Dear Friends and Colleagues,
This past year (2018) included many accomplishments as well as challenges at the Institute on Disability (IOD). Faculty and staff continue to serve as leaders in the field of disability from crafting national disability policy in Washington, DC to training many of those on the forefront of the opioid crisis at home in New Hampshire. Graduates of the IOD’s leadership development programs are running for office, leading innovative organizations, and working tirelessly to ensure full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all.
However, the IOD and our community also experienced the sudden loss of our friend and colleague, Jonathon Drake. For more than fifteen years, he worked tirelessly with youth with emotional and behavioral challenges as well as the high schools and mental health centers who supported them. He was passionate about supporting youth to lead and become empowered and was working to build that voice in New Hampshire. Jonathon represented the best of the IOD, and we will continue to honor his passion and drive in the years to come.
Thank you for taking the time to review the Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report for the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. I welcome any comments and feedback you have about the work of the IOD and appreciate your ongoing support and partnership.
Acting Director, Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire
The 2018 IOD Annual Report contains data from the FY 2018 Report on Scholarly Activity and Engagement. For additional information about the Institue on Disability,
please visit the IOD website (opens new window).
12 UNH Courses167 Students
21* Guest Lectures
8 E-Learning Courses
*Represents an all-time high
In May 2018, the University of New Hampshire’s College of Health and Human Services (UNH CHHS) honored Melissa Mandrell with their annual Excellence in Collaboration Award for her work on the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program. It is a collaboration between the IOD and CHHS’s Departments of Social Work and Occupational Therapy and is funded by the federal Health Resources & Services Administration. The goal of this project is to address the workforce shortage in behavioral healthcare by training masters level students to work in the rapidly expanding practice area of primary care and behavioral health. Melissa is the project manager for the program, which welcomed its first cohort of students in June 2018. For the past thirteen years, Melissa has jumped seamlessly from project to project figuring out how to implement grants, pull diverse groups of stakeholders together, and keep everyone involved moving in the same direction. In addition to her work on the Behavioral Health Workforce Program, she also works on the No Wrong Door contract, and the IOD’s UCED grant, along with countless smaller projects.
“I do whatever is needed,” shares Melissa.
Melissa’s work across CHHS units, and especially across a Department and an Institute adds breadth and depth and represents the best of what is happening in disability policy research today.
Melissa, through the UNH Center on Aging and Community Living, plays a key role on the “No Wrong Door” contract with the NH Bureau of Long Term Supports and Services. This project aims to give service providers the tools they need to deliver quality supports to individuals. This year, she worked with colleagues and partners to create a personcentered options counselor certification to help counselors better meet the needs of their clients.
“Melissa’s work across CHHS units, and especially across a Department and an Institute adds breadth and depth and represents the best of what is happening in disability policy research today,” shares IOD Director Linda Bimbo. Finally, Melissa is responsible for the IOD’s data reporting for the IOD’s Developmental Disabilities Act funding. She works with staff to collect and report on data about the grants, contracts, and activities that they engage on every day. She’s also worked with the UNH CHHS on launching the university-wide behavioral health initiative.
Learn more about the Primary Care Behavioral Health Training Program (opens new window)
Nicole Quinn is a RENEW Coordinator at the Seacoast Mental Health Center (SMHC), where she provides RENEW’s structured school-to-career transition planning and individualized wraparound process for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges as well as supports others who are trained to do so through trainings, coaching, and support.
What attracted Nicole to RENEW was how it gave her clients their own voice. RENEW places youth at the center of the process, developing their goals and dreams for the future, while learning about their individual histories, strengths, and needs. In 2014, SMHC began working with Exeter High School to provide support and RENEW services to students there. The partnership has taken many forms and had many different funders over the years.
Currently, Nicole is part of a collaboration between the IOD’s Center for RENEW Implementation, Exeter High School, and Seacoast Mental Health Center to identify and provide RENEW to students. This partnership is helping over 40 youth with serious behavioral health needs build healthy, satisfying adult lives.
My students have achieved things that nobody thought that they could, because RENEW gives them people to be a support system, rather than just putting up barriers.
Nicole shared the story of one Exeter High School student who experienced a significant learning disability along with a chaotic home life. When she began working with Nicole, she identified a goal to attend the Culinary Institute of America.
This seemed like an impossible goal before she started working with Nicole, but they worked together with staff from Exeter High School to get her the support she needed to obtain the credits she needed for graduation. This student has been accepted into three culinary programs, including the Culinary Institute. Without RENEW and her support team in place, that would not have been possible.
“There have been times where I’ve caught myself doubting my clients’ abilities,” shares Nicole. “However, my students have achieved things that nobody thought that they could, because RENEW gives them people to be a support system, rather than just putting up barriers.”
Learn more about the Center for RENEW Implementation (opens new window)
Eric Lauer joined the IOD in 2011 as a Project Research Specialist where he began working on several federally funded grants focusing on disability, health, and employment using state and national data sources.
This year, Eric took a large step towards making his mark in the field when he earned his Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the School of Public Health at Rutgers University with a dissertation titled, Teasing Apart the Complex Relationship Between Psychological Distress, Mental Health Conditions, Social Factors, and Disability in the United States.
With his doctorate, Eric is now moving forward with his own research projects within the statistics and employment research and training centers, where he can focus on disability measurement and mental health.
Through my research, I hope to provide a better understanding and characterization of the effects of surveys methods on the identification of people with disabilities.
“Through my research, I hope to provide a better understanding and characterization of the effects of survey methods on the identification of people with disabilities,” shares Eric. “I also hope to explore these effects and the associations between disabilities and mental health in national surveillance efforts.”
This focus can be seen in the two academic articles Eric has published in the past year, along with his work managing the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium. For the past two years, in addition to creating the Compendium and its supplements, he has been working hard to build an online system which allows his team to create custom reports on disability statistics.
In the coming year, Eric hopes to build on his research and publications from the past year and will also start working with the New Hampshire Occupational Health Surveillance Project to study variations in industry and occupation among people in New Hampshire and the United States.
Learn more about the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium (opens new window)
Larry Flint has been an active and engaged member of the community for many years. A retired Parks and Recreation Director, his passion has been promoting the lifelong need for a healthy lifestyle. His work, before and after retirement, has been centered on helping people answer the questions “what is your reason for getting up in the morning?”
Some of his work has included teaching an exercise class for older adults for the past 33 years – where original members are still coming three times a week, serving as the Chair of the Granite State Senior Games, coaching a volleyball league for older women, and as a member of the NH Governor’s Council for Physical Activity & Health.
When the Endowment for Health and the Center on Aging and Community Living began planning for the creation of the New Hampshire Alliance for Healthy Aging (NHAHA), Larry’s connections and experience made him a natural fit for involvement. An active member since the beginning, Larry has worked with others to identify priorities for the NHAHA and build his own skills to better advocate for the aging population through his participation in the 2018 New Hampshire Senior Leadership Series, where he spent time exploring the impact of social isolation on health.
If you rest, you rust.
The Center on Aging and Community Living, a collaboration between the IOD and the Institute for Health Policy & Practice, provides the backbone support for the NHAHA, and partners with the NH AARP and Dartmouth Centers for Healthy Aging to host the Senior Leadership Series. This support, according to Larry, has been vital to the group’s success.
Larry recently joined the NHAHA Steering Committee, and shares that his involvement has significantly broadened his network in the aging field, kept him more informed, and has allowed him to share key information across his other commitments. He plans to continue his work across all levels to encourage healthy and active aging saying, “If you rest, you rust.”
Learn more about the NH Alliance for Healthy Aging (opens new window)
*Represents an all-time high
Dan Habib screens Mr. Connolly Has ALS at a Washington, DC event hosted by NH Congresswoman Annie Kuster and Senator Maggie Hassan.
Dr. Tobey Partch-Davies joins the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Focus on People with Disabilities 2017 Cohort.
The 2017 Kessler Foundation National Employment and Disability Survey: Supervisor Perspectives looks at how employers work to recruit, hire, train, and retain people with disabilities and identifies areas for improvement.
The NH Occupational Health Surveillance Program releases a report on the barriers to breastfeeding for women once returning to work.
IOD Filmmaker Dan Habib and former Concord High School Principal Gene Connolly receives the “Virginia Bowden Advocacy Award” by the New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities.
The Center on Inclusive Education receives a five-year grant to support social relationships among students with and without disabilities.
The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics releases its 2017 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium at an event at the National Academies of Science in Washington, DC.
Dr. Joanne Malloy receives 4-year contract to spearhead Creating Connections NH, a program focused on treatment and recovery for youth and young adults with Substance Use Disorders and Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders.
The IOD launches UNH-4U, which will provide an inclusive college experience to students with intellectual disabilities.
*Represents an all-time high
NH-ME LEND Training Director
Director of Research
Research Associate Professor
Acting Director, Institute on Disability
Dean, College of Health & Human Services, University of New Hampshire
Executive Director, Disability Rights Center - New Hampshire
Executive Director, New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities
Director, New Hampshire Bureau of Developmental Services
Administrator, Bureau of Special Education
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