About IRIS

The processes currently used to coordinate referring families to needed services are failing us. The Integrated Referral and Intake System (IRIS) was designed by a passionate team to help organizations connect those they serve to the right resources in their community.

Flowers Step 1
The Need

When this all started, we realized families were not accessing available and needed resources. Providers seemed to lack a shared understanding of available services and miss opportunities to make connections, so families fell through the cracks. There had to be a better way.

Flowers Step 2
The Spark

We knew that no one organization could meet all needs, which made referrals necessary—and difficult to keep track of. Too much paperwork, delayed responses, lack of transparency were recurring issues. Generating better results for families requires solving old problems in new ways.

Flowers Step 3
The Idea

IRIS grew out of those realizations. In our continued engagement with community champions and service providers, we have learned so much about what it takes to cultivate key relationships with people, to leverage technology, and to uncover the data needed to serve families better.

Our Core Team

Open Teri A. Garstka 's Bio
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Teri A. GarstkaPHD

Co-Director

Teri is founder, co-director, strategist, and IRIS’ key champion. She oversees an awesome team of smart professionals who carry out multiple center projects in data science and research/evaluation. Teri lives vicariously on the accumulated bright spots and successes of our IRIS community champions, partners, users and IRIS team members.

Teri has been involved in many large scale multi-partner data initiatives, helping use shared measurement approaches and solid implementation to support collective efforts to optimize the well-being of at risk children, youth, and families. 

She leads the strategic direction of two software applications (DAISEY, IRIS) designed to make life easier, not harder, when it comes to serving families and demonstrating the impact of investments in high quality programs. Teri received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology in 1997 from the University of Kansas. She is continually working to understand how people and groups interact in a complex world, rigorously trying to bend systems and bureaucracy to better serve kids and families.

She wants you to know that, behind all that data-driven earnestness and at-all-costs altruism, she is hilarious. Secretly.

Open Randi Harms 's Bio
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Randi HarmsMA

Co-Director

Randi is the IRIS team’s biggest fan. As co-director, visionary, strategist and overall facilitator of bureaucracy, Randi loves to help folks think in new ways, discover something they’re really good at, and embrace work that fills their cup. 

With degrees in Political Science and in Criminal Justice, Randi has a range of field experience from case manager, connecting justice-involved youth with life-changing community services, to data analyst for KS prevention and protective services. As she worked within the foster care system, prevention services aimed at keeping families together, and adult protective services—all of which rely on connecting parents, children, and older adults with community-based supports—Randi saw first hand the need for a tool like IRIS. Today, the contagious passion and enthusiasm of potential IRIS partners remains a bright spot for her—an indicator of positive change.

Randi would describe herself as a nurturer. Adopting slippers as her footwear of choice in the current WFH situation hasn’t impeded her efficiency in supporting her team and her two young children—and at nurturing her dream of, one day, working in a library where people come to connect, with literature, knowledge, themselves, and their community. 
 

Open Loretta Severin 's Bio
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Loretta SeverinBA

Implementation Lead

Loretta wears many hats. Through collaboration with existing and potential community partners, she guides and develops continuous improvements to the implementation approach.

Every day is different but one thing remains constant: each new partner brings their needs and vision, a passion for their community and an excitement to move forward. 

For 10 years Loretta coordinated state-level projects on topics including substance abuse prevention and developmental health promotion, pairing policy and system-level initiatives with locally implemented strategies and collaborations. Empowering communities to create change doesn’t get old. 

The fact that Loretta tends to greet dogs before their humans doesn’t in any way diminish her commitment to supporting better services for human families—with or without canine friends.

Open Lindsay Galindo 's Bio
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Lindsay GalindoED.S

Data Lead

As an implementation coordinator and data lead, Lindsay seeks to understand and lift up network successes and lessons learned to improve practice. The best part of her job: witnessing communities implement changes (big and small) that directly impact the lives of families.

Prior to CPPR, Lindsay practiced as a school psychologist, working primarily with young students and their families. She has a graduate degree in Educational Psychology and brings her knowledge and passion for centering systems change around families to this work.

Lindsay loves exploring Kansas trails to clear her mind and even, she claims, to look for snakes with her 7-year-old (she has to work really hard to be cool with the whole snake thing but she’s trying).
 

Open Mary Orem 's Bio
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Mary OremBA

Implementation Coordinator

A member of the IRIS implementation team, Mary supports newly implementing communities as well as those working to grow and sustain their networks. 


What that really means is she gets to be a small part of making a difference for families not just where she lives, but across the country. She gets to see a small group (and sometimes one individual) create real change in their community. And she gets to provide technology to facilitate the tireless work of providers—that’s a pretty amazing feeling. 

Mary has a BA in History Education and worked as an educator and then youth and family case manager for over 10 years. With her background directly supporting families, Mary knows firsthand the importance of community connection and building relationships. This experience drives a desire to support those working with families on a daily basis and increase their capacity to impact social change for good.

Mary loves new experiences and is always up for an adventure, especially if it takes her outdoors. Whether running marathons, riding bikes, or hiking a new trail, Mary will take any opportunity to unplug and connect with family and friends.

Open Brittany Chaplin 's Bio
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Brittany ChaplinBA

IRIS Project Coordinator

Brittany wears lots of hats as a research project coordinator for IRIS. She provides critical support for the IRIS team, enabling us to walk beside our community champions every step of the way, from their initial query about IRIS to seeing IRIS fully implemented in their community. Brittany provides lots of behind-the-scenes support to the team and constantly amazes us as she figures out new ways to make our processes even better and more efficient for our users. IRIS champions will also know Brittany from our Help Desk, where she can handle just about any query or concern that comes up. 

With a degree in anthropology, it’s no wonder that Brittany enjoys figuring out how to help others find their spark. She loves surrounding herself with critters of all kinds. And by all kinds she means a husky, two cats, a corn snake, a leopard gecko, and a beta. It's becoming tradition for the family to make cameo appearances on Zoom calls. Brittany’s started adding plant babies now as they are just slightly easier to care for!

Open Katherine Cantu Anguiano 's Bio
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Katherine Cantu AnguianoMPH

Implementation Coordinator

One surefire test to see if someone is a bona fide data nerd is if they follow Excel on Twitter. Katherine? Guilty as charged. Katherine’s passion for data is matched only by her passion for public health, and as an implementation coordinator for IRIS, she weds the two daily. You’ll find her helping our partners implement IRIS in their communities and also analyzing the data they collect. From this data, she spots trends and opportunities in communities that shed light on how to best leverage the IRIS network to better serve families. And if this all wasn’t impressive enough, she also coordinates IRIS’s Leader Labs. 

An education background in Community Health Education and a master’s in Public Health, with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health, along with professional experience in research project coordination, implementation, and evaluation roles with focuses on weight management, women’s health, and family wellness is all what brought Katherine to IRIS, but what continues to motivate her is something else entirely. Being from a small town herself, Katherine has a sweet spot for rural communities. She’s constantly impressed by people who are doing a lot with a little. As IRIS continues to work with a growing number of communities like this, new innovative solutions are surfacing. She cites being able to share these experiences and making connections between people as one of the best parts of the job. 

Multi-tasking is one of Katherine’s super powers, and she taps this skill at work and at home. After work, she and her husband chase their busy boys. Thanks to their help, she has become quite accomplished at Playdough sculptures, adding just the right amount of sprinkles to almost any treat, and pillow forts.
 

Open Mariah Barber 's Bio
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Mariah BarberAA

Implementation Coordinator

Mariah is the newest kid on the IRIS block and we couldn’t be happier to have her on the team!

Mariah joined the team as an implementation coordinator to support community leaders with implementation and sustaining their IRIS networks. She became an IRIS believer while previously with the Illinois Department of Human Services’s All Our Kids Early Childhood Network Initiative doing community systems development work to make life better for the kids and families in her Southern Illinois community -- where she’s originally from! Before that she lived in Texas for 5 years as an early childhood educator with the US Army’s Child and Youth School Services at Fort Bliss. 

With a passion for social change, seeing any level of collaboration and progress is a beautiful thing to Mariah. Whether that be on a state or national level, or even just between community partners as they come together, collaborate to set a vision, and make changes to improve the lives of children and families. 

While Mariah has a taste for social change, she does NOT have it for celery. Do not bring it anywhere near her. Stick to carrots and other vegetables. 
 

Open Natasha Welsh 's Bio
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Natasha WelshMA

Assistant Researcher

Natasha is a lover of data. She’s in charge of maintaining and updating IRIS’ monthly data metrics and dashboards – including any incoming data requests from community partners. Aside from that, it’s also likely that you’d end up chatting with Natasha if you got in touch with the IRIS help desk. 
 
For Natasha, the variety of the work keeps things exciting, as does seeing the happenings at all levels: from early implementation in a new community to launched communities engaging with IRIS to foster positive change for families and patients. And getting to work with an amazing group of passionate and vibrant people who care so much about the communities they serve is an absolute joy. 
 
With a background in art history, and past experience as a Database Manager for a non-profit educational institution, Natasha finds that her ability to coordinate various demands makes her a key contributor to efficient communication between IRIS communities and the IRIS team. 
 
This knack for coordinating might also come in handy when Natasha travels, as she loves to do. In every city she visits, the first thing on her to-do list is to find all of the museums they have and visit as many as she can during her trip. Favorite destinations (to date!) are Chicago and Asheville, NC.
 

Open Joe Coburn 's Bio
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Joe CoburnMSW

IT Project Manager

There’s only one thing Joe wishes he could change about his career at CPPR: he would like to pick up Lawrence and move it closer to the ocean. 

Joe holds a Masters of Social Welfare from the University of Kansas and has always been focused in data, analytics, and technology.  As IT Project Manager, Joe oversees IRIS development cycles and interfaces across internal teams and external developers. He loves working behind the scenes, seeing new ideas percolating and helping those ideas become reality. 

When he’s not working, you’ll find Joe hanging out with his family. Whether they’re spending time out together doing stuff or just having downtime on the couch, Joe’s wife, kids, and dog are what bring meaning to his life. Cycling in the summer sun is also a passion. It doesn’t replace being by the ocean but it still does the trick.
 

Open Charlie Moore 's Bio
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Charlie MooreMA

IT Project Coordinator

With a background in computer animation, software, and journalism, Charlie works on the Application Management team and is keen on the culture of collaboration that exists within the IRIS team.

Charlie is also a fan of comic books and graphic novels. Pre-COVID she really enjoyed traveling with her daughter to comic conventions around the US and connecting with comic book professionals and fans.        
 

Our Values

People First

We value our people: the folks we work with and the families they serve. It starts and ends there.

Do and Improve

Services are designed to be used. We put our work out to the world to make an impact. We test, we pivot, we improve.

Amplify Voices

We walk with our partners to imagine and co-create. We listen, we learn, we amplify the impact of our collective work.

Add Seats to the Table

People are experts in their own lives. Healthy communities lift all voices.

How can we help

How can we help?

We believe in tech. We believe in data. Mostly, as you do, we believe in people’s ability to self-organize to improve systems that fail us. Take a look at our resource section to see if you can find what you need. If not, there’s a human on our team nearby.