Toll-free: 1-866-334-8444, Extension 1
Carolyn Allshouse has been a leader in the patient-and-family-centered care movement since the late 1980’s, she has written several publications for families of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities about family-centered care and parent/professional collaboration including: “Working with Doctors”, “Speaking Up For Your Child”, and “All About Me” and has managed multiple federal maternal child health grants.
Prior to accepting the position of Family Voices Executive Director, Carolyn coordinated the Minnesota Pediatric Medical Home and the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention quality improvement learning collaboratives at the Minnesota Department of Health. In the 1990s Carolyn coordinated a health advocacy program at PACER Center and coordinated a program focused on health reform for families of children with special health care needs and disabilities at Pathfinders Resources.
Carolyn has been a strong advocate for the involvement of families whose children have special health care needs and disabilities in program and policy development, implementation and evaluation. Carolyn and her husband are the parents of four children; her youngest son was born with multiple complex health care needs.
Toll-free: 1-866-334-8444, Extension 0
Tricia Brisbine is the Family Voices of Minnesota Program Coordinator. Tricia is the mother of Charlie, an active 8 year-old with special healthcare needs and disabilities, in addition her family includes three wonderful step children. Prior to her role with Family Voices of Minnesota, Tricia was engaged in academic pursuits and already committed to helping build healthy families through her volunteer commitments and professional affiliations. She has experience working with families with special circumstances and unique individual needs.
Tricia has studied Psychology at the University of South Dakota, as well as at the graduate level at the University of Kansas. She graduated June 2011 with a Master of Arts in Counseling and Psychotherapy from Adler Graduate School. Tricia is passionate about working with parents/caregivers and their children to strengthen attachments and form healthy bonds.
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 7
Jamie O’Conner is the Family Voices of Minnesota Outreach Coordinator. She is mom to two children, 6-year-old Charlie and 8-year-old Norah. Norah is a bright, bubbly, musical, empathetic kid who was born with a rare genetic condition called Williams Syndrome (WS). Charlie is a curious, kind, sports-loving kid who is always on the go. When they join forces, Norah and Charlie are makers of great trouble and noise (and fun).
Before joining Family Voices, Jamie was a full-time mom and advocate. She is a Class 34 Partners in Policymaking graduate and has attended PACER workshops including Family Leadership Training. Jamie is a member of her local Special Education Community Advisory Committee (SECAC) and has a passion for advocating for inclusive education practices. For Jamie, the support and guidance from other parents in her journey as the parent of a child with a disability has been not just empowering but transformative. Many mentors have turned to life-long friends. Norah’s health, development and emotional well-being are immeasurably better because of the family support they have received along the way.
Jamie is a transplant to the Minneapolis area from the Carolinas and enjoys road trips exploring her new state. Her hobbies include reading, yoga, cooking, cake decorating and dance parties with her kids.
West/Central Parent Support Navigator
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 4
Kelly is the mother of four wonderful children, some of whom have diagnoses which include: autism, sensory processing challenges, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, and anxiety. She has experienced how difficult it is to “juggle” employment, appointments and the daily routine while trying to obtain resources in order to support her family. When her son was diagnosed with autism, she made the decision to become a stay at home parent so her son could receive in-home behavioral therapy. This also allowed her time to learn more about advocating for her children and really get involved in supporting other families going through similar situations.
She is a Partners in Policymaking (class 32) graduate, has attended many parent leadership trainings and workshops; she has volunteered as a support parent/note taker at IEP meetings for other families. She stays involved in her local schools Parent Advisory Committee meetings and is part of the county Human Services Advisory Committee.
Kelly has learned to step outside her comfort zone, ask questions and be a voice in order to help the next family traveling down this path. What began as a very lonely and overwhelming time in her life has become one of the most positive and rewarding and it all began when she connected with others who “just got it.”
Northwest Region Parent Support Navigator
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 5
Jess is our Parent Support Navigator working in the Northwestern Region of Minnesota. Her son Isaac is 6 and loves music, being outside, and playing with his black lab Ace. Isaac was born extremely premature, spent several months in the NICU and has ongoing special healthcare needs and different abilities.
Her personal journey and Isaac have been her inspiration to work with other families of children with special healthcare needs. Jess obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the College of St. Scholastica and is also working in a rural hospital as a Registered Nurse. Jess and her family live near Hewitt, MN and enjoy horseback riding, four-wheeling, fishing, and camping
Parent Support Navigator, Southern Minnesota
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 6
Terri Boettcher is the Parent Support Navigator for Southern Minnesota. She is a wife and mother to two beautiful adopted children and two cats. Terri’s children have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, attachment issues, and anxiety. Terri enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching movies, and shopping. Terri is a strong advocate for her children in all aspects of their lives. She continues to improve her parenting skills by networking and using resources, learning as much as she can about their diagnosis, staying active in their lives, and improving her self-care.
Terri is a Speech Language Pathology Assistant since 2003 in an outpatient clinic in Mankato that provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy for kids from birth to 18. She graduated from Partners in Policymaking class in 2016. She has attended many state and national conferences, such as MOFAS and ATTACH, as well as other trainings in and around the state of Minnesota. Terri is active in the adoption community in the Mankato area and wants to spread her knowledge to all parents of kids with disabilities. She believes strongly that it takes a village to raise all kids, especially when they have special needs.
Parent Support Navigator
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 8
Aaron is an active father of two amazing children in high school. His son Aidan enjoys singing in choir and performing in musicals and plays. His daughter Cece loves singing in choir and seeing all the boys at school. Cece was diagnosed with epilepsy at a young age and uses a wheelchair for mobility. She loves listening to music, waving at boys, playing games and spending time with family and friends.
He is a Partners in Policymaking Class 28 graduate and has attended many workshops and trainings at Pacer Center. Aaron is a passionate advocate for educational inclusion and has worked tirelessly to have his daughter fully included in school. He has successfully worked with families to help their children be appropriately included in their schools as well. He has given a Tedx talk on inclusion which was one of the best moments of his life. Aaron enjoys connecting with other parents and families to share what he has learned so others don’t have to reinvent the wheel. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, watching Netflix, and playing Magic the Gathering.
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 9
Molly Drew has worked for over ten years in positions promoting social justice, particularly in the children’s mental health field. Molly has a law degree as well as a master’s degree in social work, giving her a unique perspective in her role as Development Director. Previous to joining Family Voices, Molly worked with several different non-profit organizations assisting with development and fundraising work. She also served on the Board of Directors for a local non-profit working with victims of domestic violence.
Molly lives with her husband and two children, ages three and one, in St. Louis Park. Her hobbies include yoga, walking around the beautiful twin cities lakes, and traveling.
Parent Support Navigator, Northeast Region
Phone: 866-334-8444, Extension 2
Serenity is a busy mom of four children, including her son Edan, who has a Down Syndrome diagnosis. She has worked tirelessly over the last 6 years to investigate and explore a variety of programs and supports to help Edan reach his full potential. She is a graduate of PACER’s Family Advocacy Training in 2016, and a graduate of Family Voices Family Leadership Institute in 2018. She is a passionate advocate about serving the needs of families with disabilities here in the Northland.
Prior to her work at Family Voices, she was an acupuncturist and herbalist in Minnesota, treating patients with a variety of health care issues using holistic, body/mind-centered care.
She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family camping, hiking, swimming and sailing in Lake Superior.