Our Team

Emily Lauer
, MPH
Director, CDDER
Instructor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Ms. Lauer is the Director of the Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research (CDDER) at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center and an Instructor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.  Emily has dedicated her career to applied research, evaluation and policy efforts to improve the health and well-being of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other vulnerable populations. Her work focuses on health and risk surveillance and systemic quality improvement for these populations.  Ms. Lauer works at the state, national and international levels with public and private service agencies to apply a data-driven approach to improving outcomes for people with disabilities.  Ms. Lauer works closely with state and provider agencies to help them understand and utilize health and risk related data about their service recipients. In particular, Ms. Lauer is an expert in analyses of mortality and in the use of administrative data to understand and improve public health.  Ms. Lauer has also lent guidance to numerous organizations on methods to refine data collection and analytic practices in order to improve the quality of information gathered and validity in benchmarking with other sources.   Ms. Lauer has worked on numerous grants to advance efforts for state and national health surveillance strategies for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration.  Ms. Lauer has a Master's degree in Public Health focusing in Biostatistics from the UMDNJ/Rutgers School of Public Health and received Stuart D. Cook Public Health Research Award for her fieldwork in factors predicting medication errors in adults with I/DD. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University, and is currently working on her PhD in Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Alexandra Bonardi
, MHA, OTR/L
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Ms. Bonardi studies trends and patterns in health and service outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and focuses on identifying and reducing health disparities in this population. She’s worked with CDDER since 2002. Ms. Bonardi’s interest in assuring health and access to health services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has led her to work on a range of research projects and contracts. Her projects include the development of preventive health screening guidelines for adults with intellectual and developmental disability, the coordination of a national process to operationalize a definition of intellectual disability that can be used for health surveillance, and the development of policy and research approaches that enhance access to adaptive equipment and technologies to support independent function. Ms. Bonardi received a Master’s degree in Health Administration from Suffolk University and completed a post-graduate fellowship at the E.K. Shriver Center’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disability training program in Waltham. In 2009, Ms. Bonardi completed a Fulbright-Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowship in Public Policy, researching approaches to risk management in developing supports and services provided by the New Zealand Ministry of Health to people with intellectual disability. She holds a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science degree in human physiology from McGill University.

Robert A. Baldor
, MD, FAAFP
Medical Director, CDDER
Professor and Sr. Vice Chair, Dept. of Family Medicine and Community Health
Director, Community Based Education, Office of Undergraduate Medical Education

Dr. Baldor oversees the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health's Undergraduate and Graduate Educational Programs, and has an active medical practice in Worcester where he sees an array of patients including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He also serves as the Director of Community Based Education for the medical school and the Director of Managed Care Education for the Meyers Primary Care Institute. Dr. Baldor is a graduate of the University Of Vermont College Of Medicine, and he completed his family practice internship and residency at Hahnemann Family Health Center in Worcester. Following three years with the Indian Health Service of New Mexico, he joined the faculty of UMMS. Dr. Baldor has served as President of the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians. He has published and lectured on a wide variety of family medicine and educational topics.  He authored the textbook Managed Care Made Simple, a widely utilized primer on the basics of managed care, healthcare costs, and the evolving U.S. healthcare system, currently in its 2nd edition (Blackwell Scientific, Inc.).

Courtney Dutra
, MPA, PMP
Project Manager

Ms. Dutra has worked with CDDER since 2008 in project management, instructional design, and subject research. Courtney manages health and disability projects for public and private agencies in support of quality assurance outcomes. Courtney also creates and produces eLearning content, webinars, and computer-based trainings as well as face-to-face trainings on a variety of health, safety and risk management topics. Courtney has research expertise in falls prevention in people with intellectual disability and has coordinated state-wide initiatives to reduce the incidents of falls in this population. Ms. Dutra has also designed research tools and technical guides on this topic, as well as presented content to numerous groups. Courtney has extensive experience working with self-advocates and in supporting organizations to make websites and print materials accessible to this population. She has experience with Learning Management Systems (LMS),eLearning, webinar platforms, program evaluation, root cause analysis, organizational quality improvement, and research methodology. Ms. Dutra received a Master’s degree in Public Administration in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from Colorado State University. She earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2017.

Christine Clifford
, MHP
Project Director

Ms. Clifford is well versed in public health research methodology and underserved populations. With CDDER since the fall of 2011, Christine has contributed to the DDS Family Supports Survey, pharmacy claims analysis for the dual eligible population, Quality Assurance projects and the Systematic Review of Interventions to Reduce Oral Health Disparities between Adults with Intellectual Disability and the General Population. Her experience also includes project design, data collection and analysis, including enrollment data, claims data and survey data. Prior to joining CDDER, Christine was a research analyst for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System providing support in all aspects of the BRFSS survey including budget, training, and data analysis. Additionally, Christine has experience working with people with a range of support needs as a former coordinator of volunteers for the American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts. Ms. Clifford holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UMass/Amherst and a Masters of Health Professions in Health Care Policy and Management from Northeastern University. 

Andreas Agiorgitis
, EdM
Data Analyst

Mr. Agiorgitis has worked with CDDER since 2015 as a data analyst.  He works on projects related to health and risk surveillance nationally for both public and private service agencies. Mr. Agiorgitis provides and works with research that helps state and provider agencies to assist them in collecting and analyzing quality-related information and to understand and utilize health- and risk -related data about their service recipients to improve supports and services.  He has experience in instructional design, qualitative and quantitative research, and teaching.   Previously, Andreas has worked in research and administrative support for programs that provide improved education and healthcare opportunities, both locally and abroad.  Mr. Agiorgitis received a Master’s degree in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s of arts degree in psychology and anthropology from the University of Chicago.

Joanna Gelinas
, BA
Project Coordinator II, CDDER

Ms. Gelinas joined CDDER in the fall of 2017 as a Project Coordinator II. She has many years of experience performing in various administrative roles in independent and team based environments. Joanna brings a diverse set of skills to CDDER including organization and technical assistance for projects, production of materials for dissemination, administrative support, client relations, and event planning and management. She also has experience in supporting the development of competitive grant applications, identifying relevant funding opportunities for clients, grant management of funded projects and finalization of completed grants. All of her abilities are put to use in her position at CDDER to support the Center’s broad range of ongoing projects. Ms. Gelinas holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with a focus in Public Relations from Southern New Hampshire University. 

© 2015 University of Massachusetts Medical School