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.
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 8 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.
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.
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 7
Jamie O’Conner is the Family Voices of Minnesota Outreach Coordinator. She is mom to two children, 5 year old Charlie and 7 year old Norah. Norah is a bright, bubbly, musical, empathetic kid who was born with a rare genetic condition called Williams Syndrome (WS). Charlie is a curious, kind, car-loving kid who is always on the go. When they join forces, Norah and Charlie are makers of great trouble and noise (and fun).
Before joining Family Voices Jamie was a full-time mom and advocate. She is a Class 34 Partners in Policymaking graduate and has attended PACER workshops including Family Leadership Training. Jamie is a member of her local Special Education Community Advisory Committee (SECAC) and has a passion for advocating for inclusive education practices. For Jamie, the support and guidance from other parents in her journey as the parent of a child with a disability has been not just empowering but transformative. Many mentors have turned to life-long friends. Norah’s health, development and emotional well-being are immeasurably better because of the family support they have received along the way.
Jamie is a transplant to Bloomington, Minnesota from the Carolinas and enjoys road trips exploring her new state. Her hobbies include reading, yoga, cooking, cake decorating and dance parties with her kids.
West/Central Parent Support Navigator
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 4
Kelly is the mother of four wonderful children, some of whom have diagnoses which include: autism, sensory processing challenges, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, and anxiety. She has experienced how difficult it is to “juggle” employment, appointments and the daily routine while trying to obtain resources in order to support her family. When her child son was diagnosed with autism, she made the decision to become a stay at home parent so her son could receive in-home behavioral therapy. This also allowed her time to learn more about advocating for her children and really get involved in supporting other families going through similar situations.
She is a Partners in Policymaking (class 32) graduate, has attended many parent leadership trainings and workshops; she has volunteered as a support parent/note taker at IEP meetings for other families. She stays involved in her local schools Parent Advisory Committee meetings and is part of the county Human Services Advisory Committee.
Kelly has learned to step outside her comfort zone, ask questions and be a voice in order to help the next family traveling down this path. What began as a very lonely and overwhelming time in her life has become one of the most positive and rewarding and it all began when she connected with others who “just got it.”
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 6 and loves music, being outside, and playing with his 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, Southern Minnesota
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 6
Terri Boettcher is the Parent Support Navigator for Southern Minnesota. She is a wife and mother to two beautiful adopted children and two cats. Terri’s children have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, attachment issues, and anxiety. Terri enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching movies, and shopping. Terri is a strong advocate for her children in all aspects of their lives. She continues to improve her parenting skills by networking and using resources, learning as much as she can about their diagnosis, staying active in their lives, and improving her self-care.
Terri is a Speech Language Pathology Assistant since 2003 in an outpatient clinic in Mankato that provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy for kids from birth to 18. She graduated from Partners in Policymaking class in 2016. She has attended many state and national conferences, such as MOFAS and ATTACH, as well as other trainings in and around the state of Minnesota. Terri is active in the adoption community in the Mankato area and wants to spread her knowledge to all parents of kids with disabilities. She believes strongly that it takes a village to raise all kids, especially when they have special needs.