Debbie Sirk

In 1996, Debbie became a CARF Surveyor because, “I wanted to ensure that the person served were provided with the best services, that awesome things could happen with organizations that I surveyed, and to develop a versatile toolbox to assist organization continue to provide quality services.”  Debbie is currently an International Administrative and Program Surveyor for CARF with vast experience in the Behavioral Health, Child and Youth Services,  Employment and Community Services services and specializes in Native American organizations and infant mental health.  She presently work with Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians in their Family Spirit Program as a counselor and infant mental health specialist and at Great Lakes Recovery Center in their residential women’s treatment center as a counselor.   She has worked in family preservation, child protective services, adoption, foster care, American Indian Substance Abuse, as a case manager, crisis intervention specialist, and clinical operation officer in her local community health.

 

She has her Master of Public Administration Degree from Northern Michigan University and Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Lake Superior State University.  She is a Licensed Bachelor of Social Worker in Michigan, Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor, Certified Clinical Supervisor, Certified Criminal Justice Professional and a Certified Prevention Specialist.  She has her  endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Specialist and is a Certified Lactation Counselor.  Debbie strengths include her ability to verbalizes ideas clearly and concisely, allows for effective communication, listens to ideas actively and provides feedback, provides constructive ways to accomplish goals, and takes time to learn about organizations and provide a personal connection.

 

She was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where she learned the importance of community and becoming involved in her community.  She has been active in several organizations from Business & Professional Women, Crime Stoppers, and served as a City Commissioner serving on several community boards.  She assisted in getting legislation passed in the State of Michigan for Crime Victim’s Rights. 

 

Assisting organization in quality and applying the CARF standards is one of the most important things she has accomplished in her work experiences.  She feels strongly about making the organizations she has worked and consulted with feel connected and that they always have the ability to accomplish the best.  It is no surprise that completing a CARF Survey has been a love of her working life, but traveling and meeting new people and seeing new cultures is also the blood in her veins.  She is endlessly inspired by the people and organizations she has been fortunate to survey.   She loves working for and inspiring organizations, helping them meet their goals in becoming CARF accredited,  making new friends with people, and creating something positive together as a team.

 

Marie Dennis Cooter

Marie is a well-respected professional who combines knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide superior service to her clients.  She holds an MSW from Adelphi University and MS from Chapman University and is a Certified Risk Manager with 35+ years’ experience as a clinician and administrator.

From 2005 to the present, she completed over 250 CARF surveys across the US and Canada as a Survey Team Leader. Her reviews improved effectiveness of service delivery and promoted efficient business practices for clients ranging from large organizations to community-based facilities.

For the past ten years, she provided results-oriented consultancy to organizations seeking CARF accreditation. Her collaborative hands-on approach focuses on areas of improvement, enhancing existing strengths, and ensuring positive changes at all organizational levels.

 

 

Jim Willis

Jim Willis retired in 1987 from US NAVY after serving honorably for 22 years. Prior to discharge, he facilitated aftercare program management course instructing military junior officers, senior enlisted persons and Department of Defense civilian personnel in theory and skills management for aftercare.

 

He has a Master of Science degree from East Carolina University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor both in Virginia and North Carolina as well as a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist in North Carolina. Jim is an active CARF Program Surveyor for behavioral health and employment community services programs with over 20 years of experience. He has over 30 years in the field of behavioral health treatment specializing in addictions, mental health, psychosocial rehabilitation, and integrated AOD/MH.

 

 Jim has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor, East Carolina University, Department of Rehabilitation Studies, President of Substance Abuse Certification Alliance of Virginia (SACAVA), court appointed expert witness for substance abuse treatment in Southampton County Virginia Courts and Qualified Substance Abuse Professional for Alcohol and Drug Testing within U.S. DOT Regulations.

 

He specializes in substance abuse/mental health treatment for various types of core treatment modalities. With extensive experience in program design and implementation, Jim has successfully coordinated CARF accreditation within his organizations and organizations that have consulted with him. As a clinical trainer for substance abuse and mental health professionals, Jim exhibits a capability to develop members for team concepts while highlighting individual strengths.

 

Warren Helfrich

Dr. Warren Helfrich is a human services researcher, consultant and trainer focused on the areas of performance measurement and evaluation, strategic planning, governance, and human services accreditation. Warren has more than fifteen years of consulting experience in the health and human services sector working with both public and private organizations across Canada, the US, the Middle East and Central America. He has helped dozens of organizations to successfully complete their CARF accreditation and to develop internal systems/process that support accreditation. He has been directly involved in diverse initiatives aimed at improving service delivery, including Community Living BC’s ‘Quality of Life’ Initiative and the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s province wide review of residential services for children and youth in BC. Based out of Penticton BC, Warren has been a surveyor and trainer for the accrediting body CARF for more than a decade. He is also a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and a Certified Daring Way Facilitator. He holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto and a PhD from the University of Calgary. His dissertation research focused on the impact of leadership on client outcomes within human service organizations.

 

Henrietta has been active in behavioral health services for over forty years as a clinician, supervisor and administrator in hospitals, residential care facilities and outpatient programs serving children, youth, families and adults with mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities.  She received a MSW from Columbia University and has had extensive post Masters training in counseling, psychotherapy and administration. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor, she has had leadership roles with city, state and federal government organizations and community agencies, developing programs and services for special populations including children, youth and adults with life threatening illnesses, victims of sexual abuse and trauma as well as veterans and clients who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. She has publications about performance improvement, homelessness and innovative practices with special populations. As a CARF surveyor for over 21 years, she has surveyed behavioral health, employment and community services and child and youth programs throughout the United States and Canada as well as in Guam, Japan and South Africa. Her leadership, teaching and clinical expertise have been recognized with numerous local and national awards.

Bill Sandonato

Bill Sandonato’s CARF experience began in 1980 when he was named CEO of an organization that was on the verge of losing its accreditation. The organization was successful in achieving a 3 year accreditation and began Bill’s long association with CARF. In addition to continuing as a CARF surveyor, he currently works exclusively in assisting organizations prepare for first time accreditation and reaccreditation. He has been consulting and training with organizations throughout the country and internationally since 2002. In the past 15 years, he has provided assistance to more than 75 nonprofit and for profit organizations, specializing in Employment and Community Services (ECS) and Children and Youth Services (CYS), as well as the ASPIRE sections across all of CARF’s lines of business. He is versatile in working with large and smaller organizations.

Although now retired from fulltime employment, he remains affiliated with ServiceSource and serves that organization in several capacities, including guiding his company through the continued accreditation process. Prior to retiring, Bill was Senior Vice President for Program Development for this large multi-faceted community rehabilitation organization with services in a dozen states. He also served as President and CEO of Abilities, Inc. of Florida for 25 years. His leadership in both capacities resulted in the development of innovative and entrepreneurial programs that met the missions and produced significant growth in revenue and reputation.

He holds Masters Degrees in both Business Administration (Rehabilitation Organizational Leadership Specialty) and in Nonprofit Management, with a concentration in organizational development. Bill has held many leadership positions, including 6 years on the Board of Trustees of CARF (two as Chairperson of the Accreditation Committee) and, more recently, as a member of CARF’s International Advisory Board.

A native of New Jersey, Bill has recently relocated to California’s Central Coast after residing in Florida for more than 30 years. In his role as a parent, he is also an advocate. His son, David, has a very significant disability and has been accessing services for more than 4 decades.

Mike Mamot

In 1983, while teaching special education in Paso Robles, CA, Mike Mamot saw the need for additional residential services for children. With the help of a student loan, he created the second group home in San Luis Obispo County in 1984. From that humble start grew a nonprofit organization that became to be known as OPTIONS Family of Services.

Mike’s vision was for a continuum of services to meet the needs of the persons served by OPTIONS. Through the years, services were greatly expanded as new innovative methods to help persons with disabilities were designed and developed. The organization gained a reputation for providing services to behaviorally challenged adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and persons who had a traumatic brain injury. Services were provided in a professional manner. This is most exemplified by the fact that OPTIONS became CARF accredited for the first time in 1990. Between 1997 to 2011, OPTIONS only had two recommendations from their accreditation reviews.

The way services were delivered was important to Mike. He stressed taking an ethical approach when caring for persons served. All staff received on-going training on what it means to provide unselfish ethical services respecting the rights of all persons and treating them with dignity. It was his belief that all staff members, including himself, should be held accountable for being trustworthy and compassionate for persons served.

OPTIONS was able to grow due to creative financing and by being awarded various grants. Founded on a small student loan, Mike facilitated the sale of tax exempt bonds in order to reduce interest expense. During his tenure, OPTIONS was granted over a million dollars.

In 1990, the same year OPTIONS became accredited, Mike became a CARF surveyor. He has stated on more than one occasion that the worse CARF survey he had conducted was better than the best conference he ever attended because of the information he was able to bring back to the organization he founded. Many of the concepts and procedures that became the foundation of the services provided by OPTIONS is a direct result of what Mike saw in the field while conducting accreditation surveys.

In 2013, Mike retired as the Founder/CEO of OPTIONS. He remains active in the field by consulting and acting as an expert witness for legal cases. He has conduct over 200 CARF surveys and has trained more than 50 new CARF surveyors.

John Collins

John T. Collins, II, MPH, has been a consultant since 1984, providing management and quality assurance consulting services to health and human services providers. John’s consultant practice focuses on assisting organizations prepare for CARF Accreditation. To date, every organization that has used John’s services for CARF accreditation preparation has received the coveted three-year accreditation outcome.

As part of his consulting practice, he has provided interim executive services to organization’s serving homeless veterans and people with disabilities. As an active CARF Surveyor for almost 25 years, he has conducted more than 140 CARF Surveys. Mr. Collins has held positions in both the private and non-profit sectors.

John was employed as Senior Vice President of Workforce Development and Rehabilitation Services for Goodwill Industries of Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties from 1987 to 2015. The programs he led served more than 17,000 people a year. He was also responsible for the company’s strategic planning efforts and Community Relations efforts. Prior to his career at Goodwill, Mr. Collins was a Program Director for Dominican Hospital and helped start the Employee Assistance Program and a 28-day Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program. While serving in the US Army, Mr. Collins was in charge of the Army Navy Transplant Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

As Senior Vice President, Mr. Collins was very active in the support and implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Workforce Investment Act and many educational strategies. He was part of a national team selected by Goodwill Industries International to provide business and program assistance to the United Arab Emirates. He provided technical assistance to the UAE Ministry of Rehabilitation on CARF Accreditation and quality standards.

Mr. Collins is very active in community and national affairs. He served on the Workforce Investment Boards of Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo Counties as well as having served on The Monterey County Tourist and Travel Alliance, the Board of the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce and Monterey County Hospitality Boards of Directors. He was elected and completed ten years as a Trustee and past president of the board of Santa Cruz City Schools.

Jim White

Jim White serves on numerous boards and commissions. He serves as a Commissioner for the Ventura County Transportation Commission, and President of Partners in Housing, a community housing development organization that provides homes for persons with special needs in Ventura County. Jim is past Chair Elect, and a member of the Ventura Family YMCA Board, as well as past Chair, serves as Commissioner for the City of Ventura Parks and Recreation Commission, and a Board Member of the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau. He serves as Vice-Chair of the City of San Buenaventura Housing Authority and is a former Chair of the Ventura County Leadership Academy Steering Committee. Jim is an Administrative Surveyor for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), and past Treasurer and former member of the Board of Directors for the Consortium for the Educational Advancement of Travel Instruction (CEATI). CEATI is a national organization that supports and promotes the continuing development of the academic and profession of travel instruction to enable persons with mobility limitations to travel safely and independently.

He enjoys long distance bike riding and running, and has run numerous marathons and century bike rides. He and his wife Diane have been married for 40 years and have two grown daughters.