NCTSN Advisory Board 2016

Patricia M. Barron, MS

Director, Family Readiness
Association of the United States Army

Patty Barron is the Director of Family Programs for the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).  She supports all AUSA family programs and activities by providing management and oversight to all directorate activities to include: establishing and maintaining relationships with the Department of Defense and non-government organizations, representing AUSA on Department of Defense and Department of the Army councils and working groups, disseminating information to Army families on current programs and benefits, and working closely with other AUSA directorates by engaging in AUSA chapter and installation visits to keep abreast of issues and challenges facing today’s Army families,  An Army spouse of 32 years, Patty has spent her adult life working on behalf of soldiers and their families.

Before joining the AUSA staff, Patty served as the Director of Outreach, Military Family Projects, at ZERO TO THREE, whose primary mission is the healthy development of infants and toddlers.  Patty also worked as the Director, Youth Initiatives, at the National Military Family Association.  Patty earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of San Francisco in 1980 and a Master of Science degree in community counseling from Long Island University in 1992.

Robert W. Block, MD, FAAP

2011-2012 President, American Academy of Pediatrics
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma – Tulsa

Dr. Robert Block served as President of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2011-2012 and continued his leadership with the AAP executive committee through 2013.  He is currently an Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine in Tulsa, OK, where he served as Department Chair for 12 years.  Dr. Block is a founding member of the Academy on Violence and Abuse, and he worked closely with the American Board of Pediatrics to develop a new subspecialty in Child Abuse Pediatrics, which began in 2006.

Dr. Block’s work has focused on child maltreatment prevention, intervention, and treatment, with a special interest in the social determinants of health and the biological mechanisms associated with childhood toxic stress and adversities.

Dr. Block received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his Pediatric Residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Thomas H. Bornemann, Ed.D.

Director, Mental Health Programs
The Carter Center

Dr. Thomas H. Bornemann became the director of mental health programs at The Carter Center under the leadership of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter on August 1, 2002. Prior to this appointment, he served as senior adviser for mental health in the Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence of the World Health Organization. Dr. Bornemann has spent his entire career in public mental health, working in all aspects including clinical practice, research, research management, policy development, and administration at the national level. At the National Institute of Mental Health he served as chief of refugee programs in the Office of International Health, where he was one of the leaders in developing a national mental health program for refugees.

In 1994 Dr. Bornemann was appointed deputy director of the Federal Center for Mental Health Services in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). During his tenure at the center, he provided leadership in the development of the first-ever Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health. A career public health officer, Dr. Bornemann retired at the rank of assistant surgeon general.

Earlier in his career, he held an academic appointment at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

James M. Hmurovich, MA

President and CEO
Prevent Child Abuse America

James Hmurovich is president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. Prior to the appointment he had held this position on an interim basis for ten months. He was also a juvenile probation officer for Monroe County, Indiana; and worked for twenty years at the Indiana Department of Correction, serving as state parole officer, state director of probation, director of administration, deputy commissioner, and director of planning. Hmurovich was then appointed director, Division of Family and Children for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. During his nine-year tenure the administration was awarded seven federal high-performance cash bonuses for successes in welfare reform and child welfare, and received national recognition as a leader in the State Children's Health Insurance Program and for the Healthy Families Program, a voluntary home visitation program. He is the recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash, which is the highest award that can be given to an Indiana citizen for leadership and accomplishment. Hmurovich also managed his own consulting business for five years after thirty years of public service. Hmurovich has been an adjunct faculty member at Indiana University for more than 18 years, where he earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and sociology, and a master's degree in counseling.

Colleen Horton, M.P.Aff.

Policy Program Officer
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Colleen Horton is the policy program officer at the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to moving to the foundation in 2010, Ms. Horton spent ten years as the director of public policy at the Texas Center for Disability Studies at The University of Texas. She has a graduate degree in public policy from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas. 
In addition to managing mental health policy grantmaking for the foundation, Ms. Horton works extensively with state agencies, legislators, legislative staff, and other advocates on issues affecting adults and children with physical, developmental, and mental health disabilities.  She is currently a member of the Promoting Independence Advisory Committee (Texas Olmstead Advisory Committee), the Medical Care Advisory Committee, and the Money Follows the Person Advisory Committee.  She also served on the Texas Children’s Policy Council for ten years, chairing the council for five of those years.

The Honorable Michael L. Howard, JD

Stark County Family Court
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Divisions

Judge Michael Howard was elected to the Stark County Court of Common Pleas in 2004. He presides in Family Court in both the juvenile and domestic relations divisions. In the juvenile division approximately 4,200 cases—including abuse, neglect, dependency, and unruly and delinquent youth—are heard annually. In his role as a community convener Judge Howard has focused on increasing community awareness of trauma and its impact, and has promoted community-wide adoption of evidence-based treatment for trauma victims. He has mobilized development of effective resources for children and families impacted by trauma, and has incorporated trauma screening in Stark County's juvenile court. Judge Howard has been instrumental in developing the Stark County Traumatized Child Task Force and serves as its chair. 

A member of NCTSN's advisory board and Justice Consortium, he has also served on the Ohio Department of Mental Health Childhood Trauma Task Force. Judge Howard has lectured nationally on childhood trauma and is coauthor of "Children Who Have Been Traumatized: One Court's Response," published in the 2008 autumn edition of the Juvenile and Family Court Journal. In response to requests generated by that article, he has contributed to trauma reference guides to be used on the bench by judges. Judge Howard is secretary of the Stark Education Partnership, a public school reform organization; and he is an active community volunteer, focusing primarily on programs that help children achieve success and avoid delinquent behavior. Among the boards and committees Judge Howard serves on are the Ohio Supreme Court Board of Character and Fitness, which oversees admission to the bar in Ohio; the Ohio Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence; and the Stark County Bar Association Family Law and Citizenship committees.

Teresa Huizar, MA

Executive Director
National Children's Alliance

Teresa Huizar is executive director of National Children's Alliance (NCA), the national association and accrediting body for children's advocacy centers, having previously served the organization on five boards of directors and four committees. She has worked in senior management and executive positions in the nonprofit sector for fifteen years. Prior to her tenure with NCA, she was project director of the Western Regional Children's Advocacy Center, a technical assistance and training center for children's advocacy centers in thirteen Western states. Ms. Huizar has been involved with the children's advocacy center movement since 1993 including serving in Colorado as executive director of two children's advocacy centers, director of fund distribution for United Way of Weld County, and coordinator of the Colorado Children's Alliance. She has a special interest in public policy in the child welfare arena and was instrumental in the passage of four pieces of legislation involving children's advocacy centers in Colorado, and has also contributed to the successful passing of other legislation and of policy initiatives on local, state, and national levels.

Ms. Huizar frequently presents on children's issues at local, regional, and national training sessions and conferences. She has published reports and technical assistance manuals on organizational development for children's advocacy centers, a gap analysis of service coverage for children's advocacy centers in the western region and of the United States, and a cost-benefit analysis of the children's advocacy center model. Ms. Huizar has a BS in psychology from Evangel University and a master's degree in public policy from the University of Denver.

Tasneem Ismailji, MD

Academy on Violence and Abuse

Dr. Tasneem Ismailji is the current President and cofounder of the Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA), an academic, interprofessional, health organization with the mission to advance health education and research on the prevention, recognition, and treatment of the health effects of violence and abuse. In 2010 as a member of, Dr. Ismailji presented at a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill.

After twenty years as a practicing pediatrician, Dr. Ismailji has been educating health professionals on the health effects of violence and abuse through local and national presentations and workshops. She has served on many nonprofit and advisory boards.

Dr. Ismailji received her MBBS from the FJMC, University of Punjab, in Lahore, Pakistan and her pediatric training from Rochester General Hospital and Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. She received her MPH from the School of Public Health, Berkeley, CA. As a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, she initiated research on the therapeutic benefits of expressive writing in survivors of intimate partner violence. She has published numerous peer-reviewed publications on this and other work.

Vivian H. Jackson, PhD, LICSW

Adjunct Associate Professior, Senior Policy Associate
National Center for Cultural Competence
Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

Dr. Vivian Jackson is a senior policy associate and member of the faculty of the National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development in Washington, DC. She provides technical assistance and consultation related to cultural and linguistic competence for the Children's Mental Health Initiative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Dr. Jackson is a social worker with more than thirty years of experience as a practitioner, supervisor, manager, and trainer in health, mental health, substance abuse, child welfare, managed care, system reform, and cultural competency. 

Earlier in her career, Dr. Jackson served as director of the Office of Policy and Practice at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and as child welfare advisor for the National Resource Network for Children's Mental Health at the Washington Business Group on Health. Her publications include Cultural Competence in Managed Behavioral Health Care (Manisses Communications Group, 1999), and Getting Started...and Moving On: Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Cultural and Linguistic Competency for Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Families (NCCC, 2003). Dr. Jackson is currently a member of the NASW's National Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and the NASW's Presidential Diversity Task Force.

Christine James-Brown

President and CEO
Child Welfare League of America

Christine James-Brown became president and CEO of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) in April 2007, assuming the leadership of the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization.

Prior to joining CWLA, Ms. James-Brown served as president and CEO of United Way International where she was responsible for the efforts of the organization’s network of United Way non-profit member organizations that serve communities in 45 countries and territories.

Prior to her leadership role at United Way International, for ten years she served as president and CEO of United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania (UWSEPA) based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During her decade of leadership at UWSEPA, Ms. James-Brown directed a staff of 130 in managing an annual fundraising effort of over $50,000,000, and distributed funds to over 2,500 community-based agencies.

Throughout her career, Ms. James-Brown has worked tirelessly to help nonprofit health and human service organizations grow and expand their ability to serve children and families through foundation and corporate philanthropy.

Active in the community Ms. James-Brown has served on a number of non-profit, corporate and foundation boards and commissions.

A native Philadelphian, Ms. James-Brown holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Rutgers University. In 1996, Drexel University awarded her an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Rachel Lloyd

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)

In 1998, Rachel Lloyd founded Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) at her kitchen table with $30 and a borrowed computer. She was driven by the lack of services for commercially sexually exploited and domestically trafficked girls and young women and the incredible stigma and punishment they faced from service providers, law enforcement, the courts, their families, and society. GEMS is now the largest service provider of its kind in the nation, providing intensive services and support to over 350 girls and young women, preventive outreach and education to 1,500 youth, and training to over 1,300 professionals each year.

Ms. Lloyd is well known for her tireless dedication to “her girls,” and her passion for changing public perception and policy. Her courageous advocacy ensured the passage of New York State’s Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Act, which in 2008 became the first law in the nation to protect and not punish trafficked and exploited youth. She co-produced the ground-breaking Showtime documentary Very Young Girls, and is also the author of the critically acclaimed Girls Like Us, and has used her unique voice to advocate for survivors at the White House, the United Nations, and before Congress.

Nationally recognized for her innovative work in transforming the movement’s understanding of survivor leadership, she continues to pave the way for survivor leaders across the country. She was honored as “One of  50 Women Who Change the World” by Ms. Magazine and recognized with a Reebok Human Rights Award. She was also a recipient of the 2009 Ashoka Fellowship, the Frederick Douglass Award from the North Star Fund, and the Susan B. Anthony Award from the National Organization for Women, among many other accolades. Ms. Lloyd received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marymount Manhattan College and her master’s in applied urban anthropology from the City College of New York.

Walter Howard Smith, Jr., PhD

DHS Clinical Director and Deputy Director of Children, Youth and Families
Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Dr. Smith works for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services as the DHS Clinical Director and the Deputy Director for Children, Youth and Families. His responsibilities include leading child welfare services and supporting the integration of services across the human services system that includes aging, behavioral health, child welfare, community services, and intellectual disabilities. The county system of care serves 205,000 residents annually. In 2012, Dr. Smith retired as the Executive Director of Family Resources. Family Resources is a private nonprofit organization that prevents and treats child abuse by serving more than 20,000 children, teens, and adults in the Pittsburgh region.

Dr. Smith is a licensed psychologist with a private practice that specializes in treating children, couples, and families. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Psychology Program at Duquesne University. He has presented lectures and conferences on child abuse and family emotional process throughout the United States and in several other countries.

His career focuses on the use of Bowen family systems theory to understand the functioning of families, organizations, and social groups. This theory views the family as a single interlocking set of relationships, rather than as interacting individuals. In the past twenty years, Dr. Smith has focused on understanding how family relationships change with stresses and can result in child abuse, domestic violence, and conflict. He has applied his knowledge of family systems to organizations and human service systems.

Esta Soler

Futures Without Violence

Esta Soler is founder and president of the Futures Without Violence (FWV), one of the world's leading violence prevention agencies, with offices in San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Boston. Along with its worldwide partners, the FWV develops innovative strategies to help prevent violence (domestic, dating, and sexual), stalking, and child abuse. Under Soler's direction, the organization was instrumental in the development and passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994—the first comprehensive federal response to violence against women. She has led the FWV as it developed trailblazing public education campaigns, as well as innovative policies, and advocacy, prevention, education, and training programs to help lawmakers, judges, health care providers, employers, and others stop violence and help victims. Among Ms. Soler's numerous awards are a Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellowship in 1995, the University of California, Public Health Heroes Award in 1998, the Violence Prevention Award from Peace Over Violence in 2007, and an honorary doctorate from Simmons College. She has served many public and private agencies as a consultant and advisor including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ford Foundation/Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Innovations in American Government initiative, the Soros Justice Fellowship program, and the Aspen Institute. She is coauthor of Ending Domestic Violence: Changing Public Perceptions/Halting the Epidemic.

Sandra Spencer

Advocate/Consultant, Executive Director, Mediation Center of Eastern North Carolina

Sandra Spencer is the current Executive Director of the Mediation Center of Eastern Carolina. The Mediation Center seeks to help individuals in the community develop capacity to respectfully resolve conflict. Sandra is best known for her 20 years of experience as an Executive Director of non-profit organizations. After starting a grassroots chapter of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Greenville, NC, Sandra went on to serve as Executive Director of the National Federation for 12 years. Sandra provided oversight to the National office and more than 150 statewide and local Federation Chapters across the country. Sandra has also been a much sought after keynote speaker and trainer sharing both her professional and real life experience in the children’s mental health field and additional topics that inspire audiences with her message of hope and resilience.

Sandra has excellent skills in program development and management and she has managed budgets ranging from $25,000 to 3.5 Million. Under her national leadership, the National Federation launched the National Certification of Parent Support Providers, which is an initiative that provides peer support services to parents and family members as they navigate the multiple service systems to get needed supports and treatment for their children with mental health challenges. Sandra also expanded Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week to a national scale and started the green ribbon campaign that has gone nationwide as well as international as a part on her partnership development work in Canada.

Sandra was invited to the White House to advise the President of the United States after the Sandy Hook tragedy on the importance of improving our mental health system and involving families in the development of strategies for improvement and better access to treatment. Sandra was then assigned to Vice-President Biden’s task force on gun violence prevention and mental health promotion as a result of that initial visit.