The Board of Directors
President – Kathleen Brown, RN, BA, CDDN
Kathy has been working in the field of developmental disabilities for 36 years. She is the Director of Development for Pharmacy Alternatives, a pharmacy that provides pharmacy services and medications systems exclusively for the IDD population, with an emphasis on self administration of medication. She has worked in the DD field for the last 33 years, 18 of which have been with the pharmacy. She helped start the Northern Illinois DD Network in 1994 and has served as president for the past 16 years. She has attended the DDNA national conference for the last 15 years. She helped craft legislation for medication delegation in Illinois and taught the course for 7 years, training over 600 nurses. She is very interested in developing DDNA networks, increasing membership for DDNA, and increasing the number of nurses sitting for the certification exam. She has presented at several national conferences.
President-Elect – Karen Green McGowan, RN, CDDN
Karen Green McGowan is a clinical nurse consultant who has been working in the field of developmental disabilities nursing 1965 (really!!!). She has been an independent consultant working with individuals with complex physical and medical challenges since 1977. She has worked on a number of class action court cases, including Partlow in Alabama, Willowbrook in New York, and is currently a member of the Quality Review Panel for the state of Tennessee. She is one of the developers of the Health Risk Screening Tool (otherwise known as the Physical Status Review), which is an eletronic instrument designed to identify and track health risk in persons with developmental and other disabilities that increase health vulnerability. She has also written extensively about health and other issues impacting services to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Vice-President -Wendy Herbers, RN, CDDN, QDDP
Wendy Herbers started in the DD field in 1981 as a direct support staff in the ICF-MR setting. She continued in the field as an RN, working in an ICF-MF, DD Crisis Admission Program and is presently the Director of Nursing for Capstone Services, LLC in St. Paul, Minnesota. Besides serving DD homes, she oversees residential homes for persons with brain injury, mental illness and co-morbid diagnosis. She served as President for the Minnesota Chapter of DDNA from 2008 until 2012 and was fundamental in the group’s network to chapter formation. Wendy is a trusted resource and familiar presence with DD providers in the Minnesota area. She is active with staff training and development, has presented at local conferences and works with other nurse’s to improve staff training and standards for DD individuals.
Secretary – Richanne Cunningham, RN, QMRP, CDDN
Richanne Cunningham has been specializing as a nurse in the field of IDD for more than 13 years and has been passionately involved with the Special Olympics for almost 41 years. Currently a Nurse Service Coordinator and Qualified Mental Retardation Professional (QMRP) for ARCA, a non-profit organization providing residential supports for individuals with DD, Richanne oversees two ICF/MR homes. In 1999, Richanne helped to create the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association and has served as both Secretary and Treasurer for NMDDNA for many years. She is currently the President of NMDDNA. She is supportive of education, and has assisted in the development of various types of training, such as the copyrighted Certified Medication Aides training presentation.
Treasurer – Karen Hill, RN, BSN, CDDN
Karen Hill has been a nurse with the IDD population for 15 years. She is currently the Program Nurse for Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities. She is also the Delegating Nurse for Special Olympics and a member of the Continuing Education Units Committee for Nurses for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. She has been a proud CDDN since 2008.
How are Board Officers Chosen?
The DDNA Board of Directors are elected to their positions by the DDNA members. Board Officers are expected to provide informed and diligent leadership as DDNA continues to grow and carry out its mission. All Board Officers of the association must be current nurse members, in good standing, and must be certified in Developmental Disabilities Nursing – CDDN or DDC. The office of President-Elect must be a CDDN.
To learn more about each board officer’s responsibilities and the election process, visit the Elections page.