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Family Satisfaction Team

Meet the Team

  • Clare Higgins
    Clare Higgins

    Clare, FamilyWorx and FST Program Director, graduated from the University of Notre Dame with dual degrees in marketing and sociology. She met her husband, Bill, in college and has been happily married for over 30 years. Clare has a professional background in business and spent many years as an international fashion buyer. Clare and Bill have eight amazing children-six biological and two adopted from Eastern Europe. Raising her adopted children, who had significant trauma narratives and both physical and behavioral health challenges, fueled Clare’s passion for helping others to navigate the child serving systems in a way that they could feel safe, seen, and heard. Clare has been involved in peer work for over 17 years. She is trained in a number of signature programs through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and has achieved the highest level of trauma-informed care certification through Lakeside Global Institute. Clare is involved in multiple state and county initiatives and work groups aimed at improving youth and family experiences in the behavioral health systems, with a special interest in improving safety for children in congregate care. Clare is committed to the mission and values of peer work and strongly believes in the value of sharing lived experience to empower others and provide hope. She is thrilled to work with a team of individuals who equally value this work, and can rely on each other for support, guidance, and continued growth. Clare is an avid sewer, crafter, and seamstress, and in her spare time enjoys spending time with her family and pets, appreciating nature, laughing, walking, and volunteering.

  • Caitlin Kelley
    Caitlin Kelley

    Caitlin, FST Program Supervisor, completed her B.A. at McGill University with a major in psychology and minors in behavioral science and world religion. During her undergrad she was involved in research projects related to adolescent psychology, social psychiatry, and social studies of medicine. She went on to complete her M.A. in Applied Health Science at Brock University, specializing in community health in the Behavioral Health Sciences Research Lab. Her Master’s thesis focused on the relationship between markers of psychological wellbeing and physical activity outdoors. Her research interests have focused on how research can be used to help build community and facilitate social change. Caitlin has been involved in peer support since 2011 where she first was introduced to peer work during her post-secondary studies. At every institution she has attended, she has been involved in peer work as both a peer support partner and as an advocate for peer work. A dedication to peer work, foundational to the mission of HopeWorx, is what excited Caitlin about joining HopeWorx. Caitlin values the opportunity she’s been afforded at HopeWorx to blend her lived experience with her own mental health and passion for research. Prior to joining the Family Satisfaction Team (FST), she was a Research Specialist for the same team which was housed within another agency until July 2021 when the FST contract was awarded to HopeWorx. Caitlin is committed to empowering and connecting families within Montgomery County by amplifying their voice to a range of stakeholders within the community. In her spare time, Caitlin enjoys hiking, bird watching, and creative writing.

  • Madeline Grund
    Madeline Grund

    Madeline, FST Research Specialist, graduated from American University with a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. During her undergrad, Madeline was a part of on-campus organizations such as Students Against Sexual Violence and Women’s Initiative. Prior to joining HopeWorx as a Research Assistant, Madeline has worked with other non-profits with a focus on social and cultural studies and community outreach and organization. Madeline is grateful for the opportunity to utilize both her personal and professional experience to advocate for her community.

  • Morgan Fowlie
    Morgan Fowlie

    Morgan, FST Research Specialist, graduated with a B.A. from Rutgers University with a major in psychology and a minor in biological sciences. During her undergrad years, she was involved in peer work as a mentor for transfer students and was involved in research projects related to social and political psychology. Before joining HopeWorx, Morgan worked in the field of healthcare and is grateful for the opportunity to combine her research interests, passion for healthcare, and own lived mental health journey in her work as a Research Assistant for FST. In her free time, Morgan enjoys baking and hanging out with her cats.

  • Irene Pusey
    Irene Pusey

    Irene, FST Interviewer, born and raised in Montgomery County, has personally navigated the local resources and medical assistance from a very young age. Having lived this experience has provided her with perspective on mental health adversity and has encouraged her to give back to the community. Irene is currently pursuing a degree in social work aspiring to specialize in crisis response. She hopes to empower others by breaking down barriers and encourage others to voice their stories to promote change. In her free time, she enjoys learning sign-language or going on adventures with her rescue pup, Leia.

Thank You For Making A Difference!