Autism Council

Snyder Orders Creation of Autism Council

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced appointments to the recently created Autism Council.

The 12-member council was announced in June and will operate within the state Department of Community Health (DCH) to oversee Michigan’s Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) State Plan.

“The Michigan Autism Council will help coordinate our state plan and help make sure individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families can live better lives,” Snyder said. “I thank the appointees for their willingness to serve and eagerness to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

Executive Order 2012-11 created the council as an advisory body to review, adopt and implement the State Plan. The plan will provide for comprehensive, lifespan supports to individuals with ASD and their families through access to information and resources, coordination of services and implementation of evidence-based practices. The council must also update the plan every year.

The appointees are:

Mary Chaliman, of Holt, will represent the state Department of Human Services (DHS) for a two-year term, ending Sept. 30, 2014. Chaliman is director of DHS’s Permanency Division, where she oversees the state’s adoption program and those that pertain to health, mental health, education, and older youth in child welfare. Before joining DHS, she was a foster care worker and supervisor at the Ingham Co. Independence Agency. Chaliman is a registered social worker, and has bachelor’s degrees in communications and English from Michigan State University.

Kimberly Gaedeke, of Plymouth, will represent the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) for a two-year term, ending Sept. 30, 2014. Gaedeke is LARA’s assistant deputy director, helping implement the new Autism Coverage Reimbursement Fund and coordinating with the Bureau of Health Services and Bureau of Health Professionals on legislative issues. She founded C&K Strategies, LLC, an issue advocacy firm, and previously worked as a legislative aide in the Legislature and for Congressman Fred Upton. She has a bachelor’s in political science and public policy from Western Michigan University.

Elizabeth Knisely, of Plymouth, will represent DCH for a two-year term, ending Sept. 30, 2014. Knisely is director of the Bureau of Community Mental Health Services within DCH’s Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration. She previously worked at Common Ground Sanctuary serving as vice president of psychiatric services, staff nurse and manager for the crisis screening unit, and as a psychiatric screener. Knisely has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health services administration from the University of Detroit Mercy, and an associates in nursing from Macomb Community College.

Joanne Winkelman, of Bloomfield, will represent the state Department of Education (MDE) for a two-year term, ending Sept. 30, 2014. Winkelman is policy coordinator for the Policy and Compliance program within MDE’s Office of Special Education. She also is a member of the department’s ASD interdisciplinary team. She has also worked as a special education consultant for MDE, adjunct professor at Madonna University, enrichment specialist and teacher at Bekshire Middle School in Birmingham, learning resource teacher in New York, and as a special education teacher in Wisconsin. Winkelman has a Ph.D. in special education from Wayne State University, a master’s in education from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, and a bachelor’s in elementary education and cognitive impairment from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Michael Caine, of Lansing, is the special education administer for Haslett Public Schools and will represent local and intermediate school districts for a three-year term ending Sept. 30, 2015. He has more than 30 years of experience in the field and is deeply involved with the training and implementation of programming for students with ASD. He has a special education supervisor endorsement from Grand Valley State University, and holds a master’s in social work and bachelor’s in social science from Michigan State University.

Anthony Ianni, of East Lansing, will represent the ASD community for a three-year term ending Sept. 30, 2015. Ianni graduated from Michigan State University in May 2012 with a bachelor’s in sociology. He played basketball on a full athletic scholarship for MSU, where he earned the Tim Bograkos Walk-on Player award and MSU Unsung Player award. He is currently working in events management for the university.

Amy Matthews, of Grand Haven, will represent state-funded initiatives for a three-year term ending Sept. 30, 2015. She is an associate professor of psychology at Grand Valley State University, focusing on autism and intellectual and development disabilities, and is director of the Statewide Autism Resources and Training Project. Matthews is a licensed psychiatrist and holds a Ph.D. and master’s in clinical psychology from Binghamton University, and a bachelor’s in psychology from UC Santa Barbara.

Robert Sheehan, of Lansing, will represent adult service agencies and/or Prepaid In Patient Health Plans or Community Mental Health Services Programs for a three-year term ending Sept. 30, 2015. He is CEO of Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties. He oversees a budget of $140 million and a staff of 900, where they provide mental health services to more than 10,000 residents in the area. He is an adjunct teaching faculty at MSU’s Graduate School of Social Work, a licensed master social worker, and past chair of contract and financial issues for Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards. He has a master’s of social work from Wayne State, and a bachelor’s in social work and an MBA from Michigan State.

Colleen Allen, of Detroit, will serve as chair of the council, and represent non-profit organizations serving those with ASD for a four-year term ending Sept. 30, 2016. Allen is president and CEO of Autism Alliance of Michigan, and is senior staff speech language pathologist in Henry Ford Health System’s neurology department, and is an adjunct professor at Wayne State and Oakland universities. She was previously director of the center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Pediatrics, and as a coordinator of pediatric services in the Department of Neurology at Henry Ford Health System. Allen has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Wayne State, a master’s in science from Boston University and a bachelor’s from the University of Michigan.

R. Wayne Fuqua, of Kalamazoo, will represent state universities for a four-year term ending Sept. 30, 2016. Professor Fuqua is chair of Western Michigan University’s Department of Psychology, where he manages 17 faculty, 900 undergraduate, and 120 graduate students. He previously taught at the Center for AIDS Intervention Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and was a post-doctoral fellow at John’s Hopkins Medical Institute and John F. Kennedy Institute. Fuqua has a Ph.D., master’s and bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Florida.

Stacie Rulison, of St. Johns, will represent the ASD community for a four-year term ending Sept. 30, 2016. She is operations director for the Autism Alliance of Michigan, a behavioral therapist at Henry Ford Health System, an independent autism/behavioral specialist for Residential Options Inc., and an independent autism consultant for Autism Alliance, Wayne State University, and Grand Valley State University, and is active in a number of autism-related organizations. Rulison has a master’s in special education from Arizona State University, and a master’s and bachelor’s from Central Michigan University in human resource administration and business administration, respectively.

Dr. Jane Turner, of East Lansing, will represent medical / service centers or health care providers for a four-year term ending Sept. 30, 2016. She is the assistant medical director for DCH’s Office of Medical Affairs, serving as chief medical consultant for children’s special health care services. She previously worked as a pediatric consultant to the Ingham Intermediate School District as a member of its Central Diagnostic Team. She received her doctorate from the University of Oregon where she also completed her psychiatry fellowship, holds a bachelor’s in biology from Harvard, and completed her residency at the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

After the initial appointments, members of the council will serve four-year terms.