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Updates, Honors, and Awards

Summer Interns Selected for Project HEAL
Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law), an MCDD community-based program, will host two full-time law students for 40 hours per week for 10 weeks during the summer of 2014. Jaclyn Machometa, a third-year law student at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, secured a Maryland Public Interest Law Foundation grant. Jaclyn volunteered with Project HEAL in the fall of 2013 for 60 hours. Lauren Wood, a second-year law student at the University of Baltimore School of Law, secured a University of Baltimore Students for Public Interest grant. 

Former Law Clerk Joins Project HEAL Via Bridge Fellowship Program

In August 2014, Project HEAL will host a Penn State Law Bridge Fellow. W. Benjamin Jackson III, a former Project HEAL summer law clerk, will return for a period up to six months after his completion of the Maryland bar examination. The primary goal of the Bridge Fellowship Program is to provide assistance to students securing full-time, long-term positions in public interest law. This is accomplished by awarding selected graduates a monthly stipend for a minimum of 25 hours per week, for a period up to six months, for a not-for-profit organization that provides legal assistance to those in need. Project HEAL is thrilled to host Ben as a Bridge Fellow and will provide him with a unique experience that will enhance his marketability and improve his prospects of securing a full-time position in the field of public interest law.

Project HEAL Student Receives Prestigious Award for Service
Caitlin Biggins, a third-year student at the University of Baltimore School of Law, received the Platinum Pro Bono Service Award for 170 hours of service at Project HEAL. This prestigious award is given to law students who earn more than 100 pro bono hours and show a commitment to providing quality legal services to persons of limited means. In the fall of 2013, Caitlin completed 140 hours of work with Project HEAL and earned three course credits. She returned as a volunteer in the spring of 2014 and earned 170 pro bono hours. Upon completion of the Maryland bar examination in July 2014, Caitlin will work as a law clerk for Judge Edward R. K. Hargadon in the 8th Circuit Court of Maryland.

New Leader at DDA

Bernie Simons joined the Developmental Disabilities Administration as executive director in May. He comes from Missouri’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, where he served as the director. Simons brings with him over 40 years of management experience in providing community- and facility-based supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Learning How to Spot the Signs of Autism Early

On May 10, Kennedy Krieger and partners convened for a half-day training program for 23 primary care practitioners focused on identifying autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at an early age. Pediatricians are encouraged to screen for ASD beginning at age 18 months, yet they might not have all the tools to distinguish and interpret the signs. Primary care practitioners learned how to identify the earliest signs of ASD for the best chance of early treatment and positive outcome. Attendees received continuing medical education credits for completing the training.

Dr. Jacqueline Stone Selected to Attend Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Symposium

Jacqueline D. Stone, PhD, PT, director of Dissemination at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, was selected as an attendee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Connections Eighth Annual Symposium to be held at the RWJF in June 2014. New Connections is a national program of the RWJF that seeks to diversify the perspectives that inform its program strategy by introducing the foundation to new researchers and consultants from underrepresented research communities. The program also seeks to support a broad network of diverse scholars working in healthcare.