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Meet the Family Safety Net Team

Lisa Wexler, Ph.D., MSW is a Professor in the School of Social Work and a researcher at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Her decades-long participatory research program collaborates with Indigenous communities, primarily rural and remote Alaska Native villages, and aims to (1) translate research into strategic, self-determined community action; (2) describe and amplify sources of strength in rural Indigenous communities that promote youth wellness and resilience; and (3) develop practical multilevel approaches to reduce youth suicide risk across the prevention spectrum. The universal prevention approach of the Family Safety Net builds on the strong family orientation of many Alaska Native people, and encourages adults to promote safe firearm storage within their homes as an important way to keep young people safe.

Aneliese Apala Flaherty, MPH is a Research Area Specialist at the University of Michigan.  Aneliese is a “jack-of-all-trades” and has been involved with FSN since 2019 in various roles.  Born and raised in Oklahoma, Aneliese was a bioanalytical chemist before returning to graduate school to get her MPH.  Since then, she has focused her efforts on community-led projects for well-being and suicide prevention

Kelsey Porter, MSW (she/her/hers) is a Research Area Specialist at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan. Originally from rural Northern California, Kelsey comes to this project with a background in positive youth development, working with young people at the intersection of social justice and identity, literacy development, and wilderness education. Kelsey came back to get her Master of Social Work from University of Michigan with an emphasis on community evaluation and applied research, and has worked on the Family Safety Net team since 2022.

Megan Leys, MSW (she/her/hers) is the Family Safety Net Coordinator at Maniilaq Health Services in Kotzebue, Alaska. Megan has worked in a variety of roles supporting young people and their families in communities across the nation in both rural and urban contexts. Through participatory and collaborative organizing and research, she is interested in working at the local level to find equitable, accessible, and sustainable solutions to promote wellness and community change. Megan has worked for Family Safety Net since 2022 after graduating with her Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan with a concentration in program evaluation and applied research.

Avery Moje (she/her/hers) is a Master of Public Health candidate in Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Her interests in the development and evaluation of violence prevention programs for youth, harm reduction, and community-based public health work led her to join the Family Safety Net team in 2022.