Toll-free: 1-866-334-8444, Extension 1
Carolyn Allshouse has been a leader in the patient-and-family-centered care movement since the late 1980’s, she has written several publications for families of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities about family-centered care and parent/professional collaboration including: “Working with Doctors”, “Speaking Up For Your Child”, and “All About Me” and has managed multiple federal maternal child health grants.
Prior to accepting the position of Family Voices Executive Director Carolyn coordinated the Minnesota Pediatric Medical Home and the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention quality improvement learning collaboratives at the Minnesota Department of Health. In the 1990s Carolyn coordinated a health advocacy program at PACER Center and coordinated a program focused on health reform for families of children with special health care needs and disabilities at Pathfinders Resources.
Carolyn has been a strong advocate for the involvement of families whose children have special health care needs and disabilities in program and policy development, implementation and evaluation. Carolyn and her husband are the parents of four children; her youngest son was born with multiple complex health care needs.
Ceci Shapland has worked over twenty years as an advocate for children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities. Her major areas of interest are activism and advocacy for promoting transition to adult health care for youth with special health needs and facilitating skill-building for youth and families. She has spoken statewide and nationally on topics of family centered care and transition in health care.
Prior to Ceci’s work with Family Voices of Minnesota, she was the co-director and a consultant on youth and family centered care for the Healthy & Ready to Work National Center for eight years. Ceci is one of the original family members who assisted in the formation of Family Voices, Inc. in the early 1990’s.
Ceci and her husband are the parents of 3 children; their middle son has special health care needs and disabilities. Ceci also has a masters degree in nursing. Her personal and professional experiences provide her with experience and insights in the organization of the health care system.
Hmong Parent Support Navigator
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 9
Jim and his wife, Sai Thao and have 4 children, two boys, Ty and Thee and two girls, Ghia and Dhoua. Jim’s oldest son Ty has ADHD and his youngest son Thee has autism. Both of Jim’s daughters are developing typically. My wife and I are U.S. born, first generation children of Hmong refugees from the Vietnam War in Laos.
When our sons were identified with developmental delays, we took those challenges in stride working closely with their children’s health care providers, educators and family members. As they cultivate their family, they also want to cultivate thoughtful conversations other parents as well as with the people who provide specialized support and care for their children.
Northwest Region Parent Support Navigator
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 5
Jess is our Parent Support Navigator working in the Northwestern Region of Minnesota. Her son Isaac is 4 and loves music, being outside, and playing with is black lab Ace. Isaac was born extremely premature, spent several months in the NICU and has ongoing special healthcare needs and different abilities.
Her personal journey and Isaac have been her inspiration to work with other families of children with special healthcare needs. Jess obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the College of St. Scholastica and is also working in a rural hospital as a Registered Nurse. Jess and her family live near Hewitt, MN and enjoy horseback riding, four-wheeling, fishing, and camping
Parent Support Navigator, Northeast Minnesota
Phone: 866-334-8444, extension 3
Stephanie is the Parent Support Navigator in the Northeastern Region of Minnesota. She and her husband, Alan, have four wonderful children, three boys and a girl. With one child without special health care needs, their family is kept busy with diagnoses including Type I diabetes, dyslexia, ADHD, depression, cerebral palsy and cognitive delay. Stephanie’s passion for gathering and sharing information began after the birth of her daughter. Although informed by the doctor that their daughter may never do more than just lay there after suffering a fetal maternal hemorrhage, they refused to give up. Faith still has physical and cognitive limitations, but loves to run, play and get crazy with her friends. A long way from “just laying there”. Stephanie and her family live in Duluth along with their cat OhNo.
Stephanie has a BS degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin Superior. What began as a passion to help her own children, has grown into a need to help and support others. She has experience in navigating the educational process, working cohesively with multiple physicians, and access to the community resources available.
Parent Support Navigator, Southern Minnesota
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 6
Krista is Parent Support Navigator for Southern Minnesota. Her family recently moved from Maryland, where she served as the Coordinator of a county-based Parent to Parent program. She has been supporting parents and caregivers of children with special health care needs for over six years, first as a volunteer support parent and subsequently as a program coordinator. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children; her son was born with a complex medical condition and developmental disabilities, so she has had extensive personal experience navigating the medical, therapeutic, and educational challenges inherent in raising a child with disabilities.
Prior to this position, Krista worked as a project and asset manager for real estate development company specializing in mixed-income housing, and she also served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington.
Parent to Parent Training Coordinator
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 2
Rebecca is the Parent to Parent Training Coordinator. Rebecca and her husband Richard are parents of two wonderfully independent young adults. Chloe who has developmental disabilities and special health care needs, is living in her own apartment with the “Supported Apartments” model and loving it! Julia is off to college and enjoying her new life.
Prior to her work with Family Voices she has worked as a research assistant in special education for a school district and worked with students with disabilities and their families and has been on her local Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) for many years. Rebecca also worked with her local ARC as program coordinator for their parent to parent program, and the state ARC program to increase parent knowledge and participation of parental rights in the school IEP process.
Rebecca has also been involved for many years serving as a parent advisor in health care quality improvement work with her daugther’s primary care clinic and served on state committees focused on imporving health care through Health Care Home. Rebecca has also been a volunteer for several years with Family Voices Parent to Parent program as a Support Parent.
West/Central Parent Support Navigator
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 4
Sandy Hruby is the Parent Support Navigator for West/Central MN. Her and husband Denny, have 3 children through the miracle of adoption. Tyler was born in Rousee, Bulgaria and was born with strambismus. Lisa was born in Craiova, Romania and has been diagnosed with partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ADHD, Sensory Integration, and recently removed the diagnosis Reactive Attachment, yeah! She is attached to us! Joe was born in MN and was in the foster care system. He is diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FASD), Intellectual Disorder, Sensory Disorder, Behavior Conduct Disorder, and Auditory Processing Disorder. Joe received a FASD Service Dog in December of 2013, she disrupts behaviors and is trained for tethering. His service dog, Mayflower has been a miracle for the family. The Hruby Family lives near Hutchinson, and are active in their church, gardening, swimming, reading, and lots of family fun things.
Sandy holds a Birth-3rd Grade Teaching License, a Masters in Educational Leadership, and a Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching. Sandy teaches online Education courses for Southwest MN State University, does early childhood trainings for ChildCare Aware and has worked in a resource and support network with families living with FASD. Sandy joins Family Voices of MN with a large and growing resource file as her children enter the transition years into adulthood.
Toll-free: 1-866-334-8444, Extension 0
Tricia Brisbine is the Family Voices of Minnesota Program Coordinator. Tricia is the mother of Charlie, an active 6 year-old with special healthcare needs and disabilities, in addition her family includes three wonderful step children. Prior to her role with Family Voices of Minnesota, Tricia was engaged in academic pursuits and already committed to helping build healthy families through her volunteer commitments and professional affiliations. She has experience working with families with special circumstances and unique individual needs.
Tricia has studied Psychology at the University of South Dakota, as well as at the graduate level at the University of Kansas. She graduated June 2011 with a Master of Arts in Counseling and Psychotherapy from Adler Graduate School. Tricia is passionate about working with parents/caregivers and their children to strengthen attachments and form healthy bonds.