PRINCIPALS

Helaine Hornby
Dennis Zeller

MANAGERS

Karen Hallenbeck
Timothy Reed
Megan Hawkes
Kevin Zacks
Kristi McGibbony
Leona Miles

SENIOR STAFF

David Ricords
Sherrie Winton

RESEARCH STAFF

 


RESUMES

PRINCIPALS

 

Helaine Hornby, M.A.
Helaine pic

Principal
Helaine Hornby is Vice President and a Principal of Hornby Zeller Associates. For 20 years she concentrated her work in the areas of child and family services, including child protection, foster care and adoption, parent support services, and early childhood interventions. She now evaluates a broader array of programs in the areas of substance abuse prevention, treatment and children’s mental health including many funded by SAMHSA. She recently completed a system of care evaluation of children whose focus is trauma-informed services. She has directed a Nebraska evaluation of children’s mental health, a needs assessment of human trafficking in Maine, and Home Visiting evaluations in Maine and West Virginia. She was the founder and director of a national resource center serving child welfare agencies across the country. While a university researcher she directed three national research projects funded by US DHHS: an analysis of adoption disruption; an evaluation of risk assessment systems in child protective services; and a policy study on kinship care in which she was co-principal investigator.

Experience

  • Director, National Child Welfare Resource Center for Management and Administration; Director, Center for Child and Family Policy, Edmund S. Muskie Institute of Public Affairs, University of Southern Maine. 1986 – 1995.
  • Research Associate, Edmund S. Muskie Institute of Public Affairs, 1974 – 1986.
  • Deputy Director, Monticello Area Community Action Agency 1970 – 1974.

Selected Projects

  • Maine Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHS Quality Management Plan, Augusta, ME.
    Provided guidance in the development of performance and outcome measures to be used in evaluating the effectiveness of Maine’s mental health and substance abuse treatment programs in reducing clients’ return to care or relapse. Worked with Maine’s Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to develop a quality management plan. 2016 – 2017.
  • Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family Services, Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Project Evaluation Service, Augusta, ME.
    Provided guidance and oversight in the development of a federally-approved evaluation plan and collection and analysis of data for a IV-E Waiver demonstration project implemented to reduce the re-abuse of children 0 to 5 and their reunification when placed into foster care. 2015 – 2017.
Areas of Expertise

  • Child Welfare
  • Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Continuous Quality Improvement

Education

  • Master of Art in Public Policy & Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Political Science

Publications

  • Chichester, C. S., Bepko, C., Ogden, J., Hornby, H., & McAuley, K. (2009). Implementing an Integrated System of Care Model in the State of Maine. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 5(3-4), 436-446.
  • McFarlane, W. R., Hornby, H., Dixon, L., & McNary, S. (2001). Psychoeducational Multifamily Groups: Research and Implementation. Family interventions in mental illness: International perspectives, 43.
  • McFarlane, W. R., McNary, S., Dixon, L., Hornby, H., & Cimett, E. (2001). Predictors of dissemination of family psychoeducation in community mental health centers in Maine and Illinois. Psychiatric Services, 52(7), 935-942.
Contact Information
(207) 369-7211 / phone
(207) 773-9074 / fax
hhornby@pcgus.com



Dennis E. Zeller, Ph.D.
Dennis Pic

Principal
Dennis E. Zeller is the President and founding principal of Hornby Zeller Associates. During his more than 25 years of consulting, Dr. Zeller has designed and implemented systems for ongoing measurement of client outcomes, directed workload studies, evaluated public agency operations, helped states maximize federal reimbursement; showed administrators how to use data in their decision-making and devised rate-setting processes for both foster homes and residential facilities.

Experience

  • Director/Policy Analysis Supervisor, New York State Department of Social Services, Bureau of Policy Planning, Division of Family and Children’s Services. 1980 – 1988.
  • Supervisor/Statistician/Planner, Texas Department of Human Services, 1977 – 1980.

Selected Projects

  • Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services and Office of Juvenile Justice, Rate Setting and Time Study Project, Baton Rouge, LA.
    Provided guidance to the team responsible for developing rates for children placed in non-medical group homes, residential facilities and therapeutic foster homes as well as administrative expenditures incurred by child placing agencies for case management services. 2017.
  • Maine Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHS Quality Management Plan, Augusta, ME.
    Provided guidance in the development of performance and outcome measures to be used in evaluating the effectiveness of Maine’s mental health and substance abuse treatment programs in reducing clients’ return to care or relapse. Worked with Maine’s Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to develop a quality management plan. 2016 – 2017.
  • Casey Family Programs, Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback Evaluation, Hartford, CT and Augusta, ME.
    Developed the methodology for evaluation of children’s safety resulting from the states’ use of the assessment tool as reports of suspected abuse and neglect are received. The real-time quality assurance effort identifies high risk cases for death and serious injury. Provided guidance in the analysis of data and participated in the report writing. 2015 – 2016.
  • West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Home Visitation Evaluation, Charleston, WV.
    Directed statewide study on enhancements to West Virginia Home Visitation Program funded by the Affordable Care Act. 2013 – 2014.
Areas of Expertise

  • Policy Analysis
  • Data Analytics
  • Performance Measurement

Education

  • Master of Science in Social Work
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

Publications

  • Hornby, H., Zeller, D., & Karraker, D. (1996). Kinship care in America: What outcomes should policy seek? Child Welfare, 75(5), 397.
  • Zeller, D. E. (1991). Model Child Welfare Management Indicators. National Child Welfare Resource Center for Management and Administration, Human Services Development Institute, University of Southern Maine.
  • Zeller, D. E., & Gamble, T. J. (2007). Improving child welfare performance: Retrospective and prospective approaches. Child welfare, 86(1), 97.
Contact Information
(518) 273-1614 / phone
(518) 273-0431 / fax
dzeller@pcgus.com



MANAGERS

 

Karen Hallenbeck, B.S.
Karen pic
Director of Program Operations
Karen Hallenbeck coordinates HZA’s projects across all offices, ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently and that deliverables meet the firm’s high standards. Beyond her management responsibilities, Ms. Hallenbeck specializes in workload measurement and financial analysis. The former involves determining the sizes of the caseloads line staff can carry, while the latter ranges from revenue maximization through rate-setting efforts.

Experience

  • Director of Project Operations, Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc. 1998 – Present.
  • Project Director/Assistant Project Director, The Institutes for Health & Human Services, Inc., Saratoga Springs, NY. 1997 – 1998.
  • Associate Director/Project Director/Technical Consultant, Kinney & Associates, Inc., Troy, NY. 1995 – 1997.
  • Technical Consultant, Cost Management Services, Moscow, PA. 1993 – 1995.
  • Project Manager, New York State Department of Social Services, Albany, NY. 1981 – 1993.

Selected Projects

  • Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family Services, Workload Study, Augusta, ME.
    Served as the project manager for a study used to measure how much time it takes to handle cases of varying type and the time staff have available to work on cases. Oversaw the development of the data collection tools and the analyses used to derive the calculations to measure resource need, as well as a tool used to measure resource need on an ongoing basis. 2016 – 2017.
  • West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Children and Families, Title IV-E Waiver Evaluation, Charleston, WV.
    Conducted the cost evaluation of the Title IV-E Waiver initiative designed to prevent foster care placement and use of congregate care. 2015 – 2017.
  • Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Random Moment Time Study System and Services, Denver, CO.
    Provided guidance in the expansion of the random moment tool used to capture the proportion of time staff spend on Title XIX federally eligible administrative activities to ensure compliance with federal claiming requirements. 2015 – 2017.
Areas of Expertise

  • Child Welfare
  • Workload Measurement
  • Financial Analysis

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Siena College, Albany, NY, 1981.
Contact Information
(518) 273-1614 / phone
(518) 273-0431 / fax
khallenbeck@pcgus.com



Tim Reed, A.A.S.
Tim pic

Systems Engineering Manager
Timothy Reed manages all of HZA’s Information Technology operations, serving both customers and staff. Mr. Reed manages the ongoing operation of a toll-free live Help Desk that provides technical support to local users of the firm’s computer applications and performs site visits in support of system upgrades and modifications. He also oversees the automated mailing system used to conduct random moment surveys for large-scale workload studies. While assisting with special projects, Mr. Reed has developed reports to measure data integrity and rate of participation and manages two client case management reporting systems. Mr. Reed works closely with the firm’s web hosting partner to ensure all data maintained or accessed by the firm are secure.

Experience

  • Information Technology Manager, Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc. 2003 – Present.
  • Computer Technician, Dahlgren Construction, Yarmouth, ME. 2001 – 2003.
  • Superintendent, National Radar Cross Section Test Facility/LAN Administrator/Supervising Manager, Communications Shop & Data Management Element, United States Air Force. 1981 – 2001.

Selected Projects

  • Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Welfare, Implementing a Web-based Email Random Moment Time Study System and Services, Denver, CO.
    Responsible for the security of the web-based Automated Random Moment and Reporting System (ARMARS) used by Colorado as part of its quarterly administrative claiming process. Provides guidance to the web-based developers to ensure its navigability and data integrity. 2013 – 2021.
  • Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services and Office of Juvenile Justice, Rate Setting and Time Study Project, Baton Rouge, LA.
    Provided guidance in the development and administration of the random moment survey used to apportion time across reimbursable activities for a rate setting project involving non-medical group homes, residential facilities and child placing agencies. 2017.
  • Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Prescription Monitoring Electronic Health Record Integration and Interoperability Expansion, Augusta, ME.
    Developed the data exchange protocol for a project designed to evaluate improvement of patient care, increased provider participation in the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) and its integration with the State’s Health Information Exchange, as well as ensuring interoperability with PMPs in eight other states. 2012 – 2014.
Areas of Expertise

  • Data Analytics
  • Technology and Software

Education

  • Associate of Applied Science in Electronics Systems Technology, Community College of Air Force, Montgomery, AL, 2001.
  • Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), Social & Behavioral Research – Basic Certification.

Special Skills

  • Microsoft Windows VISTA XP Professional, Windows Local Area Networks, Adobe Acrobat LiveCycle Designer, Adobe Creative Suite 3, Visual Basic for Access, Microsoft NT 4.0, MS 2000 Server and Professional, MS Exchange Server, MS Office Suite Advanced, Fortran, Auto CAD, UNIX, HP Assembler, SQL Server, C+, HTML, XML, ASP, WordPress
Contact Information
(207) 369-7210 / phone
(207) 773-9074 / fax
treed@pcgus.com



Megan Hawkes, M.P.H.
Megan pic

Research Supervisor
Megan Hawkes co-manages HZA’s staff in Maine. She evaluates programs which aim to promote population-level health and mental health and/or reduce substance abuse. She is helping the Maine Center for Disease Control to develop a strategic plan for substance abuse prevention, focusing on the growing opioid problem. She is also engaged in an evaluation designed to reduce high-risk drinking, prescription drug abuse and marijuana use among youth and young adults. Ms. Hawkes co-leads an evaluation for Maine General Medical Center’s Partnerships to Improve Community Health grant, which is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded project aimed at making a population-level impact on chronic disease by improving residents’ access to community and clinical sectors to improve their health. As part of each of these efforts, Ms. Hawkes conducts interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders, synthesizes qualitative data and interprets outcome data for decision-making by state and local governments and community partners.

Experience

  • Co-Manager, Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc. 2018 – Present.
  • Research Associate, Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc. 2016 – 2017.
  • Grant Writer, The Salvation Army – Northern New England Division, Portland, ME. 2013 – 2015.
  • General Intern, PharmAccess Foundation, Windhoek, Namibia. 2013.
  • Analytic Research Assistant, Boston University Center for Global Health and Development, Boston, MA. 2012.

Selected Projects

  • Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine’s Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs Project, Augusta, ME.
    Served as Project Co-Leader to conduct a needs and capacity assessment for the state of Maine CDC outlining prescription drug and opioid abuse. Assisted in drafting a strategic plan that will be implemented at the state and community level. 2016 – 2018.
  • Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Partnerships for Success 2015, Augusta, ME.
    Conducted key informant interviews and synthesized qualitative data for a project designed to reduce high-risk drinking, prescription drug abuse and marijuana use among youth and young adults in Maine. 2016 – 2018.
  • Maine General Medical Center, Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH), Waterville, ME.
    Conducted interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders for a CDC-funded grant aimed at having a population-level impact on chronic disease and chronic disease risk factors for residents of the Central Public Health District in Maine. Synthesized qualitative data and interpreted outcomes data. 2016 – 2018.
Areas of Expertise

  • Child Welfare
  • Public Health
  • Substance Abuse

Education

  • Master of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA, 2013.
  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Biology, University of New England, Biddeford, ME, 2010.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of New England, Biddeford, ME, 2010.
Contact Information
(207) 369-7215 / phone
(207) 773-9074 / fax
mhawkes@pcgus.com



Kevin Zacks, B.S.
Kevin pic
Program Manager
Kevin Zacks manages HZA’s staff in Pennsylvania, who design and generate periodic child welfare reports from administrative datasets, fulfill ad hoc data requests, and troubleshoot data problems. Mr. Zacks develops semi-annual reports on outcome and performance measures for each county in Pennsylvania and provides training to county, regional and state staff on interpreting measures designed to mirror the Child and Family Services Reviews. He currently oversees Random Moment Time Study System and Services for the State of Colorado and manages Longitudinal Data Analysis and Reporting for New Jersey; he also oversaw development, implementation and administration of the NYTD survey processes in Iowa and Pennsylvania, tracking youth aging out of the foster care system.

Experience

  • Manager, Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc. 2004 – Present.
  • Program Specialist, CSR Incorporated, Arlington, VA. 2000 – 2004.
  • Field Account Manager, Beaulieu of America, Dalton, GA. 1997 – 1999.

Selected Projects

  • New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Longitudinal Data, Analysis and Reporting, Trenton, NJ.
    Managed the development and ongoing production of statewide and county automated reports used to measure the agency’s rates of achieving successful outcomes for children and families in response to a Modified Settlement Agreement in the case of Charlie and Nadine H. et al. vs. John S. Corzine. Developed training curriculum for managers aimed at program improvement. 2012 – 2017.
  • Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Welfare, Implementing a Web-based Email Random Moment Time Study System and Services, Denver, CO.
    Managed the development and ongoing administration of a web-based data collection tool designed to capture the proportion of time Income Maintenance, social services and Department of Youth Corrections caseworkers spend on federally eligible administrative activities. 2013 – 2017.
  • Iowa Department of Human Services, NYTD Baseline and Follow-up Population Data Collection, Des Moines, IA.
    Managed the development, implementation and administration of a survey process of youth to measure their preparedness to live independently post-discharge from foster care. Guided the development of the web-based tool and management reports to monitor rates of participation. 2010 – 2016.
Areas of Expertise

  • Data Analytics
  • Technology and Software

Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Political Science, University of Houston, TX, 1997.
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics, University of Houston, TX, 1997.

Special Skills

  • SQL Server, Access, Visual Basic, Perl, ASP, PHP, SPSS, SAS
  • Database Design and Administration
Contact Information
(717) 540-7740 / phone
(717) 540-7760 / fax
kzacks@pcgus.com



Kristi McGibbony, B.A.
Kristi McGibbony
Quality Assurance Supervisor
Kristi McGibbony has been a member of Hornby Zeller Associates’ privatized Service Quality and Practice Improvement Unit in Arkansas since 2016 and was recently promoted to Manager. She possesses extensive knowledge of federal Child and Family Services Review requirements for quality assurance in child welfare cases and now manages a team of HZA and State staff who conduct comprehensive case record reviews in support of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services’ Program Improvement Plan. Ms. McGibbony provides onsite mentoring support to local staff throughout the state, serves as liaison to the federal government during their on-site reviews, and develops reports for each of the ten Areas covered by the State.

Prior to joining HZA, Ms. McGibbony served as the Community Coordinator of the Arkansas Safe Babies Court Team where she worked with the Division of Children and Family Services to front-load services to promote positive outcomes for children aged birth to three years in the foster care system. Prior to that, she served as an Advocate Supervisor for the Pulaski County (Arkansas) Court Appointed Special Advocate where she evaluated the living conditions and physical and mental status of children in foster care. Based on her evaluations, Ms. McGibbony made recommendations to the court that reflected the children’s best interests. In 2014, she was a lead presenter at the ZERO TO THREE (ZTT) National Training Institute, a national nonprofit that provides parents, professionals and policymakers with the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development. Ms. McGibbony received a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee in 1987.

Experience

  • Manager, QSPR Unit / Quality Assurance Analyst, Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc. 2016 – Present.
  • Community Coordinator, Arkansas Safe Babies Court Team/ZERO TO THREE, Lonoke County, AR; Assistant Community Coordinator, Arkansas Safe Babies Court Team/ZERO TO THREE, Pulaski County, AR. 2011 – 2016.
  • Legal Assistant / Case Manager for Senior Partner, Hyden, Miron & Foster Law Firm, Little Rock, AR. 1989 – 1996.
  • Advocate Supervisor, Pulaski County Court Appointed Special Advocate, Little Rock, AR.
  • Lead Teacher, Miss Selma’s Schools, Little Rock, AR. 1988 – 2009.

Selected Projects

  • Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services, Quality Services Review Project, Little Rock, AR.
    Completed case reviews in support of the Division’s Program Improvement Plan and Practice Model development initiatives as well as the third round Child and Family Services Review. Examined information in SACWIS, reviewed case files and interviewed key stakeholders to provide the State with recommendations for improving positive outcomes for children and families. Provided onsite mentoring support to area staff. 2016 – 2017.
Areas of Expertise

  • Child Welfare
  • Child and Family Service Reviews
  • Quality Assurance

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business Administration, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, 1987.
  • Certified Volunteer Manager, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR, 2010.
Contact Information
(501) 396-6476 / phone
(501) 682-6815 / fax
kmcgibbony@pcgus.com



Leona Miles
Leona Miles
Business Manager
Leona Miles is responsible for managing HZA’s ongoing finance and human resource activities. She processes the firm’s semi-monthly payroll, time sheets, and expense reports, and issues reimbursements to staff for work-related expenses. She manages HZA’s contracts and generates client invoices for billing purposes. Additionally, Ms. Miles oversees benefits administration and manages the firm’s 401(k) plan.

Prior to joining HZA in 2014, Ms. Miles served as a Human Resources Assistant in Drexel University’s Human Resources Department, where she managed the submission of employment applications and supporting documents, submitted weekly audit reports of inventory, tracked department attendance and maintained a department contact list.
Prior to her time at Drexel, Ms. Miles worked as an Administrative Assistant at Martins Run Life Care Community in Media, Pennsylvania; there, she carried out a diverse array of HR activities. She coordinated the conversion of the company’s HR and medical records to electronic format, managed the open enrollment process for benefits, and streamlined the reconciliation and processing of health benefits invoices, resulting in a time savings of 22 percent.

Ms. Miles previously spent more than a decade working at Ballard Spahr, L.L.P. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she coordinated a firm-wide technology assessment across offices in seven locations, identifying outdated technology and providing recommendations of compatible systems. She identified and implemented software applications and related technology to address the firm’s training needs, and managed the firm’s 401(k) plan.

Experience

  • Business Manager, Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc. 2014 – Present.
  • Human Resources Assistant, Drexel University. Philadelphia, PA. 2012 – 2013.
  • Administrative Assistant, Martins Run, Media, PA. 2010 – 2012.
  • Administrative Assistant, Ballard Spahr, L.L.P., Philadelphia, PA. 1996 – 2008.
Areas of Expertise

  • Human Resources
  • Benefits Administration
  • Data Management
  • Payroll Systems

Education

  • Microsoft Office Specialist Program, Full Circle Computing, Exton, PA.
  • Diploma, Web Development and Business Programming, The Chubb Institute, Springfield, PA.
  • Completed coursework in Information Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, and the University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL.
Contact Information
(518) 273-1614 / phone
(518) 273-0431 / fax
lemiles@pcgus.com



SENIOR STAFF

 

David Ricords, A.A.
Picture Coming Soon
Software Engineer
David Ricords joined HZA in 2011 to enhance HZA’s information technology and data analysis functions. Serving as Senior Programmer, Mr. Ricords directs the development of software applications, online surveys, dashboards, and web-based data collection tools. He supervises HZA’s programmers. For a special study for Arkansas’ Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Mr. Ricords developed an ASP.Net web application for use by case workers to match children in foster care with appropriate homes and children seeking adoption with appropriate families. Mr. Ricords has developed data dashboards for HZA’s clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nebraska and Colorado, among others.
Prior to joining HZA, Mr. Ricords was a Software Engineer for Webclients.net. There he designed, developed and maintained the internal company intranet and provided technical support to users. In addition, he created data entry forms utilizing client and server side validation as well as custom automation tools.

Experience

  • Senior Programmer, Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc. 2011 – Present.
  • Software Engineer, Webclients.net, Harrisburg, PA. 2010 – 2011.
  • Software Quality Assurance Engineer, ValueClick Media, Harrisburg, PA. 2006 – 2010.

Selected Projects

  • Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Welfare, Implementing a Web-based Email Random Moment Time Study System and Services, Denver, CO.
    Participated in the development and ongoing maintenance of the web-based Automated Random Moment and Reporting System (ARMARS) solution for use by Colorado as part of its quarterly administrative claiming process. 2013 – 2017.
  • New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Longitudinal Data Analysis and Reporting, Trenton, NJ.
    Developed an automated report application for use by the state and counties to measure the agency’s rates of achieving successful outcomes for children and families in response to a Modified Settlement Agreement in the case of Charlie and Nadine H. et al. vs. John S. Corzine. 2012 – 2017.
  • Iowa Department of Human Rights, Family Development and Self-Sufficiency Program (FaDSS), Des Moines, Iowa.
    Developed web-based software for use by numerous agencies serving thousands of Family Independence Program clients to gain self-sufficiency. 2016.
Areas of Expertise

  • Computer Programming
  • Data Dashboards
  • Web Applications

Education

  • Associate of Arts in Computer Information Systems, Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg, PA, 2004.

Special Skills

  • PHP, PERL, HTML, DHTML, JavaScript, AJAX, JQuery, SQL, UNIX OS, ASP.NET, C# and VB
Contact Information
(717) 540-7740 / phone
(717) 540-7760 / fax
dricords@pcgus.com



Sherrie Winton, Ph.D.
Sherrie Winton
Research Analyst
Sherrie Winton has extensive experience teaching, conducting evaluations and research, and monitoring polices in social services. She has taught courses for both undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Maine in Orono, the University of Southern Maine, and Saint Joseph’s College. Her courses have covered sexual assault prevention, cultural competency and community mental health services, among others. She has served as the Director of Interdisciplinary Studies and Associate Professor at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine where she provided program oversight and worked on several research and evaluation projects. These included research on best practices in high-impact educational initiatives. In addition, Dr. Winton worked at the Muskie School of Public Service as a Policy Associate, partnering with Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to develop policies and educational guidelines, training and education for workforce development efforts. She developed educational toolkits for professionals and community members and provided training and technical assistance.

Experience

  • Senior Research Associate, Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc. 2018 – Present.
  • Director of Interdisciplinary Studies/Associate Professor, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, Standish, ME. 2013 – 2018.
  • Administrative Staff Analyst/Training Coordinator, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Queens, NY. 2012 – 2013.
  • Coordinator/Policy Associate II, Muskie School of Public Service, Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy, University of Southern Maine, Augusta/Portland, ME. 2000 – 2001; 2004 – 2012.
  • Worksite Coordinator, Pathways to Higher Education, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME. 2002 – 2006.
  • Administrative Supervisor of Family Integration Specialists/Coordinator, Care Development of Maine, Bangor, ME. 1996 – 1999.
  • Work Supervisor, Phoenix Industries, Bangor, ME. 1989 – 1991; 1994 – 1996.

Selected Projects

  • Fedcap Rehabilitation Services, Inc., ASPIRE-TANF Quality Assurance and Evaluation Services, New York, NY.
    Participated in the evaluation of a program which provides education, training, supports and employment services to help Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to secure stable employment. 2018.
  • Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family Services, Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Project Evaluation Service, Augusta, ME.
    Conducted case record reviews, focus groups and stakeholder interviews for the evaluation of an initiative designed to improve the stability, health and well-being and quality of permanent connections of young children and their families in Maine. 2018.
  • Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family Services, Organizational Assessment, Augusta, ME.
    Contributed to the development of policies and practice standards for a child care subsidy program, as part of a comprehensive assessment of Maine’s child welfare practices. 2018.
Areas of Expertise

  • Behavioral Health
  • Child Welfare

Education

  • Ph.D., Counselor Education, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 2013.
  • Master of Science in Adult and Higher Education, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME, 2003.
  • Master of Education in Counselor Education, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 1999.
  • Bachelor of University Studies, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 1994.

Publications

  • Hicks, M., Smith, D. R., Winton, S., & Wood, D. R. (2008). SEEDs of promise: Transformative learning communities for diverse schools. Multicultural Perspectives, 10(1), 30-34. doi:10.1080/15210960701869512
  • Winton, S. et al. (2005). Children’s targeted case management practice guidelines. Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Behavioral Health Services, and University of Southern Maine, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service.
  • Winton, S. (2013). A qualitative study of East Asian students in American High Schools: Experiences and perspectives of cultural transition, adjustment, and personal growth (Doctoral dissertation, University of Maine, 2013). Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest LLC.
Contact Information
(207) 773-9074 / fax
swinton@pcgus.com



RESEARCH STAFF

 

Chantel Barber, M.P.A.
Quality Assurance Specialist

Chantel Barber

Chantel Barber reviews case records, interviews stakeholders and provides onsite mentoring to the local staff of Arkansas’ child welfare system as part of the state’s continuous quality improvement reviews. She also develops curricula and presents training on structured decision-making in child maltreatment investigations.

Prior to joining HZA in 2012, Ms. Barber worked with county youth programs generating recommendations on ways to improve services for transitioning youth and preparing grants for submission to local, state, federal, and private entities to support those services. She has conducted multi-state research on laws and best practices to develop and revise child welfare policy. Her work history also includes managing a high volume, $2.1 million restaurant with 15 employees. Since February 2012, Ms. Barber has been a foster and adoptive parent to children in the Arkansas foster care system.

Ms. Barber received a B.A. in Political Science from Gettysburg College (PA) in 2005 and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2010


Tim Diomede, M.P.P.M.
Research Analyst

Timothy Diomede

Timothy Diomede serves as Epidemiologist for the State of Maine’s Partnership for Success initiative, an ongoing effort funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Mr. Diomede serves as the project coordinator and co-chair for a State Epidemiological Outcome Workgroups (SEOW) which is designed to expand and support the capacity for data-driven substance abuse prevention efforts in Maine. In this capacity, he compiles and analyzes community and state level data to monitor substance abuse trends using multiple state and national data sources and maintains a dashboard to track changes in consumption behavior, perceptions of harm in consuming substances and consequences of consumption such as traffic fatalities where alcohol is a factor. He analyzes data sources on an annual basis, updates public health district epidemiological profiles, develops issue briefs and provides technical assistance to prevention focused groups. The focus of Mr. Diomede’s work is developing data to support local coalitions in their commitment to reduce high-risk drinking, marijuana use and prescription drug abuse among youth and young adults in Maine through prevention activities. Most recently the focus is opioid addiction and abuse of prescription drugs.

Prior to joining HZA in 2012, Mr. Diomede worked as a Research Assistant at Medical Care Development, Inc. (MCD) in Augusta, Maine where he helped establish a pilot program for MCD’s Telephonic Diabetes Education and Support (TDES©)/Prediabetes Prevention Program. Preceding his time at MCD, Mr. Diomede worked as a Research Assistant at the Muskie School of Public Service where he designed and implemented an evaluation for the York County Foster Care Collaborative. While at Muskie he also served as a Graduate Assistant, where he designed, updated and maintained a database to track the activities of the Multi-State Learning Collaborative, a 16-state project.

Mr. Diomede earned a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 2006 and a Master of Policy, Planning, and Management in 2011 from the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service. He also earned a Certificate of Graduate Study in Applied Research and Evaluation Methods from the Muskie School of Public Service.


Kyle Feuer, B.S.
Research Analyst

Kyle Feuer

Kyle Feuer provides research support by collecting data through interviews and record reviews, analyzing data and maintaining the firm’s Corporate Qualification and Proposal Tracking database. From 2012 to 2016, Mr. Feuer led the administration of the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) outcome surveys to youth in Iowa. He conducted searches to locate difficult-to-find youth and administered the survey via telephone. For both the baseline (surveys at age 17) and follow-up components (surveys at age 19 and 21) he ensured day-to-day tasks were completed in a timely manner and took aggressive measures to not only meet but exceed federal standards for response rates. Part of that success was based on his initiative to develop strategies, such as using Spokeo and other web-based tools, to locate youth. For HZA’s evaluation of Parenting with Love and Limits (PLL), an Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention (OJJDP) evidence-based program designed to engage both parents and youth in behavior management and treatment, Mr. Feuer conducted quantitative analysis of pre- and post-test standardized behavioral evaluation results, and assisted with drafting program-specific reports and articles for publication. He has reviewed data reports, such as the statewide and county data packages the firm produces semi-annually for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, to ensure data are accurate and consistent across outcome measures. Mr. Feuer has conducted case record reviews for HZA’s Title IV-E Waiver evaluations in Arkansas, Maine and West Virginia. He also has developed web-based surveys and case record review instruments for projects in several states. Recently, as part of an evaluation of Arkansas’ Diligent Recruitment grant, Mr. Feuer conducted interviews with adoptive and foster parents to assess the effectiveness of the State’s efforts to recruit, prepare and retain resources families to care for children in foster care.

Mr. Feuer earned an Associate’s degree in Business, Management and Economics from the State University of New York Empire State College in 2015, and a Bachelor’s degree in the same discipline in 2017.


Margaux Hoagland, M.S.
Research Analyst

Margaux Hoagland

Margaux Hoagland is participating in the cost evaluations of the Title IV-E Waiver programs in Maine, Arkansas and West Virginia. She is measuring the costs of the Waiver programs, taking into account the placement, maintenance, and contracted service costs of all children and families who have participated in the Waiver initiatives. She is also measuring the average cost of achieving a successful outcome, including all of the resources expended on unsuccessful outcomes and the rate of success. Using data from a time study and random moment surveys in Maine, Ms. Hoagland helped to develop time standards for specific case types and measure the time caseworkers take to complete individual tasks, as well as the time they have available to work on cases. She serves on the team evaluating Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback for Casey Family Services, a predictive analytics approach to program improvement.

In addition to her quantitative analytical experience, Ms. Hoagland conducts interviews with key stakeholders to evaluate the implementation of a collaborative effort between child welfare, home visiting and public health nursing in Maine who are working together to obtain preventive services for families with substance-exposed newborns.

Prior to joining HZA in 2016, Ms. Hoagland worked as an analyst at THREE Group Market Research in Saratoga Springs, New York, where she developed web-based surveys for brand tracking, brand positioning, concept testing, segmentation, pricing, market sizing, and feasibility studies. A specialist in statistical analysis, she performed data manipulations and mergers, performed in-depth analyses, and drafted reports detailing findings for clients. Her responsibilities also included programming, sampling and banner plans, data quality and logic checks, monitoring of data collection, data cleaning and organization, and creating banners and crosstabs.

Ms. Hoagland received a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Psychology from Skidmore College in 2011, and earned her Master’s in Data Analytics from Southern New Hampshire University in 2018.


Vivian James, M.A.
Research Analyst

Vivian James

Vivian James has been an integral member of HZA’s evaluation team for the West Virginia Bureau for Children and Families and the Arkansas Department of Children and Family Services Title IV-E Waiver evaluations. She analyzes data from the case management information system to measure the Waiver initiatives, performs face-to-face interviews for the qualitative components, and drafts report sections. Additionally, she has completed an analysis of qualitative data about the Arkansas Department of Children and Family Services’ implementation of the CANS/FAST assessment tool. Ms. James conducts telephone interviews of staff from three agencies participating in Maine’s Bridging Initiative, and performs qualitative data analysis for this program, which connects home visiting, nursing and substance abuse treatment services to improve outcomes for drug-affected babies.

Ms. James has also conducted extensive research of other states’ efforts to implement mental health and substance abuse programs that have a long-lasting positive impact. She has most recently been researching behavioral health policies for the development of innovative behavioral health measures and standards for the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’ Quality Management Plan. Additionally, Ms. James participated in HZA’s evaluation of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania’s predictive risk modeling (PRM) tool, which is designed to improve the decisions of call screeners in child abuse cases.

Prior to joining HZA in 2016, Ms. James served as a Program Analyst at the Center for Public Health Continuing Education in Rensselaer, New York, where she analyzed quantitative and qualitative data collected via interviews, focus groups, and surveys. One subject of analysis was the New York State Gold STAMP (Success Through Assessment, Management, and Prevention) Program to reduce pressure ulcers. She assisted in the development of interview protocols and survey questions, facilitated focus groups, conducted interviews, and administered surveys. Preceding that, Ms. James completed a geographic information systems (GIS) internship at the Cherokee County, Georgia Office of Emergency Management, where she assisted emergency management personnel in conducting a community risk assessment using GIS applications. She helped to develop web-based GIS applications, and created metadata using Esri ArcGIS and HAZUS-MH software to provide risk communications to manage the community’s critical facilities, facilitate damage assessment, and access real-time GIS applications. She also has several years of direct substance abuse service provision, including assessing individuals charged with driving under the influence at the Canton DUI School in Canton, Georgia, and providing information and support to hotline callers at Atalan, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ms. James received a B.S. Cum Laude in Anthropology from Kennesaw State University in 2011, and an M.A. in Anthropology in 2013 from the State University of New York at Albany.


Robert Junkins, A.D.
Systems Administrator

Robert Junkins

Robert Junkins is a Programmer Analyst, providing technical and programming support to users of Information Technologies solutions developed by the firm. He has been an integral member of the firm’s application and information systems development team for more than a decade. His involvement ranges from navigation, integrity and regression testing of existing applications to the development and implementation of specialized tools and web-based survey applications. He designed two online surveys for the workload study conducted on behalf of the Minnesota Division of Child Safety and Permanency; the first measured the time caseworkers and supervisors have available to devote to casework, while the other captured the amount of time each casework function demands. For the random moment survey, follow-up questions appeared only if they were relevant to the initial response, increasing the integrity of the data gathered and saving caseworkers’ time. Mr. Junkins also developed a web-based survey for a statewide performance audit conducted of Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services. This survey measured caseworkers’ and supervisors’ impressions of the agency’s management and organizational structure, its adherence to policy and process for distributing new and changing policy, and staff support. Mr. Junkins played a key role not only in capturing the data, but also in analyzing responses from 4,000 agency staff members.

As HZA’s Help Desk Manager, Mr. Junkins provides Help Desk support to any HZA client using applications developed by the firm. Examples are ARMARS random moment studies in Colorado and Louisiana, case management services for family agencies in Nebraska, and staff management software for a family agency in Mississippi.

Prior to joining HZA as a Help Desk Specialist in 2004, he worked as a Programmer Analyst for L.L. Bean, Inc. and Bath Iron Works, as well as Maine Savings Bank where he also served as an Associate Programmer. In all of these positions Mr. Junkins performed systems analysis and process improvements for various batch and online systems. Mr. Junkins holds an A.A.S. in Computer Science from Andover College.


Doug Landis, B.S.
Research Analyst

Doug Landis

Doug Landis supports the data needs of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Children, Youth and Family Services (OCYF). This work has included documentation of the data sources used to produce statewide reports including the agency’s Annual Report on Child Abuse and on the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS). He works closely with OCYF in the assembly of the statewide AFCARS files, decrypting the county AFCARS file submissions, identifying and analyzing data inconsistencies and possible penalties, producing the Data Quality and Penalty Calculation reports, transferring the data to a remote location and communicating results to the counties. Mr. Landis also documents all steps involved in this process in an AFCARS Submission Procedure manual, at one point developing a Software Requirement Specification Documentation guide of all fields associated with the AFCARS system. Based on his deep understanding of the data integrity Mr. Landis serves as a member of HZA’s review team, conducting case record reviews to assess the accuracy of the data reported by the counties in their AFCARS files. He assisted with development of an improvement plan for counties to increase their conformity to policy in producing data for future submissions. An example is how to count number of placement settings. Mr. Landis also serves on the team responsible for responding to ad hoc data requests from OCYF, in which data from AFCARS files are used to measure population demographics and performance outcomes.

Mr. Landis tests HZA’s software, writes detailed test case scenarios for both general protective and child protective cases involving various allegations, and provides feedback reports and suggestions for enhancements. Mr. Landis also provides live and web-based training to local county personnel. He uses MS ACCESS to respond to ad hoc data requests.

Prior to joining HZA, Mr. Landis gained extensive experience in training and process mapping at Hershey Chocolate, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. As a Training Coordinator, Mr. Landis developed and implemented all facets of a computer-based training program. He incorporated workflow processes into his training modules and designed them to clearly define jobs and tasks, tailoring their focus to the target audience. Mr. Landis obtained a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, in 1978.


Kim Magoon, M.S.
Research Analyst

Kim Magoon

Kim Magoon performs data entry and quality assurance for HZA’s evaluations of Maine’s Title IV-E Waiver and West Virginia’s Community Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) programs. She performs case record reviews and conducts focus groups and interviews with key stakeholders.

Ms. Magoon came to HZA from Centerstone Kentucky, a mental and behavioral health services provider, where she provided project management and case management services to adults and children with developmental disabilities. She performed analytical and evaluative work including extracting, compiling, tracking and reporting on program data. She monitored monthly Medicaid waiver spending, eligibility, patient liability and service usage and maintained client records. Prior to that Ms. Magoon was the Residential Supervisor at Continuum of Colorado where she led operations and supervised 14 full-time staff to ensure the daily needs of six developmentally disabled, medically fragile adults were met. In addition, she previously worked as a Research Associate at Client Opinions, Inc. in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where she provided customer service and participated in survey development and programming. She collected, reviewed and analyzed survey data, compiled the results and collaborated with peers and the Chief Executive Officer to create individualized client presentations.

Ms. Magoon received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Juvenile/Family Justice from Thiel College and a Master’s degree in Sociology from North Carolina State University.


Kyle McCarthy, Ph.D.
Research Supervisor

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy has lead responsibility for the Title IV-E Waiver evaluation for Arkansas DCFS. He developed code in SQL and SPSS to select comparison groups using propensity score matching as part of the outcome evaluation. Given statewide implementation of the Waiver initiatives, it has been necessary to select children and families served prior to implementation as comparison groups. Dr. McCarthy has also developed SQL code to measure the outcomes of the Waiver initiatives, analyzing the data to identify the extent to which children with particular characteristics benefit more than others, trending the results over time. He is performing similar analyses for HZA’s evaluation of West Virginia’s Title IV-E Waiver grant award. He also serves on the research team studying the effectiveness of Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback, a predictive analytics tool in child welfare. Supported by Casey Family Services, that work is being performed in Connecticut and Maine.

Prior to joining HZA in 2016, Dr. McCarthy served as a Research Assistant at the University of Kentucky. There, he developed the MaNGA Stellar Library target selection algorithm in Python which selected the 7,000 highest priority targets from a table of millions of stars. He merged several large data tables into one cohesive dataset, and increased the efficiency of the target selection algorithm using a chaining mesh technique. Preceding that, while he was a graduate student at the University of Kentucky, Dr. McCarthy created Python software to extract and cleanse raw data from stellar observatories, and wrote SQL code to access and manipulate large sets of stellar data. He determined statistical offsets in chemical abundance between stars with and without planets using Python statistical packaging; implemented a modified bootstrap method to determine uncertainties in fundamental stellar parameters; and determined rotational velocities of stars using an x2 statistical analysis. In addition to his work at the University of Kentucky, Dr. McCarthy created empirical temperature measures for stars using IDL data analysis tools while serving as a Research Assistant at Georgia State University.

Dr. McCarthy received a B.S. Cum Laude in Physics from Georgia State University in 2010. In 2013, he received an M.A. in Physics from the University of Kentucky, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Kentucky in 2015.


Amy McLaughlin, B.S.
Software Engineer

Amy McLaughlin

Amy McLaughlin has developed two comprehensive web-based dashboards, one for the Maine Office of Child and Family Services and the other for West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources. The first is for OCFS’s Bridging Initiative for substance-exposed newborns, tracking the effort to link public health nursing, home visitation and child protection with at-risk mothers. The second is for West Virginia’s Title IV-E Waiver evaluation, which seeks to reduce the number of children in congregate care, particularly if they live out of state. Ms. McLaughlin specializes in database design, data migration, and front-end web-based graphic user interfaces (GUIs). She responds to routine and ad hoc data requests for a broad range of quantitative analyses.

Before joining HZA, Ms. McLaughlin worked as a software engineer at WEX, Inc. where she led the design and implementation of a web-based tool for large fleet and credit application. She was involved in full-stack development of the application used by distributors to maintain compliance with guidelines set forth in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Preceding that, Ms. McLaughlin was a software engineer at Sony Pictures Entertainment where she implemented large data migration for a telecommunications billing application and performed an upgrade involving table model as well as relationship changes. She developed customized triggers, packages, and functions for the telecommunications billing application.

Ms. McLaughlin received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1997, and completed graduate coursework in Computer Science from Loyola Marymount University. She also spent a post-baccalaureate year studying computer science at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France.


Keema Nolen, M.B.A.
Quality Assurance Specialist

Keema Nolen

Keema Nolen joined HZA’s Service Quality and Practice Improvement Unit in 2012. As a member of this private-public venture with Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services, Ms. Nolen conducts comprehensive case record reviews and interviews as part of the state’s Quality Service Peer Reviews. The peer reviews are completed in support of Arkansas’ Program Improvement Plan. Ms. Nolen provides essential onsite mentoring and support for local staff throughout the state.

Prior to joining HZA, Ms. Nolen served as a family service worker for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services. Using statistical analysis, Ms. Nolen developed treatment and case plans to ensure families received necessary services and support to remain intact. She assisted families in locating and implementing resources and assistance to maintain the cohesive family unit. In addition, Ms. Nolen conducted public information meetings and symposiums to recruit foster families and gather donations to support foster children. Ms. Nolen received a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Philander Smith College in 2008 and earned an M.B.A. from Webster University in 2013.


Amanda Plummer, A.A.
Software Engineer

Amanda Plummer

Amanda Plummer has programed a web-based Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment tool for two states, a provider tracking system and several web-based survey tools, among other products. As part of HZA’s evaluation of West Virginia’s Bureau for Children and Families Title IV-E Waiver grant award, Ms. Plummer worked with the Bureau to rebuild West Virginia’s web-based CANS tool. Using Visual Studio 2008 for the user interface and SQL Server 2012 to record and store data historically, the tool enables staff to assess risks and service needs of children and youth, and view current as well as past assessment scores and share information between the child welfare district offices and their community service providers. Ms. Plummer developed a similar tool for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. For MaineGeneral Health she automated the Triple P parenting program, which is used both for case management and for evaluation. For the firm’s evaluation of Maine’s Title IV-E Waiver, she developed a system for provider agencies to use to track referrals they receive from the Office of Child and Family Services. This online system allows each contracting agency to record client referrals and contacts as well as the content of each service session which they complete with clients. The system also enables the provider to share information about their staff members, such as their education and training, which is used in conjunction with the process component of the evaluation.

Most recently, Ms. Plummer updated the Arkansas Heart Gallery adoption website to allow the general public to browse through pictures and profiles of children awaiting adoption in Arkansas. Ms. Plummer received an A.A. in Web Development and Design from Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Area Community College in 2015.


Matthew Powers, M.A.
Data and Reporting Analyst

Matthew Powers

Matthew Powers performs data analysis using large administrative datasets such as SACWIS and Medicaid claims as well as customized survey data to measure behaviors, attitudes and opinions about various services being evaluated. Shortly after his arrival at the firm in 2015, Mr. Powers assisted with an evaluation of Maine’s Moving Forward initiative, a program designed to address the needs of transition-aged youth and young adults with emotional disturbances, placing emphasis on youth-directed planning and the development of practical skills leading to independence. For this project, he analyzed client-level interview data to measure youth’s emotional and behavioral outcomes at three junctures; he also assisted in drafting the final report. For the firm’s Healthy Homes Mississippi program evaluation, he conducted data analysis of a survey administered to staff to determine the extent to which they were prepared to engage fathers in the lives of their children, breaking information down by region and program type. He used t-tests to measure statistical significance and assisted in writing summaries for the various data components. Mr. Powers matches data from one administrative data set to another and performs propensity score matching to develop comparison groups.

For three years prior to joining HZA, Mr. Powers worked in primary neuropathology and toxicology at the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) in Boston. He performed primary data collection for decedents associated with clinical infection and managed a data archive for long-term reporting requirements. He also handled toxicology requisitions and conducted statistical analyses for pathology personnel and visiting academics. Preceding his time at Massachusetts OCME, Mr. Powers spent a year working in non-secure server maintenance at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where he managed database query tools and updated and maintained the hospital’s unrestricted server. While completing his graduate program, Mr. Powers was a cohort study researcher at the University of Cincinnati (Ohio) where he conducted research within the Generation R cohort study database and produced recommendations for possible thresholds of metalloestrogens during early skeletal ossification. He designed the quantitative analysis of large data sets for multiple variable outcomes and conducted point source hydraulic contamination analysis.

Mr. Powers received a B.A. in Biology from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts in 2007, and an M.A. in Anthropology in 2009 from the University of Cincinnati.


Gabrielle Russ, B.A.
Quality Assurance Specialist

Gabrielle Russ

Gabrielle Russ is a National Center for State Courts Certified Court Manager and seasoned child welfare professional with more than a decade of experience working with children and families involved in the court system. As a member of HZA’s privatized Service Quality and Practice Improvement Unit within the Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Division of Children and Family Services, she completes case record reviews in support of the Division’s Program Improvement Plan and Practice Model development initiatives. She reviews case files and interviews key stakeholders to provide the State with recommendations for improving positive outcomes for children and families. She also provides onsite mentoring support to area staff.

Ms. Russ came to HZA from the Arkansas Supreme Court’s Administrative Office of the Courts where she developed and implemented a system to measure and track the performance of Arkansas’ juvenile drug court programs. She supported juvenile drug court programs by maintaining expertise in evidence-based practices and scientific research regarding youth with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders, and performed quality assurance checks to ensure court programs maintained fidelity to practice standards. For the courts, she applied for and received a $400,000 grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to address a systematic barrier in Arkansas’ juvenile drug court programs.

Ms. Russ earned her B.A. in Speech Communication in 2006 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


Sara Ryan, M.A.
Research Supervisor

Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan performs qualitative assessments. She develops interview protocols, schedules and completes onsite interviews, conducts the qualitative analysis and drafts reports for several of the firm’s process evaluations. One such evaluation involves West Virginia’s Title IV-E Waiver, which is aimed at reducing the number of youth in congregate care and keeping youth in their home communities when they are placed in substitute care. Using elements from the program model, Ms. Ryan drafted fidelity tools to assess the Wraparound model used in West Virginia, reflecting the four stages of the model and the roles of various parties such as facilitator, caseworker, family member and youth. For an evaluation of an initiative in Mississippi aimed at increasing the involvement of fathers in their children’s lives, Ms. Ryan analyzed the results of worker surveys and focus groups to determine the level of bias workers have toward fathers’ involvement as part of the baseline evaluation report. Ms. Ryan works on-site with clients, guiding them through the review of tools that HZA develops such as the Unified Case Plan for child welfare services in Maine. For Arkansas, Ms. Ryan mapped salary ranges of caseworkers to those in related industries and in comparable states to determine if Arkansas’ salaries were in line.

Prior to joining HZA in 2015, Ms. Ryan worked as the Senior Research Aide at the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities in Albany, New York. She managed data in an SPSS system and in the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR). Ms. Ryan was also responsible for conducting literature reviews where she applied a Critical Medical Anthropological approach by including ethnographic sources, as well as epidemiological research, to examine the effects of social inequality on Native American health. She contributed to the editing of publication efforts as well. Ms. Ryan also worked as a Research Assistant for the Social Cognition and Motivation Laboratory in Albany where she provided mental and physical health screenings to research participants. She was responsible for administering the experimental protocol and collecting and measuring the data. Preceding that, Ms. Ryan completed AmeriCorps service in Syracuse, New York where she provided direct services and assessments to pre-school children and their families.

Ms. Ryan received a B.A. Cum Laude in Psychology and Anthropology from the State University of New York (SUNY) Albany in 2012, and a Master’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology from SUNY Albany in 2014.


Felix Suen, B.B.A.
Research Analyst

Felix Suen

Felix Suen is a member of the privatized Quality Assurance Unit in Arkansas. Mr. Suen has participated in both recurring and special program evaluations for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services. He has primary responsibility for two key projects. He authors the Quarterly Performance Report which is prepared for the Division’s executive staff and managers as well as the legislature. He also has been responsible for collecting accurate information for reports of child fatalities and near-fatality incidents.

Mr. Suen regularly participates in contract monitoring of service providers and reviews of intensive family services. He has conducted case record reviews of protective services and foster care cases to assess the quality of casework and identify barriers to successful outcomes for children. Other special projects Mr. Suen has participated in include a statewide review of overdue investigations to assess what actions caseworkers should take to complete the investigations. He performs contract management and administrative functions for the unit.

Mr. Suen received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


Eve Wentworth
Marketing Specialist

Eve Wentworth

Eve Wentworth performs technical writing, editing and graphic design functions for HZA’s products, including dashboards, final reports, infographics, posters, proposals or brochures. In addition to her work producing final reports and related materials, Ms. Wentworth frequently works with the firm’s information technology and data teams to assist in the design and testing of web-based surveys and data collection tools, end-user interfaces, web content and related products. She also shepherds proposal development and submission. She helps the authors navigate complex proposal requirements. She has worked with state and federal web portals for proposal and grant application submissions.

As the firm’s Communications and Development Associate, Ms. Wentworth has provided technical writing, editing, and graphic design services for complex technical reports and user manuals; these include the Maine Statewide Human Trafficking Needs Assessment, the Mississippi Department of Human Services Evaluation of the Healthy Homes Mississippi Fatherhood Initiative, Maine’s THRIVE evaluation, materials related to the Trauma Informed Agency Assessment (TIAA) for KidsPeace, evaluations of Home Visiting programs in Maine and West Virginia, and the final reports for a series of evaluations of specialty court and corrections projects in Alaska and Maine.

Ms. Wentworth completed coursework in Journalism and Sociology at the University of Maine, Cultural Studies at the University of London and East London University, UK, and business and writing at the Harvard Extension School. Prior to joining the firm, she worked as a data analyst in the health insurance industry, spent more than a decade coordinating AIDS clinical trials research at the Harvard T.C. Chan School of Public Health, and served as managing editor and copy chief of RESCUE, a national-circulation magazine. She has worked as a freelance technical writer, editor, illustrator and graphic designer for over twenty-five years. She is a Notary Public for the State of Maine.