is responsible for overseeing technical assistance endeavors for new and current affiliates of the HMG National Network. Before joining the National Center in 2010, Sara was the state coordinator for the Connecticut Easy Breathing asthma program. Her role involved overseeing a team of program coordinators for statewide implementation and dissemination of Easy Breathing. Ms. Sibley holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physiology and neurobiology from the University of Connecticut and is pursuing a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut School of Business.
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Erin Cornell, MPH, Program Manager for Research, Innovation & Evaluation

Erin Cornell serves as Program Manager for Research, Innovation and Evaluation for the Help Me Grow National Center. In this role, she oversees efforts to evaluate the implementation and impact of HMG and new innovations throughout the affiliate network. She has experience in health services research and her area of interest is in improving health and developmental outcomes for children through systems innovation. While a graduate student, Erin completed a year-long assistantship as a LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) Fellow through the University of Connecticut University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). Prior to joining HMG, she contributed to the implementation and evaluation of clinical care innovations, including Co-Management, a program of the Office for Community Child Health at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Erin holds a BA from Boston University, an MPH from the University of Connecticut, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in public health from the University of Connecticut.
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Von Jessee, M.A., Program Specialist for Research and Evaluation
Von Jessee is the Program Specialist for Research and Evaluation at the Help Me Grow National Center. In this role, he supports the National Center and the affiliate network in their efforts to measure implementation and impact. Before joining HMG National in 2015, he graduated from the University of Connecticut where he earned a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies. During this time, Von served as a research assistant for the Scaffolding Early Learning Project (ScEL) and conducted fatherhood specific research of his own. He concluded his degree with a thesis examining the associations between food insecurity and father/child diet quality. Previously, Von earned a degree in child and family studies/early childhood education (preK-3 licensure) and he worked with children who express challenging behaviors.
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Sarah Zucker, BA, Program Specialist for Innovation, Collaboration, and Production
Sarah Zucker is a Program Specialist at the Help Me Grow National Center. In this capacity, she contributes to activities around research and evaluation, helping provide tool delivery to communities and partners, and supporting the management of best practices in research and innovation matters. Previously, she served as a Research Associate at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation, providing support to fundraising and major gifts. Before her work at Connecticut Children’s, she helped lead research and evaluation initiatives at the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, a statewide think tank and advocacy agency to advance policy and programming around homelessness. She received a degree in Social Research from the University of Hartford.
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Lindsay Haythorn, BS, Administrative Assistant
Lindsay Haythorn serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Help Me Grow National Center. In this role, she provides administrative support to National Center staff and affiliates of the National Network. Lindsay holds a BS degree in Allied Health Sciences, with a concentration in Health Promotion, and Minor in Psychology from the University of Connecticut.
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Joanna Bogin, MS, Senior Help Me Grow Consultant

Joanna Bogin is the Senior Consultant for the Help Me Grow National Center. She directed the Connecticut Help Me Grow program since its inception as a state-funded program for eight years. As recent director and now the National Center's senior consultant, she is responsible for providing technical assistance to the National Affiliate Network. She was co-director of The Commonwealth Fund grant entitled, "An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Statewide Intervention with Child Health Providers to Encourage Developmental Surveillance and Referral among Children at Risk for Developmental Delays." Ms. Bogin was co-editor with Dr. Paul Dworkin of the February 2006 supplement to the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, "Promoting Development through Child Health Services." Her article "Enhancing Developmental Services in Primary Care: The Help Me Grow Experience" discusses the potential of Connecticut's program to serve as a model for other states. Over the last 30 years, she has worked in a variety of settings as a child development specialist, special educator, and evaluator, promoting inclusion, conducting workshops, and providing technical assistance to federal, state, and local providers.
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Technical Assistance Team

Marijane Carey, MSW, MPH

Marijane Carey is the principal of Carey Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in public health and human services with a focus on women and children. She was involved in creating the Connecticut Help Me Grow system and has been serving since its inception as consultant to the project through the Connecticut Children's Trust Fund and United Way of Connecticut/Child Development Infoline, which serves as the access point for Help Me Grow. Her work at CDI includes training the care coordinators, who are the direct service staff, in working with families who call and collecting client-specific data from callers. She has also provided on-site consultation to Help Me Grow−Orange County, and this California-based program has implemented many of her recommendations. Her article "The Role of a Statewide Information and Referral (I&R) System in Enhancing the Access of Children and their Families to Developmental Programs and Services" was published in a February 2006 supplement to the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.
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Kareena DuPlessis, BS

Kareena DuPlessis is the director of the Child Development Infoline (CDI), a specialized call center of the United Way of Connecticut/2-1-1 system and the access point for the Help Me Grow program. She has grown the unit from serving as the single point of entry for the Connecticut Birth to Three system to an access point for several child-focused service systems, including Help Me Grow. This growth has been supported internally by cross-training an increased number of staff and externally by facilitating collaboration among the statewide partners and stakeholders. She has also been instrumental in the design of the Help Me Grow client tracking system for Connecticut.
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Rebecca Hernandez, EdM

Rebecca Hernandez is the program manager for Help Me Grow−Orange County, California. She began building the program's infrastructure and recruiting team members for Help Me Grow in September 2006. Prior to leading this effort, she held roles as an autism coordinator for Long Beach Unified School District, a manager for Early Intervention at Harbor Regional Center, and a child development specialist at Kaiser Permanente. Having worked in multiple human services sectors, Rebecca brings a wealth of experience to her role as program manager of Help Me Grow−Orange County.

Ms. Hernandez is an alumna of Stanford University, where she studied human biology with an emphasis in child development. Rebecca completed her graduate work at Wheelock College in Boston, where she earned her EdM.
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Lisa Honigfeld, PhD

Lisa Honigfeld is the Vice President for Health Initiatives at the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI). She oversees efforts to strengthen primary and preventive health care for children in Connecticut. A sociologist by training, Dr. Honigfeld has a strong background in health services research and system development. Prior to joining CHDI, Dr. Honigfeld was the Associate Director for Health Services Research at ProHealth Physicians, Connecticut's largest private primary care network. Before coming to Connecticut, she directed the community medicine and pediatric practice activities at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Honigfeld received her PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1988. She holds a faculty appointment at the University of Connecticut and serves on several statewide committees to further medical home implementation throughout the state.
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Marcia Hughes, PhD

Marcia Hughes, assistant director at the Center for Social Research, is primarily responsible for the design and management of research and evaluation projects. She has been providing program development and evaluation services to nonprofit organizations, state agencies, and school systems for 20 years. Her work contributes to a range of interdisciplinary, multilevel collaboratives for creating positive social change at the local, national, and international levels. The focus of her current research and evaluation is on how to translate knowledge of effective practices to real world contexts and create the policy and organizational change necessary for successful implementation and impact.
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Tanika Simpson, MSW

Tanika Simpson is a mental health clinician specializing in early childhood behavioral health with over 10 years experience in the behavioral health and early childhood fields. She is currently providing parent-infant dyadic interventions to high-risk mothers through the Yale University Child Study Center's Minding the Baby program. She was previously a child development community liaison for Connecticut's Help Me Grow. She provides consultation to states in the community outreach component of the Help Me Grow system.
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Amy Fine, MPH

Amy Fine is senior adviser at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), where she helps shape its approach to integrating health, education, human services, and other family supports at the community level, focusing on preventive, developmentally oriented service systems for children and families. In this role, she contributes to the content of multiple CSSP initiatives.

With more than 25 years of experience working on issues related to maternal and child health, public health, and health safety net programs, Ms. Fine has served as a consultant to federal and state health agencies, private philanthropies, and national initiatives focused on improving results for children. Her previous work includes positions at the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Institute of Medicine, and the University of North Carolina's Child Health Outcomes Project. Most recently, she served as a consultant to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), drafting the current HRSA Strategic Plan, and she has worked closely with the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau to incorporate the life course model as an organizing framework for its strategic plan. At the state and community levels, her work has focused on the role of primary care pediatrics in linking children to developmental services and supports and the role of health and the health sector in comprehensive, place-based initiatives for young children. Other current work includes directing a national Communities of Practice Project on place-based initiatives for young children and providing consulting services to the Help Me Grow National Center.

Ms. Fine has degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of California, San Francisco, and she earned her master's of public health from the University of North Carolina.
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