Ruth York

Executive Director
Mail: ryork@idahofederation.org

Bio

Ruth York is the Executive Director of the Idaho Federation of Families. Ruth is married with two children, now young adults. She received a Masters Degree in Public Health from Columbia University early in her career. Prior to taking this position with the Federation, she was privileged to lead a wonderful staff at St. Luke’s Health System focused on supporting the needs of families with children who have complex health issues.

Ruth says that the Federation feels like a great fit for her because she knows she wants to be part of improving the overall health and well-being of families in Idaho.  Her particular passion is to focus on helping families support the mental health needs of their children, while also finding adequate supports for the whole family.

Ruth is passionate about supporting families in their journeys with kids challenged by emotional and behavioral health issues.  She has experienced these challenges in her own family and has felt the isolation the journey can result in, and the gaps in services that made it hard for her to find supports for both the adults and children in her family.

Her recreational interests include: Nature, hiking, biking, yoga, travel, music, food, friends.

Pat Martelle

Program Development Director
Mail: pmartelle@idahofederation.org

Bio

Pat Martelle is focused on system change in children’s systems of care as youth and families speak to what those changes need to be. Her background is in clinical social work, public health and policy development. She gets her inspiration from the youth who are currently speaking out globally about public health issues.

Cindy Shotton

Administrative Assistant
Mail: cshotton@idahofederation.org

Bio

Cindy Shotton has been the Federation’s administrative assistant since 2005. She spent the previous ten years working in law enforcement support. Prior to that, she was a teacher’s aide in a high school special education resource room for 6 years, assisting students who had a myriad of learning disabilities and behavioral difficulties.

Professional and life experiences have given Cindy a well-rounded perspective into the issues of children’s mental health. A major source of insight comes from over 30 years with her husband, Phil, who taught special education students in a variety of residential and public school settings for 35 years.

The Shottons faced all the anxiety, turmoil, disruption and despair that families of children with mental health problems live, day in and day out. Their son, now adult with a family of his own, was misdiagnosed at age 12 with a mental health disorder and was inappropriately medicated for nearly a year. Cindy has compassion born of personal understanding for any child and their family dealing with mental health challenges.

In her spare time Cindy spends as much time as possible with her family and especially with six little grandchildren  who light up her life with love!

Jennifer Griffis

Family Engagement Director
Mail: jgriffis@idahofederation.org

Bio

Jen Griffis is a certified parent coach with professional degrees and experience in the field of education and literacy development. She is the parent of seven kids who currently range in age from 17 to 8. Behavioral, emotional, and learning challenges among her children create many opportunities to engage with various child-serving systems.

For the past eight years, she has provided parent voice and perspective with Idaho’s system of care for children through various groups and activities, including the development and implementation of YES. She also supports the Praed Foundation in their efforts to increase parent voice in trainings and systems across the country. She has been involved with IFFCMH for the past six years, originally as a board member and volunteer, and now as a staff member.

Michelle Batten

Trauma Specialist
Mail: mbatten@idahofederation.org

Bio

Michelle Batten is the Trauma Specialist at the Idaho Federation of Families. Her life experience of growing up in a home with foster siblings and an adopted sister motivated her to learn more about the impact of early abuse and neglect.  Her studies in human development and Trust Based Relational Intervention®, provide her with the foundation for her understanding of mental health needs.  She is passionate about providing coaching and training to foster and adoptive families and those who work with them.

Jennifer McNealy

Youth MOVE Coordinator
Mail: jmcnealy@idahofederation.org

Bio

Jennifer McNealy started her young career in Idaho in senior care in order to offer compassionate care and programming to Idaho’s aging population. After moving to Montana where she secured a job with a program for teen moms, she realized her passion was working with teens dealing with life-altering events and mental health challenges. She has moved back to Idaho to work with Youth MOVE Idaho as the Program Coordinator. This position includes providing leadership and mentoring to youth in our programs.  Jennifer’s passion comes from her own lived experience as an adolescent and her personal knowledge of overcoming significant challenges to create a meaningful and rewarding life.