LifeNet – About Us


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.

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.

Lynn Kelly is LifeNet’s inaugural Clinical Case Manager/Personal Advocate in New York. Lynn is a licensed mental health counselor who has devoted much of her career to supporting individuals with autism and other developmental differences, starting off as a direct service professional in a residential setting. After obtaining her master’s degree, she worked as a behavior intervention specialist both residentially and in a day program for adults on the spectrum. In this role she oversaw the diverse clinical programming designed for each individual she supported. Lynn completed her BA in psychology from Hofstra University, and her masters of science in education in mental health counseling from St. John’s University in Queens. When Lynn is not working, she enjoys spending her free time with her wife and their two dogs.

Yezmin Almanza is a LifeNet Clinical Case Manager/Personal Advocate for Massachusetts. Born and raised in Mexico, she moved to the US to complete her BA in psychology and a MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Yezmin has clinical experience working with adults, couples and families in outpatient as well as residential programs. In 2018, Yezmin successfully completed AANE’s AsperCoach training program. Since then, with a comprehensive whole-person approach, she has worked helping autistic adults on the path towards independence. In her free time, Yezmin loves traveling, skiing and immersing herself in artistic endeavors.

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.

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.

Meghan O'Donnell has more than 15 years of professional and personal experience serving the Asperger/autism population as well as those with intellectual and behavioral challenges in a variety of settings including residential group homes, schools, and hospitals. Megan has a lifelong passion for developing inclusive activities for people of all abilities, helping launch and coach a unified youth sports program in her Connecticut community. In her free time Meghan enjoys spending time with her children and their service dog Bella, and likes to explore and go on new adventures with them. Meghan obtained her associate's degree in human services from the University of Rhode Island with plans to pursue an MSW degree in the years ahead.

Julie L’Heureux has professional experience supporting adults with developmental differences in residential and community-based programs. She is trained in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and served as a program manager, group facilitator, and housing coordinator for a provider agency in southeastern Massachusetts. Julie earned a BS in psychology from Bridgewater State College, and in her spare time is a nature photographer who volunteers with several local conservation groups. She enjoys kayaking, hiking with her dog, spending time in nature, and creating art.

Lindsey Stilson has been working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities for 14 years in the Western New York and NYC regions. She initially worked in residential group home settings before transitioning into community-based day habilitation and prevocational settings. In addition to her role as an AANE LifeNet NY Support Partner, Lindsey serves as Outreach & Marketing Specialist at Goodwill NY/NJ. When Lindsey is not working,  she enjoys spending time exploring the city, camping, and watching hockey and football.

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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