Evaluation Team

Our mission is to provide data to support decision-making meant to improve quality of care, optimize health outcomes, and lower the costs of behavioral healthcare within Thresholds and throughout the behavioral healthcare system. We focus on:

» Reporting on quality indicators and outcomes, identifying areas for improvement, collaborating on change plans, implementing test cycles, and measuring their impact in order to bring sustainable change to scale
» Ensuring that Thresholds’ senior leaders have the information necessary to effectively respond to rapidly changing healthcare contexts
» Promoting a culture of learning and evaluation while increasing the data literacy of Thresholds’ behavioral healthcare workforce


Samantha Mestan, MSW, Evaluation Manager

Samantha Mestan oversees all internal evaluation activities at Thresholds. As the Evaluation Manager, she is responsible for supporting information-based decision making and improving organizational performance. Samantha has experience in research methods, monitoring and evaluation, and quality improvement. Prior to working for Thresholds, Samantha has worked with both state and local organizations to develop programs and provide research and evaluation pertaining to access to healthcare, healthcare disparities, and health policies. Samantha is a former AmeriCorps member and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Master of Social Work both from the University of Iowa

Ariel Brenits, B.S., Evaluation Specialist

Ariel Brenits is an Evaluation Specialist at Thresholds. With more than four years’ experience working with service organizations around the world, she has developed a deep passion for helping community organizations succeed. In both her personal and professional life she has become an advocate for access to quality healthcare and housing, as she believes everyone should have the opportunity to live a healthy, independent, and thriving life. She is currently working to understand Thresholds members’ experience and present findings to program leaders to improve service. She is also monitoring program outcomes for all of Thresholds’ youth programs. Ariel holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from DePaul University.

Vanessa Vorhies Klodnick, PhD, LCSW, Director of YAYAS Research/Innovation

Vanessa Vorhies Klodnick is a director at Thresholds where she develops and studies innovative programs for at-risk transition age youth, including those with residential treatment and child welfare histories. Vanessa also is a co-investigator with the Transitions Research and Training Center at the University of Massachusetts where she is developing best-practices in young adult peer support. Vanessa was the 2014 Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association’s Carol Mowbray Early Career Researcher Award recipient and is an Adjunct Professor at the schools of social work at Loyola University of Chicago and The University of Chicago. Vanessa holds a PhD from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration; a masters in social work from the University of Texas at Austin; and is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Illinois.


Health Care Analytics
Population Health Reports
Cost Analysis and Business Intelligence

Monitoring and Evaluation
Member Experience Survey
IPS Supported Employment
The Thresholds Veterans Project
Substance Use Treatment
Integrate Dual Disorder Treatment
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for PTSD
Chicago Survivors Program

Program Planning and Development
Best Clinical Practices
MindStrong First Episode Psychosis

To learn more, contact Samantha Mestan, Evaluation Manager.