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Conference speakers and panelists


Dr. R. Scott Akins, D.O. 
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics 
Section Chief, Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics 
Medical Director UC Davis MIND Institute

Dr. Akins is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician specializing in the care of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. He is the Chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Associate Director of the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and Medical Director at the UC Davis, MIND Institute.  Prior to joining the MIND Institute, Dr. Akins was a general pediatrician, then a developmental pediatrician in the US Navy, where he served as Community Leader for Developmental Pediatrics and then as the Children’s Health Community Leader and Advisor to the Surgeon General.  


He has special clinical interest and expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Intellectual Disability and Trisomy 21. Dr. Akins' research has focused on telehealth supports to families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in remote communities, partnerships between pediatric specialty providers, schools and medical home providers and utilization of complementary and alternative medicine in families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. 


Lesley Canizalez, M.A., B.C.B.A.

Lesley Canizalez has a master’s in education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). She became certified as a Behavior Analyst in 2021 and has been working with children on the spectrum since 2015. In 2015, she started in the filled as a registered behavior technician (RBT). In 2017 she became a clinical Supervisor and a BCBA in 2021. She currently works as the Director of Children’s Services for Special Care Services. She has always enjoyed working with children and loves to see them grow and succeed in their environment.


Susan Andrien, L.M.F.T. 
C.E.O., Hope Reimagined 
Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics Trainer 

Susan Andrien is a visionary leader and advocate in the field of mental health and community wellbeing. As the CEO and Founder of Hope Reimagined, she brings over two and a half decades of invaluable experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her journey in the mental health sector has been driven by a profound commitment to nurturing the holistic health of communities, making her a respected and influential figure in the field. 

Susan's expertise extends beyond traditional therapy; she is a certified Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) Level II Trainer. This specialization equips her with a unique set of skills to address complex psychological issues by understanding and applying principles related to brain development and trauma. Her work with NMT underscores her dedication to innovative and effective therapeutic 

approaches, ensuring that individuals receive care that is both compassionate and scientifically grounded.

In addition to her role at Hope Reimagined, Susan holds the position of Director of Wraparound Supports at Destiny Arts Center, further amplifying her impact on community wellbeing. This role enables her to integrate her therapeutic expertise with educational and artistic initiatives, fostering environments where young people can thrive emotionally, socially, and creatively.


Dr. Lindsey Diamond, Ph.D.

Dr. Diamond is Chair of Educator Preparation and Associate Professor of Special Education in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Diamond teaches courses at the graduate level, advises graduate students in special education and undergraduate students in the Developmental Disabilities Minor, and is active on multiple grants. She is the Project Director for The Nevada Collaborative: Interdisciplinary Training to Improve Educational Opportunities for Young Children with Autism (NVC). NVC is an interdisciplinary personnel preparation program funded by the United States Department of Education (USDOE) through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to address state-wide shortages of qualified personnel serving young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have high-intensity needs by training Early Childhood Special Educators (ECSE) and Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) scholars. Additionally, Dr. Diamond is Co-Pi of a doctoral preparation grant, Project SELF: Special Education Leaders of the Future, and a faculty member on NvLEND: Nevada Leadership Education Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities. Her current research involves the availability of quality early childhood and special education services for young children, interdisciplinary training programs, universal design for effective and engaging instruction, both in-school and out-of-school support for families and children, and disability awareness among first responders and medical providers. 


Dr. Rachel Gilgoff, M.D.  

Integrative Medicine Specialist, GetzWell Personalized Pediatrics 

As a board-certified general pediatrician, child abuse pediatrician, and integrative medicine specialist, Dr. Gilgoff brings a multidisciplinary approach to ACEs, toxic stress, healing, and well-being. Over the course of her career, she has been the Medical Director of the Clinical Innovations and Research Team within Center for Youth Wellness, and co-founder of the National Committee on Asthma and Toxic Stress. She co-developed the Resiliency Clinic, a group clinic intervention model to treat toxic stress. More recently, she co-created the ACEs Aware Stress Busters Resource Webpage, sharing tools and resources to prevent and heal toxic stress as well as the “Stress Busters: Clinical Strategies for Preventing and Mitigating Toxic Stress,” a free, on-line course to help health care professionals develop their clinical response to childhood adversity and toxic stress through a comprehensive exploration of seven evidence-based, stress management strategies, called stress busters. She is currently an advisor with the California Aces Aware Initiative, clinician at the StressWell, GetzWell Pediatric clinic in San Francisco, and an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.    


Dr. Elizabeth D. Grady, M.D.
Pediatrician, South San Francisco Clinic, San Mateo County Health 

Beth Grady, M.D. is a pediatrician who has been caring for low income children and teens in San Mateo County, California for over 25 years. Her professional interests include promoting a strengths-based neurodiversity model for pediatric primary care and making neurodiversity-positive resources and supports accessible to low income and non-English speaking patients and families. She is particularly interested in the intersection between neurodiversity and trauma. Since 2015, Dr. Grady has led the San Mateo Medical Center’s effort to implement Trauma Informed Care, including participating in the Center for Care Innovation’s Resilient Beginnings Collaborative


Katharine Harlan Owens 
Master's Entry Program in Nursing Student (Class of 2024) 
Program Manager, The PATH Program 
CEDD at the UC Davis MIND Institute 
Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities 

Katharine Harlan Owens is the Program Manager of the PATH program and Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the UC Davis MIND Institute. is enthusiastic and committed parent-advocate currently studying to become a Registered Nurse in the healthcare industry. She has extensive personal experience navigating ASD and ADHD specific therapeutic and clinical services. She is well versed in drafting and advocating for IEP’s within the public schools. She professionally offers strength in patient advocacy, problem solving, administrative services, and excellent at multi-tasking.


Dr. John A Salvato M.D. FAAP 
Medical Director, Early Developmental Screening Kaiser Permanente- TPMG Northern CA 

Dr Salvato is a board certified developmental and behavioral pediatrician, which means he specializes in helping families take care of children with learning, behavioral and developmental issues.  He received his training at the Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester New York.  He is also a board-certified pediatrician and has dedicated his life to the health and well-being of children. 

Dr Salvato provided developmental and pediatric services in Maine for 29 years.  He was the Medical Director of the Edmund Ervin Pediatric Center in Augusta ME till 2010. And then he decided to join the US Navy where he met one of his mentors and a speaker at today’s conference.  He grew up in Boston but feels as if he is from Maine, especially since he now lives in Folsom California.  He has 

three adult children, one of whom is neurodivergent, but who made it through college with an IEP and even ran competitively for the XC team. Most importantly they are all good-looking and athletic like their dad. 

Dr Salvato owned and operated an indoor playground and preschool in Maine for 15 years, claiming that’s where he really learned about developmental pediatrics.


Dr. Randolph Thomas, M.D. F.A.A.P.
Pediatrician, Sutter Medical Group 

Dr. Thomas has been with the Sutter medical Group as a primary pediatrician since 1998. He has participated  in numerous community efforts, including Board of Directors, Youth and Family Services of Solano County from 1992 to 2014, being a Member, Partnership HealthPlan of California Quality/Utilization Advisory Committee, from 2000 to present. Dr. Thomas also was on the Board of Directors for First 5 Solano Children’s and Family Commission from 2002 to 2003. 

His recent Honors and Awards include 2018 Sutter Medical Network Patient’s Choice Award for Primary Care in Sutter Health Valley Area, Best Doctor of the Year for Solano County , Partnership Healthplan in 2012, Act of Kindness and Philanthropy Hero from American Red Cross in 2012. He was also named Medical Practitioner of the Year by the Child Abuse Prevention Council, Children’s Network of Solano County in 2007.


Judy Yang, D. O. Pediatrics
Northbay Health Primary Care

As a pediatrician, Dr. Yang cares for children from birth to age 18 years. She is a believer in partnering with and educating parents and caregivers about health promotion and maintenance to help their children thrive throughout their lifetime. She has a special focus on chronic problems that impact a child's daily quality of life. With a background in public health, she contributes to not only keeping the family healthy, but also the community. Dr. Yang leads the Pediatric Immunizations Quality Improvement work group at NorthBay Healthcare. She has a strong interest in promoting early literacy and is the Regional Medical Director for the national grant-funded Reach Out and Read program. 


Hanadi Isbeih, M.A., B.C.B.A.

Hanadi Isbeih is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. She has been in the field for 8 years, starting as an RBT and working her way up to her current BCBA role. She primarily works with children with ASD of varying ranges in the clinical setting. While working directly with children, she works at pairing children with other services to provide training on behavioral management outside of the ABA setting. She loves watching all the growth that occurs and the impact and difference ABA makes in her client’s lives.


Elyse Sutherland, M.A., CCC-SLP  
 Elyse Sutherland is a California licensed and American Speech Language and Hearing Association

Certificate of Clinical Competence holder, speech and language pathologist who currently works as a contractor for BMR Health Services, Inc. and iTalk Therapies. She has been contracted to local school districts for the past five years, specifically to work with students with Autism and Autism like characteristics at the elementary school level.  Additionally, she works with families of young children to promote language development in the home. She has a deep passion for alternative and augmentative communication and making sure that every student has a way to express themselves. She loves using things that motivate the child to promote communication, through play and other hands-on activities such as speech science experiments. Lastly, with a background in music she loves to incorporate songs, movement, and dance into her sessions. When not working, Elyse enjoys going to Comic Cons, building Disney Legos, and playing her bass guitar or cello.


Tina Blythe, O.T.R., Children's Therapy Works

Tina Blythe has been the Owner and Occupational Therapist of Children’s Therapy Works since 2008. Tina specializes in providing treatment for clients birth to geriatric in hospital and outpatient clinic settings who have ASD, CP, Developmental Delays, Down Syndrome, Erb’s Palsy, SPD, FAS, Williams Syndrome Prematurity, CVA, TBI, SCI and burn injuries. Tina has also participated in many community efforts and is a current member of professional organizations such as OTAC, AOTA, and 100 Women Who Care Solano.

Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest
Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM) requires faculty, planners, and others in control of educational
content to disclose all their financial relationships with ineligible companies. All identified conflicts of interest
(COI) are thoroughly vetted and mitigated according to PIM policy. The existence or absence of COI for
everyone in a position to control educational content will be disclosed to participants prior to the start of each
The faculty reported the following relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities related to the
educational content of this CE activity. These relationships have been mitigated:
Dr. Scott Akins, D.O. has noth
ing to disclose
Dr. Lindsey Diamond, Ph.D. has nothing to disclose

Dr. John A Salvato M.D. FAAP has nothing to disclose
Dr. Rachel Gilgoff, M.D. has nothing to disclose
Dr. Elizabeth D. Grady, M.D. has nothing to disclose
Dr. Randolph Thomas, M.D. has nothing to disclose
Dr. Judy Yang, D.O. has nothing to disclose
Susan Andrien LMFT has nothing to disclose
Katharine Harlan Owens has nothing to disclose

The PIM planners and others have nothing to disclose. The Special Care Services and partner conference
planners and others have nothing to disclose.

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