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  • Meet the CARF leadership

    Brian J. Boon, Ph.D., president/CEO, joined CARF in 2001 after serving as an at-large trustee on the CARF Board of Trustees between 1998 and 2000 and chairing the board's planning and governance committees. He was also a CARF surveyor for six years and participated in many CARF advisory committees and leadership panels dating back to 1990.

    Brian holds a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Alberta and is a formerly practicing and registered psychologist. Brian’s broad professional experiences as a payer, provider, and regulator have contributed to his "systems solution" executive leadership approach.

    Terrence (Terry) Carolan, managing director of the Medical Rehabilitation accreditation area, has served more than 20 years in the field as an administrator, provider, and educator. Prior to joining CARF in 2021, he worked in clinical and administrative leadership positions within Select Medical and Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. He was a CARF surveyor for 10 years and holds a master-of-science degree in physical therapy from Simmons College in Boston and did his undergraduate work in biology at The College of New Jersey. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

    Jodi M. Dedrick, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, GTML, CDP, chief human resources officer, leads the organization’s human resources, training and development, learning technology, and accreditation education functions, since joining CARF in 2011. A certified human resources professional with specialty credentials in global talent management, diversity and inclusion, risk management, and workforce analytics, Jodi holds a master’s degree in human resources management.

    Leslie Ellis-Lang, managing director of the Child and Youth Services accreditation area, joined CARF in 2009. Leslie's career spans more than 30 years in the behavioral health field with an emphasis on services for children and adolescents. Most recently, she was the behavioral health services administrator for an organization providing services in 32 Florida counties. A licensed marriage and family therapist, Leslie holds a master of science degree in counselor education from Northern Illinois University.

    Penny Gagnon, M.A., chief advisor, accreditation standards, CARF Canada, has more than 15 years of executive leadership experience specializing in nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining CARF Canada, Penny was a CARF surveyor and served on multiple boards of directors for child development and other health and human services in Canada. She has also taught in the business management program at Northern Lights College and Royal Roads University in the master of arts program. She completed her undergraduate work in First Nations studies and graduate work in leadership and training.

    Pete Hathaway, managing director of the Employment and Community Services accreditation area, has more than 25 years of experience in the rehabilitation field. Before joining CARF as a full-time staff member in 2006, Pete served as a CARF surveyor for 11 years. He has managed community-based services for adults and children with disabilities and their families and has also been a contract manager for a state governmental agency.

    Cindy L. Johnson, CPA, chief resource officer since 2006, provides executive leadership over finance, information technology, research and quality improvement, publications and communications, human resources, and education and training functions. Cindy joined CARF in 1999 as director of finance and administration after several years of financial and leadership experience in the aerospace and mining industries.

    Jed Johnson, managing director of the Aging Services accreditation area, joined CARF in 2018. Prior to CARF, Jed served 18 years at Easterseals, most recently as vice president of national programs. He was also a CARF surveyor for 20 years. His areas of expertise include caregiving (with a prior focus on rural and military/veteran caregiving populations), transportation/mobility, and respite and adult day services. Jed holds a joint master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and in social work from the School of Social Policy and Practice.

    Michael W. Johnson joined CARF as managing director of the Behavioral Health accreditation area in 2013. A certified addictions professional, Michael has more than 30 years of experience as a clinician, manager, and executive working in mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual disabilities. He was a CARF surveyor for 16 years and holds a master's degree in communications from the University of Central Florida.

    Shanna Lawson, account manager, is directly responsible for account services operations across all customer service units. Before joining CARF in 2008, Shanna's professional experience spanned quality improvement management in health and human services, accreditation readiness, and direct service provision. She earned a master's degree in public administration from Upper Iowa University.

    Darren M. Lehrfeld, J.D., chief accreditation officer and general counsel, provides direct executive leadership over all accreditation operations, legal affairs, public policy and compliance matters. Prior to joining CARF in 2003, Darren was the sole shareholder of a professional corporation that provided business and legal counsel to CARF and other international, national, regional, and local organizations in healthcare and other industries. He earned his juris doctor and business administration degree from the University of Arizona and is an active member of the State Bar of Arizona and Pima County Bar Association.

    Julia Meashey, senior business development specialist of the Aging Services accreditation area, joined CARF in 2015. She has over 15 years of experience working in aging services advocacy, program management and grant administration. Julia's career has focused on ensuring quality health care for older adults and their families. Before joining CARF, she worked with the Hartford Change AGEnts Initiative, the National Center on Gerontological Social Work Excellence, and the National Ombudsman Resource Center. Julia has a master's degree in gerontology from Appalachian State University.

    Di Shen, Ph.D., chief research officer, spearheads CARF's Research and Quality Improvement department and performance indicator work and oversees CARF's internal performance improvement systems and research data infrastructure. Prior to coming to the United States, Di was a faculty member at Yangzhou University in China. He has taught courses in psychological measurements and statistics, research methods, and cognitive psychology at the University of Arizona. He has also been published in the areas of psycholinguistics, psychological measurement, linguistics and applied linguistics, and teaching methodology. 

    Deborah A. Witham, M.S.W., J.D., managing director of public policy, leads CARF’s ongoing assessment of and response to developments in public policy affecting the U.S. health and human services sector. She is also responsible for standards development and relationships with regulators in the area of opioid treatment programs. Deborah has vast experience in both direct care and administrative functions in nonprofit organizations, including compliance and program oversight, and has worked with payers, regulators, and government officials. Prior to joining CARF as a staff member, Deborah served as a CARF surveyor for the Opioid Treatment Program unit.

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