Collaborative Safety is dedicated to working with public and private agencies to embrace a systems approach to learning and improvement. With implementation proficiency and a national reputation, Collaborative Safety is uniquely qualified to provide tools, training and ongoing support to agencies wanting to enhance systemic learning and establish a culture of safety.
“I have real hope for maybe the first time in my 23 years, that meaningful change is possible because of the tools that can come from this process: change in our system’s culture and change in outcomes for children and families” -Supervisor, Arizona DCS
Scott J. Modell received his Ph.D. from the College of Education at Florida State University in 1997. Dr. Modell is Co-Founder of Collaborative Safety, LLC. From 2013 to 2016, he served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. He has also served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Prior to moving to Tennessee, Dr. Modell spent fifteen years as a Professor at California State University, Sacramento. Over his last five years at the university, he additionally served as Director of the university’s Autism Center for Excellence. He has authored nine books and has over 300 published articles and abstracts. Dr. Modell has been a leading advocate for applying human factors and system safety principles to human service agencies. Specifically, he has supported the development of a widespread culture of safety that has increased the quality of work for his staff and improved outcomes for those they served. Notably, Dr. Modell supported the development of safety management systems, which are recognized as the first of their kind in the field of Child Welfare. Dr. Modell and his colleagues were referred to as pioneers in safety science by the Federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. Dr. Modell is a nationally recognized speaker in the areas of child abuse, crime victims with disabilities and the application of safety science to human services agencies. He has conducted workshops and trainings reaching thousands of police officers, educators, child protective service and adult protective service professionals across the country.
Noel Hengelbrok is a Co-Founder of Collaborative Safety, LLC and received his Master’s Degree in Human Factors and System Safety from Lund University. He was formerly the Director of Safety Analysis for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) and the Director of Safety Systems for the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD). Noel is dedicated to safety innovation and was a key developer for the Tennessee DCS Child Death Review, which is the first of its kind to use human factors and system safety analysis methods to review critical incidents in child welfare agencies. He was also the key developer for the DCS Confidential Safety Reporting System, allowing DCS workers to safely report system constraints and vulnerabilities. This system was supported by passing legislation to establish confidentiality for workers that use the reporting system. In addition to his contributions in the field of child welfare, he is dedicated to improving safety in public human services organizations by establishing new ways to engage employees in safety efforts that allow an organization to learn and improve. This involves researching and developing enhanced accountability systems to foster safety improvement. Mr. Hengelbrok is a published author of research applying safety science to child welfare agencies and has worked with numerous state agencies to improve their critical incident review processes and advance a culture of safety. Notably, he and his colleagues were referred to as pioneers in safety science in a federal report authored by the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities.
Casey Melsek, MSW, M.Sc. is the Senior Director with Collaborative Safety, LLC. Ms. Melsek received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Arizona State University in 2006. She completed her graduate work at Lund Unveristy in the Masters Degree program in Human Factors and Systems Safety. Ms. Melsek has extensive experience having worked for over a decade in the child welfare field in a number of positions including; frontline worker, supervisor, manager to her most recent role as the Arizona Department of Child Safety Ombudsman. Ms. Melsek dedicated much of her time in the last few years with Arizona DCS as a key developer of their Systemic Critical Incident Reviews, which used human factors and systems analysis to review critical incidents within the agency. Additionally, she was critical in development and implementation of a safety culture within Arizona DCS‘s nationally recognized department. It was in this role that that she was able study how the work is completed in the complex world of child welfare and used her own experiences as a frontline worker to advocate for agency improvements.
Kelly Knutson, MSW is a Senior Director with Collaborative Safety, LLC. In 2008, Ms. Knutson received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota, Duluth with a specialized focus on working with American Indian communities. She currently is completing graduate work at Lund University in the Masters Degree program in Human Factors and Systems Safety. As the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Supervisor at Minnesota’s Department of Child Safety and Permanency Division, Ms. Knutson was instrumental in supporting the application of human factors and systems safety analysis with the Department’s continuous quality improvement efforts throughout the department, including leading the development and implementation of their Systemic Critical Incident Review process. In addition to her extensive experience within the child welfare field, including specialized training and efforts to support trauma informed child welfare systems, Ms. Knutson has a range of experiences working within human services that include juvenile justice, chemical dependency, and child and adult mental health.
Natia Ellis received her Master’s of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2001. Ms. Ellis began her career in Juvenile Justice serving at risk youth through community supervision and later adult felony offenders for the Georgia Department of Corrections. Her career path changed in 2007 when she joined the Tennessee Department of Children Services (DCS) as a Child Protective Services Case Manager. Ms. Ellis spent 6 years in this role investigating child abuse and building relationships with community partners in an effort to ensure continuous safe homes and environments for children. In 2013, Ms. Ellis transitioned to the role of Safety Analyst for DCS and has served in that role for 5 years. During this time, Ms. Ellis was instrumental in the implementation, development and success of Tennessee’s nationally recognized Child Death Review.
Kenny Weaver, is a Consultant with Collaborative Safety, LLC. He currently is conducting his graduate work at Lund Unveristy in the Masters Degree program in Human Factors and Systems Safety. Mr. Weaver’s most recent work with Nissan North America Corporate Headquarters provided him the unqiue opportunity to apply human factors and systems safety in the corporate finance world. Mr. Weaver also comes to Collaborative Safety, LLC having spent multiple years working with children, adolescents and adults with disabilities in residential programs supporting and promoting increased quality of life through a person-centered ideology. It is this work, combined with his additional extensive experience in other safety critical industries including healthcare, firefighting, and construction that makes Mr. Weaver a valuable addition to the Collaborative Safety team.
David Garrett is the Director of Operations for Collaborative Safety, LLC. Mr. Garrett is poised to bring his knowledge of corporate systems and apply them to a human services-based approach. He brings over 20 years of experience in lead operations, sales and marketing to his current role. Mr. Garrett began his work in the area of operations while working for the National Basketball Association’s Orlando Magic and the Golden State Warriors. Since then, he has spent over two decades working and developing expertise as an International Sales Manager, National Sales Director, and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for large U.S. based companies. Prior to his position as Director of Operations, Mr. Garrett has additionally supported work with the Singapore National Council on Social Service, the New York Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, and the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. Mr. Garrett received his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut and his M.S. in Business Management from Georgia Southern University.
Madison is the Operations Manager for Collaborative Safety, LLC. received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communications and Public Relations/Marketing from the University of Kentucky. Madison brings a new perspective to Collaborative Safety with her expertise in marketing and public relations, helping expand our presence on social media and on virtual platforms. In addition, Madison handles the scheduling and many aspects of the day-to-day business operations for the company.
James M. Henry, Executive Consultant with Collaborative Safety, LLC recently finished his term as Deputy Governor and Chief of Staff to Bill Haslam in the state of Tennessee. Mr. Henry has extensive experience in government and with the provision of services to children and to individuals with disabilities. He served as the first Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He also served as the Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. During his time as Commissioner, he oversaw the successful exit of four federal lawsuits (two at the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and two at the Department of Children’s Services). Mr. Henry additionally served as President and CEO of Omni Visions, Inc. a provider agency serving adults with developmental disabilities and children and families in crisis. His experience in government also includes his time as Mayor of the city of Kingston, Tennessee and six years as minority leader in the Tennessee House of Representatives. As a young man, Mr. Henry attended Hiwassee College and the University of Tennessee and served with distinction in the Vietnam War.
James M. Nyce, Ph.D., is Director of Research and Safety Culture Analysis with Collaborative Safety, LLC. Dr. Nyce received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1987 and is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Ball State University, associate professor of computer science at Linköping University, Sweden and affiliated researcher at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. With colleagues, he has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and has conducted fieldwork in Romania since 2004. For the past twelve years, he has taught in Lund University’s MSc program in Human Factors and System Safety. Long interested in the roles risk and danger play in complex societies, Dr. Nyce’s association with Lund University led him to safety literature and safety issues. For example, he is now looking with Sidney Dekker and others, at what the Book of Job can tell us about how we think about accidents today.