Helping People Succeed Coordinates New Autism Council: More than 20 vested community leaders joined in at the Kick-Off meeting

Helping People Succeed has coordinated its first meeting of the newly-formed Autism Program Council, comprised of community leaders, autism specialists and family members affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Recently, the Center for Disease Control reported that one in 68 children will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder each year. Four out of five diagnosed will be boys.

“There is a need right here on the Treasure Coast to provide services and resources to those affected and their families,” said Suzy Hutcheson, who welcomed the group at the Autism Center at 320 Florida St. in Stuart.

She informed the new council members of “where we have been, where we are and where we want to be,” The goal is for Helping People Succeed to be the lead provider of autism services on the Treasure Coast. This will eliminate a lot of stress for families who now have to drive hours for such services.

The Autism Program Council will be focused on the following four areas of interest: collaboration and partnerships, program, development, advocacy and fund development. Helping People Succeed has been active in the area of autism for the last three years – yet the time is now as there is a great need for expansion.

Serving on the committee will be: Lee Borellis, Melissa Burkhard, Phyllis Gillespie, Rob Gluckman, Sarah Gosney, State Representative Gayle Harrell, Allen Herskowitz, Bonney Johnson, Simon Kabdebo, Dr. Sarrie Katz, Susan King, Dr. Jose Marrero, Terri Neil, Mary Ellen Quinn-Lunny, Stacie Routt, Joanne Sweazy, Carol Taylor-Moore, Jeannine Warren, Michelle Weiler and Dr. Genon Wincena.

Kathy Derringer, VP/ Successful Families, explained the BRAIN (Building Readiness Among Infants Now) and Infant / Toddler Social Communications programs, already receiving diagnoses.

Pam Christofori, VP/Autism Services, handles assessments for a quick diagnosis. “We’re stepping outside the box,” Christofori said. She encouraged the newly-formed Council to “watch the magic” that will result from many programs.

Hutcheson outlined Helping People Succeed’s funding sources during the last few years, as well as explaining Medicaid payments, insurance, grants and contributions. She is also talking with legislators about more health-related funding. For additional information, contact 772.320.0770 or go online at

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Helping People Succeed transforms lives by realizing potential, creating hope and building futures through education, counseling, training and employment.

Our passion is building successful families and futures–one life at a time!

Helping People Succeed
1601 NE Braille Pl
Jensen Beach, FL 34957

Tel: 772.320.0770


Healthy Families Florida
Healthy Families America
Ounce of Prevention Fund
 Florida Department of Children and Families
Agency for Persons With Disabilities
United Way of Martin County
United Way of St. Lucie County
United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee
Cleveland Clinic Martin Health
 Children's Services Council Martin County
Children's Services Council St. Lucie County
Children's Services Council of Okeechobee County
Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network
Florida Department of Education Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
The Community Foundation Martin - St. Lucie
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida KidCare
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities
*The Florida Department of Children and Families. Partially funded by the Martin County School District.

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