What We Do
MHA (Mental Health Association) helps people live their best life. We provide access to therapies for emotional health and wellness; services for substance use recovery, developmental disabilities and acquired brain injury; services for housing and residential programming, and more. With respect, integrity and compassion, MHA provides each individual served through person-driven programming to foster independence, community engagement, wellness and recovery.
Why It Matters
The youth, adults, seniors and families we serve want the same things in life as anyone: to have friends, work, go to school, have meaningful relationships, express themselves (and be heard), and be accepted in their community for who they are. With our help and resources from a caring community, people can live their potential, in their community, every day.
How We Think
Starting in the 1960s, MHA’s groundbreaking efforts and advocacy helped to transition people away from institutional living to a life in our community. This became a model for the deinstitutionalization movement. Today, our leadership continues to advance awareness of mental health conditions and needs at local, regional and national levels. We drive compassionate care for those challenged by mental health, developmental disabilities, substance use, homelessness, acquired brain injury and more.
Respect, Integrity and Compassion.
Cheryl Fasano – President & CEO
Cheryl Fasano joined MHA in 2013. Cheryl has held the position of CEO/President and Chief Financial & Operating Officer at New Hope in CT and the positions of Executive Director and Finance Director at Womanshelter/Companeras in MA. Cheryl has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and an MBA from Western New England University.
Cheryl Cormier – Vice President of Human Resources
Cheryl A. Cormier comes to MHA with 15 years of Human Resource experience, 10 years of that experience serving the non-profit sector. Her last positions were Human Resource Manager for Journey Found Inc. and Human Resource Director for New Hope Manor, both located in CT. Cheryl obtained her degree from Briarwood College. Cheryl lives in Connecticut with her husband and two sons. She enjoys singing and is an active member of the South Windsor Community Chorus. Cheryl also has a passion for genealogy research.
Tara Kurtz Boucher – Vice President of Integration and Community Living
Tara Kurtz Boucher started in direct care in 1997 at ServiceNet in Northampton, where she worked for nearly two decades in different management capacities with individuals with a developmental disability, some in need of behavioral health support, and also individuals with autism. She left in 2020 as the Senior Director of ServiceNet’s Outreach and Shared Living division. Her most recent position was with CHD where her responsibilities included overseeing a division in its entirety, including 20 residential programs, Day Programming supports, outreach services and Shared living Services to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health challenges.
Sara Kyser – Vice President of New Way Services
Sara Kyser joined the MHA team in 2016 as the Director of Learning & Development before transitioning into her current role. Sara has worked in human services for the last 15 years, most of that time in varying degrees of management. Sara’s experience includes working with people living with developmental & intellectual disabilities, mental illness and acquired brain injuries across residential, outreach, day support, and case management services. Specialty populations include survivors of domestic violence, youth, and people living with autism. With a passion for teaching and vocational exploration, Sara has supported hundreds of people in their most vulnerable times.
Christine Palmieri, LRC – Vice President of Recovery and Housing
Christine Palmieri joined MHA in October of 2014. She has over 15 years of experience in providing community-based rehabilitative services to adults and adolescents with disabilities. Christine has worked in residential, vocational, educational, and outreach settings with a focus on teaching skills to foster independence. Christine has extensive leadership experience, training and supporting staff to empower people with psychiatric challenges to recover and thrive. Christine has a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and a Master’s Degree in Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from Springfield College. She is also a Licensed Rehabilitation Counselor.
Sarah Smith – Vice President of Finance
Sarah Smith joined MHA in 2013. Sarah is a certified public accountant and spent nine years auditing various non-profit and real estate entities in the greater Springfield area. Sarah decided to change careers and move into private accounting, which lead her to MHA. Sarah began her MHA career as the Director of Finance and was promoted to the Vice President of Finance. Sarah has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Western New England University.
René Piñero – Vice President Behavioral Health and Clinical Operations
René Piñero joined MHA in 2022. Piñero has worked in the field of addiction and mental health services for more than two decades. Piñero has held clinical director or supervisor positions at the Center for Human Development as well as Gandara Center and worked with programs targeting a broad range of populations including interventions for batterers, survivors of domestic abuse, aftercare for second offenders, sex offender treatments and anger management groups. Piñero was educated in his native Puerto Rico where he also worked and holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree in psychological counseling from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. Piñero is licensed/certified in Mental Health Counseling, Alcohol and Drug Counseling and as a Massachusetts Problem Gambling Specialist.
Amanda Sawyer, LMSW – Vice President of Quality & Organizational Impact
Amanda Sawyer joined MHA in 2020. She has 25 years of experience in various social service programs in the roles of director and quality improvement. Specialty populations and services include intensive home-based and case management services for individuals and groups, survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, TANF recipients, parents and families in high conflict situations, perinatal supports, low-income and preschool programs. Amanda holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Westfield State and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from UCONN.
Jennifer Ducharme – Vice President of Development & Community Relations
Jennifer Ducharme joined MHA in September 2022. Ducharme has held various leadership positions with nonprofit organizations for over a decade, including the American Cancer Society, Boys & Girls Clubs, and American Red Cross. She also serves on several local nonprofit boards and councils.
Ducharme holds an undergraduate degree in business management from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in nonprofit management and philanthropy from Bay Path University. She is a member of Nu Lamda Mu, an international honor society established by the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council to recognize students dedicated to the study of nonprofit management, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship and enterprise.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Denise Cogman, Chair
Jacqueline Johnson, Vice Chair
Donna-Rae Kenneally, Treasurer
Nancy Mirkin, Clerk
Maureen Babineau, Director
Michael Brassard, Director
Dee Cady, Director
Laura J. Fenn, Director
Joseph Lepper, Director
Earl Miller, Director
Maria Puppolo, Director
995 Worthington Street
Springfield, MA 01109
Phone: (413) 734-5376
TTY: (413) 785-5288
Fax: (413) 737-7949
CORPORATE OFFICE HOURS: M-F 9-5