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Michelle Zabel
NameMichelle Zabel
Title:Director, The Institute; Clinical Instructor
Bio: Michelle Zabel has over 25 years of experience working in child- and family-serving systems, both public and private sectors, at organizational, county, and state levels across the nation in the provision of training and technical assistance (TA) on Wraparound, systems of care (SOC), service system design, and financing across systems, including juvenile justice and child welfare. Zabel began her career in the Philadelphia child-serving systems, and was an early adopter of the Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP), a precursor to SOC. Because of that early orientation, the focus of Zabel’s work has been improving access to and the quality of home and community-based care for children with serious behavioral health needs. Since 2005, Zabel has been at the University of Maryland, where she now serves as Dean and Director of the Institute for Innovation and Implementation (The Institute) at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Under her leadership, administration, and contract management skills, The Institute (formerly Innovations Institute) has grown exponentially from two employees to over 50 dedicated staff members, transforming from a small TA center for Maryland’s Children’s Cabinet into a multi-million dollar, nationally recognized, best practice center for SOC. Now in its 12th year, The Institute has over 30 contracts valued at over $15 million.

Zabel currently serves as the Principal Investigator and Project Director for the National Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Behavioral Health (the TA Network), SAMHSA’s newly funded National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health (NTTAC). Additionally, Zabel is part of the executive leadership for a National Technical Assistance Collaborative for the 1915(c) Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility Demonstration Project through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, United States Department of Health and Human Services. She is also a member of Annie E. Casey’s Evidence 2 Success Finance Team; an advisor to the MST Network Partner Advisory Group; a national advisor to the National Wraparound Initiative, and one of the thought leaders behind the National Wraparound Implementation Center (NWIC), which supports effective Wraparound implementation by focusing on building sustainable local capacity to provide model-adherent, high fidelity Wraparound.

Zabel’s most recent work focuses on assisting states with service delivery system design in conjunction with healthcare reform and the implementation and sustaining of various evidence-based and promising practices. In addition to her national consultant work with states, cities, and local organizations on implementing SOC, Zabel’s prior work experience includes serving as the Associate Vice President of Ambulatory Services for a Behavioral Health Network serving nine counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as Director of the Department of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, and Director of the Burlington Partnership SAMHSA Grant and member of the state executive leadership team for New Jersey’s Children’s System of Care Initiative, as well as the Bucks County Living in Family Environments (LIFE) Program Director.