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, Director of Evaluation 

Samantha Mestan oversees all internal evaluation activities for the adult programs at Thresholds. As the Director of Evaluation, she is the evaluation lead for two CCBHCs in addition to being 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.


Haley Roell, MSW, Evaluation Specialist 

Haley Roell is an Evaluation Specialist at Thresholds where she assists in the reporting and evaluation of various programs including IPS, the Living Room, and DayBreak. While evaluating these specialty programs, Haley also works directly with programs on the annual Member Experience Survey to better understand Thresholds members’ experience of care and make recommendations to improve service delivery. Haley has experience with foster care policy in Michigan, and before joining Thresholds she worked directly with a Michigan State Senator to assist constituents with financial support in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Haley’s background in program evaluation, policy, research methods, and community engagement spur her interest in understanding how to best advocate and support individuals with SMI. Haley holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Social Work both from the University of Michigan.  

Vanessa Vorhies Klodnick, PhD, LCSW, Director of Youth and Young Adult Services (YAYAs) Research & Innovation

Dr. Klodnick (she/her) is nationally recognized for her expertise in community mental health service design for vulnerable and marginalized young people and families. At Thresholds, Dr. Klodnick partners with YAYAS leaders to implement continuous quality improvement practices to better understand, improve, sustain and grow innovative multidisciplinary programs for young people with serious mental health needs, complex trauma histories, and current or former system involvement. Dr. Klodnick has trained and consulted with organizations and systems in 12 states to date. Dr. Klodnick is also adjunct faculty at the Texas Center for Excellence in Mental Health at UT-Austin, and leads and co-leads several federal, state, and foundation-funded projects to implement and examine adolescent and young adult developmentally-attuned mental healthcare, including peer and vocational support integration. Dr. Klodnick earned her PhD at The University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy & Practice, her masters at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin, and is a licensed clinical social worker in Illinois. To learn more about Dr. Klodnick’s efforts, see YAYAS Research & Innovation.  


Rebecca P. Johnson, MA, LCPC, Assistant Director of Youth & Young Adult Services (YAYAS) Research & Innovation  

Rebecca Johnson (she/her) leads and coordinates multiple YAYAS mixed-methods CBPR research, program evaluation and continuous quality improvement projects that aim to increase our understanding of program feasibility, impact and value. Rebecca supervises a team of research and innovation specialists, sponsors the YAYAS Young Adult Advisory Board and oversees research and program evaluation translation of knowledge into useful dashboards, reports, journal manuscripts, conference presentations manual and workforce development tools. Rebecca also oversees intern projects and YAYAS staff advocacy and leadership efforts. Rebecca completed her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adler University, a Master’s in Women and Gender studies at DePaul University, and is a licensed professional counselor in Illinois.  


Bri LaPelusa, MFA, CRSS, Peer Research & Innovation Specialist, Youth & Young Adult Services (YAYAS) Research & Innovation   

Bri LaPelusa (she/her) is a writer, editor and researcher with several years of experience working in mental health services as a Peer Provider. Bri currently provides consultation and project coordination for a NIDILRR-funded first-episode psychosis peer support study with Portland State University. At Thresholds, Bri leads YAYAS Peer Innovation and advocacy initiatives, including Peer professional development and as Co-Coordinator of the YAYAS Advisory Board. Bri also leads/consults on evaluation and research knowledge translation through writing, editing and design for training curricula, reports, manuals, toolkits, manuscript publications and infographics. Bri earned her MFA in Nonfiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago and her BA from The University of Iowa.  


Autumn Crowe, MPH, Evaluation Specialist, Youth & Young Adult Services (YAYAS) Research & Innovation  

Autumn Crowe (she/her) has over 3-years of data management, analysis and visualization experience, and manages all YAYAS databases for research, evaluation and continuous quality improvement processes. Autumn transformed data into interactive monthly EXCEL dashboard reports to examine service participation and key performance indicators across 6 different program models. Autumn is leading our translation of data into Power Bi reports that visually depict service participation and outcomes in ways that help program leaders and practitioners use data to shape their programs, systems and interventions. Autumn partners closely with the quality department who train staff on accurate and timely electronic healthcare record documentation. Autumn also prepares and analyzes data for research journal publications and conference presentations. Autumn earned her MPH at Northwestern University; and her BS in Psychology at Loyola University of Chicago.  



Ava Schneider, BA, Research & Innovation Specialist, Youth & Young Adult Services (YAYAS) Research & Innovation  

Ava Schneider (she/her) is currently pursuing a MA in Digital Communications and Media Arts at DePaul University, and supports both YAYAS research and evaluation project participation, as well as YAYAS knowledge translation. Ava has been responsible for data analysis, visualization, and paper writing on several projects examining innovative programming for youth and young adults with serious mental health needs, and complex trauma histories, that have led to several external facing infographics and reports. In partnership with YAYAS leaders and trainers, Ava also designs YAYAS practice tools, education materials, workforce development trainings and e-learnings produced from our research and evaluation efforts. Ava earned her BA at Calvin University.  


Health Care Analytics

Population Health Reports 
FQHC Partner Data Exchange and Reports 
Cost Analysis and Business Intelligence 

 Monitoring and Evaluation 

Certified Community Behavior Health Clinics 
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 
The Living Room

To learn more, contact Samantha Mestan, Director of Evaluation.


Select YAYAS Projects   


Monitoring and Evaluation  

  • Evaluation & Continuous Quality Improvement of Young Adult Program, Mothers’ Project, & REACH; funded by Department of Children & Family Services  
  • Implementation & Evaluation of a Stepped Care Model for Clinical High Risk for Psychosis in Partnership with Illinois Department of Mental Health, SAMHSA funded (SM081199-01; Betz, Director)  
  • Implementation & Evaluation of Coordinated Specialty Care for a Recent Onset of Psychosis in Community-based Setting; funded by Illinois Department of Mental Health   


Program Planning and Development  

  • Accessing Efficacy of the Emerge Model: Evidence-Informed Multidisciplinary Care for Adolescents & Young Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities funded by NIDILRR (90IFRE0063-01-00; Klodnick, PI)  
  • Career and Occupational Readiness Experience (CORE): An Enhancement to the Individual Placement & Support (IPS) Model of Supported Employment for Transition-Age Youth with Psychiatric Disabilities; funded by NIDILRR (90IFRE0032; Klodnick, PI)  
  • Developing the PLUS Peer Support Intervention & Training for Early Psychosis Programs in Partnership with Portland State University funded by NIDILRR (90IFRE0054-01-00; Walker, PI)  
  • Advancing the Early Psychosis Intervention Network in Texas (EPINET-TX); funded by NIH (1R01MH120599-01A1; Lopez, PI)  


To learn more, contact Vanessa Klodnick, Director of YAYAS Research & Innovation