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Helen Blackburn – Executive Director, Vocational and Residential services

Expertise in:
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)
  • Residential Care
  • Vocational Development
  • Community Integration

Book/Interview

Helen Blacksburn

Helen Blackburn is the Executive Director of Vocational and Residential services at Centerstone, a not-for-profit health system specializing in mental health and substance use disorder treatments. In her role, Blackburn leads an array of services for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, behavioral health supports, and applied behavior analysis.

Blackburn has nearly two decades of experience supporting people with disabilities in the community.  Under her leadership, Centerstone’s residential program expanded 10-fold to support more individuals in the community, including independent living and supported housing options.  In addition, her team opened a clinic with specialized services for children with autism.  During this time, Blackburn has dedicated herself to advocacy for those supported in the programs and her team, which consists primarily of frontline workers.  She is currently engaged in a project to reduce turnover and burnout; a crisis affecting frontline workers and those they support nationwide.

Blackburn sits on the Fatality Review Team for the Southern Illinois area and is a member of a variety of advocacy organizations, including The Arc, NADSP, and SIARF.

Blackburn graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling.  She is a direct support professional (DSP), Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Provider (QIDP), and a licensed clinician.

Professional Affiliations:

  • Southern Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (SIARF), Fatality Review Team

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