START Fall 2015 Newsletter
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Joan Beasley
Happy end of the summer/early fall to all!

It’s been an incredibly busy season here at the National Center with lots of great news from around the country.  There are new programs being developed in Iowa that began in July and in Tennessee where there will be statewide implementation of the model after a long hiatus. In addition, we are developing the first statewide child MHID professional learning community with the state of Hawaii also beginning in October.  In Iowa, Amanda Reichard from the UNH/IOD will oversee a control study to assess outcomes associated with the ISTART model. In Tennessee, it will be the first time that there will be trained and certified START Coordinators as part of the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), along with the new teams, a very positive and innovative initiative by TNCARE. In Hawaii we will be evaluating outcomes associated with the establishment of the learning community and training for trainers program. Luke Kalb, a researcher from John's Hopkins has begun to look at SIRS data for his NIH study of services with families in NY and TX. The NYC programs are about to be launched with the call for proposals now posted. Read the full letter >

Thank you all for all that you do.

START Center News
The Center for START services warmly welcomes Beth Grosso as the Center’s newly appointed Project Coordinator. Beth will be assuming many of the roles and responsibilities previously held by the much-esteemed task-master/Director of Online Training, Julie Moser. Beth was a previous NH START Team Leader and brings with her a thorough understanding of the START program. Beth can be reached at
NH News
New Hampshire START is very excited to announce the hiring of a new Statewide Director, Barb Drotos. She comes with many years of clinical and administrative experience working with Community Bridges and New Hampshire Mental Health agencies. Barb can be reached at
NC News
  • NC East Region achieved Program Certification for 2 years! Congratulations to a job well done and an excellent team!
  • NC Central’s Shelle Godwin was recently awarded Professional of the Year by the Arc of the Triangle for her outstanding support working with those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Read more>
START Coordinator Certifications
Congratulations go out to all the newly certified coordinators!!
  • June-August:
    Megan Sissom, TX Travis; Anne Rogers, NH; Michelle Bieliunas, NH; Karen Collins, NY Region 1; Elly Fisher, NY Region 1; Malia Alexander, Washington; Jason Tuell, NC Central; Caitlin Sestokas, NY Region 1; Gino Yevdevjich, Washington; Rebecca Williams, NC West; Charmaine Scott, TX Travis; Natasha Murray, NC West; Jamie Ferdinand, TX Tarrant; Ginny Redding, Arkansas; Laurie Hoagland, NY Region 3; Gary McIntee, NY Region 1
  • September-October:
    Airie Kazery, Arkansas; Patty Brewer, Arkansas; Sarah Snyder, NH; Dallow Turay, VA REACH 2
Character Strengths
We wanted to take this opportunity to remind you all of the importance of focusing on signature strengths in building more meaningful lives and positive outcomes. Below are the universal strengths, identified through extensive research, that lead to happiness and health. They are arranged under six virtues, or overarching categories. Be sure to incorporate assessment of strengths in your work with all your clients as well as within your START teams. Your Clinical Directors have more information about how to identify your strengths and activities to build on them. Read more >
It Takes a Village: The Value of Community Networks
The Inaugural START National Training Institute opened for registration on September 15th 2015! As a member of the START Network there are several opportunities that we would like to share with you.
  1. Registration: We are offering a reduced registration rate to START members. Click here to register for the START National Training Institute.
  2. Poster Session: The poster session is an opportunity for START teams and START partners to demonstrate the effective use of assessment tools and data within the START model. Click here to submit proposal.
  3. Awards: The Center for START Services will be presenting several awards at the START National Training Institute, START Team Member, Case Management/Service Coordination, and START Network Partner. You can nominate by visiting the Center for START Service website.
  4. Sponsorships: There are a variety of ways to become a sponsor of the 2015 National START Training Institute. If you are interested in being a sponsor or know of someone who would be interested please visit the START website for more information.
  5. Study Groups: There will be an opportunity for all those involved in the various study groups hosted by the Center for START Services to meet up, live and in-person! At the end of each day a 30 minute period of time has been reserved for the study groups to meet.
  6. START Coordinator Session: There will be a special workshop for START Coordinators only! Learning and Applying a Systems Approach in START Work: Live Supervision.
  7. Networking Social: You won’t want to miss the poolside Networking Social on Tuesday night. This is a great opportunity for all the institute participants to network with members of the START community nationwide.
Read more about the Institute here. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Ann Allsop.
2015-2016 Clinical Manual Update: Slight improvement to the START Action Plan
As everyone knows, as of November the 2015-2016 START Manuals are now available in Moodlerooms (for assistance with logging in and/or accessing Moodlerooms, please contact Shannon Wedge. There have been many things we learned throughout the year that inform our updates and improvements.

One of the things we learned is that the lethargy and irritability scores on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) are a strong predictor of emergency service use. Based on this knowledge, we have made a slight modification to improve the information collected on the START Action Plan. Rather than documenting the total ABC score, the form has been modified to specifically capture the lethargy and irritability sub-scores for each individual served. The monitoring of this over time will ultimately help the START team with treatment and service planning for individuals. 

Please use the improved START Action Plan for all new cases received on November 1, 2015 and thereafter.  For all active cases, you do not need to re-do the START Plan using the new version unless you are beginning a new year of the START planning process. Rather, simply include the lethargy and irritability scores in the ABC column on the START Plan for any follow-up administrations of the ABC. Please feel free to contact Andrea with any questions about this.
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Apply for CEU's
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Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire