Parents In Action was formed to create a training process for Behavioral Assistants (Behavioral Technicians) that will enable our company to selectively hire candidates that meet the standards required by the State of Florida, Insurance Companies, and established by Parents In Action, Inc. This will thereby ensure the highest level of care for our clients of which the majority are children with Autism, and other developmental disabilities.
Parents in Action, Inc. has been founded on the principle that it will take a combination of parents, caregivers, providers, educators, legislators and the community to address the needs of the rapidly increasing population of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We believe that in order to face this National Health Crisis, we must all work together to train an army of caregivers to assist as these individuals mature into adulthood. We also must ensure that newly diagnosed individuals get immediate, treatment to ensure the best possible outcomes.
ABOUT OUR CO-FOUNDERS:
Sharon Boyd, RN- President
Sharon Boyd graduated from Manatee Community College with an AS Degree in Nursing in 1996. She worked as a Registered Nurse in Oncology, Cardiology, Orthopedics, Neurology, IC Step-down, and Special Procedures in Radiology. In March 2002, her oldest son was diagnosed with Moderately-Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder. She was appalled to discover that her health insurance specifically denied treatment for her son’s diagnosis. This started her on her quest to ensure coverage for all individuals on the Autism Spectrum.
She founded and chaired the Southwest Florida Walk for Autism Speaks with her daughter, Elizabeth, and best friend, Tammie Baker. She became an outspoken advocate across the state of Florida and eventually beyond over her five years chairing the Walk, and eventually helped lead the Grassroots of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Community to pass Autism Insurance Reform in 2008. Her drive and passion for assisting families was noticed during the push for the legislation, and she was invited to join Autism Speaks Government Relations Team as the Advocacy Relations Coordinator. Two years later, she was promoted to Manager, Grassroots Development. Her task was to grow the grassroots across the country and direct them to pass Autism Insurance Reform in their states. Eventually 32 states passed Autism Insurance Reform, and the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act was passed due to the grassroots network that was built in her department.
Sharon has always been a strong advocate for children and families in her private life as well as her business life. She has grown to be a well-respected advocate for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act issues, as well as issues dealing with all aspects of living with autism. Sharon and all five of her children make it a family mission to make life better for all those affected by autism. •Sharon left her position with Autism Speaks in December 2012, and knew immediately what her next career would be. She is committed to continuing to ensure that those affected by autism and their families receive the medically necessary treatment and supports and services needed to face this health care crisis.
Parents in Action, Inc. is the next logical step for Sharon, and is her way to continue the fight. She believes strongly that complaining about a problem is useless unless you choose to be a part of the solution. Parents in Action, Inc. IS THAT SOLUTION.
Tammie Baker RPh- Vice-President
Tammie received her B.S. in Pharmacy from St. John’s University in 1993. In her 20 years of experience as a Pharmacist in a retail environment she has utilized her skills in management, customer service, problem solving, decision making, oral and written communication, and adhering to government regulation. Her outstanding interpersonal skills have allowed her to develop positive relationships with patients, other medical professionals and insurance providers.
Tammie’s volunteer experience spans more than ten years. She Co-Founded the SW Florida Walk Now for Autism Speaks and Co-Chaired for 5 years, raising over $750,000 during her tenure. She was a member of Autism Speaks’ Walk Advisory Committee where she presented workshops to teach other Walk Chairs how to be successful. She also was a grant reviewer for Autism Speaks Community Resource Grants. Committed to advocacy, Tammie has been the Southwest Florida Advocacy Chair for Autism Speaks since the program’s inception and has been the Florida Statewide Advocacy and Policy Chair since 2010. She has been to Washington D.C. numerous times, successfully advocating for the passage of the Combating Autism Act of 2006 and its subsequent reauthorization in 2011, securing over $1 billion for autism research and programs. She was integrally involved in the passage of the Stephen A. Geller Window of Opportunity Act in 2008, securing Florida’s place as the 4th state to pass Autism Insurance Reform.
With children on the Autism Spectrum, Tammie has been a fixture in the Exceptional Student Education arena in Sarasota County for over ten years. She has been a powerful advocate for all children with special needs in her county during this time. Tammie served on the Sarasota County Schools Exceptional Student Advisory Council, including being a previous Board Member & Chair. Tammie was selected Volunteer of the Year at Fruitville Elementary School, Sarasota County, Florida in 2008. She has been a member of their PTO Board since 2006.
Through Parents in Action, Tammie hopes to expand her passion for advocacy by creating the vehicle by which families living with autism will finally get the support and the medically necessary care they deserve.
President/CEO Sharon Boyd RN
Vice President Tammie Baker R.Ph
Renee McAfee, Grant Manager
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Sharon Boyd, RN
Tammie Baker, RPh
Jean Felder Louis, BCBA
Judith Lynn James, BSW, BS Literature