Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Kris Sahonchik

Director, Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy
Kris Sahonchik

Office

331 Wishcamper Center

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 780-5856

Kris is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of child welfare and organizational improvement. She has advised state, territorial, and tribal governments from Maine to American Samoa.

Kris brings a commitment to improving the lives of our most vulnerable citizens to the development and application of objective criteria in evaluating and implementing public policy. Examples of her broad portfolio of work include developing policies and management systems in American Samoa; implementing a post-Katrina hurricane recovery and reform plan for the Louisiana Office of Community Services; and facilitating the creation of strategic plans for integrated children’s health, mental health, and human services in over a dozen states. Her approach to reform is focused on the design, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-informed policies and practices that are grounded in research, outcome-driven, and responsive to the needs of vulnerable children, families, and communities.

Kris has authored publications on strategic planning, public agency management, and child welfare and is often asked to speak about the issues to which she has dedicated much of her professional work: working with state and national government leaders and communities to develop long-term solutions for complex social issues. Kris brings this same commitment to her role as Director of the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy; she also serves as Principal Investigator on two multi-year projects funded by the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement and the Northeast and Caribbean Child Welfare Implementation Center.

Kris teaches graduate courses at the Muskie School of Public Service on various topics, including Public Health Policy for Children and Families; Managing Change in Child, Youth, and Family Policy and Programs; and Child and Family Policy and Law. Kris attended the London School of Economics and holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of the District of Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts degree (with honors) from New York University. 

Muskie Public Health Graduate Students Present at Maine CDC Conference

MPH graduate student Trevey Davis describing the academic program to a conference attendee at Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference.

The Muskie School of Public Service, Graduate Program in Public Health, and the Maine Public Health Institute exhibited at the Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference and the concurrent Immunization Annual Conference.  Practice faculty member, Judy Tupper, DHEd, CHES, CPPS and MPH graduate student Trevey Davis spoke with many of the 500 public health professionals attending the conferences.  In addition, Muskie Public Health Education Corps members Carissa Parent, Jacey Keller, and Nikki Busmanis, (MPH graduate students) presented a research poster based on their recent Lyme disease educational intervention pilot in Maine schools.  Dr. Tupper also presented a poster regarding the results of the online training pilot program for Maine EMS personnel on the topic of infection control and prevention.  Educating Fifth Graders on Tick- and Mosquito-Borne Diseases and Prevention Methods" at the Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference.

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Justice Research

Cover: Maine Crime and Justice Data Book 2014

Using the most recent public safety, corrections, and court data available, the Maine Crime and Justice Data Book presents a portrait of the state's crime and justice indicators, including 10-year trends in Maine and comparisons with northern New England and the U.S. at large.

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MYTC 2014 Celebration

Colby Swettberg, May 2014, MYTC

Every year the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative brings together youth and adult partners from around Maine to celebrate the year's achievements and milestones.

2014
MYTC’s fourth annual celebration dinner was held at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern on May 13, 2014. Over seventy young adults, adult partners, professionals, legislators, adoptive families, and friends came together for an evening of fun, renewed connections, learning, and good food.

The importance of mentors in the lives of young people was the theme for the evening. The keynote speaker, Colby Swettberg, Executive Director of Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring in Boston, was introduced by Jacob Hills. Ms. Swettberg talked about what good mentor-mentee relationships look like for youth in foster care and led a discussion about best practices and challenges to bringing youth and mentors together.

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