Staff

 Leadership Team

Anne Thomas, President/CEO

Anne Thomas, MPA

President/CEO

anne.thomas@foundationhli.org

Anne joined the Foundation as President/CEO in October 2017 after serving four months as the interim President/CEO. In her role, Anne focuses on maintaining and expanding the innovative work of the Foundation within the changing health care landscape.

Prior to being named President/CEO, Anne co-founded a health care consulting firm, Praxis Partners for Health, LLP. As a consultant, Anne served as the interim Public Health Director for Halifax County, NC, and she worked with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) and Project Lazarus to assist communities in addressing chronic pain management and prescription opioid misuse. Anne also previously served for eighteen years as Public Health Director for Dare County, NC.

Anne is a registered nurse and graduated from Boston University School of Nursing with a BSN and New York University, Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

Carla Obiol, Vice President of Programs

Carla Obiol

Vice President of Programs

carla.obiol@foundationhli.org

Carla joined the Foundation as Vice President of Programs in December 2018. In this role, guide and support the work of existing programs, develop new program opportunities and partnerships, working closely with FHLI’s CEO/President, Anne Thomas.

Prior to joining FHLI, Carla served as director of Care4Carolina from February 2017 to December 2018. Care4Carolina is a statewide coalition with the mission of closing the health insurance gap. An NC Department of Insurance veteran of 32 years, Carla managed the state Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) from 1992 to 2010, before serving as Senior Deputy Commissioner of the Consumer Assistance Group. Carla is a dedicated supporter and advocate for the senior citizens and disabled persons of our state and has served on numerous boards and advisory committees related to these groups. She is currently a Board member of Care Share Health Alliance.

Carla holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University. She lives in Fuquay Varina with her husband, John Obiol, and two daughters, Alex and Mary.

Palma Fouratt, Finance Director

Palma Fourratt, MBA

Finance Director

palma.fouratt@foundationhli.org

Palma Fouratt joined the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation as Finance Director in September 2018. In this role, Palma will strengthen and align the fiscal functions of the Foundation, including budgeting, accounting, audit compliance and internal records, payroll, human resources, and contracting.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Palma has worked in both nonprofit and corporate environments and has significant experience in fund accounting.  She most recently served as the Director of Finance and Administration at Engineering World Health, a non-profit organization that brings biomedical solutions to developing countries.

Palma holds a BA in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton and an MBA from Golden Gate University. She has also completed the Duke Non-Profit Management Program.


  

Administration

Aimal Noori, Accounting Coordinator

Aimal Noori

Accounting Coordinator

aimal.noori@foundationhli.org

Aimal Noori joined the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation as Accounting Coordinator in August 2018. In this role, he will support the Financial Director in numerous activities including vendor payment, credit cards, and invoices.

Aimal brings with him an extensive background of project financial management. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was the Grants Finance Coordinator for Health Net TPO. He also spent five years as a Finance Manager for the Embassy of Switzerland/SDC.

Aimal holds a Diploma in Business Administration from the Kardan Institute and obtained his Foundation in Accountancy certificate from ACCA UK.

Nel Edwards, Executive Assistant

Nel Edwards

Executive Assistant

nel.edwards@foundationhli.org

Rachel Presslein, Consultant

Rachel Presslein PortraitRachel Presslein, MPA

Consultant

rachel.presslein@foundationhli.org

Rachel Presslein joined the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation in March 2014. She currently serves as a Consultant. In her role, Rachel supports communications and fundraising activities, and manages the Bernstein Programs.

Prior to joining the Foundation, she managed the volunteer program at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Durham, NC. She is also a Certified Administrator of Volunteers in North Carolina.

Rachel holds a Master of Public Administration degree from North Carolina State University and also holds undergraduate degrees in Nonprofit Organization Management and Sociology from Lakeland University (Wisconsin).

 

Bernstein Programs

Tom Bacon, Consultant

Tom Bacon PortraitTom Bacon

Director – Bernstein Fellows Program

tom_bacon@med.unc.edu

Tom joined the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation as the Director of the Bernstein Fellows Program in October 2015. In his role, Tom oversees the strategic direction of the fellowship, sets goals for the Fellows’ educational schedule and programming, and provides one-on-one support for their project development.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Tom served as the Executive Associate Dean and NC AHEC Program director at the UNC School of Medicine from 1996 until his retirement in 2013.  His academic and career interests are in health workforce development, and he currently serves as Senior Research Fellow in the Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC.

Tom is a graduate of Eckerd College, holds a master’s degree in demography from the University of Chicago, and has a doctorate in health policy and management from the UNC School of Public Health.

Rachel Presslein, Consultant

Rachel Presslein PortraitRachel Presslein, MPA

Consultant – Bernstein Fellows Program 

Consultant – Bernstein Scholars Program 

rachel.presslein@foundationhli.org

Rachel Presslein joined the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation in March 2014. She currently serves as a Consultant. In her role, Rachel supports communications and fundraising activities, and manages the Bernstein Programs.

Prior to joining the Foundation, she managed the volunteer program at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Durham, NC. She is also a Certified Administrator of Volunteers in North Carolina.

Rachel holds a Master of Public Administration degree from North Carolina State University and also holds undergraduate degrees in Nonprofit Organization Management and Sociology from Lakeland University (Wisconsin).

 

 Center of Excellence of Integrated Care

Amelia Muse, Director

Amelia Muse, PhD, LMFT

Director– Center of Excellence for Integrated Care

amelia.muse@foundationhli.org

Dr. Muse became the Director of the Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) in October 2018. In her role, she oversees the day-to-day activities of COE, facilitates internal development and research, and manages overall productivity of staff. She has been with COE since February 2016, as an Integration Consultant and subsequently as the Director of Operations (May 2017-Oct 2018).

Prior to joining COE, Dr. Muse worked as a behavioral health clinician in a variety of medical settings serving underserved populations in eastern North Carolina. Her area of research is focused on the implementation and evaluation of integrated behavioral health care programs.

Dr. Muse received her doctorate degree in Medical Family Therapy and her master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from East Carolina University. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sara Herrity, Integration Specialist

Sara Herrity MS, LMFT

Integration Specialist- Center of Excellence for Integrated Care 

sara.herrity@foundationhli.org

Sara Herrity joined the Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) as an Integration Specialist in March 2017. In her role, she provides training, on-site support, and resources to medical and behavioral health providers working to integrate their services to provide higher quality care to patients and the community.

Prior to joining COE, Sara worked at a community mental health agency called Turning Point Family CARE as an outpatient therapist for clients with Medicaid or no insurance, as well as some private insurance. She has also previously worked with a local church to provide pre-marital and marital counseling as well as with a middle school to provide mental health services.

Sara received her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from East Carolina University in 2013 and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lisa Tyndall, Integration Specialist

Lisa_TyndallLisa Tyndall, PhD, LMFT

Integration Specialist  Center of Excellence for Integrated Care

lisa.tyndall@foundationhli.org

Lisa Tyndall, PhD, joined the Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) as an Integration Specialist in June 2016. In her role, Dr. Tyndall provides technical assistance for integrated care program development to a variety of medical practice settings. Her responsibilities include shadowing and one-on-one consultation, offerings of trainings, webinars, regular phone consultation and provision of resources and reference materials.

Prior to joining COE, Dr. Tyndall spent six years working as the Family Therapy Clinic Director for East Carolina University. A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, she has over ten years of experience serving in various research, instructor, and clinical positions related to both marriage and family therapy and integrated care in North Carolina.

Dr. Tyndall holds a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a doctorate in Medical Family Therapy, both from East Carolina University.

Eric Christian, Contract Consultant

Eric Christian, MA

Consultant- Center of Excellence for Integrated Care

Eric Christian joined Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) as a Consultant in 2012. He also worked with the group for a few years prior, when it was known as ICARE. In his role, Eric provides training, on-site support, and resources to medical and behavioral health providers working to integrate their services to provide higher quality care to patients and the community.

Eric’s professional history included working in a variety of behavioral health settings. In addition to his current role as an Integration Consultant with COE, Eric is employed full-time with Community Care of Western North Carolina as their Director of Behavioral Health Integration, where he provides technical assistance and consultation to providers interested in integration.

Eric received his master’s degree in Counseling from Western Carolina University in 1999 and his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hofstra University.

Monica Harrison, Contract Consultant

Monica Harrison, MSW, LCSW

Consultant- Center of Excellence for Integrated Care

Monica Harrison joined the Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) in April 2016. She currently serves as a Consultant. In this role, she works with organizations and healthcare professionals by providing resources, tools, techniques, assessments, training, and technical assistance around evidence-based and/or best practices in integration in North Carolina.

Prior to joining COE, Monica worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has over 11 years of experience in behavioral health integration throughout North Carolina. Her significant clinical experience and background in human development and family studies has provided her with a unique professional history that’s spanned from providing direct clinical service to children and adults to managing a variety of health centers across North Carolina.

Monica received her master’s degree form the Joint Masters of Social Work Program of North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Health ENC

Will Broughton, Program Director

Will Broughton, MA, MPH, CPH

Program Director-Health ENC

will.broughton@foundationhli.org

Will Broughton became the Program Director for Health ENC in May 2018. In this position, Will coordinates a regional community health needs assessment in 33 eastern North Carolina counties while working to build coalitions and partnerships to address health issues identified in the assessment process.

Prior to this role, Will served as the Coordinator in the Office of Health Access at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, NC. He is experienced in engaging stakeholders around health outcomes, managing projects, and compiling and disseminating data. While living in Greenville, he also volunteered with various community organizations, including serving as Chair of Friends of Greenville Greenways (FROGGS) for three years.

Will holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts in Anthropology from East Carolina University, and received a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Davidson College.

 

NCCARE 360

Position Vacant, see Carla Obiol

Carla Obiol

Vice President of Programs

carla.obiol@foundationhli.org

 

 NC Oral Health Collaborative

Zachary Brian, Program Director

Zachary Brian, D.M.D

Program Director – NC Oral Health Collaborative

zachary.brian@foundationhli.org

In December 2018, Zachary Brian joined the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation as the Program Director of the NC Oral Health Collaborative. In this role, he will lead NCOHC in strategic planning and partnerships, and will manage the activities of the program including evaluation and capacity-building. A passionate advocate for oral health equity and access, Dr. Brian recently served as a Dental Director leading initiatives for Fair Haven Community Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Center in New Haven, Connecticut in partnership with Yale University. Prior to this role, Dr. Brian served in Indian Health Service as Site Director for the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Dr. Brian has spent both his clinical and administrative career in public health, and is particularly interested in issues surrounding health equity, access, integration, and collaboration. Committed to community outreach and partnerships, Dr. Brian is a sought-after speaker on dental-medical integration, oral health equity and systems change, as well as the oral-systemic connection. In 2018, he re-established the Connecticut Dental Directors Task Force to share best practices and lobby for legislative change. Leveraging these partnerships, Dr. Brian oversaw the expansion of school-based oral health programs, implemented integrative protocols, and secured funding to increase access to diagnostic technologies for underserved population groups. Originally from rural Kentucky, Dr. Brian knows firsthand the challenges to oral health access in the southern United States, and is excited to lead the NCOHC in tackling this critical issue in North Carolina.

Dr. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Murray State University, and earned his Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the University of Louisville. He is currently a candidate in the Master of Health Administration program at Central Michigan University.

Suzanne Martin, Director of Outreach and Engagement

Suzanne Martin, MSW

Director of Outreach and Engagement  – NC Oral Health Collaborative

suzanne.martin@foundationhli.org 

Suzanne Martin joined NCOHC in May 2017 as the Director of Outreach and Engagement. In this role, Suzanne worked towards achieving oral health equity for all North Carolinians through network building and systems change with stakeholder groups statewide.  She also oversaw the implementation of a comprehensive communications campaign that included: broad dissemination of the Portrait of Oral Health, Innovations Bank, NC Oral Health Agenda, and culturally appropriate health messages.

Prior to joining the NC Oral Health Collaborative, Suzanne worked at the American Cancer Society as the Program Manager for the National Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccination Roundtable. She has also previously served in various roles for North Carolina State University (NCSU), including being the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator and a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant for the Department of Social Work, and an Education and Training Graduate Assistant for the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED).

Suzanne holds a Master of Social Work degree from North Carolina State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Peace College (now known as William Peace University).

 

NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance

Position Vacant, see Carla Obiol

Carla Obiol

Vice President of Programs

carla.obiol@foundationhli.org

 

Practice Sights

Jackie Fannell, Program Manager

Jackie Fannell PortraitJackie Fannell

Program Manager – Practice Sights

jackie.fannell@foundationhli.org

Jackie Fannell joined Practice Sights as Program Manager in April 2012.  In her role, Jackie provides technical assistance and training for the Practice Sights Clinician Recruitment and Retention Management System. Additionally, she is responsible for the coordination and collaboration of project activities between participating states and the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research for the Practice Sights Retention Collaborative.

Prior to joining the Practice Sights, Jackie was responsible for coordinating with the NC Office of Rural Health and the Sheps Center to pilot and then manage the ongoing collection of retention data. As a Coordinator for the NC Medical Society Foundation’s Community Practitioner Program, she administered questionnaires to physicians and medical practices to evaluate the program’s impact on retention.

Jackie received a Certificate in Nonprofit Management in 2015 from Duke University.

 

Rural Forward NC

Calvin Allen, Director

Calvin Allen PortraitCalvin Allen

Director – Rural Forward NC

984.204.6008

calvin.allen@foundationhli.org

Calvin Allen joined Rural Forward NC as their first Director in October 2014. In his role as director, Calvin supervises staff, sets program vision and direction.  He manages key state and national relationships and provides technical assistance and support in Healthy Places NC counties.

Prior to joining Rural Forward NC, Calvin has worked in the nonprofit sector as an administrator, trainer, facilitator, advocate, and consultant, primarily around rural economic development. Most recently, he worked for the Golden LEAF Foundation’s community grants making programs for three years as a program officer and three prior years as a consultant. He was also the associate director at the Southern Rural Development Initiative, helping small towns become economically sustainable without having to become urban. 

Calvin graduated with his bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1992, and is also a 1994 graduate of Leadership Durham. He received a certificate in nonprofit management in September 2004 and is a 2003-2005 graduate of the William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations through the Wildacres Leadership Initiative.

Brandy Bynum Dawson, Associate Director

Brandy Bynum Dawson, MPA

Associate Director – Rural Forward NC

984.204.6009

brandy.bynumdawson@foundationhli.org

Brandy Bynum  Dawson joined Rural Forward NC as the Associate Director in September 2014. In her role, Brandy works with the Director and program staff to manage, plan, organize, and direct daily capacity building services. Specifically, she provides technical assistance, coaching, facilitation, resource management and support of community initiatives in rural central and eastern North Carolina.

Brandy has been active in the nonprofit community for more than a decade as a professional, volunteer, and board member to improve outcomes for children and families. Prior to joining Rural Forward NC in 2014, Brandy served as the Director of Policy and Outreach at NC Child for over twelve years.  Brandy has extensive experience conducting research and analysis of public policy issues and developing summary reports on a variety of topics; as well as providing community development services to agencies, communities, and coalitions in the areas of civic engagement, action planning, results-based facilitation, program implementation and organizational collaboration.

Brandy graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Brandy also holds a master’s degree in public administration from NC State University, with a concentration in mental health policy.

Erin Carson, Partnership Manager

Erin Carson

Partnership Manager-Rural Forward NC

 Erin.carson@foundationhli.org 

Erin Carson started with Rural Forward NC as a partnership manager in 2018 after being part of the Healthy Places NC Initiative for two years as a county coordinator with the Catalyst for Healthy Eating and Active Living Program. Her work is rooted in a passion for social justice and building the capacity of historically marginalized groups to advocate for themselves and create sustainable change. With a background in journalism, political science, and local organizing, she brings an understanding of community, storytelling, solutions-based problem solving, and the power of human capital to the role.

Through coalition-building and intent to find, build trust with, and work alongside all of the folks that make up community, she has helped facilitate work to create more fresh food options in areas plagued by food apartheid, create safe community spaces for healthy activity in under-resourced neighborhoods, and introduce tools for youth and families to buffer against toxic stress.

Erin serves as RFNC principal in Edgecombe and Nash Counties and leads our work on foods systems and healthy eating resources.  She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University in Bloomington with majors in journalism and political science, and minors in global news and near Eastern languages and culture. After graduating, she was accepted to an international reporting program in a rural farming region in Kenya reporting on the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and major social determinants of health, which spurred her interest in public health reporting and advocacy.

Kathryn Gaasch, Partnership Manager

Kathryn Gaasch

Partnership Manager

Kathryn.gaasch@foundationhli.org

Kathryn Gaasch joined Rural Forward NC (RFNC) as a Partnership Manager in July 2018.  In her role, Kathryn works to strengthen the leadership infrastructure in Healthy Places NC counties, primarily in western NC.  She provides a range of consulting services, including facilitation, training, coaching, relationship brokering, program planning, and grants development.  She has particular expertise in evaluation systems and data management, and leads our work on active living and built environment issues.

Prior to joining RFNC, Kathryn worked with a variety of nonprofits and organizations providing community-based support domestically and internationally, ranging from built environment initiatives in rural western NC to climate change adaptation solutions for coffee farmers in Latin America.  Her passion for community-based work drove her to pursue a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University, with a certificate in community-based environmental management after attaining her bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech.

A former consultant who worked across the mid-Atlantic region, Kathryn provided environmental assessments and recommendations.  She currently calls Durham, NC home.

Phillip Sheldon, Program Support Administrator

Phillip Sheldon

Program Support Administrator

phillip.sheldon@foundationhli.org 

Phillip Sheldon joined Rural Forward NC as our Program Support Administrator in August 2019. Phillip provides administrative management and programmatic support, both in the field as well as toward maintaining our RFNC systems at the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation.

Facilitation of community partners is not new for him, as Phillip helped develop two separate programs with community partners to help low-income renters avoid eviction and/or gain leadership skills, building upon repeated input from families currently experiencing homelessness. He also has experience with volunteer coordination as well as experience providing management support for the manager of Davie County. Phillip cites these experiences leading to his understanding about the power and potential of community partnerships to tackle complex problems in rural areas.

Phillip graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Sociology. Pursuing a career in community development, Phillip attained his Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in May 2019.