Munroe-Meyer Institute

Munroe-Meyer Institute building

Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center

  • Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders Program Match Code - 141615
  • Behaviorial Pediatrics and Integrated Care Match Code - 141617
  • Rural Integrated Care Program North/Central Match Code - 141614
  • Rural Integrated Care Program West Match Code - 141620

985450 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, Nebraska 68198-5450
402-559-6408
Fax 402-559-6864

Training Director

Allison Grennan, Ph.D.
Email: allison.grennan@unmc.edu

Type of Facility

The Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) is one of the six major components of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. MMI is an interdisciplinary service, training and research center comprised of 15 health care professions. MMI specializes in providing services and support for persons with behavioral, emotional, physical, cognitive, genetic, and developmental disabilities. Clinical service programs are provided in a collaborative environment that provides opportunities for both education and research. The Institute's mission includes a strong commitment to applied and basic research conducted by faculty members, staff and students from all of MMI's disciplines and programs.

Clinical services are provided in Nebraska Medical Center hospitals, MMI Clinics, schools, and community-based primary clinics throughout Nebraska. MMI also provides state-wide technical assistance, continuing education, and consultation to public schools, behavioral health agencies, and other programs providing services to children, youth, and adults. Referrals to MMI are made by pediatricians, schools, and parents seeking treatment, second opinions, or interdisciplinary assessments for children and adolescents. Professional staff members are organized within disciplines that include Psychology, Special Education, Clinical Genetics, Developmental Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Pathology, Social Work, Recreation Therapy, Nutrition, Nursing, Genetics Laboratories and the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Internship Training Model

Interns within the Nebraska Internship Consortium who are matched with MMI have the opportunity to receive training that is decidedly behavioral in orientation and focuses on evidence-based practice, including data-driven decision making and the implementation of empirically derived behavioral treatment technology. Clinical training and supervision is arranged sequentially. The intern starts by observing his or her supervisors, then progresses to participant observer, then co-therapist, and finally to primary therapist. Since training is designed to continuously move the intern toward independence, faculty work to move the interns into primary clinical positions as soon as possible. Assessment of competencies, completion of learning objectives, and progression toward independence are reviewed every three months between the intern and her or his supervisor. Interns typically spend 60-70% of their time in clinical activities, approximately 15-20% of their time in research-related activities, and approximately 10% of their time in professional development. Faculty consider attendance at conferences to be an important part of professional development as well as a means of establishing important contacts for future employment. Thus, all interns are encouraged to attend educational workshops and professional conferences during the year. In addition, interns who have been invited to present clinical research findings at conferences or who are preparing presentations for job interviews are encouraged and financially supported by the department to use the Institute Media Center to develop professional-quality presentations.

Additional resources available to each intern include office space, an individual computer, access to the internet and online statistical packages as well as online library search engines, unlimited copying and phone services, and media services. Interns receive a 12-month stipend of $28,352.

Employment will be contingent on satisfactory completion of a background check.

MMI Programs and Rotations

Applicants have three separate programs to consider at MMI: the Behavioral Pediatrics and Integrated Care program, a Rural Outreach Program, and the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Applicants interview with, rank, and are matched with these three programs separately. Interns will do all of their rotations within a single program.

Behavioral Pediatrics and Integrated Care Program: Rotations are available in which trainees learn outpatient behavioral assessment and treatment techniques for common developmental and behavioral problems encountered by children, adolescents, and their families, including problems such as noncompliance, tantrums, ADHD, disruptive school behavior, adjustment disorders, anxiety, depression, habit disorders, etc. Outpatient behavioral management services also are provided for children with developmental disabilities. Some rotations provide "specialized" behavioral health training opportunities (depending upon the faculty supervisor) in areas such as sleep disorders, academic problems, pain and stress related disorders, and neuropsychology. Other rotations focus on providing behavioral health services directly into primary care clinics. In these clinics, interns learn to work alongside physicians and staff in the community in both rural and urban sites throughout Omaha and eastern Nebraska. Through these experiences, interns can expect to learn how best to integrate into the culture of primary care while providing evidence-based treatment. Interns in these rotations also have monthly team meetings to discuss pragmatic issues endemic to integration of behavioral health services and research into primary care.

Rural Integrated Care Program (North/Central and West): This program is not a rotation, but a rural living and learning experience. Applicants will interview for, rank, and be matched separately with placements located in the Central and West areas of the state. Interns will have the opportunity to learn outpatient behavioral assessment and treatment techniques in primary care settings across rural Nebraska, working alongside physicians and other health professionals. Interns will work and live in one of the following towns in Nebraska: Norfolk or Kearney/Hastings (North/Central), or Rushville/Chadron (West).  Interns will learn outpatient behavioral assessment and treatment techniques for common developmental and behavioral problems encountered by children, adolescents, and their families, including problems such as noncompliance, tantrums, ADHD, disruptive school behavior, adjustment disorders, anxiety, depression, habit disorders, etc.  Outpatient services for children with developmental disabilities are also provided. Other opportunities may involve performing school consultation and/or interventions.  Monthly didactics will be provided via telehealth connections and monthly team meetings with all interns working in integrated care are scheduled to discuss pragmatic issues endemic to integration of behavioral health services and research into primary care. These experiences allow the intern to learn how best to integrate into the culture of primary care while providing evidence-based behavioral health services. Funding will also be provided for interns to travel to Beatrice, Lincoln and Omaha throughout the year (and for housing when overnights are required) for large group seminars of all interns (n=34) in the Nebraska Internship Consortium. 

Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders Program: Rotational opportunities are available in day treatment settings in which interns learn to use techniques derived from applied behavior analysis to evaluate and treat severe problem behaviors. Interns can choose from one of three programs. A major focus of the Severe Behavior Disorder Program is to provide highly specialized services to children with developmental disabilities who display destructive behaviors (e.g., aggression, self-injury, pica, property destruction). A major focus of the Feeding Disorder Program is to provide highly specialized interdisciplinary services to children with developmental disabilities who display feeding problems (e.g., tantrums, food refusal, vomiting) in both day treatment and outpatient settings. Finally, a major focus of the Early Intervention Program is to provide highly specialized services to young children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, focusing on teaching language, academic and pre-academic skills, appropriate social behavior, and daily living skills. The program offers a continuum of services including evaluation, school consultation, clinic-based intervention, and home-based program development.

Professional Development Training

Interns and Fellows attend monthly professional development activities that are provided through weekly research and professional development presentations, monthly interdisciplinary leadership seminars, regular case conferences, and attendance at Pediatric Grand Rounds. A sample of recent topics from weekly professional development presentations includes:

  • Behavior Management of Sleep Disorders
  • Cultural Sensitivity in Multidisciplinary Services for Individuals with Disabilities
  • Setting up a Behavioral Health Services Private Practice in a Primary Care Setting
  • Behavior Management of Medical Adherence
  • Family-Centered Care
  • Doing Clinical Research in a Medical Setting
  • Management of Post-Traumatic Reactions to Terrorist Acts
  • Family Adaptation to Diabetes
  • Job Interviewing and Negotiating
  • Grant Writing
  • Behavioral Pain Management

Research Training

All interns are expected to participate in ongoing interdisciplinary and clinical research. (Faculty in bold, interns in italics.)

  • Burt, J.D., Garbacz, S.A., Kupzyk, K.A., Gathje, R., & Frerichs, L. (2014). Examining the utility of behavioral health integration in well-child visits: Implications for rural settings. Families, Systems, and Health, 32, 20-30.
  • Fisher, W.W., Luczynski, K.C., Hood, S.A., Lesser, A.D., Machado, M.A., & Piazza, C.C. (2014). Preliminary findings of a randomized clinical trial of a virtual training program for applied behavior analysis technicians.Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8, 1044-1054.
  • Valleley, R.J., Evans, J.H., O’Dell, S., & Allen, K.D. (2014). Developmental screening in rural primary care: Real world application. Clinical Pediatrics, 53(9), 900–905
  • Volkert, V.M., Peterson, K.M., Zeleny, J.R., & Piazza, C.C. (2014). A clinical protocol to increase chewing and assess mastication in children with feeding disorders. Behavior Modification.doi:10.1177/0145445514536575.
  • Allen, K.D, Kuhn, B.R., DeHaai, K. & Wallace, D.P. (2013). Evaluation of a behavioral treatment package to reduce sleep problems in children with Angelman Syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 676-686.
  • Allen, K.D., & Wallace, D.W. (2013). Effectiveness of using noncontingent escape for general behavior management in a pediatric dental clinic. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 46, 723-737.
  • Ellis, C.R., Schnoes, C.J., & Roberts, H.J. Childhood Habit Behaviors and Stereotypic Movement Disorder. Medscape Reference. Updated September 16, 2013. Available at:http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/914071-overview.
  • Fisher, W.W., Rodriguez, N., & Owen, T. (2013). Functional assessment and treatment of perseverative speech about restricted topics in an adolescent with Asperger syndrome. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 46, 307-311.
  • Howard, M., Burke, R. & Allen, K.D. (2013) An evaluation of the impact of the observer effect on treatment integrity in a day treatment center for children. Behavior Modification, 37(4), 490-515. doi:10.1177/0145445513486801
  • Mathews, T.L., Erfritz-Gay, K., Knight, J., Lancaster, B. & Kupzyk, K. (2013). The effects of social skills group training on children with high functioning autism and disruptive behavior disorders. Children’s Health Care, 42, 311-332.
  • Milnes, S.M., & Piazza, C.C. (2013). Feeding disorders. In R. Hastings & J. Rojahn (Eds.), Challenging Behavior (pp. 143-166). Elsevier, Inc: Academic Press.
  • Segool, N., Meadows, T., Roberts, H., Thorson, R., Dogan, R., & Evans, J. (2013). The effect of location on psychotropic treatment practices among pediatricians. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 34, 22-30.
  • Volkert, V.M., Piazza, C.C., Vaz, P.C.M., & Frese, J. (2013). A pilot study to increase chewing in children with feeding disorders. Behavior Modification, 37, 391-408.

Past Interns' Current Employment Settings

The Munroe-Meyer Institute has trained interns with widely varying backgrounds, experiences, and professional aspirations. All have a common goal of pursing clinical, research, and/or teaching positions in the service of children, youth, and families of children and youth with common adjustment/behavior problems as well as those with more severe handicapping conditions and developmental disabilities. Interns have gone on to meet these goals in a wide variety of clinical, school, academic, medical, and private practice settings, including:

Private Practice
Lincoln Pediatric Group, NE
Great Plains Clinic, ND
Heartspring Program, KS 
Mankato Clinic, MN
Pediatric Associates, Iowa City, IA
Language Development Program, NY
Kearney Clinic, NE
Partners in Behavioral Milestones, KS
Columbus Pediatrics, NE

Medical/Hospital Settings
Children's Seashore House, PA
Beatrice State Developmental Center, NE 
Louisiana State University Medical Center
UNMC/Munroe-Meyer Institute, NE 
Eastern State Hospital, VA
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Southeast Hospital, Mandeville, LA
University of South Dakota School of Medicine

Public Schools
Gig Harbor Schools, WA 
Biloxi Schools, MS 
Phoenix Public Schools, AZ 
Sarasota Schools, FL 
LaGrange Schools, IL 
Wamego Public Schools, KS

Academic Departments
Brock University, Canada 
East Tennessee State University 
Florida State University 
Kent State University 
Louisiana State University 
Mississippi State University 
North Carolina State University 
Texas A&M University 
University of Southern Mississippi 
University of Cincinnati 
University of Oregon 
University of Nebraska 
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center 
Utah State University 
West Virginia University

Behavioral Pediatrics Program Faculty

Keith D. Allen, Ph.D., BCBA-D
West Virginia University 1987

Pediatric pain management, health-related behavior in children, parent training, stress-related disorders, autism, child management during invasive medical and dental procedures. Publications include articles in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Therapy, Headache, Pediatric Dentistry, Child and Family Behavior Therapy.

Brandy L. Clark, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Parent training, externalizing and internalizing disorders, integrating behavioral health into primary care, early intervention, childhood obesity, minority health disparities, home-school consultation, grant writing.  Publications include articles in Psychology in the Schools, Early Education and Development, Journal of Rural Mental Health, Infant Mental Health Journal, Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community.

Brett R. Kuhn, Ph.D.
Oklahoma State University, 1992

Sleep disorders, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), elimination disorders, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Publications include articles in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, Psychological Bulletin, Child & Family Behavior Therapy, Sleep, Clinical Pediatrics.

Terri Mathews, Ph.D., APRN-NP, BCBA-D
University of Kansas, 2007

Behavioral pediatrics, social skills training, autism spectrum disorders, medication management for children with developmental disabilities. Publications include articles in Progress in Community Health Partnerships, Child & Family Behavior Therapy.

Mark D. Shriver, Ph.D., BCBA-D
University of Nebraska, 1994

Academic and behavioral assessment for children with disabilities and school-related problems, parent training, child noncompliance. Publications include articles in School Psych Review, Journal of Evidence Based Practices for Schools, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Therapy.

William J. Warzak, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Georgia State University, 1987

Pediatric neuropsychology, diabetes, elimination disorders, feeding and swallowing disorders, pediatric rehabilitation, social skills training. Publications include articles in Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Children's Health Care, Pediatrics.

Outreach Integrated Behavioral Health Program Faculty

Lindsay Booker, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2013

Integrated behavioral health clinics in primary care, integrating behavioral psychology into well child visits, internalizing disorders, externalizing disorders, childhood sleep concerns, developmental disabilities. Publications include articles in Education & Training in Developmental Disabilities.

Jennifer Burt, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2008

Impact of behavioral health clinics in primary care settings, telehealth, improving parental knowledge of child development, parent training, and integrating psychology into well child visits. Publications include articles in Early Child Development and Care.

Mindy Chadwell, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2015

Integrating behavioral health into primary care, early childhood behavioral intervention, the impact of trauma on behavioral health, academic and school related problems, childhood sleep concerns, therapeutic relationship, internalizing disorders, externalizing disorders. Publications include articles in Contemporary School Psychology.

Joseph H. Evans, Ph.D.
University of Kansas, 1974

Integrated behavioral health in primary care, rural pediatric behavioral health, dissemination research, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, adolescent behavior. Publications include articles in Journal of Rural Mental Health; Pediatrics; Families, Systems & Health; Child and Family Behavior Therapy

Nancy Foster, Ph.D.
Mississippi State University, 2005

Rural outreach; disruptive behavior disorders; ADHD; learning problems; developmental disability; feeding, toileting, and sleep problems. Publications include articles in Journal of Rural Mental Health; Families, Systems & Health.

Allison Grennan, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2012

Integrating behavioral health into primary care, parent training, internalizing disorders, externalizing disorders, studying the impact of behavioral health clinics in primary care settings, integrating psychology into well child visits, depression screening in primary care. Publications include articles in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Psychology in the Schools.

Kristen Hembree, Ph.D.
Lehigh University, 2015

Integrating behavioral health into primary care, parent training, anticipatory guidance and integrating behavioral health into well child visits, childhood sleep disorders, externalizing and internalizing disorders, pediatric health concerns, studying the impact of integrated behavioral health (e.g., cost effectiveness, clinical improvement, patient/provider satisfaction), universal screening in primary care. Publications include articles in Families, Systems, and Health, Children’s Health Care

Sara Kupzyk, Ph.D., BCBA
University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2012

Academic and school-related problems, parent training, integration of psychologists into well-child visits, issues with treatment integrity. Publications include articles in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Contemporary School Psychology, Journal of Behavioral Education, Psychology in the Schools.

Kathryn Menousek, Ph.D., BCBA-D
University of Southern Mississippi, 2011

Integrating behavioral health into primary care; parent training; internalizing disorders; externalizing disorders; studying the impact of behavioral health clinics in primary care settings; providing early intervention services to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder; and development, implementation, and maintenance of a universal behavioral health screener for children and adolescents (ages 3-18) aimed at identifying the early signs of oppositional/disruptive behavior; depression screening in primary care. Publications include articles in Psychology in the Schools, Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation.

Cassie Reeve, Ph.D.
Western Michigan University, 2014

Integrating behavioral health into primary care, integrating psychology into well child visits, parent training, internalizing disorders, externalizing disorders, childhood sleep concerns, studying the impact of behavioral health clinics in primary care settings.

Holly Roberts, Ph.D.
Illinois State University, 2006

Rural behavioral health, assessment and treatment of ADHD, treatment outcomes, satisfaction and effectiveness at follow-up. Publications include articles in Behavioral Pediatrics, Behavior Modification, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Parenting: Science and Practice, Proven Practice.

Tara M. Sjuts, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2014

Integrating behavioral health into primary care, parent training, anticipatory guidance and integrating behavioral health into well child visits, psychological flexibility, mentoring in the field of mental and behavioral health, electronic health record keeping.

Josh Turek, Ph.D.
University of Kansas, 2015

Integrated rural behavioral health, assessment of disruptive behaviors and ADHD, clinical utility of behavior rating scales, parent-teacher discrepancies on rating scales, and statistical/research methods. Publications include articles in School Psychology Review, Telemedicine and e-Health, and Journal of School Psychology.

Rachel Valleley, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska at Lincoln, 2001

Impact of behavioral health clinics in primary care settings, clinical case studies, treatment integrity, parent training. Publications include articles in Journal of Behavioral Education; Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis; Pediatrics; Families, Systems & Health; Journal of Rural Mental Health.

Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders Program Faculty

Wayne Fisher, Ph.D.
University of Texas, 1982

Assessment and treatment of autism and severe behavior disorders; preference, choice, and the creative use of concurrent schedules of reinforcement. Publications include articles in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Pediatrics, Journal Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, The Lancet.

Suzanne Milnes, Ph.D.
University at Albany, State University of New York, 2011

Assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders, parent training. Publications include articles in theJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis and several book chapters.

Cathleen Piazza, Ph.D.
Tulane University, 1987

Pediatric feeding problems, dangerous behaviors that lead to injury, pediatric sleep problems, brain-behavior relations. Publications include articles in Research in Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Disability and Rehabilitation

Amanda Zangrillo, Psy.D., BCBA-D
University of Southern Maine, 2012

Assessment and treatment of severe behavior disorders. Publications include articles in Behavioral Interventions, Psychology in the Schools.

MMI holds open house events before interviews and happy hour events following the open house on 1/5/2017 and 1/12/2017 Rural Integrated Care interviewees are invited to attend an additional Rural Integrated Care open house event Friday evening and Saturday following interviews.