Communities Joined in Action is led by a national Board of Directors composed of leaders with front-line experience in the business of health care and community health care redesign, leadership development and organizational change, including community champions that have built full access programs.


Laura J. Brennan - Chair

Judith Warren - Chair Elect

Mary Overall – Secretary

Steven M. Galen - Treasurer

Eve Gardner - Member-at-Large

Karen Minyard  – Administrative Home Representative

Vondie Moore Woodbury – Immediate Past Chair



Laura Brennan, MSW - Chair
Community Affairs & Outcomes Senior Manager

Laura currently works for CareOregon, a non-profit health plan serving Medicaid and Medicare recipients in Oregon. As CareOregon's Community Affairs and Outcomes Senior Manager, Laura helps assure that the people of Oregon, regardless of income or social circumstance, have access to high-quality health care that promotes health.

Prior to CareOregon, Laura worked for PacificSource Health Plans as their Community Development and Policy Director as well as the Executive Director of their foundation. In addition, Laura worked for the State of Oregon in a variety of positions. Each of her roles with the state government allowed her to support communities to develop "models that work" in improving access to services that promote health.

Laura’s passion for justice and culturally competent health and social services has inspired and guided her to be involved with a myriad of valuable efforts including her prior positions as President of the Oregon Public Health Association and co-chair of the American Diabetes Association's Statewide Cultural Diversity Committee. Laura looks forward to continuing to share her professional expertise and personal commitment in order to improve access to timely, quality and affordable services that promote health and eliminate health disparities.


Judith Warren, MPH - Chair Elect
Executive Director, Health Care Access Now
Cincinnati, OH

Beginning in May of 2009 Judith Warren serves as Executive Director of Health Care Access Now (HCAN). HCAN is a regional management services organization supporting safety net providers in the delivery of care coordination services, medications access, health care access programs, community education and advocacy, and management information services. Judith directs care coordination services that assist targeted populations (high risk pregnant women and adults utilizing hospital ED) in connecting to primary care and eliminating barriers to care. HCAN also manages a regional community health coalition – Access Health 100 – that consist of 40 organizations who provide executive leadership for development of service partnerships that will improve health outcomes and eliminate disparities in access to care.

Judith represents HCAN and Access Health 100 with regional stakeholder groups, including the business community, academic and professional organizations.

Judith Warren is former senior program officer at the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, for its Community Primary Care grant making portfolio.

Judith brings over 25 years of community health experience to HCAN. From 1993-1998, Judith served as president of the West End Health Center, an inner-city primary care facility that served about 4500 patients. Under her leadership, the West End Health Center expanded its services with “firsts”: the first community-based Urgent Care service for inner-city residents, and the first community-based primary care school-linked health service.

Judith came to Cincinnati in 1993 from Indianapolis, where she was manager of administrative affairs for the Marian County Health Department, serving as senior liaison in the creation and management of many public health programs.

Among her professional and volunteer activities, Judith is a former board member of Every Child Succeeds and works with faith-based community organizations to develop services in target areas.

Judith holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Fisk University and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan. She is a 2005 graduate of the International Center for Health Leadership Development Fellows programs, based at University of Illinois of Chicago.



Mary Overall, BS, MSN - Secretary
Director, Health Care Systems & Compliance
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Mary Overall is currently the Director of Health Systems, Compliance, and Outreach for the Central Oklahoma Integrated Network System (COINS) and Coordinator for the Central Oklahoma Project Access Program (COPA). Her career history spans over 30 years of progressive experience across the health care continuum in areas of clinical services management, cardiovascular nursing, administrative operations, and corporate compliance. Key positions held include Administrative Director for Post Acute Care Services for a 640-bed acute care hospital and integrated delivery system; Associate Administrator of Clinical Services; and Chief Operating Officer and Interim Chief Executive Officer for a 96-bed rehabilitation hospital and 36-bed subacute hospital. In addition, during the past 15 years her focus has been in health care consulting with an international consulting firm and OAI Consulting Inc.

Ms. Overall has provided highly rated independent consultation in operations efficiency management, process redesign, Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)/Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accreditation survey readiness, corporate and regulatory compliance, and program development and management for long term care, skilled nursing facilities, comprehensive rehabilitation programs, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and home health agencies. She has successfully facilitated cross-functional teams in achieving business objectives.

She is a graduate of The Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Adult/Health Education and the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing where she received her Master of Science degree in Nursing with emphasis in Administration and Education, and received 32 hours toward post graduate studies.

Mary Overall is a member of the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Community Care Coordination Learning Network (CCCLN) Core Team and Co-Chair of the CCCLN Scorecard Prototype Workgroup.

She is member of the Communities Joined in Action Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and a member of the Membership and Awards Committee.


Steve Galen, MS - Treasurer
Executive Director
Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County
Silver Springs, Maryland

Steve Galen has been Executive Director of the Primary Care Coalition since 1995. The Primary Care Coalition (PCC) seeks to assure that all County residents have the opportunity to live healthy lives. The PCC is developing a network of non-profit community clinics that will provide high quality, efficient, accessible, equitable, and outcome focused health care to all low-income, uninsured, and ethnically diverse County residents. The PCC developed and supports a share, web-based, open-source electronic medical record, generic medicine distribution system, and specialty care referral network. It implements projects addressing health literacy, community based participatory research, primary care mental and oral health care services, and is currently developing a collaboration with the Institute of Health Improvement around their “Triple Aim” initiative. The PCC works through public/private partnerships, academic affiliations, and grant funded initiatives.

Steven Galen has a Master of Science Degree in Applied Behavior Sciences/Organization Development from Johns Hopkins University, served as a Hopkins Fellows in Change Management, and additionally received a Master of Science in Health Care Administration from the George Washington University. Mr. Galen served as Executive Manager of the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health bringing twenty-five years of progressive administrative responsibility for hospital diagnostic, treatment and service departments including research, technology, and quality management.

Steve received the 2009 Exponent Award for Visionary Leadership by the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundations and was designated a 2010 Purpose Prize Fellow.




Eve Gardner, MBA - Member-at-Large
Executive Director, Health York Network
York, Pennsylvania

Eve Gardner has been the Executive Director of Healthy York Network in York, PA, since its inception in December 2003. Healthy York Network is a program which helps low income, uninsured and underinsured individuals in south central Pennsylvania to gain access to health care services and medications at a discount. The over 7,200 community members who are enrolled in the program benefit from Healthy York Network’s leadership in forging together a diffuse partnership that includes four regional hospitals, 740 providers, the Department of Welfare, the United Way, the local Health Department, the Community Progress Council and many other social service agencies.

Previous to working with Healthy York Network, she spent seven years as a practice administrator with the WellSpan Medical Group and held the position of Director of Health Information Management for Pinnacle Health System in Harrisburg, PA for 12 years.

Eve has shown a long history of leadership in activities and efforts directed towards making her community a better place to live and work. Eve is active in her church including serving as elder and assisting in foreign mission trips. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Progress Council (the local community action agency), serves on the Campaign Cabinet for the United Way of York County and currently chairs the Board of Directors of Logos Academy, an independent school in York City for those children with more potential than means.

She has a BS in Medical Records Administration from Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York and an MBA from Penn State University.


Karen Minyard, Ph.D. - Administrative Home Representative
Executive Director, Georgia Health Policy Center, Georgia State University
Atlanta, Georgia

Karen Minyard, Ph.D. has directed the Georgia Health Policy Center at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies since 2001. Minyard connects the research, policy, and programmatic work of the center across issue areas including, community and public health, end of life care, child health, health philanthropy, public and private health coverage, and the uninsured. Minyard also has 13 years of experience in nursing and hospital administration.

Minyard is an advocate for the importance of community in national, state, and local policy and the power of communities to improve health. She maintains her connection with communities by working directly with local health collaboratives and serving on the boards of the National Network of Public Health Institutes, Physicians’ Innovation Network, and Communities Joined in Action.

The coordination and integration of national, state, and local public and private policy is at the heart of Minyard’s policy work. She seeks to help a broad range of policy makers examine their decisions within the context of the whole system. She works to bring together the key stakeholders with state of the art facilitation and excellent information to make health policy decisions that ultimately result in improved health in communities.

Minyard’s research interests include: the financing and evaluation of health related social policy programs; the strategic alignment of national, state, and local, public and private health policy and resources; the role of local health initiatives in access and health improvement; the role of targeted external facilitation and technical assistance in improving the sustainability, efficiency, and programmatic effectiveness of non-profit health collaboratives; and public health systems and financing.

Minyard holds a Bachelor’s in Nursing from the University of Virginia, a Master’s in Nursing Administration from the Medical College of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in Business from Georgia State University.


Vondie Moore Woodbury, MPA - Immediate Past Chair
Director of Community Benefit, Mercy Health Partners
Executive Director, Muskegon Community Health Project
Muskegon, Michigan

Vondie Moore Woodbury has been Director of the Muskegon Community Health Project since October 1995. The Health Project is one of the oldest community health networks in the US and has been credited with the development of one of the most innovative and successful community programs for the working uninsured – Access Health. Ms. Moore Woodbury is co-author of Out of the Box and Over the Barriers a book describing Muskegon’s community driven process. She has consulted with communities in over 40 states that have expressed an interest in replicating community-centered models; and, she has worked as a consultant to the National Association of Counties, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Ms. Moore Woodbury has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Grand Valley State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. In 2006, Ms Woodbury was recognized for her work in health policy by GVSU and awarded the University’s Distinguished Alumna Award. Prior to joining the Health Project, Ms. Moore Woodbury spent 14 years on the staff of former U.S. Senator Donald Riegle. She served as statewide Campaign Manager for Riegle’s 1988 Michigan Campaign and has managed other statewide campaigns in Michigan.

Ms. Moore Woodbury is a founding member of Communities Joined in Action. In January 2008, Mercy Health Partners a division of Trinity Health Corporation acquired the Health Project. In addition to her continuing duties as Director of the Health Project, Ms. Moore Woodbury has recently been named Director of Community Benefit for Trinity Health and serves as a member of Trinity’s Corporate Community Benefit team. In this latter role, Ms. Moore Woodbury will be working with Trinity member hospitals on the integration of community collaborative models.


Kevin Barnett, Dr.P.H., M.C.P.
Senior Investigator
Public Health Institute

Kevin Barnett, Dr.P.H., M.C.P. is a Senior Investigator at the Public Health Institute. His primary focus of research and fieldwork is on the charitable obligations of nonprofit hospitals. A particular emphasis is on institutional alignment and the strategic investment of charitable resources in collaborative, evidence-based approaches to health improvement. In 2006, he completed a multi-state demonstration project involving over 70 hospitals entitled “Advancing the State of the Art in Community Benefit” (ASACB) to develop and implement uniform community benefit standards.

With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, he is currently engaged with leading edge health systems to facilitate the implementation of the ASACB uniform standards at the national level. He is also working in partnership with the National Network of Public Health Institutes with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to convene a series of community benefit regional roundtables in seven states. The roundtables bring together leadership from hospitals and health systems, public health, and other stakeholders to explore the application of the ASACB standards and build on accomplishments to date.

Another significant focus of work is on increasing diversity in the health professions. Kevin served on the Institute of Medicine committee that produced the 2004 report “In the Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce,” and co-authored a commissioned paper on the role of teaching hospitals that was included in the 2004 report from the Sullivan Commission entitled “Missing Persons: Minorities in the Health Professions.”

Kevin also served as co- investigator of a study focusing on health professions accreditation and diversity funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. A report entitled “Health Professions Accreditation and Diversity: A Review of Current Standards and Processes” was released in May 2007. He is currently completing a follow up report that outlines a set of consensus recommendations for accreditors based on focused dialogue with academic leaders in the disciplines of dentistry, medicine, psychology, and public health.

Between 2006 and 2010, Kevin has served as the co-director of a four-year statewide initiative funded by The California Endowment that focuses on strategies to increase health professions workforce diversity in California. Since June 2009, he has also served as the co-director of the California Health Workforce Alliance, a statewide group of health professions employers, higher education, K-12, advocacy groups, and public sector agencies that focuses on the coordination of health workforce development.


Connie J. Brooks, MPH, BSN
Senior Director
Ascension Health
St. Louis, Missouri

Connie J. Brooks is a Senior Director at Ascension Health. As a Catholic health system, Ascension Health is committed to expanding access to health care for uninsured and to caring for individuals regardless of their ability to pay. Ms. Brooks provided leadership for the Access Leadership Team in the development of resources for access initiatives and support for local access coalitions in their efforts achieve 100 percent access and 100% coverage. In her current capacity she is providing leadership at National Office to improve integration, coordination and efficiency of work streams impacting local Health Ministries.

Ms. Brooks has more than thirty years of health care experience, with a commitment to public health and health disparities as the cornerstone of her career. Prior to joining Ascension Health, Ms. Brooks served in executive leadership positions with the State of Illinois Departments of Human Services and Public Health, as well as with local health departments and federally qualified health centers. Her career began as a public health nurse in her home town of East St. Louis, Illinois. She is a nurse practitioner with a Masters in Public Health. She has served as president of the Illinois Public Health Association, one of the largest affiliates of the American Public Health Association, is a fellow of the University of Illinois Public Health Leadership Institute, and an alumni of Leadership/Focus St. Louis.


Peter Ellis, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Project Access
New Haven, Connecticut

Dr. Peter Ellis graduated from Princeton University in 1983, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School 1987, and then earned a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1995. With a strong interest in teaching medical education and in caring for underserved individuals, Dr. Ellis joined the Yale Faculty in 1995 as Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine. Together with his colleagues, they launched a successful outreach project providing medical care to homeless persons at the St. Vincent DePaul Homeless Shelter.

For nine months during 2002 Dr. Ellis worked as Interim Director of Public Health, City of Waterbury CT affording him an opportunity to think broadly about community health. While in this position he was introduced for the first time to Project Access, a coordinated system of charity medical care to improve access and quality of care for uninsured, low income patients. After receiving a federal HRSA grant in 2004, Dr. Ellis, with his colleagues, successfully launched Project Access in Waterbury. In his current role as Medical Director he has helped to recruit over 300 physicians who agreed to provide voluntary care. The project remains successful and has donated over $3,000,000 in medical care to date.

In addition to his role as Medical Director for Project Access, Dr. Ellis is a physician at Yale Internal Medicine Associates, providing primary care to a panel of approximately 1300 patients living in the New Haven area. In 2010, Dr. Ellis with colleagues from the New Haven County Medical Association, the Yale Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, Yale-New Haven and Hospital of St. Raphael’s Hospital launched Project Access New Haven (www.pa-nh.org) to improve access to specialty medical care for low-income, uninsured persons living in New Haven. Over 200 physicians have agreed to donate medical care.

Dr. Ellis also acts as Director of the Yale Primary Care Clerkship, a one month course designed to enhance students’ skills to evaluate and care for patients in the ambulatory setting. In addition, Dr. Ellis acts as a preceptor to students at the Haven Free Clinic, a free clinic serving adults living in Fair Haven, CT. In 2010 Dr. Ellis joined the Board of Directors of Communities Joined in Action (www.cjaonline.net).

Recipient of the following awards:

Volunteerism and Community Service Award, Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Physicians, 2003.

George Thornton Community Teacher of the Year, Yale Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program 2005.

Distinguished Service Award, New Haven County Medical Association, 2009.

Dr. Ellis lives in New Haven together with his wife Merceditas Villanueva, MD, Director of the Yale HIV Program, and their two children, Maliya, age 9 and Ken, age 7, who keep them inspired and humbled!


Cathy V. Maxwell, RN, BSN, MA
Executive Director, HealthKey
Advocacy, St. Joseph Health System
Tawas City, Michigan

Cathy Maxwell has a broad scope of health care experiences spanning over 25 years.

Ms. Maxwell is currently the Executive Director of HealthKey, a health access program which currently offers a one-stop resource center to assist individuals who are under or uninsured in overcoming the barriers and obstacles they face trying to access the healthcare and community service system. Prior to HealthKey, uninsured or underinsured individuals would often struggle with access to health care and community services both in regard to navigation through the system and the financial responsibility imposed as a result of inability to pay. HealthKey has improved the lives of those served and provided tremendous value to the community by increasing access to care and services, improving health outcomes and quality of life, specifically by the development of case management for diabetes/hypertension and a pharmacy assistance program. Ms. Maxwell is responsible for implementing and maintaining the HealthKey program which includes project management, development, business/medical operations and grant writing for subsequent funding. Also, Ms. Maxwell serves as the advocacy representative for St. Joseph Health System at the state and national level.

Prior to this position, Ms. Maxwell was the Administrative Director of Physician Services for St. Joseph Health System. Ms. Maxwell was responsible for the complete operation of ten physician practices (21 providers) including; recruitment, contracting and budgets. Practices included family practice, internal medicine, OB/GYN and specialty clinics.

Ms. Maxwell is also the owner of several retail Hallmark stores in Northern Michigan which she and her family opened in 1982. As a result of her outstanding business management the business has grown to over four stores.

Ms. Maxwell holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Management, Bachelors’ Degree in Nursing.

Community involvement is extremely important to Ms. Maxwell. Over the twelve years she has served on the local school board with eight of those years acting as Chairman of the Board. She is active in the state organization of Communities Joined in Action, currently serving as the chair and is a Red Cross Disaster Relief volunteer. She is involved in community activities for all age groups. She participates on the Adrian College Parent Council, American Youth Soccer Organization, and the Pride Committee.

Ms. Maxwell is the recipient of the Michigan Hospital Association Nurse Executive Leadership Annual Award for 2006. Catholic Health World’s Super Star Nurses (one of twenty-three nurses in the nation) 2007.


Camille D. Miller, MSSW
President / CEO
Texas Health Institute
Austin, Texas

Camille D. Miller has been the president and CEO of the Texas Health Institute (THI) since 1996. After completing bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology and social work at the University of Texas at Austin, Miller gained extensive experience in policy research and development while she served in Texas for three governors, two lieutenant governors, a state comptroller, and state senator, planning, researching and developing state policy to address all policy and budget areas of state government. She also held executive staff positions at the Texas Department of Community Affairs and the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. As chief of staff for the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, she supervised legislative interim studies on medically fragile children, reorganization of health and human services, and conducted the most recent comprehensive study of Medicaid in Texas.

In February 1995, the Texas Hospital Association (THA) selected her to be the director of THA’s Medicaid project, and immediately promoted her to Director of Regulatory Affairs. When the 32-year-old Texas Hospital Education and Research Foundation changed its name and mission, THA again tapped her experience in policy development and her strong leadership skills, asking Camille to be the first president and chief executive officer of the Texas Institute for Health Policy Research. In 2006, a merger with Texas Health Foundation created the Texas Health Institute, an independent, statewide 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.

Miller serves on the Inaugural Texas AgriLife Human Sciences Advisory Board for Texas A&M University System, the Advisory Committee for the Certificate in Public Health Practice, is past chair of the National Network of Public Health Institutes, and of the State Health Policy Center Collaborative. She participates as a member of the National Rural Health Association Interest Group on Medicaid.

Ms. Miller served as the 2009 Summit Chair for the American College of Mental Health Administration where she served on the board of directors. Camille is a member of the Advisory Council of Baylor University’s School of Social Work and the Advisory Council of the Baylor University Hankamer School of Business Healthcare Administration Program.

She also served on the Texas A & M University’s Masters of Healthcare Administration Professional Advisory Committee, and currently serves on The University of Texas School of Social Work Advisory Committee, and the UT Public Health Advisory Committee’s Undergraduate Certificate Program. Miller serves on the board of directors of the Texas Public Health Museum, National Communities Joined in Action, and served as a founding member and past chair of the Capitol Rotary Club. Camille’s past service also include the Advisory Councils of the Texas Schools of Public Health Training Center, the Texas Department of Insurance Uninsured Planning Grant, and the Texas Area Health Education Centers.

In 2009, Camille D. Miller received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Social Workers from both the Texas Chapter and the Austin Chapter.

In May 2010, she was granted the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service by the Board of Regents at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Texas, where she also serves on the University of North Texas Health Science Center Board of Advisors.

She is a member of Leadership Texas’ class of 1996 and a Deacon at First Baptist Church in Austin, Texas.


Mark Redding, MD, FAAP
Medical Director, Community Health Access Project
Mansfield, Ohio

Mark Redding has worked with his wife Dr. Sarah Redding since the late 1980s focusing on health disparities reduction initiatives. This work has included the training and support of Community Health Workers (CHWs) - first in Kotzebue, Alaska and then in Baltimore, Maryland. For the past seven years, Dr. Redding has worked in Ohio to support CHW programs across the state and nationally. The Pathways model was developed in 2000 as part of these initiatives. The Pathways model has resulted in a care management structure which regiments outcome focus and has been used as a nationally recognized method to link financial payment to the production of individual outcomes. Dr. Redding continues to support, train and supervise Community Health Workers. Specific health policy interests include assisting county, state and federal health care funding leaders in linking health financing to confirmed individually accountable health outcomes substantially reducing cost and eliminating health disparities. Dr. Redding has worked with experts in the managed care industry on methodologies to support outcome focused reimbursement on a larger scale.


Joseph E. Washington
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Joseph E. Washington is the former Executive Director of SharedCare Inc., a community- wide effort to access health care for low income uninsured residents of Horry County, South Carolina. In this capacity he founded a chapter of The First Tee, a youth development program which uses the game of golf as its platform along with its Life Skills Curriculum. He is the former Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Organization for a New Equality in Boston, MA. The organization works to educate low and moderate income people about the financial system and provide fair and equal access to credit and capital, as well as IDA’s and other asset building programs.

Before joining SharedCare Inc. in December 2002, Joseph was the Senior Pastor of the Historic Brooks Memorial United Methodist Church in Queens, New York. He also was the first Director of the Boston Minority/Women Business Enterprise Office and the Senior Advisor on Equal Rights to the Mayor of Boston. In the 1980s, he served as the Director of the Speaker’s Bureau for Oxfam America, an international self help development organization working in Asia, Africa and Latin America to fight poverty, health disparities and world hunger.

He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff, The Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Ga., and studied law at the University Of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville.


Mary Lou Andersen
Founding President of CJA
Former Deputy Director for Primary Care, Bureau of Primary Health Care
Consultant to the Community Access Program

Mary Lou Andersen has devoted her professional career to improving health services to the underserved with extensive experience at the community, state and federal levels. She currently is a consultant to CAP, which implements grants intended to increase access to health care for the uninsured with funding to communities that demonstrate integrated approaches. She formerly served as Deputy Director of Primary Care in the Health Resources & Services Administration, responsible for the Community Health Center Program, National Health Services Corps and Programs for Special Populations. In this capacity, she worked closely with the staff that developed the National Campaign for 100% Access/O Disparities. Prior to this, she served in Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Indian Health Service and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health. She began her federal career as a community health and migrant health program project officer in W. VA. and the Delmarva Peninsula. She is a pharmacist and was one of the architects of the federal Drug Pricing Program, and continues to advocate for the inclusion of pharmacy benefits in primary care programs.


Ron Ashworth
President & CEO, Sisters of Mercy Health System

Ron Ashworth became President and CEO of Sisters of Mercy Health System in July 1999 after serving as Executive Vice President and COO since 1991. Sisters of Mercy, based in St. Louis, operates and sponsors 18 hospitals, along with physician practices, health plans and related health and human service operations in an eight-state area. Ashworth was President of the Board of the St. Louis Access to Health Partnership, formed as part of the city’s 2004 revitalization effort, and succeeded by the creation in 2001 of a new St. Louis Regional Health Commission. He previously served in various leadership capacities at KPMG Peat Marwick, including Vice Chairman of Specialized Industries and Marketing and National Director of health care Practice, in addition to other health care auditing and consulting positions with the firm. He served as chairman of the Missouri Hospital Association in 1999. Ashworth received his bachelor and master degrees from the University of Missouri, Columbia.


Marilyn Hughes Gaston, M.D.
Former Director, Bureau of Primary Health Care
Former Assistant Surgeon General, Rear Admiral U.S. PHS (Ret.)

Marilyn Hughes Gaston has dedicated a distinguished career to improving the health of our nation, especially poor and minority families, by improving access to quality primary medical care, through medical education and clinical research, and through local and federal programs to serve the underserved. She is the former Director of the Bureau of Primary Health Care within the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, where she was responsible for a $5-billion budget to improve the health status of over 12 million underserved and disadvantaged people in the United States and its territories. The Bureau assists communities providing care in more than 4,000 sites, including community and migrant health centers; health care for the homeless and primary care in public housing; school health sites and the National Health Services Corps. Its programs comprise a significant part of the nation’s safety net for vulnerable populations. Before her appointment as director, she was Director of the Division of Medicine, which provides training grants in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.

Early in her career, Dr. Gaston helped establish a community health center for low-income African-Americans and served as its medical director. She is recognized internationally for her leadership in sickle cell disease. Through her work at the National Institute of Health, changes have resulted in reduced morbidity and mortality in young children with this illness. A recipient of numerous awards, including the AMA Dr. Nathan Davis Award and the Scroll of Merit from the National Medical Association. Dr. Gaston is a much sought after speaker on topics close to her heart, most notably, improving access to health care and eliminating health disparities.



Doug Krug
Author & Speaker

Doug is co-author of two books, Enlightened Leadership: Getting to the HEART of Change (Simon & Schuster). In its 31th printing, this book is used in numerous colleges and universities, as well as corporate and government leadership development and change management programs. Doug is also co-author of recently published Leadership Made Simple. The Missing Piece in Leadership: How to Create The Future You Want will be released in the spring of 2011.

He brings broad experience from his work coaching executive teams in the private and public sectors, including Hewlett-Packard, Unisys, FBI, NOAA, EPA, Library of Congress, Verizon, Lockheed-Martin, Lucent Technologies, NASA, NASDAQ, Medicare, U.S. Marshals, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Governor’s Cabinets in three states.

People relate to the personal conviction Doug brings to the process of self-discovery. His career as an entrepreneur and international change management consultant provide him with proven skills for effectively creating life-changing shifts in the perspectives of others.


Ben Raimer, M.D.
Vice President for Community Outreach, University of Texas Medical Branch

Dr. Ben Raimer served as a pediatrician in Galveston from 1977 to 1993, when he joined UTMB as Medical Director for Primary Care Outpatient Clinics. He had served on staff at Texas City Mainland Hospital, as chief of staff at St. Mary’s Hospital in Galveston, and as president of the Galveston Medical Society. In 1997, he became chief physician executive for UTMB. He continues to provide medical care for children with learning and developmental disorders and serves as professor of pediatrics and family medicine. Raimer was appointed by Gov. Bill Clements to an eight-year term with the Children’s Trust Fund of Texas. In 1997, Gov. George Bush appointed him chair of the Texas Statewide Health Coordinating Council, which is charged with producing the State Health Plan. In 1999, Bush appointed Raimer to the chair of the Texas Correctional Managed Health Care Committee. In recognition of his work to prevent child abuse, Raimer received the 1998 Ray Helfer Award on behalf of the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Preventions Fund and the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Child Abuse. His is a graduate of UTMB’s School of Medicine where he completed a Pediatric Residency Program in 1977. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.


John Scanlon
JSEA, Inc.
Fairfax Station, Virginia

John Scanlon is a partner in JSEA Inc., a management services firm. He guides executive teams as they lead their organizations through strategic transitions. He has successfully helped organizations restructure to meet their mission and produce extraordinary results. John Scanlon has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics and chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Between 1968 and 1980, as director and project manager in the Urban Institute’s Program Evaluation Group, he developed information systems to evaluate large scale programs and management strategies. Since 1980, John Scanlon has worked with private sector, government, and not-for-profit sector executives to develop their leadership stories and leadership skills. John Scanlon specializes in the design of leadership campaigns that enable managers to achieve extraordinary results on their missions and strategic visions. These campaigns leverage current programs and business lines to extend reach and impact. John Scanlon was recently worked with such organizations as the Environmental Project Agency, the federal Office of Transplantation, the federal Bureau of Primary Health Care, the American Project Access Network, the Mississippi Center For Justice . He is on the Board of Communities Joined In Action, the organization leading the 100% Access, 0 Disparities campaign in health care.











Administrative Home: Georgia Health Policy Center, 14 Marietta Street NW, Suite 221, Atlanta, GA 30303

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