LifeNet – About Us

LifeNet

Program Director Jay O’Brien oversees the design, development, and sustainability of the LifeNet program, and is responsible for operations, human resources, marketing, technology, legal, budgeting/finance, and quality assurance. Prior to leading LifeNet, Jay was co-founder and director of a nonprofit information provider for families of individuals with autism and other developmental differences. Jay received an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Harvard Alumni Public Service Fellow, and a BA from Holy Cross College.

Megan Winderbaum is LifeNet’s Senior Clinical Supervisor. Megan is a licensed independent clinical social worker with experience supervising clinicians and staff working in group homes and community outreach, working in a large outpatient practice, and providing support and counseling to university students and their families. Megan earned a BA in political science with a minor in studio art from Virginia Wesleyan College, an MA in political science with a concentration in public policy and an MSW from Boston University. In her free time, Megan enjoys traveling to zoos and aquariums across the country, building Lego, and riding her motorcycle.

Sam Bromfield is a LifeNet Clinical Supervisor for Connecticut and New York metro. He has been working with youth and adults since 2008, starting in residential treatment before moving on to schools and home-based care. Through this work, Sam developed a passion for working with at-risk youth and families, with a concentration in students on the autism spectrum. Sam continued working with students and families in New York City public schools starting in 2013 after completing his MSW at Columbia University. Sam has a passion for supporting the growth of staff members, and he credits his experience in residential treatment for giving him a strong clinical foundation for his current and future work. In his free time, Sam enjoys going on hikes with his dog, playing basketball, caring for houseplants, and learning new music on the piano.

Clinical Case Managers/Personal Advocates: Clinical professionals who coordinate the intake process, perform regular check-ins, and oversee the writing, implementation, and periodic reviews of individualized LifeNet Support Plans for each LifeNet Adult in their respective groups.

Melissa Regan is LifeNet’s inaugural Clinical Case Manager/Personal Advocate for Massachusetts. As a licensed occupational therapist, Melissa has clinical experience supporting independence for adults who face a variety of physical, cognitive, medical, and environmental barriers. Since 2012, Melissa has worked with adults on the autism spectrum across areas of everyday life in their homes, in their communities, and as a manager to residential support staff. Prior to joining the LifeNet team, Melissa did clinical fieldwork at, and then per diem OTR/L support for, the top-ranked Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital network. She earned a BA with honors in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, and an MS with honors in occupational therapy from Boston University.

Cathryn (Catie) Ryan is a LifeNet MA Clinical Case Manager/Personal Advocate. Catie is a licensed occupational therapist who most recently served as an OT supervisor for a respected Massachusetts-based multi-service provider, winning multiple organizational awards for “going above and beyond.” Catie did clinical fieldwork at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), and is a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellow. She earned a BA with honors in human development/family studies and psychology from the University of Connecticut, and an MS in occupational therapy from Boston University.

Iceis Elliot is AANE’s inaugural LifeNet CT Clinical Case Manager/Personal Advocate. Iceis is a master’s level social work professional who has experience supporting individuals and families in group, residential, education, and community settings. Since 2014, Iceis has worked to help adults and children on the spectrum navigate life and sustain their well-being by connecting them and their families to community-based resources, life skill supports, and essential mental health services. Prior to joining AANE, Iceis was a certified wraparound care coordinator and statewide coach trainer for a well known behavioral health agency in Connecticut. She dual-majored in human services and psychology while earning her BS from the University of Bridgeport, and received her MSW from Springfield College. Iceis enjoys laughing, learning, dancing, and rolling her sleeves up to play in the mud.

Prafulla Patil is a LifeNet MA Clinical Case Manager/Personal Advocate who brings a caring attitude along with his twelve years experience as a licensed occupational therapy professional to AANE. Since completing his master’s degree in occupational therapy from Tufts University, he has worked extensively with adults with various cognitive, neurological, orthopedic, and psychiatric conditions in Massachusetts. He has served as rehabilitation department director at a skilled nursing facility in Greater Boston, and as staff occupational therapist for several more. Previously, he worked at a multidisciplinary child development clinic in Mumbai, India for children with autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, LD, and other developmental differences, and served as vice principal for a school for students with autism there. In his free time, Prafulla enjoys watching offbeat films and reading classics, although since having his first daughter Ayana in June 2020, he considers being a dad as his favorite occupation.

Support Partners: Direct support professionals who specialize in in-home or community-based support visits with LifeNet adults, providing direct care and accompaniment in the life skill areas prioritized in each adult’s LifeNet Support Plan. Support Partners work closely with LifeNet Clinical Case Managers/Personal Advocates to monitor each adult’s overall health, safety, and well-being.

Betsy DeLorenzo is LifeNet’s inaugural Support Partner. Betsy has more than 20 years of professional experience supporting people with autism and other developmental differences in school, work, community, and home-based settings. Betsy also serves as a live-in caregiver to an adult brother on the spectrum, with whom she volunteers on a regular basis at a respected local cat shelter. In her spare time, she is pursuing a degree in animal-assisted therapy.

Marion Calabro has professional experience serving in both residential and community outreach services for adults. She spent a year as the Commonwealth Corps Service Member at an organization in Worcester serving adult individuals affected by homelessness. She earned a BA in history from Worcester State University. In her free time, Marion enjoys spending time with her three-legged cat, Ralph, being a dungeon master in two Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, visiting alpaca farms, and running 5K races.

Deneé Ligon has supported adults with autism and other health and behavioral needs throughout the adult lifecourse for the past eight years. Deneé is committed to advocating for the dignity, respect, and safety of all adults in her care, as she pursues her career as a social work professional. When not at work, Deneé enjoys spending quality time with her beautiful 2-year old daughter and loves being a dance mom.

Brendan Stock has been working in the field of special education and adult services in Massachusetts for the past six years. He has served in multiple roles during that time, including as personal care attendant (PCA), paraprofessional, classroom instructor, job coach, ABA behavioral technician, and vocational case manager. When he isn’t working, Brendan is pursuing a degree in human services, and also enjoys playing golf and watching sports.

Bob Waters is the LifeNet Client Support/Admin Coordinator. As an autistic advocate and a longtime volunteer at AANE and other New England-area organizations that support neurodivergent people, he has a deep commitment to ensuring that neurodivergent people have access to professional, academic, and personal lives that are fulfilling, healthy, and secure. To this end, he has worked at the NextStep college living preparedness program run by the Judge Baker Children's Center and has helped facilitate several educational workshops through AANE. He earned his BA with honors in history and theater from Clark University. In his free time, Bob loves to sing, write, attend live theater, take piano lessons, and watch documentaries.

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