Category: General Supporting Families in the Post-COVID World: Using Technology to Maximize Reach and Remain Connected

Supporting Families in the Post-COVID World: Using Technology to Maximize Reach and Remain Connected

August 3, 2020

During this webinar, speakers from two large rural states will describe approaches they've used to stay connected and support families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their use of distance technology will be highlighted as a means of reducing exposure to COVID-19 and maximizing the reach of their efforts. The programs featured are the University of Wyoming's ECHO for Families and the Autism Family Support Program at the University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities.


  1. To learn about two model programs for family supports that focus on rural communities.
  2. To learn about how technology can be used to facilitate connections with families.
  3. To describe lessons learned to enhance the effectiveness and reach of these programs.


  • Eric J. Moody, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation, Wyoming Institute for Disabilities- Eric J. Moody, Ph.D., is a Research Professor at the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND). He received his doctorate in Social Psychology and Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Denver in 2007. The focus of his research there was on shared interpersonal emotions and psychophysiology. Midway through is training, he became interested in autism and how the basic psychological mechanisms he was studying are related to the autism phenotype. This interest led him to collaborate with JFK Partners, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD), and a post-doctoral fellowship in autism assessment and public health/epidemiology at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus. Following this postdoc, he joined the Faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and expanded his research to include public health, community-based participatory research, and health disparities. Dr. Moody joined the University of Wyoming, College of Health Sciences in 2018 as the Director of Research and Evaluation for WIND. In his role at WIND, Dr. Moody oversees all research and evaluation activities. Key among these is the Equality State Research Network (ESRN), which he directs. The ESRN is a community and practice-based research network to advance healthcare in Wyoming using Community-Based Participatory Research techniques. He is also a co-director of the Project SCOPE National Training Initiative, which is disseminating a model to train multi-disciplinary teams to support infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Dr. Moody also serves as a co-director for the Wyoming Family to Family Health Information Center, focusing on a Family Mentorship program and other community-based methods to disseminate high-quality health information. Finally, Dr. Moody is involved in several research projects that study autism and developmental disabilities. He was Co-Principal Investigator on a grant that developed and tested a parent-based mentoring program to improve well-being in families who have children newly diagnosed with autism.
  • Letty Thelen, Executive Assistant, Autism Family Support Group Coordinator, University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities(SD UCEDD/SD LEND)- Letty is the parent of an 18-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with autism at age 2. She facilitates the Autism Family Support Group at the Center for Disabilities and works closely with the Executive Director ensuring the family perspective is always at the forefront of their work. Her interest and focus are on connecting and supporting families across the lifespan. Prior to coming to the Center, she worked in a medical clinic setting for 14 years in a variety of roles. In addition, she is a South Dakota Partners in Policymaking graduate and holds a degree in Computer Programming.

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