Our Clinical

What Makes Us Different

Team IMPACT is built on a clinical foundation with a goal to create an environment of camaraderie and a sense of belonging for children and families, encouraging resilience, empowerment, socialization, and health promotion. 




Health Promotion

Children and teams are matched after completing a comprehensive assessment and orientation process with an Intake Coordinator and Match-Up Specialist. Throughout our program, Case Managers work with each family to identify goals for their child’s participation and provide guidance and coaching to the team to make these goals a reality. Team IMPACT isn’t a one-day photo op or meet-and-greet. Our matches become true members of the team. 

Case Managers — Masters-level social workers (MSWs) or certified child life specialists (CCLSs) — provide two years of active and consistent support, supervision, and assistance to all participants.

Each relationship starts with the Case Manager understanding each family — their child’s diagnosis, the challenges they’ve faced, and how a mentoring relationship might provide benefits. From there, Case Managers create a personalized ‘game plan’ of social-emotional goals that are tailored to the specific needs of each child. In addition to providing clinical support, Case Managers participate in creating moments of pure joy for the children in our program, like attending games, having teammates attend birthday parties and school events, or video chatting during clinic visits and hospital admissions. 


Match Quality

Case Managers routinely assess the quality of each match, based on four domains – communication, connection, goals, and expectations. The weight of each domain varies based on the match phase and the level of impact that they have on the quality of the relationship. For instance, the frequency and consistency of communication is critical at the beginning of a match, while we expect that interpersonal connectedness will grow as the match progresses throughout the two-year timeframe.

Our Clinicians at Work

"Team IMPACT's clinical model ensures we are meeting the needs of each child at all stages of their time in the program. Our intake coordinators, match-up specialists, and case managers are all trained to understand current needs and adapt as a participant grows and evolves within our program. No two matches are alike, and we are really able to personalize the support we are providing."
Grace Lerro, MSW, LSW
Regional Director of Match-Up, Mid-Atlantic

Meet Our Clinical Staff

Intake Coordinator:
Erica Ballou, MS, CCLS

"Child life is not just about the child but is about supporting the entire family, and Team IMPACT gave me the opportunity to make all those things happen."

Regional Director of Match-Up: Grace Lerro, MSW, LSW

"At Team IMPACT, we get to work with multiple populations all at once - it's about building ongoing therapeutic relationships."

Senior Case Manager:
Rebecca Meyer Carr, MSW

“I’ve always been drawn to the idea that a community can get you through the tough times. Finding this incredible nonprofit where a team can become a community for a child who needs one has been amazing.”

Clinical Perspective: Jen Basch, LCSW
Jen Basch is a clinical social worker on the Pediatric Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Unit at NYP Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.
Jen's Story
Clinical Perspective: Lisa Vitlip, CCLS, MS
Lisa Vitlip is an inpatient child life specialist who works with the pediatric oncology patients at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, DE.
Lisa's Story
Clinical Perspective: Maureen Johnston, CTRS
Maureen Johnston is a recreational therapist and child life specialist at Schriners Children's Hospital.
Maureen's Story
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Team IMPACT is certified as in Inclusive Mentoring Practices through the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC).

To obtain this organizational certification, Team IMPACT staff completed over 20 hours of online coursework and attended live webinars. Staff received training in a wide range of topics including the various models and definitions of disability; ableism and inclusion; disability rights and the ADA; Universal Design; and inclusive language and communication.