Network partner selected for Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship

Sherry Shamblin, Director of Early Childhood Programs for Tri-County Mental Health and Counseling Services, also former IPAC Chair and current board member, has been selected for Robert Wood Johnson’s Evaluation Fellows Program for Retooling Professionals.

The goal of the fellowship, which targets mid-career, non-profit professionals who are undeserved in the evaluation field, is to increase the capacity of an organization to conduct program evaluation and to become better consumers of information for decision-making. Ms. Shamblin will use this opportunity to refine the evaluation of Tri-County’s early childhood mental health (ECMH) model, assess the program’s effectiveness, expand evaluation efforts to other programs within Tri-County, and disseminate lessons learned to advance the field of ECMH consultation.

“We are thrilled that Sherry was selected for the RWJ fellowship program,” said Dr. George Weigly, CEO of Tri-County Mental Health and Counseling. “This is a great opportunity for her, but we are also looking forward to improving the evaluation of our programs by applying what she brings back to us,” he added.

Ms. Shamblin, who has been contributing to the field as a direct service provider for 15 years, is also a second-year doctoral student in Ohio University’s Counselor Education Program. She made the decision to obtain a Ph.D. in order to increase her ability to perform research design and program evaluation - essential skills for securing an evidence base for ECMH consultation. She is also interested in community-based participatory research on behalf of ECMH programming, training and public policy.

Through her leadership, Ms. Shamblin has overseen the expansion of Tri-County’s ECMH services from a single provider to a team of five specialists. For the last two years, the team has focused on developing an ECMH Consultation Program to serve local school districts. The result is an innovative ECMH model that blends consultation and professional development for teachers and direct mental health services for children. The project has been funded by a HRSA Outreach grant awarded to Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM), under the directorship of Dr. Jane Hamel-Lambert. Additional support came from an evaluation team, which included Dr. Victor Heh, also from OU-HCOM, and Dr. Holly Raffle, from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. The program has been expanded to serve additional schools through funds from Project LAUNCH, a SAMHSA grant awarded to the Ohio Department of Health. The model has also been customized for Head Start and Early Head Start with local support from Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action Head Start and the 317 ADAMHS Board of Athens, Hocking and Vinton Counties.

For more information, please contact Sherry Shamblin at or (740) 541-1256