The strength of The Medical Safeguards Project comes from the talent, experience and dedication of our staff:
Norberto Alvarez, M.D.
Dr. Alvarez has been the Medical Director of the Medical Safeguarding program since 2003. He is a graduate from The University of Buenos Aires Medical School in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He started his training in Pediatric Neurology at the Children’s Hospital in Buenos Aires. He followed this early training with a residency in Neurology at Wayne State University in Detroit and completed his training at Children’s Hospital of Boston. In Boston, he trained in the Epilepsy Program at the Seizure Unit for two years, and at the Developmental Evaluation Program for one year in the management of psychiatric disorders in persons with developmental disabilities. Dr. Alvarez developed a special interest in the treatment of epileptic disorders and in the rehabilitation of persons with Developmental Disabilities.
Since 1976, Dr. Alvarez has been the neurologist at Wrentham Developmental Center in Wrentham, Massachusetts, and since 1995 he has been the Medical Director of this residential facility. He has been very much involved with the transfer to the community of hundreds of individuals who were living at the facility. Dr. Alvarez is a Staff Neurologist in the Department of Neurology at Children’s Hospital of Boston and is Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.
Andre Blanchet, M.D.
Medical Director emeritus
Dr. Blanchet specializes in adult and child psychiatry and rehabilitation in the field of disability. Since 2005, he has been a consultant to service agencies, governments, and family and consumer organizations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Family Lives, a parent-driven pediatric home care agency in Massachusetts. He also directed the Medical Safeguards Project until 2005, and has remained as a consultant to that project.
Before coming to Massachusetts, Dr. Blanchet was the Clinical Director of a government endeavor in British Columbia to facilitate and monitor the closure of the last institutions and pediatric nursing homes in that province. He is a former Board President of the Arc of Massachusetts as well as the Canadian Association for Community Living, and a former co-President of the G. Allan Roeher Institute. Dr. Blanchet remains deeply involved in the development of consumer organizations (such as People First and Mass. Advocates Standing Strong) in both Canada and the United States.
Charly Darius is a Registered Nurse Practitioner, licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Board Certified as an Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner by the AANP. He received an MS in 2012 and a BS in 2009 in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts as well as a BS in Business Administration in 2002 from the same university and an Associate in Clinical Laboratory Science in 1995 from Northeastern University.
Charly started his nursing career in 2009 and has worked in Med Surge, ICU and Home Healthcare. Charly was hired by Shriver Clinical Services Corporation in 2012 to join the Medical Safeguarding Project (MSP) in the South Coastal region Massachusetts. He works three days per week for the MSP and provides primary care at the Wrentham Developmental Center two days per week. He serves an educator, advocate, communicator, and coordinator of health care needs.
Elizabeth King is a Registered Nurse Practitioner, licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner by the ANCC. She received her MS in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980. In 1981 Elizabeth began what would become a long and rewarding career involved in a variety of services for developmentally disabled adults. This journey began with Boston’s Children’s Hospital Health and Habilitative Service Contract at Wrentham Developmental Center where Elizabeth provided primary care.
In 1997, Elizabeth was hired by Shriver Clinical Services Corporation to join the Medical Safeguarding Project in the South Coastal region of Massachusetts. This area encompasses the larger cities of Fall River and New Bedford where services are provided for 1,400 adults with developmental disabilities in a range of settings and levels of care. In an effort to insure that the community health system provides optimal care, Elizabeth serves an educator, advocate, communicator, and coordinator of health care needs.
An aspect of safeguarding that she finds particularly important involves individuals with complex medical needs and assisting their families and/or staff through identification and understanding of relevant issues, communicating questions to medical providers, and anticipating future planning that may be necessary to provide optimal care.
Irene is a Family Nurse Practitioner whose primary interest is in the field of Community Health Nursing. She received her BS degree in Nursing from Boston State College. After 20 years of practice as a visiting nurse she attended the University of Massachusetts Family Nurse Practitioner program and earned a Master’s Degree in Nursing. Since becoming a nurse practitioner, Irene has provided primary care in various settings. She worked for a private practice providing care to residents of five large skilled nursing facilities. She also provided home-based primary care to disabled individuals throughout the Boston area. In addition, Irene has worked in the field of Mental Health as a Medical Consultant at McLean Hospital in Brockton. She also has experience as a Psychiatric Consultant for residents of a long-term care facility experiencing both psychiatric and behavioral issues. Irene’s special interest is working with patients, families and health care providers around chronic illness and medically complex issues.
In addition to working in the Nurse Practitioner role, Irene has worked as a Nurse Educator in several schools of Nursing including Laboure College, Brockton Hospital School of Nursing, Curry College and Northeastern University.
Irene continues her work as a member of the Medical Safeguarding Project. She is an advocate for individuals with intellectual disabilities and acts a liaison with other health care providers around complex medical issues. She takes an active role in providing trainings for direct care staff in order to promote healthy, safe and happy lives for individuals with disabilities.
Nancy Noble is an RN dually registered for nursing practice in Canada and the United States. She completed a clinical Nurse Therapist Program at the McMaster Psychiatric Unit at St Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton Ontario, where she then worked as an inpatient team leader for 6 years. After several years devoted to the parenting of her sons, Nancy co-founded the Health Care Access Nursing Service, Vinge and Associates, which was committed to the deinstitutionalization of disabled citizens in British Columbia. Vinge and Associates used a person-centered approach to health care planning, emergency protocols, caregiver training, and 24-hour nursing on-call support for individuals with disabilities who returned to their home communities. She subsequently moved on to become the manager of the British Columbia Health Care Access Project, a government initiative to bring together community-based provider agencies, families, disabled citizens, hospitals, emergency care services, and medical professional associations to address issues faced by people with disabilities when accessing health care.
In her role as a Nurse Consultant, Nancy has provided specialized consultation for individuals receiving services. She has co-authored reports and provided presentations on such topics as: Planning and Coordinating Services for People with Complex Health Care Needs; and Examining the Barriers that Citizens with Disabilities Face in Attempting to Access Responsive Health Care.
Nancy joined the Medical Safeguarding Project in 2003. She currently lives in Massachusetts where she continues to practice in both hospital and community services.
Janet Roxborough is a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has a Master’s degree in Community Health Nursing from Boston University. Janet served as a Peace Corps volunteer in India, and later worked in oncology nursing at Pondville State Hospital (Southwood Community Hospital). She has worked in the field of developmental disabilities nursing for the past 30 years.
Initially, Janet worked at the Wrentham Developmental Center as a primary care provider. As the shift to deinstitutionalization occurred, she accompanied many of the people who moved out of the institution. She was a member of the Childrens Hospital Health Care Initiative pilot project, doing training and consultation from a (then) Department of Mental Retardation area office. Subsequently, Janet joined the Medical Safeguards Project, where she continues to share her keen interest in medical education.
Froukje Timmer is a Registered Nurse Practitioner, licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner by the ANCC. She received her MS in Nursing from Pace University in 1981. After 3 years’ experience in the hospital acute care settings of both the surgical and medical ICUs, and followed by 2 years in the community setting as a visiting nurse, she began her employment at the Paul A. Dever State School in 1986 as a nurse practitioner, providing primary care to a wide range of developmentally disabled adults.
In 1997, Ms. Timmer joined the Medical Safeguards Project, while working in her current position with Southeastern Residential Services (SRS), a state-operated agency providing residential services and supports to approximately 270 individuals with mental retardation in 57 homes. As the nurse practitioner consultant, she attempts to ensure that the individuals she serves receive optimal health care from the generic community medical services. Duties include identifying those at risk and, when needed, writing health care plans or protocols; educating staff and families in specific health care issues; attending medical appointments, especially when advocacy is needed; conferring with hospital staff to ensure a successful stay and discharge if and when someone is hospitalized; and communication with family members and/or guardians.
Of special concern to Ms. Timmer is the process by which end-of-life decisions, such as to not resuscitate or to withhold/withdraw life- sustaining treatments from an individual, are made.
Since 2003, Sue Cavallari has been the contract manager of Shriver Clinical Services Corporation’s medical services program at Wrentham Developmental Center in Wrentham, MA. Wrentham Developmental Center is a residential facility for adult men and women who have developmental disabilities. She has worked for SCSC for over fourteen years and has over 25 years of administrative experience working in the field of health care for people with developmental impairments.
Sue works closely with Dr. Norberto Alvarez, Wrentham's Medical Director. She also provides administrative and technical support to the Medical Safeguards Project. Her primary role in the Medical Safeguarding Project is to facilitate communication and organization, maintain a database relating to the Project’s efforts to enhance health care in the community, and serve as the contact person on the Project’s website.
Jo Massarelli is Director of the SRV Implementation Project, a human service training and consultation concern based in Worcester, Massachusetts (USA). She divides her time at the project between teaching Social Role Valorization-based workshops, and working with families, human service staff and people with impairments to bring about positive change, one person at a time.
Ms. Massarelli has been a teacher closely affiliated with Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger of the Training Institute in Syracuse, New York (USA) since 1983. With Dr. Wolfensberger and a group of associates, she is heavily involved in teaching workshops on a crucial topic: how to craft a coherent protective stance in the face of serious societal threats to the lives of socially devalued people.
Ms. Massarelli has a particular interest in advocacy in medical settings. She teaches a variety of workshops on protecting vulnerable people in the hospital, and on medical decision-making. She has co-written a manual based on these workshops. She is also a member of the Medical Safeguards Project, which is a group of nurses and doctors in Massachusetts who are committed to safeguarding the health and lives of mentally impaired people with significant medical needs. Ms. Massarelli serves as a consultant for Family Lives, a program for children with multiple impairments who require 24-hour nursing care. Family Lives is committed to providing the medical support necessary for the children to live at home, and Ms. Massarelli works to assist family and nurses alike to envision and realize more than the “patient” role for those served.
Exec. Director, Shriver Clinical Services Corp.
Ann Flynn is a founding member of Shriver Clinical Services Corporation, and has served as the Executive Director since 2005. Most of her professional life has been spent in medical services directed toward people with impairments. Family Lives, a pediatric nursing agency focused on assisting children with multiple impairments to live at home, was spun off from Shriver Clinical Services corporation in 2002. Ms. Flynn currently serves as its Vice President of Finance. She has a particular interest in what makes socially devalued people vulnerable in medical settings, and in developing systems to employ effective advocacy strategies for them. Ann Flynn lives in Tewksbury, Massachusetts with her husband and young son.