Our Team


Kate Murray is a Principal at Applied Self-Direction. She has deep expertise relating to regulatory compliance in Medicaid-funded self-direction programs, with a focus on labor and workforce issues. Kate is a nationally recognized expert on the Department of Labor’s Home Care Final Rule that revised Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements for home care workers, and she has consulted to numerous state Medicaid agencies and Medicaid managed care organizations on labor and workforce issues.

Kate previously served as a Senior Policy Analyst at the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS) at Boston College, with a focus on innovative, practical technical assistance for self-direction stakeholders.

Prior to working at NRCPDS, Kate worked as a senior medical economist in Medicaid managed care, focusing on LTSS utilization and expenditures among high-risk dual-eligible populations. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College with a double major in Government and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.


Casey DeLucaCasey DeLuca is the Director of Communications at Applied Self-Direction. Casey oversees Applied Self-Direction's membership offerings for state Medicaid agencies administering self-direction programs, Financial Management Services (FMS) entities, and other self-direction stakeholders. Casey is the primary organizer of the biennial Self-Direction Conference, a national event designed for states, providers, and other stakeholders in self-direction.

Prior to her work at ASD, Casey was the Self-Direction Training Manager at the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS) at Boston College and the Cash & Counseling National Program Office, which directed the twelve-state expansion of Cash & Counseling. In this role, Casey developed and implemented self-direction training programs for social workers, practitioners, program participants, and more.

Casey also has clinical social work experience working with adults with disabilities and children and families in hospital settings. Casey graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Home and Community Services from the University of Delaware and a Master of Social Work from Boston College. 


Molly MorrisMolly Morris is the Director of Engagement at Applied Self-Direction, where she works with states, participants, and provider organizations to create and enhance self-direction programs. Molly also manages relationships with myriad disability advocacy organizations to inform and guide Applied Self-Direction’s work. Molly previously spent five years at the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services at Boston College. At the Center, she launched and managed the state and Financial Management Services (FMS) membership offerings, which are now available through Applied Self-Direction. Molly oversaw the development of numerous issue briefs, webinars, and publications on self-direction. She also supported all aspects of a new Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-funded national initiative to expand self-direction to individuals with serious mental illness.

At Applied Self-Direction, Molly leads policy analysis related to the implementation of Electronic Visit Verification in self-directed services. She also monitors emerging trends in self-direction nationwide, including tracking the impact of COVID-19 on the growth of self-direction. Molly graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington and a Master of Social Work, specializing in Older Adults & Families, from Boston College.


James Toews is an Executive Technical Assistance Consultant at Applied Self-Direction and the former Acting Principal Deputy Director of the Administration for Community Living (ACL). James started his career in direct services to people with disabilities in community settings. After moving to state government, he was the Director of Developmental Disability Services for the state of Oregon from 1985-2001 and was the Director of Oregon’s state agency for Aging and Disability Services from 2001-2011. From 2011 to 2016, James was a Senior Advisor at ACL and was named acting Deputy Director in 2017. At ACL, James worked concurrently at CMS on implementation of the HCBS settings regulation; at the US Department of Labor on implementation of new FLSA regulations for home care workers; and at the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division on pending Olmstead litigation in multiple states.

James received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work and Sociology from Goshen College and later did graduate coursework in Guidance and Counseling at Indiana University at South Bend.


Merle Edwards-OrrMerle Edwards-Orr is an Executive Technical Assistance Consultant at Applied Self-Direction. Merle has developed, implemented and managed self-direction programs from within state government and help lead a national self-direction program. With the State of Vermont, Merle ran their Cash & Counseling Program and the quality management efforts for programs serving seniors and adults with disabilities, with a particular focus on case management and adult day services.  In 2012, he moved to the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS) at Boston College to lead the development of a self-directed option for all Veterans needing long-term care, on behalf of the Veterans Health Administration.  He moved with NRCPDS to Applied Self-Direction in the fall of 2016. 

Merle received his MSW from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and his Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Laura MauldinLaura Astor Mauldin is a Financial Management Services (FMS) Analyst at Applied Self-Direction.  Laura's tax and labor law research and operational procedures have established best practices for FMS around the country.  Additionally, she has worked extensively with individuals who self-direct during program enrollment and coordinated quality assurance activities for self-direction programs.  She currently serves on her local Bike-Pedestrian Committee.

Laura received her Bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University with a double major in Economics and Politics, and a minor in Business and Managerial Economics.



Erica Andres

Erica Andres is a Training and Technical Assistance Consultant at Applied Self-Direction. Erica has over 20 years of experience working in the Health and Human Services field and has the added expertise of living a self-directed life and directing her own care for over 20 years. Erica has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and is a participant in the WI Self-Directed Program. Erica has spoken at many national and even international conferences about her experience living a self-directed life and what a positive impact it has had on her.

Besides working at Applied Self-Direction, Erica also owns a business called Empowering U, which is dedicated to helping People with Disabilities self-direct and make the most out of their lives. Erica assists people with disabilities generally navigate the sometimes confusing world of self-direction, with an emphasis on assisting with recruiting, hiring, and managing direct care workers.

Prior to owning her own business and working at Applied Self-Direction, Erica worked as an IRIS Consultant for TMG. Erica holds degrees in Human Resources and Communication with a Minor in Marketing.


A Note from our Founder

Mollie Murphy

Self-direction is built on the belief that people with disabilities understand their own needs better than anyone else. Through self-direction programs, individuals of all ages with a variety of long-term care needs exercise choice and control over the services they need to live independently in the community. Self-direction supports people to live the life they choose.

Applied Self-Direction was founded to provide practical expertise to states, payers, and providers to make self-direction more accessible, more robust, more efficient, and easier to manage so more people can live the life that’s best for them. Self-direction is growing faster than any Home and Community-Based Services model of care because it works for people, families, and states. Applied Self-Direction is honored to support over 1.25 million people self-directing across all 50 states and Washington, DC.

- Mollie Murphy, Founder of Applied Self-Direction



You can view our team's publications and presentations here