Dr. Tom Cheetham is a Board Certified family physician with over 30 years of experience serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He began in this field in the early 1970s, prior to medical school, with his wife as live in houseparents supporting ten adults with intellectual disabilities. His clinical experience includes providing primary medical care in three developmental centers, as the sole physician for a tertiary 24 bed dual diagnosis (intellectual disability and a psychiatric diagnosis or significant behavioral issues) unit in a state psychiatric hospital, and as a community based family physician for fifteen years, all in Ontario, Canada. After being granted a rare O visa by the U.S. Department of Citizenship and Immigration, Dr. Cheetham became the Medical Director at Orange Grove Center, in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2009. Clinical experience also has included primary care and dual diagnosis consulting for a large community agency serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the age spectrum, and with a multidisciplinary community-based dual diagnosis team. Dr. Cheetham's publications include book chapters on physical health, and guidelines on primary care of adults and the use of psychotropic medications in management of problem behaviors in adults with intellectual disabilities. He has held academic appointments in the Department of Family Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario, and in the Department of Family Medicine at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. In 2007 he was selected Physician of the Year by the Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association and holds Fellowship in the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Since early 2011 he has been with the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and is the Director, Office of Health Services. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Developmental Disabilities at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville Tennessee.
Astrid French is the Curriculum Coordinator for the Shelby Residential and Vocational Services (SRVS) Learning Center where she has developed a comprehensive Montessori-based interactive curriculum for all eleven Learning Environments (classrooms), including Teaching Kitchen, Model Apartment, Activity Room, Sensory Exploration Room, Art Studio, and Music Room. The curriculum she is pioneering strives to provide an engaging and meaningful experience where individuals can lead a purposeful life, reach their fullest potential, and have increased joy. SRVS is the first organization of its kind to use the Montessori Method for Adults with Disabilities.
To ensure the success of the Montessori curriculum for adults with disabilities, Astrid has created an on-going staff development training program that educates employees on the basics of Montessori philosophy and method while instilling a sense of higher purpose and confidence. She is currently using basic research tools to measure the outcomes and effectiveness of both endeavors.
Astrid holds a Masters of Education degree and is American Montessori Society (AMS) certified. She taught Montessori early childhood education for 13 years. She has a high school daughter who attended a Montessori school through 8th grade, a son currently enrolled in a Montessori program, and a brand new baby boy!
Dena is the Director of the Center for Understanding providing direct systems navigation support to those with Asperger Syndrome. Her accolades include: advisory board, Autism Society of America and the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome (GRASP); 2009 winner of the Jo Andrews Award from Nashville's Mayor's Committee on Disability; contributor to the recently released Scholars with Autism Achieving Dreams (Perner, ed), and the Tennessee DIDDs handbook. She has been featured in a Public Service Advertisement (no-myths.org) and Autism Brainstorm. In December, she presented testimony to the House of Representatives. Today, she continues her work as a nationally recognized advocate, writer, and national presenter to schools, families, and agencies throughout the country.
Her presentations, this year alone, included the National Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (NADD) (national and Ohio), Autism Society of America (ASA) Los Angeles, Georgia Autism Conferences, and the Autism Society of America national conference where she provided a preconference session as well as giving testimony in Washington on behalf of individuals affected by autism. She is the parent of two adults, Brooke who has her Master's Degree in Communications and Patrick who is a sophomore at Marshall University benefitting from their Asperger Support program.
Dr. Modell is currently serving as the Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for the state of Tennessee. Previously, he spent 15 years as a Professor at California State University, Sacramento. Over the last 5 years, he additionally served as Director of the university's Autism Center for Excellence. He is an expert in disability etiology, characteristics, interview techniques, and abuse. He has authored five books and has over 100 published articles and abstracts. Dr. Modell has been an invited speaker for a number of conferences for law enforcement throughout the country. He has consulted with multiple law enforcement agencies regarding disability abuse and as an expert witness. Dr. Modell has taught for the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC), California District Attorney's Association (CDAA), National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission, and National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), and the Singapore National Council of Social Service. He has conducted workshops and trainings reaching thousands of police officers, child protective service and adult protective service professionals across the country. He has received international recognition for his work in the area of disability abuse and interview techniques for individuals with developmental disabilities. In addition to his scholarship, Dr. Modell is widely recognized at the local, state, and national level for the provision of community-based services for individuals with disabilities. Through his community-based programs and public school experience, Dr. Modell has worked with thousands of children and adults with disabilities. He has been highly regarded in his community and throughout the country for his expertise, passion, and quality programs.
Dr. Rader is the Director of the Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center at Orange Grove where he is responsible for the initiation, implementation and evaluation of innovative healthcare programs to address individuals aging with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He is cross trained in medicine and medical anthropology. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Exceptional Parent Magazine and has published over 200 articles in the field of developmental disabilities. He has been an advisor to five former US Surgeons Generals in the area of health and disability and serves on the Board of the American Association on Health and Disability. He is co-founder, past president and board member of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry and was the first appointed Special Liaison for Family Healthcare Concerns at the President's Committee on People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He is an Emeritus Advisor to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Healthcare Innovations for the US Department of Health and Human Services and is a member of the Steering Committee at the University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio in the Institute for Evidence Based Practice. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Southeast Autism Symposium and is an Adjunct Professor of Human Development at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Dr. Rader is a member of the National Curriculum for Developmental Medicine where he is engaged in creating an educational curriculum for Family Practice residents. He was appointed as a Distinguished Practitioner at the National Academies of Practice. He is an advisor to the National Organization on Rare Disorders and a consultant to the Healthy Athletes Program at Special Olympics International. He was responsible for the expansion of Universal Newborn Screening in the State of Tennessee and was appointed to the State Genetics Advisory Board. He was awarded Fellowship status at the American Institute of Stress and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He is currently co-editing an international textbook on developmental medicine. His areas of expertise are training of medical professionals, advocacy, ethics, disability and health, health policy, health promotion and disease prevention.
Victor Schueler grew up in Texas where he attended Southwestern Medical School. After completing his psychiatry residency at Washington University in St. Louis, he moved to East Tennessee to practice as a geriatric psychiatrist at Lakeshore Mental Health Institute. He then worked at Greene Valley Developmental Center as a psychiatrist and later became the Medical Director. Currently, he is the East Tennessee Regional Medical Director for DIDD. Speaking interests include medical, neurological and psychiatric issues in people with intellectual disabilities.
Alice Taylor is a career employee of the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. For over 28 years she has dedicated her talents, knowledge and passion to improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
Alice has a bachelor degree in Social Work from East Tennessee State University. She began her career in 1984 as a Social Worker at Greene Valley Developmental Center, Greeneville, Tennessee. During the years her opportunities progressed and she has experienced several different roles These include: Resident Program Specialist, Foster Care Coordinator, Agency Case Manager, Staff Development Coordinator and presently, not only Staff Coordinator for the East Tennessee Region but also Coordinator of the recent developed Person Centered Practice Unit for East Tennessee.
Alice has a strong belief and passion that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are to be afforded the same support any of us desire. She believes all people should live a life of purpose, value, respect and meaning.
What can Alice share?
Alice is a credentialed Person Centered Thinking Trainer through the Learning Community. She is active in person centered practices, demonstrates, and teaches person centered tools and skills that help people have a better life.
Alice focuses many of her skills and talents to assist people who are categorized as having high risk behavior. With the utilization of the person centered skills and tools she assists support teams to identify what is important to and for a person. Listening to people and what is important the team can build supports that ensure these things are present. Behavior is a form of communication therefore listening and responding to what is heard is one of the objectives throughout this process.
Who is Alice Taylor
Alice is a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and advocate. She loves animals, the country, knitting, crafts, family, and outdoors. People admire her sense of humor, her smile, her creativeness and energy.
Billy Worsham began his career at Douglas Cooperative (DCI) in June, 1987. Since that time, Billy has worked in the agency's various programs which includes in day services, residential services, and currently as the Career Development Coordinator for the agency. Billy has also served in the capacity of Independent Support Coordinator and Operations Manager for DIDD service providers. Billy holds a B.S. degree from Austin Peay State University.
While employed at DCI, Billy has developed a passion for serving citizens with disabilities. He is a member of the DIDD Statewide & East Regional Policy and Planning Council (EPPC), member of the East Regional Employment Consortium, and President of the Sevier County Civic Club.
In addition, Billy also serves the community as a member of the Smoky Mountain Area Workforce Investment Area Youth Council, Tennessee Commission on Children & Youth, Leadership Sevier, and as president of Smoky Mountain Family Matters.
As a member of the DIDD Speaker's Bureau, Billy has a strong desire to share his knowledge and experience in serving the community and citizens with disabilities. Areas of experience and knowledge include community networking, leadership and management, nonprofit operations, and employment for DIDD service recipients.