Our Team


Kate Murray is the President of Applied Self-Direction. She has deep expertise relating to regulatory compliance in Medicaid-funded self-direction programs, with a focus on labor and workforce issues. Kate is a nationally recognized expert on the Department of Labor’s Home Care Final Rule that revised Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements for home care workers, and she has consulted to numerous state Medicaid agencies and Medicaid managed care organizations on labor and workforce issues.

Kate previously served as a Senior Policy Analyst at the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS) at Boston College, with a focus on innovative, practical technical assistance for self-direction stakeholders. Prior to working at NRCPDS, Kate worked as a senior medical economist in Medicaid managed care, focusing on LTSS utilization and expenditures among high-risk dual-eligible populations. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College with a double major in Government and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.


Casey DeLucaCasey DeLuca is a Vice President at Applied Self-Direction. Casey oversees Applied Self-Direction's membership offerings for state Medicaid agencies administering self-direction programs, Financial Management Services (FMS) entities, and other self-direction stakeholders. Casey is the primary organizer of the biennial Self-Direction Conference, a national event designed for states, providers, and other stakeholders in self-direction.

Prior to her work at ASD, Casey was the Self-Direction Training Manager at the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS) at Boston College and the Cash & Counseling National Program Office, which directed the twelve-state expansion of Cash & Counseling. In this role, Casey developed and implemented self-direction training programs for social workers, practitioners, program participants, and more. Casey also has clinical social work experience working with adults with disabilities and children and families in hospital settings. Casey graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Home and Community Services from the University of Delaware and a Master of Social Work from Boston College. 


Molly MorrisMolly Morris is a Vice President at Applied Self-Direction, where she works with states, participants, and provider organizations to create and enhance self-direction programs. Molly also manages relationships with myriad disability advocacy organizations to inform and guide Applied Self-Direction’s work. Molly previously spent five years at the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services at Boston College. At the Center, she launched and managed the state and Financial Management Services (FMS) membership offerings, which are now available through Applied Self-Direction. Molly oversaw the development of numerous issue briefs, webinars, and publications on self-direction. She also supported all aspects of a new Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-funded national initiative to expand self-direction to individuals with serious mental illness.

At Applied Self-Direction, Molly leads policy analysis related to the implementation of Electronic Visit Verification in self-directed services. She also monitors emerging trends in self-direction nationwide, including tracking the impact of COVID-19 on the growth of self-direction. Molly graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington and a Master of Social Work, specializing in Older Adults & Families, from Boston College.


Brenda Vitale

Brenda Vitale is the Chief Experience Officer at Applied Self-Direction, where she enhances the ways stakeholders interact with Applied Self-Direction and each other through our website and media campaigns. She joins Applied Self-Direction with over 15 years of experience in home and community-based services, both as a service provider and consultant. Brenda previously spent nine years at the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS) at Boston College. At the Center, she performed the day-to-day management of HCBS.org, the Clearinghouse for Home and Community-Based Services. In this role, she also offered training and technical support to state partners. 

Prior to her work at Applied Self-Direction, Brenda recruited and advised social work students. She also spent over a decade in volunteer roles with Special Olympics and Sprout. Brenda graduated from the University of Southern Colorado with a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work from Boston College.


James Toews is a Senior Advisor at Applied Self-Direction and the former Acting Principal Deputy Director of the Administration for Community Living (ACL). James started his career in direct services to people with disabilities in community settings. After moving to state government, he was the Director of Developmental Disability Services for the state of Oregon from 1985-2001 and was the Director of Oregon’s state agency for Aging and Disability Services from 2001-2011. From 2011 to 2016, James was a Senior Advisor at ACL and was named acting Deputy Director in 2017. At ACL, James worked concurrently at CMS on implementation of the HCBS settings regulation; at the US Department of Labor on implementation of new FLSA regulations for home care workers; and at the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division on pending Olmstead litigation in multiple states.

James received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work and Sociology from Goshen College and later did graduate coursework in Guidance and Counseling at Indiana University at South Bend.


Merle Edwards-OrrMerle Edwards-Orr is a Senior Advisor at Applied Self-Direction. Merle has developed, implemented and managed self-direction programs from within state government and help lead a national self-direction program. With the State of Vermont, Merle ran their Cash & Counseling Program and the quality management efforts for programs serving seniors and adults with disabilities, with a particular focus on case management and adult day services.  In 2012, he moved to the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS) at Boston College to lead the development of a self-directed option for all Veterans needing long-term care, on behalf of the Veterans Health Administration.  He moved with NRCPDS to Applied Self-Direction in the fall of 2016. 

Merle received his MSW from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and his Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Laura MauldinLaura Astor Mauldin is a Senior Consultant at Applied Self-Direction. Laura provides policy analysis applicable to Financial Management Service (FMS) entities, conducts FMS Readiness Reviews, and provides operational guidance to FMS entities, specializing in the application of IRS Revenue Procedure 2013-39 to Fiscal/Employer Agents. Prior to working at ASD, Laura worked extensively with individuals who self-direct during program enrollment, coordinated quality assurance activities for self-direction programs, and established operational best practices for Financial Management Services around the country. 

Additionally, Laura was a program manager for a healthcare data analytics company focusing on healthcare utilization in conjunction with the identification of outreach opportunities, both wellness and chronic conditions, to decrease the overall cost of care. Laura received her Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University with a double major in Economics and Politics, and a minor in Business and Managerial Economics.


Erica Andres

Erica Andres is a Senior Consultant at Applied Self-Direction. Erica has over 20 years of experience working in the Health and Human Services field and has the added expertise of living a self-directed life and directing her own care for over 20 years. Erica has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and is a participant in the WI Self-Directed Program. Erica has spoken at many national and even international conferences about her experience living a self-directed life and what a positive impact it has had on her.

Besides working at Applied Self-Direction, Erica also owns a business called Empowering U, which is dedicated to helping People with Disabilities self-direct and make the most out of their lives. Erica assists people with disabilities generally navigate the sometimes confusing world of self-direction, with an emphasis on assisting with recruiting, hiring, and managing direct care workers. Prior to owning her own business and working at Applied Self-Direction, Erica worked as an IRIS Consultant for TMG. Erica holds degrees in Human Resources and Communication with a Minor in Marketing.