Administrative Staff

Donna Swanson, MSN, CS, APRN
Donna Swanson, MSN, CS, APRN Executive Director (ext. 123)
Donna Swanson is Executive Director and co-founder of FOCUS Center for Autism. With over 30 years’ nursing experience, she specializes in the assessment and treatment of children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders.

Fred Evans, MA
Fred Evans, MAAssociate Director

Fred Evans is Associate Director and co-founder of FOCUS Center for Autism. He has over thirty years experience in human service administration and program development.
Yvonne Gardner, BS
Yvonne Gardner, BSHR & Operations Coordinator (ext. 123)
Yvonne is the Human Resources and Operations Coordinator for FOCUS and has been at FOCUS since 2002. She manages the daily operational functions of FOCUS and heads up the HR Department.
Jenee Hepp
Jenee HeppFinance Manager (ext. 122)

Jenée joined FOCUS in January 2014 as a Finance Assistant and was promoted to Finance Manager in August 2015. As Finance Manager she oversees all aspects of FOCUS’s finances, including the development and management of budgets, preparation of financial statements and reporting to FOCUS’s board.
Janice Primini
Janice PriminiBilling and Finance Associate (ext. 120)
Janice assists with billing and payroll in our Focus business office. Janice studied at Central Connecticut State University and has spent many years of her career in administrative healthcare.
Eric Cohen, BS
Eric Cohen, BSTechnology Coordinator
Eric has worked at Focus for over 14 years. Eric currently manages Focus’ technology and assists with fundraising and program development as well as being direct care staff for the The Fresh Start School & Autism Services.

Programs Staff

Kathy Harrison, RN
Kathy Harrison, RNProgram Nurse/Health and Safety Coordinator
Kathy joined the Focus team in 2007 as a Program Nurse and oversees the medical and medication needs of Focus clients at the Fresh Start School and Autism Services and the Focus adolescent and young adult residential programs. Kathy is dedicated to the clients of Focus in learning their individual medical and medication needs and works closely with the staff, as well as parents or guardians, to ensure those needs are met.

The Fresh Start School and Autism Services Staff

Carol Doiron, LCSW
Carol Doiron, LCSWDirector of Educational Services (ext. 115)
Carol Doiron has worked with children as a school social worker as well as sixteen years as a Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel. She is currently on her 6th year in Educational Administration LCSW. Carol joined the FOCUS team in 2008.
Maeghen Plourde-Harris, LCSW
Maeghen Plourde-Harris, LCSWDirector of Autism Services (ext. 110)
Maeghen Plourde Harris graduated from UConn School of Social Work in 2012. She joined the FOCUS team as an intern in 2010, joined the clinical team soon after and is now Director of Autism Services of The Fresh Start School and Autism Services.
Sandy Kissel, MSN, APRN
Sandy Kissel, MSN, APRNClinician, Autism Services (ext. 117)
Sandy Kissel is a clinician and APRN for Autism Services. She has a Master of Science degree In Psychiatric Nursing and has 15 years of psychiatric nursing experience with adolescents and children. She has been with FOCUS since 2002.
Daniel Sitcovsky, LCSW
Daniel Sitcovsky, LCSWClinician & Activity Coordinator (ext. 117)
Daniel joined FOCUS in 2009, starting out as an intern from the UConn School of Social Work and eventually being hired as a clinician after graduation in 2011. In 2015 he became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Daniel has experience with this population dating back 15 years, starting with volunteering at a camp for children with special needs at age 13.
Erika Davis, MS
Erika Davis, MSLead Certified Teacher
(ext. 114)
Erika Davis is a certified teacher in Special Education: Grades K-12 and Elementary Education: Grades K-6. Since 2007, she has taught in a variety of educational settings and specializes in teaching students with learning differences.
Cynthia Colton-Reichler, MA Special Education
Cynthia Colton-Reichler, MA Special EducationCertified Teacher
Cynthia came to special education and FOCUS by way of a public safety career. She served 14 years in state service in Connecticut helping families be safe in their communities. Cynthia completed her master’s degree and became certified at Saint Joseph’s University in West Hartford, CT. She is certified in K-12 Special Education and Middle School English. Now in her second career, she has been with FOCUS since 2012, enthusiastically fostering the healthy development of young people on the spectrum in a community of learners.
Caroline Jestin, LPC
Caroline Jestin, LPCIntake Coordinator
Caroline Jestin has been with FOCUS since 2007. After 4 years as Director of FOCUS’ Shannon House Group Home, she transferred to the The Fresh Start School and Autism Services, where she was a clinician and Phone Intake Coordinator. In 2011, she started a private practice but continues to be FOCUS’ Phone Intake Coordinator, often the first person folks speak to about FOCUS.

Residential Program Staff

Victoria Brown, LCSW
Victoria Brown, LCSWProgram Director, Therapeutic Group Home
Victoria Brown is the Program Director at Shannon House. She graduated with her Masters in Social Work from UCONN in the spring 2014. She obtained her License Master Social Work certificate in December of 2014. She has three years of internship experience working with versus populations and previous experience working in a group home setting.
Tracy Follert, LMSW
Tracy Follert, LMSWClinician, Therapeutic Group Home
Tracy graduated with her Masters in Social Work from UCONN in 2014. Before becoming a clinician, she was a residential supervisor, and direct care staff with Focus. She is excited to embark on this new journey with the Shannon House team!
Adam Cohen, BA
Adam Cohen, BAProgram Director,
Supportive Housing Program
Adam has been part of FOCUS since 2001. He has gained experience as Direct Care Staff and as Residential Supervisor and is now the Program Director for our Young Adult Supportive Housing Program. Adam also runs the Social Club for Young Adults.
Val Lange, LPC
Val Lange, LPCClinician,
Supportive Housing Program
Valerie Lange is Clinical Support at Washington House. Since 2008, Valerie has worked with children and young adults on the autism spectrum.