Growing Pains, Seeing Gains: Improving Youth Transitions

Thursday, August 16th
10:00am – 11:30am

Transitioning from youth to adulthood requires increased responsibility for many areas of life, including managing one’s health. This can be particularly challenging for children with a range of social and health care needs, particularly children with special health care needs. Policymakers from several states, including Georgia and Wisconsin, discuss innovative approaches to support young adults’ transitions to adult health care services and programs through managed care, quality improvement, family engagement, care coordination, and interagency collaboration and cooperation.

This session is supported by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health


Lori Abramson, Director-Georgia Families 360, Georgia Department of Community Health

Lori Abramson, LCSW is Director of the Georgia Families 360° program at the Georgia Department of Community Health. She ensures that children in foster care, adoption assistance, and youth in the juvenile justice system receive medical, dental, and behadvioral health care without barriers. Lori has 38 years’ experience in clinical practice, advocacy, collaboration building, and the managed care environment. Lori’s professional focus is about leveraging that experience on behalf of Georgia’s children and families.


Donna Bradbury, Associate Commissioner, NYS Office of Mental Health

Donna Bradbury directs the Division of Integrated Community Services for Children and Families at the Office of Mental Health. She oversees all community-based children’s mental health programs in New York State. She is currently leading the effort to transition children’s behavioral health services into Medicaid managed care as part of the larger Medicaid Redesign project.

Prior to state service, Donna worked for twelve years for the Rensselaer County Department of Mental Health. She delivered clinical services to children and their families, served as a consultant to Family Court as well as county-operated human service departments and schools, ran a specialized treatment program which successfully prevented institutional placement for many youth, and assisted in the creation and implementation of several interagency initiatives that resulted in children and their families having easier access to better quality services.



Becky Burns, Statewide Coordinator, Wisconsin Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program

Becky’s career centers on supporting children and families whose lives have been affected by unanticipated journeys through the world of disability services. She treasures the opportunities to work with these families whose resilience and growth continues to astound her. With a Master’s of Science in Social Work, she has used her education along with her personal experience of being raised in a family with a child who has a disability to influence her work with families. She has worked in one capacity or another for the state of WI for over 18 years.

Gordon Lee, Health Program Administrator, KY Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs

Lee holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and a Bachelor of Health Science in Health Administration. He is employed by the Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs (OCSHCN) where he carries out the duties of the agency’s Transition Administrator. Lee works with children, adolescents, families, support groups, service providers and OCSHCN staff to help ensure that Kentucky’s children with disabilities are prepared to successfully transition from pediatric to adult health care, from school to work, and from home to independent living. Lee coordinates the activities of the OCSHCN’s Youth and Parent Advisory Councils.

Peggy McManus, President, The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health

Peggy McManus is President of The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health and Co-Director of Got Transition. With Dr. White, she led the revision of the Six Core Elements of Health Care Transition, developed new transition quality improvement and consumer feedback measurement tools, published systematic reviews on transition outcomes and measures, and published extensively on transition quality improvement, payment options, state Title V transition efforts, and the status of transition preparation in the US.