Elizabeth Pell, MSW, LICSW has joined The Arc of Massachusetts Team as our Director of Policy Implementation and the Co-Director of the Becker Center For Advocacy.
Elizabeth has been an advocate for people with disabilities and older adults for over 35 years. She is a social worker with policy and hands-on practice experience that crosses service systems — intellectual and developmental disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, older adults, and end of life. Her passion is advocating for the voice and preference of individuals and families to be heard and respected.
Prior to joining The Arc of Massachusetts, Elizabeth was a Policy Associate with the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) where she consulted with states on improving home and community-based services. She assisted states to improve person-centered services, strengthen incident management, use quality councils to drive change, and advance compliance with revised Federal requirements for person centered service planning and fully integrated service settings. At HSRI, Elizabeth conducted program evaluations, and recently evaluated a supported decision making pilot (an alternative to guardianship) in Massachusetts.
Elizabeth feels fortunate to have had such a varied career, from direct care to legal advocate to state policy and best practice consultant. She began her career as a direct care worker in nursing homes, helped a rural community establish a health care facility, provided social services to adults living in state institutions, and legal advocacy with the federal Protection and Advocacy system in Alabama. Elizabeth was on the Alabama Federal Court Monitor staff where she assessed compliance with court orders in Wyatt v Stickney. While with the Center for Public Representation in Massachusetts, Elizabeth represented people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to move from an institution to community homes and lives. She gained knowledge of the elder long-term and home care systems as Director of an Elder Abuse and Protection department in a Massachusetts Area Agency on Aging, and as Director of Social Services with a hospice agency in Oregon. Elizabeth holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work, a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Management, and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker.