Meet the Staff
Rebecca Starr, MBA, LICSW - ATR Project Director
Rebecca is a senior program manager at AHP. Her career has spanned work in behavioral and medical health care, elder care, nonprofit management, and higher education. The common link among them is her passion to support people and organizations in their desire to improve and reach their highest potential. She has special skills in leading and developing teams, building partnerships, building organizational capacity, developing innovative programs, marketing, operations improvement, management, and strategy. Rebecca has managed the ATR program since its inception in 2010, when she was the only staff person on the ATR team. She has built a wonderfully talented team filled with great people who provide our participants and providers with excellent customer service. Rebecca runs a tight ship with many complex moving parts that has literally changed the lives of thousands of people in Massachusetts.
When not working, Rebecca is spending time with her dog, Bruschi (named after famed New England Patriot – Tedy Bruschi), her two grown children, or furiously trying to finish the latest book for her upcoming book club meeting.
Christine Porter - ATR Technology Project Analyst
Christine joined the ATR team just prior to our enrolling our very first participant in January 2011. She is the person who works behind the scene to make sure the system runs efficiently so participants can receive the services they need, and providers can be reimbursed for those services. She is known as the “WITS Guru” because she manages the extremely complex Massachusetts Web Infrastructure for Treatment Services (WITS) voucher management system and is the key liaison with the program service providers and program care coordinators, all of whom utilize the WITS system in working with ATR’s participants.
Before joining AHP, Christine served as project coordinator for a high-tech computer company, where she endeavored to increase her abilities during her 20 years with the company.
On a personal note, Christine loves her husband Dennis, horses, antiques, and crafting – pretty much in that order.
Brita Loftus, MSW, MPH - ATR Program Manager
A Program Associate for Advocates for Human Potential (AHP), Brita has a deep knowledge of and experience with the challenges facing people who are struggling with or are in recovery from substance use disorders, including opioid use and overdose prevention strategies, and is a champion of recovery-oriented systems of care (ROSCs). She possesses strong skills in policy and practice design, program coordination, strategic planning, community outreach and cultivation, and verbal and written communication.
Brita joined the ATR team in 2017. She oversees the entire ATR Coordination process, working closely with the ATR Coordinators to provide comprehensive support, training and leadership for the ATR Program. Brita also manages the Recovery Coaching initiatives and does community outreach within the four cities where ATR operates (Greater Boston, Greater Springfield, New Bedford and Worcester), creating standardized and rigorous protocols so that all participants have access to a confidential and client-centered system of care.
Prior to joining the ATR team, Brita managed a Syringe Access Program in Holyoke, MA, which provided harm reduction and overdose prevention services to active drug users. She is passionate about helping individuals access services that help them live healthy, meaningful lives.
When not working, Brita enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, traveling, and trying new restaurants (especially when traveling!).
Kristin J. Miller, MSW - ATR Data & Quality Assurance Manager
Kristin is a Senior Program Associate at Advocates for Human Potential (AHP), where she supports state and federal government contracts in the areas of research and evaluation, evidence-based practices (EBPs), training and technical assistance (TA), materials development, and project management.
Prior to joining the ATR team, Kristin managed new submissions and dissemination reviews for SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), and she has since supported data collection, staff management, and data analysis for several large-scale evaluations for behavioral health programs. Kristin now oversees all data collection, sharing, analysis, and reporting efforts for ATR and its Career Building Initiative (CBI) Program.
Away from ATR, Kristin can be found playing with her kids or at the potter’s wheel honing her clay skills.
Toni Lynn Pakus - ATR Customer Relations Specialist
As Project Assistant for Advocates for Human Potential (AHP), Toni joined the ATR team in 2017 as Customer Relations Specialist. She provides support to the entire ATR team, providers, coordinators, referring agencies, and individuals seeking ATR services. Toni is the first person many people connect with when seeking to understand more about what the ATR program is all about. She helps individuals to understand the proper steps for enrollment including how to connect with an appropriate referral provider; she helps referrers understand the proper steps for making referrals; and supports providers with training with the various reporting mechanisms needed to maintain our data records.
She is passionate about providing support to all who are seeking guidance and making sure they get to the proper resources to get what they need to help them with their substance use issues. Especially with regards to our expanding Career Building Initiative (CBI) Program, Toni serves as the registrar of the 500+ person program, tracking all enrollments and completions and reporting for our providers, coordinators and participants. Always verifying the accuracy of our data, she is consistently working to improve data gathering and reporting mechanisms. She also maintains many of the web-based information products of ATR.
In her personal time, Toni likes spending time with her family, crafting and sharing her passion for healthier living – body, mind, and spirit.
Suzannah Kratz, MEd - ATR Provider Support & Communications Manager
An Advocates for Human Potential (AHP) program associate, Suzannah has worked on multiple federally funded projects as part of AHP’s Center for Research and Evaluation and, currently, AHP’s Center for Technical Assistance. Suzannah has experience in quantitative and qualitative data collection; evaluation methods and analysis; and in the reporting of program, treatment, and technical assistance (TA) results to government officials and treatment facilities. She recently joined the ATR Team where she is responsible for handling the application and authorization process for both new and renewing ATR providers, as well as doing evaluation and quality control tasks with ATR participants and coordinating the distribution of all external and official ATR program communications.
When not working, Suzannah can be found trying to corral her five children. Needless to say, juggling several things at once is her specialty.
Ian Lisman, MPP - CBI Program Manager
A senior program associate for Advocates for Human Potential (AHP), Ian recently moved to Massachusetts from Denver to join the ATR team. He coordinates the CBI program and will work to expand its network of partners and providers so that even more job training options will exist for our participants.
Ian is a U.S. Army combat veteran of the first Gulf War who has championed the cause of veteran issues, particularly homelessness among veterans, poverty, employment, and reintegration into society. He has worked in the field for more than fifteen years and has served our nation’s heroes at the local program level and advocated for them at the national level. Ian’s other work includes presenting at local and national conferences and seminars, acting as a liaison between administration officials and members of Congress, lobbying for legislation to end and prevent veteran homelessness, providing leaders and policymakers with research data, analysis, and recommending outcome-driven evidence-based practices.
On a personal note, Ian likes to travel, sleep, and has a pet hybrid slider turtle named “Champ”.
Carole Goldberg, MA - ATR Program Audit Manager
Carole Goldberg has served as the MA-ATR Program Audit Manager since the program’s inception in 2010. In this capacity, she conducts an annual Quality Assurance (QA) Audit to ensure that ATR funds are managed, distributed and documented appropriately. In addition to site visits to review provider records for accuracy and compliance, the QA Review includes desk audits, training (technical assistance), interviews, and class visits to ensure and promote fiscal, administrative and confidentiality safeguards. Expertise includes risk assessment and management; data collection and analysis; financial investigation; and development of reports and instruments to support programmatic administration. Carole also has experience in grant management, curriculum design and evaluation, and diversity and cultural competency initiatives for health care and policy institutions.
Carole is ATR’s “eyes and ears on the ground” and keeps us all on our toes making sure we adhere to strict standards of confidentiality and responsible fiscal management.
Carole loves to spend her spare time with her husband and visiting with family across the country. Carole also competes in tournament-level bridge, and has achieved the rank of Ruby Life Master.