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Steering Committee Members

Mark Diel
California Coverage and Health Initiatives
National Association of Health Access Assisters

As CEO of NAHAA and California Coverage and Health Initiatives (CCHI), Mark is responsible for the strategic and day-to-day management of NAHAA and its staff. Prior to leading NAHAA and CCHI, he spent 9 years as Executive Director and CEO of Children’s Health Initiative Napa County where he developed the first nonprofit insurance brokerage firm in California serving individuals and families. He built a county-wide collaborative of 42 agencies and guided Napa County into a leadership role at the state level, working to provide affordable health insurance to everyone in California, regardless of race, ethnicity, or family income. Prior to his work in Napa County, he managed public health programs in Yolo County, including the Women, Infants, and Children Program. He also developed mobile medical, dental, and optometric clinics based in schools and community centers, and a health promotora program in Los Angeles. Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and Master of Public Health degree from the University of Hawaii.

California Coverage & Health Initiatives (CCHI) is a statewide outreach and enrollment network, whose efforts ensure that all California’s families are able to easily and effectively navigate into health coverage and other health services. The association includes local outreach and enrollment organizations and Children’s/Community Health Initiatives (CHIs) in 44 counties across California, representing areas where 95% of the state’s population resides. Collectively, CCHI member and partner organizations have insured more than 167,000 previously uninsured children through locally funded and administered Healthy Kids programs. With firsthand experience and success enrolling children into public programs, such as Medi-Cal and Healthy Families the members of CCHI have shown that coverage for all children in California is a necessary goal and attainable goal.

 

Daniel Bouton
Community Council of Greater Dallas
TEXAS

Daniel Bouton has been a Navigator since the inaugural year of open enrollment. Daniel served as a Lead Navigator during open enrollment two and was promoted to Project Manager when CCGD was granted the CMS Navigator grant in September 2015. Daniel is now the Director of Community Health Services at CCGD, leading the Enroll Northeast Central Texas Consortium (ENCTX). Daniel oversees 35 Navigators covering a 56 county region in Texas. Daniel has presented on several webinars focused on Navigator best practices and policies, and he is part of several coalitions including the Dallas County ACA coalition and Tarrant County ACA coalition. Daniel is a native Spanish speaker, and is also fluent in English, with 8 years of managerial experience, Daniel Bouton leads a powerful consortium in Texas.

The Community Council of Greater Dallas (CCGD) has been leading collaborative efforts in Dallas and the North Texas area since 1940 and recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.  Since its founding, CCGD has identified services that are needed in the community, assessed how best services could be delivered to meet social issues and mobilized and implemented action plans with its member agencies and public sector resources to best deliver needed services. Currently, CCGD is responsible for the 2-1-1 information and referral phone number which answered 720,000 calls last year for people needing help. CCGD houses the Dallas Area Agency on Aging, helping seniors maintain better health and remaining independent. CCGD manages an annual budget of $10 million and has over 27 years managing federal and state funds as well as other significant grants such as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grants.

CCGD was an early adopter and leader of the Marketplace Navigators, having been a sub grantee for Open Enrollments 1 and 2, and acting as a lead agent for two other sub grantees for Open Enrollment 3.  CCGD will be entering year two of a three year grant with Open Enrollment 4. Currently, CCGD oversees 35 Navigators covering a 56 county region in Texas. Like their page on Facebook and follow them @CCGDDallas.

 

Elba Gonzalez
Community Health Initiative, Napa County
CALIFORNIA

Elba has worked for Community Health Initiative, Napa County (CHI) since 2006. After graduating from UC Davis with a Bachelors Degree in International Relations, she came to work for CHI as one of the first Health Access Specialists and was one of the first CAAs in Napa County. Elba has advanced in her field and was promoted to Health Access Coordinator and then to Health Services Manager. Elba is bilingual in English and Spanish and volunteers her time with many other organizations. She is the current Board President of Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center, Commission Member of the First 5 Napa County Children and Family Commission, works with Bi-National Health Alliance, and the Puente program at Napa Valley College.

Community Health Initiative, Napa County (CHI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to achieving 100% healthcare coverage for all of Napa County. Working with our community partners, CHI’s specially trained, bilingual/bicultural staff reaches out to families in Napa County who need information and assistance in enrolling in affordable health insurance plans. Just as importantly, our staff follows up with families to ensure they are using their coverage and staying enrolled.

 

Deepak Madala
Enroll Virginia / Virginia Poverty Law Center
VIRGINIA

Deepak Madala currently serves as the Enroll Virginia Program Director at the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC). Deepak co-founded Enroll Virginia in 2013 as a nonpartisan, community-based effort to educate all Virginians about the health insurance marketplace and provide free, unbiased assistance with the application and enrollment process. As Program Director, he leads a team of 29 Navigators that provide services to consumers at 25 offices throughout Virginia.

Prior to helping launch Enroll Virginia, Deepak was a Policy Analyst with Enroll America. He supported senior leadership and Enroll America’s Get Covered America campaign with policy and regulatory analysis on the new health insurance marketplaces, the Affordable Care Act, and Medicaid. Before that, Deepak practiced health law and represented hospitals, nursing facilities, and licensed healthcare practitioners in administrative and regulatory matters before state agencies in Virginia.

The Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) leads and coordinates efforts to seek justice in civil legal matters for lower-income Virginians. VPLC assists low-income Virginians and Legal Aid programs with legislative and administrative proposals affecting the poor in Virginia as well as providing technical assistance, training and publications to Virginia’s Legal Aid programs in the following substantive areas: consumer law, domestic and sexual violence law, elder law, family law, health law, housing law and public benefits law.

 

Jessie Menkens
Volunteer Advocate
ALASKA

Jessie Menkens has worked in Alaska’s nonprofit sector throughout her career, focusing on early care and education policy, philanthropy and community building. Ms. Menkens worked at Thread, Alaska’s early care and education referral network and the Alaska Community Foundation before joining the Alaska Primary Care Association in 2014. Ms. Menkens manages a statewide Navigator program, oversees a team of enrollment professionals, manages the Get Covered Alaska outreach campaign, co-facilitates the Alaska ACA Educators Coalition, and acts as a spokesperson for the Navigator program and coverage initiatives in Alaska.

In her personal time, Ms. Menkens has helped create nonpartisan citizen coalitions to advocate for high-quality public education, and successfully helped advocate for Medicaid expansion in Alaska. She currently serves on the Steering Committee for Protect Our Care Alaska in her personal time and she is a founding member of Great Alaska Schools.  Ms. Menkens is a recipient of the 2017 Health Advocate of the Year award from Families USA.

Since its founding, the Alaska Primary Care Association (APCA) has grown to serve the Federally Qualified Health Centers throughout the state, other safety net providers and stakeholders.  Alaska is fortunate to have 27 distinct Community Health Center 330 HRSA grantees dispersed across the state operating more than 169 clinic sites; all have representatives on the APCA Board of Directors.  Through the mission of “Helping to create healthy communities by supporting vibrant and effective Community Health Centers in Alaska” APCA serves the technical assistance and training needs of all members, which include not only CHCs, but also primary care providers that align themselves with APCA’s vision and mission.

 

Jeb Murphy
Crisis & Counseling Centers, Inc.
MAINE

Jeb Murphy has worked across several aspects of social services and healthcare over the past decade. His career has spanned work in advocacy for victims of sexual violence and shelter animals to developing curriculum for assisters as the Communications Director at the Maine Primary Care Association. In this role he also co-authored The Maine Field Guide to Open Enrollment, a tool that was recognized nationally by several organizations. Jeb is currently working in the behavioral health field at Crisis & Counseling Centers, Inc. in Augusta, Maine, focusing on development and communications. Jeb has also spent the better part of the last decade as a part time academic, teaching English, Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication in the Maine Community College system.

Crisis & Counseling Centers, Inc. is an Augusta, Maine based nonprofit serving individuals with behavioral health needs, including substance abuse, mental health and co-occurring disorders. In addition, the agency is the sole provider of crisis services for Kennebec and Somerset counties and provides 24-hour-a-day crisis services to those in need. The agency also offers G.E.A.R. Parent Network to empower caregivers of children with behavioral health needs statewide and Maine Mothers Network for pregnant and parenting women using substances. Visit their Facebook page here.

 

Maggie Norris-Bent
Westside Family Healthcare
DELAWARE

Maggie Norris Bent currently serves as the Director of External Affairs at Westside Family Healthcare. In this role, she leads Westside’s state and federal advocacy campaigns, community engagement efforts, and fund development initiatives. Before serving as the Director of External Affairs, Maggie worked as the Assistant Deputy Director. She provided program oversight and management for Westside’s statewide outreach and enrollment efforts for the Health Insurance Marketplace, a cornerstone provision of the Affordable Care Act. Maggie obtained a Master of Public Administration as well as a Bachelors in Leadership from the University of Delaware.

Westside Family Healthcare is a Joint-Commission-accredited nonprofit federally qualified health center with locations serving New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties in Delaware. Their mission is to provide equal access to quality healthcare, regardless of ability to pay. Westside Family Healthcare is committed to providing patient centered care through high quality and cutting edge medical practices.  

 

Lisa Olson
Wisconsin Primary Care Association
WISCONSIN

Lisa Olson, MSW currently serves as the Director of Policy and Programs for the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association (WPHCA). In this role, Lisa provides Wisconsin’s 18 Community Health Centers with state and federal policy analysis with a specific focus on health coverage programs for low-income families through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. She facilitates a Certified Application Counselor peer learning network, providing training and technical assistance to the 50+ Certified Application Counselors working for Community Health Centers. Lisa also manages media relations and strategic communications for the Association.

Since early 2013, Lisa has led WPHCA’s efforts to engage with a wide network of partner organizations focused on the goal of reducing the number of uninsured Wisconsinites. She has worked collaboratively to develop and support 11 Regional Enrollment Networks across the state, pulling in dozens of organizations and thousands of individuals to assist in Marketplace and Medicaid education, outreach and enrollment efforts. Lisa earned a Master’s degree in Social Work – Social Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has been with the Association since 2009.

The Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association (WPHCA) is the statewide member association of Wisconsin’s 18 Community Health Centers, and is the State Primary Care Association providing training and technical assistance (T/TA) to safety-net providers across Wisconsin. WPHCA is dedicated to improving health through the work of Community Health Centers and their partners. They envision a future where all individuals and communities in Wisconsin achieve their highest potential. Like their page on Facebook and follow them @WPHCA.

 

Shelli Quenga
Palmetto Project
SOUTH CAROLINA

Shelli Quenga joined the staff of Palmetto Project in June 2010 focused on enrolling the 100,000 children who were eligible but not enrolled in SC’s free health insurance program. As director of programs, she oversees all advocacy and programs, with particular emphasis on healthcare access initiatives. She led the organization’s efforts in the historic first ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment with a team of just 12 navigators. Now gearing up for its fifth year, signup SC is the current statewide navigator grantee with a team of 62 navigators. She has served as an adjunct professor at Trident Technical College in the Department of Community, Family, and Child Studies focusing on special education. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from Webster University and a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College. She continues to work with children with special healthcare needs and their parents as a behavioral therapist and advocate for educational, community, and medical services. She is the former director of a regional non-profit focused on children with special healthcare needs and an American Hospital Association NOVA-award winning three-county healthy community initiative. She is the recipient of the South Carolina Hospital Association Community Service Award and the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Lives of Children by the Tri-County Association for the Education of Young Children, and volunteers with Berkeley Dorchester Head Start.  

Palmetto Project is a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify innovative approaches to social and economic challenges facing South Carolina. Through special partnerships with governments, businesses, civic groups, schools, and religious organizations, Palmetto Project strives to bring a fresh entrepreneurial spirit to the challenge of building successful communities.

 

Jodi A. Ray, MA
Florida Covering Kids & Families / University of South Florida
FLORIDA

Jodi Ray is the Director and Principal Investigator for Florida Covering Kids and Families, at the University of South Florida’s (USF) Chiles Center for Women, Children and Families. The Chiles Center conducts regional, national and international service, research and educational programs to promote maternal and child health of underserved populations. Ms. Ray has over 18 years’ experience in providing health coverage outreach and enrollment services in Florida.   Her career at the Chiles Center began in 1998 as a Research Coordinator, coordinating multi-media campaigns to let women know about the Family Planning Waiver and to make families aware of the Florida KidCare Program. Over the course of her career, she has overseen statewide efforts to connect consumers to public health coverage programs, which has led to her broad scope and understanding of the design and implementation of community-based collaborative initiatives to reduce the uninsured.  Ms. Ray has been the recipient of four federal grants focused on enrolling children into health coverage and more recently, Ms. Ray has received four awards from The Department of Health and Human Services to provide Navigators throughout the entire state of Florida, to educate and enroll consumers into the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace. Ms. Ray currently oversees the largest federally funded HHS Navigator grant in the country.

Ms. Ray has been recognized throughout her career for her accomplishments.  She was a recipient of a National Education in Children’s Health Outreach and Enrollment (ECHOE) Honor from HHS, a Healthy Hero Award from the Amerigroup Foundation for education and communication coordination with the community partners during the Florida KidCare open enrollment period, as well a Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Health Care Community Outreach award for working with families to help them gain health care coverage for their children through Medicaid and CHIP. Ms. Ray holds a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from USF, B.A. from Florida State University in Creative Writing and is working toward completing a Doctorate in Public Health Practice at USF.

Florida Covering Kids & Families (FL-CKF) is the lead entity in the Navigator Cooperative Agreement. FL-CKF is a community and consumer-focused nonprofit initiative of The Chiles Center for Women, Children and Families, based in the College of Public Health, at the University of South Florida (USF), Tampa. Like their page on Facebook and follow them @USFhealth.

 

Jennifer Simmons, JD
NC Navigator Consortium / Legal Aid
NORTH CAROLINA

Jennifer Simmons is the Project Director for the North Carolina Navigator Consortium, as well as a Supervising Attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina. As Project Director, she provides day-to-day technical support and guidance as well as big picture, strategic leadership for the Consortium, the second-largest navigator grant recipient nationally for 2016-17. In her role at LANC, she manages a team of thirty-five navigators in sixteen different offices as well as the  thirteen-organization Navigator Consortium, a team which collectively provides outreach and enrollment services to consumers across North Carolina.

Jennifer has served as an attorney with Legal Aid since 2005, specializing in public benefits law, including Social Security, Medicaid, and SNAP. Before law school, she worked for the Social Security Administration performing disability determinations. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Jennifer completed her undergraduate degree at Davidson College with honors in Cultural Anthropology, and studied law at the UNC-Chapel Hill. Jennifer clerked for Chief Justice Sarah Parker on the North Carolina Supreme Court before coming to Legal Aid.

The NC Navigator Consortium is a group of 13 health care, social service and legal aid organizations ​that provides free, in-person help to North Carolina consumers seeking to enroll in coverage through affordable health insurance plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace​ and Medicaid. Legal Aid of North Carolina is the fiscal agent and organizational administrator of the NC Navigator Consortium.

The NC Navigator Consortium deploys 200 staff and volunteer navigators across North Carolina. Navigators are trained to help consumers understand the details of plans available on the Health Insurance Marketplace, decide which plan will best meet their needs, determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, and complete the enrollment process. Like their page on Facebook and follow them @LegalAidNC.