Our Team – Help Me Grow National Center

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.

Sara Sibley, MBA

Associate Director of business development & Operations | contact

Sara Sibley is the Associate Director of Business Development & Operations 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

Manager of Communications & Network Relations | contact

Sarah ZuckerSarah Zucker serves as Manager of Communications & Network Relations at the Help Me Grow National Center. In this capacity she is responsible for designing and leading efforts to increase brand awareness among key audiences, stakeholders, and constituents, in order to reinforce existing partnership and cultivate new strategic partners. In addition, her efforts will serve to advance the strategic priorities of the National Center by elevating visibility, understanding, and support for the HMG National Center’s advocacy and policy change agenda in order to promote transformational change in early childhood system building efforts across the country.

Sarah has also led technical assistance efforts for the National Center, supporting new states and communities in efforts to explore the HMG Model and devise site-specific installation strategy. She has designed and implemented services 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 HMG Model. 

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

Program Specialist | CONTACT

Cassandra Therriault is the Implementation and System Building Program Specialist at the Help Me Grow National Center. Cassie provides technical assistance to affiliates of the Help Me Grow National Affiliate Network on a variety of topics related to implementing the core components of the the HMG Model and assessing it’s impact on a community, state, and national level. 

Before joining the Help Me Grow National Center, Cassie was a Program Coordinator for the University of Connecticut’s Husky Sport program, 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.

Cassie 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 University of Connecticut’s Center for Public Health and Health Policy. 

Noshin Ahmed, MPH


Noshin Ahmed is a Program Coordinator at the Help Me Grow National Center. Before joining the Help Me Grow National Center, Noshin was a Community Engagement Specialist for New York City Health and Hospitals. During her time with NYC H+H, she conducted community outreach to New Yorkers and linked them to community resources they needed to overcome COVID-19. 

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Drexel University. During graduate school, she completed two master’s practicums at HealthSpark Foundation and Magee Rehabilitation Hospital-Jefferson Health. At HealthSpark her role mainly involved working with senior management to engage marginalized populations to safety-net services. At Magee Rehabilitation Hospital she served as a Quality Improvement Intern to identify gaps in outpatient care and create strategies to improve patient care. 

Aedra L. Jones, M. Ed

Business and Administrative Coordinator | Contact

Aedra L. Jones, M. Ed is the Business and Administrative Coordinator at the Help Me Grow National Center. Before joining the National Center, she was the Program Manager for the Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health Kohl’s Start Childhood off Right (SCOR) program. SCOR promotes healthy nutrition and physical activity from birth to establish healthy habits early and reduce childhood obesity.

Prior to joining the Connecticut Children’s team Aedra was an early educator as well as an Early Childhood Specialist for United Way of Connecticut’s 2-1-1 Child Care. There, she provided professional development and coaching to early childhood educators and caregivers to support the maintenance of high quality early care environments in the state of Connecticut.  

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Howard University and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University.