Steven Staugaitis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research
Dr. Steven Staugaitis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at UMass Medical School and works within the Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research (CDDER) located at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center. CDDER is part of UMass Medical School's Center for Health Policy and Research. His research focus is on the practical application of research and evidence-based practices to enhance developmental disabilities services in a broad range of areas, including quality management and improvement, risk prevention, performance measurement, and data utilization.
In his role at CDDER, Dr. Staugaitis provides consultation and support to develop programs and policies that enhance both the services and management practices of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation (DMR) and other state developmental disability systems. In addition to creating annual Quality Assurance and Mortality reports for DMR, he also provides essential support in the development of the agency’s health standards and policy, performance indicators, and quality improvement initiatives. He has also created risk screening and mitigation tools, as well as various staff development programs. Dr. Staugaitis is the principal investigator on a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Real Choices quality improvement grant and a Centers for Disease Control grant for the development of online instruction in the use of root cause analysis within developmental disability service systems. He coordinates the North East Developmental Disability Directors’ Consortium, a collaborative effort between the leadership of state developmental disability agencies in New England and New York.
A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Staugaitis has more than 30 years of experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Prior to joining the Center for Health Policy and Research in 2003, Dr. Staugaitis served in a variety of positions in the Connecticut Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), including roles as the Director of Psychology and Residential Services at the Danbury Regional Center, Director of the Southbury Training School, Regional Director for both the Hartford and Western Connecticut Regions, and Director of the DDD Strategic Leadership Center within the state agency’s central office. Dr. Staugaitis has led a number of legislative and statewide commissions and task forces, including those charged with the redesign of the Connecticut early intervention system and a commission for evaluating methods for reorganizing developmental disability services within the state. He provides consultation and technical assistance to a number of state developmental disability systems on risk management and incident prevention techniques.
Dr. Staugaitis earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology at St. John’s University in New York. He also holds a master’s degree in management science from Rensselaer at Hartford and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. John’s University.