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Staff Profiles

Our Staff

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Photo of Richard Petty

Richard Petty

Executive Director

Richard Petty, MBA, is the Executive Director at the NRCPDS, and a Research Professor at the Boston College School of Social Work. Richard served as Program Director at Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research in Houston. He directed the IL-NET national technical assistance and training program for centers for independent living and the ILRU New Community Opportunities Center, a national center that advances community programs for transition from nursing facilities to the community for persons of all ages and youth transition from school to community.

Before his time at ILRU, Richard served as Executive Director of Mainstream, an advocacy-oriented Center for Independent Living in Little Rock, Arkansas. There he headed major statewide advocacy efforts, notably home and community services initiatives, and served as a disability lobbyist. Richard holds an MBA from the C. T. Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston..

Photo of Kevin J. Mahoney

Kevin J. Mahoney

Founding Director

Kevin Mahoney, Ph.D., is the Founding Director of the NRCPDS and leads the Center's efforts to expand self direction opportunities in behavioral health. Dr. Mahoney is a professor at the Boston College School of Social Work. During a 30-year career in gerontology and long-term care, he has held many policy-making and administrative positions in the state governments of Connecticut and California. He also has held academic appointments at Yale University, the University of Connecticut, the University of California-San Francisco and the University of Maryland.

From 1996 to 2008, Dr. Mahoney was the national program director for the Cash & Counseling Demonstration and Evaluation, a policy-driven evaluation of one of the most unfettered forms of consumer direction of personal-assistance services. An expert on state government and long-term care innovation, he speaks and writes extensively on consumer direction, the roles of the public and private sectors in financing long-term care, long-term care insurance and care management.

Technical Assistance & Training

Suzanne Crisp, Director of Program Design and Implementation

Suzanne Crisp

Director of Program Design and Implementation

Suzanne provides technical assistance across the country by assessing existing programs to determine compliance and efficiency, developing products to enhance understanding of the implementation of participant direction and performing diagnostic program reviews. Her prior positions include senior research lead at Thomson Reuters, state liaison mentor for the Cash & Counseling national program office and assistant director to the Arkansas Division of Aging and Adult Services.

Mark Sciegaj, Senior Consultant for Training and Research

Mark Sciegaj

Senior Consultant for Training and Research

Mark leads training services for the NRCPDS.  He also directs work on our National Survey Publicly Funded Participant-Directed Services Programs. In addition this role at the Center, Dr. Sciegaj is the associate director of the Smart Spaces Center for Adaptive Aging in Place and associate professor of health policy and administration at the Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on the areas of elder autonomy, preferences and participant-directed long-term care models.

Casey Sanders DeLuca, Associate Director of Training

Casey Sanders DeLuca

Associate Director of Training

Casey leads training program development at the NRCPDS. Prior to her current role, she worked at the Cash & Counseling national program office. She also has clinical social work experience working with adults with disabilities and children and families in hospital settings. Casey earned a master of social work, clinical health services, from Boston College.

Mollie Murphy, Financial Management Services Lead

Mollie Murphy

Financial Management Services Lead

Mollie provides technical assistance to federal, state and local participant direction programs for the NRCPDS. She calls on her experience in fiscal/employer agent roles, regulations and best practices (in which she is one of the few national experts) and workflow system design to support nonprofits and government. In addition, she is co-founder of Annkissam, an organization dedicated to building software tools for nonprofits.

Sandra Barrett, Technical Assistance Consultant

Sandra Barrett

Technical Assistance Consultant

Sandra works on projects including the Administration on Aging CLP Grants and the Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services program. She was a state liaison mentor with six of the expansion Cash & Counseling states and retired as assistant director with the Division of Aging and Adult Services in 2003.

Merle Edwards-Orr, Director of Veteran's Initiatives

Merle Edwards-Orr

Director of Veteran's Initiatives

Merle oversees work with the VA and ACL surrounding the development and dissemination of the VD-HCBS and VD-Respite programs.  Before joining NRCPDS, Merle was the Consumer Direction Manager at the State Unit on Aging in Vermont.  He also spent several years in case management and social work, and was an Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Basic and Applied Social Sciences at Trinity College of Vermont.  He received his MSSW from University of Tennessee, Knoxville and his Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Patrick O'Keefe, Program Analyst

Patrick O'Keefe

Program Analyst, Veteran Directed HCBS

Pat focuses on Veterans initiatives for the NRCPDS. He assists in the management and development of policy for purchased long-term services and supports programming out of the office of Geriatrics and Extended Care Services at VA Central Office in Washington, DC. Pat’s role includes a special focus on the expansion of the VA’s first self-directed home care program, Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services. Pat earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Regent’s University London.


Policy & Research

Ellen Mahoney, Research Director of Applied Research & Policy

Ellen Mahoney

Research Director of Applied Research & Policy

Ellen oversees research initiatives and serves as the principal investigator on research grant applications and projects. She is also an Associate Professor at the Boston College School of Nursing. Ellen earned her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco.

Melissa Brown, Research Analyst

Melissa Brown

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Melissa supports the management and design of several research projects focused on caregivers and also conducts data analysis for both quantitative and qualitative research. She is also an Adjunct Faculty member at the School of Social Work. She earned her MSW and Ph. D. from the Boston College School of Social Work. 

Operations & Administration

Fred Covelle, Director of Finance and Administration

Fred Covelle

Director of Finance and Administration

Fred brings over 20 years senior level corporate and non profit finance and accounting experience to the NRCPDS. Most recently Fred served as Chief Financial Officer at New England Law, managing a business office staff of 5 in providing complete financial and accounting oversight and leadership to a $35M revenue base.

Sierra Horn, Grant Proposal & Award Administrator

Sierra Horn

Grant Proposal & Award Administrator

Sierra provides support preparing budgets, financial reports, vendor contracts, and proposal development process at the NRCPDS. Sierra also assists with the coordination of the FMS and Program Memberships for the Center. Prior to joining the NRCPDS, she worked as a News Writer at WHDH-Boston and participated in various internships in the communications and marketing field. Sierra earned her bachelor of arts in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Anne Marie Dolan Profile

Anne Marie Dolan

Executive Assistant

Anne Marie provides administrative support to Richard Petty, NRCPDS Director and Kevin Mahoney, Founding Director. She started at NRCPDS in January 2015 after working in the Field Education Office at Boston College School of Social Work for almost 10 years. Prior to that she worked at BC Law School. Anne Marie has a BA in Human Services from Northeastern University and an MS degree from the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College.