Using the Health Matters Curriculum with the Project SEARCH Program Model

Presenter: Maryellen Daston, Program Specialist, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, OH and Karen Guo
Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2019.
Time: 2:00-3:00 pm (Eastern Time)

Play recording (59 min)



Maryellen Daston is a researcher and technical writer with a background in biomedical research. Prior to her current position with Project SEARCH, she worked in the field of developmental neuroscience. In her current position, Maryellen works with the Project SEARCH central administration team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center where she manages the Project SEARCH database, develops online training modules, manages content for the Project SEARCH website, and writes and edits articles for professional journals and other communications. She researches funding opportunities, writes grant proposals, and oversees research related to Project SEARCH. In addition, Maryellen co-authored the book on the history, philosophy, and practices that define the Project SEARCH model, “High School Transition that Works: Lessons Learned from Project SEARCH”, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Contact Maryellen


Karen Guo

Karen Guo is a pediatric occupational therapist.  She achieved her BS degree in Psychology at the University of Michigan and Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at the Ohio State University.  She began her collaboration with Health Matters and Project SEARCH as a graduate student studying health education and promotion for individuals with developmental disabilities, and continues as part of the team to create a usable guideline for instructors to routinely implement Health Matters into their Project SEARCH Curriculum.


Project SEARCH is committed to supporting health and fitness education during the transition to employment. Accordingly, Project SEARCH partnered with UnitedHealthcare to provide Project SEARCH programs with Health Matters: The Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Curriculum for People with Developmental Disabilities. More recently, we were awarded a grant from the Ohio DD Council to study the use of the Health Matters curriculum in the context of Project SEARCH. As part of this project, we have created a clear set of guidelines for integrating the Health Matters curriculum into Project SEARCH. The goal is to optimize learning of health and fitness principles in a way that complements and enhances the primary Project SEARCH goal of competitive employment. In this presentation we will introduce the new guideline document and discuss the findings from piloting the guidelines at Project SEARCH sites throughout Ohio in the 2018-19 program year.

These webinars are open to anyone with an interest in employment, transition, health, and wellness for people with developmental disabilities.

View Playlist for Project SEARCH and HealthMatters Program 2017-2019 Employment, Health, and Wellness Webinar Series

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