ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Lori Wells of Barnesville, an Early Intervention Developmental Specialist, has received the Five-Star Customer Experience Award from the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities.

This award recognizes a county board employee who goes above and beyond in supporting people served by their county board. Wells was among those across Ohio who were nominated for the award. She received the recognition at the 36th Annual OACB Convention on Dec. 5 at Columbus.

Wells, who is the Early Intervention Team Leader for the BHN Alliance (Belmont-Harrison-Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities), is described as someone who has an acute understanding of what families need.

Holly Weatherson, EI Contract Manager for the BHN Alliance, said that Wells is "masterful" at supporting families, always willing to provide what they need, well beyond normal business hours. One of those needs is met through her credential as a Certified Infant Massage Therapist, a skill that can console babies dealing with the trauma of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

"Lori has defined what it means to provide specialized instruction to families whose infants and toddlers have disabilities or developmental delays," Weatherson said. "She can relate to families and their challenges and is, in truth, their ally."

As the EI Team Leader, Wells mentors and supports an entire team of developmental specialists and speech and language, occupational and physical therapists serving over 100 families with evidence-based early intervention supports.

Early Intervention is a statewide system that provides coordinated services to parents of infants and toddlers (ages birth to three) with disabilities or developmental delays in Ohio. To make a referral, call 1-800-755-4769. More information about the Belmont County Board of DD can be found on its website,