Paul Dworkin, MD, Founding Director
Paul Dworkin is Executive Vice President for Community Child Health at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Founding Director of the Help Me Grow National Center, and professor of pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. For 15 years, he previously served as physician-in-chief at Connecticut Children’s and chair of the Department of Pediatrics of the UCONN School of Medicine.
Dr. Dworkin’s interests are at the interface among child development, child health services, and child health policy. He has authored more than 175 publications in the fields of developmental-behavioral pediatrics and general pediatrics.
Dr. Dworkin’s honors include teaching awards, visiting professorships, and named lectureships. In 1988, he was Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Oxford and also Visiting Scholar of Green College in Oxford. In 2003, Dr. Dworkin received the prestigious C. Anderson Aldrich Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in recognition of achievement in the field of child development. His vision led to the creation of Help Me Grow, a Connecticut statewide initiative to promote the early detection of children at risk for developmental and behavioral problems and their linkage to programs and services that is currently being replicated in over 20 states. He was the editor of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from 1997-2002. He serves on the board of directors for several organizations, including the Urban League of Greater Hartford, and was a member of the first entering class of the Academy of Distinguished Educators at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
Dr. Dworkin received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed a pediatric residency and fellowship in ambulatory pediatrics with a special emphasis on developmental and behavioral issues at Boston Children’s Hospital. He recently completed study for a certificate in policy analysis from the University of North Dakota.
Kimberly Martini-Carvell, MA, Executive Director
Kimberly Martini-Carvell is the Executive Director of the Help Me Grow National Center. She also holds the position of Associate Director for Capacity Building, Organizational Learning & Professional Advancement for Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health.
Prior to joining the National Center, Kimberly worked as associate vice president for programs at The Village for Families and Children in Hartford where she created and managed prevention and early intervention and treatment programs for families and children. She has also worked as a child and family development consultant for the United Way of Central & Northeastern Connecticut, as director of the CT Family Development Institute of the Children’s Trust Fund, and as an adjunct professor for the University of Connecticut’s School of Family Studies.
During her career, Kimberly has also served on the national Zero to Three Policy Committee, the national Childhood Traumatic Stress Network’s Birth-6 Workgroup, and the leadership team of the Connecticut Parent Educators Network. She also served as a fellow at the National Council on Family Relations and a master facilitator for the Child and Family Partners certificate program. Kimberly has presented the Help Me Grow model at numerous national and international convenings, including the bi-annual World Association of Infant Mental Health Congress.
Erin Cornell, MPH, Associate Director
Erin Cornell is the Associate Director of the Help Me Grow National Center, where her role is focused on the design, delivery, and ongoing refinement of a comprehensive National Center strategy specific to model replication, enhancement, and assessment. She has experience in health services research and her area of interest is in improving health and developmental outcomes for children through systems innovation.
Prior to joining HMG, she contributed to the implementation and evaluation of clinical care innovations, including Co-Management, a program of the Office for Community Child Health at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
Erin holds a BA from Boston University, an MPH from the University of Connecticut, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in public health from the University of Connecticut.
Sara Sibley, BS, Business Development Manager
Sara Sibley is the Business Development Manager at the Help Me Grow National Center. In this role, Sara manages financial activities and operations of the National Center, and is responsible for overseeing technical assistance endeavors for new and current affiliates of the HMG National Network.
Before joining the National Center in 2010, Sara was the state coordinator for the Connecticut Easy Breathing asthma program. Her role involved overseeing a team of program coordinators for statewide implementation and dissemination of Easy Breathing.
Sara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physiology and neurobiology from the University of Connecticut and is pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut School of Business.
Sarah Zucker, BA, Senior Program Specialist
Sarah Zucker serves as Senior Program Specialist for Network Development at the Help Me Grow National Center. In this capacity, she supports new states and communities in efforts to explore the HMG model and devise site-specific installation strategy. Sarah helps design and implement projects to support affiliates in effective system building efforts, including tools to assess the early childhood landscape, partnerships, leadership, and readiness to engage in systemic change, as well as tools to support affiliate implementation of the key activities that support fidelity to the model. She also leads communications projects for the National Center such as the E-Note, blog, and website.
Before her work at Connecticut Children’s, Sarah led research and evaluation initiatives at the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, a statewide, membership-based agency advancing a mission to end homelessness through leadership, community organizing, advocacy, research, and education. She received a degree in Social Research from the University of Hartford.
Von Jessee, M.A., Program Specialist for Network Assessment
Von Jessee is the Program Specialist for Network Assessment at the Help Me Grow National Center. In this role, he supports the National Center and the affiliate network in their efforts to measure implementation and impact.
Before joining HMG National in 2015, he graduated from the University of Connecticut where he earned a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies. During this time, Von served as a research assistant for the Scaffolding Early Learning Project (ScEL) and conducted fatherhood specific research of his own. He concluded his degree with a thesis examining the associations between food insecurity and father/child diet quality.
Previously, Von earned a degree in child and family studies/early childhood education (preK-3 licensure) and he worked with children who express challenging behaviors.
Stephanie Luczak, LMSW, Program Coordinator
Stephanie Luczak is a Program Coordinator at the Help Me Grow National Center. Stephanie provides support in the development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of relevant projects and outputs. This includes developing and editing materials for distribution to a variety of audiences and collecting and synthesizing feedback to support decision making.
Before joining the Help Me Grow National Center, Stephanie was a Child Development Policy Fellow Connecticut Voices for Children. She currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Connecticut in Political Science and Communications and recently received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. During that time, she completed her practicum at the Connecticut State Office of the Child Advocate and Connecticut Voices for Children and worked as a graduate research assistant to conduct policy research regarding the implementation of care for newborns with prenatal substance exposure. Previously, Stephanie worked as a paraprofessional at a therapeutic day school and as an in-home care aide.
Tamisha Phillip, BS, Administrative Assistant
Tamisha Phillip serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Help Me Grow National Center. In this role, she provides administrative support to National Center staff and affiliates of the National Network.
Tamisha holds a BS degree in Health Care Management, and Minor in Public Policy from the University of Connecticut.