Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Disability and Aging

Jason Theriault

Computer and Database Specialist III
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Office

438F Wishcamper Center

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 780-5264

Jason Theriault is a Database and Computer Programmer within the Disability and Aging program. Working in the secure data area, he supports the Case Mix contract with the Department of Health and Human Services processing assessment data from residential care facilities and nursing facilities. He also provides data to the state, Muskie School staff and other authorized entities.

One of Jason’s  interests is in data security and system performance, balancing privacy and security concerns with those of timely access to data by decision makers.

Prior to his time at the Muskie School, Jason worked at Goold Health Systems as a Data Architect, primarily working on Maine’s pharmacy benefits system for MaineCare claims.  He has Bachelors degree in Management Information Science from the University of Rhode Island and a Master Degree in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix.

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

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