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Centria Autism Bolsters Clinical Leadership, Focused On Leading Clinical Excellence

By: Centria Healthcare / 06 Jun 2022

Centria Autism is on a mission to change the industry.

Centria Autism, one of the largest ABA providers in the nation, recently announced its world-class Clinical Excellence team in an effort to employ an agency-wide shift towards a values-driven framework. The Clinical Excellence team is led by Chief Clinical Officer Timothy Yeager. Together the Clinical Excellence team has developed a new clinical philosophy called the "Do Wonders" Framework. This industry-leading values-based system provides an outcomes framework that is both big picture meaningful and sensitive to the therapeutic changes that occur daily. This investment represents Centria's commitment to clinical quality informed by best practice standards, compassionate care models, and an intensive BCBA mentorship program. This framework utilizes our proprietary software, CareConnect, and is set up to utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to leverage the hundreds of millions of data points captured every year.

In addition to developing the "Do Wonders" Framework, the Clinical Excellence Team also announced a robust mentorship program provided to current and future clinicians as they onboard into the company. This effort supports the organizational shift toward a more effective value-based care model that improves clinical outcomes.

"We now have a clearly defined framework outlining our expectations for high-quality ABA, from assessment to discharge. The thing that is differentiating us at Centria is that aligned to our system and standards, we have a support infrastructure to help implement this best-in-class therapy…and do it well. A number of BCBAs can take online training courses that talk about how to do it and ultimately fail to apply it to practice - at Centria; we're not going to let that happen. Twenty-five weeks of mentorship is only the beginning of the work we are doing to best support our people.  " - Timothy Yeager, Chief Clinical Officer of Centria Autism

The Clinical Excellence Team

Leading this shift is Timothy Yeager, newly appointed Chief Clinical Officer. Yeager earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Mathematics at California State University Fresno, followed by multiple master's degrees from Teachers College Columbia University and his Ph.D. coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis through Columbia University. His previous work has included early childhood and primary education, serving as faculty in Special Education and ABA at CSU Fresno, the Executive Director of the Behavioral Sciences Institute, and later as a director for Easter Seals California. Timothy leads the team towards clinical excellence in this new initiative.

Dr. Emily Callahan joined the Centria Autism team in August of 2021 as the Vice President of Clinical Quality. Callahan is responsible for developing and overseeing systems and processes to assess the quality of clinical services and the outcomes for clients being served by the Centria team. Callahan is making significant adjustments to Centria's proprietary data collection tool, CareConnect, allowing clinicians and client families to develop a plan, identify and resolve barriers, and execute more effectively for successful client outcomes. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) licensed in Virginia. 

Prior to joining Centria, Emily was the first Executive Director of the Council of Autism Service Providers (CASP), an organization that cultivates, shares, and advocates for providing best practices in autism services. Past positions also included the Director of Outpatient Behavioral Services at the Virginia Institute of Autism, the Coordinator of Development, Research, and Training at the Institute for Child Development (ICD) at SUNY Binghamton, and an Adjunct Professor in the Psychology program at SUNY Binghamton. 

Hillary Laney serves as the Vice President of Functional Assessment and Treatment, is a board-certified behavior analyst, and received her M. Ed from the University of Washington. She brings with her ten years of direct service experience, including time as a Severe Behavior Consultant providing consultative services to agencies, schools, and clients in implementing Practical Functional Assessment and Skills-Based Treatment (PFA/SBT). Hillary is a founder and active administrator of an online community created to support practitioners using the PFA and SBT, with over 15,000 members. At Centria, Hillary is responsible for developing and overseeing universal protocols, training, and implementation related to the Practical Functional Assessment and Skills-Based Treatment (PFA/SBT). Including this, Hillary leads the new BCBA mentorship program that supports clinicians in effectively applying these models. She will guide clinical practices which prioritize safety, dignity, effectiveness, and rapport-based treatments for challenging and interfering behaviors exhibited by clients at Centria.

Anne Boardman joined the Centria Autism team as the Vice President of Clinical Performance and Innovation at Centria. Anne is one of Centria's founding BCBAs, starting as one of just four in the company, and has dedicated her career to the company since 2014. Anne soon advanced to Regional and Executive Clinical Director. Anne received her undergraduate in Behavioral Psychology from Western Michigan University and a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis through the Chicago School of Professional Psychology of Los Angeles.

Kajza Coats joins the Centria Autism team as the Vice President of Clinical Training and Development. Using innovative methodologies rooted in applied behavior analysis, she guides effective training and the implementation of all clinical initiatives, including the new BCBA mentorship program with Hillary Laney. Kajza brings over ten years of experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum and various other developmental disabilities. Kajza is a board-certified behavior analyst with a background that includes providing direct services, supervision, caregiver coaching, and mentorship. Kajza has also successfully led expansion efforts across multiple states. She supported the systematic training and integration of numerous behavior analytic agencies as they merged into a single company with united clinical practices and processes. Kajza is focused on embedding teaching assent and consent practices in behavior analytic treatment, expanding evidence-based training to large-scale organizations, and assessing the impact of pyramidal teaching in multi-state practices

If you are a BCBA interested in learning more about Centria's shift to compassionate care or are interested in being part of the shift, please reach out to or visit our website at 

About Centria Autism:

Centria Autism, an operating division of Centria Healthcare, is a leading national provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for children with autism and their families. With its national headquarters in Michigan, and more than 3,500 clinical staff working in 14 states, Centria's "Do Wonder"s Framework approach combines child-centered, evidence-based ABA with best practices to help children with ASD have the best developmental experience possible and acquire the skills to live independently and succeed in the world on their terms.

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If you believe your child may have autism, Centria Autism is there to provide guidance and support every step of the way

If you believe your child may have autism, Centria Autism is there to provide guidance and support every step of the way

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