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  • Meet the CARF leadership

    Brian J. Boon, Ph.D., president/CEO, joined CARF in 2001 after serving as an at-large trustee on the CARF Board of Trustees between 1998 and 2000 and chairing the board's planning and governance committees. He was also a CARF surveyor for six years and participated in many CARF advisory committees and leadership panels dating back to 1990.

    Brian holds a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Alberta and maintains his professional licenses and affiliations in the psychology profession. Brian's broad professional experiences as a payer, provider, and regulator have contributed to his "systems solution" executive leadership approach.

    Leslie Ellis-Lang, managing director of the Child and Youth Services accreditation area, joined CARF in 2009. Leslie's career spans more than 30 years in the behavioral health field with an emphasis on services for children and adolescents. Most recently, she was the behavioral health services administrator for an organization providing services in 32 Florida counties. A licensed marriage and family therapist, Leslie holds a master of science degree in counselor education from Northern Illinois University.

    Penny Gagnon, M.A., chief advisor, accreditation standards, CARF Canada, has more than 15 years of executive leadership experience specializing in nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining CARF Canada, Penny was a CARF surveyor and served on multiple boards of directors for child development and other health and human services in Canada. She has also taught in the business management program at Northern Lights College and Royal Roads University in the master of arts program. She completed her undergraduate work in First Nations studies and graduate work in leadership and training.

    Bettye Harrison, account manager of the Opioid Treatment Program accreditation area, has more than 20 years of social work experience in the areas of behavioral health, corrections, and adoptions. She has expertise in program development, consultation and technical assistance, clinical supervision, individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, psychosocial assessment, and field instruction. Bettye earned a master's degree in social work from the University of South Carolina.

    Pete Hathaway, managing director of the Employment and Community Services accreditation area, has more than 25 years of experience in the rehabilitation field. Before joining CARF as a full-time staff member in 2006, Pete served as a CARF surveyor for 11 years. He has managed community-based services for adults and children with disabilities and their families and has also been a contract manager for a state governmental agency.

    Cindy L. Johnson, CPA, chief resource and strategic development officer since 2006, oversees the company's finance, information technology, research and quality improvement, publications and communications, marketing, human resource, and education and training functions. Cindy previously served as CARF's chief financial officer and director of finance and administration from 1999 to 2005.

    Michael W. Johnson joined CARF as managing director of the Behavioral Health accreditation area in 2013. A certified addictions professional, Michael has more than 30 years of experience as a clinician, manager, and executive working in mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual disabilities. He was a CARF surveyor for 16 years and holds a master's degree in communications from the University of Central Florida.

    Shanna Lawson, account manager of the Behavioral Health, Child and Youth Services, Employment and Community Services, and Medical Rehabilitation accreditation areas, is directly responsible for CARF’s account services operations in those areas. Before joining CARF in 2008, Shanna’s professional experience spanned quality improvement management in health and human services, accreditation readiness, and direct service provision. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Upper Iowa University.

    Darren M. Lehrfeld, chief accreditation officer and general counsel, oversees CARF's accreditation operations, including surveyor management, technical assistance to service providers, and survey processing and logistics. Darren also oversees CARF's legal affairs and compliance matters. He earned his juris doctor and business administration degree from the University of Arizona and is an active member of the State Bar of Arizona and Pima County Bar Association.

    Christine M. MacDonell, managing director of the Medical Rehabilitation and International Aging Services/Medical Rehabilitation accreditation areas, has more than 35 years of experience as a provider, administrator, and trainer in the human services field. Since 1991, Chris has represented CARF at international and national meetings, introducing and promoting the concepts of quality oversight and enhancement of human services through the CARF accreditation process in both medical rehabilitation and aging services. In 2003, Chris became responsible for the transition of the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC), which CARF acquired in February 2003.

    Susanne Matthiesen, managing director of the Aging Services accreditation area, supervises the area's operations and staff and provides leadership for developing standards and improvements in the accreditation processes. Susanne joined the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC) in 2001, two years before CARF acquired the nation's only accreditor of continuing care retirement communities. She earned a master’s degree in business administration focused on long-term care administration from The George Washington University.

    Julia Meashey, administrator of operations of the Aging Services accreditation area, joined CARF in 2015. She has over 15 years of experience working in aging services advocacy, program management and grant administration. Julia's career has focused on ensuring quality health care for older adults and their families. Before joining CARF, she worked with the Hartford Change AGEnts Initiative, the National Center on Gerontological Social Work Excellence, and the National Ombudsman Resource Center. Julia has a master's degree in gerontology from Appalachian State University.

    Janet Mordecai, chief marketing officer, brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management experience to her position. Janet has proven experience driving growth, revenue, and market share; launching new product innovation; and accelerating global brand equity for a number of nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Southern Arizona Justice for Veterans and holds a bachelor of arts degree in Social Welfare from University of California, Berkeley.

    Di Shen, Ph.D., chief research officer, spearheads CARF's Research and Quality Improvement department and performance indicator work and oversees CARF's internal performance improvement systems and research data infrastructure. Prior to coming to the United States, Di was a faculty member at Yangzhou University in China. He has taught courses in psychological measurements and statistics, research methods, and cognitive psychology at the University of Arizona. He has also been published in the areas of psycholinguistics, psychological measurement, linguistics and applied linguistics, and teaching methodology. 

    Deborah H. Witham, M.S.W., J.D., managing director of public policy, leads CARF’s ongoing assessment of and response to developments in public policy affecting the U.S. health and human services sector. She has vast experience in both direct care and administrative functions in nonprofit organizations, including compliance and program oversight, and has worked with payers, regulators, and government officials. Prior to joining CARF as a staff member, Deborah served as a CARF surveyor for the Opioid Treatment Program unit.

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