Current and Past Projects

The following is an alphabetized sample of current and past projects for Complex Systems Innovations.  These were selected to illustrate the breadth of capacity and ability to satisfy multiple projects. CSI has from 12 to 20 projects ongoing at any given time and consistently receives high marks in satisfaction and effectiveness.

Buckhorn Clinical Program Development and Evaluation

Partnering Organizations: Buckhorn Children and Family Services and Kentucky Department of Social Services.

Buckhorn provides residential services to persons with I/DD and for teens with abuse/neglect and behavioral health issues at multiple sites in Appalachian Eastern Kentucky, a very rural area.  The project is using best practices in model development to improve treatment outcomes for the two populations served. Buckhorn is serving highly complex cases. CSI is currently developing and providing Trauma-Informed Care training, developing the necessary model to be accessible across educational capacities, supporting CARF re-accreditation, and providing support with Buckhorn’s communication with the State of Kentucky.  The project includes an implementation and outcome evaluation component to track the embedding process, fidelity of implementation, and impact for youth.

Child Protective Investigator Training

Partnering Organization: Department of Children and Families Grant, Florida, Key Assets Florida, and Carter Brown, USA, Gainesville Georgia

DCF, Key Assets Florida, and Carter Brown Logos

A multi-year project that included preliminary research to establish training needs, developing the trainings and applying them to create Subject Matter Experts (SME) in behavioral health in relation to child welfare.  Trainings include mindfulness/wellness, trauma and advanced trauma, substance use and co-occurring conditions, effective communication, child development and a three-day synthesis training. An additional training was developed for a wider audience, a two-day “children born exposed to substances” training.  A performance evaluation model is being used to assess impact and effectiveness.

Children’s Mental Health Collective Impact Initiative

Partnering Organizations: Over 20 organizations in Utah

A collaboration of organizations concerned about children’s mental health prevention, intervention and having adequate resources are collaborating and using a Collective Impact approach to work closely together.  A shared agenda and processes for shared communication have been established. CSI is supporting the local backbone organization through using CSI’s collective impact, developmental evaluation and analytic experience.  The evaluation model includes participating in shared activities and documenting the growth process of the initiative.

Early Intervention Support Project

Partnering Organizations: Zenith Support Developmental Services, Idaho and several county Early Intervention and trauma prevention providers.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Logo

This project supported implementation and provides a comprehensive evaluation to a collaboration of six providers working to improve early intervention services for rural and impoverished families with limited access to services.  Multiple outcomes are being addressed using mixed methods. CSI is also providing grant finding and writing services.

Early Steps Evaluator Coaching/Mentoring Program

Partnering Organizations: Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Florida Early Steps Central Office, and Local Early Steps Offices.

This multi-year grant developed a credentialing system, training, and in-depth guidebook for all evaluators assessing over 43,000 children each year for developmental disabilities under Part C services (birth to 3-years of age) in Florida.

FDDC and Early Steps Logos

Empowerment Parent Resource Center (EPRC)

Partnering Organizations: Federal Department of Education Grant and Project Empower of Northwest Florida

US Department of Education and Project Empower Logos

CSI wrote the five-year grant and acts as the Project Director, Evaluator and additional financial support for the EPRC.  Implementation best practices, direct parent/family support and support for persons with disabilities aged birth to 26 are integrated with multiple local providers.  The EPRC and Project Empower work with local groups to plan provider trainings, complete an ongoing needs assessment, develop linkages between programs, and collect outcomes data for all Federal reporting.  The EPRC has sponsored several one-day mini-conferences to increase local knowledge and to increase parent’s advocacy skills.

Family Connection Grant

Partnering Organizations: Federal Children’s Bureau Grant, Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center, ChildNet, and multiple local providers.

CSI co-wrote the residential family treatment grant for substance abusing pregnant and postpartum women.  Focused on embedding and streamlining evidence-based practices and stronger community collaboratives. Developed and implemented a comprehensive evaluation including a quasi-experimental design, outcome, and process evaluation for intervention and comparison groups targeting substance using mothers with comorbid mental health diagnoses and immediate/extended families in a family residential setting for 6- to 12-months with aftercare and longitudinal data.

Children's Bureau. Susan B. Anthony, and ChildNet Logos

First Steps Guidebook for Parents

Partnering Organizations: Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Grant, Florida Department of Education, Early Steps, Children’s Medical Services, Curtis Media, and Healthy Start.

This project doubled the size of the previous Guidebook that had not been updated in over a decade.  Content was updated and all new content was added. This product will be available and given away to over 20,000 Florida families a year.  Content includes, in part, child development, explanation of developmental disabilities, getting a diagnosis, autism spectrum disorder, understanding sensory issues, mental health and attachment challenges, social, emotional and behavioral challenges, parent self-care, adapting families, inclusion, rights, and planning for the future.

From Planning to Action: Integrated, Collaborative Care for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Partnering Organizations: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, The Arc of NC, Easter Seals UCP, and the Autism Society of NC.

This project transitions the systems-change planning grant, Medical Health Homes (MHHI) for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), into actionable demonstrations that advance innovation in integrated, collaborative care and services for people with I/DD.  CSI is contracted to provide evaluation support for four pilot projects in different areas of North Carolina that includes tracking process, support of an Action to Planning Council for each site (an Advisory Group), assist with focus groups, develop an evaluation plan, and to conduct a formative evaluation.  Pilot and site-specific outputs and outcomes were developed with the applicants and their partners in collaboration with CSI support.

Human Trafficking and Trauma Systems Approach Multi-Project Support

Partnering Organizations: Curtis Media, Four Coasts (not for profit), and Joy Kelleher, Human Trafficking Consultant.

This is a multiple partner long-range project that will include additional partnering organizations.  The goal is to use the SAMHSA System of Care model, integrated care, developmental evaluation, to develop multiple trainings and to integrate effective media and marketing practices to address human trafficking in a defined area in Northern Florida as a pilot site.  The training components are part of the training division of CSI being developed and that will include the ability to provide CEU’s to multiple provider categories.

Curtis Media and Four Coasts Logos

Improving Elementary Through Postsecondary Transition Services

Partnering Organizations: Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and multiple statewide stakeholders.

CSI won a competitive grant for the purpose of advancing the development of a system to provide effective, evidence-based transition services to students with the most significant intellectual and developmental disabilities by determining key practices designed to improve transition outcomes.  The project targeted services for students with the most significant disabilities, including youth previously thought unemployable. A four process development model included (1) Identifying key transition services currently provided in Florida; (2) Determining information, resources, assessment, training and curricula needs for educators, families and students; (3) Determining EBP’s that will improve student outcomes; and, (4) developing a transition model and strategic plan that will guide key stakeholders and partners in creating, piloting, and implementing new or enhanced methods of information and resource dissemination, training, assessment and relevant curricula.

Informed Choice Employment Options Grant

Partnering Organizations: Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and multiple I/DD providers in North Florida.

CSI wrote the grant for this project and developed a targeted curriculum and a train-the-trainer component to help organizations that work with persons in multiple sites to support the person served in exploring, shadowing, and eventually choosing a career path.  The model specially targets persons with intellectual disabilities, on the autism spectrum, and other developmental disabilities. Assessment tools, an implementation guide and a training guide were developed and piloted with analysis of data in a performance evaluation. The project was piloted in eight total sites.


Law-Enforcement Organization (LEO) Wellness Project

Partnering Organizations: Gwinnet County Sheriff’s Department, Gainesville Georgia Police Department, Joy Kelleher Consultant, Brandon Lowell Consultant and others.

This project is using technology, collaborative evaluation and best practices in model development to design a model of support and intervention to reduce stress related health issues and behaviors for law-enforcement officers and to reduce the epidemic levels of suicide and resignations from service.  The model will be developed with additional funding sources and disseminated when sufficient evidence of success is obtained.

Medication Assisted Recovery Services (MARS)

Partnering Organizations: Partners, LME/MCO, North Carolina, McLeod Addictive Disease Center, Integrated Care of Greater Hickory and Olive Branch Ministries.

CSI has developed a comprehensive evaluation model for the SAMHSA Medication Assisted Treatment grant.  This includes process and outcome evaluation, agency and consumer case studies, and is supporting MARS with targeted research, e.g. trainings have been developed to improve recruitment and retention of consumers and to merge recruitment/retention with the EBP Motivational Interviewing.  CSI wrote the Disparity Impact Statement, has developed a data system for outcomes, provided outcomes training, and a chart extraction tool was developed to limit the intrusion on provider resources for generating evaluation data.

Partners, North Carolina, McLeod Addictive Disease Center, Integrated Care of Greater Hickory and Olive Branch Ministries Logos

Mental Health Assistance Program (MhAP)

Partnering Organizations: Partners, LME/MCO, North Carolina, Daymark Recovery Services, PQA Healthcare Inc., and four County and Local Law-Enforcement Organizations (LEO’s).


CSI wrote the SAMHSA Pre-Booking Early Diversion Grant awarded to Partners, LME/MCO.  CSI has developed a comprehensive evaluation plan, supported implementation of the grant, ensured all mandatory SAMHSA performance measures are met, wrote the Disparity Impact Statement, developed a registry to track individuals across multiple agencies, provided training to the Advisory Group, and is supporting communication and reporting to SAMHSA.

My Baby Compass (Life Compass Innovations, LLC)

Partnering Organizations: Kathy Gruhn (MBC developer), Joy Kelleher (Project Management Consultant) Brandon Lowell (Development Consultant), Hanford Technology Services (software developer)

My Baby Compass is a popular and well-reviewed series of books that addresses development across multiple domains and are useful for children typically developing as well as those with developmental challenges.  This project is expanding the ages that MBC covers as well as developing an online version and an app across multiple platforms. CSI is developing and implementing a research base, grant finding and writing, and acting as Principal Investigator with the goal of MBC becoming an Evidence-Based Practice.

Disclaimer:  Kathy Gruhn, Joy Kelleher, Brandon Lowell and Dr. Gary Walby are joint owners of Life Compass Innovations, LLC

My Baby Compass

Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health)

Partnering Organizations: SAMHSA, Burlington Pediatrics and Kernodle Clinic Pediatrics

SAMHSA, Burlington, and Kernodle Logos.

A SAMHSA funded grant, the program integrates several areas such as development screenings, home visits, mental health consultations and parent education to create a continuum for health promotion and prevention.  LAUNCH was supported by CSI to incorporate Key Developmental Assets, an app based support for families with high stress as part of the LAUNCH pediatric practice family-centered medical homes.

Rural Integrated Health Program

Partnering Organizations: Ten organizations in Southeast Florida.

This project included communication and collaboration support and outcome evaluation for multiple organizations that developed a working collaborative to improve integrated care using best practices of system development and integrated care practices.  Integrated care practices included a mix of fully integrated, collocated and referral-based collaboration. The evaluation assessed outcomes based on models of integrated care.

State Profiles of AIDD (Administration for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) Programs

Partnering Organizations: Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) and Sidem Group Consultants.

CSI has developed a template and resource list of AIDD funded programs and is creating individual reports for each of 56 DD Councils while also including reviews of 57 Protection and Advocacy Systems (P&As), 67 University Centers of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) and 16 PNS for a total of 196 organizations/projects for contact and summary.

System of Care Expansion Grant

Partnering Organizations: Partners, LME/MCO, North Carolina and numerous local providers.

CSI co-wrote the SAMHSA grant.  CSI is providing a large evaluation team and employing local evaluators to support the SOC implementation, blend multiple models, support and provide training, and to evaluate using multi-level modeling.  The SOC grant is targeting four counties north and west of Charlotte, North Carolina. CSI has developed screening tools, a social determinants of health survey, and other products to support the development of a sustainable system of care.


Partnering Organizations: SAMHSA, Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center, ChildNet and other community partners.

A SAMHSA grant written in part by CSI, this project provided a comprehensive, mixed methods evaluation for women in a residential treatment facility for pregnant and postpartum women (PPW) and their children.  40 apartments and a treatment facility work to help women on their recovery journey from serious chemical addictions, mental health disorders, serious trauma histories, multi-generational substance use, poverty, homelessness, limited education and work histories.  The evaluation used a longitudinal comprehensive mixed-methods model targeting aftercare, symptom amelioration, trauma informed services, and intense engagement of families of origin for the mothers on the unit. Methods included, in part, weekly clinical and program meetings, intensive qualitative methods with mothers, and analysis of multiple assessment tools.  The depth of the evaluation with small numbers, using multiple qualitative methods and weekly meetings, has resulted in SAMHSA viewing the evaluation as an exemplar.

SAMHSA, Susan B. Anthony, and ChildNet logos

SWIM Gainesville

Partnering Organizations: Multiple individuals have begun a partnering business called SWIM Gainesville.

SWIM is designed to teach water safety, confront fear of swimming, and use a holistic approach to address anxiety and self-confidence.  A model is being developed with successful approaches already developed. The target group are persons with anxiety issues as well as disabilities.  Individuals of all ages including families are participating. A performance evaluation is being used to assess efficacy and additional funding will support a more comprehensive evaluation design.

Disclaimer:  Joy Kelleher, Nathan Rhoads, Devin Horan and Dr. Gary Walby are joint owners of SWIM Gainesville.

Transportation Options Research

Partnering Organizations: Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and numerous state agencies and providers.


This project used multiple methods to complete a gap analysis for transportation issues in Florida in relation to providing services to persons with disabilities in relation to education, employment, leisure and several other life categories that benefit from a good and comprehensive transportation system.  Areas of research or methods synthesized included access, collaboration, efficiency, cost, quality, ride and driver awareness, relevance and feasibility methods, strategy identification, and final recommendations.

Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC)

Partnering Organizations: Partners, LME/MCO, North Carolina and numerous local providers.

CSI is conducting a comprehensive evaluation, supporting model development, completing targeted research reviews, providing training, and implementation support of WPIC for Partners, LME/MCO.  Evaluation includes process, outcome and formative evaluation aspects. Developmental and collaborative evaluation are central for planned activities and Collective Impact is key. A three tier model of integrated health homes, social determinants of health, care management, development of multiple health indexes for different populations (e.g. mental health, substance use, I/DD), population health, data-driven decision making, and measurement based care are being synthesized into a new standard for integrated care.

Partners and North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities Logos

Want to discuss a project?

Dedicated to assisting communities, organizations, and individuals to develop sustainable, integrated, and effective services, supports, and citizens, we welcome all inquiries.