Northern Vermont University is now part of Vermont State University! Please visit for accurate information.

The Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement and Innovation (VCPI) is an independent, nonprofit cooperative. Our members include mental health and substance use disorder providers, state agencies, hospitals, educational institutions, practitioners, professional associations, peers, families and more working to support practice improvement and professional/workforce development in the Vermont system of care.



Our mission is to provide training, education, and more: coaching and consultation, learning communities and other clinical resources, pilot projects, project management and evaluation—to help agencies, programs and individuals implement and improve practice.

Founded in 2013, we have partnered with our fiscal sponsor Northern Vermont University since 2018 inspiring hope, wellness, resilience and recovery for all Vermonters. VCPI’s focus areas include: Dialectical Behavioral therapy (DBT); Six Core Strategies for Reducing Seclusion and Restraint; Suicide Prevention Education; Environmental Mental Health; support for Early Episode Psychosis; and more.

We offer services for our members, students, organizations, and the broader behavioral health workforce:

  • Supporting implementation, sustainability, and evaluation of practice improvement activities
  • Offering organizational support for practice, quality improvement, training and coaching
  • Providing and promoting innovative workforce training and orientation opportunities
  • Hosting learning communities to support sustainable implementation and culture change
  • Management of pilot, grant, and other projects for adapting and examining evidence-based and promising practices
  • Providing customized facilitation, coaching, and digital hosting services


Learn More

For more information about current projects, membership, or to contact us:

P.O. Box 343
St. Albans VT 05478
@VTCPI on social media

Alex Lehning, M.A. (he/him) – Executive Director

Alex has served in nonprofits and classrooms for over a decade, and is dedicated to fostering cultures of well-being in both communities and organizations. He is an advocate for suicide prevention education as well as student mental health. In addition to his work at VCPI, he is also an instructor with the Community College of Vermont and a historian of medicine. A trained death doula, Alex holds a BA in History from the University of Maine, a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Marlboro Graduate College, and an MA in History from the University of Vermont. Alex is a member of the American Counseling Association, the American College Counseling Association, and the American and Vermont Mental Health Counselor Associations. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Vermont and Alyssum, Inc.


Amy Stonoha, M.B.A., Ed.S. (she/her) – Operations and Technology Manager

Amy brings expertise in cloud-based e-learning curriculum and design, as well as an in-depth knowledge of distance learning educational models, adult learning styles, and technology-assisted instruction. She has an undergraduate degree in human services, a master’s degree in business administration, an Ed.S. degree in educational technology, and is currently completing her doctoral degree (ABD) in education with a focus on educational technology.