My philosophy is based on people with disabilities should be afforded the same opportunity to explore, define, evolve their goals and live the life they choose, even when their supporters disagree with their decisions.

Services need to change from driven by diagnosis (e.g. all people with schizophrenia must be on medication or all substance abusers must abstain and utilize 12 steps) to person identified goals.

Service delivery system does not allow for individuals with labels to be quirky, weird, have bad habits, make decisions that do not work out without making it about pathology as opposed to just who they are. One of the most damaging aspects of living with labels is the tendency to view all of their actions through lens of illness – resulting in limited self-identification.


  • Certified Person Centered Thinking trainer with emphasis on Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders

  • Active in the States Olmsted Plan – first as member of the mandated planning committee then ongoing voice representing concerns of people with disabilities

  • Chairperson of states Protection and Advocacy for People with Mental Illness (PAIMI)


Organizational Culture Change

Changed culture of organization to one of illness identification only to one that was looked at as examples that people with MI could and do get well and contribute to society. Organization was sought out for input on local, regional, state and national levels for input on systems change issues.

Passed Legislation

Passed legislation in collaboration with state to create curriculum and funding mechanism to create Certified Peer Services. This allowed people that live with MI diagnosis opportunity to combine their personal experience with skills training and become competitively paid providers.

Increased Intergovernmental Collaboration

Increased collaboration with non-profit (and the few for profit), county and state agencies to provide person centered services. Created WRAP for employment. Provided approximately two years of ongoing training to Ramsey County Human Services staff to initiate culture change to one that supports recovery.


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 (612) 715-0799