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Thank you for your interest in our guide, and for your dedication to improving the wellbeing of persons with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities and related disorders. The inclusion of Behavioral Specialists in the medical setting, especially hospitals and clinics, is key to effectively addressing many of the common problems associated with treating patients with challenging behaviors. Please fill out the form to receive a two page introduction to the guide, The Value of Ensuring Behavioral Services in Healthcare Settings, with a link to the full version of our free guide, A Guide to Improving Healthcare for Persons with Special Healthcare Needs.
Authors: Alison Szarko, Olivia Miller, Melinda Miller, Pamela Martien-Koch, Amy Impson, Holli Henningsen Jerdes, Kimberly Henkle, Kayla Diggs Brody, Molly Dellinger-Wray, Linda Copeland, Andrew Bonner, Tony Biglan, Thomas Ashby, Toni Rose Agana
If you would like to see Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services made more available in hospitals and clinics in your area, Values to Action can help you create a local Action Circle that clearly defines policies relevant to this happening in your state and advocates for the incorporation of these services in your local hospitals and clinics. For more information on how Values to Action can be of assistance, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Action Circles and the issues Values to Action is addressing, please visit our Action Circles Page
Alison Szarko, M.A., is a doctoral student in Dr. Ramona A. Houmanfar's Performance Systems Technologies Lab at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). She has ten years of experience in behavioral science and practice. She obtained her undergraduate degree and master’s degree from UNR and has worked as a research assistant in Dr. Steven C. Hayes’ lab, Dr. Linda Hayes’ lab, and Dr. W. Larry Williams’ lab. Alison has also provided frontline ABA services for children and adults with autism and other developmental/intellectual disabilities. However, her main interests are in cultural behavior analysis, behavioral systems analysis, and organizational design. She has been working as a Graduate Research & Teaching Assistant at the UNR School of Medicine for the past five years, with medical education experts, to develop and implement an Acceptance and Commitment Training curriculum for bias and burnout within the organization.
Olivia Miller is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst working in the medical setting at Boston Children’s Hospital. Olivia graduated with her masters from Ohio State University, where she worked as part of the dual diagnosis team at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. Currently, she is a doctoral student at Simmons University where she hopes to continue her work evaluating the impact of behavioral interventions in a medical context. At Boston Children’s Hospital, Olivia’s clinical work involves providing support to patients, families, and direct care staff across the hospital environment, including inpatient medicine units, ambulatory clinics, and the emergency department. Olivia is passionate about engaging health care providers through behavioral skills training to foster patient care, improve access, and delivery of health care services. Olivia’s favorite part of her job is empowering medical staff with strategies to prevent, manage and successfully complete medical interventions.
Melinda Miller is a BCBA and doctoral candidate in Applied Behavior Analysis at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is a board member of the Illinois Association for Applied Behavior Analysis (ILABA). Melinda received her master's degree in Special Education from Governors State University. She has experience working with individuals of all ages. As a teacher, she worked at a cooperative as well as a therapeutic day school. As a BCBA, she has worked with clients in their homes (personal home, CILA and ICF/DDs) as well as in a pediatric clinic, schools, and developmental training programs. She recently opened her own ABA practice, Momentum Behavior Services. Additionally, Melinda has experience as a QIDP/case manager and program manager for adults who are dually diagnosed DD/MI. Most importantly, Melinda is the mother of two Autistic children. She has worked as a parent advocate for over a decade assisting parents through the IEP process and obtaining the services they both need and deserve. Melinda brings a unique perspective to the table. It combines that of a parent, an advocate, an educator, and behavior analyst. She brings a passion for change, knowledge, and inclusivity. She believes it would be an honor to serve on the IL ABA board and bring IL ABA closer to succeeding in its purpose.
Pamela Martien-Koch is Founder and Executive Director of Clear Creek Behavior Services (CCBS) and an Adjunct Lecturer at Purdue University. She has worked in the behavioral health care industry for over 20 years and holds a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education/Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She earned her BCBA in 2004 and founded CCBS in 2016 after seventeen years of working in clinic, school, and community settings. Before establishing CCBS, she managed the behavior health team for a regional community centered board providing multidisciplinary services to individuals in Colorado.
Through her work in various settings, Pamela has seen the critical need for skilled behavior analysts thus narrowing her focus to quality supervision practice and organizational behavior management. Her passion to share the science of behavior with a larger community has led her to her work with Values to Action.
Bio coming soon.
Holli Henningsen Jerdes
Bio coming soon.
Bio coming soon.
Kayla Diggs Brody
Bio coming soon.
Bio coming soon.
Linda Copeland MD, BCBA received her bachelor’s degree in physiology from UC Davis, then her Medical Degree at the UC Davis School of Medicine in 1979, receiving the Alpha Omega Alpha honor.
She became a board-certified pediatrician and did two years of fellowship in child psychiatry as well as one year in developmental pediatrics, all at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She worked for many years as a practicing primary care pediatrician and then obtained specialty board certification in developmental-behavioral pediatrics.
While working at Alta California Regional Center in Sacramento, she co-authored a grant from Sierra Health Foundation in 1993 to develop early intensive behavioral intervention services for children with Autism, networking with the UCLA Young Autism Project. She also networked with parents of children with autism to create the first ever “Families for Early Autism Treatment” or FEAT non-profit group. Subsequently, Dr. Copeland obtained Board Certification in Behavior Analysis, earning her BCBA credential in 2009, collaborating with several doctorate level behavior analysts serving children with autism since that time.
As a consultant on brain imaging research at UC Davis Medical Center, she assisted with magnetic resonance and spectroscopy studies on children with Fragile X syndrome as well as autism. She also served on the Community Advisory Board for the CHARGE (Childhood Autism Risk from Genes and the Environment) study at the UC Davis MIND Institute for a decade.
Dr. Copeland was part-time faculty and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Fresno-UCSF Pediatric Residency Program for 5 years. She has performed contract work as a developmental specialist with the Contra Costa Health Plan since the spring of 2015, reviewing ABA services for children with special needs. She also contracts at the UC Davis MIND Institute in the Research Division, assisting in studies on brain development and on the treatment of anxiety disorders in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Her early scientific publications include research on ADHD and childhood aggressive conduct disorder. Her most recent publications include several articles on autism diagnosis & pathophysiology as well as on ABA treatment. She has been a speaker for international symposia on autism spectrum disorders in the United States, Europe and the Philippines.
Andrew is a Doctoral Candidate in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Florida. He has extensive experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities in a large range of clinical contexts. Andrew’s areas of expertise include the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, skill acquisition, and verbal behavior. In addition, Andrew is also engaged in several other areas of research. One area aims to evaluate interventions to enhance literacy in under-resourced schools using direct instruction and community organizing. Another involves using family and home-based interventions to improve social-emotional learning and reduce challenging behavior in neurotypical learners. And a third is focused on developing small- and large-scale interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Anthony Biglan Ph.D. is a Senior Scientist at Oregon Research Institute andPresident of Values to Action. His book, The Nurture Effect: How the science of human behavior can improve our lives and our world, describes how behavioral science research has brought us to the point where it is possible to evolve a society in which virtually every person is living a productive life in caring relationships with others. His new book, Rebooting Capitalism: How we can forge a society that works for everyone, explains how we evolved a form of capitalism over the last 50 years that has impoverished millions of Americans, undermined the regulation of harmful business practices, and corrupted most of the major sectors of society. Values to Action was created to foster the reforms called for inRebooting Capitalism through the creation of local Action Circles.
Bio coming soon.
Toni Rose Agana
Toni Rose Agana, M.S., BCBA, earned her Master of Science in Behavior Analysis from Simmons University. She is currently a Doctoral student in the Applied Behavior Analysis program at Caldwell University and a Doctoral Fellow at Caldwell University’s Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis (CAABA). She is also working as a Clinical Supervisor for the Language and Behavior Center in Maryland. She values using the verbal behavior approach and the conditions of motivation to teach language and skills to her learners and families. Her current research interests include verbal behavior, early language acquisition, and establishing play as conditioned reinforcers to children with autism. She is also particularly interested in increasing staff performance through supervision and teaching natural agents (e.g., parents, caregivers) to implement behavior strategies.