Our Team

The help me grow national center staff IS COMMITTED TO HELPING ALL HELP ME GROW AFFILIATES ACHIEVE AND MAINTAIN a system that promotes the full potential of all young children. 

Paul Dworkin, MD

Founding Director | contact

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 | contact

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 programs for families and children. She 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 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 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 national and international convenings, including the bi-annual World Association of Infant Mental Health Congress.

Erin Cornell, MPH

Associate director | contact

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. She also currently serves on the board of directors for the Connecticut CASA Association.

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, MBA

business development manager | contact

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 a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut School of Business.

Sarah Zucker, BA

senior program specialist | contact

Sarah ZuckerSarah 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 including a focus to utilize the Help Me Grow National website, affiliate portal, blog, newsletters, email marketing strategy, social media, and the publication of briefs and other resources.

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.

Cassandra Therriault, MPH


Cassandra Therriault is a Program Coordinator at the Help Me Grow National Center. Cassie provides assistance in the enhancement, assessment, and research initiatives that support the Help Me Grow National Center mission. This includes coordinating and disseminating the annual fidelity assessment to our affiliate network and contributing to various research initiatives on behalf of the National Center.  

Before joining the Help Me Grow National Center, Cassie was a Program Coordinator for UConn Husky Sport, a campus-community partnership with Hartford Public Schools. During her time with Husky Sport, she spearheaded three of the organization’s programs centered around early literacy, nutrition education and family engagement. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from Stonehill College and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Connecticut. She completed a Master’s Practicum at the UConn Center for Public Health and Health Policy. During graduate school she also worked for Husky Nutrition Programs a federally funded community nutrition initiative that educates Connecticut residents about nutrition, physical activities, and lifestyle choices by promoting positive behavior change and impacting systems-level policies to improve access to healthy food.