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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.