Executive Staff

The Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD) helps all of Nevada's elders and adults and children with disabilities or special health care needs to live independent, meaningful and dignified lives in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.


Edward Ableser

Dr. Ableser has an extensive background in politics, education and psychology with a passion and commitment to advocacy and support to those we serve.  Appointed to the Arizona State Senate at age 26, followed by a 10-year span in the House of Representatives and the Senate, he was a legislative champion for excellence in education, mental health policy, and extensive anti-bullying legislation.  Edward brings legislative experience working on legislative appropriations budget committees; in addition to furthering legislation prohibiting the exploitation of seniors, individuals with autism, housing projects and community advocacy work.   


Edward attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, where he earned two Bachelor's degrees (Political Science and Chinese), a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology, and a PhD in Justice and Social Inquiry.


With extensive experience working with health and human services programs and educational support services, Edward possesses the leadership and knowledge of administering programs in compliance with statutory obligations.  He has built and expanded efforts to support over fifteen years of experience serving as a licensed professional counselor, coaching children, parents, and families through the effects of depression, anxiety, and many other mental-health disorders. 


Edward is excited to join the Department of Health and Human Services and support the mission to ensure the provision of effective supports and services to meet the needs of individuals and families, helping them lead independent, meaningful and dignified lives. 

Deputy Administrators

Cara Paoli
Deputy of Developmental Services
Cara has extensive knowledge and experience in the area of human services and is a proven leader with a wealth of clinical experience. Her previous experience includes positions within the Division of Child and Family Services supporting children and families with behavioral health issues, teaching at the University of Nevada, Reno, and providing clinical services within community mental health programs. In 2011, Cara accepted a new opportunity with Mental Health and Developmental Services as the community services manager for Sierra Regional Center working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Cara holds a Master of Social Work degree and is a licensed clinical social worker.
Jill Berntson
Deputy of Aging and Disability Services
As an ADSD deputy administrator, Jill Berntson is responsible for oversight of programs that provide community-level resources to assist seniors and people with severe disabilities and their families in helping them to live as independently as possible. Prior to her appointment as deputy administrator, Jill has worked for DHHS as a social worker for child protective services and elder protective services and providing case management for recipients of community-based care services; as social work supervisor and social services manager; and most recently as the social services chief for the Elder Rights Program. During her tenure with DHHS, Jill has worked with national experts to develop best practices related to elder protective services and the advocacy for older adults. Her experience working with older adults spans over 21 years. Jill holds Bachelor’s degrees in social work and psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno.