Our Team

  • Emily Lauer, PhD, MPH

    Director, Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research (CDDER) ; Associate Director, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) ; Associate Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center ; Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, UMass Chan Medical School

    Dr. Lauer is the Director of the Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research (CDDER) at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center and an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.  She is also the Associate Director of Shriver’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). Dr. Lauer 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.  Dr. 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.  Dr. 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, Dr. Lauer is an expert in analyses of mortality, health services research and in the use of administrative data to understand and improve public health.  Dr. 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.   Dr. 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.  Dr. Lauer has a PhD in Sociology with a focus on Medical Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston and was the 2022 recipient of the James E. Blackwell Prize in Applied Sociology for her dissertation. She also 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.

  • Janet Blodgett,

    Senior Data Analyst, CDDER
    Janet Blodgett, MSc

    Ms. Blodgett joined CDDER in early 2021 as a Senior Data Analyst, conducting a range of analyses and supporting data collection, management and use across the center’s work. In particular, this includes analysis of health and risk-related data from state and provider agencies to inform their quality assurance and improvement efforts. She has over 10 years of experience in data management, analysis, and project management. Her work has examined a range of healthcare related topics including treatments for substance use disorders, mental health needs and barriers to employment for justice-involved veterans, screening for and prevention of HIV, and the relationship between lean management and hospital performance. She worked as an analyst on several systematic review projects with the VA’s Center for Innovation to Implementation and Veterans Justice Outreach Program, and the UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies; and served as Research Director and Senior Analyst at the Center for Lean Engagement and Research in Healthcare at UC Berkeley. She holds a Master of Science degree in Social Policy (Research) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Boston University.

  • Christine Clifford, MHP

    Project Director II, CDDER
    Christine Clifford, MHP

    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.

  • Courtney Dutra, MPA, PMP

    Program Manager, CDDER
    Courtney Dutra, MPA, PMP

    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.

  • Jennifer Fugelstad, M.Ed

    Senior Quality Improvement Specialist, CDDER

    Ms. Fuglestad is a Senior Quality Improvement Specialist where she leads quality improvement and quality assurance projects conducted for private and public agencies.  Jennifer leads assessment activities of external systems including their quality assurance and improvement systems, key processes, sentinel events, and outcomes of service delivery to inform systemic learning. Jennifer’s professional career has been spent supporting multistate provider organizations in Quality Improvement with a focus on improving safety, health care promotion and personal and service delivery outcomes.  She specializes in system design, conducting trend analysis and designing initiatives to support quality services.  Prior to joining CDDER, Jennifer worked in senior management for a large human service agency providing residential services and supports to people with IDD and complex medical needs where she focused on strategic planning, business development, operational direction and support, and overall quality improvement.  Jennifer has facilitated workshops and given presentations on a variety of health, safety, quality supports and risk management topics related to the IDD field at number of national forums.

    Ms. Fuglestad holds a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from UMass Boston and a BA in Political Science from UMass Dartmouth.

  • Joanna Gelinas,

    Project Manager I, CDDER
    Joanna Gelinas, BA

    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. 

  • Jennifer Koh,

    Educational Support Technician, INDEX
    Jennifer Koh, BA

    Jennifer joined CDDER in 2021 as an Educational Support Technician. Her background is rooted in design, marketing, and communications. Jennifer’s skills range from client services and project management to presentation and writing development. She has experience with site mapping and content development in WordPress and has been involved with Digital Accessibility since 2019. Her work with Learning Management Systems (LMS) includes content integration, backend testing, troubleshooting, and client relations. Ms. Koh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Boston College and a Graphic Design degree from the Massachusetts College of Art.

  • Christine Roa,

    Project Manager, CDDER
    Christine Roa, MPA

    Ms. Roa joined CDDER in late 2019 as a project manager. In this capacity, she spearheads and performs a variety of initiatives and tasks for the research center and its many clients, including but not limited to operational streamlining, systems development, disability-related research, and data analytics. Complementary to the above, Christine has over 2 years of experience managing a statewide, Social Security funded public benefits counseling and training program, along with 12 years of experience in the field of vocational supports and public healthcare administration for vulnerable populations; specifically, individuals with disabilities and the incarcerated. She specializes in quality assurance, stakeholder relations, training and e-learning platform development, and project management. Ms. Roa has a Master’s in Public Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Spanish. She is bicultural and bilingual in English and Spanish and spent 10 years providing bilingual customer service to people with disabilities seeking public supports.

  • Trudy Wilcox,

    Data Analyst, CDDER

In Memorium:

Andreas Agiorgitis, EdM
Data Analyst, 2015-2021