Logo for: Substance Exposed Pregnancy Initiative of Connecticut


The Substance Exposed Pregnancy Initiative of Connecticut (SEPI-CT) aims to strengthen capacity at the community, provider, and systems levels to improve the health and well-being of infants born substance-exposed through supporting the recovery of pregnant people and their families. This initiative is funded by CT DMHAS and CT DCF and contracted through Wheeler. 

Our Priorities & Goals

The work of SEPI-CT is guided by a 5-Year Strategic Plan (2022-2027). The priority areas and goals of the plan are:

Screening & Brief Intervention

Goal: Improve screening for substance misuse and substance use disorders and to provide appropriate services through provider education and enhancement of statewide referral systems

Marketing & Training

Goal: Create and enhance opportunities for substance exposed pregnancy professional development and promote statewide awareness and knowledge

CAPTA & Family
Care Plans

Goal: Promote broad understanding of CAPTA reporting requirements and the value of Family Care Plans

Treatment, Recovery,
& Wellness Support

Goal: Ensure birthing people, children and families have access to SEPI-CT and SUD treatment, recovery, and support resources

Initiative Components

Executive Team:

The SEPI-CT Program Manager, together with DCF and DMHAS leadership, form the Executive Implementation Team. This group meets biweekly to maintain consistent communication on the ongoing status of the initiative and provide guidance and support to the Program Manager as needed.

  • Kimberly Karanda Ph.D., LCSW (CT DMHAS)
  • Shelly Nolan MA, LPC (CT DMHAS)
  • Rebecca Petersen LCSW (CT DMHAS)
  • Bridget Aliaga, MPH (CT DMHAS)
  • Kris Robles LCSW (CT DCF)
  • Judith Stonger MA, CPS (Wheeler)
  • Pamela Mulready LPC, LADC, RSS (Wheeler)
  • Mary Fitzgerald LMSW (Wheeler)

Core Team:

The Core team is a group of stakeholders who provide leadership and direction for the project. These individuals and agency representatives have expertise in maternal and child health, behavioral health, substance use, child welfare, and advocacy for women and birthing people. This group meets quarterly (July, October, January, April) to discuss updates and emerging work. This group is open for participation. Please contact the Program Manager for meeting details.

Work Groups:

The workgroups support the deliverables of each respective priority area. Each workgroup meets once a month. These groups are open to participation. Please contact the Program Manager for meeting details.

The components above are also supported in partnership with various existing and ongoing DMHAS and DCF programs and services that overlap with the goals of SEPI-CT. For more information on the initiative, please contact Pamela Mulready, Program Manager, at pamulready@wheelerclinic.org